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PCI DSS Compliance
IT security has always been a major concern for businesses that accept online credit card payments. They hold sensitive information that malicious hackers are after: cardholder data and customer information. This is why businesses are legally obliged to build PCI DSS compliant IT infrastructures.

IT security has always been a major concern for businesses that accept online credit card payments. They hold sensitive information that malicious hackers are after: cardholder data. This is why such businesses are legally obliged to build IT systems and networks that are PCI DSS compliant.

What Is PCI DSS?
PCI DSS is a security standard developed by the PCI Security Standards Council. Designed for businesses that do online transactions and hold customers’ payment records, it helps them build and maintain secure IT systems and networks, ensuring the privacy and security of their customers’ credit-card details and cardholder data.

The set of standards defined in the PCI DSS are the minimum required level of computer systems security that must be in place when processing credit-card data. These standards apply to merchants, processors, financial institutions, service providers, and any other entity that store, process, or transmit credit-card and cardholder information.

Why Businesses Need to Be PCI DSS Compliant
The challenges of building and maintaining a PCI DSS–compliant network are many and depend on several factors—for example, the type of software used, the network setup, and the procedures in place. If organizations that process credit-card payments and store cardholder details fail to build PCI DSS–compliant networks and computer systems, they risk being fined up to $500,000 per month—or even worse, having their trading licence revoked.

This white paper explains how using Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) can help organizations build scalable PCI DSS–compliant networks and also save on costs and administration overheads.

From... to cloud ready in less than one day with Parallels and ThinPrint
Mobility, security and compliance, automation, and the demand for “the workspace of the future” are just some of the challenges that businesses face today. The cloud is best positioned to support these challenges, but it can be hard to pick the right kind of cloud and find the right balance between cost and benefits. Together, Parallels and ThinPrint allow an organization to become a cloud-ready business on its own terms, with unprecedented ease and cost-effectiveness.

Mobility, security and compliance, automation, and the demand for “the workspace of the future” are just some of the challenges that businesses face today.

The cloud is best positioned to support these challenges, but it can be hard to pick the right kind of cloud and find the right balance between cost and benefits.

Parallels Introduction
Parallels is a global leader in cross-platform technologies and is renowned for its award-winning software solutions that cut complexity and lower costs for a wide range of industries, including healthcare, education, banking and finance, manufacturing, the public sector, and many others.

Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) provides easy-to-use, comprehensive application and desktop delivery that enables business and public-sector organizations to seamlessly integrate virtual Windows applications and desktops on nearly any device or operating system.

ThinPrint Introduction
ThinPrint is a global leader in solutions that support an organization’s digital transformation, helping ensure users can draw on highly reliable and innovative print solutions that support today’s and tomorrow’s requirements.

Joint Value Statement

Together, Parallels and ThinPrint allow an organization to become a cloud-ready business on its own terms, with unprecedented ease and cost-effectiveness.

We support any endpoint device from a desktop PC to a smartphone or tablet, can deploy on-premise or in the cloud, and follow your business as it completes its digital transformation.

You may decide to start digitally transforming your business by delivering applications or desktops from an existing server in your datacenter and move to Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure later. You can also replace user workstations with newer, more mobile devices, or expand from an initial pilot group to new use cases for the entire company.

Whatever your plans are, Parallels and ThinPrint will help you implement them with easy, cost-effective solutions and the ability to adapt to future challenges.

Catalogic Software-Defined Secondary Storage Appliance
The Catalogic software-defined secondary-storage appliance is architected and optimized to work seamlessly with Catalogic’s data protection product DPX, with Catalogic/Storware vProtect, and with future Catalogic products. Backup nodes are deployed on a bare metal server or as virtual appliances to create a cost-effective yet robust second-tier storage solution. The backup repository offers data reduction and replication. Backup data can be archived off to tape for long-term retention.
The Catalogic software-defined secondary-storage appliance is architected and optimized to work seamlessly with Catalogic’s data protection product DPX, with Catalogic/Storware vProtect, and with future Catalogic products.

Backup nodes are deployed on a bare metal server or as virtual appliances to create a cost-effective yet robust second-tier storage solution. The backup repository offers data reduction and replication. Backup data can be archived off to tape for long-term retention.
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.

