Tag Archives: consider

Windows Server 2008 end of life: Is Azure the right path?

As the Windows Server 2008 end of life inches closer, enterprises should consider which retirement plan to pursue before security updates run out.

As of Jan. 14, Microsoft will end security updates for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 machines that run in the data center. Organizations that continue to use these server operating systems will be vulnerable because hackers will inevitably continue to look for weaknesses in them, but Microsoft will not — except in rare circumstances — provide fixes for those vulnerabilities. Additionally, Microsoft will not update online technical content related to these operating systems or give any free technical support.

Although there are benefits to upgrading to a newer version of Windows Server, there may be some instances in which this is not an option. For example, your organization might need an application that is not compatible with or supported on newer Windows Server versions. Similarly, there are situations in which it is possible to migrate the server to a new operating system, but not quickly enough to complete the process before the impending end-of-support deadline.

Microsoft has a few options for those organizations that need to continue running Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2. Although the company will no longer give updates for the aging operating system through the usual channels, customers can purchase extended security updates.

You can delay Windows Server 2008 end of life — if you can afford it

Those who wish to continue using Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2 on premises will need Software Assurance or a subscription license to purchase extended updates. The extended updates are relatively expensive, or about 75% of the cost of a current version Windows Server license annually. This is likely Microsoft’s way of trying to get customers to migrate to a newer Windows Server version because the extended security updates cost almost as much as a Windows Server license.

The other option for those organizations that need to continue running Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2 is to migrate those servers to the Azure cloud. Organizations that decide to switch those workloads to Azure will receive free extended security updates for three years.

Servers often have multiple dependencies, and you will need to address these as part of the migration planning.

Know what a move to Azure entails

Before migrating a Windows Server workload to the cloud, it is important to consider the pros and cons of making the switch to Azure. The most obvious benefit is financial and gives you a few years to run this OS without the hassle of having to pay for extended security updates.

Another benefit to the migration to Azure is a reduction in hardware-related costs. Windows Server 2008 was the first Windows Server version to include Hyper-V, but many organizations opted to install Windows Server 2008 onto physical hardware rather than virtualizing it. If your organization runs Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 on a physical server, then this is a perfect opportunity to retire the aging server hardware.

If your Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 workloads are virtualized, then moving those VMs to Azure can free up some capacity on the virtualization hosts for other workloads.

Learn about the financial and technical impact

One disadvantage to operating your servers in Azure is the cost. You will pay a monthly fee to run Windows Server 2008 workloads in the cloud. However, it is worth noting that Microsoft offers a program called the Azure Hybrid Benefit, which gives organizations with Windows Server licenses 40% off the cost of running eligible VMs in the cloud. To get an idea of how much your workloads might cost, you can use a calculator and find more details at this link.

Another disadvantage with moving a server workload to Azure is the increased complexity of your network infrastructure. This added complication isn’t limited just to the migrating servers. Typically, you will have to create a hybrid Active Directory environment and also create a VPN that allows secure communications between your on-premises network and the Azure cloud.

Factor in these Azure migration considerations

For organizations that decide to migrate their Windows Server 2008 workloads to Azure, there are a number of potential migration issues to consider.

Servers often have multiple dependencies, and you will need to address these as part of the migration planning. For instance, an application may need to connect to a database that is hosted on another server. In this situation, you will have to decide whether to migrate the database to Azure or whether it is acceptable for the application to perform database queries across a WAN connection.

Similarly, you will have to consider the migration’s impact on your internet bandwidth. Some of your bandwidth will be consumed by management traffic, directory synchronizations and various cloud processes. It’s important to make sure your organization has enough bandwidth available to handle this increase in traffic.

Finally, there are differences between managing cloud workloads and ones in your data center. The Azure cloud has its own management interface that you will need to learn. Additionally, you may find your current management tools either cannot manage cloud-based resources or may require a significant amount of reconfiguring. For example, a patch management product might not automatically detect your VM in Azure; you may need to either create a separate patch management infrastructure for the cloud or provide the vendor with a path to your cloud-based resources.

