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Altaro VM Backup Voted Best Backup Product of the Year 2017

We are delighted to announce that Altaro has been voted Backup and Recovery/Archive Product of the Year 2017 at the prestigious annual IT industry SVC Awards 2017 beating other many other well-known backup software developers. We are especially happy about this award because it’s voted by end-users and the IT community. Thank you to everyone who voted for us!

About the SVC Awards

The SVC Awards reward the products, projects, and services as well as honor companies and teams operating in the cloud, storage and digitalization sectors. The SVC Awards recognize the achievements of end-users, channel partners and vendors alike and in the case of the end-user categories, there will also be an award made to the supplier supporting the winning organization. (from svcawards.com)

Altaro VM Backup in 2017

2017 has been a very productive year for Altaro. Although the product was already very well received by system administrators around the world in 2016, we brought in a number of key features in 2017 that have brought the product to new heights. We started the year by launching Version 7 of Altaro VM Backup and adding Augmented Inline Deduplication technology to the software package. In May we brought the highly praised Cloud Management Console (CMC) to end users, in June we added the Backup Health Monitor, and in July we rolled-out the ability for our customers to offsite backup to Azure.

In 2017, we reached several customer milestones as our user base surpassed 40,000 customers and year-on-year growth hit 40%. More than 400,000 Hyper-V and VMware virtual machines are now being protected using Altaro VM Backup. More than 10,000 Altaro customers are now connected to the Multi-Tenant Cloud Management Console, and after launching the Altaro MSP program less than 12 months ago in late 2016, the service has already signed up more than 500 MSPs to its monthly subscription program.

Phew! It’s been a very busy year for Altaro and the recognition as Best Backup and Recovery/Archive Product of the Year 2017 at the SVC awards is the icing on the cake. Thank you to all our partners, distributors and end-users for continuing to embrace Altaro VM Backup and providing the feedback we need to continue growing and developing the software to meet your needs. However, the work doesn’t stop here; we have even more exciting new features in development for Altaro VM Backup that we’ll be releasing next year. Bring on 2018!

7 Powerful Scripts for Practical Hyper-V Network Configurations

I firmly believe in empowerment. I feel that I should supply you with knowledge, provide you with how-tos, share insights and experiences, and release you into the world to make your own decisions. However, I came to that approach by standing at the front of a classroom. During class, we’d almost invariably walk through exercises. Since this is a blog and not a classroom, I do things differently. We don’t have common hardware in a controlled environment, so I typically forgo the exercises bit. As a result, that leaves a lot of my readers at the edge of a cliff with no bridge to carry them from theory to practice. And, of course, there are those of you that would love to spend time reading about concepts but just really need to get something done right now. If you’re stopped at Hyper-V networking, this is the article for you.

Script Inventory

These scripts are included in this article:

Basic Usage

I’m going to show each item as a stand-alone script. First, you’ll locate the one that best aligns with what you’re trying to accomplish. You’ll copy/paste that into a .ps1 PowerShell script file on your system. You’ll need to edit the script to provide information about your environment so that it will work for you. I’ll have you set each of those items at the beginning of the script. Then, you’ll just need to execute the script on your host.

Most scripts will have its own “basic usage” heading that explains a bit about how you’d use it without modification.

Enhanced Usage

I could easily compile these into standalone executables that you couldn’t tinker with. Even though I want to give you a fully prepared springboard, I also want you to learn how the system works and what you’re doing to it.

Most scripts will have its own “enhanced usage” heading that gives some ideas how you might exploit or extend it yourself.

Configure networking for a single host with a single adapter

Use this script for a standalone system that only has one physical adapter. It will:

  • Disable VMQ for the physical adapter
  • Create a virtual switch on the adapter
  • Create a virtual network adapter for the management operating system to use
  • Optionally place the management adapter into a VLAN
  • Assign an IP, subnet, and gateway to the management adapter
  • Specify one or two DNS servers

Basic Usage for this Script

You just need to enter the necessary information for these items and execute it.

Advanced Usage for this Script

As-is, this script should be complete for most typical single-adapter systems. You might choose to disable some items. For instance, if you are using this on Windows 10, you might not want to provide a fixed IP address. In that case, just put a # sign at the beginning of lines 42 onward. When the virtual network adapter is created, it will remain in DHCP mode.

Configure a standalone host with 2-4 gigabit adapters for converged networking

Use this script for a standalone host that has between two and four gigabit adapters that you want to use in a converged networking configuration. It will:

  • Create a team on the adapters
  • Disable VMQ for the physical adapters and the teamed adapter
  • Create a virtual switch on the team
  • Create a virtual network adapter for the management operating system to use
  • Optionally place the management adapter into a VLAN
  • Assign an IP, subnet, and gateway to the management adapter
  • Specify one or two DNS servers

Basic Usage for this Script

You just need to enter the necessary information for these items and execute it. Be aware that it will have problems if you already have a team.

Advanced Usage for this Script

This script serves as the base for the remaining scripts on this page. Likewise, you could use it as a base for your own. You could also use any of the items as examples for whatever similar actions you wish to accomplish in your own scripts.

Configure a standalone host with 2-4 10 GbE adapters for converged networking

Use this script for a standalone host that has between two and four 10GbE adapters that you want to use in a converged networking configuration. It will:

  • Create a team on the adapters
  • Create a virtual switch on the team
  • Create a virtual network adapter for the management operating system to use
  • Optionally place the management adapter into a VLAN
  • Assign an IP, subnet, and gateway to the management adapter
  • Specify one or two DNS servers

It won’t take a great deal of sleuthing to discover that this script is identical to the preceding one, except that it does not disable VMQ.

Configure a clustered host with 2-4 gigabit adapters for converged networking

Use this script for a host that has between two and four gigabit adapters that will be a member of a cluster. Like the previous scripts, it will employ a converged networking configuration. The script will:

  • Create a team on the adapters
  • Disable VMQ for the physical adapters and the teamed adapter
  • Create a virtual switch on the team
  • Create virtual network adapters for the management operating system to use for management traffic, cluster communications, and Live Migration
  • Optionally place the virtual adapters into VLANs
  • Assign an IP, subnet, and gateway to the management adapter
  • Assign an IP and subnet mask to the cluster and Live Migration adapters
  • Prevent the cluster and Live Migration adapters from registering in DNS
  • Specify one or two DNS servers

Basic Usage for this Script

You just need to enter the necessary information for these items and execute it. It is essentially the same as the stand-alone multi-gigabit adapter script except that it also adds adapters for cluster communications and Live Migration traffic.

It does not arrange the adapters in an optimal order for Live Migration. The cluster will automatically prioritize the cluster and Live Migration adapters over the management adapter, but it might prioritize the cluster adapter over the Live Migration adapter. Practically, that will have no meaningful effect; these designations are mostly cosmetic. If you’d like to force the issue, you’ll need to do so separately. You could, of course, use Failover Cluster Manager for this. I’ve included a script later in this article that makes the setting change for you. You cannot combine these scripts because the cluster must exist before you can specify the Live Migration adapter order. Also, you only need to specify the order one time, not once per node.

Advanced Usage for this Script

You could do a great number of things with this script. One suggestion would be to add cluster creation/join logic. It would be non-trivial, but you’d be able to combine the Live Migration adapter ordering script.

Configure a clustered host with 2-4 10 GbE adapters for converged networking

This script is identical to the preceding except that it leaves VMQ enabled. It does the following:

  • Create a team on the adapters
  • Create a virtual switch on the team
  • Create virtual network adapters for the management operating system to use for management traffic, cluster communications, and Live Migration
  • Optionally place the virtual adapters into VLANs
  • Assign an IP, subnet, and gateway to the management adapter
  • Assign an IP and subnet mask to the cluster and Live Migration adapters
  • Prevent the cluster and Live Migration adapters from registering in DNS
  • Specify one or two DNS servers

Basic Usage for this Script

These notes are identical to those of the preceding script.

You just need to enter the necessary information for these items and execute it. It is essentially the same as the stand-alone multi-gigabit adapter script except that it also adds adapters for cluster communications and Live Migration traffic.

It does not arrange the adapters in an optimal order for Live Migration. The cluster will automatically prioritize the cluster and Live Migration adapters over the management adapter, but it might prioritize the cluster adapter over the Live Migration adapter. Practically, that will have no meaningful effect; these designations are mostly cosmetic. If you’d like to force the issue, you’ll need to do so separately. You could, of course, use Failover Cluster Manager for this. I’ve included a script later in this article that makes the setting change for you. You cannot combine these scripts because the cluster must exist before you can specify the Live Migration adapter order. Also, you only need to specify the order one time, not once per node.

Advanced Usage for this Script

These notes are identical to those of the preceding script.

You could do a great number of things with this script. One suggestion would be to add cluster creation/join logic. It would be non-trivial, but you’d be able to combine the Live Migration adapter ordering script.

Set preferred order for cluster Live Migration networks

This script aligns with the two preceding scripts to ensure that the cluster chooses the named “Live Migration” adapter first when moving virtual machines between nodes. The “Cluster” virtual adapter will be used second. The management adapter will be used as the final fallback.

Basic Usage for this Script

Use this script after you’ve run one of the above two clustered host scripts and joined them into a cluster.

Advanced Usage for this Script

Modify this to change the order of Live Migration adapters. You must specify all adapters recognized by the cluster. Check the “MigrationExcludeNetworks” registry key that’s in the same location as “MigrationNetworkOrder”.

Exclude cluster networks from Live Migration

This script is intended to be used as an optional adjunct to the preceding script. Since my scripts set up all virtual adapters to be used in Live Migration, the network names used here are fabricated.

Basic Usage for this Script

You’ll need to set the network names to match yours, but otherwise, the script does not need to be altered.

Advanced Usage for this Script

This script will need to be modified in order to be used at all.

The UK is in the fast lane to the future and teachers are in the driving seat

By Cindy Rose, UK CEO, Microsoft Ltd

The Chancellor’s Budget today shows that the Government and Microsoft share the same goal: to build a hi-tech UK that’s fit for the future.

We welcome the announcement by the Chancellor to triple the number of fully-qualified computer science teachers from 4,000 to 12,000. There is an urgent need for the UK to tackle its digital skills gap and use technology to nurture the creativity already embedded in the next generation.

Teachers across the country need more support to deliver the plans laid out today in the Budget. They need the skills to pass on to their students, the tools to enable them to engage young minds, the freedom to experiment in class and find the best way to engage youngsters, and the professional support to ensure they can get help if they need it.

A YouGov survey published last month found that 67% of primary and secondary school teachers can’t teach coding because of a lack of “skills and teaching tools”, and just under 40% don’t have access to the right hardware and software.

School provision of GCSE Computing in 2015-16

Microsoft is working to ensure everyone can benefit from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and has launched a programme to help people across the UK improve their digital skills to ensure the country remains one of the global leaders in cloud computing, AI and other next-generation technologies.

Philip Hammond has promised to put Britain in the “fast lane” with funding for artificial intelligence, computer science education, driverless cars and digital skills.

The road to making the UK a leader in the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be a long one, but we are on it together.

It’s also important to remember that the country is not starting from scratch, and the UK is built on a strong foundation of innovation. From Ada Lovelace, through Alan Turing to Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Britain has always shown itself to be at the cutting-edge of science and technology.

You only have to look at cities such as Dundee, Manchester and Cambridge to see that this trend continues today, and the Government should be applauded for its work in creating a digital economy in which our brightest minds can shine for the benefit of everyone.

Learn more about Microsoft’s Digital Skills Programme

Student uptake of GCSE Computing in 2015-16

Being “future-ready” means ensuring children leave school with a strong foundational knowledge in STEM and computer science. This means ALL children. Just 20% of Computer Science GCSE students in the past year were female, and only 10% of those continued to study the subject at A-level. Microsoft believes the UK’s digital skills gap is unacceptable and we are working tirelessly with our partners to encourage more girls and those from minority backgrounds to study STEM subjects.

It takes a range of skills and personalities to achieve success, which is why we also welcome the formation of a National Retraining Scheme, including a multi-million-pound commitment to digital skills courses using AI. Microsoft has been a long-standing advocate for and supporter of computer science education, working with the Royal Society, the British Computer Society, Computing at School and others in the technology industry. Government, schools, the voluntary sector and industry need to work together to ensure every child has the chance to fulfil their potential in a future transformed by digital technology.”

The UK’s future is bright if we empower teachers to do what they do best – teach.

How Microsoft’s Dona Sarkar Keeps Her Future Self On Track

I believe that your dreams and your day job can coexist. I always have at least four projects going on at the same time, and I switch frequently between them. If I’m struggling to work on a project for Windows Insiders, I’ll write a chapter of a nonfiction book I am writing, or I’ll sketch something from my fashion line, or I’ll watch a short [tutorial] video.

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If I have a pocket of time—seven minutes or 20 minutes—I set my timer and do a work sprint. You can whip off 10 emails or five ideas in five minutes. If I have seven minutes to write a document, I will finish it: It may not be the best document in the world, but all the bones will be down, enough to the point that I can share it with someone and ask them what they think of the overall framework.

I don’t put all my emotional eggs in one basket. I’ve never had a bad day in my life because I can always go and do something that means a lot to me, and that I have invested a lot in, and that is within my control.

Whatever the opposite of FOMO is, I have that. I am too busy living my life to worry about what other people are doing.

Time she wakes up: 4 a.m.

First thing she does: “I write five gratitudes, five worries, and five intentions. It’s a way for me to prioritize what really matters.”

Productivity tools: “I have a shared OneNote with Jeremiah Marble, the founder and director of the Windows Insider Program. If I feel that I could use his help or vice versa, we’ll send each other a quick message. It’s all real time.”

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Email strategy: “I check email three times a day: morning, afternoon, and evening. I have a filter that only lets in emails where my name is on the ‘To’ line. If I’m on a CC or alias, I check those emails only a few times a week.”

Dealing with the news: “I consume news twice a day: in the morning, after I am done writing in my journal, and in the evening. During the day, if something breaks, I will find out about it from 12 different sources.”

Motivational object: “I have a framed needlepoint that says hustle, which one of my coworkers made for me.”

Best habit: “I’m not afraid to start something. I don’t need to be good at something that I have never done before: I assume I am going to be very bad.”

Worst habit: “I am awake at all hours and have a lot of energy, which can be overwhelming to some people.”

Productivity advice: “You should track your time every hour of the day, then consider whether what you are doing leaves you in a positive or negative mood. Then do more of the things that bring you joy.”

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Time she goes to bed: Between midnight and 1 a.m.

Bargain or trouble: Cybercrime and non-genuine software – Asia News Center

That is because cybercriminals – who have never been so adept at inflicting harm – are routinely infusing non-genuine software with all sorts of malware: trojans, worms, viruses, ransomware, backdoors, spyware, droppers, injectors, adware and so on.

A NUS researcher investigating a website that offers pirated software downloads.

They can do a whole lot of damage in this digital age. They might steal your data, your identity, and even your credit card details and savings. They might spy on your online activities, gain access to your files, and hack and manipulate your PC, leading it into even more peril. Most types of malware can be hard to detect and difficult to get rid of. And with time, the malware strains can multiply and become more sophisticated, dangerous, and highly targeted.

