With the latest updates of Ansible that enables more of software automation provisioning, there are multiple new features that would be added to Microsoft Azure and change the way things were till now. Ansible 2.7, launched in the first week of October has a total of whopping 21 new Azure models and provides a plethora of automation opportunities for Azure. The deployment and configuration of numerous Azure resources can now be natively automated and would ease out tasks for the multitude of its users out there.
Some of the Azure resources that would rightaway benefit from this new update are
Azure Web Apps: Using Ansible, creation and configuration of web apps, REST APIs and mobile back ends have become much easier.
Azure Traffic Manager: With the help of Ansible, creation and configuration of Azure Traffic Manager for optimal traffic distribution reaching out services globally at Azure regions.
Azure Route: Override Azure’s old school routing through Ansible’s new means of creating and configuring your own routes.
Azure Applicate Gateway: Ansible lets you create and configure Azure Applicate Gateway and gives you easy ways to manage web traffic.
Azure Autoscale: Changing times and changing demands can be easily managed through creating and configuring Azure Autoscale to help applications perform their best.
Additional facts module for VM and ACR: Ansible makes access to information about virtual machines or Azure container registry for further configuration.
You need continuous access to your data. Even an hour of downtime can cost your organization thousands of dollars, according to a recent study by the International Data Group.
A key part of running your business is keeping your data safe. Many businesses lose critical data because they don’t have a data backup solution. Microsoft Azure offers reliable and affordable backup and site recovery for your data and applications. And you only pay for the storage you use. There are no typical infrastructure costs or data transfer fees. You receive the same level of protection that Microsoft enterprise customers enjoy.
Benefits of cloud backup and storage
Lower costs for small and midsized businesses
Higher availability—the cloud has a built-in design for high availability to your data, configuring live resources to automatically take over for failed ones
Ease of deployment—Once an administrator configures the system, it just works.
World-class security—With Microsoft Azure cloud services, all data is encrypted to and from the cloud and while at rest.
World-class security—With Microsoft Azure cloud services, all data is encrypted to and from the cloud and while at rest.
What are your risks?
Data loss—without sufficient backup and storage, your company risks data loss during a natural disaster
High costs for downtime—Thirty-three percent of the respondents to a 2014 IDG Enterprise survey cited business continuity as a driver spurring cloud initiatives in their organization
Organizations need a DR strategy that determines how apps, workloads, and data stay running and available during planned and unplanned downtime, and recover to normal working conditions as soon as possible. Your DR strategy should keep business data safe and recoverable, and ensure that workloads remain continuously available when disaster occurs. Site Recovery is an Azure service that contributes to your DR strategy by orchestrating replication of onpremises physical servers and virtual machines to Azure. When outages occur in your primary location, you fail over to the secondary location to keep apps and workloads available. You fail back to your primary location when it returns to normal operations.
Orchestrated disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) Automate the orderly recovery of services in the event of a site outage at the primary datacenter with Site Recovery. Bring over applications in an orchestrated way to help restore service quickly, even for complex multi-tier workloads. Replication and disaster recovery to Azure Replicating your workloads to Azure enables new capabilities. Applications can be Migrated to Azure with just a few clicks or burst to Azure temporarily when you encounter a surge in demand. Run reports and analytics on copies of production workloads in Azure without impacting users. Continuous health monitoring with Site Recovery Site Recovery monitors the state of your protected instances continuously and remotely from Azure. All communication with Azure is encrypted. When replicating to Azure as the secondary site, your data is encrypted and you can also select encryption for data at-rest!
By creating a cloud service, you can deploy a multi-tier web application in Azure, defining multiple roles to distribute processing and allow flexible scaling of your application. A cloud service comprises of one or more web roles, each with its own application files and configuration. Azure Websites and Virtual Machines also enable web applications on Azure. One of the main advantages of cloud services is the ability to support more complex multi-tier architectures.
Microsoft Azure is a platform which offers secure cloud services to the user. The benefit which Azure offers than others is cross platform support. You can adopt Azure cloud system into your organization without disturbing the existing applications. Azure represents an overall IaaS and PaaS cloud solution that is fully integrated with Microsoft’s Office 365. SaaS offers so truly a one stop shop for integrated services.
