Moving to The Cloud can be easy

Microsoft Azure Makes it Easy

Change can be very stressful. With the cloud, you’re talking about changing the way you do business. That’s not something to be taken lightly.

That’s why we’ve pulled together the top 3 customer objections for migrating to the cloud with Azure. This guide will help you ease your fears and concerns, enabling you to find the right architecture with the right balance of on-premises and cloud technology. JDB Consultants, can make moving to the cloud easy for you.

1.

It’s not trustworthy

2.

The cloud is the same, regardless of who I choose

3.

We’ll have to redesign our applications

 

1. It’s Not Trustworthy

“Businesses and users are going to embrace technology only if they can trust it.” Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft Corporation.Many companies don’t always think about specific cloud solutions and vendors. They just don’t trust the cloud. Period.Yet here’s the reality – most people are already using the cloud in some sort of fashion in their lives today. Whether it’s for binge watching their favorite TV shows, managing bank records, or making bill payments. The real message is that nothing is more important than a customer’s personal information. If they’re willing to use cloud services to manage their personal life, surely the business they’re running can also realize some of those same benefits?But just because they’re using the cloud now, doesn’t mean they fully trust it. Here’s how you can debunk those perceptions and show that the cloud is safe:

Encryption. For data in transit, Azure uses industry-standard transport protocols between user devices and Microsoft datacenters, and within the Azure datacenters themselves. For data at rest, Azure offers a wide range of encryption capabilities up to AES-256, giving you the flexibility to choose the solution that best meets their needs.
Control. A hybrid solution lets you decide what gets stored on-premises and what goes to the cloud. Information can be moved back and forth between these options as they see fit. Microsoft takes strong measures to help protect customer data from inappropriate access or use by unauthorized persons, and to prevent customers from gaining access to one another’s data. For more information visit the Microsoft Trust Center.
Global standards. Microsoft solutions and services are built on a Trustworthy computing foundation consisting of security, privacy, and reliability. Microsoft creates, implements, and continuously improves security-aware software development, operational, and threat mitigation practices, and shares this knowledge with government and commercial organizations. Microsoft engages in industry-leading security efforts through its own centers of excellence, including the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, Microsoft Cybercrime Center, and Microsoft Malware Protection Center. Microsoft continually collaborates with industry and governments to build trust in the cloud ecosystem.

When you understand the cloud, you can trust it, so take the time to let JDB Consultant’s experts explain what makes Azure safe and secure.

2. The cloud is the same, regardless of who I choose

In the broadest sense, yes, public clouds do the same thing. But once you start to dig a little deeper, public clouds can be very different.

Azure offers a complete hybrid solution, so you ca start small – such as email migration, or data backup and recovery – can be implemented without forcing a complete overhaul of existing processes.
With Azure, you can move virtual machines “as-is” back and forth between on-premises and the cloud. Companies get a consistent experience everywhere without having to invest heavily in dismantling their existing infrastructure.
Azure supports the broadest selection of devices, operating systems, databases, languages, frameworks, and tools. Azure’s integrated tools, unified services, and proven solutions help you build enterprise, mobile, web, and Internet of Things (IoT) apps faster, for virtually any platform or device.
There’s no steep learning curve with Azure, unlike with Amazon Web Services (AWS). As you can choose from a vast array of third party tools, solutions, and partner-developed applications via the Azure marketplace.
System management tasks are automated, enabling developers to focus on apps using Azure’s Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution, the underlying Operating System (OS). This leads to faster on-boarding to the public cloud and lets customers quickly develop apps.
Microsoft matches AWS pricing for all commodity public cloud offerings. And, Azure brings more compute capacity than AWS in the instances we offer; so Azure beats AWS on a price-to-performance comparison.

Microsoft has a very strong solution.  JDB Consultants will help guide to the best solution for your business.

