Tag Archives: January

Microsoft Teams, consumer Skype interoperability launches in January

After nearly three years of fits and starts, Microsoft plans to deliver in January interoperability between Microsoft Teams and the consumer version of Skype.

The integration will let users of the two cloud-based collaboration applications message and call one another without switching apps. Skype for Business, which Microsoft is encouraging users to abandon in favor of Teams, has had the same interoperability for years.

The upcoming feature is good news for organizations that were frustrated over their inability to use Teams to communicate with external clients or partners on consumer Skype. More than 3,000 people endorsed a request for the integration on Microsoft’s user feedback website.

After initially denying the request in 2017, the company tentatively slated the feature for launch in 2018 before shelving it once again. Microsoft recommitted to building the integration in June and promised in its September roadmap to release the feature in the first quarter of 2020. The vendor updated its target this month to a January 2020 rollout.

However, interoperability between Microsoft’s enterprise and consumer communications apps is not as important as it once was, said Tom Arbuthnot, a technology architect at Modality Systems. Modality is a Microsoft-focused systems integrator.

In Skype for Business’ heyday, customers tried in vain to persuade Microsoft to allow external guests to join business meetings using consumer Skype. Now, Teams lets users join meetings in a web browser without plugins or downloads.

Meanwhile, Teams customers are still waiting for Microsoft to deliver better ways to collaborate with external parties that also use Teams. The app lacks a configuration akin to Slack’s shared channels, which let employees work across organizations.

“The bigger demand area right now is for Teams federation across company boundaries,” said Irwin Lazar, analyst at Nemertes Research. The feature would eliminate the need for guest accounts and provide more control over security.

More Microsoft Teams features on tap for January 2020

Also, next month, Microsoft will enable new integrations between Teams and Outlook. Buttons in those apps will let users share information between them.

Users will be able to transfer the contents and attachments of an email to Teams and to export Teams messages to Outlook. They will also be able to sign up for email alerts for messages and to reply to messages from within Outlook.

The email integrations will bring Teams nearly on par with rival Slack, which launched similar capabilities earlier this year. However, unlike Microsoft, Slack also supports interoperability with Gmail. 

Another feature on the roadmap for January is read receipts, which will give users the ability to see whether their colleague has read a direct message.

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For Sale – MacBook Pro 15″ 2016 with TouchBar, mid-spec 2.7GHz/16gb/512gb/RadeonPro455

Bought from KRCS (authorised Apple Premium Retailer) in January 2017 and used by me for work since. Most usage has been plugged into desktop monitor and keyboard hence only 187 cycle count on battery.

Specs
Space Grey
Mid-spec standard config
Intel Core i7 Quad Core 6820HQ 2.7GHz
16gb RAM
512gb SSD
Intel HD Graphics 530 / Radeon Pro 455
macOS Mojave

Technical specifications for the MacBook Pro 15-Inch “Core i7” 2.7 Touch/Late 2016. Dates sold, processor type, memory info, hard drive details, price and more.

Condition
Excellent – always transported with screen protector in hard shell case
Top case (screen and top section of case) was replaced by Apple 12 months ago due to minor fault so screen is only 12 months old. No scratches or keyboard marks on the screen
There are two tiny chips in the sharp front edge near the trackpad, apart from that it’s like new

I would like cash (or cleared bank transfer) on collection for this machine only please.

Price: £975.

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For Sale – Gigabyte Geforce RTX 2060 Gaming OC 6G Edition

Purchased on the 15th January from Scan. Only reason for selling is I’ve been treated to an upgrade for Christmas

Like new, in full original packaging.

Features Powered by GeForce RTX™ 2060 Integrated with 6GB GDDR6 192-bit memory interface WINDFORCE 3X Cooling System with alternate spinning fans RGB Fusion…

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Major funding, SaaS trends top data backup news in 2019

In the backup market, 2019 started with a financial bang.

