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Tech Terms: Mobile OS

A mobile operating system, also called a mobile OS, is an operating system that is specifically designed to run on mobile devices such as mobile phones, smartphones, PDAs, tablet computers and other handheld devices. The mobile operating system is the software platform on top of which other programs, called application programs, can run on mobile devices.

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Tech Terms: Server Operating System

A server operating system, also called a server OS, is an operating system specifically designed to run on servers, which are specialized computers that operate within a client/server architecture to serve the requests of client computers on the network.

The server operating system, or server OS, is the software layer on top of which other software programs, or applications, can run on the server hardware. Server operating systems help enable and facilitate typical server roles such as Web server, mail server, file server, database server, application server and print server.

Most Popular Server Operating Systems
Popular server operating systems include Windows Server, Mac OS X Server, and variants of Linux such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.According to SpiceWorks, this list is the most deployed on-premises server operating systems (August 2016):

  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Linux (excluding RHEL)
  • Windows Server 2000
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linus (RHEL)

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Tech Terms: Operating Systems

The operating system (OS) is the most important program that runs on a computer. Every general-purpose computer must have an operating system to run other programs and applications. Computer operating systems perform basic tasks, such as recognizing input from the keyboard, sending output to the display screen, keeping track of files and directories on the storage drives, and controlling peripheral devices, such as printers.

For large systems, the operating system has even greater responsibilities and powers. It is like a traffic cop — it makes sure that different programs and users running at the same time do not interfere with each other. The operating system is also responsible for security, ensuring that unauthorized users do not access the system.

A Software Platform for Applications
Operating systems provide a software platform on top of which other programs, called application programs, can run. The application programs must be written to run on top of a particular operating system. Your choice of operating system, therefore, determines to a great extent the applications you can run. For PCs, the most popular operating systems are DOS, OS/2, and Windows, but others are available, such as Linux.

Classification of Operating systems

  • Multi-user: Allows two or more users to run programs at the same time. Some operating systems permit hundreds or even thousands of concurrent users.
  • Multiprocessing : Supports running a program on more than one CPU.
  • Multitasking : Allows more than one program to run concurrently.
  • Multithreading : Allows different parts of a single program to run concurrently.
  • Real time: Responds to input instantly.

General-purpose operating systems, such as DOS and UNIX, are not real-time.
User Interaction With the OS
As a user, you normally interact with the operating system through a set of commands. For example, the DOS operating system contains commands such as COPY and RENAME for copying files and changing the names of files, respectively. The commands are accepted and executed by a part of the operating system called the command processor or command line interpreter. Graphical user interfaces allow you to enter commands by pointing and clicking at objects that appear on the screen.

Most Popular Desktop Operating Systems
The three most popular types of operating systems for personal and business computing include Linux, Windows and Mac.

Windows
Microsoft Windows is a family of operating systems for personal and business computers. Windows dominates the personal computer world, offering a graphical user interface (GUI), virtual memory management, multitasking, and support for many peripheral devices.
Mac

Mac OS is the official name of the Apple Macintosh operating system. Mac OS features a graphical user interface (GUI) that utilizes windows, icons, and all applications that run on a Macintosh computer have a similar user interface.

Linux
Linux is a freely distributed open source operating system that runs on a number of hardware platforms. The Linux kernel was developed mainly by Linus Torvalds and it is based on Unix.

According to Netmarketshare.com, the most used desktop operating system and versions used on PCs in July 2017 are:

  • Windows 7 (48.91%)
  • Windows 10 (27.63%)
  • Windows 8.1 (6.48%)
  • Windows XP (6.10%)
  • Mac OS X 10.12 (3.52%)
  • Linux (2.53%)
  • Windows 8 (1.42%)
  • Mac OS X 10.11 (1.17%)
  • Mac OS X 10.10 (0.76%)

Desktop Operating System Market Share
Image Source: Desktop Operating System Market Share (Net Applications.com, July 2017)

Mobile Operating Systems
In the same way that a desktop OS controls your desktop or laptop computer, a mobile operating system is the software platform on top of which other programs can run on mobile devices, however, these systems are designed specifically to run on mobile devices such as mobile phones, smartphones, PDAs, tablet computers and other handhelds. The mobile OS is responsible for determining the functions and features available on your device, such as thumb wheel, keyboards, WAP, synchronization with applications, email, text messaging and more. The mobile OS will also determine which third-party applications (mobile apps) can be used on your device.

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Tech Terms: Android Mobile Security

Mobile security applications for Google’s Android platform help protect Android smartphone and tablet mobile devices from malware threats as well as unauthorized access following accidental loss or theft of the device.

Additional security features frequently offered by Android mobile security apps include securing data on the device, VPN connectivity for protecting data in transit, scanning websites for potential phishing schemes or other fraudulent activity, helping users locate their device if lost or stolen, and more.

Android mobile security applications are available from Google as well as well-known third-party security vendors such as Lookout, Avast, Kaspersky, Symantec and Qihu.

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Tech Terms: EMM

Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) takes a comprehensive approach to securing and managing the use of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices in enterprise environments.

Companies are faced with a wide variety of security and productivity concerns that stem from the increasing number of mobile devices brought into the workplace environment by employees for use and connectivity on corporate networks (also known as “Bring Your Own Device,” or BYOD), and enterprise mobility management is one holistic strategy for managing these concerns.

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Tech Terms: iPhone Mobile Security

Mobile security applications for Apple’s iOS mobile operating system help protect Apple iPhone smartphone and iPad tablet mobile devices from malware threats as well as unauthorized access following accidental loss or theft of the device.

