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How to install the Windows Server 2019 VPN

Many organizations rely on a virtual private network, particularly those with a large number of remote workers who need access to resources.

While there are numerous vendors selling their VPN products in the IT market, Windows administrators also have the option to use the built-in VPN that comes with Windows Server. One of the benefits of using Windows Server 2019 VPN technology is there is no additional cost to your organizations once you purchase the license.

Another perk with using a Windows Server 2019 VPN is the integration of the VPN with the server operating system reduces the number of infrastructure components that can break. An organization that uses a third-party VPN product will have an additional hoop the IT staff must jump through if remote users can’t connect to the VPN and lose access to network resources they need to do their jobs.

One relatively new feature in Windows Server 2019 VPN functionality is the Always On VPN, which some users in various message boards and blogs have speculated will eventually replace DirectAccess, which remains supported in Windows Server 2019. Microsoft cites several advantages of Always On VPN, including granular app- and traffic-based rules to restrict network access, support for both RSA and elliptic curve cryptography algorithms, and native Extensible Authentication Protocol support to enable the use of a wider variety of advanced authentication methods.

Microsoft documentation recommends organizations that currently use DirectAccess to check Always On VPN functionality before migrating their remote access processes.

The following transcript for the video tutorial by contributor Brien Posey explains how to install the Windows Server 2019 VPN role. 

In this video, I want to show you how to configure Windows Server 2019 to act as a VPN server.

Right now, I’m logged into a domain joined Windows Server 2019 machine and I’ll get the Server Manager open so let’s go ahead and get started.

The first thing that I’m going to do is click on Manage and then I’ll click on Add Roles and Features.

This is going to launch the Add Roles and Features wizard.

I’ll go ahead and click Next on the Before you begin screen.

For the installation type, I’m going to choose Role-based or feature-based installation and click Next. From there I’m going to make sure that my local server is selected. I’ll click Next.

Now I’m prompted to choose the server role that I want to deploy. You’ll notice that right here we have Remote Access. I’ll go ahead and select that now. Incidentally, in the past, this was listed as Routing and Remote Access, but now it’s just listed as a Remote Access. I’ll go ahead and click Next.

I don’t need to install any additional feature, so I’ll click Next again, and I’ll click Next [again].

Now I’m prompted to choose the Role Services that I want to install. In this case, my goal is to turn the server into a VPN, so I’m going to choose DirectAccess and VPN (RAS).

There are some additional features that are going to need to be installed to meet the various dependencies, so I’ll click Add Features and then I’ll click Next. I’ll click Next again, and I’ll click Next [again].

I’m taken to a confirmation screen where I can make sure that all of the necessary components are listed. Everything seems to be fine here, so I’ll click Install and the installation process begins.

So, after a few minutes the installation process completes. I’ll go ahead and close this out and then I’ll click on the Notifications icon. We can see that some post-deployment configuration is required. I’m going to click on the Open the Getting Started Wizard link.

I’m taken into the Configure Remote Access wizard and you’ll notice that we have three choices here: Deploy both DirectAccess and VPN, Deploy DirectAccess Only and Deploy VPN Only. I’m going to opt to Deploy VPN Only, so I’ll click on that option.

I’m taken into the Routing and Remote Access console. Here you can see our VPN server. The red icon indicates that it hasn’t yet been configured. I’m going to right-click on the VPN server and choose the Configure and Enable Routing and Remote Access option. This is going to open up the Routing and Remote Access Server Setup Wizard. I’ll go ahead and click Next.

I’m asked how I want to configure the server. You’ll notice that the very first option on the list is Remote access dial-up or VPN. That’s the option that I want to use, so I’m just going to click Next since it’s already selected.

I’m prompted to choose my connections that I want to use. Rather than using dial-up, I’m just going to use VPN, so I’ll select the VPN checkbox and click Next.

The next thing that I have to do is tell Windows which interface connects to the internet. In my case it’s this first interface, so I’m going to select that and click Next.

I have to choose how I want IP addresses to be assigned to remote clients. I want those addresses to be assigned automatically, so I’m going to make sure Automatically is selected and click Next.

