Veritas Introduces Enterprise Data Services Platform to Standardize and Simplify Data

Veritas Technologies, the market share leader in enterprise data protection, today announced the Enterprise Data Services Platform, a unified set of technologies designed to abstract the complexity of enterprise IT. The platform, which is powered by Veritas NetBackup 8.2, allows customers to get what matters to them most, simply highly available apps, always protected and recoverable data, and insights that drive operational efficiency and regulatory compliance. Infrastructure complexity is damaging ITs ability to meet the demands of todays always-on enterprise, said Greg Hughes, Chief Executive Officer, Veritas. Our new Enterprise Data Services Platform, powered by NetBackup 8.2, allows enterprises to gain control of their data to help them manage its growth, reduce impact of ransomware, and prove compliance for on prem and cloud environments.

Spotlight

Eurotech Computer Services

For over 25 years Eurotech has been a trusted advisor in the IT industry, with a strategic approach to implementing solutions that deliver lasting business value. Today Eurotech has offices in the UK, Norway and South Africa, and has succeeded in striking the right balance between innovative technology and specialist solutions to deliver the performance, reduced cost and capacity that our customers demand.

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Virtual Desktop Tools, Server Hypervisors

Efficient Management of Virtual Machines using Orchestration

Article | June 8, 2023

Contents 1. Introduction 2. What is Orchestration? 3. How Orchestrating Help Optimize VMs Efficiency? 3.1. Resource Optimization 3.2 Dynamic Scaling 3.3 Faster Deployment 3.4 Improved Security 3.5 Multi-Cloud Management 3.6 Improved Collaboration 4. Considerations while Orchestrating VMs 4.1. Together Hosting of Containers and VMs 4.2 Automated Backup and Restore for VMs 4.3 Ensure Replication for VMs 4.4 Setup Data Synchronization for VMs 5. Conclusion 1. Introduction Orchestration is a superset of automation. Cloud orchestration goes beyond automation, providing coordination between multiple automated activities. Cloud orchestration is increasingly essential due to the growth of containerization, which facilitates scaling applications across clouds, both public and private. The demand for both public cloud orchestration and hybrid cloud orchestration has increased as businesses increasingly adopt a hybrid cloud architecture. The quick adoption of containerized, micro-services-based apps that communicate over APIs has fueled the desire for automation in deploying and managing applications across the cloud. This increase in complexity has created a need for VM orchestration that can manage numerous dependencies across various clouds with policy-driven security and management capabilities. 2. What is Orchestration? Orchestration refers to the process of automating, coordinating, and managing complex systems, workflows, or processes. It typically entails the use of automation tools and platforms to streamline and coordinate the deployment, configuration, management of applications and services across different environments. This includes development, testing, staging, and production. Orchestration tools in cloud computing can be used to automate the deployment and administration of containerized applications across multiple servers or clusters. These tools can help automate tasks such as container provisioning, scaling, load balancing, and health monitoring, making it easier to manage complex application environments. Orchestration ensures organizations automate and streamline their workflows, reduce errors and downtime, and improve the efficacy and scalability of their operations. 3. How Orchestrating Help Optimize VMs Efficiency? Orchestration offers enhanced visibility into the resources and processes in use, which helps prevent VM sprawl and helps organizations trace resource usage by department, business unit, or individual user. Fig. Global Market for VNFO by Virtualization Methodology 2022-27($ million) (Source: Insight Research) The above figure shows, VMs have established a solid legacy that will continue to be relevant in the near to mid-term future. These are 6 ways, in which Orchestration helps vin efficient management of VMs: 3.1. Resource Optimization Orchestrating helps optimize resource utilization by automating the provisioning and de-provisioning of VMs, which allows for efficient use of computing resources. By using orchestration tools, IT teams can set up rules and policies for automatically scaling VMs based on criteria such as CPU utilization, memory usage, network traffic, and application performance metrics. Orchestration also enables advanced techniques such as predictive analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to optimize resource utilization. These technologies can analyze historical data and identify patterns in workload demand, allowing the orchestration system to predict future resource needs and automatically provision or de-provision resources accordingly 3.2. Dynamic Scaling Orchestrating helps automate scaling of VMs, enabling organizations to quickly and easily adjust their computing resources based on demand. It enables IT teams to configure scaling policies and regulations for virtual machines based on resource utilization and network traffic along with performance metrics. When the workload demand exceeds a certain threshold, the orchestration system can autonomously provision additional virtual machines to accommodate the increased load. When workload demand decreases, the orchestration system can deprovision VMs to free up resources and reduce costs. 