PowerCLI - The Aspiring Automator's Guide
Automation is awesome but don't just settle for using other people's scripts. Learn how to create your own scripts and take your vSphere automation game to the next level! Written by VMware vExpert Xavier Avrillier, this free eBook presents a use-case approach to learning how to automate tasks in vSphere environments using PowerCLI. We start by covering the basics of installation, set up, and an overview of PowerCLI terms. From there we move into scripting logic and script building with step-by

Scripting and PowerCLI are words that most people working with VMware products know pretty well and have used once or twice. Everyone knows that scripting and automation are great assests to have in your toolbox. The problem usually is that getting into scripting appears daunting to many people who feel like the learning curve is just too steep, and they usually don't know where to start. The good thing is you don't need to learn everything straight away to start working with PowerShell and PowerCLI. Once you have the basics down and have your curiosity tickled, you’ll learn what you need as you go, a lot faster than you thought you would!

ABOUT POWERCLI

Let's get to know PowerCLI a little better before we start getting our hands dirty in the command prompt. If you are reading this you probably already know what PowerCLI is about or have a vague idea of it, but it’s fine you don’t. After a while working with it, it becomes second nature, and you won't be able to imagine life without it anymore! Thanks to VMware's drive to push automation, the product's integration with all of their components has significantly improved over the years, and it has now become a critical part of their ecosystem.

WHAT IS PowerCLI?

Contrary to what many believe, PowerCLI is not in fact a stand-alone software but rather a command-line and scripting tool built on Windows PowerShell for managing and automating vSphere environments. It used to be distributed as an executable file to install on a workstation. Previously, an icon was generated that would essentially launch PowerShell and load the PowerCLI snap-ins in the session. This behavior changed back in version 6.5.1 when the executable file was removed and replaced by a suite of PowerShell modules to install from within the prompt itself. This new deployment method is preferred because these modules are now part of Microsoft’s Official PowerShell Gallery. 7 These modules provide the means to interact with the components of a VMware environment and offer more than 600 cmdlets! The below command returns a full list of VMware-Associated Cmdlets!

Why Network Verification Requires a Mathematical Model
Learn how verification can be used in key IT processes and workflows, why a mathematical model is required and how it works; as well as example use cases from the Forward Enterprise platform.
Network verification is a rapidly emerging technology that is a key part of Intent Based Networking (IBN). Verification can help avoid outages, facilitate compliance processes and accelerate change windows. Full-feature verification solutions require an underlying mathematical model of network behavior to analyze and reason about policy objectives and network designs. A mathematical model, as opposed to monitoring or testing live traffic, can perform exhaustive and definitive analysis of network implementations and behavior, including proving network isolation or security rules.

In this paper, we will describe how verification can be used in key IT processes and workflows, why a mathematical model is required and how it works, as well as example use cases from the Forward Enterprise platform. This will also clarify what requirements a mathematical model must meet and how to evaluate alternative products.
Forward Networks ROI Case Study
See how a large financial services business uses Forward Enterprise to achieve significant ROI with process improvements in trouble ticket resolution, audit-related fixes and change windows.
Because Forward Enterprise automates the intelligent analysis of network designs, configurations and state, we provide an immediate and verifiable return on investment (ROI) in terms of accelerating key IT processes and reducing manhours of highly skilled engineers in troubleshooting and testing the network.

In this paper, we will quantify the ROI of a large financial services firm and document the process improvements that led to IT cost savings and a more agile network. In this analysis, we will look at process improvements in trouble ticket resolution, audit-related fixes and acceleration of network updates and change windows. We will explore each of these areas in more detail, along with the input assumptions for the calculations, but for this financial services customer, the following benefits were achieved, resulting in an annualized net savings of over $3.5 million.
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.

Evaluator Group Report on Liqid Composable Infrastructure
In this report from Eric Slack, Senior Analyst at the Evaluator Group, learn how Liqid’s software-defined platform delivers comprehensive, multi-fabric composable infrastructure for the industry’s widest array of data center resources.
Composable Infrastructures direct-connect compute and storage resources dynamically—using virtualized networking techniques controlled by software. Instead of physically constructing a server with specific internal devices (storage, NICs, GPUs or FPGAs), or cabling the appropriate device chassis to a server, composable enables the virtual connection of these resources at the device level as needed, when needed.