The next prompt asks me if I want to use a RADIUS server for authentication. I don’t have a RADIUS server in my own organization, so I’m going to choose the option No, use Routing and Remote Access to authenticate connection requests instead. That’s selected by default, so I can simply click Next.

I’m taken to a summary screen where I have the chance to review all of the settings that I’ve enabled. If I scroll through this, everything appears to be correct. I’ll go ahead and click Finish.

You can see that the Routing and Remote Access service is starting and so now my VPN server has been enabled.

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Google Cloud support premium tier woos enterprise customers

Google Cloud has introduced a Premium Support option designed to appeal to large enterprises through features such as 15-minute response times for critical issues.

Premium Support customers will be serviced by “context-aware experts who understand your unique application stack, architecture and implementation details,” said Atul Nanda, vice president of cloud support.

These experts will coordinate with a customer’s assigned technical account manager to resolve issues faster and in a more personalized manner, Nanda said in a blog post.

Google wanted to expand its support offerings beyond what basic plans for Google Cloud and G Suite include, according to Nanda. Other Premium Support features include operational health reviews, training, preview access to new products and more help with third-party technologies.

In contrast, Google’s other support options range from a free tier that provides help with only billing issues; Development, which costs $100 per user per month, with a four-hour response time; and Production, which costs $250 per user per month and has a one-hour response time.

Premium Support carries a base annual fee of $150,000 plus 4% of the customer’s net spending on Google Cloud Platform and/or G Suite. Google is also working on add-on services for Premium Support, such as expanded technical account manager coverage and mission-critical support, which involves a site reliability engineering consulting engagement. The latter is now in pilot.

Cloud changes the support equation

Customers with on-premises software licenses are used to paying stiff annual maintenance fees, which give them updates, bug fixes and technical support. On-premises maintenance fees can generate profit margins for vendors north of 90%, consuming billions of IT budget dollars that could have been spent on better things, said Duncan Jones, an analyst at Forrester.

Duncan JonesDuncan Jones

Google is recognizing they need to move up the stack in terms of support to make further inroads into the enterprise space.
Grant KirkwoodCTO, Unitas Global

“But customers of premium support offerings such as Microsoft Unified (fka Premier) Support and SAP MaxAttention express much higher satisfaction levels with value for money,” Jones said via email. “They are usually an alternative to similar services that the vendor’s SI and channel partners offer, so there is competition that drives up standards. Plus, they are optional extras so price/demand sensitivity keeps pricing at reasonable levels.” On the whole, Google’s move to add Premium Support is positive for customers, according to Jones.

But it’s clear why Google did it from a business perspective, said Grant Kirkwood, CTO of Unitas Global, a hybrid cloud services provider in Los Angeles. “Google is recognizing they need to move up the stack in terms of support to make further inroads into the enterprise space,” he said.

Microsoft today probably has the most robust support in terms of a traditional enterprise look-and-feel, while AWS’ approach is geared a bit more toward DevOps-centric shops, Kirkwood added.

“[Google is] taking a bit out of both playbooks,” he said. Premium Support could appeal to enterprises that have already done easier lift-and-shift projects to the cloud and are now rebuilding or creating new cloud-native applications, according to Kirkwood.

But as with anything, Google will have to prove its Premium Support option is worth the extra money.

“Successful [support] plans require great customer success management, highly trained technical account managers and AI-driven case management,” said Ray Wang, founder and CEO of Constellation Research.

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Wanted – HPTX-capable case

Interested in doing a bit of a project for a future build, and looking for a large HPTX compatible case to use as a base – Midi tower eg. Lian Li PC-90, full tower eg. Lian Li PC-A75 or dual width/cube eg. Lian Li D series would all be considered.

Doesn’t have to be a Lian Li but these are good examples of the sizes I’m looking for.

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Partners need to target SAP SMB market for cloud transition

SAP SMB customers make up a large percentage of SAP’s overall customer base. Most SMB customers rely on SAP’s extensive partner network for sales and implementation of SAP systems. And SAP, in turn, is relying on its partners to help transition its SMB customer base from traditional on-premises ERP systems to the next-generation SAP S/4HANA Cloud ERP platform.

In this Q&A conducted at the Innovate Live by SAP event in November, Claus Gruenewald, SAP global vice president of Global Partner Organization portfolio management, discusses the roles that SAP partners play in selling to and servicing the SAP SMB market. Gruenewald explains that partners who have been successful in selling on-premises SAP systems will need to change their strategy to become successful in the cloud.

