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Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Microsoft Intune May updates – #Intunes, #EMM, #MDM, #Mobility, #EnvokeIT

Thsi week Microsoft is going to roll out some new updates like Android Wrapping Tool and new features for iOS, Android and Windows Phone to Microsoft Intunes.

We are excited to share with you the next set of Intune features that will be released between May 19 and May 26.  With our monthly release cadence, we continue to focus on providing you with best-in-class experiences that help keep your users productive while protecting your company’s sensitive data. You can expect to see the following new Intune standalone (cloud only) features in this release:

  • Ability to extend application protection to your existing line-of-business apps using the Intune App Wrapping Tool for Android (Intune App Wrapping Tool for iOS made available in December 2014)
  • Ability to assign help desk permissions to Intune admins, filtering their view of the Intune admin console to only provide access to perform remote tasks (e.g. passcode reset and remote lock)
  • RSS feed notification option added for Intune admin to subscribe to be alerted when new Intune service notifications are available for their service instance
  • Improved end user experience in the Intune Company Portal app for iOS with step-by-step guidance added on how to access corporate email by enrolling for management and validating device compliance
  • Updated Intune Company Portal app for Windows Phone 8.1 to provide enhanced status notifications for app installations
  • New custom policy template for managing new Windows 10 features using OMA-URI
  • New per-platform mobile device security policy templates for Android, iOS, Windows, and Windows Phone, in addition to new Exchange ActiveSync policy template
  • Ability to deploy Google Play store apps that are required/mandatory to install on Android devices

Also, as announced last week, several new hybrid features are now…

Contact us at EnvokeIT if you like assistance with Intunes or continue reading the blog post here.

//Richard

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…

Google + Microsoft = Process Explorer 16.0 – #Google, #VirusTotal – via @lseltzer

February 3, 2014 Leave a comment

This is kind of cool!

The latest version of Process Explorer, one of the top tools in Microsoft’s popular Windows Sysinternals suite, has incorporated support for the popular VirusTotal service run by Google.

The Sysinternals tools were written by Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell before Microsoft bought their company many years ago. Russinovich continues to develop the tools in his spare time at Microsoft while working on their Azure cloud service.

To quote the “What’s New” section on microsoft.com:

    Thanks to collaboration with the team at VirusTotal, this Process Explorer update introduces integration with VirusTotal.com, an online antivirus analysis service. When enabled, Process Explorer sends the hashes of images and files shown in the process and DLL views to VirusTotal and if they have been previously scanned, reports how many antivirus engines identified them as possibly malicious. Hyperlinked results take you to VirusTotal.com report pages and you can even submit files for scanning.
Check.VirusTotal.Menu

VirusTotal was created and built up by Hispasec Systems, a Spanish security consulting firm. Over the years it became wildly popular to the point where it needed a cloud infrastructure on the scale that a company like Google could provide. Google took the service over in 2012 [Corrected from 2007]. Read more…

Nutanix NX-3000 review: Virtualization cloud-style – #Nutanix, #IaaS

January 29, 2014 Leave a comment

A great review of the Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform! 🙂

Nutanix NX-3000 Series
Nutanix NX-3000 review: Virtualization cloud-style

What do you get when you combine four independent servers, lots of memory, standard SATA disks and SSD, 10Gb networking, and custom software in a single box? In this instance, the answer would be a Nutanix NX-3000. Pigeonholing the Nutanix product into a traditional category is another riddle altogether. While the company refers to each unit it sells as an “appliance,” it really is a clustered combination of four individual servers and direct-attached storage that brings shared storage right into the box, eliminating the need for a back-end SAN or NAS.

I was recently given the opportunity to go hands on with a Nutanix NX-3000, the four nodes of which were running version 3.5.1 of the Nutanix operating system. It’s important to point out that the Nutanix platform handles clustering and file replication independent of any hosted virtualization system. Thus, a Nutanix cluster will automatically handle node, disk, and network failures while providing I/O at the speed of local disk — and using local SSD to accelerate access to the most frequently used data. Nutanix systems support the VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisors, as well as KVM for Linux-based workloads.

[ The Nutanix NX-3000 is an InfoWorld 2014 Technology of the Year Award winner. Read about the other winning products in our slideshow, “InfoWorld’s 2014 Technology of the Year Award winners.” | For quick, smart takes on the news you’ll be talking about, check out InfoWorld TechBrief — subscribe today. ]

Nutanix was founded by experienced data center architects and engineers from the likes of Google, Facebook, and Yahoo. That background brings with it a keen sense of what makes a good distributed system and what software pieces are necessary to build a scalable, high-performance product. A heavy dose of innovation and ingenuity shows up in a sophisticated set of distributed cluster management services, which eliminate any single point of failure, and in features like disk block fingerprinting, which leverages a special Intel instruction set (for computing an SHA-1 hash) to perform data deduplication and to ensure data integrity and redundancy.

