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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.


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.

How to Develop a Multi-cloud Management Strategy
Increasingly, organizations are looking to move workloads into the cloud. The goal may be to leverage cloud resources for Dev/Test, or they may want to “lift and shift” an application to the cloud and run it natively. In order to enable these various cloud options, it is critical that organizations develop a multi-cloud data management strategy.

The primary goal of a multi-cloud data management strategy is to supply data, either via copying or moving data to the various multi-cloud use cases. A key enabler of this movement is the data management software applications. In theory, data protection applications can perform both of the copy and move functions. A key consideration is how the multi-cloud data management experience is unified. In most cases, data protection applications ignore the user experience of each cloud and use their proprietary interface as the unifying entity, which increases complexity.

There are a variety of reasons organizations may want to leverage multiple clouds. The first use case is to use public cloud storage as a backup mirror to an on-premises data protection process. Using public cloud storage as a backup mirror enables the organization to automatically off-site data. It also sets up many of the more advanced use cases.

Another use case is using the cloud for disaster recovery.

Another use case is “Lift and Shift,” which means the organization wants to run the application in the cloud natively. Initial steps in the “lift and shift” use case are similar to Dev/Test, but now the workload is storing unique data in the cloud.

Multi-cloud is a reality now for most organizations and managing the movement of data between these clouds is critical.

Multi-cloud Data Protection-as-a-service: The HYCU Protégé Platform
Multi-cloud environments are here to stay and will keep on growing in diversity, use cases, and, of course, size. Data growth is not stopping anytime soon, only making the problem more acute. HYCU has taken a very different approach from many traditional vendors by selectively delivering deeply integrated solutions to the platforms they protect, and is now moving to the next challenge of unification and simplification with Protégé, calling it a data protection-as-a-service platform.

There are a number of limitations today keeping organizations from not only lifting and shifting from one cloud to another but also migrating across clouds. Organizations need the flexibility to leverage multiple clouds and move applications and workloads around freely, whether for data reuse or for disaster recovery. This is where the HYCU Protégé platform comes in. HYCU Protégé is positioned as a complete multi-cloud data protection and disaster recovery-as-a-service solution. It includes a number of capabilities that make it relevant and notable compared with other approaches in the market:

  • It was designed for multi-cloud environments, with a “built-for-purpose” approach to each workload and environment, leveraging APIs and platform expertise.
  • It is designed as a one-to-many cross-cloud disaster recovery topology rather than a one-to-one cloud or similarly limited topology.
  • It is designed for the IT generalist. It’s easy to use, it includes dynamic provisioning on-premises and in the cloud, and it can be deployed without impacting production systems. In other words, no need to manually install hypervisors or agents.
  • It is application-aware and will automatically discover and configure applications. Additionally, it supports distributed applications with shared storage. 
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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!

Why Should Enterprises Move to a True Composable Infrastructure Solution?
IT Infrastructure needs are constantly fluctuating in a world where powerful emerging software applications such as artificial intelligence can create, transform, and remodel markets in a few months or even weeks. While the public cloud is a flexible solution, it doesn’t solve every data center need—especially when businesses need to physically control their data on premises. Download this report to see how composable infrastructure helps you deploy faster, effectively utilize existing hardwar

IT Infrastructure needs are constantly fluctuating in a world where powerful emerging software applications such as artificial intelligence can create, transform, and remodel markets in a few months or even weeks. While the public cloud is a flexible solution, it doesn’t solve every data center need—especially when businesses need to physically control their data on premises. This leads to overspend— purchasing servers and equipment to meet peak demand at all times. The result? Expensive equipment sitting idle during non-peak times.

For years, companies have wrestled with overspend and underutilization of equipment, but now businesses can reduce cap-ex and rein in operational expenditures for underused hardware with software-defined composable infrastructure. With a true composable infrastructure solution, businesses realize optimal performance of IT resources while improving business agility. In addition, composable infrastructure allows organizations to take better advantage of the most data-intensive applications on existing hardware while preparing for future, disaggregated growth.

Download this report to see how composable infrastructure helps you deploy faster, effectively utilize existing hardware, rein in capital expenses, and more.

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.

The State of Multicloud: Virtual Desktop Deployments
Download this free 15-page report to understand the key differences and benefits to the many cloud deployment models and the factors that are driving tomorrow’s decisions.

The future of compute is in the cloud

Flexible, efficient, and economical, the cloud is no longer a question - it's the answer.

IT professionals that once considered if or when to migrate to the cloud are now talking about how. Earlier this year, we reached out to thousands of IT professionals to learn more about how.

Private Cloud, On-Prem, Public Cloud, Hybrid, Multicloud - each of these deployment models offers unique advantages and challenges. We asked IT decision-makers how they are currently leveraging the cloud and how they plan to grow.