Why are SAP’s partners important for the SAP SMB customer base?

Claus Gruenewald: The SMB market is one which SAP predominantly serves through and with partners. So the partner business is a very important one for SAP SMB customers. Most SMB sales are driven by partners, and most of the partners are local. Sometimes we see the global partners in the SMB space, particularly Deloitte, but we don’t see that often. It’s a very local business. These partners really know the market space; they are also trusted by their customers because the name of the brand is known in the local space.

How many partners are currently active?

Gruenewald: There are a little over 800 active selling partners for SAP S/4HANA on-premises, and there are 300 partners that actively work on cloud with around 100 partners actively closing deals for SAP S/4HANA Cloud. There’s such a difference in on-premises because the sales and service cycles are longer compared to cloud. If a customer decides to go for on-premises on purpose — and there are reasons for this — typically the partner needs a little longer in the sales cycle, and partners are able to do one, two or maybe three projects a year, depending on the size of the partner. So it’s not a volume business, it’s a value business for the partner.

Claus GruenewaldClaus Gruenewald

What are some of the differences between on-premises and cloud implementations?

Gruenewald: The sales cycle and the project scope is shorter for the cloud, and it’s more often led by best practices. In on-premises, you sell an ERP on-premises license and the customer comes with precise requirements about what it wants to solve with the ERP implementation. The partners can then make a customized, on-premises ERP that’s specific to the customer, which makes the sales and implementation cycle longer. One strategy for customers is that they can differentiate in their industry with a specific customized ERP, so they may choose on-premises. However, another customer strategy is to say that almost everybody in the industry already has ERP, so the strategic differentiator … is fast rollout and using best practices in the industry, so they may choose the cloud.

What are some of the differences in the ways partners approach on-premises or cloud implementations?

Gruenewald: The on-premises partner typically doesn’t do more than three to four projects a year because it needs the resources and it only has a given amount of consultants. With the cloud, the partner is successful if it has a fast go-to-market [strategy], which means going after many customers. The cloud business model only works if a partner has four to six customers a year. The money from the cloud customer comes in quarterly fees, so the partner has to cover a cash flow dip in the beginning. But if it keeps the customer for one and a half years, the cash comes back. So the partner does well if it has four to six customers in the first year. The first year of cloud business for everyone is an investment business, but after one and a half or two years with six or seven customers, the profitability and cash flow curve is super steep. That’s if you don’t lose customers.

How can partners who have been successful with on-premises implementations focus more on cloud business?

Gruenewald: We have trainings for that but it’s also a mind shift to get into that business. Make the customer understand that it’s best to take it as is, it’s a best practice in cloud. So don’t sell feature functions, sell best practices. Once your customer accepts best practices, then it’s a cloud customer. The customer will be happy almost forever because in ERP, a customer usually doesn’t change the vendor because [ERP is] mission-critical for them. They usually don’t do it because the switching costs are simply too high, whether it’s cloud or on-premises.

What are some specific ways partners can sell their customers on the cloud?

Gruenewald: The partners understand ERP very well but if the partner just goes in with too many feature functions to a cloud-minded customer, that will not succeed. The partners have to help customers understand that SAP has a pretty good understanding of their industry, and that these are the best practices. For example, here are the best practices that matter in consumer goods or component manufacturing — and that’s pre-configured in the system. You take it to your customer with a demo system and show them the software, show them the nice [user interface], show them what has improved using machine learning and AI, show how much automation has to be put into the system. It’s not the original ERP system anymore where everything was done manually, which was nice for a professional user 20 years ago. Now, the ERP application has changed and is much more automated. It’s not made for these super professional users for only that system. This saves them time, which they can use for something else, because the system automatically gives them not a decision, but a decision proposal. It’s not just a system that you have to feed all the time with master data and transactional data, it’s basically automated now and all that process stuff is going away.

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Swim DataFabric platform helps to understand edge streaming data

The new Swim DataFabric platform aims to help IT professionals categorize and make sense of large volumes of streaming data in real time.