For a very long set of things:
Data protection and Disaster Recovery
Web application hosting and continuous deployment/development
Virtual Machine deployment (IaaS)
Business inter connectivity (Service Bus)
Data Platform (SQL Azure, Mongo DB and others)
Both Azure and AWS offer similar IaaS capabilities for virtual machines, networking, and storage. However, Azure provides stronger PaaS capabilities which are an vital piece of Cloud infrastructure today.
Microsoft Azure PaaS provides application developers with the environment, tools, and building blocks that they need to quickly build and deploy new cloud services. It also gives the important ‘dev-ops’ connections which are important for monitoring, managing, and continually fine tuning those applications. With Azure PaaS, much of the infrastructure management is taken care by Microsoft. Thus, developing Azure PaaS solutions allow for a 100% focus on innovation.
Microsoft was the first Cloud vendor to be approved by the European Union’s data protection authorities. They were also the first to embrace the new international standard for Cloud privacy, ISO 27018. Thus, Microsoft ensures the best in terms of safety and security for all operations and data on the Azure. Azure has been designed based on Security Development Life cycle which is an industry top leading assurance process. It comprises security at its core and private data and services stay protected and secured while they are on Azure Cloud.
Seamless Cloud Connectivity Hybrid Solution
Azure already has its hybrid capabilities in place. It constantly connects data centers to the Cloud. Azure gives a consistent platform which facilities simple mobility between on-premises and the public Cloud.
Unlike AWS, hybrid apps can be created on Azure which can take benefits of the resources accessible within data centers, at the organization service provider’s end, or within Azure itself. It also gives a broader range of hybrid connections including VPNs, caches, content delivery networks (CDNs), and ExpressRoute connections to improve usability and performance.
The preview version launch of Sharepoint 2019 in the previous week left the public with a taste of innovation in their mouths and left them yearning for more. The launch exhibited a couple of additional features which were promised earlier and a word to wait for more. The same was reflected in the update by Bill Baer, the senior technical manager who said that the launch was just the beginning.
The launch did not follow suit with the launches of Sharepoint 2016 and 2013 and spared the ruckus, which can be contributed to one reason that the updates are usually better versions of the already existing features, which is a Microsoft trend. Bill also mentioned that although 2019 will open new and modern features for the intuitive as well as the familiar user, people should not expect something extravagant as it is much similar to the core 2016 version.
Though the SharePoint o premises version still continue to retain and be popular among the customers as per a joint Sharegate-Nintex 2017 survey, there are also a couple of features that have been bid adieu to; to make way for the new ones to come in. The list of features that have been added to SharePoint 2019 for an enhanced customer experience are:
1: SharePoint Home Page: Allowing users for easily finding and accessing SharePoint sites within the organizations, including news from these and other suggested sites. This feature also allows the user to create sites from the home page if the administrator has enabled the ability to do so.
2: Lists and Libraries: Containing modern experiences for lists and libraries in team sites which bring the experience at par with SharePoint Online. This feature has been optimized for most common tasks such as moving files and pinning documents, adding files to links, applying filters and the like.
3: New Team, Site Pages: Communication pages which offer a platform for sharing news, displaying stories or broadcasting messages to other people. The new hero web part enables a display of upto five items including images, links and texts to focus on important content.
4: New Pages: Built using web parts, the new pages can be customized as per user needs. Adding documents, embedding videos, site activities, Yammer feeds, using Excel, PowerPoint and other Office tools are namely some features that would be enabled in these pages.
5: Modern Search Experience: Coming with an experience which helps them with common search results and updates the results once they start typing. The search results page in SharePoint 2019 shows compelling overview of search results which are grouped by type.
6: Lists: Providing individuals and teams the flexibility to access, share and collaborate around structured data and to bring information from others into SharePoint, business processes will be getting a huge support with this added feature. This feature simplifies the user experience in creating, curetting and interacting with information.
In addition to the discussed features, also there were a couple of features in the previous versions that will not be seen in SharePoint 2019 which are the Aggregate Newsfeed, Custom Help, SharePoint Designer 2013, Multi-Tenancy, Visio Services and Code- based sandbox solutions.
