As part of Microsoft’s gaming vision spanning PCs, consoles and more, a new choice has emerged: the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition.
Since the first Xbox debuted in 2001, there’s been a digital transformation across gaming, music, TV and movies. The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition was created for those who prefer to find and play their games digitally and are looking for the most affordable way to play Xbox games.
It comes bundled with three popular games – “Minecraft,” “Forza Horizon 3” and “Sea of Thieves” and is available for pre-order at $249.99.
Find out more on Xbox Wire.
Tags Gamers games Xbox Xbox One S Xbox One S All-Digital Edition
Today we’re announcing the general availability of Apache Hadoop 3.0 on Azure HDInsight. Microsoft Azure is the first cloud provider to offer customers the benefit of the latest innovations in the most popular open source analytics projects, with unmatched scalability, flexibility, and security. With the general availability of Apache Hadoop 3.0 on Azure HDInsight, we are building upon existing capabilities with a number of key enhancements that further improve performance and security, and deepen support for the rich ecosystem of big data analytics applications.
Bringing Apache Hadoop 3.0 and supercharged performance to the cloud
Apache Hadoop 3.0 represents over 5 years of major upgrades contributed by the open source community across key Apache frameworks such as Hive, Spark, and HBase. New features in Hadoop 3.0 provide significant improvements to performance, scalability, and availability, reducing total cost of ownership and accelerating time-to-value.
Apache Hive 3.0 – With ACID transactions on by default and several performance improvements, this latest version of Hive enables developers to build “traditional database” applications on massive data lakes. This is particularly important for enterprises who need to build GDPR/privacy compliant big data applications.
Hive Warehouse Connector for Apache Spark – With the Hive Warehouse Connector, the Spark and Hive worlds are coming closer together. The new connector moves the integration from the metastore layer to the query engine layer. This enables higher, more reliable performance with predicate pushdown and other functionality.
Apache HBase 2.0 and Apache Phoenix 5.0 – Apache HBase 2.0 and Apache Phoenix 5.0 introduce a number of performance, stability, and integration improvements. With HBase 2.0, periodic reorganization of the data in the memstore with in-memory compactions improves performance as data is not flushed or read too often from remote cloud storage. Phoenix 5.0 brings more visibility into queries with query log by introducing a new system table that captures information about queries that are being run against the cluster.
Spark IO Cache – IO Cache is a data caching service for Azure HDInsight that improves the performance of Apache Spark jobs. IO Cache also works with Apache TEZ and Apache Hive workloads, which can be run on Apache Spark clusters.
Enhanced enterprise grade security
Enterprise grade security and compliance is a critical requirement for all customers building big data applications that store or process sensitive data in the cloud.
Enterprise Security Package (ESP) support for Apache HBase – With the general availability of ESP support for HBase, customers can ensure that users authenticate to their HDInsight HBase clusters using their corporate domain credentials and are subject to rich, fine-grained access policies (authored and managed in Apache Ranger).
Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) support for Apache Kafka – Customers can now bring their own encryption keys into the Azure Key Vault and use them to encrypt the Azure Managed Disks storing their Apache Kafka messages. This gives them a high degree of control over the security of their data.
Rich developer tooling
Azure HDInsight offers rich development experiences with various integrated development environment (IDE) extensions, notebooks, and SDKs.
SDKs general availability – HDInsight SDKs for .NET, Python, and Java enable developers to easily manage clusters using the language of their choice.
VSCode – HDInsight VSCode extension enables developers to submit Hive batch jobs, interactive Hive queries, and PySpark scripts to HDInsight 4.0 clusters.
IntelliJ – Azure Toolkit for IntelliJ enables Scala and Java developers to program Spark, Scala, and Java projects with built-in templates. Developers can easily perform local run, local debug, open interactive sessions, and submit Scala/Java projects to HDInsight 4.0 Spark clusters directly from the IntelliJ integrated development environment.
Starburst (Presto) – Presto is an open source, fast, and scalable distributed SQL query engine that allows you to analyze data anywhere within your organization. Architected for the separation of storage and compute, Presto can easily query data in Azure Blob Storage, Azure Data Lake Storage, SQL and NoSQL databases, and other data sources. Learn more and explore Starburst Presto on Azure Marketplace.
Kyligence – Kyligence is an enterprise online analytic processing (OLAP) engine for big data, powered by Apache Kylin. Kyligence enables self-service, interactive business analytics on Azure, achieving sub-second query latencies on trillions of records and seamlessly integrating existing Hadoop and BI systems. Learn more and explore Kyligence on Azure Marketplace.
WANDisco – WANDisco Fusion de-risks migration to the cloud by ensuring disruption-free data migrations, easy and seamless extensions of Spark and Hadoop deployments, and short or long term hybrid data operations. Learn more and explore WANDisco on Azure Marketplace.