3. We’ll have to redesign our applications

Moving any application into the cloud will require some level of redesign or re-architecture of the solution, that’s inevitable. The beauty of leveraging hybrid cloud is that the same Hyper-V Virtual Machines (VMs), for example, that is running on-premise or through another third party cloud can easily be moved to Azure, and will run without needing to make modifications on Azure VMs. You can leverage the Azure Site Recovery to migrate your on-premises physical Windows/Linux servers, on-premises Hyper-V VMs, and/or on-premises VMware VMs up into Azure with ease. If you are migrating on-premises VMWare VMs then Azure Site Recovery will convert the VM to a Hyper-V as part of the migration.

Migration from on-premise to cloud is straightforward with minimum disruption.   Let JDB Consultants design a plan that lets you concentrate on business IT needs instead of server management.

 

Office 365: OneDrive Sync App Replaces Your File Server

OneDrive LogoMicrosoft Upgrades OneDrive App
Using OneDrive for Business and SharePoint to Replace Your File Server

Microsoft recently updated their OneDrive sync so it replaces the outdated OneDrive for Business app for syncing SharePoint Sites.   This unifies the PC and Mac Sync clients for OneDrive (Personal), OneDrive for Business and SharePoint in to a single app.

So what’s new for SharePoint?

1) Gone is the 5000 files and folders limit!  This is huge for companies that want to allow staff to work on SharePoint document libraries instead of Fileservers.

2)  Staff can not select the folders that they need high performance or offline access to.

Large files can be synced locally to the workstations hard drive.  That’s great for people that edit files like AutoCAD, video or pictures and need to share them or back them up.

JDB Consultants has been moving small business clients off their servers to SharePoint for document storage for years but many clients could not because of bandwidth or speed issues.  The new OneDrive utility solves this problem for many of them and speeds up work for the ones already doing this.

If your want more information please complete this form and we will be in touch.

Windows 10 Tip: Using Cortana to as a Calculator

Windows 10 tip: How to access Cortana’s secret calculator

Reposted From cNet

Windows 10 tip Cortana secret calculator

Type a formula in the Windows 10 search box and press Enter to reveal this calculator.

Who needs Windows Calc? Cortana can do simple math, and with one extra keystroke you can display a full-featured calculator in the Start menu.

By for The Ed Bott Report | | Topic: Windows 10

You don’t need an app to do basic math in Windows 10. If you’ve enabled Cortana, you can perform those calculations by tapping the Windows key and then typing the formula in the search box.

Make your formula as simple or as complex as you want, using standard operators: + and – for addition and subtraction, * and / for multiplication, % for percentages, ^ for exponentiation. Cortana automatically groups internal calculations; use parentheses if you want to control grouping.

As soon as you type an equals sign or press Enter, Cortana displays the result at the top of the search results list.

Want to do more calculations using the result of that formula? Press Enter to open the full calculator shown here.

Note that the calculator vanishes as soon as you click away, and you can’t copy the formula or its results.

U.S. Defense Dept. Authorizes Moving to Windows 10

The DOD endorsing Windows 10, Surface 3 Pro, Surface Pro 4 and SurfaceBook is a huge win for Microsoft (and Windows 10 in particular.  JDB Consultants has been deploying Windows 10 to customers to improve security and reliability.  Our support contracts have built in discounts for Windows 10 usage.  Because it lowers our support costs, we pass that along to our customers.

“ReutersThe U.S. Department of Defense has committed to upgrade 4 million devices to Windows 10, giving Microsoft Corp. one of its best proof points yet that the seven-month-old operating system is secure.” – blogs.wsj.com

“Microsoft just scored a tremendous win with the announcement that the United States Department of Defense will be moving all four million of its employees across all of its agencies to the Windows 10 operating system within a year.

That 12-month timeline is unusually quick for any large enterprise — and especially for the United States government, where bringing in new technology can be painful and take years.

