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AIOps meaning to expand throughout DevOps chain

It seems that every year there’s a new record for the pace of change in IT, from the move from mainframe to client/server computing, to embracing the web and interorganizational data movements. The current moves that affect organizations are fundamental, and IT operations had better pay attention.

Cloud providers are taking over ownership of the IT platform from organizations. Organizations are moving to a multi-cloud hybrid platform to gain flexibility and the ability to quickly respond to market needs. Applications have started to transition from monolithic entities to composite architectures built on the fly in real time from collections of functional services. DevOps has affected how IT organizations write, test and deliver code, with continuous development and delivery relatively mainstream approaches.

These fundamental changes mean that IT operations managers have to approach the application environment in a new way. Infrastructure health dashboards don’t meet their needs. Without deep contextual knowledge of how the platform looks at an instant, and what that means for performance, administrators will struggle to address issues raised.

Enter AIOps platforms

AIOps means IT teams use artificial intelligence to monitor the operational environment and rapidly and automatically remediate any problems that arise — and, more to the point, prevent any issues in the first place.

True AIOps-based management is not easy to accomplish. It’s nearly impossible to model an environment that continuously changes and then also plot all the dependencies between hardware, virtual systems, functional services and composite apps.

AIOPs use cases

However, AIOps does meet a need. It is, as yet, a nascent approach. Many AIOps systems do not really use that much artificial intelligence; many instead rely on advanced rules and policy engines to automatically remediate commonly known and expected issues. AIOps vendors collect information on operations issues from across their respective customer bases to make the tools more useful.

Today’s prospective AIOps buyers must beware of portfolio repackaging — AIOps on the product branding doesn’t mean they use true artificial intelligence. Question the vendor carefully about how its system learns on the go, deals with unexpected changes and manages idempotency. 2020 might be the year of AIOps’ rise, but it might also be littered with the corpses of AIOps vendors that get things wrong.

AIOps’ path for the future

As we move through 2020 and beyond, AIOps’ meaning will evolve. Tools will better adopt learning systems to model the whole environment and will start to use advanced methods to bring idempotency — the capability to define an end result and then ensure that it is achieved — to the fore. AIOps tools must be able to either take input from the operations team or from the platform itself and create the scripts, VMs, containers, provisioning templates and other details to meet the applications’ requirements. The system must monitor the end result from these hosting decisions and ensure that not only is it as-expected, but that it remains so, no matter how the underlying platform changes. Over time, AIOps tools should extend so that business stakeholders also have insights into the operations environment.

Such capabilities will mean that AIOps platforms move from just operations environment tool kits to part and parcel of the overall BizDevOps workflows. AIOps will mean an overarching orchestration system for the application hosting environment, a platform that manages all updates and patches, and provides feedback loops through the upstream environment.

The new generation of AIOps tools and platforms will focus on how to avoid manual intervention in the operations environment. Indeed, manual interventions are likely to be where AIOps could fail. For example, an administrator who puts wrong information into the flow or works outside of the AIOps system to make any configuration changes could start a firestorm of problems. When the AIOps system tries to fix them, it will find that it does not have the required data available to effectively model the change the administrator has made.

2020 will see AIOps’ first baby steps to becoming a major tool for the systems administrator. Those who embrace the idea of AIOps must ensure that they have the right mindset: AIOps has to be the center of everything. Only in extreme circumstances should any action be taken outside of the AIOps environment.

The operations team must reach out to the development teams to see how their feeds can integrate into an AIOps platform. If DevOps tools vendors realize AIOps’ benefits, they might provide direct integrations for downstream workflows or include AIOps capabilities into their own platform. This trend could expand the meaning of AIOps to include business capabilities and security as well.

As organizations move to highly complex, highly dynamic platforms, any dependency on a person’s manual oversight dooms the deployment to failure. Simple automation will not be a workable way forward — artificial intelligence is a must.

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Tips for ransomware protection on Windows systems

Ransomware. Just the word quickens the pulse of every Windows administrator who might have lingering doubts about the effectiveness of their security approach.

Many IT folks lose sleep over the effectiveness of their ransomware protection setup, and for good reason. Your vital Windows systems keep most companies running, and thoughts of them going offline will have many IT pros staring at the clock at 3 a.m.

Unfortunately, ransomware will hit you in some capacity, despite any measures you take, but it’s not a futile effort to shore up your defenses. The key is to fortify your systems with layers of security and then to follow best practices for both Windows and your backup products to minimize the damage.