A Nutanix cluster starts at one appliance (technically three nodes, allowing for the failure of one node) and scales out to any number of nodes. The NDFS (Nutanix Distributed File System) provides a single store for all of your VMs, handling all disk and I/O load balancing and eliminating the need to use virtualization platform features like VMware’s Storage DRS. Otherwise, you manage your VMs no differently than you would on any other infrastructure, using VMware’s or Microsoft’s native management tools.

Nutanix architecture
The hardware behind the NX-3000 comes from SuperMicro. Apart from the fact that it squeezes four dual-processor server blades inside one 2U box, it isn’t anything special. All of the magic is in the software. Nutanix uses a combination of open source software, such as Apache Cassandra and ZooKeeper, plus a bevy of in-house developed tools. Nutanix built cluster configuration management services on ZooKeeper and heavily modified Cassandra for use as the primary object store for the cluster.

Test Center Scorecard
 
  20% 20% 20% 20% 10% 10%  
Nutanix NX-3000 Series 10 9 10 9 9 8
9.3 EXCELLENT

 

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Under the Covers of a Distributed Virtual Computing Platform – Built For Scale and Agility – via @dlink7, #Nutanix

November 21, 2013 Leave a comment

I must say that Dwayne did a great job with this blog post series!! It goes into expelling the Nutanix Distributed File System (NDFS) that I must say is the most amazing enterprise product out there if you need a truly scalable and agile Compute and Storage platform! I advise you to read this series!!

Under the Covers of a Distributed Virtual Computing Platform – Part 1: Built For Scale and Agility

Lots of talk in the industry about how had software defined storage first and who was using what components. I don’t want to go down that rat hole since it’s all marketing and it won’t help you at the end of the day to enable your business. I want to really get into the nitty gritty of the Nutanix Distributed Files System(NDFS). NDFS has been in production for over a year and half with good success, take read of the article on the Wall Street Journal.

Below are core services and components that make NDFS tick. There are actually over 13 services, for example our replication is distributed across all the nodes to provide speed and low impact on the system. The replication service is called Cerebro which we will get to in this series.
Nuntaix Distrubuted File System

 

This isn’t some home grown science experiment, the engineers that wrote the code come from Google, Facebook, Yahoo where this components where invented. It’s important to realize that all components are replaceable or future proofed if you will. The services\libraries provide the API’s so as newest innovations happen in the community, Nutanix is positioned to take advantage.

All the services mentioned above run on multiple nodes in cluster a master-less fashion to provide availability. The nodes talk over 10 GbE and are able to scale in a linear fashion. There is no performance degradation as you add nodes. Other vendors have to use InfiniBand because they don’t share the metadata cross all of the nodes. Those vendors end up putting a full copy of the metadata on each node, this eventually will cause them to hit a performance cliff and the scaling stops. Each Nutanix node acts a storage controller allowing you to do things like have a datastore of 10,000 VM’s without any performance impact… continue reading part 1 here

Under the Covers of a Distributed Virtual Computing Platform – Part 2: ZZ Top

In case you missed Part 1 – Part 1: Built For Scale and Agility
zz-top-03082012-19
No it’s not Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, or drummer Frank Beard. It’s Zeus and Zookeeper providing the strong blues that allow the Nutanix Distributed File System to maintain it’s configuration across the entire cluster. Read more…

10TB of free #cloud #storage from China’s #Tencent

November 20, 2013 Leave a comment

Wow, that really puts some pressure on the “other” guys!!! 10TB is a lot!

I’ve talked to people and some are concerned about that it’s a China owned company even though the storage will be located in the US and Southeast Asia though it’s the company that has the “power” to manage and control it, but let us set that aside for now! 10TB of free storage! 🙂

Chinese Internet giant Tencent is looking to dole out a jaw-dropping 10TB worth of free cloud storage to its international users soon, as it seeks to roll out an English version of its cloud storage product next year, PandoDaily reports.

Peter Zheng, the Shenzhen-based vice president of Tencent’s social network group, tells PandoDaily that the company will bring its cloud storage offering to the US in early 2014. It is also launching an English version of Story Camera, an Instagram-like watermark-based photo app already popular in China, in the next two to three weeks.

In August, Tencent started courting Chinese users with its very generous gift of space — as it sought to out-do its rivals Baidu and Qihoo, which started giving away 1TB worth of free storage.

