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 …

What is serverless computing?

Posted on November 1, 2017 by

What is serverless computing? The idea is growing in popularity, but the term honestly sounds like an oxymoron. How does it work, and why should you consider it for your IT organization? Well, the name is a false promise–there are actually servers involved with serverless computing. They just aren’t managed by the organization. A serverless computing model means your cloud provider takes care of adding, removing, and/or adjusting your server resources based upon demand. You end up with a more …

Setting budgets has become a key weapon in the ongoing struggle of organizations to understand and control their cloud spend. Public cloud providers have responded by offering their users services such as budget alerts and server tagging. Users, however, still struggle to see the costs associated with the resources they’ve tagged. In this post, we’ll talk about the challenge of viewing your costs in Azure and how you can solve it. Azure offers a few different methods of grouping services: …

As the public cloud continues to explode in popularity, the problem of cloud sprawl, or cloud waste, also rises. Sprawl is nothing new, so why has it become a top concern for organizations? We’ll go through a brief history of sprawl, explain why it matters today, and discuss the correlation between cloud sprawl and shadow IT. Then we’ll give examples of sprawl you might find in your environment, and tell you how you can eliminate it to make your systems …

What is business intelligence?

Posted on September 5, 2017 by

According to Gartner, global revenue in the business intelligence market is forecast to reach 18.3 billion in 2017, and grow to 22.8 billion by the end of 2020. Let’s review what business intelligence is and why it’s important. Business intelligence is defined as analyzing data using a technology-driven process to help companies make more actionable decisions. Some people use business analytics to mean the same idea as BI, while others think of business analytics as part of a larger family, …

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