3.3. Faster Deployment Orchestrating can help automate VM deployment of VMs, reducing the time and effort required to provision new resources. By leveraging advanced technologies such as automation, scripting, and APIs, orchestration can further streamline the VM deployment process. It allows IT teams to define workflows and processes that can be automated using scripts, reducing the time and effort required to deploy new resources. In addition, orchestration can integrate with other IT management tools and platforms, such as cloud management platforms, configuration management tools, and monitoring systems. This enables IT teams to leverage various capabilities and services to streamline the VM deployment and improve efficiency. 3.4. Improved Security Orchestrating can help enhance the security of VMs by automating the deployment of security patches and updates. It also helps ensure VMs are deployed with the appropriate security configurations and settings, reducing the risk of misconfiguration and vulnerability. It enables IT teams to define standard security templates and configurations for VMs, which can be automatically applied during deployment. Furthermore, orchestration can integrate with other security tools and platforms, such as intrusion detection systems and firewalls, to provide a comprehensive security solution. It allows IT teams to automate the deployment of security policies and rules, ensuring that workloads remain protected against various security threats. 3.5. Multi-Cloud Management Orchestration helps provide a single pane of glass for VM management, enabling IT teams to monitor and manage VMs across multiple cloud environments from a single platform. This simplifies management and reduces complexity, enabling IT teams to respond more quickly and effectively to changing business requirements. In addition, orchestration also helps to ensure consistency and compliance across multiple cloud environments. Moreover, orchestration can also integrate with other multi-cloud management tools and platforms, such as cloud brokers and cloud management platforms, to provide a comprehensive solution for managing VMs across multiple clouds. 3.6. Improved Collaboration Orchestration helps streamline collaboration by providing a centralized repository for storing and sharing information related to VMs. Moreover, it also automates many of the routine tasks associated with VM management, reducing the workload for IT teams and freeing up time for more complex tasks. This can improve collaboration by enabling IT teams to focus on more strategic initiatives. In addition, orchestration provides advanced analytics and reporting capabilities, enabling IT teams to track performance, identify bottlenecks, and optimize resource utilization. This improves performance by providing a data-driven approach to VM management and allowing IT teams to work collaboratively to identify and address performance issues. 4. Considerations while Orchestrating VMs 4.1. Together Hosting of Containers and VMs Containers and virtual machines exist together within a single infrastructure and are managed by the same platform. This allows for hosting various projects using a unified management point and the ability to adapt gradually based on current needs and opportunities. This provides greater flexibility for teams to host and administer applications using cutting-edge technologies and established standards and methods. Moreover, as there is no need to invest in distinct physical servers for virtual machines (VMs) and containers, this approach can be a great way to maximize infrastructure utilization, resulting in lower TCO and higher ROI. In addition, unified management drastically simplifies processes, requiring fewer human resources and less time. 4.2. Automated Backup and Restore for VMs --Minimize downtime and reduce risk of data loss Organizations should set up automated backup and restore processes for virtual machines, ensuring critical data and applications are protected during a disaster. This involves scheduling regular backups of virtual machines to a secondary location or cloud storage and setting up automated restore processes to recover virtual machines during an outage or disaster quickly. 4.3. Ensure Replication for VMs --Ensure data and applications are available and accessible in the event of a disaster Organizations should set up replication processes for their VMs, allowing them to be automatically copied to a secondary location or cloud infrastructure. This ensures that critical applications and data are available even during a catastrophic failure at the primary site. 4.4. Setup Data Synchronization for VMs --Improve overall resilience and availability of the system VM orchestration tools should be used to set up data synchronization processes between virtual machines, ensuring that data is consistent and up-to-date across multiple locations. This is particularly important in scenarios where data needs to be accessed quickly from various locations, such as in distributed environments. 5. Conclusion Orchestration provides disaster recovery and business continuity, automatic scalability of distributed systems, and inter-service configuration. Cloud orchestration is becoming significant due to the advent of containerization, which permits scaling applications across clouds, both public and private. We expect continued growth and innovation in the field of VM orchestration, with new technologies and tools emerging to support more efficient and effective management of virtual machines in distributed environments. In addition, as organizations increasingly rely on cloud-based infrastructures and distributed systems, VM orchestration will continue to play a vital role in enabling businesses to operate smoothly and recover quickly from disruptions. VM orchestration will remain a critical component of disaster recovery and high availability strategies for years as organizations continue relying on virtualization technologies to power their operations and drive innovation.

