Tag Archives: using

What should CIOs do with SAP ECC support ending in 2025?

SAP has promised the end of SAP ECC support in 2025, and that means big changes for most SAP users. 

Companies using SAP ERP Central Component are faced with some major decisions. The most obvious is whether to stay on ECC or migrate their systems to S4/HANA. This is not easy decision to make, as each has its own set of pros and cons. No matter which choice a company makes, it will face business consequences, and must prepare accordingly.

From the vendor perspective, support staff and developers should focus on a new product. As part of this, most software vendors push their clients to adopt the latest platform, partly by imposing an end-of-support deadline. And this strategy has some success. Most clients don’t want to be left with an unsupported system that might cause work delays. But moving to a new product can also be problematic.

For an SAP ECC customer, moving to S4/HANA comes with its own set of challenges and poses risks. Implementing the latest SAP platform does not always equate to better and faster systems, as seen in Revlon’s disastrous SAP S/4HANA implementation. Revlon experienced shipping delays and revenue losses as a result of system, operational and implementation challenges. It was also sued by shareholders.

Such failures can’t always be blamed only on the new software. Other factors that can contribute to ERP implementation failure — whether a new SAP system or another vendor’s system — include lack of operational maturity, poor leadership, lack of experienced resources and cultural challenges. These can turn a potentially successful ERP implementation into a complete disaster.

End of SAP ECC support must be balanced with the risks of moving to S/4HANA. Companies must consider performing the following activities in order to prepare for the upcoming deadline:

  • Talk to others in the same vertical about their experience with S/4HANA.
  • Determine the costs and changes associated with the change.
  • Evaluate the latest version of S/4HANA.
  • Identify which vendors might potentially continue to provide third-party ECC support after SAP stops it.
  • Determine any compliance concerns that could arise from not receiving updates on ECC software.
  • Reach out to other companies within the SAP user groups and discuss what some of their plans are.
  • Determine a plan for necessary patching and bug fixes.

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What are the Azure Stack HCI deployment, management options?

There are several management approaches and deployment options for organizations interested in using the Azure Stack HCI product.

Azure Stack HCI is a hyper-converged infrastructure product, similar to other offerings in which each node holds processors, memory, storage and networking components. Third-party vendors sell the nodes that can scale should the organization need more resources. A purchase of Azure Stack HCI includes the hardware, Windows Server 2019 operating system, management tools, and service and support from the hardware vendor. At time of publication, Microsoft’s Azure Stack HCI catalog lists more than 150 offerings from 19 vendors.

Azure Stack HCI, not to be confused with Azure Stack, gives IT pros full administrator rights to manage the system.

Tailor the Azure Stack HCI options for different needs

The basic components of an Azure Stack HCI node might be the same, but an organization can customize them for different needs, such as better performance or lowest price. For example, a company that wants to deploy a node in a remote office/branch office might select Lenovo’s ThinkAgile MX Certified Node, or its SR650 model. The SR650 scales to two nodes that can be configured with a variety of processors offering up to 28 cores, up to 1.5 TB of memory, hard drive combinations providing up to 12 TB (or SSDs offering more than 3.8 TB), and networking with 10/25 GbE. Each node comes in a 2U physical form factor.

If the organization needs the node for more demanding workloads, one option is the Fujitsu Primeflex. Azure Stack HCI node models such as the all-SSD Fujitsu Primergy RX2540 M5 scale to 16 nodes. Each node can range from 16 to 56 processor cores, up to 3 TB of SSD storage and 25 GbE networking.

Management tools for Azure Stack HCI systems

Microsoft positions the Windows Admin Center (WAC) as the ideal GUI management tool for Azure Stack HCI, but other familiar utilities will work on the platform.

Microsoft positions the Windows Admin Center (WAC) as the ideal GUI management tool for Azure Stack HCI, but other familiar utilities will work on the platform.

The Windows Admin Center is a relatively new browser-based tool for consolidated management for local and remote servers. The Windows Admin Center provides a wide array of management capabilities, such as managing Hyper-V VMs and virtual switches, along with failover and hyper-converged cluster management. While it is tailored for Windows Server 2019 — the server OS used for Azure Stack HCI — it fully supports Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 and Windows Server 2016, and offers some functionality for Windows Server 2008 R2.