The startup, based in San Jose, Calif., emerged from stealth in April 2018, with the promise of providing advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities to meet data processing and categorization challenges.

With the new Swim DataFabric, released Sept. 18, the vendor is looking to help make it easier for more users to analyze data. The Swim DataFabric platform integrates with Microsoft Azure cloud services including IoT suite and Data Lake Storage to classify and analyze data, as well as helps make predictions in real time.

The Swim DataFabric platform helps users get the most out of their real-time data with any distributed application including IoT and edge use cases, said Krishnan Subramanian, Rishidot Research chief research advisor.

“Gone are those days where REST is a reasonable interface for real-time data because of latency and scalability issues,” Subramanian said. “This is where Swim’s WARP protocol makes more sense and I think it is going to change how the distributed applications are developed as well as the user experience for these applications.”

Why the Swim DataFabric is needed

I think it is going to change how the distributed applications are developed as well as the user experience for these applications.
Krishnan SubramanianChief research advisor, Rishidot Research

A big IT challenge today is that users are getting streams of data from assets that are essentially boundless, said Simon Crosby, CTO at Swim. “A huge focus in the product is on really making it extraordinarily simple for customers to plug in their data streams and to build the model for them, taking all the pain out of understanding what’s in their data,” Crosby said.

Swim’s technology is being used by cities across the U.S. to help with road traffic management. The vendor has a partnership with Trafficware for a program that receives data from traffic sensors as part of a system that helps predict traffic flows.

The Swim DataFabric platform moves the vendor into a different space. The Swim DataFabric is focused on enabling customers that are Microsoft Azure cloud adopters to benefit from the Swim platform.

“It has an ability to translate any old data format from the edge into the CDM (Common Data Model) format which Microsoft uses for the ADLS (Azure Data Lake Storage) Gen2,” Crosby said. “So, a Microsoft user can now just click on the Swim DataFabric, which will figure out what is in the data, then labels the data and deposits it into ADLS.”

Screenshot of Swim architecture
Swim architecture

With the labelled data in the data lake, Crosby explained that the user can then use whatever additional data analysis tool they want, such as Microsoft’s Power BI or Azure Databricks.

He noted that Swim also has a customer that has chosen to use Swim technology on Amazon Web Services, but he emphasized that the Swim DataFabric platform is mainly optimized for Azure, due to that platform’s strong tooling and lifecycle management capabilities.

Swim DataFabric digital twin

One of the key capabilities that the Swim DataFabric provides is what is known as a digital twin model. The basic idea is that a data model is created that is a twin or a duplicate of something that exists in the real world.

“What we want is independent, concurrent, parallel processing of things, each of which is a digital twin of a real-world data source,” Crosby explained.

The advantage of the digital twin approach is fast processing as well as the ability to correlate and understand the state of data. With the large volumes of data that can come from IoT and edge devices, Crosby emphasized that understanding the state of a device is increasingly valuable.

“Everything in Swim is about transforming data into streamed insights,” Crosby said.

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Sigfox network provides cheap, efficient connectivity for IoT

Forget 5G. The key to implementing IoT applications may lie in “zero G.”

Broadband networks like 5G (or 2G, 3G, 4G) can quickly send large amounts of data for streaming applications. But the networks are overly powerful for IoT devices, which produce and transmit small bits of data and don’t need to operate in real time. Scale IoT devices to the millions, and the ideal network for carrying lots of IoT-generated data may be the Sigfox “0G” network.

The Sigfox 0G network enables companies to connect IoT devices at a fraction of the cost and power consumption needed by broadband networks, according to Ajay Rane, vice president of business development for Sigfox, which is based in Labège, France.

A network like this has many uses for Industry 4.0 applications, including supply chain and logistics, industrial IoT (IIoT), smart cities and smart buildings, Rane said.

“[The Sigfox 0G network] can’t do high-speed data, but it works well for the market that we’re targeting,” he said. “We’re not about to replace cellular or any other technology; we have a spot at the bottom of the pyramid of IoT technologies and there are a lot of devices at the bottom of that pyramid which require low power, low cost connectivity.”

The Sigfox network is a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) that connects devices over large distances without consuming a lot of power. IoT sensors send data through the Sigfox network to a gateway called a Sigfox base station, which posts the messages to the Sigfox cloud at least every 10 minutes. The Sigfox cloud then pushes the messages to client applications.