Give a closer look at your backup setup

Backups are something companies make with the hope that they are never needed. Oftentimes, backups are a secondary task that is shuttled to an ops group to be done as a daily task that is a checkbox on some form somewhere. This is how trouble starts.

You need to make backups, but another part of the job is to secure those backups. A backup server or appliance is a very tempting target for attackers who want to plant ransomware. These servers or appliances have network access to pretty much everything in your data center. It’s your company’s safety net. If this massive repository of data got encrypted, it’s likely the company would pay a significant amount to free up those files.

Anyone with IT experience who has seen organizations wiped out after a ransomware attack might change your mind if you feel old data is not worth having in an emergency.

Most backup products are public, which means ransomware creators know how they work, such as how the agents work and their paths. With all that information, an attacker can write software tailored to your vendor’s backup product.

Now, most backup offerings have some level of ransomware protection, but you have to enable it. Most people find the setting or steps to protect their data after the backups have been wiped. Don’t wait to verify your backup product is secured against ransomware; do it today.

An old security standby comes to the fore

This also brings up a secondary practice: air-gapping.

This methodology was popular in the days of tape backup but fell out of favor with the introduction of replication.

Some would argue that data that is several weeks or several months old has little value, but is the alternative — no data — any better? Anyone with IT experience who has seen organizations wiped out after a ransomware attack might change your mind if you feel old data is not worth having in an emergency.

[embedded content]
Windows Server 2019 ransomware protection settings.

A small network-attached storage product you use for a data store dump every six months and lock away suddenly doesn’t sound like such a bad idea when the alternative is zero data. It’s a relatively inexpensive addition to the data center used as an extra repository of your data.

Think of it this way: Would you rather get hit with ransomware and lose a few months’ worth of data or all 15 years? Neither is a great situation, but one is much preferred over the other. These cold backups won’t replace your backup strategy, but rather supplements it as a relatively economical airgap. When it comes to ransomware, more layers of safeguards should be the rule.

Air-gapping is a practice that is not followed as closely now with the pervasiveness of online deduplication backup products. For organizations that can afford them, these offerings often replicate to online backup appliances in remote locations to make the data accessible.

Don’t overlook built-in ransomware protection

There are more than a few ways to mitigate the ransomware threat, but using a layered approach is recommended.

These malicious applications quickly move east-west across flat networks. Internal firewalls, whether physical or virtual, can do a lot to stop these types of attacks.

An often-overlooked option is the Windows firewall. When it first came out, the Windows firewall had a few stumbles, but Microsoft continued to develop and improve it to build a solid software firewall. This is a low-cost offering that is free but does require some administration work. The Windows firewall is not going to stop all possible ransomware, but very few products can.

Looking at the big picture, the Windows firewall gives an additional layer of protection against ransomware. It’s already there and should have little performance impact.

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New to Microsoft 365 in September—updates to Microsoft To Do, PowerPoint, OneNote, and more

Every update we make to Microsoft 365 is about helping our customers transform the way they work. And this month, we’re introducing updates and features designed to help you collaborate more effectively, work more efficiently, and protect your data more proactively.

We updated the conversation experience for Yammer mobile, so it’s easier to discover and share the content that matters most, and a new PowerPoint for iPad feature makes it (finally!) easy to share a single slide. The updated Microsoft To Do app keeps you productive on the go, and now you can export Visio workflows to Microsoft Flow—a great way to streamline business processes and save your organization money and time. Also new in September: automated incident response with Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) for more effective, efficient security.

What’s new in Microsoft 365

This September, learn how to build your business with Microsoft 365.

Watch the video

Collaborate, save time, and improve productivity with app updates

App updates streamline your mobile experience and help you conquer your to-do list across devices.

Join the conversation with beautiful new experiences for the Yammer mobile app—We updated the conversation experience for Yammer mobile, so you can connect, discover, and share in a way that’s easy on the thumbs and on the eyes. Highlights include a new card-based design that sharpens content, easy-to-read formatting and styling, a new grid layout for docs and images that makes it easier to preview and engage with multiple images or files, and link previews and inline videos right in the feed. To experience these improvements, simply update your Yammer app to the latest version.

Image of three phones side by side displaying a Group Conversation in Yammer.

Get more done with the new version of Microsoft To Do—This month, we unveiled a new version of To Do with a fresh design, access from anywhere, and better integration with Microsoft apps and services. You can choose from customization options and backgrounds (including dark mode) to tailor your experience and suit your lists. You can also sync To Do across all platforms to take your lists with you wherever you go. In addition, you integrate To Do with Microsoft 365 apps and services or have one centralized view of your tasks. Think of To Do as your new task aggregator—from Outlook to Planner and Cortana and the Microsoft Launcher on Android, you can now see your whole list in one place.