Azure Stack HCI users can also use more established management tools such as System Center. The System Center suite components handle infrastructure provisioning, monitoring, automation, backup and IT service management. System Center Virtual Machine Manager provisions and manages the resources to create and deploy VMs, and handle private clouds. System Center Operations Manager monitors services, devices and operations throughout the infrastructure.

Other tools are also available including PowerShell, both the Windows and the PowerShell Core open source versions, as well as third-party products, such as 5nine Manager for Windows Server 2019 Hyper-V management, monitoring and capacity planning.

It’s important to check over each management tool to evaluate its compatibility with the Azure Stack HCI platform, as well as other components of the enterprise infrastructure.

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Global cryptomining attacks use NSA exploits to earn Monero

A new threat group has launched cryptomining attacks around the globe and is using exploits from the National Security Agency to spread its malware.

The threat group, dubbed ‘Panda,’ was revealed this week in a new report from Cisco Talos. Christopher Evans and Dave Liebenberg, threat researcher and head of strategic intelligence, respectively, at Cisco Talos, wrote that although the group is “far from the most sophisticated” it has been very active and willing to “update their infrastructure and exploits on the fly as security researchers publicize indicators of compromises and proof of concepts.”

“Panda’s willingness to persistently exploit vulnerable web applications worldwide, their tools allowing them to traverse throughout networks, and their use of RATs, means that organizations worldwide are at risk of having their system resources misused for mining purposes or worse, such as exfiltration of valuable information,” Evans and Liebenberg wrote in a blog post. “Our threat traps show that Panda uses exploits previously used by Shadow Brokers and Mimikatz, an open-source credential-dumping program.”

The NSA exploits include EternalBlue, which attacks a vulnerability in Microsoft’s Server Message Block (SMB) protocol. The researchers first became aware of Panda’s cryptomining attacks in the summer of 2018 and told SearchSecurity that over the past year they’ve seen daily activity in the organization’s honeypots.

“We see them in several of our honeypots nearly every day, which tells me they’re targeting a large portion of the internet,” Evans said. “Our honeypots are deployed throughout the world, and I’ve never seen a geographic focus of their attacks in the data. The applications they target are widely deployed, and without patching are easy targets.”

Since January, the researchers saw Panda’s cryptomining attacks changing by targeting different vulnerabilities — first a ThinkPHP web framework issue, then an Oracle WebLogic flaw — and using new infrastructure both in March and again over the past month.

“They also frequently update their targeting, using a variety of exploits to target multiple vulnerabilities, and [are] quick to start exploiting known vulnerabilities shortly after public POCs become available, becoming a menace to anyone slow to patch,” the researchers wrote. “And, if a cryptocurrency miner is able to infect your system, that means another actor could use the same infection vector to deliver other malware.”

Liebenberg told SearchSecurity, “It appears that instead of employing good OpSec they focus on volume. That’s one reason why they’ll keep using old, burned infrastructure while still deploying new ones.” 

Evans and Liebenberg said in their research that the Panda group has made approximately 1,215 Monero (a cryptocurrency that emphasizes privacy), which equates to almost $100,000 today. One Monero is currently equal to $78, but the value of Monero has fluctuated — beginning the year around $50 and peaking over $110 in June.

The researchers have confirmed Panda cryptomining attacks against organizations in the banking, healthcare, transportation, telecommunications and IT services industries. Evans and Liebenberg also told SearchSecurity that the best way for organizations to detect if they have been attacked would be to “look for prolonged high system utilization, connections to mining pools using common mining ports (3333, 4444), watching for common malware persistence mechanisms, watching for DNS traffic to known mining pools and enabling the appropriate rules in your IDS.”

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Wanted – dfi lanparty nf4 ultra socket 939

That was a good board and one I think I changed to from the dfi back in the day as was more reliable.

I’m using a nf4 ut in a mame cabinet, and can’t be bothered to do a more modern install. I’ve actually got mine working again now, turns out it was the power supply. However I’d still be interested in picking up a fully working example as a back up.

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Google delays Hangouts Chat migration until mid-2020

Google delayed plans to force G Suite customers to begin using the team messaging app Hangouts Chat after many businesses objected to the proposed timeline.

Google had planned to begin switching businesses from an older messaging app to Hangouts Chat in October, but the company now says it will compel users to change no sooner than June 2020.

