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The Hybrid Cloud Guide
With so many organizations looking to find ways to embrace the public cloud without compromising the security of their data and applications, a hybrid cloud strategy is rapidly becoming the preferred method of efficiently delivering IT services. This guide aims to provide you with an understanding of the driving factors behind why the cloud is being adopted en-masse, as well as advice on how to begin building your own cloud strategy.

With so many organizations looking to find ways to embrace the public cloud without compromising the security of their data and applications, a hybrid cloud strategy is rapidly becoming the preferred method of efficiently delivering IT services.

This guide aims to provide you with an understanding of the driving factors behind why the cloud is being adopted en-masse, as well as advice on how to begin building your own cloud strategy.

Topics discussed include:
•    Why Cloud?
•    Getting There Safely
•    IT Resilience in the Hybrid Cloud
•    The Power of Microsoft Azure and Zerto

You’ll find out how, by embracing the cloud, organizations can achieve true IT Resilience – the ability to withstand any disruption, confidently embrace change and focus on business.

Download the guide today to begin your journey to the cloud!

Salem State University Teams with IGEL, Citrix and Nutanix to Deliver Digital Workspaces
Limited IT resources drive need for the IGEL’s robust management features; maturity of Citrix virtual desktop infrastructure, and the simplicity and time-to-value for Nutanix’s hyperconverged infrastructure offering make the combined solution a no-brainer for the university.
When Jake Snyder joined Salem State University’s IT department, the public university located just outside of Boston, Mass. was only using traditional PCs. “95% of the PCs were still on Windows 7 and there was no clear migration path in sight to Windows 10,” recalls Snyder. “Additionally, all updates to these aging desktop computers were being done locally in the university’s computer labs. Management was difficult and time consuming.”

The university realized something had to change, and that was one of the reasons why they brought Snyder on board – to upgrade its end-user computing environment to VDI. Salem State was looking for the security and manageability that a VDI solution could provide. “One of the biggest challenges that the university had been experiencing was managing desktop imaging and applications,” said Snyder. “They wanted to be able to keep their student, faculty and staff end-points up to date and secure, while at the same time easing the troubleshooting process. They weren’t able to do any of this with their current set-up.”

Snyder first saw a demo of the IGEL solution at the final BriForum event in Boston in 2016. “It was great to see IGEL at that event as I had heard a lot of good buzz around their products and solutions, especially from other colleagues in the industry,” said Snyder. “After BriForum, I went back and ordered some evaluation units to test out within our EUC environment.”

What Snyder quickly discovered during the evaluation period was that the IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS) was not just plug-and-play, like he had expected. “The IGEL UMS was a very customizable solution, and I liked the robust interface,” continued Snyder. “Despite competitive solutions, it was clear from the start that the IGEL devices were going to be easier to use and cheaper in the long run. IGEL really was a ‘no-brainer’ when you consider the management capabilities and five-year warranty they offer on their hardware.”

Salem State University currently has 400 IGEL Universal Desktop software-defined thin clients deployed on its campus including 360 UD3 thin clients, which are the workhorse of the IGEL portfolio, and 40 UD6 thin clients, which support high-end graphics capabilities for multimedia users. Salem State has also purchased IGEL UD Pocket micro thin clients which they are now testing.
Microsoft Azure Cloud Cost Calculator
Move Workloads to the Cloud and Reduce Costs! Considering a move to Azure? Use this simple tool to find out how much you can save on storage costs by mobilizing your applications to the cloud with Zerto on Azure!

Move Workloads to the Cloud and Reduce Costs!

Considering a move to Azure? Use this simple tool to find out how much you can save on storage costs by mobilizing your applications to the cloud with Zerto on Azure!  

Gartner Market Guide for IT Infrastructure Monitoring Tools
With the onset of more modular and cloud-centric architectures, many organizations with disparate monitoring tools are reassessing their monitoring landscape. According to Gartner, hybrid IT (especially with IaaS subscription) enterprises must adopt more holistic IT infrastructure monitoring tools (ITIM) to gain visibility into their IT landscapes.