On back-to-back days in January, Rubrik announced a $261 million funding round, while Veeam disclosed that Insight Venture Partners invested an additional $500 million in the data backup and management vendor.

That data backup news set the tone for a busy year of more funding rounds, acquisitions, CEO changes, new products and key trends in a market that is constantly evolving.

Backup business busy with acquisitions, funding, leadership changes

Much like recent years, backup was big business in 2019.

Carbonite had one of the busiest years of all. In March, the data protection vendor acquired cybersecurity firm Webroot for $618.5 million, with a focus on fighting ransomware. In July, CEO Mohamad Ali left to take the same job at tech media company International Data Group, with board chairman Steve Munford filling the role at Carbonite on an interim basis. Then in November, following months of rumors of a possible sale, content management provider OpenText acquired Carbonite for $1.42 billion, to help expand its cloud offerings.

Commvault also transitioned to a new leader, as longtime CEO Bob Hammer stepped down and former Puppet CEO Sanjay Mirchandani stepped in. The company made its first acquisition in September, buying software-defined storage vendor Hedvig for $225 million to help converge primary and secondary storage for better data management.

Headshot of Commvault's Sanjay MirchandaniSanjay Mirchandani

Acronis became the latest unicorn, closing a $147 million funding round in September at a valuation of more than $1 billion. The company has shifted from a backup-focused product portfolio to a more comprehensive cyber protection platform. Like Carbonite, Acronis now has a major emphasis on cybersecurity.

Druva and its cloud-focused backup and recovery product set received a $130 million funding haul. Just a month later, the vendor acquired CloudLanes and its cloud migration technology.

Veeam Software, which is on the lookout for acquisitions, actually did the reverse this year. The vendor sold back AWS data protection provider N2WS, a company it acquired two years ago, to the original founders. Veeam is launching its own products focused on AWS and Azure backup.

In other data backup news developments:

  • Veritas Technologies acquired Aptare to improve its storage analytics and monitoring.
  • Cohesity made its first acquisition, choosing Imanis Data for NoSQL database protection.
  • Spencer Kupferman took over as CEO of AWS data protection provider Cloud Daddy, a recent entrant into the market.
  • OwnBackup secured $23.25 million, its largest funding round, for expansion of its Salesforce data protection.
  • David Bennett, previously the chief revenue officer at Webroot, became the new CEO of backup and disaster recovery vendor Axcient.

SaaS backup continues its ascent

The software-as-a-service backup market remains one of the hottest in tech. The word is out that SaaS applications such as Salesforce, Google’s G Suite and Microsoft Office 365 need backup because these vendors typically have protection for their own infrastructure but not for your individual files.

Clumio came out of stealth in August with its cloud-based backup as a service. Noting that “SaaS is taking over,” Clumio CEO Poojan Kumar described his company’s founding vision as “building a data management platform on top of the public cloud.” The vendor originally offered protection for VMware on premises, VMware Cloud on AWS and native AWS services. While closing a $135 million funding round in November, Clumio pledged support for more public clouds, SaaS applications and containers, starting with Amazon Elastic Block Store protection.

Clumio backup dashboard
Clumio, which provides backup as a service, came out of stealth in August.

Commvault launched a SaaS backup subsidiary, Metallic, with an emphasis on protecting servers and VMs, Office 365 and endpoints. The data protection vendor is aiming Metallic at smaller businesses than its usual enterprise customers.

Much like recent years, backup was big business in 2019.

In other notable data backup news on the SaaS front:

  • Druva enhanced its SaaS backup capabilities, adding restore options to its Office 365 protection and introducing backup for Slack and Microsoft Teams conversations.
  • Odaseva, a data protection vendor focused on Salesforce, unveiled a high-availability option for the customer relationship management provider.
  • The newly launched Actifio Go SaaS platform offers direct-to-cloud backup to AWS, Azure, Google, IBM and Wasabi public clouds.
  • Arcserve updated its Unified Data Protection product to provide granular, file-level backup and recovery for Office 365.
  • Veeam enhanced its Backup for Microsoft Office 365, the fastest growing product in the history of the company, to back up directly to the cloud to either Azure or AWS.