Sikdar sharing the dangers of downloading and using pirated software.

Downloading from a pirated disc or dodgy website opens a door to cybercriminals. Infected computers at home and work, Sikdar says, can be “turned into bots, zombies and then none of your personal information is secret anymore”.

Sikdar, who is an Associate Professor from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the NUS Faculty of Engineering, recently led a team of graduate students who set out to understand the scope of the problem in Asia – which has some of the highest pirated software usage rates in the world.  They scanned 458 pieces of non-genuine software and suspect websites in eight Asia Pacific countries – Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Korea, and Philippines.

Infected computers at home and work, Sikdar says, can be “turned into bots, zombies and then none of your personal information is secret anymore”.

Their findings were staggering and disturbing.

The study, which was commissioned by Microsoft, discovered that 100% of the websites that host links to pirated software expose users to multiple security risks. Out of 165 CD and DVD samples, 61% carried malware. It even found that many new computers were at risk with non-genuine software pre-loaded – often as a “sweetener” thrown in by retailers wanting to make a sale. Of the new PCs sampled, 92% were infected.

SolarWinds’ AppOptics melds network device monitoring, app behavior

SolarWinds has beefed up its cloud monitoring platform with tools that allow managers to track both application performance and infrastructure components in a single view.

The upgrades to SolarWinds’ Cloud software-as-a-service portfolio include a new application, as well as updates to two existing products.

The new network device monitoring application, AppOptics, uses a common dashboard to track application performance metrics and network component health — both within the enterprise network or throughout a public cloud provider’s network.

The software combines two existing SolarWinds cloud monitoring apps, Librato and TraceView, into a single network device monitoring product, said Christoph Pfister, executive vice president of products at the company, based in Austin, Texas. Initially, AppOptics will support both Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure; support for other providers could be added at a later date, Pfister said.

“Infrastructure and application monitoring are now in separate silos,” he said. “We are trying to integrate them. The digital experience has become very important. But behind the scenes, applications have become very complex, making monitoring and troubleshooting challenging.”

AppOptics uses downloaded agents to collect tracing, host and infrastructure monitoring metrics to feed a common dashboard, through which managers can keep tabs on network device monitoring and application behavior and take appropriate steps in the wake of performance degradation.

In addition to launching AppOptics, SolarWinds added a more powerful search engine and more robust analytics to Papertrail, its log management application. And it added capabilities to Pingdom, a digital experience measurement tool, to allow enterprises to react more quickly to issues that might affect user engagement with a website or service.

Both AppOptics and Papertrail are available Nov. 20; SolarWinds will release Pingdom Nov. 27. All are available as downloads from SolarWinds. The cloud monitoring platform is priced at $7.50 per host, per month.

SolarWinds AppOptics monitoring dashboard

Ruckus launches high-speed WLAN switches

Ruckus Wireless Inc. introduced a new group of wireless LAN switches engineered to support network edge and aggregation functions.

The new switches, the ICX 7650 series, come in three models, including a multi-gigabit access switch that supports both 2.5 Gbps and 5 Gbps throughput; a core switch with Layer 3  features and up to 24 10 Gbps and 24 1 Gbps fiber ports of capacity; and a high-performance gigabit switch that can be deployed as a stack of up to 12 switches.

“As more wireless users access cloud and data-intensive applications on their devices, the demand for high-speed, resilient edge networks continues to increase,” said Siva Valliappan, vice president of campus product management at Ruckus, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., in a statement. “The ICX 7650 switch family captures all these requirements, enabling users to scale and future-proof their network infrastructure to meet the increasing demand of wired and wireless network requirements for seven to 10 years,” he added.

The switches, available early next year, are priced starting at $11,900, Ruckus said.

DDoS attacks on rise, thanks to IoT

Distributed denial-of-service, or DDoS, attacks have risen sharply in the past year, according to a new security report from Corero Network Security.