Unravel Data – Unravel provides a unified view across your entire data stack, providing actionable recommendations and automation for tuning, troubleshooting, and improving performance. The Unravel Data app uses Azure Resource Manager, allowing customers to connect Unravel to a new or existing HDInsight cluster with one click. Learn more and explore Unravel on Azure Marketplace.
We look forward to seeing what innovations you will bring to your users and customers with Azure HDInsight. Read the developer guide and follow the quick start guide to learn more about implementing open source analytics pipelines on Azure HDInsight. Stay up-to-date on the latest Azure HDInsight news and exciting features coming in the near future by following us on Twitter (#AzureHDInsight). For questions and feedback, please reach out to [email protected]
About Azure HDInsight
Azure HDInsight is an enterprise-ready service for open source analytics that enables customers to easily run popular Apache open source frameworks including Apache Hadoop, Spark, Kafka, and others. The service is available in 30 public regions and Azure Government Clouds in the US and Germany. Azure HDInsight powers mission critical applications for a wide range of sectors and use cases including ETL, streaming, and interactive querying.
Google has launched a business phone system and released in beta several enhancements to its products for collaboration, messaging and web conferencing in G Suite for business.
The introduction of Google Voice for G Suite at this week’s Google Cloud Next conference plugs a gap in the vendor’s enterprise portfolio. At launch, the cloud service offers fewer features — and comes with a smaller partner ecosystem — than telephony systems in Microsoft Office 365.
Google has certified one series of IP desk phones for Google Voice: the VVX series from Poly — formerly Plantronics and Polycom. Because it offers only basic features, the service should appeal to small businesses and small teams within a larger company.
Google’s voice service supports voicemail transcription, call forwarding, auto attendants and e-discovery. It also gives IT administrators a console for managing phone numbers and tracking usage.
Google Voice for G Suite is available in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal, Switzerland and Austria.
G Suite for business adds data residency, IT controls
One weakness of G Suite for business had been that it did not give enterprises control over where to store their data. That changed this week with the launch of data regions for G Suite, a feature introduced in the preview last summer. Businesses can now distribute storage of their data globally, or keep it on specific servers in the United States and Europe.
“The most interesting feature for large companies will be the data region capability,” said Jeffrey Mann, analyst at Gartner. “Not being able to define where their data is stored has been a major objection for G Suite.”
Google also plans to soon launch in beta two new IT dashboards: an alert center for tracking security threats and a security center for investigating those threats and managing alert settings.
Google still needs to show its products can work for enterprises with a mix of cloud and premise-based technology, said TJ Keitt, analyst at Forrester Research. Microsoft, in contrast, has already proven itself to businesses.
“Part of the challenge for Google has always been how IT departments within larger companies view Google’s offerings, versus what they’re familiar with from a company like Microsoft,” Keitt said.
Hangouts Meet, Hangouts Chat and Google Assistant
Google added live captioning to its web conferencing platform, Hangouts Meet, and said the app would soon support meetings of up to 250 people. The vendor also added to Hangouts Meet a live broadcasting feature, with support for up to 100,000 viewers.
Microsoft has said real-time transcription for Microsoft Teams would launch in public preview soon. Last month, it launched a live broadcasting service, with support for up to 10,000 viewers.
Google will soon launch in beta support for Hangouts Chat within Gmail, letting users IM in the bottom left corner of the email dashboard. Hangouts Chat — a team collaboration app similar to Slack — will replace the consumer-focused messaging app Hangouts, which Google has supported in Gmail for years.
Meanwhile, Google has added the AI voice interface Google Assistant to the G Suite calendar, so users can perform basic commands — like querying upcoming meetings — with their voice.
“I expect that Google — who has impressive AI [and] machine learning, is now sharing a much stronger narrative and has added new enterprise customers — will continue to make a more compelling case for enterprise consideration,” said Wayne Kurtzman, analyst at IDC.
putting my imac up for swap as im looking for a gaming pc im not sure on price so the price added is a rough swap value late 2014 27 inch imac with 5k screen resolution intel i7 4ghz cpu 1.21tb fusion hard drive 16 gig ram/memory r9 295x graphics
any questions about other specs i will do my best to answer
imac is in great condition fully boxed a really nice bit of kit
speakers and other parts are not included but can be for the right deal they consist of 2 x krk rokit 5 v3 monitors mint condition fully boxed with power and audio leads a focusrite scarlett 2i2 and a steel series siberia 840 headset
would prefer collection or possible delivery if not too far away
Price and currency: 1200 Delivery: Delivery cost is not included Payment method: cash Location: hinckley Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference
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From the top-rated Xbox racing franchise, Forza is excited to announce a new, on-the-go racing experience for Windows 10 devices.
