Paying bills may never be America’s pastime, but just like baseball, hot dogs, apple pie (and Chevrolet), bill paying is a part of life. And when it comes time to write the check or swipe the card to pay your Microsoft Azure bill, have you fully understood and agreed to what you’re paying for? Cloud services bills are incredibly complex and if you’re not careful, you could be paying hundreds of thousands for services you don’t need or aren’t properly …

Microsoft Azure support for high performance computing (HPC) workloads (or sometimes referred to as Big Compute) has evolved rapidly over the past few years. In this blog post, I will go over the history and support for HPC in Microsoft Azure, including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions, Platform as a Service solutions (PaaS), and even Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions from Microsoft and/or its partners. I will also cover some of the most important scenarios where Big Compute …

Note: This is a guest post by Sam Youness, who has 20 years of experience history in technical and solutions architecture, engineering, and consulting, with more than 12 of those at Microsoft, specializing implementing the newest technologies for his clients. Sam is also a Microsoft Certified Azure Architect. Resource groups (RG) in Azure is a new approach to group a collection of assets in logical groups for easy or even automatic provisioning, monitoring, and access control, and for more effective …

Is Azure Stack right for me?

Posted on February 26, 2018 by

Microsoft’s highly touted hybrid cloud offering, Azure Stack, is now available for ordering, but does that mean you should run right out and get it? Before deciding that, we’ll quickly review what Azure Stack is as well as use cases that might benefit from it and challenges around deploying it. Up until now, Azure was known solely as a public cloud provider. With Azure Stack organizations get the same functionality, performance and security of Azure public cloud, but with the …

Managing customer and employee information properly can be a daunting task for any organization, and determining whether that information should be kept on-premise or in the cloud even more so. Active Directory (AD) is one identity management tool that can help businesses in this respect. AD has had some big changes since its early inception, which we’ll talk about in this post. In the olden days of Microsoft Windows Server AD, you had a simple on-premise repository that stored a …

If you use Azure, you know you need to know about the Security Center. Why? One of the biggest challenges (and a major concern for executives) to using the cloud successfully is security, and for good reason. Recent public revelations about data breaches due to poorly configured Amazon S3 buckets are making users think twice before moving to the public cloud. For current Azure users, that risk can be mitigated by properly understanding  how to apply Azure Security Center to your …

What is edge computing?

Posted on January 30, 2018 by

The IoT revolution  is in full swing, bringing with it an army of devices (about 5.6 billion in three years) never before connected to the internet, including thermostats, motion detectors, and automobiles. With all the data that IoT devices generate, the need to process and analyze some of it closer to its creation point has become more important. That need has brought about a new model of cloud computing called Edge Computing. How does this new model change the way …

As we’ve mentioned before, there are three basic components to business continuity: There’s offsite backup, disaster recovery, and data protection as a service (DPaaS). While offsite backup and disaster recovery are the more well known pieces, data protection has an important role, too. Below are a few examples of practical applications of data protection as a service in everyday business: Example A: Company A is a data clearinghouse for the healthcare insurance industry, and needed a better way to handle …

Note: This is a guest post by Sam Youness, who has 20 years of experience history in technical and solutions architecture, engineering, and consulting, with more than 12 of those at Microsoft, specializing implementing the newest technologies for his clients. Sam is also a Microsoft Certified Azure Architect. The Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities have shaken the IT industry and left some people wondering about the security of their mission-critical data in a multi-tenant environment. Data hosting is still a viable option …

We gave Amazon’s S3 storage buckets an honorable mention on our biggest data breaches of 2017 list, and in this post, we’ll explain why we did that. What makes these types of breaches so important to point out? For those who missed it, here’s what happened: AWS users can store their files (known as objects) in what are known as S3 storage buckets. Amazon defaults these S3 buckets to be closed instead of open, but over the course of several …

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