To get started, download the To Do app. And if you’re coming from Wunderlist, you can import your existing lists in just a few clicks.

Animated image of Microsoft To Do displaying a My Day to-do list.

Share, communicate, and collect feedback more efficiently and effectively

New app features let you share individual PowerPoint slides, stay on top of your notes in OneNote, and conduct more effective surveys.

Share individual slides and overcome public speaking jitters with new PowerPoint features—Sometimes you only need to share that one specific slide, and sending it via email or creating a separate file can be cumbersome. Now, exclusively in PowerPoint for the web, you can share a deck with a link to a specific slide. Just right-click the slide thumbnail, select Link to this slide, and copy the link.

Image of an individual slide about to be copied in PowerPoint.

We also released Presenter Coach in PowerPoint for the web in public preview. Presenter Coach uses the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to give users real-time, on-screen feedback to improve public speaking skills. Rehearse your presentation and get helpful tips on pacing and using inclusive language, as well as avoiding filler words like “basically” or “um,” or developing a rote presentation style.

Stay on top of your most recent notes and adjust your color schemes in OneNote—Updates to OneNote allow you to take your notes with you on the go and personalize your experience. Recent Notes is now also available on Mac, helping you easily pick up where you left off on any device with a chronological list of pages you recently viewed or edited.

On iPad, we integrated OneNote with Sticky Notes, so you can surface your notes there and avoid toggling between apps. Finally, you can now switch to a darker canvas with the new dark mode in OneNote for Mac. All these new features are available now.

Animated image of a recipe being shared in OneNote.

Overcome language barriers in your surveys—The Microsoft Forms Pro app now offers the option to create surveys in multiple languages without having to merge separate documents. Multilingual support enables Pro users to reach a broader audience and helps respondents provide richer feedback by displaying questions in their preferred language. Beginning next month, you’ll be able to access multilingual support by clicking on the ellipsis in the top right corner and selecting Multilingual from the drop-down menu.

Animated image of a multilingual survey in Microsoft Forms.

Export Visio workflows to Microsoft Flow to quickly automate business processes—Designing processes quickly and automating workflows can help accelerate productivity, but it’s often easier said than done. Now you can easily create new automation flows in the familiar diagramming experience of Visio and seamlessly export them as a fully functioning workflow to Microsoft Flow. Built-in Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) stencils have sharing and commenting capabilities, simplifying development and collaboration. Once the workflow’s complete, you can publish it to Microsoft Flow with a single click. This capability is now generally available to all Visio Plan 2 users through the Visio desktop app.

Streamline IT management and security

New features simplify the management of corporate Android devices, making it easy to add Microsoft 365 customers and ensure endpoints and devices are secure.

Manage corporate-owned Android devices with Microsoft Intune—With support for Android Enterprise fully managed devices, Microsoft 365 customers can deliver a high-quality and feature-rich productivity scenario for employees on corporate-owned devices, while maintaining an extended set of policy controls over those devices. Intune support for Android Enterprise work phone management is now available.

To get started, check out our Intune documentation.

Image of three phones side by side setting up a device as a work phone in Microsoft Intune.

Save time when adding new employees to Microsoft 365—Adding and configuring new employees or freelancers to Microsoft 365 just got easier. Beginning this month, you can create and use a template to save time and standardize settings when adding people in the Microsoft 365 admin center. Templates are particularly useful if you have employees who share many attributes, like those who work in the same role and the same location.

Beginning this month, head to the Microsoft 365 admin center and select Users > Active Users > User Templates > Add Template.

Animated image of a user being added to an engineers list in the Microsoft 365 admin center.

Automate incident response with Office 365 ATP—We’re excited to announce the general availability of Automated Incident Response in Office 365 ATP, which applies powerful automation capabilities to investigation and response workflows, dramatically improving the effectiveness and efficiency of your business’s security teams. These capabilities are available to organizations with the Office 365 ATP Plan 2, Office 365 E5, and Microsoft 365 E5 Security SKUs.

Evaluate security products with ease—The new evaluation lab in Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection removes the challenges of machine installation and configuration. Security experts can verify a potential platform, familiarize themselves with the product, learn about new features, or use the lab environment for attack simulations.

The new evaluation lab is now generally available. To access it, select Evaluation and tutorials > Evaluation lab directly from the navigation menu.