The Department of Defense was apparently attracted by Windows 10′s security features, and so hit the gas pedal, according to an official blog post.” – Yahoo Finance

While JDB Consultants usually waits 3-6 months before recommending a new operating system, we moved very fast on Windows 10 as we discovered how to lower support costs while improving security.

How growing hybrid cloud usage will double in two years

This article excerpt, by author David Deans, originally appeared here: http://www.cloudcomputing-news…/

 Cloud enables IT agility, empowers DevOps teams and helps to transform legacy business models. The fifth annual Future of Cloud Computing survey investigates key trends in corporate cloud usage. This year’s insightful survey findings offer perspective from cloud service practitioners across all industry sectors.

“Cloud has been gaining momentum year­-over-­year since the Future of Cloud Computing survey was launched five years ago. Looking at the adoption rates and trends at such a detailed level, it’s undeniable that the most successful technology leaders of today and tomorrow are scaling in the cloud,” said Jim Moran, General Partner at North Bridge.

“Last year, we discussed the second cloud front and the rise of cloud­-native companies. This year, we’re seeing the pervasiveness of cloud disrupt industries across the board as companies look to maximize and implement cloud as a strategic and integral technology,” Moran added.

“We’re also seeing the emergence of the cloud as the only way businesses can truly get more out of their data including analysing and executing on it in real-­time. This will be a huge opportunity, but as the survey showed, because data rarely moves between clouds companies must first learn how to interconnect disparate data sources into new applications.”

Savvy business leaders are no longer debating whether or not to use cloud, but how pervasively they will use it in their digital transformation plans. The latest survey results highlight record levels of corporate adoption of cloud computing, both for business functions and in areas such as content management and application development in the cloud.

Even the most traditional IT teams are finally evolving. Some are taking back technology strategy from the forward­-looking line of business leaders that led the way to progress. Therefore, North Bridge believes that digital technologies – delivered from the cloud – are becoming differentiating factors for more businesses.

Cloud is the business transformation catalyst

  • Significant processing, systems of engagement and systems of insight are moving to the cloud ­­– 81.3 percent of sales and marketing, 79.9 percent of business analytics, 79.1 percent of customer service and 73.5 percent of HR & Payroll activities have already transitioned to the cloud.
  • IT is moving significant processing to the cloud with 85.9 percent of web content management, 82.7 percent of communications, 80 percent of app development and 78.9 percent of disaster recovery now clou­d-based.
  • While business users have been a fan of cloud’s ease of use, accessibility and scalability since 2011, the importance of cloud agility has jumped from fourth to second in importance within five years.
  • Among all survey respondents, the top inhibitors to cloud adoption are security (45.2%), regulatory/compliance (36%), privacy (28.7%), vendor lock-­in (25.8%) and complexity (23.1%).
  • Concerns regarding interoperability and reliability have fallen off significantly since 2011 (15.7% and 9.9% respectively in 2015). However, the cost of cloud services are now three times as likely to be a concern today, versus five years ago.

Raised expectations for public and hybrid cloud

  • Today, three quarters of company data in significant volumes is living in private or public clouds. However, company data in hybrid cloud systems is forecast to double over the next two years.
  • Corporate cloud computing strategies are focusing on public (up 43.3%) and hybrid (up 19.2%) while private cloud has taken a significant back seat in comparison (down by 48.4%).
  • SaaS is the most pervasive cloud technology used today with a presence in 77.3 percent of all organizations, an increase of 9 percent since 2014.
  • Accordingly, ROI expectations are high with 78 percent expecting to see results within three months. Fifty eight percent expect ROI in less than three months for PaaS services.
  • Among users taking the survey, the biggest factors preventing use of public cloud offerings are security (38.6%), privacy (29.8%) and expertise (22.8%). Regardless, the outlook for ongoing cloud service adoption is very bright.