The debacle underscores how difficult it can be for software vendors to convince users to abandon technology they have grown accustomed to, even if a newer app offers more advanced features than the previous version.

The tech giant launched Hangouts Chat in early 2018 in response to the growing popularity of apps like Slack. For Google’s business customers, the newer app will replace Classic Hangouts, a messaging service that supports basic one-to-one and group chats.  

Google designed Hangouts Chat to keep pace with a trend towards more robust, team-centered messaging apps that integrate with business workflows. The product is Google’s counter to Microsoft Teams, a messaging and meetings app included with Office 365.

Microsoft dominated the traditional business productivity market for decades, but Google has been attempting to steal some of those customers as they move to the cloud.

Google provides Hangouts Chat to businesses subscribed to G Suite, a cloud-based bundle of email, calendar, word-processing and document-storage apps that competes with Office 365. G Suite also includes the video conferencing app Hangouts Meet.

In a blog post, Google said many of its customers had requested more time to prepare users for the switch from Classic Hangouts to Hangouts Chat. Businesses wishing to make the switch today can apply for an invitation to an accelerated transition program.

Google has yet to deliver on some critical features for Hangouts Chat. For examples, users can’t chat with external parties or from within Gmail, both of which are possible through Classic Hangouts. Those features, now in beta, are scheduled to launch during the first half of 2020.

Google will continue to support Classic Hangouts for consumers, although the company previously said it would eventually move those users to free versions of Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet. Google has not provided a timeline for that change.

Microsoft has faced similar pushback from customers in its campaign to migrate users from Skype for Business to Teams. Microsoft is giving those using Skype for Business Online, a cloud-based version of the app included with Office 365, until July 2021 to adopt Teams.

Google has taken a slightly different approach to enterprise collaboration than Microsoft. It maintains separate apps for calling, messaging and meetings — capabilities Microsoft has chosen to combine in Teams.

Google appears to be grappling with how to respond to a trend away from email.

Research shows that adoption of apps like Slack and Teams results in workers sending fewer emails, said Irwin Lazar, analyst at Nemertes Research. Google, however, has invested heavily in Gmail and continues to roll out new AI technologies to improve the service.

“Gmail is still bread and butter for them, but [email is] just not the ideal way to collaborate,” Lazar said. At some point, he said, Google may need to commit to making Hangouts Chat its primary interface for enterprise collaboration. “That’s a big leap for them to make.”

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For Sale – Cheap Gaming PC – Intel i5 3570 – Mini ATX – GTX 770 2GB – 8GB RAM – SSD – Windows 10 Pro(OEM)

For sale here is a small form factor gaming PC, as I decided to go back to using laptops. It can handle most latest titles in medium or high settings. Will come with power cord and few bits of screws that come with the case. As I don’t have the box anymore, this is only to collect in person from Tooting, London.

Specifications:
Case

Kolink Satellite Micro ATX Desktop PC Gaming CubeCase Black

Motherboard
MSI H61M-P20-G3 Motherboard (Intel H61 Processor,M-ATX, Gigabit LAN, Socket LGA1155, USB2)

CPU
Intel Core i5-3570 Processor and Intel Cooler

Graphics Card
EVGA GeForce GTX770 SuperClocked with EVGA ACXCooler, 2GB GDDR5 256bit, DL DVI-I, DVI-D, HDMI, DP, SLI Ready

Memory
Ballistix Sport 8GB Kit (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 UDIMM

SSD
Samsung SSD 850 Evo 250GB ATA
Integral V Series 120 GB SATA III Solid StateDrive, 2.5 Inch

PSU
EVGA 500 W1, 80+ WHITE 500W

Misc
USB Bluetooth Adaptor

Price and currency: 250
Delivery: Goods must be exchanged in person
Payment method: PayPal/BT
Location: Tooting, London
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

______________________________________________________
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Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

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

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

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For Sale – Gaming PC – Intel i5 3570 – Mini ATX – GTX 770 – 8GB RAM – SSD – Windows 10 Pro(OEM)

For sale here is a small form factor gaming PC, as I decided to go back to using laptops. It can handle most latest titles in medium or high settings. Will come with power cord and few bits of screws that come with the case. As I don’t have the box anymore, this is only to collect in person from Tooting, London.