With the onset of more modular and cloud-centric architectures, many organizations with disparate monitoring tools are reassessing their monitoring landscape. According to Gartner, hybrid IT (especially with IaaS subscription) enterprises must adopt more holistic IT infrastructure monitoring tools (ITIM) to gain visibility into their IT landscapes.

The guide provides insight into the IT infrastructure monitoring tool market and providers as well as key findings and recommendations.

Get the 2018 Gartner Market Guide for IT Infrastructure Monitoring Tools to see:

  • The ITIM market definition, direction and analysis
  • A list of representative ITIM vendors
  • Recommendations for adoption of ITIM platforms

Key Findings Include:

  • ITIM tools are helping organizations simplify and unify monitoring across domains within a single tool, eliminating the problems of multitool integration.
  • ITIM tools are allowing infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders to scale across hybrid infrastructures and emerging architectures (such as containers and microservices).
  • Metrics and data acquired by ITIM tools are being used to derive context enabling visibility for non-IT teams (for example, line of business [LOB] and app owners) to help achieve optimization targets.
Forrester: Monitoring Containerized Microservices - Elevate Your Metrics
As enterprises continue to rapidly adopt containerized microservices, infrastructure and operations (I&O) teams need to address the growing complexities of monitoring these highly dynamic and distributed applications. The scale of these environments can pose tremendous monitoring challenges. This report will guide I&O leaders in what to consider when developing their technology and metric strategies for monitoring microservices and container-based applications.
As enterprises continue to rapidly adopt containerized microservices, infrastructure and operations (I&O) teams need to address the growing complexities of monitoring these highly dynamic and distributed applications. The scale of these environments can pose tremendous monitoring challenges. This report will guide I&O leaders in what to consider when developing their technology and metric strategies for monitoring microservices and container-based applications.
How to Get the Most Out of Windows Admin Center
Windows Admin Center is the future of Windows and Windows Server management. Are you using it to its full potential? In this free eBook, Microsoft Cloud and Datacenter Management MVP, Eric Siron, has put together a 70+ page guide on what Windows Admin Center brings to the table, how to get started, and how to squeeze as much value out of this incredible free management tool from Microsoft. This eBook covers: - Installation - Getting Started - Full UI Analysis - Security - Managing Extensions

Each version of Windows and Windows Server showcases new technologies. The advent of PowerShell marked a substantial step forward in managing those features. However, the built-in graphical Windows management tools have largely stagnated - the same basic Microsoft Management Console (MMC) interfaces had remained since Windows Server 2000. Microsoft tried out multiple overhauls over the years to the built-in Server Manager console but gained little traction. Until Windows Admin Center.

WHAT IS WINDOWS ADMIN CENTER?
Windows Admin Center (WAC) represents a modern turn in Windows and Windows Server system management. From its home page, you establish a list of the networked Windows and Windows Server computers to manage. From there, you can connect to an individual system to control components such as hardware drivers. You can also use it to manage Windows roles, such as Hyper-V.

On the front-end, Windows Admin Center is presented through a sleek HTML 5 web interface. On the back-end, it leverages PowerShell extensively to control the systems within your network. The entire package runs on a single system, so you don’t need a complicated infrastructure to support it. In fact, you can run it locally on your Windows 10 workstation if you want. If you require more resiliency, you can run Windows Admin Center as a role on a Microsoft Failover Cluster.

WHY WOULD I USE WINDOWS ADMIN CENTER?
In the modern era of Windows management, we have shifted to a greater reliance on industrial-strength tools like PowerShell and Desired State Configuration. However, we still have servers that require individualized attention and infrequently utilized resources. WAC gives you a one-stop hub for dropping in on any system at any time and work with almost any of its facets.

ABOUT THIS EBOOK
This eBook has been written by Microsoft Cloud & Datacenter Management MVP Eric Siron. Eric has worked in IT since 1998, designing, deploying, and maintaining server, desktop, network, and storage systems. He has provided all levels of support for businesses ranging from single-user through enterprises with thousands of seats. He has achieved numerous Microsoft certifications and was a Microsoft Certified Trainer for four years. Eric is also a seasoned technology blogger and has amassed a significant following through his top-class work on the Altaro Hyper-V Dojo.

The Forrester Wave: Intelligent Application and Service Monitoring, Q2 2019
Thirteen of the most significant IASM providers identified, researched, analyzed and scored in criteria in the three categories of current offering, market presence, and strategy by Forrester Research. Leaders, strong performers and contenders emerge — and you may be surprised where each provider lands in this Forrester Wave.

In The Forrester Wave: Intelligent Application and Service Monitoring, Q2 2019, Forrester identified the 13 most significant IASM providers in the market today, with Zenoss ranked amongst them as a Leader.

“As complexity grows, I&O teams struggle to obtain full visibility into their environments and do troubleshooting. To meet rising customer expectations, operations leaders need new monitoring technologies that can provide a unified view of all components of a service, from application code to infrastructure.”

Who Should Read This

Enterprise organizations looking for a solution to provide:

  • Strong root-cause analysis and remediation
  • Digital customer experience measurement capabilities
  • Ease of deployment across the customer’s whole environment, positioning themselves to successfully deliver intelligent application and service monitoring

Our Takeaways

Trends impacting the infrastructure and operations (I&O) team include:

  • Operations leaders favor a unified view
  • AI/machine learning adoption reaches 72% within the next 12 months
  • Intelligent root-cause analysis soon to become table stakes
  • Monitoring the digital customer experience becomes a priority
  • Ease and speed of deployment are differentiators

Office 365 / Microsoft 365: The Essential Companion Guide
Office 365 and Microsoft 365 contain truly powerful applications that can significantly boost productivity in the workplace. However, there’s a lot on offer so we’ve put together a comprehensive companion guide to ensure you get the most out of your investment! This free 85-page eBook, written by Microsoft Certified Trainer Paul Schnackenburg, covers everything from basic descriptions, to installation, migration, use-cases, and best practices for all features within the Office/Microsoft 365 sui

Welcome to this free eBook on Office 365 and Microsoft 365 brought to you by Altaro Software. We’re going to show you how to get the most out of these powerful cloud packages and improve your business. This book follows an informal reference format providing an overview of the most powerful applications of each platform’s feature set in addition to links directing to supporting information and further reading if you want to dig further into a specific topic. The intended audience for this book is administrators and IT staff who are either preparing to migrate to Office/Microsoft 365 or who have already migrated and who need to get the lay of the land. If you’re a developer looking to create applications and services on top of the Microsoft 365 platform, this book is not for you. If you’re a business decision-maker, rather than a technical implementer, this book will give you a good introduction to what you can expect when your organization has been migrated to the cloud and ways you can adopt various services in Microsoft 365 to improve the efficiency of your business.

THE BASICS

We’ll cover the differences (and why one might be more appropriate for you than the other) in more detail later but to start off let’s just clarify what each software package encompasses in a nutshell. Office 365 (from now on referred to as O365) 7 is an email collaboration and a host of other services provided as a Software as a Service (SaaS) whereas Microsoft 365 (M365) is Office 365 plus Azure Active Directory Premium, Intune – cloud-based management of devices and security and Windows 10 Enterprise. Both are per user-based subscription services that require no (or very little) infrastructure deployments on-premises.

Data Protection as a Service - Simplify Your Backup and Disaster Recovery
Data protection is a catch-all term that encompasses a number of technologies, business practices and skill sets associated with preventing the loss, corruption or theft of data. The two primary data protection categories are backup and disaster recovery (DR) — each one providing a different type, level and data protection objective. While managing each of these categories occupies a significant percentage of the IT budget and systems administrator’s time, it doesn’t have to. Data protection can
Simplify Your Backup and Disaster Recovery

Today, there are an ever-growing number of threats to businesses and uptime is crucial. Data protection has never been a more important function of IT. As data center complexity and demand for new resources increases, the difficulty of providing effective and cost-efficient data protection increases as well.