In “Forza Street,” players collect and assemble a legendary lineup of cars to compete in quick, cinematic races that are easy to learn, but hard to perfect.
Read more over at Xbox Wire.
Updated April 15, 2019 12:29 pm
The new and improved features in Windows Server 2019 gave many IT pros that kid-in-a-candy-store feeling. That excitement has faded since the initial release, but now admins are starting to appreciate Windows Server 2019’s storage features — such as Storage Migration Service — because they could aid in migrations off Windows Server 2008 before it reaches its end of life on Jan. 14, 2020.
“What you’re going to see as a common theme [in Windows Server 2019] is that Microsoft has made it much easier to onboard new technologies and even bring your existing technologies into the modern age,” said Rob Corradini, Microsoft MVP for cloud and data center management, in a webinar titled “What’s New in Windows Server 2019,” sponsored by Altaro.
In the webinar, Microsoft MVPs Andy Syrewicze and Corradini, as well as Windows Server insider Symon Perriman, covered Microsoft’s four areas of technological development in production-ready Windows Server 2019. They discussed hybrid cloud connectivity, the application platform for developers, hyper-converged infrastructure throughout a software-defined data center and security within every component of a data center. Some tools, such as Windows Admin Center, included in the new OS tie the four topics together.
Administrators can use Storage Migration Service to move from Windows Server 2008, and they might also find developments that give them reason to consider a move to Windows Server 2019.
Storage Migration Service eases data transfers
Windows Server 2019 Storage Migration Service could greatly simplify the upgrade process for Windows Server administrators. Admins use Windows Admin Center to identify the old server’s data and move both the data and configuration to the new server.
“Storage Migration Service really helps you onboard, whether you’re going to a modern OS, whether it’s on prem or in the cloud. It allows you to really bring unstructured data from anywhere — and I’m saying anywhere — into Azure in modern Windows servers,” Corradini said.
Storage Migration Service has firewall requirements to undergo the process. Admins identify the source data and configuration files and then copy the data to the destination. Once complete, the destination takes on the identity of the source and takes over the production workload. Admins can still access a copy of the data on the old server if necessary, but the server is no longer actively used.
IT pros who still use the unsupported Windows Server 2003 will be relieved to know that the migration service can move data from Server 2003 and newer to Windows Server 2012 R2 through 2019.
“Especially if you’re on 2003 Server, just the fact of being on that server is a security risk. Especially if you’re doing any kind of internet penetration here, you’re done,” Corradini said.
The service does have limitations: Machines must be domain joined for migration to work, and the service only transfers storage, not applications. So, administrators must still reinstall applications.
Storage Spaces Direct bolsters servers against hardware failures
Microsoft initially introduced Storage Spaces Direct in Windows Server 2016 and upgraded it in Server 2019.
“Storage Spaces Direct is a hyper-converged solution, just to re-emphasize for Microsoft. It’s all about leveraging fast storage and slow storage in one fashion or another,” Corradini said.
Microsoft developed true two-node clusters further with Azure technology. Clusters can endure two hardware failures and continue providing storage for apps and VMs. Two-node clusters are an advancement from the three-node clusters previously needed to build a Storage Spaces Direct cluster. Admins can use a USB flash drive plugged into the router to identify which server has the most current information in the event of a server shutdown and restart.
Windows Server 2019 can store up to 10 times more data through Resilient File System deduplication and compression. Microsoft also improved latency outlier detection, mirrored accelerated parity and capacity increases. Administrators manage Storage Spaces Direct features, such as creating volumes or monitoring performance, with Windows Admin Center.
Storage Replica and Azure features improve efficiency
Administrators can now implement Storage Replica on Windows Server Standard Edition, in addition to Datacenter Edition, with some limitations. The Windows Server edition can only replicate a single volume up to 2 TB, versus an unlimited number of volumes of unlimited size.
Windows Admin Center offers graphical management for replication from servers, clusters and stretch clusters. Microsoft improved replication latency and throughput if all members in a replication group run on Windows Server 2019. Admins can test failover by mounting a replicated storage snapshot on the destination server.
Storage Replica will soon have the ability to use Azure as a replication target, which is currently in beta. Azure File Sync also brings Windows Server 2019 storage into the cloud by centralizing file shares in Azure files.
“Azure File Sync is just so much more efficient and easy [than Distributed File System] because now I can leverage that hot storage on premises but then still take advantage of the cold storage of a cloud storage,” Syrewicze said.
Students will be able to study for qualifications in artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and data science alongside their chosen subject as part of a new higher education initiative from Microsoft.
The technology company has teamed up with the University of London, Staffordshire University and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), as well as two institutions in the US, to offer courses that will help young people learn key digital skills that they can use throughout their career.
