Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Intronis.
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Recent Posts

How serverless computing will transform cloud economics

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jul 13, 2017 1:20:29 PM

While cloud computing has had a profound an impact on IT, the level of technical innovation associated with the cloud has been relatively slight. Virtual machines that were once run in a local data center have been moved to a highly automated shared public cloud that exposes underlying infrastructure using application programming interfaces (APIs).

But over the past year, increased innovation in the cloud has spawned multiple architectures that will compete to run a variety of application workloads. In addition to traditional virtual machines, it’s now common for containers to be deployed on public clouds. Beyond containers, however, serverless computing frameworks are starting to emerge that promise to radically alter the economics of cloud computing. In fact, a new report published by 451 Research suggests that serverless computing will be the least expensive cloud option by a wide margin for certain classes of workloads.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Hybrid cloud computing war begins in earnest

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jul 11, 2017 10:36:03 AM

Now that most IT vendors have come to recognize that hybrid cloud computing is an end in itself rather than a means to the public cloud, the battle to dominate the next phase of enterprise computing has begun in earnest.

At the Microsoft Inspire 2017 conference this week, Microsoft formally rolled out Azure Stack, an instance of the platform the company uses to drive its public cloud service that IT organizations can deploy in their local data centers. The only catch is that right now the only way to get Azure Stack is to acquire it as part of a high-end server purchased from Dell EMC, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE), or Lenovo.

Microsoft isn't the only vendor with similar hybrid cloud computing ambitions.

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Topics: Cloud Trends

Demand for external GDPR expertise needs more time to build

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jul 6, 2017 10:44:26 AM

As the deadline grows closer for complying with the General Data Protection Rule (GDPR) being put into effect May 25, 2018, by the European Union, there’s a marked difference in attitudes between IT organizations in Europe and in the U.S. concerning the need to rely on third-party expertise. 

A survey of 779 IT professionals based in Europe, the U.K., and the U.S. conducted by Spiceworks, an online community of IT professionals, finds that 46 percent of the respondents based in Europe are likely to rely on third-party consultants for help with GDPR compliance. In contrast, the survey finds only 33 percent of the respondents based in the United Kingdom plan to do so, and among respondents based in the U.S. that number drops to 29 percent.

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Topics: Compliance

The cloud is in desperate need of a makeover

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jul 4, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Apparently, the cloud needs a makeover. That’s the conclusion to be drawn from a new survey of 300 IT professionals conducted by Fugue, Inc., a provider of management software for public and private clouds.

A full 96 percent of the respondents said cloud computing needs a makeover due to a variety of issues, including a need to make it simpler to use (33 percent), easier to secure (29 percent); easier to control costs (13 percent), and simpler to manage (10 percent).

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Topics: IT Services Trends

MSPs need to be on the frontline of any ransomware defense

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 29, 2017 6:48:43 AM

While there is still much unknown about the latest wave of Petya/GoldenEye ransomware attacks, it's all too clear that organizations that don’t keep pace with the latest patches are being targeted faster than ever. It used to take cybercriminals a fair amount of time to develop the malware required to take advantage of a specific exploit. Now thanks to access to advanced tools developed by intelligence agencies that make it possible for cybercriminals to weaponize malware faster, this latest series of ransomware is targeting an exploit that Microsoft made patches available for just over a month ago in the wake of the WannaCry ransomware attack. Given the rate at which most organizations roll out patch updates, it’s a wonder more systems haven't been affected.

Microsoft says it's continuing to investigate the extent of the most recent threat, so it’s unclear whether additional emergency patches will be forthcoming or not. Either way, many organizations have a pressing need to apply available patches immediately. Because the patch management processes in place within most organizations are inherently flawed, however, there will continue to be organizations that fall victim to these types of ransomware attacks.

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Topics: Ransomware

Demand for cloud expertise from IT service providers is evolving

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 27, 2017 11:03:20 AM

A significant shift is underway in terms of the types of services IT organizations require as they gain more confidence in the age of the cloud. A recent survey of 1,503 large organizations conducted by 451 Research on behalf of Dimension Data, a global provider of IT services that is a unit of NTT, suggests that there’s been significant drop in demand for cloud transformation services in favor of more post-cloud-deployment services.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Battle for control over managed database services heats up

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 22, 2017 10:25:41 AM

One of the fiercest fights now occurring across the cloud is a battle for control over managed database services. The trouble is that rather than being a fight between traditional managed service providers, most of the conflict is between database vendors trying to sell managed database services directly.

For example, this week IBM announced it is making available a fully managed Db2 relational database service. Earlier in the week MongoDB announced it is extending its Atlas managed service for deploying instances of its namesake document database to Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Level of cloud adoption in the channel reflects IT reality

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 20, 2017 12:10:31 PM

A new “State of the Cloud” report based on a survey of 142 channel partners published by Gorilla Corp., a provider of sales and marketing services for the channel, finds that 65 percent of respondents provide hosted and managed cloud services. In addition, a full 70 percent report they manage and support cloud services.

While that may suggest the channel is aggressively transitioning to the cloud, the survey, conducted in collaboration with Kairos Strategic Consulting, also finds that only 38 percent have more than 50 percent of the services they provide delivered via the cloud. More telling yet, 71 percent say they expect to be selling on-premises IT hardware and software indefinitely. In fact, only 42 percent report they are working with more than four cloud vendors.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

MSP profits should increase as cloud becomes more mysterious

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 15, 2017 4:11:32 PM

There’s an old saying in the channel that wherever there’s mystery there’s profit. Given the level of platform complexity many IT organizations are now trying to navigate, everyone concerned should be generating plenty of MSP profits. Conventional wisdom holds that there’s an inexorable march underway that will result in all application workloads inevitably moving into a public cloud. A new global survey of more than 9,000 organizations published this week by Pure Storage, a provider of Tier 1 storage systems, suggests the truth of the matter is far more nuanced.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

SDS paves path to hybrid cloud storage solutions for MSPs

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 13, 2017 1:53:32 PM

It’s taken much longer than most people initially thought, but it appears software-defined storage (SDS) is finally upon us. While virtual machines have been with us for decades, adoption of virtualization to craft SDS solutions has been comparatively slow. But a new survey of 426 IT professionals conducted by DataCore Software, a provider of storage software, finds that roughly half of the respondents are now moving toward SDS for reasons that range from simplifying storage management to avoiding being locked into a single vendor.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

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