Survey respondents overwhelmingly believed in the importance of a hybrid or multicloud strategy, regardless of whether they had actually implemented one themselves.

The top reasons for moving workloads between clouds

  • Cost Savings
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Data Center Location
  • Availability of Virtual Machines/GPUs
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.
Process Optimization with Stratusphere UX
This whitepaper explores the developments of the past decade that have prompted the need for Stratusphere UX Process Optimization. We also cover how this feature works and the advantages it provides, including specific capital and operating cost benefits.

Managing the performance of Windows-based workloads can be a challenge. Whether physical PCs or virtual desktops, the effort required to maintain, tune and optimize workspaces is endless. Operating system and application revisions, user installed applications, security and bug patches, BIOS and driver updates, spyware, multi-user operating systems supply a continual flow of change that can disrupt expected performance. When you add in the complexities introduced by virtual desktops and cloud architectures, you have added another infinite source of performance instability. Keeping up with this churn, as well as meeting users’ zero tolerance for failures, are chief worries for administrators.

To help address the need for uniform performance and optimization in light of constant change, Liquidware introduced the Process Optimization feature in its Stratusphere UX solution. This feature can be set to automatically optimize CPU and Memory, even as system demands fluctuate. Process Optimization can keep “bad actor” applications or runaway processes from crippling the performance of users’ workspaces by prioritizing resources for those being actively used over not used or background processes. The Process Optimization feature requires no additional infrastructure. It is a simple, zero-impact feature that is included with Stratusphere UX. It can be turned on for single machines, or groups, or globally. Launched with the check of a box, you can select from pre-built profiles that operate automatically. Or administrators can manually specify the processes they need to raise, lower or terminate, if that task becomes required. This feature is a major benefit in hybrid multi-platform environments that include physical, pool or image-based virtual and cloud workspaces, which are much more complex than single-delivery systems. The Process Optimization feature was designed with security and reliability in mind. By default, this feature employs a “do no harm” provision affecting normal and lower process priorities, and a relaxed policy. No processes are forced by default when access is denied by the system, ensuring that the system remains stable and in line with requirements.

Unlocking Digital Transformation with Adaptive Workspace Management
Digital transformation can be stalled for organizations that do not start this process of re-architecting their workspace provisioning approaches. In this whitepaper, Liquidware presents a roadmap for delivering modern workspaces for organizations which are undergoing digital transformation. Liquidware’s Adaptive Workspace Management (AWM) suite of products can support the build-out of an agile, state-of-the-art workspace infrastructure that quickly delivers the resources workers need, on demand

The driving force for organizations today is digital transformation, propelled by a need for greater innovation and agility across enterprises. The digital life-blood for this transformation remains computers, although their form-factor has changed dramatically over the past decade.  Smart devices, including phones, tablets and wearables, have joined PCs and laptops in the daily toolsets used by workers to do their jobs.  The data that organizations rely on increasingly comes from direct sources via smart cards, monitors, implants and embedded processors. IoT, machine learning and artificial intelligence will shape the software that workers use to do their jobs. As these “smart” applications change and take on scope, they will increasingly be deployed on cloud infrastructures, bringing computing to the edge and enabling swift and efficient processing with real-time data.

Yet digital transformation for many organizations can remain blocked if they do not start changing how their workspaces are provisioned. Many still rely on outmoded approaches for delivering the technology needed by their workers to make them productive in a highly digital workplace.

In this paper, Liquidware presents a roadmap for providing modern workspaces for organizations that are undergoing digital transformation. We offer insights into how our Adaptive Workspace Management (AWM) suite of products can support the build-out of an agile,  state-of-the-artworkspace infrastructure that quickly delivers the resources workers need, on demand. AWM allows this  infrastructure  to be constructed from a hybrid mix of the best-of-breed workspace delivery platforms spanning physical, virtual and cloud offerings.

Why User Experience is Key to Your Desktop Transformation
This whitepaper has been authored by experts at Liquidware and draws upon its experience with customers as well as the expertise of its Acceler8 channel partners in order to provide guidance to adopters of desktop virtualization technologies. In this paper, we explain the importance of thorough planning— factoring in user experience and resource allocation—in delivering a scalable next-generation workspace that will produce both near- and long-term value.

There’s little doubt we’re in the midst of a change in the way we operationalize and manage our end users’ workspaces. On the one hand, IT leaders are looking to gain the same efficiencies and benefits realized with cloud and next-generation virtual-server workloads. And on the other hand, users are driving the requirements for anytime, anywhere and any device access to the applications needed to do their jobs. To provide the next-generation workspaces that users require, enterprises are adopting a variety of technologies such as virtual-desktop infrastructure (VDI), published applications and layered applications. At the same time, those technologies are creating new and challenging problems for those looking to gain the full benefits of next-generation end-user workspaces. 