The 1st day at Microsoft Inspire, the largest annual meet conducted by Microsoft, year after year for its network partners to gather on one platform and review as well as ready for the next insights from Microsoft and also to broaden the community’s understanding of its services and products and brainstorm on ideas and solutions that can be offered to the customers around the globe to be able to use the available services in an increasingly efficient manner was a feast for the eyes. With the largest gathering of IT brains all across the world, the event presented the numerous partners and employees who traveled from lands near and far a plethora of opportunities than ever wherein everyone gathered in the T-Mobile Arena to hear to the world leaders talk about how Microsoft technologies and services were being channeled y the partners and global entrepreneurs to bring innovation and ease the life of customers and change business perspectives through intelligent transformation across borders.
The focus was also on the upcoming financial year 2019 on how industry specific solutions and customer centric policies and updates that would not only help acquire new customers and businesses but also help retain the previous clientele. New strategies, enhanced training methodologies and readiness opportunities for the new players that come into the market and anchor themselves with Microsoft technologies which would give them the much needed base for growth in the industry.
The evening also witnessed great insights from Gavriella Schuster, Corporate Vice president, One Commercial Partner, about programs, tools and resources that would help partners to rejuvenate as well as differentiate their business with the help of latest Microsoft technologies and updates.
Day 2nd Microsoft Inspire, Las Vegas
Corenote, about to start at 8.30 AM Pacific Time was filled with activities and similar sessions with opportunities to connect with active partner communities at the Community Hub. Shuttle services from the hotels started from as early as 6 AM. With resources available to book meeting spaces and also tools that allow booking face-to- face meetings with other attendees till a maximum 9 members per meeting. Also the meeting could be reserved for available slots at the MyInspire meeting tables or any other alternate locations. The Happy Hours in The Commons started from 5 PM to 7 PM that provided unparalleled opportunity to meet up fellow partners and Microsoft Ready Attendees.
Day 3rd Microsoft Inspire, Las Vegas
that concluded the Corenote at Las Vegas, Nevada was made all the more worth it by the address of Satya Nadella that enlightened the audience comprising of partners and employees on how Microsoft planned to harp on its mission of empowering every person and organization on the planet to achieve more using its latest technologies such as the Microsoft Intelligent Cloud and Microsoft Intelligent Edge. There were talks by Microsoft Solution area leaders who spoke about new resources and assets that aided delivery of strong Modern Life Solutions with stories from customers all around the world that showed how Microsoft 365 enabled employees to bring in more innovation and creativity into the workspace. Also, the day included details about the expansion of the Azure platform that enabled improvisation across multiple domains.
Enamoring the event were performances from Grammy Award Winner Bruno Mars at One Celebration, Las Vegas Motor Speedway which added to the quotient of entertainment, networking and fun of the event. With the event in full swing, Microsoft also added to the excitement by putting up 10 new announcements which have already started creating ripples in the market and the results of these announcements would be soon seen in numbers. The announcements put forth by Microsoft are as listed below
New marketplace capabilities such as Integrated Partner to Partner Solutions that will help channels grow their business with sales and deployment.
Expansion of Private Offers in Azure Marketplace that will help partners move away from standard prices, offer better buying prices to customers who in turn achieve a unique buying experience and meet their buying needs.
Special Bootcamps and free access to the dynamic self service for partners, including business insights which would help them get a better understanding of the business apps and enable them to understand performance and stability of their business.
Microsoft also announced advanced specialization and services for its partners that would help them go the extra mile and boost their profitability.
The Azure Expert MSP or Managed Service Provider program which begun as a pilot program earlier this year has been introduced by Microsoft for their partners who stand out of the crowd by demonstrating extra ordinary skills in delivering consistent Managed Services in Azure
Market Benefits Package: Helping its partners build market practices that are more targeted and help partners to select from four business packages depending on their business focus in the later part of the year.
New Apps and Technologies for Azure: Announcements regarding the launch of Azure Data Box Disk and Azure Firewall and Azure Virtual WAN. These innovations seem quite promising when it comes to data transfer within organizations as well as compliance policies.