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Virtual Desktop Strategies

Discovering SCVMM and Its Features

Article | July 26, 2022

System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) is a management tool for Microsoft’s Hyper-V virtualization platform. It is part of Microsoft’s System Center product suite, which also includes Configuration Manager and Operations Manager, among other tools. SCVMM provides a single pane of glass for managing your on-premises and cloud-based Hyper-V infrastructures, and it’s a more capable alternative to Windows Server tools built for the same purpose.

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Virtual Desktop Tools

Virtual Machine Security Risks and Mitigation in Cloud Computing

Article | August 12, 2022

Analyzing risks and implementing advanced mitigation strategies: Safeguard critical data, fortify defenses, and stay ahead of emerging threats in the dynamic realm of virtual machines in cloud. Contents 1. Introduction 2. 10 Security Risks Associated with Virtual Machines in Cloud Computing 3. Best Practices to Avoid Security Compromise 4. Conclusion 1. Introduction Cloud computing has revolutionized the way businesses operate by providing flexible, scalable, and cost-effective infrastructure for running applications and services. Virtual machines (VMs) are a key component of cloud computing, allowing multiple virtual machines to run on a single physical machine. However, the use of virtual machines in cloud computing introduces new security risks that need to be addressed to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data and services. Effective VM security in the cloud requires a comprehensive approach that involves cloud providers and users working together to identify and address potential virtual machine security threats. By implementing these best practices and maintaining a focus on security, cloud computing can provide a secure and reliable platform for businesses to run their applications and services. 2. 10 Security Risks Associated with Virtual Machines in Cloud Computing Denial of Service (DoS) attacks: These are attacks that aim to disrupt the availability of a VM or the entire cloud infrastructure by overwhelming the system with traffic or resource requests. Insecure APIs: Cloud providers often expose APIs that allow users to manage their VMs. If these APIs are not properly secured, attackers can exploit them to gain unauthorized access to VMs or manipulate their configurations. Data leakage: Virtual machines can store sensitive data such as customer information or intellectual property. If not secured, this data can be exposed to unauthorized access or leakage. Shared resources: VMs in cloud environments often share physical resources such as memory, CPU, and network interfaces. If these resources are not isolated, a compromised VM can potentially affect the security and performance of other VMs running on the same physical host. Lack of visibility: Virtual machines in cloud environments can be more difficult to monitor than physical machines. This can make it harder to detect security incidents or anomalous behavior. Insufficient logging and auditing: If cloud providers do not implement appropriate logging and auditing mechanisms, it can be difficult to determine the cause and scope of a security incident. VM escape: This is when an attacker gains access to the hypervisor layer and then escapes into the host operating system or other VMs running on the same physical host. Side-channel attacks: This is when an attacker exploits the physical characteristics of the hardware to gain unauthorized access to a VM. Examples of side-channel attacks include timing attacks, power analysis attacks, and electromagnetic attacks. Malware attacks: VMs can be infected with malware, just like physical machines. Malware can be used to steal data, launch attacks on other VMs or systems, or disrupt the functioning of the VM. Insider threats: Malicious insiders can exploit their access to VMs to steal data, modify configurations, or launch attacks. 3. Best Practices to Avoid Security Compromise To mitigate these risks, there are several virtual machine security guidelines that cloud service providers and users can follow: Keep software up-to-date: Regularly updating software and security patches for virtual machines is crucial in preventing known vulnerabilities from being exploited by hackers. Software updates fix bugs and security flaws that could allow unauthorized access, data breaches, or malware attacks. According to a study, 60% of data breaches are caused by vulnerabilities that were not patched or updated in a timely manner.