Windows 10 overtakes 8.1 for first time globally

StarCounter Reports Windows 10 Worldwide Usage Details

  • Worldwide internet usage after first six months more than Windows 7 at same stage

San Francisco, CA & Dublin, Ireland; Monday, 1st February 2016: Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system overtook 8.1 for the first time globally in January, according to independent web analytics company StatCounter. Its analytics arm, StatCounter Global Stats finds that Windows 10 hit 13.7% in terms of desktop internet usage compared to 11.7% for Windows 8.1. Microsoft’s latest operating system is still some way behind Windows 7 which represented 46.7% of internet usage worldwide in January.

Windows Internet Usage Details

Windows Internet Usage Details

Graph: http://gs.statcounter.com/#desktop-os-ww-monthly-201506-201601

Windows 10 is now at 15.7% in the US and overtook 8.1 in December. Windows 7 still leads the US on 40.5%. In the UK Windows 10 is powering ahead with 22.4% in January compared to 12.5% for 8.1. Win 10 overtook 8.1 in October. Windows 7 represents 36.8% of internet usage in the UK.

“Microsoft’s determined promotion of Windows 10 seems to be having an impact,” commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter. “However, there remains a lot of loyalty to Windows 7 and it will be interesting to see if it becomes the equivalent of XP which, 14 years after launch, refuses to lie down and still has a 8% global share in terms of desktop internet use.”

StatCounter analysis of the first six months finds that Windows 10 usage is greater than Windows 8 and Windows 7 over the same time period globally, in the US and UK.

Worldwide usage of Windows 10 after six calendar months (since August) was 13.7% compared to 5.0% for Windows 8 and 13.5% for Windows 7 at their initial half year stage (Table A).

Table A. Desktop internet usage share for sixth calendar month since launch

Windows 10
(Jan 2016)
Windows 8
(April 2013)
Windows 7
(April 2010)
Worldwide 13.7% 5.0% 13.5%
US 15.7% 5.8% 14.7%
UK 22.4% 6.6% 15.2%

Source: StatCounterOther individual countries available at: http://gs.statcounter.com/#desktop-os-ww-monthly-201601-201601-bar

StatCounter’s (www.statcounter.com) core business is to provide companies, agencies, bloggers, self-employed and charities with the data to measure activity on their website, blog or forum. Key features include a free option, ease of use, independence and ability to view individual visitors in real time.

StatCounter Global Stats data is based on over 15 billion page views per month to over three million websites. Further information: http://gs.statcounter.com/faq

Windows 10 Mobile: Lumia 950 XL

I am finally on a Windows 10 Phone that I like using.  The 950 XL is my 1st 5.7″ display and I am happy about moving to the larger format.   I’m coming from a Lumia 1020 and while it is still a great phone running Windows 8.1 Mobile, Windows 10 just does not function well enough.  I think the 1020 just does not have the CPU to run the newer OS.

Things I Like

Having Windows 10 across all my devices.  I’m really excited about Windows Continuum but I have to wait to give that a try as the free Display Dock is 7-10 weeks backordered.

Faster CPU:  Cortana seems much improved with the faster CPU. It took over a day to download my Music on the 1020 after a rebuild.  The 950 XL took just a few hours.  All my apps are snappy again (like they were on Windows Mobile 8.1 on the 1020).

The 5.7″ Screen:  The “bigger is better” screen is great and the only thing I like better about the 1020 was the “use with gloves” feature that was nice on the few days a year we have cold weather in Los Angeles.  Reading web sites, FaceBook and Twitter are much nicer on the bigger screen.

Things I do not like

The Visual Voicemail does not work on the 950 XL on AT&T.  From what I see on the blogs, it is because AT&T has not chosen to write the code to allow this phone.  It worked fine on the 1020 so I know it’s not a Windows Mobile 10 issue.  I tried calling AT&T and they were not helpful.

The besides not have an app for my bank, the worst thing so far is the Mobile Hot Spot feature didn’t work.  It looks like I need to go to their service center to resolve this as I can see on internet blogs it works for others.  I’ll update this post when I get a chance.

