Tag Archives: Altaro

It’s Time to Recognize the Real Value of System Admins

If the coronavirus pandemic has taught the business world anything, it’s that the humble system admin should no longer be undervalued. The impact on businesses worldwide and the overnight transition of millions into remote working situations has shed light on the real value of system admins.

The Unsung Heroes of the Modern Workplace

Sysadmins are the pillars of everyday operations in any modern business. They are the silent agents that ensure everyone is actually able to carry out their work. If everything is running smoothly, it’s because they are doing their job. The value of their work often goes unnoticed because ironically that’s their goal – for technical issues to be fixed unnoticed and everyone else carry on unaffected. But apart from keeping the waters calm, they are also ready to spring into action and save your ass to reset that password you forgot for the 17th time that week (not speaking from personal experience or anything…sorry Phil)

Pandemic Response

As COVID-19 stunned the world and our front-line workers and healthcare rushed to save lives, in the business world, it was system admins who we turned to for help. Transitioning literally millions of employees into remote working is no mean feat but the system admins rose to the challenge and saved businesses on their knees. Furthermore, with this enforced shift to remote working, cyberattacks have been on the rise to try and exploit any new vulnerabilities exposed in the transition but our trusty system admins were there again to protect us.

2020 has been an extremely tough year for many people, but without system admins, it could have been far worse. So, in celebration of SysAdmin Day on 31 July, we decided to give back to our sysadmin heroes in recognition of their hard work.

Rewarding System Admins on SysAdmin Day

Sysadmin thank you gift

If you are an Office 365, Hyper-V, or VMware user, celebrate with us. All you have to do is sign up for a 30-day free trial of either Altaro VM Backup or Altaro Office 365 Backup – it’s your choice! – and you’ll get a guaranteed $/€20 Amazon voucher plus the chance to win one of our grand prizes including SONY WH-1000XM3 Wireless Noise-cancelling headphones, Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6 Router, DJI Osmo Pocket, and more!

SysAdmins claim your gift now!

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Author: Altaro Software

New Features Added to Altaro Office 365 Backup for Businesses

Our developers have been hard at work again recently and I’m happy to be able to bring you some great product news once again!

SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business Data Protection Now Available in Altaro Office 365 Backup

It often comes as a surprise that Microsoft doesn’t provide point-in-time restoration capabilities long-term for SharePoint Online and One Drive for Business. Many businesses find themselves in a situation where they require longer point-in-time capabilities than what is provided by Microsoft directly. This is where our latest product offering comes in. Altaro Office 365 backs up Office 365 mailboxes as well as SharePoint Online and One Drive for Business files simply and quickly, so you can rest easy that your data is safe and recoverable when the need arises.

If you’re familiar with the Altaro suite of backup solutions, you have likely heard about the addition of support for both SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business in our recent Altaro Office 365 Backup Announcement for MSPs. Both services are key for the storage of next-generation workloads and this update has been well received as a result. The good news for you is that we’re now bringing that same SharePoint Online and One Drive for Business support to those privately held companies (non-MSPs) and IT departments! This means that even if you’re not an MSP, you’ll still get to take advantage of these great data protection features!

Altaro Office 365 Backup

Other Updates

We’ve made a few other improvements to the product as well! Some things that have been requested by popular demand, and we are happy to include them as well!

Tamper-Proof Audit Logs – This ensures that companies can meet their compliance requirements with respect to changes in content, such as user backup enablement or suspension, content restoration from a mailbox, OneDrive or SharePoint, and browsing user data. It is possible to export the audit.

Restricted User Account Access – Administrators now have the ability to prevent certain users in their team from browsing backups or performing restores. This will provide a bit more granular access and protection to your team and organization.

Free 30-day trial

Start your Altaro Office 365 Backup free trial with no commitment for 30 days.

Read more about this great product that is making waves in the industry!