Download this report from Eric Slack, Senior Analyst at the Evaluator Group to learn how Liqid’s software-defined platform delivers comprehensive, multi-fabric composable infrastructure for the industry’s widest array of data center resources.
IDC: SaaS Backup and Recovery: Simplified Data Protection Without Compromise
Although the majority of organizations have a "cloud first" strategy, most also continue to manage onsite applications and the backup infrastructure associated with them. However, many are moving away from backup specialists and instead are leaving the task to virtual infrastructure administrators or other IT generalists. Metallic represents Commvault's direct entry into one of the fastest-growing segments of the data protection market. Its hallmarks are simplicity and flexibility of deployment

Metallic is a new SaaS backup and recovery solution based on Commvault's data protection software suite, proven in the marketplace for more than 20 years. It is designed specifically for the needs of medium-scale enterprises but is architected to grow with them based on data growth, user growth, or other requirements. Metallic initially offers either monthly or annual subscriptions through reseller partners; it will be available through cloud service providers and managed service providers over time. The initial workload use cases for Metallic include virtual machine (VM), SQL Server, file server, MS Office 365, and endpoint device recovery support; the company expects to add more use cases and supported workloads as the solution evolves.

Metallic is designed to offer flexibility as one of the service's hallmarks. Aspects of this include:

  • On-demand infrastructure: Metallic manages the cloud-based infrastructure components and software for the backup environment, though the customer will still manage any of its own on- premise infrastructure. This environment will support on-premise, cloud, and hybrid workloads. IT organizations are relieved of the daily task of managing the infrastructure components and do not have to worry about upgrades, OS or firmware updates and the like, for the cloud infrastructure, so people can repurpose that time saved toward other activities.
  • Metallic offers preconfigured plans designed to have users up and running in approximately 15 minutes, eliminating the need for a proof-of-concept test. These preconfigured systems have Commvault best practices built into the design, or organizations can configure their own.
  • Partner-delivered services: Metallic plans to go to market with resellers that can offer a range of services on top of the basic solution's capabilities. These services will vary by provider and will give users a variety of choices when selecting a provider to match the services offered with the organization's needs.
  • "Bring your own storage": Among the flexible options of Metallic, including VM and file or SQL database use cases, users can deploy their own storage, either on-premise or in the cloud, while utilizing the backup/recovery services of Metallic. The company refers to this option as "SaaS Plus."
After the Lockdown – Reinventing the Way Your Business Works
As a result of the Covid-19 lockdown experience, temporary measures will be scaled back and adoption of fully functional “Remote” workplaces will now be accelerated. A reduction in the obstacles for moving to virtual desktops and applications will be required so that businesses can be 100% productive during Business Continuity events. The winners will be those organizations who use and explore the possibilities of a virtual workplace every day.

As lockdowns end, organziations are ready to start planning on how to gear their business for more agility, with a robust business continuity plan for their employees and their technology. A plan that includes technology which enables their business to work at full capacity rather than just getting by.

A successful Business Continuity Plan includes key technology attributes needed for employees to be 100% productive before, during and after a Covid-19 type event. The technology should be:

  • A device agnostic, simple, intuitive and responsive user experienceIt should enhance data security
  • It should increase the agility of IT service delivery options
  • Reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) of staff technology delivery
  • Must be simple to deploy, manage and expand remotely

As a result of the Covid-19 lockdown experience, temporary measures will be scaled back and adoption of fully functional “Remote” workplaces will now be accelerated. A reduction in the obstacles for moving to virtual desktops and applications will be required so that businesses can be 100% productive during Business Continuity events. The winners will be those organizations who use and explore the possibilities of a virtual workplace every day.

As an affordable but scalable all-in-one virtual desktop and application solution, Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) allows users to securely access virtual workspaces from anywhere, on any device, at any time. Parallels RAS centralizes management of the IT infrastructure, streamlines multi-cloud deployments, enhances data security and improves process automation.

