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Working together to bring broadband to rural Veterans – Microsoft on the Issues

Our nation’s Veterans have contributed to our country in so many ways, in countless locations around the globe. When they return home, many Veterans who reside in rural areas are not able to access broadband internet which is critical to using telehealth services, gaining educational opportunities, and growing a small business or running a family farm.

There are 2.7 million Veterans enrolled in Veterans Affairs (VA) who are living in rural communities, 42% of them do not have internet access at home which could support their use of VA telehealth services, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’, Veterans Health Administration’s Office of Rural Health. These rural Veterans live in areas where access to fast, reliable internet service may be limited or inaccessible and are facing higher rates of unemployment, longer drives to reach the nearest clinics and medical centers, and lower levels of educational attainment compared to their urban counterparts. Connectivity has the potential to improve this reality — with broadband, they can access telehealth services offered by the VA, identify and compete for well-paying jobs, improve and grow their own businesses, and take advantage of online education classes.

Microsoft and VA have been strategic partners, working together to improve the lives of Veterans, for more than 20 years. Today, I’m excited to share that Microsoft will begin expanding that work by helping VA to help bring connectivity to many Veterans living in rural towns and communities. Microsoft and its partners will be working with VA to provide capital, technology expertise, and training resources to bring broadband access to people in these underserved communities. Our hope is that this effort will unlock new economic opportunities, while also enhancing quality of life.

Through the partnership, we’ll help VA identify communities with Veterans in need and work with our internet service provider (ISP) partners across the nation to bring broadband services to those regions. Following our Airband Initiative model, we’ll also provide the Veterans in these newly connected communities with digital skills training so they can take advantage of the tools and services connectivity enables, including critical telehealth services provided by VA.

In the past 22 months, through the Microsoft Airband Initiative, we have seen firsthand just how many communities lack connectivity at broadband speeds and how this can hinder growth and new opportunities. We’ve also seen that partnering with ISPs to serve those most in need is an effective strategy to make progress quickly on this important issue. Our work with VA builds on those lessons and approach, which has resulted in partnerships that will bring connectivity to 1 million unserved rural residents in 16 states to date, with a plan to reach 3 million by 2022.

This also builds on our commitment to the military and Veteran community. We’re passionate about our work with this community and take a holistic approach to helping Veterans gain the critical career skills required for today’s digital economy through career training and re-training, soft-skills support, and hiring. The company’s cornerstone Veteran program, Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA), provides the Veteran community with an 18-week (or two nine-week terms) training for high-demand careers, with graduates gaining an interview for a full-time career at Microsoft or one of the company’s more than 400 hiring partners. We’re also proud of our strong network of partners, all of whom champion our same vision to assist the community.

We owe it to the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our nation. Veterans living in rural communities deserve to have the broadband internet access enjoyed by many who live in urban areas. Addressing the broadband gap across the country requires innovative solutions from both the public and private sectors, and we hope this partnership will help us make significant progress toward closing the connectivity gap for the Veteran community.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Microsoft bets on ElectionGuard SDK to fortify election security

Microsoft is aiming to make voting more secure with a free, open source software development kit dubbed ElectionGuard.

ElectionGuard, which was unveiled earlier this month during the Microsoft Build conference, was designed to enable end-to-end verification of elections, allow voters and third-party organizations to verify election results, and allow individual voters to confirm their votes were counted correctly.

Microsoft worked with Oregon-based security tech company Galois on the implementation and design of the SDK. (Microsoft said it was unavailable to comment on ElectionGuard.)

“The point of it is to enable election vendors, and really anyone who wants it, to securely implement elections systems,” said Joey Dodds, research engineer at Galois. “It’s really important to note that when we talk about end-to-end verifiability, which is one of the main properties that we want and that ElectionGuard provides, that guarantee won’t extend to systems that do not use paper ballots. … If you want end-to-end verifiability you must use paper ballots.”

ElectionGuard has the potential to make a difference in the future of voting and is a step in the right direction, said Aaron Wilson, senior director of election security at Center for Internet Security.

“We support Microsoft’s mission for secure, verifiable and auditable election,” Wilson said. “If it meets all the claims that it is making, it would represent a very difficult voting system to hack and it would be an improvement over what we have today — but again that would be in combination with the paper ballot.”

Dodds said Galois worked on the APIs for ElectionGuard, which he said was a critical part of the open source SDK.