Andy Syrewicze

I currently have the distinct pleasure of acting as a Technical Evangelist for Altaro Software, makers of Altaro VM Backup. I’m heavily involved in IT community, on Altaro’s behalf, in a number of different ways, including, podcasts, webinars, blogging and public speaking. Prior to that, I spent the last 12+ years providing technology solutions across several industry verticals working for MSPs and Internal IT Departments. My areas of focus include, Virtualization, Cloud Services, VMware and the Microsoft Server Stack, with an emphasis on Hyper-V and Clustering. Outside of my day job, I spend a great deal of time working with the IT community, I’m a published author, and I’ve had the great honor of being named a Cloud and Datacenter Management MVP by Microsoft. I have a passion for technology and always enjoy talking about tech with peers, customers and IT pros over a cup of coffee or a cold beer.

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Author: Andy Syrewicze

8 Key Questions on Cloud Migration Answered

If you follow our blog, you’ll likely know that we recently hosted an Altaro panel-style webinar, featuring Microsoft MVPs Didier Van Hoye, Thomas Maurer, and myself. The topic of the webinar was centered around the journey to the cloud, or simply put, migrating to cloud technologies. Cloud technologies including, on-prem hosted private cloud, hybrid cloud solutions like Azure Stack, and public cloud technologies such as Microsoft Azure. We chose this topic because we’ve found that while most IT Pros will agree that adopting cloud technologies is a good idea, many of them are unsure of the best way to get there. To be honest, I think that uncertainty is to be expected given the vast amount of options emerging cloud technologies provide. The aim of this webinar was to clarify the services available and how to decide which form of cloud adoption will be best for you.

It seems this topic is something quite a lot of our audience are interested in hearing more about considering the number of questions which were asked during the webinar. I’ve decided to group the most commonly asked ones here and omitted the more specific questions that relate to particular set-ups and individual requirements. Apart from the questions, the topic also raised a lot of comments and discussion which I think is well worth mentioning here so you can get a feel about how others in the IT community are dealing with the issue of cloud migration and the various concerns it brings with it (further down the page).

Remember if you didn’t have a chance to ask a question during the webinar, or if you were unable to attend and want to ask something now, I will be more than happy to answer any questions submitted through the comment box at the bottom of this page.

Revisit the Webinar

If you haven’t already watched the webinar (or if you just want to watch it again) you can do so HERE

Free Cloud Migration webinar

8 Questions on Cloud Technologies and Migration Answered

Q. When can you consider a deployment a hybrid cloud? Is it Azure Stack? Is it something as simple as a VPN linking on-prem and a public cloud?

A. I don’t know if there is an official definition, but the current industry opinion would state that a hybrid cloud is any deployment where your workloads and deployments are stretching from on-prem to a public cloud player such as Azure or AWS.

Q. With the release of Windows Admin Center, will we see the RSAT (Remote Server Administration Toolkit) tools go away?

A. No. At this time both management solutions will be developed by their respective teams. With that said, if the adoption of WAC is strong enough, we could potentially see the slow “phasing out” of RSAT possibly as soon as the next version of Windows Server (after 2019)

Q. Is there any way to connect containers to Windows Admin Center?

A. As it stands at the time of this writing no. There currently is no mechanism to manage containers from WAC. With that said, due to WACs extensibility it’s not out of the question for a 3rd party vendor (or even Microsoft) to write an extension for WAC that would allow you to do so.

If you need advanced management of containers today, take a look at an orchestration tool like Kubernetes.

Q. How does Azure Stack compete with current open source private clouds in the industry such as OpenStack? Pricing is quite different and some can even be seen as “free” by higher management while disregarding the needed effort to support such a deployment.

A. While it’s true that OpenStack and other open source cloud platforms like it can potentially be free, it’s not really an apples-to-apples comparison when comparing them to Azure stack. Azure stack is the power and capabilities of Azure inside of your datacenter. Microsoft has taken everything they’ve learned with public Azure and packaged it up for you to use at your location. You manage it and get billed, much the same way as with Azure. You manage it via the web and get billed per usage.

