Acronis Cyber Protect
formerly Acronis Cyber Backup

Tuesday, April 8 marked the end of an era. Microsoft is no longer providing security updates for XP, its 13-year-old operating system. But despite warnings from security experts, and even Microsofts execs, 36 percent of XP users have no plans to switch. Here's a look at the risks businesses face with lingering instances of XP, tips on how to migrate to a new OS and the latest data protection news from around the Web this week: 

Microsoft XP Expiration Checklist   

Microsoft XP received its final update on April 8, but that doesn't mean every business moved to a new operating system before the deadline. Patrick Hurley, a general manager at Acronis, offers 10 tips for business owners eager to make the switch without compromising their existing data. Here are a few tips from Hurley's migration checklist that IT managers should consider: 

  • Don't rush migration: "Plan and test your moves in small doses so you know what to expect and don’t suffer from a mass issue that causes downtime for your entire business." 
  • Back up your Windows XP: "Migrating without first backing up all of your files and your system as a whole will make your entire business vulnerable to data loss."
  • Use image backup: "Make sure that you use a backup solution with disk imaging, meaning that it simultaneously backs up your entire system while also backing up individual files."

Read more at Forbes  

The Promise of Hybrid Models in Federal IT

Federal agency managers seeking a cloud storage solution that is both secure and fully managed by in-house IT may find the best of both worlds with a hybrid model. "Hybrid IT uses a colocation center. The provider owns and operates the physical facility, which includes power, cooling and physical security, while the customer has access to the space and equipment. Meanwhile, a public cloud offers storage and processing power," writes Munjeet Singh, a technology expert with Booz Allen Hamilton, in Federal Times. “[IT managers] can start to shut down their data centers by moving their boxes into this colo environment. They maintain control of the machine, but someone else makes sure the lights are on and the fans are spinning."  

Read more at Federal Times  

The XP Users Who Won't Budge   

Microsoft has urged its Windows XP users to migrate to a new OS for more than two years. However, nearly 30 percent of all Internet-connected PCs worldwide were running XP, according to Net Market Share. Whats keeping these users from migrating to a new OS to avoid exposure to hackers and data loss? One word: skepticism. “They built an awful lot of bomb shelters back in the 50s with the same kind of mindset,” says Dallas-based Pix Smith, a puppeteer and magician who runs XP on a PC for online research and small-business bookkeeping. 

Read more at PC World  

Recovery-as-a-Service: Why 'Dark Clouds' Might Be In Your Future  

Cloud-based, disaster-recovery-as-a-service (aka "dark clouds") services have emerged as an option for federal agencies that are moving their data toward virtual environments. Financially, dark clouds are a sound option compared with traditional IT disaster recover plans that rely heavily on physical backup. According to Pat Park, regional vice president at content management provider Metalogix, virtualized dark cloud services enable data to be replicated to the provider's cloud and then sent out to multiple data centers, instead of just one. 

Read more at FCW

About Acronis

A Swiss company founded in Singapore in 2003, Acronis has 15 offices worldwide and employees in 50+ countries. Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud is available in 26 languages in 150 countries and is used by over 20,000 service providers to protect over 750,000 businesses.