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Consider these Office 365 alternatives to public folders

As more organizations consider a move from Exchange Server, public folders continue to vex many administrators for a variety of reasons.

Microsoft supports public folders in its latest Exchange Server 2019 as well as Exchange Online, but it is pushing companies to adopt some of its newer options, such as Office 365 Groups and Microsoft Teams. An organization pursuing alternatives to public folders will find there is no direct replacement for this Exchange feature. There reason for this is due to the nature of the cloud.

Microsoft set its intentions early on under Satya Nadella’s leadership with its “mobile first, cloud first” initiative back in 2014. Microsoft aggressively expanded its cloud suite with new services and features. This fast pace meant that migrations to cloud services, such as Office 365, would offer a different experience based on the timing. Depending on when you moved to Office 365, there might be different features than if you waited several months. This was the case for migrating public folders from on-premises Exchange Server to Exchange Online, which evolved over time and also coincided with the introduction of Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business and Office 365 Groups.

The following breakdown of how organizations use public folders can help Exchange administrators with their planning when moving to the new cloud model on Office 365.

Organizations that use public folders for email only

Public folders are a great place to store email that multiple people within an organization need to access. For example, an accounting department can use public folders to let department members use Outlook to access the accounting public folders and corresponding email content.

A shared mailbox has a few advantages over a public folder with the primary one being accessibility through the Outlook mobile app or from Outlook via the web.

Office 365 offers similar functionality to public folders through its shared mailbox feature in Exchange Online. A shared mailbox stores email in folders, which is accessible by multiple users.

A shared mailbox has a few advantages over a public folder with the primary one being accessibility through the Outlook mobile app or from Outlook via the web. This allows users to connect from their smartphones or a standard browser to review email going to the shared mailbox. This differs from public folder access which requires opening the Outlook client.

Organizations that use public folders for email and calendars

For organizations that rely on both email and calendars in their public folders, Microsoft has another cloud alternative that comes with a few extra perks.

Office 365 Groups not only lets users collaborate on email and calendars, but also stores files in a shared OneDrive for Business page, tasks in Planner and notes in OneNote. Office 365 Groups is another option for email and calendars made available on any device. Office 365 Groups owners manage their own permissions and membership to lift some of the burden of security administration from the IT department.

Microsoft provides migration scripts to assist with the move of content from public folders to Office 365 Groups.

Organizations that use public folders for data archiving

Some organizations that prefer to stay with a known quantity and keep the same user experience also have the choice to keep using public folders in Exchange Online.

The reasons for this preference will vary, but the most likely scenario is a company that wants to keep email for archival purposes only. The migration from Exchange on-premises public folders requires administrators to use Microsoft’s scripts at this link.

Organizations that use public folders for project communication and data sharing repository

The Exchange public folders feature is excellent for sharing email, contacts and calendar events. For teams working on projects, the platform shines as a way to centralize information that’s relevant to the specific project or department. But it’s not as expansive as other collaboration tools on Office 365.

Take a closer look at some of the other modern collaboration tools available in Office 365 in addition to Microsoft Teams and Office 365 Groups, such as Kaizala. These offerings extend the organization’s messaging abilities to include real-time chat, presence status and video conferencing.

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Wanted – Dell XPS 13 9360

Hi
I did consider what you had posted, however I too had spent some time looking into what would be a suitable laptop for my son who is going into 6th next month. I was disappointed when the thread was achieved as I was going to put an offer in as well.

Sean had a FS thread for a couple of screens, one of which I was interested in, I asked if he would in interested in a deal for both the screen and the laptop only to find out the screen had been sold off forum, I pointed Sean in the direction on my wanted thread should he change his mind.

The rest can be seen above, the laptop has been paid for, Sean should have put Windows 10 back on and posted today for delivery tomorrow.

I wish you luck in your hunt, perhaps a wanted thread may help, there is another XPS here for sale.

The cloud-enabled workforce: Prepping IT staff for success

In the world of IT, change is the new normal. Consider cloud computing: The cloud is not just changing how IT works, but also driving a shift in desired IT skill sets.

Modern-day IT staff needs to acquire a new set of domain skills for process automation, architecture, resource optimization and cost management to drive cloud-based initiatives, according to a recent guide published by the Cloud Standards Customer Council about how to help grow and develop a cloud-enabled workforce.

Fostering a cloud-enabled workforce also helps drive agility, efficiency and transformation, said Jeff Boleman, cloud lead and cognitive architect at IBM and a contributor to the guide. Boleman cited a CEB survey that forecasted a dramatic increase in the need for security and cloud hosting skills, making the development of a skilled, cloud-enabled workforce more pertinent than ever.

“It’s really about training, because, at the end of the day, you are owning what you do as a company; you need to be responsible for it and take charge of it,” he said during a recent webinar.

Developing a framework for cloud skills training: Six steps

Any strategy for ongoing cloud skills training should ideally align with the organization’s cloud transformation plans or an existing cloud strategy, said Lisa Schenkewitz, executive IT architect at IBM and a co-contributor to the guide. 

The first step to develop a cloud-enabled workforce requires understanding the existing culture. This necessitates an awareness of organizational values and the way people interact, as well as a basic understanding of what it is like to actually work in the organization, Schenkewitz explained.

“You can use that knowledge as a framework to understand other aspects of the company, such as how easy is it to change IT processes … and [get] a basic understanding of what it is to be on the cloud on the leadership level,” Schenkewitz said.

The next step is to understand the skills that are needed. Traditional IT skills might not be required in the new cloud environment, she said. Non-IT skills that might prove valuable include contract management, business process change and accounting experience, as well as domain knowledge for operations in the cloud, like DevSecOps, IT frameworks and IT governance processes, she said.

Adopt a consistent, intentional program to communicate, celebrate, sustain and embrace the habits of ongoing skills training.
Lisa Schenkewitzexecutive IT architect at IBM

Step three is to understand the organization’s existing skills and where the gaps exist. When talking to different team members, consider questions such as what existing skills can be used, whether there is an opportunity or desire for retraining and what skills are missing entirely, she suggested.

Organizations can then move on to understand and identify what needs to be remediated in order to be successful. Once a complete examination of the skills and process gaps is done, a plan can be devised to remediate them, she said.

Remediation planning and execution comes next. Schenkewitz advised looking for ways to effectively engage current team members and develop ways to attract new talents and skills, like offering internships and apprenticeships.

The final step is to be ready to embrace change.

“It’s going to be an ongoing rollercoaster ride,” she said. “But the most important thing to remember is to adopt a consistent, intentional program to communicate, celebrate, sustain and embrace the habits of ongoing skills training.”

Best practices for cloud skills training

William Van Order, fellow emeritus, Lockheed MartinWilliam Van Order

Letting IT take a key role in crafting some of the cloud education programs is essential, according to William Van Order, computer systems architect and fellow emeritus at Lockheed Martin in Bethesda, Md.

Apart from taking advantage of the wide range of knowledge-sharing tools in existence, he encouraged companies to “leverage as much of what you find out of the box in terms of training content,” but customize that basic training to fit their needs, added Van Order, who also led the development of the guide.

Recognizing the accomplishment of those who are willing to take control of their career development is also paramount, he said.

“Make sure that you integrate learning and knowledge training objectives into the performance objectives of your key staff so that you can measure that and recognize that,” he said. “That really sends a positive message to the workforce.”

Vendors vie for a piece of the SD-WAN market share pie

Most industry watchers still consider the software-defined WAN market an emerging one. This makes sense, given SD-WANs currently account for only a small percentage of enterprise networks. There are signs SD-WAN market share is increasing and maturing, however. The first is the recent merger-and-acquisition activity: Cisco acquired Viptela, and VMware scooped up VeloCloud. The other sign is the vendor landscape has started to settle down, with a few clear leaders in the pack.

Recently, Cliff Grossner, senior research director of cloud, data center and SDN at London-based IHS Markit, released his data center networking equipment quarterly market tracker for the first quarter of 2018. This report covers a wide variety of technology, including SD-WAN.

Editor’s note: The IHS report referenced in this article focused on the SD-WAN vendors that sell SD-WAN appliances and accompanying control and management software to gain revenue, excluding those that offer subscription licensing or software-only approaches. The total SD-WAN market share for the first quarter of 2018 reached $162.1 million.

VMware-VeloCloud and Aryaka battle for the top

The most notable point in the IHS report is a two-horse race is emerging. This quarter showed VMware-VeloCloud with 19% of SD-WAN market share — the same it had in the fourth quarter of 2017. In the meantime, Aryaka — an SD-WAN provider with its global private network — moved to 18%, up 1% from last quarter.

With only 1% separating the two, VMware and Aryaka are now neck and neck for market leadership. It would be easy to assume VMware’s size and channel would allow it to break away from the competition, but VMware has stumbled in networking since it acquired SDN vendor Nicira. The company wisely left the VeloCloud brand in place, as it was one of the premier names in the SD-WAN space.

Aryaka has a solid grip on the No. 2 spot in the SD-WAN market and has a chance to jump into the top spot if VMware-VeloCloud stumbles with any integration challenges. Aryaka has a unique offering that uses its global private network instead of the public internet, making it the product of choice for global companies.

One of the perceived advantages of SD-WAN is its use of internet connectivity for transport. This might work when connecting from New Jersey to Chicago, but a global company that needs to make a Dubai-to-Seattle video call will experience much better quality riding Aryaka’s private network, compared with making a bunch of internet jumps. In his report, Grossner pointed out that Aryaka customers have seen a significant performance boost for cloud-based applications, like Office 365.

Silver Peak and Cisco-Viptela vie for position

Expect to see this as a highly contested market over the next few years.

Silver Peak edged Cisco-Viptela out of the No. 3 spot in the SD-WAN market, with just under $1 million more than Cisco in first-quarter 2018 revenue. There’s no question Silver Peak has done a great job of making the pivot to SD-WAN from WAN optimization and is all-in on SD-WAN. Its EdgeConnect product lets customers move to a hybrid network, then quickly migrate to an all-broadband WAN. Most of Silver Peak’s revenue comes from enterprises, but it has been building a stronger book of business with service providers.

Cisco’s position in SD-WAN is curious, as its success with Viptela is bad for its Integrated Services Router (ISR) business unit — one of the largest revenue sources for the company. In the past, Cisco would have done everything in its power to fight the SD-WAN tide, but CEO Chuck Robbins is directing Cisco to be much more in tune with what customers want versus what Cisco wants customers to want. I believe Cisco will be willing to cannibalize its ISR base to win SD-WAN business. Currently, Cisco has only 12% of SD-WAN market share, but I expect it to be a major player over time.

These four vendors are the only ones with at least 10% of the SD-WAN market share, according to IHS. Outside of these four, the largest amount of revenue in Grossner’s numbers comes from the “other” category. I expect to see more consolidation in that area, with one of the current leading vendors — or perhaps another following behind — rolling up several smaller vendors to gain share.

For now, VMware remains in the top spot, with Aryaka nipping at its heels. Expect to see this as a highly contested market over the next few years. This should benefit customers, as the vendors will push each other on innovation and bring more features to market faster. The SD-WAN market is real, and it is showing signs of maturity, but don’t expect it to slow down.

GPU implementation is about more than deep learning

When you consider a typical GPU implementation, you probably think of some advanced AI application. But that’s not the only place businesses are putting the chips to work.

“[GPUs] are obviously applicable for Google and Facebook and companies doing AI. But for startups like ours that have to justify capital spend in today’s business value, we still want that speed,” said Kyle Hubert, CTO at Simulmedia Inc.

The New York-based advertising technology company is using GPUs to make fairly traditional processes, like data reporting and business intelligence dashboards, work faster. Using a platform from MapD, Simulmedia has built a reporting and data querying tool that lets sales staff and others in the organization visualize how certain television ads are performing and answer any client inquiries as they come in.

Using GPUs for more than deep learning

Kyle Hubert, CTO, SimulmediaKyle Hubert

GPU technology is getting lots of attention today, primarily due to how businesses are using it. The chips power the training underlying some of the most advanced AI use cases, like image recognition, natural language translation and self-driving cars. But, of course, they were originally built to power video game graphics. Their main appeal is speedy processing power. And while that may be crucial for enabling neural networks to churn through millions of training examples, there are also other use cases in which the speed that comes from a GPU implementation is beneficial.

Simulmedia, founded in 2008, helps clients better target advertising on television networks. Initially, the team used spreadsheets to track metrics on how clients’ advertisements performed. But the data was too large — Simulmedia uses a combination of Nielsen and Experian data sets to target ads and assess effectiveness — and the visualization options were too limited.

Reports had to be built by the operations team, and there was little capability to do ad hoc queries. The MapD tool enables sales and product management teams to view data visualization reports and to do their own queries using a graphical interface or through SQL code.

Business focus pays off in GPU experience

There’s a lot of implicit knowledge that’s required to get GPUs up and running.
Kyle HubertCTO, Simulmedia

Some benefits of a GPU implementation focused on a standard business process go beyond simply speeding up that process. Hubert said it also prepares the business to implement the chips in a more pervasive way and prepares for a more AI-driven future.

He said the process of predicting which ads will perform best during particular time slots and on certain networks is heavy on data science. Simulmedia is looking at adding deep learning to its targeting, and these models will train on GPUs. Hubert said starting with GPUs in a standard business application has helped the team build a solid foundation on which to build out more GPU capability.

“There’s a lot of implicit knowledge that’s required to get GPUs up and running,” he said.

Aside from building institutional knowledge around how GPUs work, starting by applying the chips to more traditional use cases also helps to justify the cost, which can be substantial.

“They’re costly when you say, ‘I want a bunch of GPUs, and I don’t know what kind of results I’m going to get,'” Hubert said. “That’s a lot of capital investment when you don’t know your returns. When you do a dual-track approach, you can say, ‘I can get these GPUs, set them up for business users now, and I have a concrete ability to get immediate gratification. Then, I can carve out some of that to be future-looking.'”

For Sale – Surface pro 3 – i5, 8gb ram, 256gb

For sale is a surface pro 3

It’s what I would consider a usable spec with a i5, 8gb ram and 256gb ssd, windows 10
it also comes with the surface dock, pen and type cover – everything a enthusiast would want

Screen is unmarked, the only things to mention is there is a small dent near one corner (see images) and the type cover is missing one of it’s securing bumps (but no discernible effect on it’s security which is held firmly in place via magnets).

Optionally I can even sell you a dell monitor if you don’t have your own as a external display (not inc in the sale price)

Asking for £415 inc delivery within UK
(Buyers welcome to view/collect from York)

Price and currency: 415
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BACs
Location: York
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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

For Sale – Surface pro 3 – i5, 8gb ram, 256gb

For sale is a surface pro 3

It’s what I would consider a usable spec with a i5, 8gb ram and 256gb ssd, windows 10
it also comes with the surface dock, pen and type cover – everything a enthusiast would want

Screen is unmarked, the only things to mention is there is a small dent near one corner (see images) and the type cover is missing one of it’s securing bumps (but no discernible effect on it’s security which is held firmly in place via magnets).

Optionally I can even sell you a dell monitor if you don’t have your own as a external display (not inc in the sale price)

Asking for £415 inc delivery within UK
(Buyers welcome to view/collect from York)

Price and currency: 415
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BACs
Location: York
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.

Nas Qnap / Synology

Would consider 4 but ideally an 6 bay

Wot ya got?

Location: St.Neots

______________________________________________________
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…

Nas Qnap / Synology

Nas Qnap / Synology

Would consider 4 but ideally an 6 bay

Wot ya got?

Location: St.Neots

______________________________________________________
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…

Nas Qnap / Synology