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#Azure November newsletter

November 30, 2016 Leave a comment

Once again I’m amazed of the pace that Microsoft releases new innovative and great service in Azure! Just love it! 🙂

Free e-book: Enterprise Cloud Strategy

What if you were able to achieve both efficiency and innovation in your business domains and applications across your entire portfolio? What if you could take advantage of the cloud and all its resources and features? With a good road map and strategy, you can. Download the free e-book, Enterprise Cloud Strategy, and find ways to build your own road map to success.

Download the free e-book

Advancing our ambition to democratize artificial intelligence

Microsoft recently announced a new partnership with OpenAI, a nonprofit AI research organization co-founded by Elon Musk, Sam Altman, Greg Brockman and Ilya Sutskever. Together we hope to make significant contributions to advance the field of AI, and make it more accessible to every developer and every organization. Read more about the partnership and why OpenAI chose Azure as the primary cloud platform from Harry Shum, Microsoft Executive Vice President of AI and Research and Sam Altman, co-founder, OpenAI (and be sure to watch the video about why they chose Azure). Also, visit the Azure Blog for more information.

Connect(); // 2016: Keynotes and technical sessions available on demand

Missed the Microsoft Connect(); developer event? Catch up on all the news and keynotes or dive right into any of the technical sessions on Visual Studio, .NET, Xamarin, DevOps, Azure, Data with Intelligent Apps, UWP, developing for Office and more! Browse the on-demand content.

G-Series instances now available for Azure Cloud Services

G-Series instances are available in Azure Cloud Services in all regions where G-Series instances for Azure Virtual Machines are currently offered. They feature the latest Intel Xeon processor E5 v3 family and provide unparalleled computational performance, substantial memory, and robust local solid-state drive (SSD) storage.

VMware backup now available in Azure Backup

VMware backup in Azure Backup helps protect virtual machines running on the VMware platform, on-premises or in the cloud. If you run backups on-premises, this new capability helps you meet requirements for operational recovery. If you back up your information to the cloud, you can meet long-term compliance rules and have an offsite copy of your data. For more information, visit the Operations Management Suite | Protection & Recovery webpage.

In-Memory OLTP for Azure SQL Database generally available

You can use In-Memory OLTP, a feature of Azure SQL Database, to achieve incredible performance gains (up to 30 times) for transaction processing and data ingestion in Premium databases, with no or minimal changes to the application. Memory-optimized tables, memory-optimized table types, and natively compiled T-SQL modules are now available in all Premium databases, including databases in Premium elastic pools. For more information, read the Microsoft Azure SQL Database provides unparalleled performance with In-Memory technologies blog post.

Azure SQL Database Long-Term Retention in public preview

For applications with compliance or operational requirements to retain data, Azure SQL Database now offers Long-Term Retention (LTR). With just a few clicks, you can easily enable your databases to create weekly backups stored in your own Azure Backup vault and extend the retention period built into SQL Database from 35 days to up to 10 years. The backups in the vault are restorable and are automatically deleted after your configured retention period. For more information, visit the Azure Blog.

Azure Content Delivery Network adds new features for better performance, real-time management, and mobile users

Azure Content Delivery Network is a multi-CDN platform that offers massively scalable, secure delivery of content with accelerated performance. New capabilities include the ability to set up real-time alerts about delivery anomalies, such as bandwidth and cache status, and a mobile rules engine where you can customize rules and features targeted to mobile devices, such as device model and operating system. Visit the Azure Blog for more information.

Azure Active Directory Domain Services generally available

Azure Active Directory Domain Services offers scalable, high-performance, managed services such as domain join, LDAP, Kerberos, Windows Integrated Authentication, and Group Policy support. With the click of a button, administrators can enable managed domain services for Linux and Windows virtual machines and directory-aware applications deployed in Azure infrastructure services. By maintaining compatibility with Windows Server Active Directory, Azure Active Directory Domain Services gives you an easy way to migrate traditional on-premises applications to the cloud.

Azure HDInsight introduces advanced security capabilities in public preview

Azure HDInsight has several new key security capabilities. It integrates with Azure Active Directory and Azure Active Directory Domain Services for enterprise-grade authentication and identity management. HDInsight also integrates with Apache Ranger for a central policy and management portal where administrators can maintain fine-grained control policies over Hadoop data access, components, and services. Data processed by HDInsight is stored in Azure Data Lake Store or Azure Storage. Both offer server-side encryption to secure data at rest.