Summary

Windows Mobile (8.1 and 10) has been a mixed bag.  There are things I love and things I am not happy with.  The number one issue for me is the lack of apps.  My hope is having Windows 10 on the phone will eventually lead to a solution as Microsoft is putting a lot of effort into helping developers port apps from iOS and Android to Windows Phones.

Get Started with Windows 10: Edge Tip

Take your reading with you

Reading list in Microsoft Edge gives you a place to save articles or other content you want to read later—on the bus, over the weekend—whenever you like. You’ll see your reading list on all your Windows 10 devices when you sign in with a Microsoft account.

In Microsoft Edge, just select Add to favorites or reading list  > Reading list > Add. When you’re ready to read, select Hub  > Reading list .

Screenshot of reading list

Read with fewer distractions

For a clean and simple layout, select Reading view Image of More actions icon in the address bar to bring whatever you’re reading front and center. You can even change the reading view style and font size to suit your mood—select More  Image of More icon > Settings.

Image showing reading view button.

Originally posted on Windows.Microsoft.com

OneDrive Unversal Sync App Preview

Microsoft has released the a preview copy of the new Sync Tool for OneDrive that syncs both the consumer version (OneDrive) and the business version (OneDrive for Business) in a single app.  This app replaces the aging Grove app.

Selective sync is in the product.  This really makes the solution usable as a replacement for DropBox for the 1st time.

Initial testing looks promising but there is still some work to be done.  I hit several issues upgrading.  I was able to solve all of them though some were easier than others to resolve.

  1. Install is difficult – you have to read the instructions carefully.  I’m sure this will be remedied before the code is released.  For now you have to make some registry edits so I don’t recommend the preview for anyone who is not an IT professional at this point.
  2. I had some sync failures on files that had legal names on the old code but had to renamed on the new code.  It seems a underscore is no longer allowed in a file name on OneDrive for Business
  3. I had some folders that had problems syncing because they had too many sub-folders.  Fortunately for me I did not need these as they were downloads for a web site I no longer maintain.  So I just deleted them. But. not so fast…  The folders kept reappearing and causing sync errors.  After stopping both my computers (Home Desktop PC and Surface Pro 3),   I deleted the files from both computers and the cloud copy then emptied the recycle bins in all 3 places.  That finally got rid of the files.
  4. You can only sync OneDrive and OneDrive for Business with the client at this time.  You still have to use the old client for SharePoint (TeamSite) libraries.  You can use both clients at the same time.
  5. There are some other drawbacks.  Read the documentation carefully before proceeding with the new client.

Hopefully all of these issues will be resolved before the code is finalized.  But after some additional testing I was able to avoid all of the issues and the solution looks solid once you get it correctly configured.

Personally I am very excited to finally have a replacement for the aging grove.exe program.  I’m not sure why Microsoft took so long to replace the almost non-functional in all but the smallest environments solution but I am happy to have the tool and I am looking forward to it’s release.

You can get the OneDrive Sync client preview here

The Total Economic Impact™ Of Microsoft Office 365: Small and Midsized Businesses

 

Microsoft commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study and examine the potential return on investment (ROI) for small and midsized businesses with Office 365. In this study Forrester found that Office 365 lowers total cost of ownership while improving mobile and IT worker productivity.

For example, the businesses interviewed in this study realized improved business continuity, avoiding lost billable hours of $15,000 annually. Said one founder of a consulting services company: “In the days when we had a server-based solution, if we went down, we went down. Whereas now, if we go down, it’s got nothing to do with Office 365 and it’s got nothing to do with our hardware. The only downtime is when the Internet is disrupted, and then we can tether to our phones.”

Download this free report to learn more about the key benefits of Office 365, including:

  • Increased mobile worker productivity, totaling $76,000 over three years.
  • Over $40,000 in avoided hardware upgrades and software costs.
  • A 19% reduction in third party software and services costs.
Forrester Consulting: Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study
Forrester Consulting: Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study