“One of the things you want with ElectionGuard SDK is it is very hard to misuse. … We put a lot of effort into very carefully designing this API in such a way that anybody can really use the SDK and can be confident that they’re using it correctly,” he said.

With end-to-end verifiability, Dodds said, there is a lot of information about the election that can be made public without any risk to the privacy of the election or individual voter privacy. This can be done using the encryption that’s built into the ElectionGuard SDK, he added.

The use of homomorphic encryption

In a blog post, Tom Burt, corporate vice president of customer security and trust at Microsoft, shared how ElectionGuard’s end-to-end verification of election results is achieved in two ways.

The point of it is to enable election vendors, and really anyone who wants it, to securely implement elections systems.
Joey DoddsResearch engineer, Galois

An election system using Microsoft’s ElectionGuard SDK would provide voters with a unique tracking code, which will allow voters to verify that their votes have been accurately recorded and were not tampered with.

“Second, ElectionGuard also includes an open specification — or a road map — which allows anyone to write an election verifier. Voters, candidates, news media and any observers can run verifiers of their own or downloaded from sources of their choosing to confirm tabulations are as reported,” Burt wrote.

It is this combination of the tracker and the verifier that enables end-to-end verification.

“It will not be possible to ‘hack’ the vote without detection,” according to Burt.

ElectionGuard uses homomorphic encryption to enable these two forms of verification.

Homomorphic encryption is a key building block to a verifiable secret ballot election, Wilson said.

“Typically you have some secret in cryptography that is necessary for the decryption of the information and so you want to prove that you did something right, and if you’re on the side that has to prove that something went right, typically you have to give away the secret to another party for them to verify that you did it properly,” Wilson said. “What’s really beneficial with homomorphic encryption is a third party can verify that it was done properly without you having to give away the secret … there can be proof established that the system behaved properly without the verifier having access to the secret information — the secret key . It really allows for a different level of transparency versus other types of cryptography.”

People want elections to be verifiable and secure, Wilson said, but they also want their ballots to remain secret and not public.

The properties of homomorphic encryption, he said, seem to meet both of those objectives: It can be verifiable while maintaining the secrecy of the individual ballot.

Taking the open source route

Dodds said there were many reasons to use open source software for the ElectionGuard SDK, and one is the notion of security.

“We’re worried about the public understanding that the elections are secure and the open source software is really critical there because you can have completely secure software, but if nobody can see what’s going on there then they have no reason to believe that it’s secure,” he said. “Open source is completely critical to security for that reason and, honestly, the system will end up being more secure because people are incredibly excited about the security of elections.”

The open source approach gives other people the opportunity to contribute to the work that Microsoft is doing, Wilson said.

Another aspect of open sourcing, Dodds said, is the hope to see an ecosystem of implementations come up around this SDK.

“You can also imagine that lots of people will want to run elections on their own, maybe for their clubs, maybe for their schools, and they might put work into implementing systems that use ElectionGuard and provide those to anybody else who wants to use them,” he said. “We want everybody to have access to the most secure elections possible.”

While TCE Strategy CEO Bryce Austin applauded Microsoft’s efforts, he added that some things are best left to offline mechanisms.

“Some things are too important to be on the internet, exposed to cybercriminals across the globe,” Austin said in an email interview. “Foreign nations simply have too much to benefit from influencing elections, and the thought that a SDK can be made immune to cyberattack is unrealistic in my opinion.”

Election technology vendors, including Democracy Live, Election Systems & Software and Hart InterCivic are partnering with Microsoft to evaluate the ElectionGuard SDK, which will be available this summer to incorporate into their voting systems.

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For Sale – i5 3750K gaming desktop (no GPU)

Discussion in ‘Desktop Computer Classifieds‘ started by Sunshinewelly, May 7, 2019.

