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JFrog taps partners, adds features to bolster DevOps platform

JFrog continues to bolster its core universal repository platform with new features and strategic partnerships to provide developers with a secure, integrated DevOps pipeline.

The Sunnyvale, Calif. company’s continued evolution includes partnerships with established companies to provide services around JFrog’s flagship Artifactory universal repository manager. This week, JFrog partnered with RunSafe Security of McLean, Va. to help secure code as it is created.

Under the partnership, RunSafe’s security software will plug into users’ Artifactory repositories to protect binaries and containers in development. RunSafe’s Alkemist tool adds protection to all compiled binaries as developers add them to Artifactory, said Joe Saunders, founder and CEO of RunSafe.

Alkemist inserts in CI/CD pipelines at build or deploy time. The security software hardens third-party, open-source components, compiled code that developers originate themselves, and it hardens containers as part of the process, he said.

“We immunize software without developer friction to enable continuous delivery of code or product,” Saunders said.

How RunSafe works with JFrog

Rather than scanning and testing the code, RunSafe inserts protections into the code without changing the functionality, slowing it down, or introducing any overhead.

“We eliminate a major set of vulnerabilities that are often attributed to both open source and general compiled code,” Saunders said. “That is all the memory based attacks, things like buffer overflow, etc.”

RunSafe launched a beta program for developers to try out the Alkemist plugin, as memory corruption-based attacks can be devastating and stopping them is no trivial exercise in most development environments.

“When a determined attacker understands the layout and memory allocations within an application, they can craft targeted exploits to devastating effect,” said Chris Gonsalves, senior vice president of research at The 2112 Group in Port Washington, N.Y. “And they can keep using those attacks as long as the underlying binaries remain the same. What RunSafe does is bring reduced-friction binary hardening to app development.”

RunSafe uses a “moving target approach” that changes the underlying binary in a way that keeps the app’s functionality intact while destroying the effectiveness of previous attacks, Gonsalves said.

“Just when a hacker thinks they know precise location of a buffer overflow vulnerability and how to exploit it, boom, RunSafe’s Alkemist plugin for JFrog users switches things up and effectively neutralizes the attack,” he said. “This is hand-to-hand combat with the bad guys at the binary level. That it can be done with negligible performance overhead and zero change in app functionality makes it an effective and important layer of defense in DevSecOps.”

RunSafe employs a process known as binary randomization to thwart intruders. This process eliminates the footing that exploits need to find and identify vulnerabilities in code. Randomization is typically a runtime protection, but RunSafe has added it into the development process.

“What you see now, especially when you have to move faster, is a full integration with your security pipelines,” said Shlomi Ben Haim, CEO of JFrog. The goal is to be able to avoid or to quickly resolve any kind of bugs or violations of vulnerability or license compliance issues, he said. “We want to provide continuous deployment all the way to the edge, fully automated, with no script.”

JFrog-Tidelift deal assures open source integrity

Regarding open source license compliance, JFrog recently partnered with Boston-based Tidelift. The companies introduced an integration between the Tidelift Subscription, a managed open source subscription, and JFrog Artifactory.

Tidelift checks that open-source software it supports is clean and secure with no licensing issues. The combination of the Tidelift Subscription and JFrog Artifactory gives development teams assurance  that the open source components they are using in their applications ‘just work’ and are properly managed, said Matt Rollender, Tidelift’s vice president of global partners, strategic alliances and business development, in a blog post.

“Customers save time by being able to offload the complexity of managing open source components themselves, which means they can develop applications faster, spend less time managing security issues and build fails, while improving software integrity,” said Donald Fischer, CEO of Tidelift.

As more enterprises include large amounts of open-source code to their repertoires, companies like Tidelift allow developers to use open-source without having to think twice. While Tidelift is somewhat unique in its approach, its competitors could include Open Collective, License Zero, GuardRails and Eficode.

“Tidelift is taking a very interesting approach to developing a way to sustainably manage the maintenance on open source software components and tools that are used at enterprise development,” said Al Gillen, an analyst at IDC. “The company is filling a niche that is not readily addressed by any other solutions in the market today.”