Specifications:
Case

Kolink Satellite Micro ATX Desktop PC Gaming CubeCase Black

Motherboard
MSI H61M-P20-G3 Motherboard (Intel H61 Processor,M-ATX, Gigabit LAN, Socket LGA1155, USB2)

CPU
Intel Core i5-3570 Processor and Intel Cooler

Graphics Card
EVGA GeForce GTX770 SuperClocked with EVGA ACXCooler, 2GB GDDR5 256bit, DL DVI-I, DVI-D, HDMI, DP, SLI Ready

Memory
Ballistix Sport 8GB Kit (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 UDIMM

SSD
Samsung SSD 850 Evo 250GB ATA
Integral V Series 120 GB SATA III Solid StateDrive, 2.5 Inch

PSU
EVGA 500 W1, 80+ WHITE 500W

Misc
USB Bluetooth Adaptor

Price and currency: 280
Delivery: Goods must be exchanged in person
Payment method: PayPal/BT
Location: Tooting, London
Advertised elsewhere?: 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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3 Fundamental Capabilities of VM Groups You Can’t Ignore

In a previous post, I introduced you to VM groups in Hyper-V and demonstrated how to work with them using PowerShell. I’m still working with them to see how I will incorporate them into my everyday Hyper-V work, but I already know that I wish the cmdlets for managing groups worked a little differently. But that’s not a problem. I can create my own tooling around these commands and build a solution that works for me. Let me share what I’ve come up with so far.

1. Finding Groups

As I explained last time, you can have a VM group that contains a collection of virtual machines, or nested management groups. By default, Get-VMGroup will return all groups. Yes, you can filter by name but you can’t filter by group type. If I want to see only Management groups, I need to use a PowerShell expression like this:

This is not a complicated expression but it becomes tedious when I am repeatedly typing or modifying this command. This isn’t an issue in a script, but for everyday interactive work, it can be a bit much. My solution was to write a new command, Find-VMGroup, that works identically to Get-VMGroup except this version allows you to specify a group type.

Finding specific VM Group types with PowerShell

Your output might vary from the screenshot but I think you get the idea. The default is to return all groups, but then you might as well use Get-VMGroup. And because the group type is coded into the function, you can use tab complete to select a value.

Interested in getting the Find-VMGroup command? I have a section on how to install the module a little further down the page.

2. Expanding Groups

Perhaps the biggest issue (and even that might be a bit strong) I had with the VM Group command is that ultimately, what I really want are the members of the group. I want to be able to use groups to do something with all of the members of that group. And by members, I mean virtual machines. It doesn’t matter to me if the group is a VM Collection or Management Collection. Show me the virtual machines!

Again, this isn’t technically difficult.

 Getting VM Group members

If you haven’t figured out by now I prefer simple. Getting virtual machines from a management group requires even more steps. Once again, I wrote my own command called Expand-VMGroup.

Expanding a single VM group with a custom PowerShell command

The output has been customized a bit to provide a default, formatted view. There are in fact other properties you could work with.

Viewing all properties of an expanded VM group

Depending on the command, you might be able to pipe these results to another Hyper-V command. But I know that many of the Hyper-V cmdlets will take pipeline input by value. This allows you to pass a list of virtual machine names to a command. I added a parameter to Expand-VMGroup that will write just the virtual machine names to the pipeline as a list. Now I can run commands like this:

Piping Expand-VMGroup to another Hyper-V command

Again, the module containing this command can be found near the end of the article and can be installed using Install-Module

3. Starting and Stopping Groups

The main reason I want to use VM groups is to start and stop groups of virtual machines all at once. I could use Expand-VMGroup and pipe results to Start-VM or Stop-VM but I decided to make specific commands for starting and stopping all virtual machine members of a group. If a member of the group is already in the targeted state, it is skipped.

Starting members of a VM group

The third member of this group was already running so it was skipped. Now I’ll shut down the group.

Stopping members of a VM group

It may not seem like much but every little thing I can do to get more done with less typing and effort is worth my time. I’m using full parameter names and typing out more than I actually need to for the sake of clarity.

How Do I Get These Commands

Normally, I would show you code samples that you could use. But in this case, I think these commands are ready to use as-is. You can get the commands from my PSHyperVTools module which is free to install from the PowerShell Gallery.