Luckily, data protection can now be provided as a service.

Get this white paper to learn:
  • How data protection service providers enable IT teams to focus on business objectives
  • The difference, and importance, of cloud-based backup and disaster recovery
  • Why cloud-based backup and disaster recovery are required for complete protection
Mind The Gap: Understanding the threats to your Office 365 data
Download this whitepaper to learn more about how you can prevent, or mitigate, these common Office 365 data threats: External threats like ransomware, Malicious insiders, User-errors and accidental keystrokes.
From corporate contacts to sensitive messages and attachments, email systems at all companies contain some of the most important data needed to keep business running and successful. At the same time, your office productivity suite of documents, notes and spreadsheets created by your employees is equally vital. Unfortunately, in both cases, protecting that data is increasingly challenging. Microsoft provides what some describe as marginal efforts to protect and backup data, however the majority of the burden is placed on the customer.

Download this whitepaper to learn more about how you can prevent, or mitigate, these common Office 365 data threats:
•    External threats like ransomware
•    Malicious insiders
•    User-errors and accidental keystrokes

The SysAdmin Guide to Azure Infrastructure as a Service
If you're used to on-premises infrastructures, cloud platforms can seem daunting. But it doesn't need to be. This eBook written by the veteran IT consultant and trainer Paul Schnackenburg, covers all aspects of setting up and maintaining a high-performing Azure IaaS environment, including: • VM sizing and deployment • Migration • Storage and networking • Security and identity • Infrastructure as code and more!

The cloud computing era is well and truly upon us, and knowing how to take advantage of the benefits of this computing paradigm while maintaining security, manageability, and cost control are vital skills for any IT professional in 2020 and beyond. And its importance is only getting greater.

In this eBook, we’re going to focus on Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) on Microsoft’s Azure platform - learning how to create VMs, size them correctly, manage storage, networking, and security, along with backup best practices. You’ll also learn how to operate groups of VMs, deploy resources based on templates, managing security and automate your infrastructure. If you currently have VMs in your own datacenter and are looking to migrate to Azure, we’ll also teach you that.

If you’re new to the cloud (or have experience with AWS/GCP but not Azure), this book will cover the basics as well as more advanced skills. Given how fast things change in the cloud, we’ll cover the why (as well as the how) so that as features and interfaces are updated, you’ll have the theoretical knowledge to effectively adapt and know how to proceed.

You’ll benefit most from this book if you actively follow along with the tutorials. We will be going through terms and definitions as we go – learning by doing has always been my preferred way of education. If you don’t have access to an Azure subscription, you can sign up for a free trial with Microsoft. This will give you 30 days 6 to use $200 USD worth of Azure resources, along with 12 months of free resources. Note that most of these “12 months” services aren’t related to IaaS VMs (apart from a few SSD based virtual disks and a small VM that you can run for 750 hours a month) so be sure to get everything covered on the IaaS side before your trial expires. There are also another 25 services that have free tiers “forever”.

Now you know what’s in store, let’s get started!

Make the Move: Linux Desktops with Cloud Access Software
Gone are the days where hosting Linux desktops on-premises is the only way to ensure uncompromised customization, choice and control. You can host Linux desktops & applications remotely and visualize them to further security, flexibility and performance. Learn why IT teams are virtualizing Linux.

Make the Move: Linux Remote Desktops Made Easy

Securely run Linux applications and desktops from the cloud or your data center.

Download this guide and learn...

  • Why organizations are virtualizing Linux desktops & applications
  • How different industries are leveraging remote Linux desktops & applications
  • What your organization can do to begin this journey


Key Considerations for Configuring Virtual Desktops For Remote Work
At any time, organizations worldwide and individuals can be forced to work from home. Learn about a sustainable solution to enable your remote workforce quickly and easily and gain tips to enhance your business continuity strategy when it comes to employee computing resources.