The Tidelift Subscription ensures that all open-source software packages in the subscription are issue-free and are backed and managed by Tidelift and the open source maintainers who created them.

“This means comprehensive security updates and coordinated responses to zero-day vulnerabilities, verified-accurate open source licenses, indemnification, and actively maintained open source components,” Rollender said.

JFrog tool updates

At its SwampUp 2020 virtual conference in June, JFrog introduced several new offerings and updates to existing products.

The company introduced CDN-based and peer-to-peer software package distribution mechanisms to help companies that have to deliver large volumes of artifacts to internal teams and external clients. The company also released new features for its JFrog Pipelines CI/CD offering, expanding the number of pre-built common functions, known as “Native Steps.”

In addition, JFrog introduced ChartCenter, a free community repository that provides immutable Helm Chart management for developers. Helm charts are collections of files that describe a related set of Kubernetes resources.

While JFrog has made some good strategic moves, a lot of them only strengthen the company’s core business as a repository, said Thomas Murphy, a Gartner analyst.

“They have a solid footprint and are very robust, but the question is, over the next three years as we see a move from a toolchain of discrete tools to integrated pipelines and value stream tooling, what do they do to be bigger and broader?” Murphy said. “I think of the growth in ability of GitLab and GitHub, and the expansion of Digital.ai and CloudBees in contrast.”

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Google Meet features counter Zoombombing, streamline mobile

Google has unveiled Google Meet features aimed at businesses reconsidering their video conferencing products. The latest update streamlines the process for joining meetings on iOS devices and prevents anonymous users from entering meetings.

The company introduced the features this week. They include blocking anonymous users by default from G Suite for Education Google Meet sessions. Also, “Meet in Gmail” now lets iOS users join meetings from the Gmail mobile app, rather than through a separate app. That feature will be coming to Android soon, Google said.

This week’s features and other enhancements announced in recent months improve Google Meet, said Irwin Lazar, an analyst at Nemertes Research. The new technology represents a more coherent strategy toward appealing to users, he said.

Google Meet still lacks popular features like native virtual backgrounds, breakout rooms and polls. Google also has relatively few hardware partners that make meeting room devices compatible with Meet.

Google trails Microsoft, Cisco and Zoom in the business video conferencing market. Throughout its G Suite portfolio, the search giant has been slow to add features that large enterprises require.

However, a significant number of companies are looking for a new video conferencing platform, so the latest changes to Google Meet might help sway some of them, Lazar said. He cited a recent Nemertes survey in which 18% of 528 companies planned to switch meeting platforms. Another 20% were considering such a move.

At the start of the pandemic, many companies chose products that they could deploy quickly for employees working from home, Lazar said.

“[Companies] took advantage of some of the free offers that were out there,” he said. “Now, they’re starting to think a little bit more strategically.”

The recent improvements to Google Meet had been a long time coming, Lazar said. “Zoombombing,” in which unauthorized users disrupt a meeting, was a much-publicized problem during the expansion of remote work. Google’s mechanism for blocking anonymous users should quell such concerns, he said.

However, Google’s approach has its drawbacks, Lazar said. Requiring every meeting participant to have a Google account might frustrate users.

Regarding the new iOS feature, simplifying the process of joining a meeting on an iPhone or iPad is “table stakes” in the video conferencing market, Lazar said.

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For Sale – Lenovo ThinkCentre M93p/3.5 GHz/Windows 10 Pro

ThinkCentre M93, which boasts the latest processers, innovative productivity features. M93p and adds Intel® vPro™ to optimize remote manageability.

Intel Core i5 4690K 3.5 GHz Quad Core CPU (K for overclockable) Max Turbo Frequency 3.9 GHz

This is a very fast capable PC. It’s actually a Business Workstation described as cutting edge computing for large enterprise by Lenovo.