Azure Data Factory adds more connectors and achieves higher speeds

Azure Data Factory allows you to bring data from a rich variety of locations into Azure for advanced analytics and predictive modeling. We recently added support for FTP/S, Amazon S3, Amazon Redshift, and Parquet file format. Load speeds have also been greatly enhanced: you can now load into Azure SQL Data Warehouse at 1.2 GBps and load into Azure Data Lake Store and Azure Blob Storage at over 1.0 GBps.

Azure Analysis Services in public preview

Built on the proven analytics engine in Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services, Azure Analysis Services delivers enterprise-grade Business Intelligence semantic modeling capabilities with the scale, flexibility, and management benefits of the cloud. For more information, visit the Azure Blog.

Continue reading here!
//Richard

Microsoft and AzureCon delivers! Love it! – #Azure, #AzureCon, #EnvokeIT, #IoT, #SaaS, #PaaS

I really love the way that Microsoft and Azure delivers! It’s so amazing with all the PaaS and SaaS offerings they now have on top of the traditional IaaS delivery. There is no other cloud provider out there that delivers anything near it! I’m amazed and so happy to be a part of this journey!

If you didn’t have the time to look at AzureCon you have a lot of great videos and topics to go through!!

Here is a short overview of the many great things released and presented:

  • General Availability of 3 new Azure regions in India
  • Announcing new N-series of Virtual Machines with GPU capabilities
  • Announcing Azure IoT Suite available to purchase
  • Announcing Azure Container Service
  • Announcing Azure Security Center

Watching the Videos

All of the talks presented at AzureCon (including the 60 breakout talks) are now available to watch online.  You can browse and watch all of the sessions here.

Announcing General Availability of 3 new Azure regions in India

Yesterday we announced the general availability of our new India regions: Mumbai (West), Chennai (South) and Pune (Central).  They are now available for you to deploy solutions into.

This brings our worldwide presence of Azure regions up to 24 regions, more than AWS and Google combined. Over 125 customers and partners have been participating in the private preview of our new India regions.   We are seeing tremendous interest from industry sectors like Public Sector, Banking Financial Services, Insurance and Healthcare whose cloud adoption has been restricted by data residency requirements.  You can all now deploy your solutions too.

Announcing N-series of Virtual Machines with GPU Support

This week we announced our new N-series family of Azure Virtual Machines that enable GPU capabilities.  Featuring NVidia’s best of breed Tesla GPUs, these Virtual Machines will help you run a variety of workloads ranging from remote visualization to machine learning to analytics.

The N-series VMs feature NVidia’s flagship GPU, the K80 which is well supported by NVidia’s CUDA development community. N-series will also have VM configurations featuring the latest M60 which was recently announced by NVidia. With support for M60, Azure becomes the first hyperscale cloud provider to bring the capabilities of NVidia’s Quadro High End Graphics Support to the cloud. In addition, N-series combines GPU capabilities with the superfast RDMA interconnect so you can run multi-machine, multi-GPU workloads such as Deep Learning and Skype Translator Training.

Announcing Azure Security Center

This week we announced the new Azure Security Center—a new Azure service that gives you visibility and control of the security of your Azure resources, and helps you stay ahead of threats and attacks.  Azure is the first cloud platform to provide unified security management with capabilities that help you prevent, detect, and respond to threats.

Azure_Security_Center

The Azure Security Center provides a unified view of your security state, so your team and/or your organization’s security specialists can get the information they need to evaluate risk across the workloads they run in the cloud.  Based on customizable policy, the service can provide recommendations. For example, the policy might be that all web applications should be protected by a web application firewall. If so, the Azure Security Center will automatically detect when web apps you host in Azure don’t have a web application firewall configured, and provide a quick and direct workflow to get a firewall from one of our partners deployed and configured: Read more…

Microsoft Ignite 2015 summary – #MSIgnite, #EnvokeIT, #Azure, #Office365, #OneDrive, #EMM, #PaaS, #IaaS

Hi all,

We at EnvokeIT participated and collaborated at Microsoft Ignite 2015 in Chicago. And it was one of the most intense events I’ve visited in years with a lot of happening in the business and Microsoft really showed that they are the leading innovator in many areas!

I hope that you enjoy my report and that it gives you a condensed overview of what happened and please contact us at EnvokeIT if you want assistance within any area below! And thank you Microsoft for such a great event and also all you bloggers out there that I’ve linked to in this material.

I must say that this event was positive and a bit scary at the same time. Microsoft is for sure pushing as visionairies and innovators in a lot of areas, and I think that competitors will have a hard time competing in the coming years.

These are the areas where A LOT have been released already and where Microsoft according to my oppinion will increase its market share significantly:

  • Cloud and Mobile services, and with this I don’t mean IaaS service for just running a VM in their public Azure cloud or building a hybrid cloud with connectivity to on-premise datacenters. They are delivering so many capabilities now as PaaS and SaaS services. Just look at the sections below, it’s everything from Enterprise Mobillity Management (EMM), Business Intelligence, Database, Storage, Web Apps/services, Service Availability services (DR, Monitoring/Reporting, Backup etc.), Development, Source Control, Visual Studio Online etc. It’s amazing!!
  • Open Source/Linux support – It’s so cool how much Microsoft have shifted to become an adopter to support more open source technologies and way of thinking than just a couple of years ago! Just have a look at all the Linux support they have in Azure, the Linux support they now have in System Center, Docker support to deliver more DevOps capabilities and all the other services in Azure. It’s amazing and so fun! So now both Microsoft have opened their eyes and realized that they can’t ignore this anymore just like Citrix has with their addition of XenDesktop for Linux with SuSE and RedHat support!

The first day kicked off and was a bombarding of product announcements aimed at helping IT pros secure and manage the new Universal Windows Platform.

CEO Satya Nadella presided over a three-hour keynote, which focused on how Microsoft’s new wave of software and cloud services will enable IT and business transformations that are in line with the ways people now work. Nadella talked up Microsoft’s focus on “productivity and platforms” and how it’s tied with the shift to cloud and mobility. He also highlighted the need for better automation of systems and processes, and better management of the vast amounts of data originating from new sources such as sensors and other Internet-of-Things-type nodes.

As mentioned there where a lot of updates and below I’ve tried to gather these and I hope it gives you a good insight on the infromation we received and also guidance on how you can get more information about the topics.

Included below are links to detailed overviews of each of the demos (from Microsoft blog post) – including information about how to use them, where to learn more, and what you’ll need to get started.

The following picture is a sketch of the keynote and is also quite good at summarizing the message of Mobile and Cloud first!

 

vNiklas also created a great powershell script that automates the downloading of all MS Ignite content with PowerShell and Bits from Channel 9 that you can find here!

Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) – MDM, MAM, MCSM/MIM etc…

Microsoft’s next chapter in Enterprise Mobility, great blog post on where Microsoft is going etc. http://blogs.technet.com/b/enterprisemobility/archive/2015/05/04/ignite-microsofts-next-chapter- in-enterprise-mobility.aspx …

Windows 10 Continuum – this is cool, think about docking your smartphone to your external screen, keyboard and mouse! That’s try mobility of youre device, this looks really cool and something that I’d like to try out once released!

Have a look at the feature demo at Ignite in the video below.

What’s New and Upcoming with Microsoft Intune and System Center Configuration Manager | Microsoft Ignite 2015

This session outlines the latest enhancements in enterprise mobility management using Microsoft Intune and System Center Configuration Manager. See the newest Microsoft Intune improvements for managing mobile productivity without compromising compliance, and learn about the futures of Microsoft Intune and Configuration Manager, including new Windows 10 management scenarios.

Microsoft Intune and Configuration Manager, including new Windows 10 management scenarios.

https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Ignite/2015/BRK3861/player

In the CloudEnterprise Mobility Management table of content:

Office 2016 public preview available!

Over the last 12 months, we’ve transformed Office from a suite of desktop applications to a complete, cross-platform, cross-device solution for getting work done. We’ve expanded the Office footprint to iPad and Android tablets. We’ve upgraded Office experiences on the Mac, the iPhone and on the web. We’ve even added new apps to the Office family with Sway and Office Lens. All designed to keep your work moving, everywhere. But that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten where we came from. While you’ve seen us focus on tuning Office for different platforms over the last year, make no mistake, Office on Windows desktop is central to our strategy.

In March we introduced an IT Pro and Developer Preview for the 2016 release of our Office desktop apps on Windows, and now—as a next step—we’re ready to take feedback from a broader audience. Today we’re expanding the Office 2016 Preview, making it available to Office users everywhere in preparation for general availability in Fall 2015.

Office 2016 previewers will get an early look at the next release of Office on Windows desktop, but more importantly they’ll help to shape and improve the future of Office. Visit the Office 2016 Preview site to learn more about the Preview program and if it’s right for you.

New in Office 2016

Since March, we’ve shared some glimpses of what’s to come in Office 2016. Today, we’d like to give a more holistic view of what customers at home and work can expect in the next release. In Office 2016, we’re updating the Office suite for the modern workplace, with smart tools for individuals, teams, and businesses.

Read more…

Magic Quadrant for Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing – #ShareFile, #Citrix, #EMC, #Box, #Microsoft

October 10, 2014 Leave a comment

It’s not new but it’s something that I discussed the other day with a customer; who is the market leader when it comes to “corporate dropbox” solutions for enterprises? Gartner did update the Magic Quadrant for Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing services/solutions and it’s a good read I must say.

You know I am a Citrix fan and a like their story and think that they from an overall virtual workplace offerings are far superior to the other players if you look across the stack from providing “legacy” services like Windows Apps and Desktop, Enterprise Mobility Management capabilities and all the network capabilities to provide the end-to-end service delivery. So it’s really nice to see that they are picking up in the ability to execute and are competing with EMC in the Leaders box!

I just hope that Citrix can stay int he lead and ensure that they price and capacity wise stay in synch with the up comers that are starting to offer really large storage capacity as a part of their cloud offerings. I still see that the capabilities and features of ShareFile are really great, and in some aspects others like Box, Microsoft and others are coming with nice features as well. So let’s see who will rule this market, but currently I think that ShareFile is a really strong player for enterprises but Microsoft will continue to grow and I just wish they add the additional features around security etc that enterprises often require so they can go into the bigger companies as well.

Figure 1. Magic Quadrant for Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing
Figure 1.Magic Quadrant for Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing

Source: Gartner (July 2014)

Market Definition/Description

This document was revised on 14 July 2014. The document you are viewing is the corrected version. For more information, see the Corrections page on gartner.com.

EFSS refers to a range of on-premises or cloud-based capabilities that enable individuals to synchronize and share documents, photos, videos and files across multiple devices, such as smartphones, tablets and PCs. File sharing can be within the organization, as well as externally (e.g., with partners and customers) or on a mobile device as data sharing among apps. Security and collaboration support are critical capabilities of EFSS to address enterprise priorities.

Beyond file synchronization, sharing and access, EFSS offerings may include different levels of support for:

  • Mobility, with native apps for a variety of mobile smartphones, tablets, notebooks and desktops, as well as Web browser support.
  • Security, for protection of data on the device, in transit and in cloud services (or servers), such as password protection, remote wipe, data encryption, data loss prevention, digital rights management (DRM), access tracking and reporting. Mature products ensure that files leaving the sharing location are DRM-encrypted and only readable by those authorized to access the data. Audit and compliance support are also present in complete products.
  • Administration and management, including integration with an Active Directory and Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) policy enforcement.
  • Back-end server integration, e.g., with SharePoint and other corporate platforms. Integration is achieved through connectors (e.g., based on the Content Management Interoperability Services [CMIS] standard and APIs).
  • Content manipulation, such as file editing, PDF annotations and note taking.
  • Collaboration, such as cooperative editing on a shared document using change tracking and comments; and document-based workflow process support.
  • Simplicity and usability, with optimized UIs and interactions, such as file drag and drop and file open in applications.
  • Storage, i.e., cloud-based EFSS services often include cloud storage as part of the bundle to implement the EFSS repository. Software EFSS products, instead, may integrate with repositories on-premises or be implemented with a separate repository on-site.

Typical architectures for EFSS offerings are:

  • Cloud: Corporate files are accessed via mobile devices, or shared and are stored in the provider’s cloud. Organizations that want to replace the personal cloud services adopted by employees with an enterprise-class alternative under IT control, while preserving the user experience and enhancing mobile collaboration, prefer the cloud method.
  • On-premises: The remote access, synchronization and sharing component is deployed on-premises and integrates with corporate data repositories, without file replicas. This method is preferred by organizations under strict regulations about data storage.
  • Hybrid: The user and device authentication, security and search mechanisms are implemented in the provider’s cloud. Files and documents are kept in their original location, or can be in third-party clouds. Organizations that want to simplify mobile users’ access to corporate data through the cloud, without creating data replicas in someone else’s cloud, prefer the hybrid method.