If you haven’t installed anything before you might get a prompt to update the version of nuget. Go ahead and say yes.  You’ll also be prompted if you want to install from a non-trusted repository. You aren’t installing this on a mission-critical server so you should be OK. Once installed, you can use the commands that I’ve demonstrated. They should all have help and examples.

Getting help for Expand-VMGroup

The module is open source so if you’d like to review the code first or the README, jump over to https://github.com/jdhitsolutions/PSHyperV. There are a few other commands and features of the module that I hope to write about in a future article or two. But for now, I hope you’ll give these commands a spin and let me know what you think in the comments section below!

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Author: Jeffery Hicks

Four steps to get involved in the Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship | | Microsoft EDU

Students around the world are using their Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification to show colleges and future employers that they have a true mastery of the Microsoft Office suite. In fact, some talented students even go on to compete in a world competition for Microsoft Office.

Each year, Certiport, a Pearson VUE business, and the leading provider of learning curriculum, practice tests and performance-based IT certification exams that accelerate academic and career opportunities, hosts the MOS World Championship. This event is a global competition, testing top students’ skills on Microsoft Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Are you a hard-working student, looking to show the world your Microsoft Office skills? Check out these four easy steps below to find out how you can get involved in the Microsoft Office Specialist Championship.

  1. Learn. Before you’re ready to compete, make sure you’re a master of the Microsoft Office Suite. Certiport has collaborated with multiple learning partners to make preparation easy. You can learn the skills you need to earn a top score on your MOS exam.
  2. Practice. Now that you’ve expanded your knowledge, it’s time to apply it. You can hone your Microsoft Office skills using various practice exams. These performance-based assessment and test preparation tools will prepare you to earn your MOS certification by creating a true “live in the app” experience. You’ll be a master in no time, because you’ll be practicing skills as if in the Microsoft Office application.
  3. Certify. You’re ready to show your skills! Microsoft Office Specialist exams are only delivered in Certiport Authorized Testing Centers. However, with more than 14,000 testing centers worldwide, there’s bound to be one close by. Find a testing center near you, and don’t forget to reach out to the testing center to schedule an appointment. Make sure to push for a score over 700 to be eligible for the MOS World Championship!
  4. Compete. If you’ve earned a top score, then the MOS Championship is your next step. Qualification is simple. When you take a Microsoft Office Specialist exam in Word, Excel or PowerPoint, you’ll automatically enter the MOS Championship and could be chosen to represent your country.

To represent your country at the MOS World Championship, you’ll need to first be named your nation’s champion by competing in a regional competition hosted by Certiport’s network of Authorized Partners. You can see the full list of partners and nations that compete here. In addition, each country has its own selection process, so make sure to connect with your local Partner to find out how you can prepare to compete in the MOS World Championship in 2020.

Interested in learning more about the MOS World Championship? Connect with us at [email protected].

Click here for free STEM resourcesExplore tools for student-centered learning

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Author: Microsoft News Center

For Sale – Gaming PC – Intel i5 3570 – Mini ATX – GTX 770 – 8GB RAM – SSD – Windows 10 Pro(OEM)

For sale here is a small form factor gaming PC, as I decided to go back to using laptops. It can handle most latest titles in medium or high settings. Will come with power cord and few bits of screws that come with the case. As I don’t have the box anymore, this is only to collect in person from Tooting, London.

Specifications:
Case

Kolink Satellite Micro ATX Desktop PC Gaming CubeCase Black

Motherboard
MSI H61M-P20-G3 Motherboard (Intel H61 Processor,M-ATX, Gigabit LAN, Socket LGA1155, USB2)

CPU
Intel Core i5-3570 Processor and Intel Cooler

Graphics Card
EVGA GeForce GTX770 SuperClocked with EVGA ACXCooler, 2GB GDDR5 256bit, DL DVI-I, DVI-D, HDMI, DP, SLI Ready

Memory
Ballistix Sport 8GB Kit (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 UDIMM

SSD
Samsung SSD 850 Evo 250GB ATA
Integral V Series 120 GB SATA III Solid StateDrive, 2.5 Inch

PSU
EVGA 500 W1, 80+ WHITE 500W

Misc
USB Bluetooth Adaptor

Price and currency: 280
Delivery: Goods must be exchanged in person
Payment method: PayPal/BT
Location: Tooting, London
Advertised elsewhere?: 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.

Go to Original Article
Author: