Archive for the ‘Service Management’ Category

Microsoft Azure IaaS Operations Guidance – #AAD, #RBAC, #ARM, #Microsoft, #Azure

Here you can find a ton of great guidance material for Azure operations by mzbowe! Really good summary!

This is a collection of Azure Infrastructure installation and operational guidance resources I provide to my customers.  By keeping these links up to date with each engagement, all of my customers may benefit.  Hopefully you can too!  The latest Azure updates will always be at Azure service updates.  Make it part of your operational procedure to review that monthly, if not weekly!  In 2015, there were over 500 updates. Wow!

The goal of this guide to highlight core installation and operational procedures for an Azure IaaS deployment which predominantly will consist of Compute, Network and Storage resources.  This article Azure Infrastructure Services Implementation Guidelines, gives a pretty good run down of what needs to be created and in what order. The resources I will keep updated below pretty much follow most of those resources in the last link. But for now, there is a very important piece of that puzzle missing.  For the newer Azure Resource Manager (ARM) model of deployment, we need to plan, design and create Azure Resource Groups. Once we have Resource Groups, we can delegate administration with Role Based Access Control (RBAC).

Besides all this, if you just need to ramp up and learn more on Azure, go to the Azure Learning Paths page.  Check it out and learn something new! I also have my Azure Certification resources (Slides and Videos) from MS Ignite 2015, to get you certified and ready to go!

Azure Active Directory

Azure AD Operational Guidance

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. 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.

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…

Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2015 – #Nutanix, #WebScale, #Dell, #EnvokeIT, #Gartner

October 10, 2014 Leave a comment

As usual it’s very interesting when Gartner takes a look at the trends for the coming year. I must say that I agree with many of them, one of the trends is very close to my heart and what I think should have been on the agenda of most CIO’s prior to 2015, and this is: Web-Scale IT.

Why haven’t more enterprise and solution architects been looking earlier at how to simplify the delivery of the “commodity” service that IaaS should be in todays IT world. Yes I know that most enterprises have a “legacy” environment that is hard to just transform, they have a service delivery organisation with certain competences and are being bombarded by salesmen from the older legacy providers that this new way is scary (up until they themselves come up with a story on web-scale of course). But it’s time to wake up and look at how you can change your Compute, Network and Storage components to reduce complexity, increase flexibility/agility, focus on core business (apps and services on top) and also reduce your TCO.

One way is of course to move to the cloud and let someone else bother about this, but I yet don’t see that the larger enterprises are looking at this and there is a hesitation though most haven’t gotten to the point of understanding the TCO model and how to compare their As-Is costs to the cost that they get from the costing tools of Azure, Amazon etc. Why is this? My view is that most don’t have a clear understanding of their own As-Is TCO, they understand how much a server costs, and storage costs, but not the TCO when it comes to facility/datacenter costs, power & cooling, HW costs, support and operational costs, license costs and the overview of that in a TCO model they can understand or compare with “the cloud”.

Ok, as usual I’m getting a bit sidetracked but I love this topic and I must encourage you to contact EnvokeIT if you need help to understand the Web-Scale IT concept and how it can add value to you and your business. We work with Nutanix and Dell and can assist in assessing your existing As-Is solution and forming the To-Be target architecture and the strategy to get there based on your requirements and needs. Of course we’re not locked into Dell or Nutanix and have experience within Azure and other public cloud providers as well as other hardware vendor solutions like HP, NetApp etc.

If you like to see a really cool solution that is coming then have a look at my previous post including a short and cool video: Dell + Nutanix = awesome!

Here we have the top 10 trends for 2015 that Gartner have identified:

Analysts Examine Top Industry Trends at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2014, October 5-9 in Orlando

Gartner, Inc. today highlighted the top 10 technology trends that will be strategic for most organizations in 2015. Analysts presented their findings during the sold out Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, which is taking place here through Thursday.