Additional security features frequently offered by iPhone mobile security apps include scanning websites for potential phishing schemes or other fraudulent activity, storing passwords and other confidential information securely, VPN connectivity for protecting data in transit, helping users locate their device if lost or stolen, and more.

The most prominent iPhone mobile security application is one that’s integrated into the iOS mobile OS. The iOS Find My Phone built-in application will help locate a lost phone or tablet on a map and can also remotely lock the phone or erase all the data on it to keep the data from being viewed by others.

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Tech Terms: Windows 10 Mobile

Windows 10 Mobile is Microsoft’s latest mobile operating system for powering mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. It serves as the successor to Windows Phone 8.1, with the name change reflecting the mobile OS’s evolution as well as its integration in Microsoft’s unified approach to the Windows 10 operating system.

New Features in Windows 10 Mobile
Windows 10 Mobile introduces a variety of key new features and enhancements over previous Windows Phone and Windows Mobile releases, such as Continuum support (the ability to connect to an external display with mouse and keyboard input support for a PC-like desktop interface), Office Mobile updates and integrated Edge web browser.

Additional new features include support for Universal Windows apps (apps work and automatically scale across Windows-powered devices, from smartphones to laptops to desktops), notification system enhancements (with notification syncing among Windows devices) and more.

Windows 10 Mobile 2015 Release
Consumers got their first look at Windows 10 Mobile when it entered public beta testing in February 2015, but it wasn’t until December of 2015 that phones with the official release of Windows 10 Mobile went on sale.

The Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL smartphones were the first to be powered by Windows 10 Mobile, and existing Windows Phone devices were set to receive Windows 10 Mobile updates starting December 14th, 2015.

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Tech Terms: Mobile Device Security

Mobile device security means the security measures designed to protect the sensitive information stored on and transmitted by smartphones, tablets, laptops and other mobile devices.

Mobile device security spans the gamut from user authentication measures and mobile security best practices for protecting against compromised data in the event of unauthorized access or accidental loss of the mobile device to combat malware, spyware and other mobile security threats that can expose a mobile device’s data to hackers.

Most mobile devices feature mobile operating systems with built-in mobile device security features, including iOS for iPhones and iPads, Google’s Android platform and Microsoft’s Windows Phone. Additionally, a variety of third-party mobile device security solutions are available for providing an additional layer of protection for mobile devices.

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Tech Terms: Tiered Storage

Tiered storage is an underlying principle of ILM (information lifecycle management). It is a storage networking method where data is stored on various types of media based on performance, availability and recovery requirements. For example, data intended for restoration in the event of data loss or corruption could be stored locally — for fast recovery — while data for regulatory purposes could be archived to lower cost disks.

Today’s tiered storage infrastructures range from simple two-tier architecture consisting of SCSI or fibre channel attached disk and tape to more complex infrastructures, which in some cases are comprised of five-to-six tiers. Regardless of the number of tiers, organizations are looking to tiered storage and ILM to lower cost and improve operational efficiency.

Implementing tiered storage infrastructures can dramatically decrease the cost associated with achieving an RPO and RTO of zero. Classification of data can provide different RPOs and RTOs based on application and business requirements.  Policy-based data migration ensures that the right data is in the right place at the right time.

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Tech Terms: RAM

RAM (pronounced ramm) is an acronym for random access memory, a type of computer memory that can be accessed randomly; that is, any byte of memory can be accessed without touching the preceding bytes. RAM is found in servers, PCs, tablets, smartphones and other devices, such as printers.

Main Types of RAM
There are two main types of RAM:
DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory)
SRAM (Static Random Access Memory)
DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory) – The term dynamic indicates that the memory must be constantly refreshed or it will lose its contents. DRAM is typically used for the main memory in computing devices. If a PC or smartphone is advertised as having 4-GB RAM or 16-GB RAM, those numbers refer to the DRAM, or main memory, in the device.

More specifically, most of the DRAM used in modern systems is synchronous DRAM, or SDRAM. Manufacturers also sometimes use the acronym DDR (or DDR2, DDR3, DDR4, etc.) to describe the type of SDRAM used by a PC or server. DDR stands for double data rate, and it refers to how much data the memory can transfer in one clock cycle.

In general, the more RAM a device has, the faster it will perform.

RAM Memory
SRAM (Static Random Access Memory) – While DRAM is typically used for main memory, today SRAM is more often used for system cache. SRAM is said to be static because it doesn’t need to be refreshed, unlike dynamic RAM, which needs to be refreshed thousands of times per second. As a result, SRAM is faster than DRAM. However, both types of RAM are volatile, meaning that they lose their contents when the power is turned off.

The Difference Between Memory, RAM and Storage
Sometimes, people get confused about the difference between memory and storage, in part because both can be measured in megabytes (MB), gigabytes (GB) and terabytes (TB).

In common usage, the term RAM is synonymous with main memory. This is where a computing system stores data that it is actively using. Storage systems, such as hard drives, network storage devices or cloud storage, are where a system saves data that it will need to access later.

Computing systems can retrieve data from RAM very quickly, but when a device powers down, all the data that was in memory goes away. Many people have had the experience of losing a document they were working on after an unexpected power outage or system crash. In these cases, the data was lost because it was stored in system memory, which is volatile.
By contrast, storage is slower, but it can retain data when the device is powered down. So, for example, if a document has been saved to a hard drive prior to a power outage or system crash, the user will still be able to retrieve it when the system is back up and running.

Storage is usually less expensive than RAM on a per-gigabyte basis. As a result, most PCs and smartphones have many times more gigabytes of storage than gigabytes of RAM.

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