Image of the evaluation lab dashboard in Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection.

Also new this month

  • The redesigned Outlook on the web is now generally available. The redesigned experience features a modern design, new and smarter features, and a faster framework.
  • Now generally available, Security Policy Advisor—introduced in public preview this spring—can examine your policies and provide recommendations to improve security.
  • Windows Virtual Desktop is now generally available, delivering a virtual, multi-session Windows 10 experience. Windows Virtual Desktop enables you to deploy and scale your Windows desktops and apps on Azure in minutes.

As always, every Microsoft 365 update reflects our commitment to improving the experience for you—so if you have feedback or ideas on how we can improve, don’t hesitate to let us know.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

Microsoft events — the year ahead – The Official Microsoft Blog

Empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more is a 7 billion-person mission that we don’t take lightly. None of us at Microsoft could ever hope to reach that objective without a vast set of partnerships with curious and passionate people who seek to deeply understand technology and its power to transform individuals, businesses and industries. Facilitating connections, sharing our technologies and partnering to create solutions to real-world challenges is why we create the many Microsoft event experiences we host around the world.

Microsoft event experiences are designed to benefit specific audiences and structured to support clear objectives. We’re committed to closely aligning with all our partners, customers, and business and IT decision makers and connecting you with peers and industry leaders. To find out more about each event, visit our event website for details. Or, if you’re looking for a quick description of each event, read below to get a snapshot of our upcoming events.

Flagship events
IT professionals and developers
Microsoft Ignite — For IT professionals, decision makers, implementors, architects, developers and data professionals. This event provides opportunities to explore the latest tools, receive deep technical training and get specific questions answered by Microsoft experts. With more than 26,000 attendees who join to learn, connect and explore what Microsoft has to offer, this truly is the place where reality meets imagination. Orlando, Florida | Nov. 4-8, 2019

Developers
Microsoft Build — Where leading architects, developers, start-ups and student developers converge to focus on the latest tech trends and innovate for the future. We maintain our “produced by developers and for developers” mantra while inviting the next generation of developers to participate in the student zone. Seattle, Washington | May 19-21, 2020

Microsoft partners
Microsoft Business Applications Summit — An annual opportunity to bring together a community of Microsoft customers and partners in roles that include power users, business analysts, evangelists, implementers and technical architects. This event provides a forum to learn how Microsoft’s end-to-end Dynamics 365 and Power Platform can create and extend solutions to drive business success. Anaheim, California | April 20-21, 2020

Microsoft Inspire — Where Microsoft partners meet to connect and celebrate as one community at the close of Microsoft’s fiscal year. With hundreds of thousands of partners across the world, our partner ecosystem is stronger and more united than ever. We invite you to learn more about how Microsoft leaders are supporting our partners, and how partners can capitalize on the opportunities ahead. We’ve co-located our Microsoft sales kick-off event to build on our shared partnership philosophy. Las Vegas, Nevada | July 20-24, 2020

Regional tours

We started our regional tours for attendee convenience and to gauge how digital transformation is happening around the world. They’ve been a success on both fronts. This year we’re expanding to 30 markets for Microsoft Ignite The Tour and starting Microsoft Envision I The Tour in seven cities. Check out one of the stops on our regional tours in a city near you.

IT professionals and developers
Microsoft Ignite The Tour — We are bringing the best of Microsoft Ignite to you by traveling to 30 cities around the world for both ease of access and for the robust localized content for these distinct markets. Join us for in-depth learning and experiences in a free, two-day format that allows IT professionals and developers to learn new ways to build solutions, migrate, and manage infrastructure and connect with local industry leaders and peers. Visit Microsoft Ignite The Tour for locations and dates.

Business decision makers
Microsoft Envision | The Tour — An invitation-only, single-day event held in multiple cities around the world. With a global focus, this summit allows members of the C-suite to focus on challenges and trends that are changing the way organizations do business. Taking inspiration from our CEO Summit, this conference is designed to give leaders a chance to step back and learn about smart strategies to tackle emerging issues, power new efficiencies and build new business models and revenue streams. Visit Microsoft Envision I The Tour for locations and dates.

Digital learning

For those unable to make it in person or who are looking to quickly skill up on a particular topic, we offer digital learning options. Watch training sessions and event keynote sessions at any time. View multiple modules or choose a learning path tailored to today’s developer and technology masterminds that are designed to prepare you for industry-recognized Microsoft certifications.