  1. Sunshinewelly

    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Messages:
    5,087
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Ratings:
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    I am selling my desktop pc.

    decided to go for a mini build so this is for sale.

    i5 35700k CPU

    z77 extreme4 MB

    ASRock > Z77 Extreme4

    650W PSU anteck

    8 GB ram

    120 SSD OS drive

    2 x 1T Hard Drives

    photos to follow

    £250 collected

    Price and currency: 250
    Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
    Payment method: BT or paypal gift
    Location: aberdare
    Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
    Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

    ______________________________________________________
    This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
    By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
    Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

    • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
    • Name and address including postcode
    • Valid e-mail address

    DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

    Last edited: May 16, 2019

  2. Y0SSARIAN

    Active Member

    Joined:
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    Newark NG24
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    Quick headzup fella, either a 3570k or a 3770k it be unless you squashed the two cpus together to make a kind of hybrid
    GLWYS

  3. Sunshinewelly

    Well-known Member

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    hi sorry its a 3570k

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‘BlueKeep’ Windows Remote Desktop flaw gets PoC exploits

Microsoft patched a critical Windows Remote Desktop vulnerability last week and the risks of attacks in the wild have since grown as multiple researchers have created proof-of-concept exploits.

The Windows RDP flaw, dubbed “BlueKeep” by British security researcher Kevin Beaumont, gained notoriety because when Microsoft patched it, Simon Pope, Microsoft Security Response Center director of incident response, wrote in an advisory that malware exploiting the vulnerability could spread in the same worm-like fashion as WannaCry because an exploit would require no user interaction. Microsoft even took the rare step — as it did with WannaCry — to release patches for otherwise unsupported Windows XP and Server 2003 systems.

Since the BlueKeep patch was released on May 14, Beaumont has tracked the progress of security researchers. Although fake proof of concept (PoC) exploits were uploaded to GitHub almost instantly, it wasn’t until the 19th that working denial-of-service exploits were created by McAfee and Zerodium, followed by Kaspersky Labs researcher Boris Larkin on the 20th.

On May 21, McAfee researchers described a BlueKeep PoC exploit it created capable of remote code execution (RCE), but did not release the code under concern that it would “not be responsible and may further the interests of malicious adversaries.”

“With our investigation we can confirm that the exploit is working and that it is possible to remotely execute code on a vulnerable system without authentication. Network Level Authentication should be effective to stop this exploit if enabled; however, if an attacker has credentials, they will bypass this step,” McAfee researchers wrote in a blog post. “We are urging those with unpatched and affected systems to apply the patch for CVE-2019-0708 as soon as possible. It is extremely likely malicious actors have weaponized this bug and exploitation attempts will likely be observed in the wild in the very near future.”

Beaumont said on Twitter that McAfee, Zerodium and Qihoo 360 all have RCE BlueKeep PoC exploits — though they have only been demoed and no PoC code has been released — but he noted that Qihoo 360 security researcher Zheng Wenbin, known as MJ0011, was a step ahead because that RCE exploit could run on Windows 7. Earlier today, Wenbin showed off a stable RCE demo running on Windows 7 x64.

As yet, no BlueKeep attacks have been seen in the wild, but researchers at Proofpoint have seen low levels of scanning activity looking for vulnerable systems.

“We have started to observe BlueKeep CVE-2019-0708 scanning activity, likely due to the public release of a scanner and/or Qihoo360’s CERT tool going live. Beginning (roughly) around May 22nd, 2pm UTC-7. Nothing to be majorly concerned about right now, volume is incredibly low,” Proofpoint researcher sudosev tweeted. “Since volume is so low, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is scanner testing as opposed to somebody genuinely mass hunting for vulnerable servers, don’t get into a panic over this.”

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For Sale – Probably selling mid 2011 iMac – any interest?

Thinking it is time for me to upgrade my current iMac:

iMac (27-inch, Mid 2011
3.4 GHz Intel Core i7
16 GB 1333 MHz DDR3
AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2048 MB

I am pretty sure this was the top of the line when purchased, prior to the hybrid or SSD drives – so 1TB fixed drive.

Can come with the Magic Mouse 1 – takes 2 x AA batteries – would rather hang on to the keyboard as it has there extended number board. I have the box and cannot see any damage to the main screen/computer at all. No known issues. Fans run quiet. Currently on High Sierra (10.13.6)

So I will need for the new one to arrive and get my data transferred over so not going to be available for a week or two – just feeling for any interest.

Price and currency: £395
Delivery: Goods must be exchanged in person
Payment method: Cash
Location: Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

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Working together to bring broadband to rural Veterans – Microsoft on the Issues

Our nation’s Veterans have contributed to our country in so many ways, in countless locations around the globe. When they return home, many Veterans who reside in rural areas are not able to access broadband internet which is critical to using telehealth services, gaining educational opportunities, and growing a small business or running a family farm.