OpenStack certainly has it’s uses, and I’m a huge supporter of Open Source, but if you’re a Microsoft Centric shop looking to host a cloud for your organization, it’s tough to go wrong with Azure Stack due to the similarities in management and integration with public Azure. At the end of the day you have to ask yourself, do you want to use/consume cloud services? Or do you want to build a cloud? Remember that building a cloud is difficult, costly and time intensive. It’s possible but ongoing management can be difficult. With Azure Stack much of that work and testing is taken care of for you.

Q. Do you have any suggestions for using Azure as a DR site?

A. It certainly is possible to use Azure for DR, and it’s often seen as one of the 1st services to move into the public cloud. You can certainly use Azure to host offsite backups and/or recovery to a nested hypervisor inside of Azure using a product such as Altaro VM Backup. If you need a more “hot” DR approach, you could look at something like Azure Site Recovery as well.

Q. What are your thoughts on using Cloud services to host file services for a small number of remote users

A. While you could certainly use something like OneDrive for Business, or Azure Files to do something like this, you need to first consider latencies and access times. Are your users consuming file types that work ok with longer than “local” latencies? If so these services may work for you. If not local on-network file storage may still be a requirement. Whatever route you chose to go, remember that file performance is often one of the most ticket generating user issue. Make sure you test before settling on an option.

Q. What are the rough costs for storage in Azure?

A. See the Azure Pricing Calculator for the latest pricing information

Q. Is there are “Cost Meter” in the Azure Interface? Someway of allowing you to keep an eye on mounting costs?

A. This is an area that Microsoft has continued to improve. The Azure Portal has many of its own cost monitoring and estimation tools, but if you need more than the basics, then take a look at Azure Cost Management.

Thoughts and Opinions from Webinar Attendees

On companies utilizing cloud technologies

“I Agree. It’s almost never going to be 100% cloud, except with brand new companies, and even then, a small number. 99.99% Will be Hybrid”


“I Think we are ready for the cloud, but a lot of delay is being caused by software vendors. They are not ready for the cloud since their software was developed in the late 90s and the recent updates only contain updated branding and minor code changes. The cloud is entirely new for them and it scares them”


On moving existing workloads to the cloud and dealing with old Operating Systems

“There is way too much very old stuff that will be difficult to move to the cloud. It will have to wait until there are resources (read: money) to re-architect the application/platform”


“There are a LOT of 2003 boxes running in production still”


“There are even still Windows NT Boxes running!”


“We have some old NT and 2003 servers due to old technology interfaces, plus the original designers have left and there is no documentation”


On the Need for On-Premises Equipment

“On-Premises data will always be required due to local/country laws. Think Switzerland, and think of the new GDPR laws in the EU. Almost every country will have their own local data center, Azure, AWS, Google…etc. It is the way it will go.”


On the DevOps Movement in the Industry

“Don’t forget the OPS in DevOPS…. We are also interested in it and it is no longer strictly a Dev thing.”


On Container Technologies

“Still, A container is the App “package”. It still needs to run on something and while it can accelerate the delivery process, there’s still a huge dependency on the infrastructure landscape and IMO it’s really where Ops can shine and their current knowledge can translate into the container world”


On Getting Started with the Cloud

“Very good point about doing your personal systems in the cloud. I agree and am doing it also.”



As you can see there are plenty of questions when it comes to moving to the cloud, but none of them are insurmountable. Moving to the cloud can be predictable, and doable, you just need to do your homework before you make the move.

What are your thoughts? Is the cloud something you’re considering in the 2018 calendar year? Why? Why not? Also, if you have additional questions, or you attended our webinar and don’t see your question above, be sure to let us know in the comments form below!

Thanks for reading!

Altaro VM Backup Voted Best Backup Product of the Year 2017

We are delighted to announce that Altaro has been voted Backup and Recovery/Archive Product of the Year 2017 at the prestigious annual IT industry SVC Awards 2017 beating other many other well-known backup software developers. We are especially happy about this award because it’s voted by end-users and the IT community. Thank you to everyone who voted for us!