The move is designed to tackle the digital skills gap across the UK, which risks holding back businesses in all sectors.
The three UK institutions are integrating the courses in different ways to ensure they have the most impact on their students. The University of London is integrating an entire course into its Master’s in Data Science, so that students can learn the digital skills that employers need. In the data science course, for example, they will “learn how to apply technology to real-world problems and gain an understanding of emerging technologies, statistical analysis and computational techniques” as well as “transferable skills that will help advance your career”. Students will get support from tutors or online tutor groups.
Mary Stiasny, Pro-Vice Chancellor at University of London, said: “Our mission at the University of London is to develop internationally aware, innovative and employable graduates. Our online MSc Data Science programme encourages them to explore ideas, challenge boundaries and investigate fresh ways of thinking. For this reason, we are particularly excited about our collaboration with Microsoft for its potential to help our students meet and exceed the changing needs of the 21st century workplace.”
Staffordshire University is encouraging students to study individual modules that complement their degrees. Someone studying fashion design, for example, could take a web development course, so they can learn to build a website to sell their clothes.
Helen Holt, Head of Partnering and Digital Skills at Staffordshire University, said: “It’s important that we’re offering all our students the chance to learn digital skills and help them stand out in the workplace. The Microsoft Professional Programme will help them do that.
“Our lecturers and students like that there is a range of content in these courses and they can pick and choose what works for them. Our students are telling us they want digital skills. They might be good with tablets and phones but they might not know how to use Excel, and they want to learn how.
“We are based in Stoke-on-Trent and some of our students are the first generation of their families to go to university. Alongside specialist knowledge gained through their courses, they are learning digital skills that are recognised globally.”
LSE is encouraging students to study the courses, but it will be optional for them. It has been piloting Python and Excel courses over the past few months, with dozens of students gaining qualifications and giving positive feedback to teachers.
Jeni Brown, Head of Digital Skills Lab at the LSE, said: “The courses align really well with what we are doing at LSE, as they focus on the range of skills people will need in these roles rather than just the technologies. Students and staff have told us they want more opportunities to develop their skills in areas such as AI, big data and data science, to complement and enhance their academic programmes.
“The content is high quality and we can use it in a number of ways. Our students can study the courses independently online but we can also embed modules into what we already deliver. More than 60% of our students have come to LSE from outside the UK, and they will take those skills around the world. We want to create social science graduates who can really engage with a world that is becoming more immersed in technology and who understand how it impacts on their particular field.”
According to US Department of Labor, 65% of today’s students will end up working in jobs that don’t exist yet. Separate research has found that 808 million people need to learn new skills for their jobs by 2020, 40% of employers said skill shortages have a negative impact on their business, and 50 million people are needed to fill open, technical jobs by 2030.
Karen Kocher, General Manager of 21st Century Jobs, Skills and Employability at Microsoft, said: “The incredible transformation we’re witnessing in the 21st century workplace calls out for key organizations – governments, higher education institutions, employers, the non-profit sector – to step up and work together to teach, train and prepare workers for the jobs of tomorrow. This is a crucial part of our purpose at Microsoft and we are proud to join forces with seminal, global learning institutions to help make good on that purpose.”
The Microsoft technical skills programme, delivered by Fast Lane, will also be run at Bellevue College, near Seattle, and the online-based Purdue University Global, with Microsoft hoping to agree more collaborations in the future.
The Z6 model has 384 GB of memory, up to 48 processing cores, and it uses Nvidia and AMD graphics. This model also allows for the installation of professional-grade storage hardware. The Z6 has the ability to be upgraded over time and is built to handle 8K video, according to HP.
The Z8 model has dual Intel Xeon CPUs, with up to 56 processing cores, 3 TB of memory and 48 TB of storage. It is capable of running complex 3D simulations and can handle machine learning algorithms and visual effects. HP claimed the Z8 is the “most powerful workstation on the planet,” as of June 14, 2017, based on processor, graphics, memory and power supply.
Digital Storm makes the Aventum Pro workstation, which has up to 56 processor cores and up to 512 GB of storage. Pricing starts at $3,610. Dell’s Precision 7920 Tower workstation has 28 cores per processor, but can be customized to have up to 56 with dual processors. Dell also uses the same Intel Xeon Scalable Processors as HP. Pricing starts at $2,049.
Both Z6 and Z8 include HP’s Remote Graphics Software (RGS), which allows for remote workstation access from any Windows, Linux or Mac device. Avid is working with HP to test RGS with Media Composer | Cloud VM. HP claimed the remote editing software will provide creators with both high performance and flexibility.
The new HP business workstations are currently available. The Z6 starts at $2,372, and the Z8 starts at $2,981.