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Young IT leaders, millennials in particular, have embraced the cloud more than their older counterparts.

That’s the data revealed in a recent IDC survey. Medium-sized firms led by millennial IT leaders — aged 35 or younger — run an average of 10 cloud applications, which is two more than the overall average, notes IDC’s “State of the SMB Cloud: 2016 U.S. Small and Medium-Sized Business Cloud Adoption Survey.”

When deploying IT, 35.7 percent of millennials in medium-sized businesses say they prefer cloud over on-premises solutions, compared with 28.9 percent of Gen Xers and 13.2 percent of baby boomers.

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When negotiating contracts with cloud providers, have an attorney review the fine print to ensure your company will be compliant with security and privacy laws, and to guarantee that all data is secure, advises Raun Nohavitza, senior director of IT at Centrify.

The Silicon Valley tech company has contracts in place with its major cloud providers that specify each vendor’s responsibilities to ensure security and privacy, Nohavitza says.

“If a new business is thinking about creating a new cloud service or exposing customer information to the cloud, they should think about privacy and security,” he says. “The main cloud providers will be happy to have that discussion with you, and will be happy to give you the tools you need to solve those problems.”

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The Rural Renewable Energy Alliance in Backus, Minn., doesn’t have an IT manager. The nonprofit relies on the cloud to support its mission, which is to provide “a clean, long-term solution to energy poverty” by delivering solar energy to low-income communities.

RREAL also has a for-profit arm that installs solar panels for government, commercial and residential customers. The business is wholly owned by the nonprofit, which allows the organization to provide solar energy to low-income families at no cost, Director Jason Edens says.

Many of the organization’s 12 employees often work remotely as they meet with prospective clients, attend conferences and install solar panels throughout the region. In fact, the ability to access applications anytime, anywhere allows Edens to recruit and retain talented employees. Two workers currently telecommute from larger cities in the state.

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Dyn, a major domain name system host that monitors and routes internet traffic, suffered a massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack Friday morning, as the New York Times reports.

The DDoS attack temporarily shut off access to Twitter, Netflix, Spotify, Box, Github, Airbnb, Reddit, Etsy, SoundCloud, The Times and other websites.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the attack started at around 7:10 a.m. Eastern time on Friday, and Dyn said its services were running again around 9:20 a.m. The company didn’t disclose the source of the attack, the Journal noted. 

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Facebook doesn't want to just be for sharing photos and memes at the office — the social network now wants to be an enterprise collaboration tool. 

Earlier this week Facebook unveiled Workplace (formerly known as Facebook at Work), a chat and collaboration service that will cost $1 to $3 per month per user

Wired notes that "Facebook charges $3 a head for a business’s first thousand monthly active users, $2 each for 1,001 to 10,000 users, and just $1 each for over 10,000 users." Slack costs $6.67 or $12.50 per month per user for its paid plans. Facebook said Workplace will be free for non-profits and educational institutions.

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Symantec and VMware unveiled a strategic partnership to unify endpoint management and broader threat security. As part of the announcement at VMware's Connect 2016 conference in Atlanta, Symantec joined the VMware Mobile Security Alliance, a group of digital security companies that work to mitigate mobile threats by providing advanced security solutions that are seamlessly integrated into the VMware AirWatch Enterprise Mobility Management Platform

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Virtualized IT environments — and the tools used to manage them — can provide unmatched flexibility and scalability, but they can also require skills that SMB IT staffs sometimes lack, says Cliff Grossner of IHS Markit.

To help smooth the learning curve, companies should ask these questions:

  • How much automation is built into the platform; that is, how much can the user do by simply dragging and dropping on a user-friendly interface?
  • How much of our work can the user do by setting up simple policies?
  • What capabilities does the tool or platform have without requiring new code or scripts?

Finally, organizations need to devote the time and resources necessary to train their IT staffs for this new environment, Grossner advises. “Building the skill set in the team is critical to managing virtualized resources,” he says. “Humans need to modify their processes and skills to use technology well.”

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Until recently, Trimont Real Estate Advisors operated its own data center onsite. With a new headquarters in the company’s future, Raquel Brown, managing director of IT and security, was on the hunt to find a new infrastructure solution. At the same time, she had to increase redundancy and ensure performance wouldn’t suffer. Ultimately, she decided to work with a colocation provider.

“Trimont is an international company, so the ability to easily expand our data center footprint internationally as needed was important,” Brown explains. “Moving our data center had various benefits, but redundancy, in all aspects — connectivity, power, as well as physical ­security — was at the top of our list.”

The company’s disaster recovery plan evolved at the same time, and the cloud played a big part of it, she says.

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