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For Sale – Lenovo ThinkCentre M93p/3.5 GHz/Windows 10 Pro

ThinkCentre M93, which boasts the latest processers, innovative productivity features. M93p and adds Intel® vPro™ to optimize remote manageability.

Intel Core i5 4690K 3.5 GHz Quad Core CPU (K for overclockable) Max Turbo Frequency 3.9 GHz

This is a very fast capable PC. It’s actually a Business Workstation described as cutting edge computing for large enterprise by Lenovo.

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For Sale – Lenovo ThinkCentre M93p/3.5 GHz/Windows 10 Pro

ThinkCentre M93, which boasts the latest processers, innovative productivity features. M93p and adds Intel® vPro™ to optimize remote manageability.

Intel Core i5 4690K 3.5 GHz Quad Core CPU (K for overclockable) Max Turbo Frequency 3.9 GHz

This is a very fast capable PC. It’s actually a Business Workstation described as cutting edge computing for large enterprise by Lenovo.

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Facebook to launch Workplace Rooms in challenge to Zoom

Facebook plans to expand the video conferencing features of Workplace by Facebook, its business collaboration product. But the enhanced service, Workplace Rooms, will lack numerous advanced meeting features at launch in June.

Facebook is late to the game, analysts said. The social media giant has grown Workplace by Facebook to 5 million paid users over the past few years. But the company hasn’t attempted to build a business-class video service until now.

Facebook last month launched Messenger Rooms, a consumer video calling product. The company is now adapting that product for business use in Workplace. The Workplace product will integrate with single sign-on software and provide some control to IT admins.

But Workplace Rooms won’t initially support polls, in-meeting chat, breakout rooms, personal meeting rooms or virtual backgrounds. It also won’t give hosts the ability to control who can present or speak in a meeting. The service lets users invite external guests to meetings.

What’s more, the product will come with a size limitation. Only 50 people will be able to join a meeting. Rivals like Zoom and Cisco Webex let hundreds of people participate in sessions on their platforms.

Facebook Workplace Rooms will display up to 16 people on screen at one time, compared to 25 people in Webex and 49 people in Zoom. The ability to see many simultaneous video feeds has become an essential feature amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Facebook will undercut competitors on price, however. Zoom, for example, costs $14.99 to $19.99 per host, per month for a premium license. Businesses can get access to Workplace Rooms and the premium version of Workplace for $4 or $8 per user, per month.

screenshot of Workplace Rooms
Facebook plans to add Workplace Rooms, a video calling feature, to its business collaboration product in June.

Facebook also has a free version of Workplace and gives nonprofits complimentary access to a premium edition. Workplace mimics the interface and features of the consumer version of Facebook. But the two platforms are separate, requiring users to create different accounts on each.

Julien Codorniou, vice president of Workplace by Facebook, said the company did not intend to match more mature platforms like Webex on features. Instead, Facebook wants Workplace Rooms to do “85% of the job for 99% of the people,” he said.

Facebook intends to bring video conferencing to portions of the workforce that have never used such technology before, Codorniou said. Many Workplace by Facebook customers are multinational companies with a significant proportion of service workers.

“We don’t go after just the market of knowledge workers,” Codorniou said. “We go after the market of everybody who’s employed with a working mobile device. That’s billions of people who have never touched IT before.”

But it remains to be seen how many nonoffice workers will adopt video conferencing platforms. It’s also not certain that Workplace by Facebook customers will use Workplace Rooms.

Customers previously reported using Workplace by Facebook primarily as an intranet replacement, rather than a team collaboration service like Slack or Microsoft Teams. Facebook added a basic video calling feature to Workplace for internal use in 2017.

“They’re casting a line, and they’re going to see if they get any nibbles or not,” said Brian Doherty, an analyst at Gartner.

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Small vendors that stand out in network automation

Incumbent vendors are typically behind in providing cutting-edge features in network management tools. So, enterprises looking for advanced analytics and network automation will more likely find them in small vendors’ products.

More advanced tools are critical to enterprises switching to software-based network management in the data center from a traditional hardware-centric model. Driving the shift are initiatives to move workloads to the cloud and digitize more internal and external operations.