Microsoft 365 Updates: Announcing the availability of Microsoft Teams collaboration app as a free version in the Office 365 suite. Also, an additional feature of Workplace Analytics was added that would help teams discover and meet challenges.
Updates on Software as Services: Releasing updates on a lot many services from its plethora of services such as Azure IoT Central which would in turn support for Power BI and Microsoft Flow to enable real time intelligence visualization.
Expansion of the Microsoft Library of free playbooks with two new additions to help its partners build practices in new arenas which would serve as guidelines for managing and developing cloud practices.
Continuing with the legacy that they have created almost 7 years back, Nintex is back once again with a list of finalists for its Nintex Partner Awards for this year soon to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Reaching out to companies that have optimally used the Nintex Platform and have demonstrated the versatility and the flexibility that can be achieved through Intelligent Process Automation, Nintex has been recognizing and felicitating organizations that have been helping clients in improvising their business processes through development of customized services and solutions.
With the Nintex Partner Awards night scheduled on the 15th July, the list of finalists is already out with 3 organizations from the Americas, EMEA and APAC across four categories that include: Business Excellence, Business Acceleration, Customer Success and Regional Spotlight.
Based on the innovative solutions that are provided, these companies have been able to make it to the list of finalists for these awards and are being recognized by Nintex as channel partners. The fruitful solutions they have provided in helping organizations improvise on their work and make the actual difference in streamlining processes at the bottom line itself and has actually pushed these companies to stand out among the crowd and make their place in this esteemed list.
A proud member of this list, Bitscape Infotech Pvt Ltd from USA has also made it to this list in the category of Business Acceleration for the Asia Pacific region and is one among the strong contenders for the award. Whilst everyone awaits for the names to be announced in a gala dinner night on the 15th July 2018 at Las Vegas, Nevada, it actually makes an immense difference with the progress that these organizations have led to by pushing one step at a time and inculcating latest technologies in day to day working environment.
With Microsoft as always leading the IT sector in giving latest updates and innovations, it is time again that we heard of something new and worthwhile that actually makes a difference. The concept of Microsoft Teams that adds up to the overall experience of Microsoft 365 is a complete 360 degree change in the methods that teams work. Bringing an ease in the method of file sharing, online chats, live interactions and much more, Microsoft Teams is bringing a paradigm change in the work culture of multiple organisations that looked forward to a single platform for total inter company interactions and an increase in the overall working pace of the organisation.
How Bitscape helps: With complete work culture integration on a single platform, our team of technical experts guide you on creating a hassle free micro environment for easy file sharing and much more, thus facilitating internal communication and accelerating tasks that earlier increased TAT. Sharing of audio, videos, documents, group communications, screens and more of media communication makes it comparatively easier for managers and employees to work, share and delegate tasks. Passionate about our work and enthusiastic about creating solutions, our team is available round the clock and hence is easily accessible to reach out for quick guidance and support.
With such latest developments and expertise available to assist through these new advancements, Work cultures are bound to experience a magnanimous change this leading to more organisational benefits and improved outputs.
Going with the Latest news that has come up as no less than a quake in the IT Sector, Microsoft, the biggest player in the domain has acquired GitHub, the world’s largest community forum of developers and coders with a whopping number of 28M developers an 85M repositories worldwide. While there are mixed reactions from the community of developers with GitHub regarding this acquisition, it is more or less being seen as a welcome change as the community is already catering to huge organizations such as Google and Facebook for high end developing projects and the M&A with Microsoft will be no less than a jackpot for the developer community if things go the smooth way. The deal that has cost Microsoft a good $7.5bn will surely aim making the coder community more leveraged and powerful than earlier and getting a lot more work on a global level into their kitty.
Whilst some of the inmates are of the view that the acquisition of the 10 year old forum was inevitable and are sad about it, some are positive that it is Microsoft that took the step and has now access to the largest code repositories and developers on a single platform. Though that means that Microsoft has added a major chunk to its already existing people that it is now responsible for, developers and coders are in the hope that the cultural changes that would come into picture with Microsoft stepping in would be radical and might take some time to spread out to the entire community.