There are 2.7 million Veterans enrolled in Veterans Affairs (VA) who are living in rural communities, 42% of them do not have internet access at home which could support their use of VA telehealth services, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’, Veterans Health Administration’s Office of Rural Health. These rural Veterans live in areas where access to fast, reliable internet service may be limited or inaccessible and are facing higher rates of unemployment, longer drives to reach the nearest clinics and medical centers, and lower levels of educational attainment compared to their urban counterparts. Connectivity has the potential to improve this reality — with broadband, they can access telehealth services offered by the VA, identify and compete for well-paying jobs, improve and grow their own businesses, and take advantage of online education classes.

Microsoft and VA have been strategic partners, working together to improve the lives of Veterans, for more than 20 years. Today, I’m excited to share that Microsoft will begin expanding that work by helping VA to help bring connectivity to many Veterans living in rural towns and communities. Microsoft and its partners will be working with VA to provide capital, technology expertise, and training resources to bring broadband access to people in these underserved communities. Our hope is that this effort will unlock new economic opportunities, while also enhancing quality of life.

Through the partnership, we’ll help VA identify communities with Veterans in need and work with our internet service provider (ISP) partners across the nation to bring broadband services to those regions. Following our Airband Initiative model, we’ll also provide the Veterans in these newly connected communities with digital skills training so they can take advantage of the tools and services connectivity enables, including critical telehealth services provided by VA.

In the past 22 months, through the Microsoft Airband Initiative, we have seen firsthand just how many communities lack connectivity at broadband speeds and how this can hinder growth and new opportunities. We’ve also seen that partnering with ISPs to serve those most in need is an effective strategy to make progress quickly on this important issue. Our work with VA builds on those lessons and approach, which has resulted in partnerships that will bring connectivity to 1 million unserved rural residents in 16 states to date, with a plan to reach 3 million by 2022.

This also builds on our commitment to the military and Veteran community. We’re passionate about our work with this community and take a holistic approach to helping Veterans gain the critical career skills required for today’s digital economy through career training and re-training, soft-skills support, and hiring. The company’s cornerstone Veteran program, Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA), provides the Veteran community with an 18-week (or two nine-week terms) training for high-demand careers, with graduates gaining an interview for a full-time career at Microsoft or one of the company’s more than 400 hiring partners. We’re also proud of our strong network of partners, all of whom champion our same vision to assist the community.

We owe it to the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our nation. Veterans living in rural communities deserve to have the broadband internet access enjoyed by many who live in urban areas. Addressing the broadband gap across the country requires innovative solutions from both the public and private sectors, and we hope this partnership will help us make significant progress toward closing the connectivity gap for the Veteran community.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Cloud hosting may be the future, but on-premises hosting is the present

ATLANTA — The opening keynote speech at Citrix Synergy 2019 featured actress Sonequa Martin-Green, who opened the speech saying, “The future starts right now.”

For many Citrix customers, however, the cloud-centric future that Citrix is building is still years away because they need to maintain their day-to-day operations. Some use cases lend themselves to cloud hosting, but other uses dictate that IT maintains some on-premises hosting as a hybrid approach or even exclusively on-premises hosting.

Factors such as resource shortage for IT, legacy applications, cost of hosting desktops and security compliance have some organizations wary of shifting to a cloud hosting approach.

Existing infrastructure and legacy apps

Washington University in St. Louis recently invested $8 million to build up its VDI, so a migration away from this new data center and on-premises hosting isn’t the top priority of Tom Courtney, Citrix engineer for the university.

“The VDI is modern, and it’s performing well for us; the users aren’t reporting any issues with lag or latency,” Courtney said.

Courtney’s users in the School of Medicine access resource-intensive applications to view CT (computerized tomography) scans, MRI results and other images that are crucial to providing patient care.

“I absolutely see some of the benefits of moving some hosting workloads to the cloud, but we’ve already made this investment and things are going well so far,” Courtney said.

Some organizations need to focus on maintaining existing processes and don’t have the resources to undertake a major project. A migration away from existing back-end infrastructure and management methods takes time, and some IT departments don’t have the time to maintain current operations while running a proof of concept for new technologies.

“It’s too hard to jump right in and put everything in the cloud [because] there’s too much legacy stuff in users’ workflow; IT needs to keep the doors open today,” industry analyst Jack Gold said.