In a study released this month, almost half of the 350 IT professionals surveyed by Enterprise Management Associates said they wanted advanced analytics for anomaly detection and traffic optimization.

Small vendors are addressing the demand by incorporating machine learning in network monitoring tools that search for potential problems. Examples of those vendors include Kentik and Moogsoft.

Besides more comprehensive analytics, enterprises want software that automatically configures, provisions and tests network devices. Those network automation features are vital to improving efficiency and reducing human error and operating expenses.

Gartner recently named three small vendors at the forefront of network automation: BeyondEdge, Intentionet and NetYCE.

Machine learning in network management

Moogsoft is using machine learning to reduce the number of events its network monitoring software flags to engineers. Moogsoft does that by identifying and then hiding multiple activities related to the same problem.

“It really helps streamline” network operations, said Terry Slattery, a network consultant at IT adviser NetCraftsmen.

Kentik, on the other hand, uses machine learning to correlate network traffic flow data generated by switches and routers that support the NetFlow protocol, Slattery said. The process can identify sources of malware or other potential security threats.

Moogsoft and Kentik use machine learning to improve specific features in their products. Vendors have yet to deploy it in broader network operations, which would likely require significant changes in network infrastructure.

Today, companies prefer to work on provisioning, monitoring and making hardware changes on a large scale. After that, they might start adding “smarts” to the network, said Jason Edelman, founder and CTO of consultancy Network to Code.

Gartner also named Network to Code as a small vendor that enterprises should consider. The consultancy’s client base includes 30 of the Fortune 500. The company specializes in the use of open source software for managing networks with a variety of vendor devices.

Gartner picks for automation

Among Gartner’s other small vendors, BeyondEdge was the only one focused on the campus network, where it competes with behemoths like Cisco and Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Aruba.

BeyondEdge has developed overlay software for Ethernet switching fabrics and passive optical networks. The software lets enterprises create configurations based on business and application policies and then applies them at devices’ access points. BeyondEdge sells its vendor-agnostic technology through consumption-based pricing.

BeyondEdge is best suited for organizations that need to provision many ports for different classes of users, Gartner said. Those types of organizations are found in commercial real estate, hospitality, higher education and healthcare.

Intentionet and NetYCE provide tools for data center networks. The former has developed open source-based software that mathematically validates network configurations before deploying them. “This is a new capability in the market and can simultaneously enhance uptime and agility,” Gartner said.

NetYCE stands out for developing a straightforward UI that simplifies network configuration change management, network automation and orchestration capabilities, Gartner said.

“It provides a simple way for networking personnel — who may be novices in automation — to get up to speed quickly,” the analyst firm said.

NetYCE’s technology supports hardware from the largest established vendors. The company claims to provide adapters to nonsupported gear within two weeks, Gartner said.

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Looker analytics platform adding app development capability

Looker is maintaining a focus on application development as it continues to add new features to its analytics platform six months after its last major release and three months after it finally joined forces with Google Cloud.

The vendor, which was founded in 2012 and is based in Santa Cruz, Calif., was acquired by Google for $2.6 billion in June 2019, just four days before Tableau was purchased by Salesforce for $15.7 billion. Unlike Tableau, however, which serves a largely on-premises customer base and delivers platform updates quarterly, Looker is entirely cloud-based and therefore, beyond its one major update each year, delivers new and upgraded features throughout the year.

Looker 7, released in November 2019, included a new application development framework and enhanced embedded BI capabilities. Since then, Looker has kept adding to its set of tools for application developers, enhancing the power of its no-code query capabilities and providing new ways to embed analytics into the applications customers use in their everyday workflows.

“Developers are their bread and butter,” said Mike Leone, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. “It’s all about enabling developers to seamlessly, intelligently and rapidly incorporate analytics at scale into modern applications. This is and has been a top priority for Looker.”

Meanwhile, as Looker has continued to build up its analytics platform, the vendor’s acquisition was finalized. The purchase closed so recently, however, that there hasn’t yet been any obvious evidence of collaboration between Looker and Google Cloud, analysts said.