Assess what you already have

If you have a business continuity plan or a disaster recovery plan in place, that’s a good place to start. This scenario may not fit the definition of disaster that you originally intended, but it can serve to help you test your plan in a more controlled fashion that can benefit both your current situation by giving you a head start, and your overall plan by revealing gaps that would be more problematic in a more urgent or catastrophic environment with less time to prepare and implement.

Does your plan include access to remote desktops in a data center or the cloud? If so, and you already have a service in place ready to transition or expand, you’re well on your way.

Read the guide to learn what it takes for IT teams to set up staff to work effectively from home with virtual desktop deployments. Learn how to get started, if you’re new to VDI or if you already have an existing remote desktop scenario but are looking for alternatives.

Confronting modern stealth
How did we go from train robberies to complex, multi-billion-dollar cybercrimes? The escalation in the sophistication of cybercriminal techniques, which overcome traditional cybersecurity and wreak havoc without leaving a trace, is dizzying. Explore the methods of defense created to defend against evasive attacks, then find out how Kaspersky’s sandboxing, endpoint detection and response, and endpoint protection technologies can keep you secure—even if you lack the resources or talent.
Explore the dizzying escalation in the sophistication of cybercriminal techniques, which overcome traditional cybersecurity and wreak havoc without leaving a trace. Then discover the methods of defense created to stop these evasive attacks.

Problem:
Fileless threats challenge businesses with traditional endpoint solutions because they lack a specific file to target. They might be stored in WMI subscriptions or the registry, or execute directly in the memory without being saved on disk. These types of attack are ten times more likely to succeed than file-based attacks.

Solution:
Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business goes beyond file analysis to analyze behavior in your environment. While its behavioral detection technology runs continuous proactive machine learning processes, its exploit prevention technology blocks attempts by malware to exploit software vulnerabilities.

Problem:
The talent shortage is real. While cybercriminals are continuously adding to their skillset, businesses either can’t afford (or have trouble recruiting and retaining) cybersecurity experts.

Solution:
Kaspersky Sandbox acts as a bridge between overwhelmed IT teams and industry-leading security analysis. It relieves IT pressure by automatically blocking complex threats at the workstation level so they can be analyzed and dealt with properly in time.


Problem:
Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) expand laterally from device to device and can put an organization in a constant state of attack.

Solution:
Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) stops APTs in their tracks with a range of very specific capabilities, which can be grouped into two categories: visibility (visualizing all endpoints, context and intel) and analysis (analyzing multiple verdicts as a single incident).
    
Attack the latest threats with a holistic approach including tightly integrated solutions like Kaspersky Endpoint Detection and Response and Kaspersky Sandbox, which integrate seamlessly with Kaspersky Endpoint Protection for Business.
Conversational Geek: Azure Backup Best Practices
Topics: Azure, Backup, Veeam
Get 10 Azure backup best practices direct from two Microsoft MVPs!
Get 10 Azure backup best practices direct from two Microsoft MVPs! As the public cloud started to gain mainstream acceptance, people quickly realized that they had to adopt two different ways of doing things. One set of best practices – and tools – applied to resources that were running on premises, and an entirely different set applied to cloud resources. Now the industry is starting to get back to the point where a common set of best practices can be applied regardless of where an organization’s IT resources physically reside.
Conversational Microsoft Teams Backup
In this Conversational Geek e-book you will learn: The different types of data you need to backup up in Microsoft Teams 6 key reasons why it is important to backup Microsoft Teams Why native backup capabilities of Office 365 are not enough
In this Conversational Geek e-book you will learn:
  • The different types of data you need to backup up in Microsoft Teams
  • 6 key reasons why it is important to backup Microsoft Teams
  • Why native backup capabilities of Office 365 are not enough