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  • Managed hosting in Europe - June 2009

    The term "managed hosting" describes the provision of a ready to use IT stack including hardware and infrastructure software for the deployment of applications. Providers house the infrastructure in central data centres accessed by customers over the internet. In the past this has usually been on the basis of hardware servers dedicated to individual customers, however the increasing use of virtualisation has allowed managed hosting providers to reduce costs by sharing infrastructure between customers, creating the earliest versions of what the industry now refers to as compute clouds. Computing platforms provisioned and managed by specialists provide higher service levels, greater ease of secure access and more manageable costs than many organisations are able to achieve internally.

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  • Fuelling the engine

    Across the mid-market, inefficiencies are compounded by the lack of visibility into pertinent data, of processes being adequately and flexibly automated, and for the performance of the business to be monitored on a constant basis. Without such capabilities, businesses will find it difficult to survive the current financial conditions - yet creating an environment where information can be easily aggregated and viewed has never been easier. Also, business performance can be easily monitored with small proactive, and even reactive, actions ensuring effective responses to market forces and enabling organisations to compete with local and more global business threats.

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  • Removing the complexity from information protection

    With data breaches widespread, no organisation can afford to be complacent, but most data losses are avoidable. Many of the breaches making headline news are caused by the loss or theft of laptops and other portable devices. To protect themselves from financial and reputational damage, encryption technologies can reduce risks by ensuring the information on such devices is secure when users are on the move. They can also add value by allowing the secure sharing of information among authorised users and by enabling more secure remote working.

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  • Social networking and systems management - an unlikley combination?

    Can social networking actually be useful? There are plenty of claims made about Twitter's usefulness for getting concise messages to a broad audience or using LinkedIn to track down old colleagues who may be able make an introduction to a new prospect. But what about direct benefits - such as finding quick solutions to problems or getting better deals on products?

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  • Policy everywhere, with little to link it

    As Quocirca discusses in its freely available report "Content Security for the Next Decade" policies that define the way data must be handled are fundamental to good e-security practice, but where do you store the associated e-security policies? A written set of policies for handling data should be the starting point and such a document should be readily available to all employees and, where relevant, external data users for a given organisation. But policy can be enforced through a range of security tools in various parts of the IT infrastructure and this can lead to policy needing to be defined in several places.

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  • Multi-videoconferencing for the many

    Travel budgets are being squeezed - gone are the days of leaping on the nearest plane and flying first class to have a 2 hour meeting on the other side of the pond, However, top-end videoconferencing suites, although highly effective, are not widespread in use as yet, generally due to the high costs of tele-immersion systems, and the need for dedicated rooms and managed high-bandwidth connections.

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  • When is an appliance not an appliance?

    A few years ago Quocirca reviewed the deployment of Microsoft ISA server by The Kensington and Chelsea NHS Trust in all its remote surgeries and clinics. Microsoft was keen to promote the fact that ISA Server (ISA stands for Internet Security and Acceleration) had won over specialist appliance based offerings for network acceleration.

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