Developers are their bread and butter. It’s all about enabling developers to seamlessly, intelligently and rapidly incorporate analytics at scale into modern applications. This is and has been a top priority for Looker.
Mike LeoneSenior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group

“I have not seen anything yet to suggest that they’ve made a dramatic change yet in their approach,” said Dave Menninger, research director of data and analytics research at Ventana Research.

He added, however, that Looker and Google Cloud share a lot of similarities and the two are a natural fit. In particular, the way Looker uses its LookML language to enable developers to build applications without having to write complex code fits in with Google Cloud’s focus.

“Looker has found a good partner in Google in the sense that Looker is really targeted at building custom apps,” Menninger said. “Looker is all about the LookML language and constructing these analyses, these displays that are enhanced by the LookML language. And a large part of Google, the Google Cloud Platform division, is really focused on that developer community. So Looker fits into that family well.”

Leone, meanwhile, also said he’s still waiting to see Google’s influence on Looker but added that he expects to hear more about their integration in the near future.

And collaboration, according to Pedro Arellano, Looker’s vice president of product marketing, is indeed on the horizon. The two are working together on new features, and given that Looker is entirely cloud-based and that Looker and Google Cloud not only had a strong partnership before they joined forces but had 350 shared customers, Looker’s integration into the Google Cloud portfolio is proceeding more rapidly than it might have had Looker had a host of on-premises customers.

“It’s exciting to talk with the product teams and understand where the potential integration points are and think about these really exciting thing that we’ll be able to develop, some things that I expect will be out in a relatively short amount of time,” Arellano said. “That work case is happening, and it’s absolutely something we’re doing today.”

As far as features Looker has added to the analytics platform since last fall, one of the key additions is the Slack integration the vendor unveiled at the time Looker 7 was released but was still in beta testing. The tool delivers insights directly into customers’ Slack conversations.

Beyond the Slack integration, Looker has added to its extension network, which is its low-code/no-code tool set for developers. Among the latest new tools are the Data Dictionary, which pulls up metadata about fields built by developers using the LookML model and displays them in a digestible format, as well as tools that help developers customize user interfaces and create dashboard extensions such as adding a chat widget.

In terms of query power, Looker has developed what it calls aggregate awareness, a feature that uses augmented intelligence and machine learning to reduce the amount of time it takes a user to run a query and helps them run more focused queries.

“We really think of Looker as a platform for developing and building and deploying any kind of data experience that our customers might imagine,” Arellano said. “We recognize that we can’t anticipate all the data experiences they might come up with. We’re very focused on the developers because these are the people that are building those experiences.”

In addition to the new features Looker has added since the release of Looker 7, the vendor put together the Looker COVID-19 Data Block, a free hub for data related to the ongoing pandemic that includes data models and links to public sources such Johns Hopkins University, the New York Times and the COVID Tracking Project. The hub uses LookML to power frequent updates and deliver the data in prebuilt dashboards.

“This was an opportunity to do good things with technology and with data,” Arellano said.

As Looker continues to enhance its analytics platform, one of its next areas the vendor says it will focus on will be the platform’s mobile capabilities.

Mobile has long been a difficult medium for BI vendors with data difficult to digest on the small screens of phones and tablets. Many, as a result, have long ignored mobile. Recently, however, vendors such as Yellowfin and MicroStrategy have made significant investments in their mobile capabilities, and Arellano said that Looker plans to offer an improved mobile experience sometime in the second half of 2020.

That fits in with what Leone expects from Looker now that it’s under the Google Cloud umbrella, which is a broadening of the vendor’s focus and capabilities.

“I think, individually, they were behind a few of the leaders in the space, but the Google acquisition almost instantly brought them back on par with direct competition,” he said. “Google’s influence will be beneficial, especially around the ideas of democratizing analytics/insights, faster on-ramp and a much wider vision that incorporates a powerful AI vision.”