As Tencent gets into the game with an English version of its cloud storage service though, it looks set to attract way more users around the world who want to get their hands on this colossal amount of space — which, to be honest, seems almost impossible to finish using.

The whopping 10TB puts the free space given by Dropbox, Box and Microsoft to shame. At their maximum amounts, Dropbox has offered free space amounts ranging from 25-50GB as part of promotional deals with Samsung and HTC, Box has offered 50GB of free storage with file-size limitations before, and Microsoft upped the storage space for its SkyDrive Pro offering from 7GB to 25GB.

However, just as with the Chinese rollout, Tencent will likely kick in the same caveat for its cloud storage offering — that is, you won’t get the whole 10TB worth of space at one go. Instead, Tencent will top up your storage space as you deplete it.

To put privacy concerns at ease, Zheng tells Pandodaily that the international data will probably be stored on servers outside of China — in the same way that Tencent’s messaging service WeChat uses servers in the US and Southeast Asia.

As Tencent is taking big strides…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Hyperscale Invades the Enterprise and the Impact on Converged Infrastructure – via @mathiastornblom

October 29, 2013 Leave a comment

This is really interesting! Look at this video!

In this whiteboard presentation, Wikibon Senior Analyst Stu Miniman shares how enterprise IT can learn from the architectural models of hyperscale companies. He walks through Wikibon’s definition of software-led infrastructure and how converged infrastructure solutions meet the market’s requirements.

Continue reading or watch the whole channel here!

//Richard

True Scale Out Shared Nothing Architecture – #Compute, #Storage, #Nutanix via @josh_odgers

October 26, 2013 Leave a comment

This is yet another great blog post by Josh! Great work and keep it up! 😉

I love this statement:

I think this really highlights what VMware and players like Google, Facebook & Twitter have been saying for a long time, scaling out not up, and shared nothing architecture is the way of the future.

At VMware vForum Sydney this week I presented “Taking vSphere to the next level with converged infrastructure”.

Firstly, I wanted to thank everyone who attended the session, it was a great turnout and during the Q&A there were a ton of great questions.

I got a lot of feedback at the session and when meeting people at vForum about how the Nutanix scale out shared nothing architecture tolerates failures.

I thought I would summarize this capability as I believe its quite impressive and should put everyone’s mind at ease when moving to this kind of architecture.

So lets take a look at a 5 node Nutanix cluster, and for this example, we have one running VM. The VM has all its data locally, represented by the “A” , “B” and “C” and this data is also distributed across the Nutanix cluster to provide data protection / resiliency etc.

Nutanix5NodeCluster

So, what happens when an ESXi host failure, which results in the Nutanix Controller VM (CVM) going offline and the storage which is locally connected to the Nutanix CVM being unavailable?

Firstly, VMware HA restarts the VM onto another ESXi host in the vSphere Cluster and it runs as normal, accessing data both locally where it is available (in this case, the “A” data is local) and remotely (if required) to get data “B” and “C”.

Nutanix5nodecluster1failed

Secondly, when data which is not local (in this example “B” and “C”) is accessed via other Nutanix CVMs in the cluster, it will be “localized” onto the host where the VM resides for faster future access.

It is importaint to note, if data which is not local is not accessed by the VM, it will remain remote, as there is no benefit in relocating it and this reduces the workload on the network and cluster.

The end result is the VM restarts the same as it would using traditional storage, then the Nutanix cluster “curator” detects if any data only has one copy, and replicates the required data throughout the cluster to ensure full resiliency.

The cluster will then look like a fully functioning 4 node cluster as show below.

5NodeCluster1FailedRebuild

The process of repairing the cluster from a failure is commonly incorrectly compared to a RAID pack rebuild. With a raid rebuild, a small number of disks, say 8, are under heavy load re striping data across a hot spare or a replacement drive. During this time the performance of everything on the RAID pack is significantly impacted.

With Nutanix, the data is distributed across the entire cluster, which even with a 5 node cluster will be at least 20 SATA drives, but with all data being written to SSD then sequentially offloaded to SATA.