Additional events

We’re just scratching the surface of the full picture of events that Microsoft has to offer. If you don’t find what you are looking for here, visit our full global events catalog for a list of events in your region and possibly your own city. These are events that are organized around specific product offerings and located in easily accessible locations with a wide range of class levels offered.

We invite everyone to join us to learn and grow, join us to connect with your peers, join us to get the answers you need so that you can deliver the solutions that can help propel your digital transformation. Visit our events website of flagship and regional events, and we look forward to seeing you in the year ahead.

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Today in Technology: Lessons through time | Microsoft On The Issues

Technology never exists in isolation. Every advance is shaped by what has gone before.

As part of the Today in Technology series, Microsoft President Brad Smith and Carol Ann Browne, Senior Director of External Relations and Executive Communications, have listened to different perspectives and explored lessons from history.

Here’s a glimpse into some of their videos:

Lessons on protecting privacy

The explosion of data in recent years means that agreeing on how best to protect our privacy is more relevant than ever. A visit to a former prison in Berlin served as a powerful reminder of the importance of getting that right.

[Subscribe to Microsoft on the Issues for more on the topics that matter most.]

YouTube Video

During the Cold War, the East German secret police, the Stasi, spied on millions of people, keeping files on their activities. Hohenschoenhausen was where those that were suspected of holding outlawed beliefs and opinions were imprisoned.

How the spirit of Louis Braille lives on in today’s AI innovators

YouTube Video

In the 19th century, a young French boy named Louis Braille developed a system of reading through touch. His work transformed the way millions of people who are blind or have low vision perceive the world. The same passion that inspired him lives on in the work undertaken today by engineers, programmers and technicians to create accessible technology that can help unleash everyone’s potential.

The Human Cost of Cyberattacks

YouTube Video

Interconnected digital infrastructure is vulnerable to an entirely new form of attack – cyberwarfare. To fight this, we need to update the international rules of allowable behavior – and work toward a Digital Geneva Convention.

There is no playbook for addressing challenges such as privacy, cybersecurity, the moral conundrums of AI or the relationship between technology and inequality, but Smith and Browne examine these challenges, and more, in their new book, Tools and Weapons: the Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

It’s back to school and back to innovation with free tools for student developers – The Official Microsoft Blog

It sneaks up on me every year. One minute, my family is fully ensconced in summer break, the next we’re deep into school supply lists and pre-work to prep for the first day back.

This year, as I’ve helped my own students get ready to go back to school, I’ve been thinking about all the cool (and free!) offerings Microsoft provides to bridge the technology gap for student developers. We’re committed to empowering the next generation of creators with access to technology and training – after all, our future is in their hands! – and we have a little healthy competition thrown in for good measure. Here are a few of the offers that students can take advantage of today and throughout their educations:

One of the newest additions to our lineup, developer hub GitHub offers their Student Developer Pack, which provides access to the best real-world developer tools and training. Students who join the Pack receive GitHub Pro at no charge while in school, plus exclusive offers from GitHub Education partners, including Microsoft.

Microsoft Azure for Students offers a free annual renewal subscription to our top cloud services, plus access to dozens of other Azure and artificial intelligence (AI) tools and training. Students can build skills in trending tech including data science, AI, machine learning and other areas with access to professional developer tools like Visual Studio Code.

Microsoft Education has a plethora of resources available for students and educators, who can get Office 365 free as well, which includes powerful tools like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and now Microsoft Teams and a lot more. This isn’t a trial – it’s a full-featured product that is free while the student is in school and offered at a big discount after graduation. Educators also have a wealth of resources available to them to help students engage with STEM, from customized training opportunities to unique Minecraft editions to access to special guest speakers.

For college and university students, the annual Imagine Cup competition is now open for entry. I’m continually impressed by the impactful ideas that come out of Imagine Cup – many of which go on to become full-fledged products. But big ideas that make a difference aren’t born in a vacuum, and they can’t be achieved alone. I think that’s one of the things that makes Imagine Cup so special. Students learn how to work together, be resourceful, meet deadlines and a select few receive funding to help take their ideas to the next level.

This year’s Imagine Cup theme is AI for Good. Driven by inspiration and a growing sense of purpose, we’ve seen student competitors create applications tackling some of the world’s biggest social, environmental and health challenges – one user at a time – and that’s what Imagine Cup is all about! So, it only makes sense that there is a stronger focus on AI this year. It’s one of the most promising ways technology can help us be more inclusive, effective and productive. I encourage students with a dream of a better future and an idea to sign up and get to work.  I’m excited to see where the competitors take the challenge this year – and where the competition takes them.