Top 10 Best Practices for VMware Backups
Topics: vSphere, backup, Veeam
Backup is the foundation for restores, so it is essential to have backups always available with the required speed. The “Top 10 Best Practices for vSphere Backups” white paper discusses best practices with Veeam Backup & Replication and VMware vSphere.

More and more companies come to understand that server virtualization is the way for modern data safety. In 2019, VMware is still the market leader and many Veeam customers use VMware vSphere as their preferred virtualization platform. But, backup of virtual machines on vSphere is only one part of service Availability. Backup is the foundation for restores, so it is essential to have backups always available with the required speed. The “Top 10 Best Practices for vSphere Backups” white paper discusses best practices with Veeam Backup & Replication and VMware vSphere, such as:

•    Planning your data restore in advance
•    Keeping track of your data backup software updates and keeping your backup tools up-to-date
•    Integrating storage based snapshots into your Availability concept
•    And much more!

The Backup Bible - Part 1: Creating a Backup & Disaster Recovery Strategy
This eBook is the first of a 3-part series covering everything you need to know about backup and disaster recovery. By downloading this ebook you'll automatically receive part 2 and part 3 by email as soon as they become available!

INTRODUCTION

Humans tend to think optimistically. We plan for the best outcomes because we strive to make them happen. As a result, many organizations implicitly design their computing and data storage systems around the idea that they will operate as expected. They employ front-line fault-tolerance technologies such as RAID and multiple network adapters that will carry the systems through common, simple failures. However, few design plans include comprehensive coverage of catastrophic failures. Without a carefully crafted approach to backup, and a strategic plan to work through and recover from disasters, an organization runs substantial risks. They could experience data destruction or losses that cost them excessive amounts of time and money. Business principals and managers might even find themselves facing personal liability consequences for failing to take proper preparatory steps. At the worst, an emergency could permanently end the enterprise. This book seeks to guide you through all stages of preparing for, responding to, and recovering from a substantial data loss event. In this first part, you will learn how to assess your situation and plan out a strategy that uniquely fits your needs.

WHO SHOULD READ THIS BOOK

This book was written for anyone with an interest in protecting organizational data, from system administrators to business owners. It explains the terms and technologies that it covers in simple, approachable language. As much as possible, it focuses on the business needs first. However, a reader with little experience in server and storage technologies may struggle with applying the content. To put it into action, use this material in conjunction with trained technical staff.

Chromebook adoption increased by 17% in 2020… And it's on the rise.
Chromebooks are quickly gaining in popularity due to their cheap price tag sand long battery lives. They are about to get another boost as organizations look to equip employees with laptops—part of their work-from-home strategy to minimize the risk of COVID infections. While Chromebooks are ideal for remote work and learning from an economic and operational standpoint, they also have some serious limitations, one of which is access to Windows applications. One way to get around this is by lever

In 2020, a total of 20 million Chromebooks are expected to be shipped globally. That’s a 17% increase from last year’s 17 million units. Already quickly gaining in popularity due to the cheap price tag and long battery life, Chromebooks are about to get another boost as organizations look to equip employees with laptops—part of their work-from-home strategy to minimize the risk of COVID infections.

While Chromebooks are ideal for remote work and learning from an economic and operational standpoint, they also have some serious limitations, including access to Windows Applications. In this white paper, the following topics are covered:

  • How are Chromebooks being deployed?
  • What’s fueling Chromebooks’ popularity?
  • What are Chromebooks’ limitations?
  • How does VDI help overcome Chromebook limitations?
  • Why is Parallels RAS one of the best VDI solution for Chromebooks?

With virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), users can use the same applications they’re already familiar with on Chromebooks. Users don’t have to go through a steep learning curve because the applications that are delivered through VDI will look and feel just like any locally installed application.

In choosing a VDI solution for a fleet of Chromebooks, it’s important to consider not only the inherent capabilities of the VDI solution itself but also how well it integrates with Chromebooks. Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) meets both requirements.

Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) is an all-in-one VDI solution enabling seamless access to virtual desktops and applications on any device, anywhere, including Chromebooks.

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