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Cisco looks to close gaps in Webex Teams video conferencing

Cisco has promised to bring more advanced video conferencing features to Webex Teams eventually. But for now, users must rely on the vendor’s Webex Meetings product for full-featured video calling.

Cisco has been working for years to bring the two apps closer together. But despite relying on the same cloud infrastructure, Teams still lags behind its collaboration cousin.

Webex Teams lacks polls, in-meeting chat, screen-sharing with remote desktop control, 5×5 video displays and key host settings like the ability to automatically mute attendees upon entry.

What’s more, Webex Teams users cannot access essential video conferencing features without a license for Webex Meetings. Those capabilities include meeting recording, guest access and dial-in numbers.

Despite marking Webex Teams as an all-in-one collaboration app, Cisco generally sells the product in a bundle with Webex Meetings.

“We are actively working to bring all the advanced video conferencing capabilities of the Webex Meetings to Webex Teams,” Cisco said in an emailed statement.

Later this month, Cisco plans to address one significant shortcoming in Webex Teams by expanding the product’s video display. The app will soon support a 3×3 video grid. But it will still show fewer video panels than Webex Meetings, which has a 5×5 array.

Webex Teams vs. Microsoft Teams
Webex Teams vs. Microsoft Teams

Demand for large group video meetings has soared amid the coronavirus pandemic. People want to be able to see everyone on screen at the same time. Some customers have chosen a video platform based solely on this issue. Cisco did not say when it would enable a 5×5 grid view in Webex Teams.

Another feature missing from Webex Teams is a “health checker” button, like the one in Webex Meetings for troubleshooting connectivity issues. Furthermore, the video interfaces of Webex Teams and Webex Meetings are not identical, which could confuse users who host meetings in both.

Cisco launched Webex Teams as Cisco Spark in 2015. The app initially relied on a separate cloud engine than Webex Meetings. The company later rebranded the product as part of a broader strategy to streamline its portfolio of communications apps.

Unlike competitors Microsoft and Slack, Cisco has not disclosed how many people use its team collaboration app. However, the company said 324 million people attended a Webex meeting in March.

“Obviously, it’s been a work in progress from the Webex Teams side for a couple of years now,” said Josh Warcop, senior solutions engineer at Byteworks, a Cisco reseller. “We’re probably going to see a lot more feature parity here just this year.”

On the flip side, Cisco said it was also working to bring at least two Webex Teams video features to Webex Meetings. One is the ability for anyone to start a meeting, not just the host. The other is the integration of Meetings with video mesh nodes, which let businesses keep some video traffic on premises.

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Update makes Storage Migration Service more cloud-friendly

In days of yore, when Microsoft released a new version of Windows Server, the features in its administrative tools remained fixed until the next major version, which could be three or four years. Today’s Microsoft no longer follows this glacial release cadence.

The PowerShell team drops previews every few weeks and plans to deliver a major version annually. The developers for the Windows Admin Center put out the 16th update in November 2019 since the April 2018 general availability release. Among the new features and refinements is more cloud-friendly functionality to one of its tools, the Storage Migration Service.

The Storage Migration Service is a feature in Windows Server 2019 designed to reduce the traditional headaches associated with moving unstructured data — such as Microsoft Word documents, Excel files and videos — to a newer file server either on premises or in the cloud. Some files come with a lot of baggage in the form of Active Directory memberships or specific share properties that can hamstring a manual migration.

Firing up robocopy and hoping everything copies to the new file server without issue has not typically gone well for administrators when complaints roll in from users about missing file or share permissions. And that’s just the typical experience when moving from one on-premises file server to another. The technical leap to get all that data and its associated properties into a file server in the cloud normally requires a team of experts to ensure a seamless transition.

That’s where version 1910 of the Windows Admin Center steps in. Microsoft developers tweaked the underlying functionality to account for potential configuration mishaps that would botch a file server migration to the cloud, such as insufficient space for the destination server. Windows Admin Center now comes with an option to create an Azure VM that handles the minutiae, such as installation of roles and domain join setup.