About the SVC Awards

The SVC Awards reward the products, projects, and services as well as honor companies and teams operating in the cloud, storage and digitalization sectors. The SVC Awards recognize the achievements of end-users, channel partners and vendors alike and in the case of the end-user categories, there will also be an award made to the supplier supporting the winning organization. (from svcawards.com)

Altaro VM Backup in 2017

2017 has been a very productive year for Altaro. Although the product was already very well received by system administrators around the world in 2016, we brought in a number of key features in 2017 that have brought the product to new heights. We started the year by launching Version 7 of Altaro VM Backup and adding Augmented Inline Deduplication technology to the software package. In May we brought the highly praised Cloud Management Console (CMC) to end users, in June we added the Backup Health Monitor, and in July we rolled-out the ability for our customers to offsite backup to Azure.

In 2017, we reached several customer milestones as our user base surpassed 40,000 customers and year-on-year growth hit 40%. More than 400,000 Hyper-V and VMware virtual machines are now being protected using Altaro VM Backup. More than 10,000 Altaro customers are now connected to the Multi-Tenant Cloud Management Console, and after launching the Altaro MSP program less than 12 months ago in late 2016, the service has already signed up more than 500 MSPs to its monthly subscription program.

Phew! It’s been a very busy year for Altaro and the recognition as Best Backup and Recovery/Archive Product of the Year 2017 at the SVC awards is the icing on the cake. Thank you to all our partners, distributors and end-users for continuing to embrace Altaro VM Backup and providing the feedback we need to continue growing and developing the software to meet your needs. However, the work doesn’t stop here; we have even more exciting new features in development for Altaro VM Backup that we’ll be releasing next year. Bring on 2018!

Microsoft Ignite 2017 – Latest News, Updates and Rumors

22 Sep 2017 by Andy Syrewicze
Altaro News

It’s back! Next week marks one of my favorite times of the year. Yes, this coming week brings us Microsoft Ignite 2017, where IT Pros, Speakers, and MVPs from around the world converge in one location to talk about the latest innovations in the Microsoft Technology Stack, swap war stories and help one another solve technology problems. I’ve always been amazed at the sense of community, not only from attendees but from Microsoft itself during MS Ignite. There really is an immense feeling of community at this event every year, which is probably the thing I look forward to the most. Previous years have seen 10k to 15k+ in attendance at this event quite consistently and as such, there is a lot of knowledge to go around. This is often in the form of community theater sessions, in-person immersion experiences, and Microsoft-led speaking slots.

1 – Microsoft Ignite 2016 in Atlanta via Andy Syrewicze

Taking it all in and digesting that information can be difficult, but this year I aim to be of assistance to our readers and followers on social media who want to get the most they can out of this event (even if they can’t attend in person). To do this to the best of my ability, I’m ditching the booth at this event as a vendor to take up the role as a fellow attendee in the trenches. Not only do I get to experience it as you do, I’m also aiming to bring a little bit of an extra touch to your experience through live video feeds, and interviews with distinguished industry experts, Microsoft MVPs, and interesting personalities!

The growing list of confirmed interviews is below!

When is Microsoft Ignite 2017?

Officially, Microsoft Ignite runs from September 25th to the 29th. However, Sunday is full of pre-day events, and I will be filming a number of interviews that day, so you can be sure we’ll have some fresh video content for you starting aready from Sunday night and into Monday morning!

Where is Ignite this year?

Ignite is being hosted in sunny Orlando Florida this year! The venue should lend itself well for a conference of this size, and the closing celebration on Thursday night will be hosted at Universal Studios, so I’ll be sure to post some pictures and live video of the proceedings so you can join in the fun and discussion.

What Kind of Content Will You be Providing?