(Source: Ponemon Institute) Use secure hypervisors: A hypervisor is a software layer that enables multiple virtual machines to run on a single physical server. Secure hypervisors are designed to prevent unauthorized access to virtual machines and protect them from potential security threats. When choosing a hypervisor, it is important to select one that has undergone rigorous testing and meets industry standards for security. In 2018, a group of researchers discovered a new type of attack called "Foreshadow" (also known as L1 Terminal Fault). The attack exploits vulnerabilities in Intel processors and can be used to steal sensitive data from virtual machines running on the same physical host. Secure hypervisors that have implemented hardware-based security features can provide protection against Foreshadow and similar attacks. (Source: Foreshadow) Implement strong access controls: Access control is the practice of restricting access to virtual machines to authorized users. Multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide more than one type of authentication method before accessing VMs. Strong access controls limit the risk of unauthorized access and can help prevent data breaches. According to a survey, organizations that implemented multi-factor authentication saw a 98% reduction in the risk of phishing-related account breaches. (Source: Duo Security) Monitor VMs for anomalous behavior: Monitoring virtual machines for unusual or unexpected behavior is an essential security practice. This includes monitoring network traffic, processes running on the VM, and other metrics that can help detect potential security incidents. By monitoring VMs, security teams can detect and respond to security threats before they can cause damage. A study found that 90% of organizations that implemented a virtualized environment experienced security benefits, such as improved visibility into security threats and faster incident response times. (Source: VMware) Use Encryption: Encryption is the process of encoding information in such a way that only authorized parties can access it. Encrypting data both in transit and at rest protects it from interception or theft by hackers. This can be achieved using industry-standard encryption protocols and technologies. According to a report by, the average cost of a data breach in 2020 was $3.86 million. The report also found that organizations that implemented encryption had a lower average cost of a data breach compared to those that did not (Source: IBM) Segregate VMs: Segregating virtual machines is the practice of keeping sensitive VMs separate from less sensitive ones. This reduces the risk of lateral movement, which is when a hacker gains access to one VM and uses it as a stepping stone to gain access to other VMs in the same environment. Segregating VMs helps to minimize the risk of data breaches and limit the potential impact of a security incident. A study found that organizations that implemented a virtualized environment without adequate segregation and access controls were more vulnerable to VM security breaches and data loss. (Source: Ponemon Institute) Regularly Back-up VMs: Regularly backing up virtual machines is a critical security practice that can help mitigate the impact of malware attacks, system failures, or other security incidents. Backups should be stored securely and tested regularly to ensure that they can be restored quickly in the event of a security incident. A survey conducted found that 42% of organizations experienced a data loss event in 2020 with the most common cause being accidental deletion by an employee (29%). (Source: Veeam) 4. Conclusion The complexity of cloud environments and the shared responsibility model for security require organizations to adopt a comprehensive security approach that spans multiple infrastructure layers, from the physical to the application layer. The future of virtual machine security concern in cloud computing will require continued innovation and adaptation to new threats and vulnerabilities. As a result, organizations must remain vigilant and proactive in their security efforts, leveraging the latest technologies and best practices to protect their virtual machines, the sensitive data and resources they contain.

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Researchers Explore Details of Critical VMware Vulnerability

Article | April 17, 2020

Researchers have published the details of an investigation into CVE-2020-3952, a major vulnerability in VMware's vCenter that was disclosed and patched on April 9. The flaw was given a CVSS score of 10. CVE-2020-3952 exists in VMware's Directory Service (vmdir), which is a part of VMware vCenter Server, a centralized management platform for virtualized hosts and virtual machines. Through vCenter Server, the company says, an administrator can manage hundreds of workloads. The platform uses single sign-on (SSO), which includes vmdir, Security Token Service, an administration server, and the vCenter Lookup Service. Vmdir is also used for certificate management for the workloads vCenter handles.

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Spotlight

Eurotech Computer Services

For over 25 years Eurotech has been a trusted advisor in the IT industry, with a strategic approach to implementing solutions that deliver lasting business value. Today Eurotech has offices in the UK, Norway and South Africa, and has succeeded in striking the right balance between innovative technology and specialist solutions to deliver the performance, reduced cost and capacity that our customers demand.

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