Container backup takes the spotlight

One area that emerged in 2019 is backup of containers. As Kubernetes workloads in particular increase in popularity, organizations will need specifically targeted protection. Newer vendors, including Kasten, Robin and Portworx, focus on Kubernetes protection and management. Products from other vendors, including IBM Spectrum Protect, tackle Kubernetes protection in addition to other capabilities.

Container and SaaS backup will likely increase in 2020. Organizations should continue to keep an eye on data backup news, as products and businesses are evolving at a dramatic pace.

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With Time on its hands, Meredith drives storage consolidation

After Meredith Corp. closed its $2.8 billion acquisition of Time Inc. in January 2018, it adopted the motto “Be Bold. Together.”

David Coffman, Meredith’s director of enterprise infrastructure, took that slogan literally. “I interpreted that as ‘Drive it like you stole it,'” said Coffman, who was given a mandate to overhaul the combined company’s data centers that held petabytes of data. He responded with an aggressive backup and primary storage consolidation.

The Meredith IT team found itself with a lot of Time data on its hands, and in need of storage consolidation because a variety of vendors were in use. Meredith was upgrading its own Des Moines, Iowa, data center at the time, and Coffman’s team standardized technology across legacy Time and Meredith. It dumped most of its traditional IT gear and added newer technology developed around virtualization, convergence and the cloud.

Although Meredith divested some of Time’s best-known publications, it now publishes People, Better Homes and Gardens, InStyle, Southern Living and Martha Stewart Living. The company also owns 17 local television stations and other properties.

The goal is to reduce its data centers to two major sites in New York and Des Moines with the same storage, server and data protection technologies. The sites can serve as DR sites for each other. Meredith’s storage consolidation resulted in implementing Nutanix hyper-converged infrastructure for block storage and virtualization, Rubrik data protection and a combination of Nasuni and NetApp for file storage.

“I’ve been working to merge two separate enterprises into one,” Coffman said. “We decided we wanted to go with cutting-edge technologies.”

At the time of the merger, Meredith used NetApp-Cisco FlexPod converged infrastructure for primary storage and Time had Dell EMC and Hitachi Vantara in its New York and Weehawken, N.J. data centers. Both companies backed up with Veritas NetBackup software. Meredith had a mixture of tape and NetBackup appliances and Time used tape and Dell EMC Data Domain disk backup.

By coincidence, both companies were doing proofs of concept with Rubrik backup software on integrated appliances and were happy with the results.

Meredith installed Rubrik clusters in its Des Moines and New York data centers as well as a large Birmingham, Alabama office after the merger. They protect Nutanix clusters in all those sites.

“If we lost any of those sites, we could hook up our gear to another site and do restores,” Coffman said.

Meredith also looked at Cohesity and cloud backup vendor Druva while evaluating Rubrik Cloud Data Management. Coffman and Michael Kientoff, senior systems administrator of data protection at Meredith, said they thought Rubrik had the most features and they liked its instant restore capabilities.

Coffman said Cohesity was a close second, but he didn’t like that Cohesity includes its own file system and bills itself as secondary storage.

“We didn’t think a searchable file system would be that valuable to us,” Coffman said. “I didn’t want more storage. I thought, ‘These guys are data on-premises when I’m already getting yelled out for having too much data on premises.’ I didn’t want double the amount of storage.”

Coffman swept out most of the primary storage and servers from before the merger. Meredith still has some NetApp for file storage, and Nasuni cloud NAS for 2 PB of data that is shared among staff in different offices. Nasuni stores data on AWS.

Kientoff is responsible for protecting the data across Meredith’s storage systems.

“All of a sudden, my world expanded exponentially,” he said of the Time aftermath. “I had multiple NetBackup domains all across the world to manage. I was barely keeping up on the NetBackup domain we had at Meredith.”