Keeping the costs low

Asset tracking applications implemented as LPWAN network availability has increased in the last 18 months, and Sigfox has been able to deliver immediate ROI because it’s simpler to implement and the device cost is comparatively low, according to Adarsh Krishnan, principle analyst at ABI Research, which is based in Oyster Bay, New York. Krishnan covers IoT connectivity and LPWAN technologies.

“When you bring the cost of individual asset trackers down to that level, an enterprise looking to deploy these in large volumes can justify such an investment, and Sigfox has devices that can last many years and track across multiple regions,” he said.  “The initial capital investment is much lower because the cost of connectivity itself is very low, and then the cost of devices becomes low because you’re sending very small amounts of data infrequently, which lowers the device cost because you’re optimizing battery use on the devices.”

Battery costs are some of the biggest expenses in asset tracking applications, Krishnan explained, and it can break a business justification to continually replace batteries or pay maintenance costs on thousands of devices.

As IIoT applications become more feasible, other LPWAN options such as LoRa, and other connectivity methods such as cellular networks are also emerging, according to Krishnan. However, the Sigfox network connectivity capacity of just 12 bytes of data maximum and no more than 140 messages per day makes it attractive for IIoT applications.

“Their idea is less is more and they’re addressing very specific use cases within what we call massive IoT use cases, where the data requirements are very small with small packets of data being transmitted from the devices less frequently,” he said. “It’s not real-time tracking — the data transmission may be every half hour — so battery or power efficiency becomes the biggest requirement in some of these use cases.”

Sigfox enables supply chain track-and-trace

Safecube, a startup firm based in Lyon, France that provides supply chain track-and-trace applications, was able to scale its business globally after connecting to the Sigfox network.

Safecube’s service enables shippers to have direct, near real-time access to data about a shipment’s location and condition through IoT sensors that transmit data on the Sigfox network. The network’s growth in coverage in the last two years is the main reason why Safecube uses it, according to Waël Cheaib, Safecube CEO.

“Now the network covers between 60 and 70 countries in the world, so they can say that they have global footprint,” Cheaib said. “They’ve been also developing a technical feature that allows truckers to work worldwide. Until recently, it was not possible for any low power network to have something working in Europe, the U.S., South America and Africa.”

The Sigfox network is suited to Safecube’s application because the data needs to be precise about things such as shipment location, but it’s not a lot of data, Cheaib explained. The network also has to work globally.

“In order to send this information, you don’t need a 5G network. You need a network that is designed to communicate small loads of data, so there are very limited connectivity costs,” he said. “The other resources that are available are long range networks — 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G, which are very costly. But Sigfox is the only low-power network that’s able to provide a global solution.”

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Wanted – Laptop – 15″+ With Hdmi out and SSD £300ish

Hi Guys,

My work laptop is slowly dying, so on the lookout for decent large laptop.
17″ would be great, but would consider 15″+
SSD and Hdmi are the only wants. Will be kept on a desk so battery doesn’t have to be brilliant.

What have we

Location: Altrincham

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  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
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DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

Wanted – Laptop – 15″+ With Hdmi out and SSD £300ish

Hi Guys,

My work laptop is slowly dying, so on the lookout for decent large laptop.
17″ would be great, but would consider 15″+
SSD and Hdmi are the only wants. Will be kept on a desk so battery doesn’t have to be brilliant.

What have we

Location: Altrincham

______________________________________________________
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.

Wanted – Laptop – 15″+ With Hdmi out and SSD £300ish

Hi Guys,

My work laptop is slowly dying, so on the lookout for decent large laptop.
17″ would be great, but would consider 15″+
SSD and Hdmi are the only wants. Will be kept on a desk so battery doesn’t have to be brilliant.

What have we

Location: Altrincham

______________________________________________________
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.

Wanted – Laptop – 15″+ With Hdmi out and SSD £300ish

Hi Guys,

My work laptop is slowly dying, so on the lookout for decent large laptop.
17″ would be great, but would consider 15″+
SSD and Hdmi are the only wants. Will be kept on a desk so battery doesn’t have to be brilliant.

What have we

Location: Altrincham

______________________________________________________
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.