Users fail to grasp virtualization benefits

IT professionals are still ignorant about the advantages of virtualization, according to a survey from virtualization speciali...

IT professionals are still ignorant about the advantages of virtualization,
according to a survey from virtualization specialist C&C Technology.
Virtualizing applications allows a single system to run multiple incompatible
operating systems. This reduces the number of servers required, and cuts
associated costs such as administration, power and cooling, as well as
simplifying the running of legacy systems.
The survey of 50 IT professionals, from IT directors to network managers, found
that 38 percent of companies taking part had only an ,average knowledge of
virtualization, while 48 percent felt they were using the technology to their
advantage. The biggest barrier to take-up, according to the survey, was the
perceived complexity and cost of making the change.
Richard Gigg, sales and marketing director of C&C Technology Consulting, said
he saw huge potential for virtualization technology as organizations become
more aware of the advantages. Adopting virtualization, he said, was faster and
simpler than most organizations realized, with an average, medium-sized
implementation taking about two weeks.
According to Gibbs, survey respondents saw the main advantage of virtualization
as being the reduced cost and complexity of introducing new applications. "The
improved business flexibility they gain was key," he said. "You can test and
deploy new applications much more efficiently without affecting existing
Gibb added that moves from other firms to promote virtualization technology
could only increase awareness of the benefits. Of VMwares decision to make its
GSX Server software free, he commented: "They had to do it because of what the
competition are doing, but it will help increase the take-up. I can see the day
when virtualization will be the norm."

Phishing on the increase
Emma Woollacott,

Phishing attacks are on the rise, with more than one in five PC users receiving
at least five phishing emails every day, according to a web poll conducted by
security firm Sophos.
According to the survey of 600 business users, 58 percent receive at least one
such email every day, while 22 percent receive more than five a day evidence
that the drive towards financially motivated computer crime continues to
accelerate, says Sophos.
The increase in phishing is also shown by statistics from the Anti-Phishing
Working Group (APWG), of which Sophos is a member. The APWG detected 15,244
unique phishing reports in December 2005, up from 8,829 in December 2004.
Nearly 7,200 phishing sites were reported to the APWG in December, representing
121 hijacked brands. While the average time online for a site was just 5.3
days, the longest lasted 31 days. More than a third of sites are hosted in the
US, with Korea and China the next biggest offenders.
"While organizations have a responsibility to ensure the security of their own
websites, they have little control over phishers that exploit their brand
behind their backs," said David Jevans, Chairman of the APWG. "Phishing attacks
are likely to become even more targeted in the future, and it will therefore be
all the more important for users to display caution. If in doubt, they should
contact the relevant organization to check an emails authenticity."
The dangers of phishing were highlighted once again last week when Visa Asia
Pacific announced that it had uncovered and shut down 20 spoof websites to
prevent cardholders from falling victim to online data theft. The action was
taken following reports that customers had received suspicious emails from the
companys payments network. Other recent high-profile attacks have targeted
customers of Wal-Mart and the US Internal Revenue Service.

Successful e-mail archiving
Mario Apicella, InfoWorld

If you still want to keep your message archives in-house, pay careful attention
to those three lessons I mentioned above:
Lesson No. 1: Conventional data protection methods, such as backups to tape,
are inadequate for archiving e-mail. For in-house archiving, a type of CAS
(content addressed storage) automatically fed from the e-mail servers is a
must-have. HPs RISS (Reference Information Storage System) uses a storage grid
for that (keep an eye out for InfoWorlds review of RISS in early March).
Lesson No. 2: You may need to retain e-mail messages far longer than you first
expected. The e-mail archive doesnt need to be updated every time a new
message is sent or received, but every message should be archived. Its also
important to prove that tampering with the archive (such as deleting, changing
messages or attachments but also losing or misplacing messages) is difficult or
Lesson No. 3: You need fast, reliable search tools for archived e-mail. If you
cant find a message, and cant find it relatively quickly, its almost as bad
as not having it at all.
Dont forget that theres much more than e-mail archiving when it comes to
achieving full compliance. For example, if your company uses instant messaging
as a routine business tool, youll likely need to track and archive those
messages too and you should consider implementing IM archiving services such as
those offered by Iron Mountain. Of course, there are plenty of other compliance
requirements that dig even deeper into your applications, database systems, and
storage resources. But thats another column.

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