This video tutorial by contributor Brien Posey explains how to use the Storage Migration Service to migrate a Windows Server 2008 file server to a newer supported Windows Server version. The transcript of these instructions is below.

With Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 having recently reached the end of life, it’s important to transition away from those servers if you haven’t already done so.

In this video, I want to show you how to use the Storage Migration Service to transfer files from a Windows Server 2008 file server over to something newer, such as Windows Server 2019.

With the Windows Admin Center open, go to the Storage Migration Service tab. I’ve used Server Manager to install the Storage Migration Service and the Storage Migration Service proxy. I went into the Add Roles and Features and then added those. I’ve enabled the necessary firewall rules. Specifically, you need to allow SMB, netlogon service and WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation).

There are three steps involved in a storage migration. Step one is to create a job and inventory your servers. Step two is to transfer data from your own servers. Step three is to cut over to the new servers.

Let’s start with step one. The first thing we need to do is to create an inventory of our own server. Click on New job, and then I choose my source device. I have a choice between either Windows servers and clusters or Linux servers. Since I’m going to transfer data off of Windows Server 2008, I select Windows servers and clusters.

I have to give the job a name. I will call this 2008 and click OK.

Next, I provide a set of credentials and then I have to add a device to inventory. Click Add a device and then we could either enter the device name or find it with an Active Directory search. I’m going to search for Windows servers, which returns five results. The server legacy.poseylab.com is my Windows Server 2008 machine. I’ll select that and click Add.

The next thing is to select this machine and start scanning it to begin the inventory process. The scan succeeded and found a share on this machine.

Click Next and enter credentials for the destination server. We’re prompted to specify the destination server. I’m going to select Use an existing server or VM, click the Browse button and search for a Windows server. I’ll use a wildcard character as the server name to search Active Directory.

I’ve got a machine called FileServer.poseylab.com that’s the server that I’m going to use as my new file server. I’ll select that and click Add and then Scan, so now we see a list of everything that’s going to be transferred.

The C: volume on our old server is going to be mapped to the C: volume on our new server. We can also see which shares are going to be transferred. We’ve only got one share called Files in the C:Files path. It’s an SMB share with 55.5 MB of data in it. We will click the Include checkbox to select this particular share to be transferred.

Click Next and we can adjust some transfer settings. The first option is to choose a validation method for transmitted files. By default, no validation is used, but being that I’m transferring such a small amount of data, I will enable CRC64 validation. Next, we can set the maximum duration of the file transfer in minutes.

Next, we can choose what happens with users and groups; we have the option of renaming accounts with the same name, reusing accounts with the same name or not transferring users and groups. We can specify the maximum number of retries and the delay between retries in seconds. I’m going to go with the default values on those and click Next.

We validate the source and the destination device by clicking the Validate button to run a series of tests to make sure that you’re ready to do the transfer. The validation tests passed, so we’re free to start the transfer. Click Next.

This screen is where we start the transfer. Click on Start transfer to transfer all the data. After the transfer completes, we need to verify our credentials. We have a place to add our credentials for the source device and for the destination device. We will use the stored credentials that we used earlier and click Next.

We have to specify the network adapter on both the source and the destination servers. I’m going to choose the destination network adapter and use DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol). I’m going to assign a randomly generated name to the old server after the cutover, so the new server will assume the identity of the old server. Click Next.

We’re prompted once again for the Active Directory credentials. I’m going to use the stored credentials and click Next.

We’re taken to the validation screen. The source device original name is legacy.poseylab.com and it’s going to be renamed to a random name. The destination server’s original name was fileserver.poseylab.com and is going to be renamed to legacy.poseylab.com, so the destination server is going to assume the identity of the source server once all of this is done. To validate this, click on the server and then click Validate. The check passed, so I’ll go ahead and click Next.

The last step in the process would be to perform the cutover. Click on Start cut over to have the new server assume the identity of the old server.

That’s how a migration from Windows Server 2008 to Windows Server 2019 works using the Storage Migration Service.

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