There are two types of EFSS offerings:

  • Destinations — Stand-alone products with file sync and share as a core capability, which represents a new purchase for an organization.
  • Extensions — File sync and share capabilities added, and wrapped around established products or applications — e.g., for collaboration, content management or storage. Organizations can use extensions as part of the broader platform (see “Destinations and Wraparounds Will Reshape the Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing Market”).

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Read more…

#Lync 2013 March VDI Update

Microsoft has released an update for Microsoft Lync 2013. This update provides the latest fixes for Lync 2013.

This update fixes several bugs in the RTM versions of Lync 2013 Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) clients. Additionally, after you apply this update, you do not have to re-enter a username and password when you pair a Lync 2013 VDI plugin with a Lync 2013 Desktop client.

You can apply this hotfix on both Lync 2013 VDI clients and Lync 2013 Desktop clients.

Continue reading and download the update here!

//Richard

#Podio New Feature: Real-Time Commenting

February 12, 2013 Leave a comment

New Feature: Let the Live Show Begin with Real-Time Commenting

12.02.13 Posted in Product News by 

As we announced at the end of last year, 200,000 companies have now jumped on Podio to change the way they collaborate for the better. But there’s no resting here. We have grand plans for what the future or work will look like, something that we can reveal more about today.

One of the best things about Podio becoming part of Citrix last year is that we can bring great technologies together to enable collaboration like you’ve never imagined. And, we can do this faster than ever.

We’re aiming to add real-time collaboration to the structured responsibilities, deadlines, and the clear overview that Podio users already enjoy. This will bring live, in context, discussions right into Podio, creating the most complete collaboration experience ever.

Not on Podio yet and want to find out what this all about? That’s easy, sign up for free here.

Following the initial integration of GoToMeeting in Podio Apps last year we can now bring you further enhancements to Podio’s real-time capabilities, and there’s more to come… Here’s what’s new today:

Live commenting on items: When viewing any app item in Podio, perhaps a project or a sales lead, you’ll see new comments apear as soon as they’re posted by your coworkers. There’s no need to refresh the page or check your inbox.

Presence on items: Along with seeing how many people are following an item, you can now also see who’s viewing the item at the same time as you, reducing the chance of both editing the item at the same time, but also making it easier to start a conversation with your coworker who are also looking at the same item as you.

And one more thing… Like comments: Mouse over any comment in Podio and you’ll notice a new like icon. We’ve been testing this within the Podio team for a couple of week…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Faster, more secure access to business files on the go – #Citrix, #ShareFile,

January 28, 2013 Leave a comment

Very interesting update to ShareFile apps or iOS! Especially the encryption on the devices by the pin-protection! This is something that I know companies have been waiting for! Thanks for a great blog post Peter Schulz!

Announcing all new updates to ShareFile for iPhone and iPad!

We hope you’ve had a chance to check out the ShareFile for iPhone and iPad apps – available for download from the Apple App Store. Today, we are excited to announce new features across both apps that address two major customer needs: 1) security and 2) access. These features include:

  • Passcode support with local encryption – The ShareFile apps now allow the user to select a PIN to assign to an account in ShareFile. This provides a simpler means of accessing your account without having to type in your account password each time.
  • Jailbreak Detection – This feature allows account administrators  to block account access from devices that are detected to be jailbroken.
  • Support for StorageZone Connectors – StorageZone Connectors let you connect existing file shares to ShareFile and access the data remotely on your iOS device. Customers have shared that they want easy access to their data wherever it’s stored across their organization. We built StorageZone Connectors with this in mind, allowing users to view data stored beyond ShareFile.

 

Each of these updates improves the mobile file sharing experience by making it easier and safer to access your data from anywhere. For everyday use, my personal favorite is passcode support with local encryption.

When I use my iPad, I don’t want to bother with setting up a device passcode for normal use, but I still want to protect my ShareFile data from anyone who might pick up the device. On the other hand, I don’t want to type in my (fairly long) password each time I launch the app. With this update, I can set a 4 digit PIN just for my ShareFile account. Where does the local encryption come in? ShareFile always flags your data for device encryption, but iOS will only enable that when you have a device passcode set. When you turn on the ShareFile PIN, we will encrypt your data using AES 256-bit encryption even though the iOS protection isn’t enabled…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

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