Before racing into any particular desktop transformation delivery approach it’s important to define appropriate goals and adopt a methodology for both near- and long-term success. One of the most common planning pitfalls we’ve seen in our history supporting the transformation of more than 6 million desktops is that organizations tend to put too much emphasis on the technical delivery and resource allocation aspects of the platform, and too little time considering the needs of users. How to meet user expectations and deliver a user experience that fosters success is often overlooked. 

To prevent that problem and achieve near-term success as well as sustainable long-term value from a next-generation desktop transformation approach, planning must also include defining a methodology that should include the following three things:

•    Develop a baseline of “normal” performance for current end user computing delivery
•    Set goals for functionality and defined measurements supporting user experience
•    Continually monitor the environment to ensure users are satisfied and the environment is operating efficiently

This white paper will show why the user experience is difficult to predict, why it’s essential to planning, and why factoring in the user experience—along with resource allocation—is key to creating and delivering the promise of a next-generation workspace that is scalable and will produce both near-and long-term value.

The Monitoring ELI5 Guide: Technology Terms Explained Simply
Complex IT ideas described simply. Very simply. The SolarWinds Explain (IT) Like I’m 5 (ELI5) eBook is for people interested in things like networks, servers, applications, the cloud, and how monitoring all that stuff (and more) gets done—all in an easy-to-understand format.
Complex IT ideas described simply. Very simply. The SolarWinds Explain (IT) Like I’m 5 (ELI5) eBook is for people interested in things like networks, servers, applications, the cloud, and how monitoring all that stuff (and more) gets done—all in an easy-to-understand format.
CloudCasa - Kubernetes and Cloud Database Protection as a Service
CloudCasa™ was built to address data protection for Kubernetes and cloud native infrastructure, and to bridge the data management and protection gap between DevOps and IT Operations. CloudCasa is a simple, scalable and cloud-native BaaS solution built using Kubernetes for protecting Kubernetes and cloud databases. CloudCasa removes the complexity of managing traditional backup infrastructure, and it provides the same level of application-consistent data protection and disaster recovery that IT O

CloudCasa supports all major Kubernetes managed cloud services and distributions, provided they are based on Kubernetes 1.13 or above. Supported cloud services include Amazon EKS, DigitalOcean, Google GKE, IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service, and Microsoft AKS. Supported Kubernetes distributions include, Red Hat OpenShift, SUSE Rancher, and VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid. Multiple worker node architectures are supported, including x86-64, ARM, and S390x.

With CloudCasa, managing data protection in complex hybrid cloud or multi-cloud environments is as easy as managing it for a single cluster. Just add your multiple clusters and cloud databases to CloudCasa, and you can manage backups across them using common policies, schedules, and retention times. And you can see and manage all your backups in a single easy-to-use GUI.

Top 10 Reasons for Using CloudCasa:

  1. Backup as a service
  2. Intuitive UI
  3. Multi-Cluster Management
  4. Cloud database protection
  5. Free Backup Storage
  6. Secure Backups
  7. Account Compromise Protection
  8. Cloud Provider Outage Protection
  9. Centralized Catalog and Reporting
  10. Backups are Monitored

With CloudCasa, we have your back based on Catalogic Software’s many years of experience in enterprise data protection and disaster recovery. Our goal is to do all the hard work for you to backup and protect your multi-cloud, multi-cluster, cloud native databases and applications so you can realize the operational efficiency and speed of development advantages of containers and cloud native applications.

Choose Your Own Cloud Adventure with Veeam and AWS E-Book
Get this interactive Choose Your Own Cloud Adventure E-Book to learn how Veeam and AWS can help you fight ransomware, data sprawl, rising cloud costs, unforeseen data loss and make you a hero!

IDC research shows that the top three trigger events leading to a need for cloud services are: growing data, constrained IT budgets and the rise of digital transformation initiatives. The shift to public cloud providers like AWS offers many advantages for organizations but does not come without risks and vulnerabilities when it comes to data.

Get this interactive Choose Your Own Cloud Adventure E-Book to learn how Veeam and AWS can help you fight ransomware, data sprawl, rising cloud costs, unforeseen data loss and make you a hero!

Key Considerations for Configuring Virtual Desktops for Remote Work
Teradici is committed to supporting companies through their search for a sustainable solution to enable their remote workforce quickly and easily. We are here as experienced advisors with guidance to help you maintain secure and uninterrupted operations.

With most of the world working from home for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19, we've prepared this guide to help you enable and sustain a remote workforce.

Download this guide and learn:

  • How to assess your current setup
  • How to keep desktops secure in a remote environment
  • Various remote connectivity options (datacenter, public cloud, hybrid environment)