Students who want to be a force for good and make a difference in their communities – while learning and sharing Microsoft technologies with their peers – can apply to be a Microsoft Student Partner, a program that lets student leaders gain experiences, access exclusive resources and gather real-world technical and career skills.

Finally, LinkedIn offers a wide variety of networking and educational opportunities to support students when it comes time to look for a job, learn a new skill or connect with classmates. A current and accurate LinkedIn profile is one of the best ways to build and maintain a career network.

Our goal is for all students to have access to the technology and support they need to make their dreams come true. Please share these offerings with the students in your life, and if you are a student, I hope you’ll take advantage of one or more of them to take your ideas to the next level this year.

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How to automate patch management in Windows

Patch Tuesday comes every month like clockwork for IT administrators. For routine jobs such as patch management in Windows, it’s essential to use automation to make this chore more tolerable.

There are many products to help you deploy Windows patches to your systems, but they’re usually expensive. If you can’t afford these offerings, another option is to roll your own automated Windows patching routine. Using PowerShell, IT teams can test, deploy and verify Windows updates across hundreds of machines using nothing but some PowerShell kung fu and some prebuilt modules.

Prerequisites for automated patch management in Windows

To follow along, you should have the following prerequisites set up:

  • Windows PowerShell 5.1 on a client;
  • PowerShell Remoting available on the remote systems to patch;
  • logged in or have access to an account with local administrator permissions on the remote systems;
  • an Active Directory environment;
  • the Active Directory PowerShell module on your client; and
  • a Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) server installed and set up to manage your systems.

Set up a test environment

As most administrators know, you never push out patches directly to your production systems, which means you need to set up a test environment. You should configure this with a sampling of the operating systems and configurations of all systems that receive patches.

To determine what you have in your inventory, use the following script. It queries all Active Directory computers in the domain and groups them by the operating system.

$computerCount = 2
$properties = @( 
    @{Name='OperatingSystem';Expression={$_.Name}},
    @{Name='TotalCount';Expression={$_.Group.Count}},
    @{Name='TestComputers';Expression={$_.Group | Select-Object -ExpandProperty Name -First $computerCount }} 
) 
$testGroups = Get-ADComputer -Filter * -Properties OperatingSystem | Group-Object -Property OperatingSystem | Select-Object -Property $properties $testGroups

When the script runs, it groups the output by the type of machines and how many there are.

OperatingSystem                TotalCount TestComputers
---------------                ---------- -------------
Windows Server 2016 Datacenter          3 {SRDC01, SCRIPTRUNNER01}

Now that you know what operating systems you have, you can either convert the physical machines to virtual ones or perhaps build new virtual machines in your hypervisor of choice. You can do that with PowerShell, but that is outside of the scope of this article. This tutorial will continue on the assumption you executed the conversion and are ready to proceed.

Deploying Windows updates

Once you’ve got your test VMs set up, check to see if there are new patches available. You will need to use the WSUS server to find this information.

When you’ve discovered the Microsoft Knowledge Base (KB) IDs of all patches to test, you can deploy these patches using the PSWindowsUpdate module. To download and install, use this command:

Install-Module PSWindowsUpdate

Next, deploy the patches, but first, you’ll need to ensure you’ve got the appropriate firewall port exceptions for the Windows Firewall enabled. Here’s a quick PowerShell command to enable it on remote systems:

New-NetFirewallRule -DisplayName "Allow PSWindowsUpdate" -Direction Inbound -Program "%SystemRoot%System32dllhost.exe" -RemoteAddress Any -Action Allow -LocalPort 'RPC' -Protocol TCP

Next, you can run a quick test by running a simple command such as Get-WUHistory to see if it returns an error or if it returns a patch history. If it’s the latter, then you can proceed.

Now it’s time to deploy the Windows patches to the test groups. For this tutorial, deploy KB ID KB4091664. Start by copying the PSWindowsUpdate module to the remote computers, and then initiate the install. Also, schedule a reboot during the maintenance window. In this instance, that’s a time two hours from now.

foreach ($computer in $testGroups.TestComputers) {
    Copy-Item -Path "$Env:PROGRAMFILESWindowsPowerShellModulesPSWindowsUpdate" -Destination "\$computerc$Program FilesWindowsPowerShellModules" -Recurse
    Install-WindowsUpdate -ComputerName $computer -KBArticleIds 'KB4091664' -Schedule (Get-Date).AddHours(2)
}

X ComputerName Result     KB          Size Title
- ------------ ------     --          ---- -----
1 scriptrun... Accepted   KB4091664    1MB 2018-09 Update for Windows Server 2016 for x64-based Systems (KB4091664)

This script starts the patch installation on each computer. To monitor the progress, you can use the Get-WUHistory command.

Get-WUHistory -ComputerName scriptrunner01 -Last 1
ComputerName Operationname  Result     Date                Title
------------ -------------  ------     ----                -----
scriptrun... Installation   InProgress 4/4/2019 9:31:21 PM 2018-09 Update for Windows Server 2016 for x64-based Systems (KB4091664)

Dive deeper into the PSWindowsUpdate module

This article just covers the basics of rolling out an automated way to handle patch management in Windows with PowerShell. PSWindowsUpdate is a great time-saver with extensive functionality. It’s worth investigating the help in this PowerShell module to see how you can customize it based on your needs.

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Accelerating innovation with Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform – Dynamics 365 Blog

Every year, we bring together thousands of Microsoft partners from around the world to celebrate, connect, and learn about what’s coming in the next year. Just last week, I had the chance to join this year’s Microsoft Inspire with 13,000 of our partners in Las Vegas, and it was an amazing week full of energy and excitement.

I had the opportunity to share how we’re accelerating innovation with Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform in two featured sessions. Hayden Stafford joined me to talk about the business opportunity in FY20 for Business Applications, and Charles Lamanna and Arun Ulagaratchagan showed off the innovation and partner investments across the Power Platform. In both sessions, partners from Hitachi Solutions, VeriPark, WorkSpan, and EY joined me on stage to talk about the opportunities they’re seeing in the market. Check out the session recordings to see more.

We also shared a few major announcements with the partner community throughout the week that will deepen our partnership, align with how our business is growing, and help customers realize the potential of digital transformation. Take a look at a few highlights below.

Launching the new Microsoft Business Applications ISV Connect Program

ISVs that build on Microsoft Dynamics 365 and PowerApps can offer their customers innovative apps they couldn’t build elsewhere using connections to industry-leading cloud services on Azure and developer tools built just for them.

After previewing elements of the program in the spring, we officially launched the Business Applications ISV Connect Program on July 15th. This program brings together platform and program benefits created specifically for ISVs to support their success. We’re laying a path for a stronger partnership with our ISVs through ongoing platform investments, development tooling enhancements, and go-to-market support for mutual success. Read Steven Guggenheimer’s blog for more information about the program’s requirements and benefits.

Expanding our Dynamics 365 Industry Accelerators

We know our partners want to go to market fast. Our industry accelerators help them do just that.

At Inspire, we introduced two new industry accelerators: the Dynamics 365 Automotive Accelerator and Dynamics 365 Banking Accelerator. We also announced significant updates to the Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator.

Each of these accelerators was developed in deep partnership with industry experts to provide pre-built dashboards, sample data, and workflows that align with common industry scenarios. Steven Guggenheimer’s blog has more on this update as well.

Updating our Dynamics 365 packaging model

In October, Microsoft will be moving from “one-size-fits-all” Microsoft Dynamics 365 licensing plans to focus on providing customers with the specific Dynamics 365 applications that meet the unique needs of their organization. Customers need software that aligns to their functional roles and scenarios, and they require the ability to add or remove applications as their company grows and changes over time. The new licensing model will allow customers to purchase the applications they need, when they need them. Each application is extensible and applications can be easily mixed and matched to configure integrated solutions that align to a customer’s unique business requirements.

To learn more about these new options for your customers, check out the Inspire sessions “Customer Engagement Licensing Updates” and “Unified Operations Licensing Updates.”

Introducing new licensing options for PowerApps and Microsoft Flow

Over the past few months, we’ve announced a set of continued investments in the Power Platform and vision for one connected platform that enables everyone, regardless of their skill set or background, to innovate.

In addition to the general availability of innovations like AI Builder and PowerApps Portals, we will be introducing new licensing options in October 2019 shaped by the feedback we’ve received from our customers and the community of makers and creators who have been with us on the Power Platform journey. At Inspire we previewed new licensing options for PowerApps and Microsoft Flow that:

  • Make it easier to get started with a single use case before rolling out the full platform for all users.
  • Make licensing easier to understand by simplifying the complex feature-level differences between P1 and P2 plans.

To learn more about these new options for your customers, check out the Inspire session Microsoft Power Platform business model and licensing updates or read the PowerApps community blog post with additional details.

Customers realizing the potential of digital transformation

Throughout the event, we heard inspiring stories from customers and partners around the world.

One highlight came in Monday’s Corenote with Judson Althoff. We saw how Unilever is transforming its business with Microsoft technology, including Power BI and PowerApps. With connected data at the core, Unilever is able to increase productivity with more accessible insights and empower individuals to solve problems on their own, without a developer.

On Wednesday, Satya Nadella talked about Crane Worldwide Logistics, a Dynamics 365 customer who grew from a startup to a major player in the global logistics industry over the past 10 years. With Dynamics 365 for Sales and LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Crane can seamlessly combine customer engagement data with data about customer and seller activities from Office 365, as well as from LinkedIn – even when these interactions take place outside their CRM. And with Dynamics 365 Sales Insights, sellers are able to focus on the right customers, thanks to AI-driven insights that flag existing accounts that need extra attention, as well as leads that offer the most potential.

These are just two of the stories we shared at Microsoft Inspire this year. If you missed any part of this year’s event, take some time to check out the content on-demand to learn how you can build success in the coming year.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

For Sale – Logitech MX Master Wireless Mouse

FULL DISCLOSURE : The scroll wheel will not return to ratchet mode, so whilst every part of the mouse works, there is a functional issue with switching between freespin and ratchet. The wheel works as do all the buttons, including the wheel button.

For sale, boxed MX master with cable, reciever instructions. Barely used in the 3 years of ownership as I favour trackballs over mice.

Priced to sell at 30 pounds.

Price and currency: 35
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: Bank Transfer
Location: London
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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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.

Plan to map UK’s network of heart defibrillators could save thousands of lives a year

Thousands of people who are at risk of dying every year from cardiac arrest could be saved under new plans to make the public aware of their nearest defibrillator.

There are 30,000 cardiac arrests outside of UK hospitals annually but fewer than one-in-10 of those survive, compared with a 25% survival rate in Norway, 21% in North Holland, and 20% in Seattle, in the US.

A new partnership between the British Heart Foundation (BHF), Microsoft, the NHS and New Signature aims to tackle the problem by mapping all the defibrillators in the UK, so 999 call handlers can tell people helping a cardiac arrest patient where the nearest device is.

Ambulance services currently have their own system of mapping where defibrillators are located but this is not comprehensive.

It is hoped the partnership can evolve to capture heart data from cardiac arrest patients

“There is huge potential ahead in the impact that technology will have in digitally transforming UK healthcare,” said Clare Barclay, Chief Operating Officer at Microsoft. “This innovative partnership will bring the power of Microsoft technology together with the incredible vision and life-saving work of BHF and the NHS. This project, powered by the cloud, will better equip 999 call handlers with information that can make the difference between life and death and shows the potential that innovative partnerships like this could make to the health of the nation.”

Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart fails to pump effectively, resulting in a sudden loss of blood flow. Symptoms include a loss of consciousness, abnormal or absent breathing, chest pain, shortness of breath and nausea. If not treated within minutes, it usually leads to death.

Defibrillators can save the life of someone suffering from a cardiac arrest by providing a high-energy electric shock to the heart through the chest wall. This allows the body’s natural pacemaker to re-establish the heart’s normal rhythm.

However, defibrillators are used in just 2% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, often because bystanders and ambulance services don’t know where the nearest device is located.

Owners of the tens of thousands of defibrillators in workplaces, train stations, leisure centres and public places across the country will register their device with the partnership. That information will be stored in Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing service, where it will be used by ambulance services during emergency situations. The system will also remind owners to check their defibrillators to make sure they are in working order.

It is hoped that the partnership can evolve to enable defibrillators to self-report their condition, as well as capture heart data from cardiac arrest patients that can be sent to doctors.

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the BHF, said: “Every minute without CPR or defibrillation reduces a person’s chance of surviving a cardiac arrest by around 10%. Thousands more lives could be saved if the public were equipped with vital CPR skills, and had access to a defibrillator in the majority of cases.

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“While we’ve made great progress in improving the uptake of CPR training in schools, public defibrillators are rarely used when someone suffers a cardiac arrest, despite their widespread availability. This unique partnership could transform this overnight, meaning thousands more people get life-saving defibrillation before the emergency services arrive.”

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, added: “This promises to be yet another example of how innovation within the NHS leads to transformative improvements in care for patients.”

The defibrillation network will be piloted by West Midlands Ambulance Service and the Scottish Ambulance Service, before being rolled out across the UK.

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