Although there has been no clarity yet on how the humungous data would be used by Microsoft and how it plans to reap on its investment, but surely the IT Giant would not plan such a strong step until it has some strategic benefits for them in the near future as well as in the long run. This has also brought up a question that whether companies such as Facebook, Google, Linked, Apple, etc. would continue to be regularly associated with GitHub as earlier now that Microsoft is also involved in the picture. While this unfolds at a not so gradual pace, the best way to know what will happen and what major changes this might cause in the IT Sector is to wait for things to happen and then make the most of it.
With technology advancing at an unprecedented pace today, it has become essential for corporations to ensure optimal security when it comes to sharing confidential corporate reports and other such information. Bitscape offers consulting services for Microsoft Power BI platform, so you can get the perfect solution to your business data analysis and sharing needs.
What is MS Power BI?
Simply speaking, the Microsoft Power BI platform allows you to share, provide access and secure reports and dashboards created by you, with other authorized users only. This is the efficient way today of providing limited/complete, access to users, depending on the level of their role.
The Microsoft Power BI security system is the perfect tool to improve your business performance. It allows you to create analytics, and get deeper insight into your market, to make smart, profitable business decisions. With the Power BI platform now you can achieve the optimal level of data security in sharing sensitive corporate dashboards and reports, like never before.
The Security in Power BI Structure
Each Power BI system consists of two clusters:
Web Front End (WFE) – This cluster is responsible for managing the initial connection and authentication procedure for the Power BI Suite. It uses AAD authentication process for clients, and provides tokens to help connect directly with the Power BI service. The ATM (Azure Traffic Manager) is then used to direct user traffic to the nearest datacenter efficiently, using the DNS record of the clients. The Azure CDN (Content Delivery Network) is used to share the necessary non-dynamic content and files with the client/users, according to their specific geographical location.
Back End (BE) – This cluster helps clients with authentication to successfully interact with the various Power BI services. It helps to manage user dashboards, visualizations, reports, data connection, data sets, data storage and other interactive aspects of the Power BI Suite. The user requests for access to any content or file is handles with the Gateway Role, which is the sole role that the user will interact directly with while using the Power BI service. The Gateway Role, in turn, is operated by the Azure API Management tool.
Salient Benefits of using Power BI Security
These are top three benefits that are seen when you employ MS Power BI for corporate data storage, access and security purposes:
Secure Data Storage
The restricted direct user-access through Power BI is probably the best security feature in this service suite. The Power BI security procedure allows users to interact directly only with the Gateway Role and Azure API Management, while the rest of the aspects of Power BI, such as Presentation Role, Data Role, Background Job Processing Role and Data Movement Role are out of the user’s reach.
Any form of data sent to the Power BI storage, is stored and managed using two different components:
Azure BLOB – This stores all data uploaded by the users.
Azure SQL Database – This stores and manages artifacts of the system and all metadata files.
This clear demarcation for user-accessibility to the different components of the Power BI allows it to effectively keep all user data and corporate information stored in MS Azure safe and completely secure.
Excellent User Authentication
The AAD (Azure Active Directory) is used by the Power BI for authenticating users, as soon as they login, as well as when requesting access to any data or content in the storage. A simple email address is needed to login to the Power BI services, as this inherently becomes your Username on the system too.
Apart from this excellent authentication procedure, the Power BI security platform also allows adding customized AAD-based security protocols, enhancing multi-tenant system security and improving your network security effectively.
Successful Service Security
Normally, users are responsible for sharing data. In case a user logs-in with their effective Username, and share any content (dataset, dashboard, etc) they are connected to within the specific data source, the shared data is not restricted by conventional restriction measures.
Only connections with SQL Server Analysis Services, through On-Premises Data Gateway, are able to cache dashboards in Power BI. If the user wishes to allow access to other users to the underlying data, then such an authentication can also be granted.
BITSCAPE has been a prominent provider of Microsoft, especially the Azure cloud-based services at a global scale. The company is renowned for offering the best and most effective IT solutions for small and large corporate clients.