Coffman and Kientoff said they were happy to be rid of tape, and found Rubrik’s instant restores and migration features valuable. Instead of archiving to tape, Rubrik moves data to AWS after its retention period expires.

Rubrik’s live mount feature can recover data from a virtual machine in seconds. This comes in handy when an application running in a VM dies, but also for migrating data.

However, that same feature is missing from Nutanix. Meredith is phasing out VMware in favor of Nutanix’s AHV hypervisor to save money on VMware licenses and to have, as Coffman put it, “One hand to shake, one throat to choke. Nutanix provided the opportunity to have consolidation between the hypervisor and the hardware.”

The Meredith IT team has petitioned for Nutanix to add a similar live mount capability for AHV. Even without it, though, Kientoff said backing up data from Nutanix with Rubrik beats using tapes.

“With a tape restore, calling backup tapes from off-site, it might be a day or two before they get their data back,” he said. “Now it might take a half an hour to an hour to restore a VM instead of doing a live mount [with VMware]. Getting out of the tape handling business was a big cost savings.”

The Meredith IT team is also dealing with closing smaller sites around the country to get down to the two major data centers. “That’s going to take a lot of coordinating with people, and a lot of migrations,” Coffman said.

Meredith will back up data from remote offices locally and move them across the WAN to New York or Des Moines.

Kientoff said Rubrik’s live restores is a “killer feature” for the office consolidation project. “That’s where Rubrik has really shone for us,” he said. “We recently shut down a sizeable office in Tampa. We migrated most of those VMs to New York and some to Des Moines. We backed up the cluster across the WAN, from Tampa to New York. We shut down the VM in Tampa, live mounted in New York, changed the IP address and put it on the network. There you go — we instantly moved VMs form one office to another.”

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Microsoft Redmond campus modernization – Construction update – Stories

Since we kicked off demolition in January 2019, there has been great progress on the Redmond campus modernization project. Check out the timelapse below to see some of the work that has been done thus far.

Credit: Skycatch

Here are some other fun facts about the construction efforts:

  • The square footage of the building demolition on east campus is equivalent to the total square feet of all thirty NFL football fields combined.
  • Concrete from the demolition would be enough to build 1.3 Empire State Buildings. One hundred percent of the concrete is being recycled, and some of it will come back to the site for use in the new campus.
  • We’ve recycled a variety of materials from the deconstructed buildings including carpets, ceiling tiles, outdoor lights and turf from the sports fields. As a result, we have diverted almost 95 percent of our demolition waste away from landfills.
  • The resources recycled from the demolition thus far includes 449,697 pounds (50 trucks full) of carpet and 284,400 pounds of ceiling tiles.
  • The majority of the furniture removed from the demolished buildings that will not be reused in other buildings, has been donated to local charities and nonprofit startups.
  • We’ve moved 1 million cubic yards of dirt and reached the bottom of the digging area for our underground parking facility, which will consolidate traffic and make our campus even more pedestrian and bike friendly.
  • We‘ve installed 51k feet of fiber optic cabling.  That’s just over 9.5 miles.
  • The Microsoft Art Program has relocated 277 art pieces, including an early Chihuly and a Ken Bortolazzo sculpture. These art pieces were placed across our Puget Sound buildings so they can continue to be enjoyed by employees and guests.
  • The drone video featured above, created by Skycatch, not only offers a unique view of the project, but the images have fed into 3D models of the site which are providing data to more effectively tackle challenges as they arise, plan ahead and monitor construction progress.
  • The project is actively coordinating over 100 different building information models containing over 2.8 million individual 3D building components.

We look forward to continuing this journey to modernize Microsoft’s workplaces. When completed, the project will provide additional proximity for teams who collaborate and an inspiring, healthy and sustainably responsible workplace where our employees can do their best work and grow their careers.

