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Security and availability dominate user concern

A recent searchEnterpriseServer survey concludes that users are most concerned about the security and availability of their systems. That includes the threat from hackers and downtime due to upgrades.

Enterprise server users say that security and availability top their list of major concerns regarding the management of their infrastructures as they head into the second half of this year.

In fact, nearly 70% of 300 respondents in a recent searchEnterpriseServers survey rated security as the most important server issue for the coming six months. Availability was cited by 65% of the respondents as their second biggest concern.

Snapshot: Survey Breakdown

Here is a break down of the 271 people who took the survey:

Who is running what:

42% are running Windows NT/2000 on Intel, 12% are running Solaris on SPARC, 10% are running more than one platform and 9% are running Linux on Intel. The rest are running a mixture of IBM Midrange, IBM mainframe, HP, and Novell. machines

How often they upgrade:

Respondents are actively managing and tinkering with their systems. 23% of respondents say they are continually upgrading and feeding their machines. But, the highest upgrade frequency is once every 2 or 3 years, with 36% of respondents citing that cycle.

Who they work for:

Respondents are also working for some major companies with serious clout. Nearly 19% of those taking the survey said they worked for a company larger than 20,000 employees. 17% said they worked for companies that have 1,000 to 5,000 employees.

What are you running and how often do you upgrade? Let us know.

"I'm concerned about kiddies out there gaining access to simple exploits and using them against un-patched servers," said David Wilson, a system administrator from South Africa. Wilson said he spends a lot of time "looking at current exploits and applying various patches to servers, so I can hopefully have a fairly decent sleep at night."

Other major areas of interest for users: scalability and interoperability.

Survey respondents not only said they remain vigilant about their own infrastructure, but said they would like to see more education and a universal security standard.

"I see the Internet as a global infrastructure on the verge of collapsing if no further stringent measures are taken to counter the security loopholes," said Eugene Moore, a multimedia educator.

More specifically, users said that within the scope of security and availability their concerns included the threat of hackers, unpredictable downtime, viruses and worms, interoperability between platforms and applications and downtime because of upgrades.

Also evident by the survey was users' aversion to trade shows and formal courses as sources of information. Only 6% of respondents say they actively seek information from trade shows. Respondents said they went to the Web 40% of the time to find information and their peers about 25% of the time they ran in to a server brick wall.

Related information

Best Web Links on Security

Best Web Links on Wintel High-Availability

Best Web Links on Unix High-Availablity

Ask searchEnterpriseServer expert Barry Shilmover questions about Security

This story originally appeared on searchEnterpriseServers.

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