Gartner defines a strategic technology trend as one with the potential for significant impact on the organization in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to the business, end users or IT, the need for a major investment, or the risk of being late to adopt. These technologies impact the organization’s long-term plans, programs and initiatives.
Read more…

#Nutanix #Prism GUI Interactive Mock-Up Available – via @VirtuallyGeeky and @andreleibovici

February 3, 2014 1 comment

Wow, this is great!

Nutanix Sr. Systems Engineer, Tim Federwitz (@VirtuallyGeeky), created a nice interactive mock-up of the Nutanix Prism Administrative Interface.


In Tim’s own words, “I have created a VERY simple, but somewhat functional, slightly interactive look at the Nutanix Prism GUI (the Nutanix Web Console). You can use it from pretty much any device, including mobile phones and tablets. Click or tap on the various items in the GUI to navigate around the different screen captures. The screenshots are all static, of course, but at least you get to see the different screens and features.

It is still in its infant stage as I threw it together in a few hours last Sunday night. I plan on finishing up the screens I didn’t have time for, but feel free to use it as it comes together. I am “releasing” it early as there seems to be a LOT of interest in something like this.

I really created it to easily show potential customers what the Web Console looks like and highlight some of the features and ease of use that it brings. Along with showing how VM centric and granular…

Continue reading here!


Citrix Startup Company #AppEnsure Releases Free tool to automatically measure response time & throughput for all applications! – via @douglasabrown

February 3, 2014 Leave a comment

Another cool application!

AppEnsure, a leading provider of application performance solutions for cloud and virtualized environments, today announced the first free product to aid IT operations with application performance monitoring and management. AppEnsure Free is the first free solution to automatically measure response time and throughput for all applications, including custom developed and purchased, in all locations; physical, virtualized, public and private cloud.

AppEnsure Free helps IT Operations rapidly troubleshoot and diagnose application performance problems within minutes and prevents war room meetings. The solution is easy-to-use and deploy and gives immediate insight into common application issues such as slow response time.

“IT Operations teams are the first ones blamed when an application is performing poorly,” reports Bernd Harzog, Performance and Capacity Management Analyst at The Virtualization Practice. “Giving these teams visibility into application response time and throughput will arm them with the necessary data to quickly resolve performance issues.”

“We developed AppEnsure Free to help IT Operations,” said Colin L.M. Macnab, CEO and co-founder of AppEnsure. “Time and time again we talk with companies struggling with their current performance management systems and we wanted to give companies a solution – at no cost – to help them ensure mission critical applications are performing as expected and to eliminate blame during war room meetings and bridge calls.”

AppEnsure Free costs absolutely nothing for a perpetual 5 servers…

Continue reading here!


Free whitepaper: Enterprise #Architecture and ITIL: Implementing Service Strategy

Have a look at this free whitepaper!

In the previous paper “Enterprise Architecture and ITIL: Where is the Value in ITIL?” Trevor Lea-Cox looked at why and under what circumstances Service Management, the focus of ITIL® is important.

Essentially Service Management is important because the concept and use of services is a powerful mechanism for structuring and managing the growth of an organization, including the IT function.  As the IT function grows, IT Services reach a level of complexity where they can no longer be managed on an informal basis.  ITIL provides the best practice guidelines for managing IT Services on a (progressively) more formal basis.

In this paper Trevor will:

  • Review (briefly) the recommendations of ITIL for developing and managing a Service Strategy for IT Services.
  • Try to clarify what is meant by an “IT Service”.
  • Then apply these principles to managing a small EA department within an IT function.

Register and download here!


Evolving IT skill sets: Seven roles that should be on CIOs’ radar

Interesting series of articles…

This is the third in a series of three stories about the factors shaping the IT organization of the future. In this story, Andrew Horne, managing director at The Corporate Executive Board Company (CEB), outlines seven new IT skill sets that reflect “fundamental” changes under way in enterprise IT organizations. In the first story, CIOs and experts explore the transformation of IT into a services business and potentially into a component of an enterprise business services organization. In the second story, experts describe the business and technology drivers that could change the CIO role significantly, as well as the role of IT within the business.”

Continue reading here


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