The impact of this process is much less than a RAID…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Microsoft is progressing quickly! – SkyDrive Pro updated to 25GB and improved sharing – via @BasvanKaam

I must say this once again, Microsoft looks to be on the right track when it comes to getting back as one strong supplier of services in the future/present “BYOD” world. As I wrote in my post #Microsoft – On the right track! – #Windows, #BYOD, #Citrix now Microsoft is actually targeting to solve many of the gaps that we see with today services for BYOx scenarios. For instance how to manage what you want on top of the device (Azure, Intune, SkyDrive, Work Folders etc…) in a controllable fashion and not a full managed device that costs you a fortune to manage… and ShareFile, Box and others are great solutions that have many features that SkyDrive doesn’t have. But there is one thing that they all lack (or please enlighten me!!):

Encryption at rest on Windows, OS X and Linux OS’s/distributions, here all providers are leaning on that you already have hard drive encryption like BitLocker etc. But who manages that then? Can you then say that your service is “BYOD-compliant”? I wouldn’t say so… It’s not only SmartPhones and Tablet devices that we loose… but here Microsoft and SkyDrive may be the first to come with encryption on at least Windows 8.1 devices and somewhat manageable…

But again back to the announcement from Microsoft and SkyDrive:

Microsoft announced today that it is giving business users more storage space and a better way to share files across multiple devices. As first reported by TechCrunch, through its SkyDrive Pro accounts, employees will now receive 25GB of storage to start out with, a sharp increase from 7GB — and even this capacity can be increased to 50GB or even 100GB. Additionally, using SkyDrive’s Shared with Me view, users can share files with their friends and co-workers securely and in real-time.

According to Microsoft Senior Product Managers Mark Kashman and Tejas Mehta, the new storage space limits will be available for both new and existing customers.

This certainly makes the service standout among its competitors, namely Dropbox and Box. It was only about a week or so ago when the latter heralded in the launch of a new pricing plan aiming to increase the number of small businesses using its service. For personal users, Box also wound up doubling the amount of free storage they received.

Here’s how you can figure out the overall storage for each user:

With Office 365, you get 25 GB of SkyDrive Pro storage + 25 GB of  email storage + 5 GB for each site mailbox you create + your total available tenant storage, which for every Office 365 business customer starts at 10 GB + (500 MB x # of user(s)1).

While Dropbox, Box, and Hightail certainly are some of the popular services out there today, SkyDrive isn’t something to be trifled with either. Through its integration with the Surface, Windows Phone, and other Microsoft products, along with iOS and Android devices, it has the potential to be a very powerful service.

As for the new sharing feature, just like you would perhaps see in Google Drive or any other cloud storage service, SkyDrive Pro is now offering a Shared with Me view that lets you take a shared document and view, edit, re-share, download, and more — all as if it were in your own storage bin.

1106.SDP shared with me 2.png 550x0 Microsoft updates SkyDrive Pro for businesses, now with 25GB of space, better file sharing, and more

But Microsoft isn’t stopping there, as it is adding several minor, but interesting enhancements to SkyDrive. The company has also increased the overall file upload limit to its SharePoint Online service to 2GB per file. Files placed into the recycle bin will now remain…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Report: Android malware doubled in 2012, infecting 33M devices

Malware attacks on devices running Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) open-source Android mobile operating system more than doubled in 2012, security solutions firm NQ Mobile reports.

NQ Mobile - Malware by Year
NQ Mobile saw a year-over-year increase of malware of 163 percent.

NQ Mobile discovered 65,227 new pieces of mobile malware in 2012 compared to 24,794 in 2011, a year-over-year increase of 163 percent. Among all new malware discovered last year, 94.8 percent of threats were designed to attack Android, compared to just 4 percent targeting rival open-source platform Symbian. In all, more than 32.8 million Android devices were infected in 2012, up from 10.8 million in 2011, representing an increase of more than 200 percent.

Chinese devices accounted for 25.5 percent of infected Android devices, followed by India (19.4 percent), Russia (17.9 percent), the United States (9.8 percent) and Saudi Arabia (9.6 percent). Fifty-three percent of U.S. Android owners have installed a mobile security app on their device, NQ Mobile adds.

Sixty-five percent of mobile malware discovered in 2012 falls into the category of Potentially Unwanted Programs–e.g., root exploits, spyware, pervasive adware and Trojans (surveillance hacks). Twenty-eight percent was designed to collect and profit from a user’s personal data, and 7 percent was built to prevent the user’s device from functioning properly.

The primary methods for delivering malware in 2012 included App Repackaging (adding lines of malicious code into a legitimate app and reloading it onto a third-party marketplace), Smishing (asking consumers to click on a fraudulent link, triggering a malicious app download or directing their browser to a rogue website) and Malicious URLs (redirecting the browser from genuine websites to clone sites intended to collect personal data).

Critics maintain Google has failed to sufficiently police its Google Play digital storefront, making it easy for attackers to distribute malware via Android applications. Google has made strides to reduce Android threats, however: In early 2012, it unveiled Bouncer, which scans Google Play for malicious apps, and its Android 4.2 OS update, a.k.a. Jelly Bean, bakes in application verification tools.

The NQ Mobile report…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

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