If IT wants to bring a new application onto its users’ desktops or mobile devices, it can host it on the cloud, subscribe to a SaaS offering that hosts the application for the organization or use on-premises hosting. With existing legacy applications, such as old, custom line-of-business applications, IT professionals don’t have that flexibility.

We have to follow HIPAA, so there are a lot of aspects of our deployment that can never move to the cloud.
Tom CourtneyCitrix engineer, Washington University

“On-premises legacy apps are still going to be a major component of enterprise application management moving forward,” Gold said.

Compliance and cost

Certain industries, such as finance and healthcare, are highly regulated, which limits IT departments in these organizations from hosting desktops, applications and data on the cloud.

“We have to follow HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act], so there are a lot of aspects of our deployment that can never move to the cloud,” Courtney said.

One aspect of healthcare IT that is unregulated by HIPAA and could move to the cloud is disaster recovery (DR) desktops that don’t store sensitive data. DR is critical in healthcare because it is a 24-hour business that can’t afford a failure to deliver desktops to healthcare professionals.

“We’re based out of Houston, which is flood central, so DR is critical in situations like that,” said Alisharoz Mohammed, Citrix engineer at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic.

The current Kelsey-Seybold Clinic DR data center is about 100 miles away from Houston, but Mohammed was considering moving some of these to cloud hosting. The challenge he sees is the potential added cost of hosting all those desktops in the cloud.

“Hosting DR in the cloud doesn’t automatically provide savings, especially when you’re an organization that needs to keep about 60% of its desktops backed up,” Mohammed said.

Moving forward

Just because organizations aren’t adopting cloud hosting quickly doesn’t mean that cloud hosting isn’t the way of the future. Organizations can’t afford to overlook a potential opportunity to improve their IT management processes.

“The fact is, if you’re not thinking about the future, you’re going to be stuck with these difficult-to-manage legacy applications forever,” Gold said.

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For Sale – Intel Skull Canyon – Core i7, 16gb, 512Gb Windows 10Pro

I built this intending to game and edit video, but I have an iPad and XPS13 and tbh this sits unused 99% of the time so time to sell on.

This is a great system that I used in conjuction with a TB3 Graphics card which offered great performance and flexibilty for its size.

System comes fully populated and with Windows 10 Pro license installed and activated, as can be seen in the images (I’ll unlink the key from my ID before shipping)

Basic Spec
Core i7 –6770HQ Quad Core with HT
16gb Kingston DDR4
512Gb – NVME Sandisk SSD
1 x HDMI, 1 x DP, 1 x Optical out
1 x Thunderbolt 3, 4 x USB 3, 1 x SD Reader
1xGbE
Windows 10 Pro License (Currently Running 1809)

Full Spec can be found

HERE . AnandTech Review can be found HERE

Price and currency: £450
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: PPG or Bacs
Location: Basingstoke
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
This message is automatically inserted in all classifieds forum threads.
By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

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Working together to bring broadband to rural Veterans – Microsoft on the Issues

Our nation’s Veterans have contributed to our country in so many ways, in countless locations around the globe. When they return home, many Veterans who reside in rural areas are not able to access broadband internet which is critical to using telehealth services, gaining educational opportunities, and growing a small business or running a family farm.

There are 2.7 million Veterans enrolled in Veterans Affairs (VA) who are living in rural communities, 42% of them do not have internet access at home which could support their use of VA telehealth services, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’, Veterans Health Administration’s Office of Rural Health. These rural Veterans live in areas where access to fast, reliable internet service may be limited or inaccessible and are facing higher rates of unemployment, longer drives to reach the nearest clinics and medical centers, and lower levels of educational attainment compared to their urban counterparts. Connectivity has the potential to improve this reality — with broadband, they can access telehealth services offered by the VA, identify and compete for well-paying jobs, improve and grow their own businesses, and take advantage of online education classes.

Microsoft and VA have been strategic partners, working together to improve the lives of Veterans, for more than 20 years. Today, I’m excited to share that Microsoft will begin expanding that work by helping VA to help bring connectivity to many Veterans living in rural towns and communities. Microsoft and its partners will be working with VA to provide capital, technology expertise, and training resources to bring broadband access to people in these underserved communities. Our hope is that this effort will unlock new economic opportunities, while also enhancing quality of life.

