Top 5 Reasons for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

Posted by Rob Williams on Tue, Aug 30, 2016 @ 09:30 AM


Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is undergoing a transformation as the workplace changes. According to CareerBuilder, 63% of employees surveyed think that the concept of an 8-hour workday is outdated. On top of that, 62% choose to work outside of the 9-to-5 workday. 

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Topics: Cloud Computing, Network

Is the Cloud Really Secure? You Bet!

Posted by Rob Williams on Tue, Mar 22, 2016 @ 09:30 AM


On-premises vs. Cloud: A Rational Analysis

Cloud security continues to generate hype.

In fact, SC Magazine got two SMEs together to talk about whether hosting data in the cloud is more secure than hosting data on-premises.  

Even though we have come a long way from the early days of cloud security fear, and even though users and providers have gained more confidence in cloud security practices, misconceptions still persist.

Some assumptions include:

  • Hackers have easier access to cloud security settings
  • Once your data is hosted in a cloud environment, it’s exposed to the whole world, and you lose control. 
  • Data in the cloud is easier for anyone to access.

The Case For and Against On-premises

As a proponent for managing data in-house, Dan Timpson (VP of technology for DigiCert) gave his take on why on-premises is the safer route compared to cloud.

“On-premises solutions give users 100-percent control over their own SSL certificate keys and critical system security, and then it’s their responsibility to ensure privacy and data security. With on-premises, one has better visibility into the lifecycle of one’s own data and where attacks are coming from.”

Timpson makes some fair points. Ideally, it might be easier to manage and control your data when you know where it resides, while having full access and control.

But his point about it being “your responsibility” is important.

Unless you have a dedicated, integrated physical and digital security approach to host your most critical information and that security approach incorporates consistent testing and monitoring, you can’t cover as much ground as a cloud service provider.

Mid-market organizations don’t always account for these consistent privacy and data security practices. Just given the lack of manpower and internal resources, they can be hard-pressed to honor their security responsibilities. If these organizations aren’t able to keep up with the demands, they are always going to be more vulnerable.

The Case for Cloud Data Security  

Pete Nicoletti (CISO for Virtustream), who argued for cloud-based security management, had a solid counterpoint to Timpson’s statement.

His take: While security isn’t the core competency for most enterprise and mid-market organizations, it is the core competency for cloud vendors.

Vendors have the in-house resources and expertise to deliver repeatable and sustainable security practices that have been tested and verified.

The reality is that the cloud is likely no more of a danger zone than your very own in-house IT infrastructure.

Furthermore, Wieland Alge, VP and GM of EMEAR at Barracuda Networks, explained, “Almost all of the massive data breaches we’ve seen as of late were within traditional on-premises IT. Sometimes we are too quick in stating that the cloud is an inherently insecure element.”

With the right cloud provider, data security doesn’t have to be such a stress point.

How safe can a cloud provider get?

Physical security is an area often overlooked by customers who maintain on-premises systems.   A former NATO command center located in Maine with staff onsite 24/7 is as safe a spot as any for critical systems and sensitive data. As a cloud practice, Oxford Networks secures its computing environment with industry best-practices and an approach to security that includes annual audits and regular testing.  These enhancements complement sound internal practices that will always be part of the process of managing IT, whether in the cloud or on-prem.   

Learn about the cloud questions you need to answer in our free product sheet, Choose the Best Cloud Technology Path for Your Business.

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Topics: Cloud Computing, Security

Four Cloud Advantages Startups Need to Know

Posted by Rob Williams on Tue, Mar 08, 2016 @ 11:30 AM


Cloud technologies are in the midst of an evolution.

Startup companies in today’s economy are coming to the table with fully-operational, integrated cloud environments. The idea is to gain an edge on larger counterparts that haven’t yet adapted to cloud services, but that is only the beginning.

For new businesses – businesses that live and die by the ability to limit unexpected costs – migrating to the cloud makes perfect sense. Many startups are forgoing the expense of an internal IT Department altogether and living solely in the cloud.

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Topics: Cloud Computing

Cloud Technology Supports the Value-Based Healthcare Transition

Posted by Rob Williams on Tue, Mar 01, 2016 @ 09:30 AM


Healthcare is in a state of reform when it comes to its changing practices and delivery of patient care.

Specifically, the industry is maneuvering through a tectonic shift for how patient care is provided and billed with the implementation of a value-based (at risk) payment model. 

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Topics: Cloud Computing

How IaaS Can Reduce IT Investment Risk and Improve Margin of Error

Posted by Rob Williams on Tue, Feb 23, 2016 @ 09:30 AM

Think back for a minute to any significant financial investment you’ve made in your life.

In some cases, you really don’t have to think back that far at all. And in every instance, there are some risk factors you’ve had to weigh to determine the long-term ROI of your next purchase – whether it’s a TV, furniture, or a new house.

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Topics: Cloud Computing, IaaS, IT Investment

The Blizzard Aftermath: Is Your Business Continuity Intact?

Posted by Rob Williams on Tue, Feb 09, 2016 @ 09:30 AM

Raise your hand if you’re still trying to dig out of the snow that rocked the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions.

Here in Maine, we lucked out, but we feel the pain of our east coast neighbors. In fact, a police officer in Bangor shared some advice on how to deal with this storm before it hit.

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Topics: Cloud Computing, business continuity

What Today's IT Leaders and Tom Brady Have in Common

Posted by Rob Williams on Tue, Feb 02, 2016 @ 09:30 AM


The New England Patriots recently suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship game. 

For a die-hard Patriots fan like myself, it’s still hard to talk about.  But I got to thinking about the parallels between the game and what the average IT Manager has to deal with.

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Topics: Cloud Computing, IT Leaders

Driving Productivity with Digital Advancements

Posted by Rob Williams on Tue, Jan 19, 2016 @ 10:30 AM


There is a constant battle that rages on in IT departments.

It’s the battle between finding a way to keep operations running (or keep the lights on) versus  investing in more advanced technology to foster organizational productivity.
It makes sense in a lot of ways. IT professionals are focused on maintaining the day-to-day functionality  of legacy systems so workers can make due. However, does this approach really benefit workforce  productivity in the long run?
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Topics: Cloud Computing, Workforce Productivity

Top 10 Things in IT That Are NOT Going to Happen in 2016

Posted by Rob Williams on Tue, Jan 05, 2016 @ 12:30 PM


There are so many articles out there on what’s going to happen in the coming year. We, at Oxford Networks, thought that we would offer a few helpful insights into what companies should NOT expect in 2016.

Here are the top 10 things that aren't going to happen in 2016:

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Topics: Cloud Computing, Mobility, Security

2016 IT Budget Predictions: Digital Business Explodes

Posted by Rob Williams on Tue, Dec 22, 2015 @ 12:30 PM


For companies preparing their budget priorities for 2016, it’s important to bear in mind that digital technologies are changing the way companies operate internally and with customers.

Every major tech research company is singing the praises of digital business. Forrester calls it “The Age of the Customer.” IDC calls it “3rd Platform Digital Transformation.” And Gartner simply calls it “Putting Digital Business to Work.”

Regardless of which research mogul you look at, the research trends in the same pattern when it comes to digital business.

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Topics: Cloud Computing, Mobility