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Stories by Rand Morimoto
Organizations are looking to manage their Apple Macs along side their existing Windows systems using existing tools already used in enterprises like Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM). Parallels (the maker of virtual machine technology that has allowed Mac users to run Windows guest sessions for years) just updated their add-in to SCCM, "Parallels Mac Management 4.0" for Microsoft SCCM.
Over the past 5-yrs, organizations have complained about Microsoft Outlook calendaring problems where users describe issues of calendar appointments not showing up, meeting appointments disappearing, calendar delegate issues occurring, just overall "odd" behavior of calendars. It usually happens in mixed environments where some users are Apple Mac users, and some users (frequently the exec admin / delegate) running Windows, and typically active use of iPhones, iPads, Android, or other mobile devices and tablets. And over the past 5-yrs, I have actively blogged about the problem and the solution to FIX the calendaring inconsistencies.
Microsoft has had their Azure cloud services for years, however most enterprises really don't know what Azure can be used for to help their organization. Much of it has to do with Microsoft having released Azure long ago with today's perception of the service based on what Azure did years ago. It also doesn't help that Azure does a LOT of different things, so for someone to get their arms around how Azure can help them is like roaming around aimlessly in a grocery store trying to figure out what to make for dinner.
Apple Mac users are cheering the release of a NEW Office for Mac client that has a more unified Microsoft Office look and feel, and supports modern functionality like email archives, ribbon, etc.
In San Francisco today, Microsoft announced the hotly await "next version" of Windows as being Windows 10. Windows 10 was designed and built for universal access by phones, tablets, and desktops.
This past week's headlines were filled with the hacking of celebrity iCloud accounts, an upcoming IPO of Alibaba, a security breach at Home Depot, and protests on Net neutrality, however other than a couple local San Diego newspaper obituaries in the Union-Tribune and Times of San Diego, the passing of Kaypro founder, Andrew Kay, for the most part went unnoticed in our industry.
Migrating email from Exchange (on-premises) to Office 365 (in the cloud) would seem to be a pretty simple and straight forward process, and when you know what you are doing, it is a methodical process. However in the past 2-3 years that we've been doing Office 365 migrations, it's amazing the number of times we get called in to "fix something" that some other migration specialist did that has us shaking our heads wondering what they were thinking...
More and more organizations are moving SharePoint and SQL workloads into Microsoft Azure in the cloud because of the simplicity of spinning up servers in the cloud, adding more capacity, decreasing capacity without having to BUY servers on-premise. What used to cost organizations $20,000, $50,000, or more in purchasing servers, storage, network bandwidth, replica disaster recovery sites, etc and delay SharePoint and SQL rollouts by weeks or month is now completely managed by spinning up virtual machines up in Azure and customizing and configuring systems in the Cloud.
Microsoft has jumped in with both feet with the release to Preview of a new Microsoft Azure-based tool that helps organizations do Machine Learning and predictive analysis all from a Web console.
Microsoft has put out in Preview a technology that will completely change how we view disaster recovery and failover of virtual machines and the benefits of the Cloud! What Azure Site Recovery (ASR) does, in a nutshell, is replicate Virtual Machines (VMs) from an on-premise datacenter to Azure on a regular basis, and then the organization can failover their on-premise datacenter so that the VMs are now running in Azure. AND the kicker, Microsoft is doing this at a cost of US$27 per protected VM per month (with an added cost of $60 to ~$150/mo when the VM is failed over and actually running in Azure, which presumably will being during a test or disaster, and the run time in Azure might be limited to a few hours or few days).
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