Continued thanks for your patience and flexibility during the construction phase. As a reminder, please allow extra time to get around campus and remind visitors to do the same. Always be cautious around the construction sites and remain mindful of safety notices and instructions.

Follow updates and developments as this project progresses and view the latest renderings on Microsoft’s Modern Campus site.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

For Sale – Late 2015 27” iMac

This hasn’t been touched since my twins were born in January and it seems a shame for it to just sit there.

It’s the top off the shelf model from late 2015 and I have added another 8GB of RAM to a total of 16GB (either Crucial or Kingston, can’t remember but I only ever buy RAM from them. Edit: just remembered that this is original Apple RAM, bought from someone upgrading to 32GB).

3.3ghz i5
2TB fusion drive (so has the 128GB SSD)
16GB RAM
Radeon R9 M395 2GB graphics
5k 27” screen

It has spent its life sat on a desk in my man-cave, which is now a baby-junk cave, so is in excellent condition. Box is in the attic.

Will have a fresh install of Mojave for the new owner.

Asking £850 picked up from SO51 area

Price and currency: 850
Delivery: Goods must be exchanged in person
Payment method: Cash or BT
Location: Romsey, Hampshire
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

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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.

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For Sale – Late 2015 27” iMac

This hasn’t been touched since my twins were born in January and it seems a shame for it to just sit there.

It’s the top off the shelf model from late 2015 and I have added another 8GB of RAM to a total of 16GB (either Crucial or Kingston, can’t remember but I only ever buy RAM from them. Edit: just remembered that this is original Apple RAM, bought from someone upgrading to 32GB).

3.3ghz i5
2TB fusion drive (so has the 128GB SSD)
16GB RAM
Radeon R9 M395 2GB graphics
5k 27” screen

It has spent its life sat on a desk in my man-cave, which is now a baby-junk cave, so is in excellent condition. Box is in the attic.

Will have a fresh install of Mojave for the new owner.

Asking £850 picked up from SO51 area

Price and currency: 850
Delivery: Goods must be exchanged in person
Payment method: Cash or BT
Location: Romsey, Hampshire
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

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

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

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

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For Sale – Late 2015 27” iMac

This hasn’t been touched since my twins were born in January and it seems a shame for it to just sit there.

It’s the top off the shelf model from late 2015 and I have added another 8GB of RAM to a total of 16GB (either Crucial or Kingston, can’t remember but I only ever buy RAM from them. Edit: just remembered that this is original Apple RAM, bought from someone upgrading to 32GB).

3.3ghz i5
2TB fusion drive (so has the 128GB SSD)
16GB RAM
Radeon R9 M395 2GB graphics
5k 27” screen

It has spent its life sat on a desk in my man-cave, which is now a baby-junk cave, so is in excellent condition. Box is in the attic.

Will have a fresh install of Mojave for the new owner.

Asking £850 picked up from SO51 area

Price and currency: 850
Delivery: Goods must be exchanged in person
Payment method: Cash or BT
Location: Romsey, Hampshire
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

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

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

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

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For Sale – GTX 1060 6gb

Like many others, I’m spitting my mining rig. All GPUs bought January 2018 from ebuyer. They have 2 years warranty, so approx 17 months left.

Run at 60% power and kept under 70c at all times. I mined Lyra2z over the summer to keep heat down.

I have 7 for sale, would happily do a deal on multiples. All are boxed and complete with whatever the shipped with (nothing iirc)

Here’s a link to the card: Palit GeForce GTX 1060 Dual 6GB Graphics Card | Ebuyer.com

If you have any questions please let me know.

1: palait 1060 6b – SOLD
2: palait 1060 6b – SOLD
3: palait 1060 6b – SOLD
4: palait 1060 6b – SOLD
5: palait 1060 6b – SOLD
6: palait 1060 6b – available
7: palait 1060 6b – CEX

Price and currency: 160
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT / PayPal / crypto
Location: Glasgow
Advertised elsewhere?: Not 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.