The firm, based in Marlborough, Mass., said Corero enterprise customers experienced an average of 237 DDoS attempts each day during the third quarter of 2017, a 35% increase from the year-earlier period and almost double from what they experienced in the first quarter of 2017.

The company attributed the growth in attacks to DDoS for-hire services and the proliferation of unsecured internet of things (IoT) devices. One piece of malware, dubbed the Reaper, has already infected thousands of IoT gadgets, Corero said.

In addition, Corero’s study found that hackers are using multiple ways to penetrate an organization’s security perimeter. Some 20% of attacks recorded in the second quarter of 2017 used multiple attack vectors, the company said.

Finally, Corero said ransom-oriented DDoS attacks also rose in the third quarter, attributing many of them to one group, the Phantom Squad, which targeted companies across the United States, Europe and Asia.

Wanted – Macbook Air 13″

Hi there,

I have one that I’m almost certainly going to sell, as long as my new tablet shows up tomorrow, and it works as expected, I’ll be wanting to offload.

It’s an A1466, i7, 8Gb RAM, 250Gb SSD, High Sierra. Battery lasts about 7 hours in my use. Just need to see what it’s worth first before I decide on a price.

Let me know if this might be any good.

Paul

For Sale – Synology RT2600AC router

Hi,

I am selling a Synology RT2600AC that I purchased from Amazon on the 26th April 2017. It is in great condition and Congress with the original box and power supply.

This really is one of the best routers money can buy, a number 1 rated router on Smallnetbuilder;

Router RT2600ac | Synology Inc.

A quality Synology product.

Price and currency: £155
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: Bank transfer or PayPal gift
Location: Rotherham
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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

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

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

Wanted – Macbook Air 13″

Hi there,

I have one that I’m almost certainly going to sell, as long as my new tablet shows up tomorrow, and it works as expected, I’ll be wanting to offload.

It’s an A1466, i7, 8Gb RAM, 250Gb SSD, High Sierra. Battery lasts about 7 hours in my use. Just need to see what it’s worth first before I decide on a price.

Let me know if this might be any good.

Paul

This month on Bing: holiday shopping, photo contest, new sports and weather experiences

This month at Bing we shipped several new experiences that help you quickly find what you’re looking for.
 

Holiday Shopping

With the holidays upon us, we have new tools to make it easy for you to search and discover the best deals on gifts.

blackfridaycountdown

Bing Shopping helps you save time by bringing together products from multiple sellers across the Web in to one search experience. Be it televisions, clothing and shoes, toys for your little ones, or gift baskets for your loved ones, you can compare across a wide range of products, filter your choices, compare prices, and visit the seller’s website where you can complete the purchase.

The Black Friday flyers page is a one stop shop to help you find Black Friday ads from across major stores in the US, saving you time mapping out your Black Friday strategy. So whether you are deal hunting or browsing specific stores, bookmark this page and visit it often to discover the latest deals as they are available.

Also in time for the holidays, we’ve increased the number of delivery services we support for package tracking, expanding our coverage from USPS, UPS, and Fedex in the US to coverage of several markets outside the US including myHermes in Great Britain and Purolator in Canada. Simply put your tracking ID in the search box, and Bing will present the latest tracking status right in the search result.

purolator
 

#AmplifyIngenuity Photo Contest

We also launched a #AmplifyIngenuity photo contest on 11/10 to help our users find inspiration in the ways humanity has used its intelligence to make a better future.

Users can

 

Historical weather and sports information

Bing has already got current weather and football information, but now you can check historical statistics for these topics. 

For example, if you’re hoping to travel these holidays or even just plan what to do at home, you can find historical weather patterns to know what to better expect.

historicalweather

Similarly, you can now go beyond searching current NFL results, and can brush up on your pro football knowledge by checking results of historical games.

historicalfootball

We hope you’re as excited by these releases as we are; we’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback at User Voice!

– The Bing Team