Well, that’s really part of the fun right? Would it be as fun if you knew exactly what’s in store? Ok, if you MUST know, we’ll be sending a number of broadcasts directly from the show to discuss some of the new reveals and some of the new features that are sure to make an impact in your day-to-day operations. Additionally, we’ll be getting some of this information directly from leaders in the industry.

Here’s a taste of the interviews coming your way:

Rick Claus – Sr. Program Manager – Azure Compute Team

Kay Williams – Principal PM Manager at Microsoft

Michael Bender – IT Instructor at Madison College and Founder of #TheKrewe

Dave Kawula – Microsoft MVP and Enterprise Consultant and co-author of the eBook 6 Hyper-V Configuration Mistakes to Avoid

Thomas Maurer – Microsoft MVP and Cloud Architect and past guest on the Altaro webinar Future-proofing your datacenter with Microsoft Azure Stack

This is just a fraction of the content we’re providing this year, but you get the idea! We’ll be sure to keep you updated via social channels as things progress throughout the week. Speaking of social channels…..

How Do I Follow Along?

We’ll be doing the bulk of the information sharing and notifications via our various social platforms (below). Keep an eye on these, and be sure to keep an eye right here on our Hyper-V Blog after the event for a summarizing post containing all the content and topic discussions from the week of Ignite!

Twitter: @AltaroSoftware and @asyrewicze

Facebook: Altaro Software

LinkedIn: Altaro Software and Andy Syrewicze

Google+: Altaro Software

Tell me what you want to know!

Let me know if the comments section or directly over the social channels above. If there is a certain type of content you’re interested in or a particular speaker you’d like to see an interview with, let me know in the comments section below and I’ll be sure to try and accommodate you.

Also, if you’re going to be at the show and you’d like to talk in person, be sure to let me know below as well. I’m looking forward to meeting as many people as possible, just send me a message – I’m always open to a discussion about technology over a cold beverage!

We hope to make it a great #MSIgnite, and we hope to see you there (in person, or virtually)!

Have any questions or feedback?

Leave a comment below!

New Webinar: Future-Proofing your Datacenter with Microsoft Azure Stack

11 Aug 2017 by Altaro Software     0     Altaro News

If you’ve been working in IT for the last year or two, you’ve surely heard of Microsoft Azure Stack in some manner. Many an IT Pro who isn’t familiar with it will likely hear it and make the assumption that it’s just another Azure component considering Azure’s rather fast development cycle. If you’re one of those people though, what if I told you Microsoft Azure Stack (or MAS) allows you to bring the power of Azure to your very own datacenter? Imagine being able to host workloads seamlessly in the public cloud and on-premise and have one unified management methodology for each. This is just a taste of the power of Azure Stack inside of your datacenter.

If this sounds compelling, then we’ve got -webinar-azurestack&ALP=webinar-azurestack-“>just the webinar for you!

Join Microsoft Cloud and Datacenter Management MVPs Thomas Maurer and Andy Syrewicze in our latest Altaro educational webinar. They will be providing you with the information, tools, and skills you need to prepare for the arrival of this new datacenter technology and prepare your organization for the age of private hosted clouds on MAS.

In this webinar, you’ll learn:

  • What is Microsoft Azure Stack
  • Exactly how it will change your datacenter
  • How to start testing it in your own business today

At the end of the session, we’ll also run a Q&A on the topic, as always, during which you can ask Thomas and Andy your questions!

Interested? -webinar-azurestack&ALP=webinar-azurestack-“>Register here – limited seats available!

New Altaro Hyper-V webinar Microsoft Azure Stack

Date: Monday, August 28th, 2017
Time: For US: 10am PT / 1pm ET. For RoW: 4pm CET.

-webinar-azurestack&ALP=webinar-azurestack-” target=”_blank”>Azure Stack Webinar Registration

Do you already have questions about Microsoft Azure Stack?

Andy and Thomas will be taking your questions and tackling as many as they can during the Q&A part of our Azure Stack webinar.

If you have any questions on the topic that you’d like to get answered, leave a comment below or ask your questions during the webinar!