Through the partnership, we’ll help VA identify communities with Veterans in need and work with our internet service provider (ISP) partners across the nation to bring broadband services to those regions. Following our Airband Initiative model, we’ll also provide the Veterans in these newly connected communities with digital skills training so they can take advantage of the tools and services connectivity enables, including critical telehealth services provided by VA.

In the past 22 months, through the Microsoft Airband Initiative, we have seen firsthand just how many communities lack connectivity at broadband speeds and how this can hinder growth and new opportunities. We’ve also seen that partnering with ISPs to serve those most in need is an effective strategy to make progress quickly on this important issue. Our work with VA builds on those lessons and approach, which has resulted in partnerships that will bring connectivity to 1 million unserved rural residents in 16 states to date, with a plan to reach 3 million by 2022.

This also builds on our commitment to the military and Veteran community. We’re passionate about our work with this community and take a holistic approach to helping Veterans gain the critical career skills required for today’s digital economy through career training and re-training, soft-skills support, and hiring. The company’s cornerstone Veteran program, Microsoft Software & Systems Academy (MSSA), provides the Veteran community with an 18-week (or two nine-week terms) training for high-demand careers, with graduates gaining an interview for a full-time career at Microsoft or one of the company’s more than 400 hiring partners. We’re also proud of our strong network of partners, all of whom champion our same vision to assist the community.

We owe it to the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our nation. Veterans living in rural communities deserve to have the broadband internet access enjoyed by many who live in urban areas. Addressing the broadband gap across the country requires innovative solutions from both the public and private sectors, and we hope this partnership will help us make significant progress toward closing the connectivity gap for the Veteran community.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Couchbase cozies up to Kubernetes for multi-cloud deployments

The industry’s coalescence around Kubernetes has caused another enterprise software vendor to beef up its multi-cloud chops, but users should weigh tradeoffs of convenience and efficiency against optimization.

Couchbase updated its Autonomous Operator 1.2 tool this month to simplify multi-cloud deployments of its NoSQL database, with production and certification support for Kubernetes container services on AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, as well as the latest version of Red Hat OpenShift. Customers can now automatically upgrade and move Couchbase clusters into Kubernetes containers.

Autonomous Operator 1.2 also includes rolling upgrade capabilities for Kubernetes itself, which avoids downtime for multi-cloud deployments, the company said. Other updates include support for Helm, Kubernetes’ native package manager; connectivity to Couchbase clients via the public internet; and Transport Layer Security (TLS) certificate rotation for online Kubernetes clusters.

Couchbase Autonomous Operator, first generally available in August, has roots in Operators, an open source framework introduced for Kubernetes by CoreOS in 2016. CoreOS was subsequently acquired in 2018 by Red Hat, which now offers Operator Framework. Operators and its derivatives aim to tackle a challenge with Kubernetes-based deployments: how to handle stateful applications such as databases, which require more work to scale, upgrade and reconfigure, compared to stateless ones such as web apps.

NoSQL database architectures and characteristics
NoSQL database architectures emphasize different aspects of data management.

Couchbase seeks growth through more customer options

Support for multi-cloud deployments are necessary today for enterprise software vendors, particularly those who play in the middle tier such as Couchbase. Customers have many choices for databases, whether traditional or in the NoSQL realm, and want portability across platforms.

Couchbase offers a managed version of the database, but it gears Autonomous Operator toward DevOps-driven shops that want more hands-on control along with easier management of complex multi-cloud deployments. Couchbase also wants to drive growth through the channel, and broader support for Kubernetes and tools such as Autonomous Operator should appeal to resellers, VARs and systems integrators as their customers explore multiple cloud options.

Technology which abstracts away picky platform details and tasks also reduces your ability to optimize your configuration.
Curt Monash President, Monash Research

Like competitor MongoDB, Couchbase’s database is commonly used for mobile, web and IoT applications. With Autonomous Operator — which is similar in purpose to MongoDB’s Enterprise Operator — Couchbase presents users with convenience and greater efficiency, but there are tradeoffs to consider.

“Technology which abstracts away picky platform details and tasks also reduces your ability to optimize your configuration, notably for performance,” said Curt Monash, president of Monash Research in Acton, Mass. “If you don’t mind the lack of optimization, using such tools can lead to nice reductions in effort, cost and blood pressure.”

Moreover, many database applications don’t have performance issues, while others only have performance issues that can be solved by scale-out, Monash said. “Those are the ones that can fit well in the cloud,” he said.

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