Tag: azure

Azure Virtual WAN gets Barracuda support

banner_220x220Barracuda Networks is supporting Microsoft Azure Virtual WAN service through its CloudGen Firewall, extending enhanced networking security to organizations looking to deploy Azure Virtual WAN.

“Customers want choice and flexibility in the cloud, but they can’t sacrifice security,” said Tim Jefferson, VP Public Cloud at Barracuda. “By using our integration with Azure Virtual WAN, customers can have the best of both worlds — large-scale branch connectivity over Azure Virtual WAN with enhanced network security via the Barracuda CloudGen Firewall.”

In public preview since July, Microsoft Azure Virtual WAN service provides optimised, automated, and global-scale branch connectivity, Vole reckons. Azure Virtual WAN brings the ability to connect customers’ branches to Azure with SD-WAN and VPN devices (i.e. Customer Premises Equipment or CPE), with built-in ease of use and automated connectivity and configuration management.

The Barracuda connection to Azure Virtual WAN is automated: Users need to fill out authentication information and click “connect”. Barracuda uses dynamic routing protocols in the background to make sure new routes to new locations are automatically picked up and made available, the company claimed.

“We’re pleased that customers looking to simplify branch connectivity and extend application workloads on Microsoft Azure now have access to the Barracuda integrated Azure Virtual WAN solution”, said Ross Ortega, Partner PM Manager, Azure Networking, Microsoft. “The integration between Azure Virtual WAN and Barracuda provides ease of use and simplification of connectivity and configuration management, hence providing optimized and automated branch-to-branch connectivity through Azure.”

 

Microsoft shows off its new things for the Cloud

banner_220x220Microsoft today announced a plethora of new Internet of Things-focused updates to its Azure cloud computing platform.

Some of today’s announcements are relatively minor. Azure IoT Central, the company’s solution for helping you get started with IoT, is now generally available and there are updates to Microsoft’s IoT provisioning service, IoT hub message routing tools and Map Control API.

Microsoft said that the Azure IoT platform will now support Google’s Android and Android Things platform via its Java SDK.

What’s more interesting, though, is the new services. The highlight here is probably the launch of Azure Digital Twins. Using this new service, enterprises can now build their own digital models of any physical environment.

It is the virtual counterpart to a real-world IoT deployment and the idea is that as IoT deployment in the real world changes, so does the digital model. It will provide developers with a full view of all the devices they have deployed and allows them to run advanced analytics and test scenarios as needed without having to make changes to the actual physical deployment.

Writing in its bog, Vole said: “As the world enters the next wave of innovation in IoT where the connected objects such as buildings, equipment or factory floors need to be understood in the context of their environments, Azure Digital Twins provides a complete picture of the relationships and processes that connect people, places and devices.”

Azure Digital Twins will launch into preview on October 15.

Acronis partners with Microsoft for Azure

Hybrid cloud data protection and storage solutions provider Acronis has announced a new strategic partnership with Vole for deeper integration of Acronis’ data protection products with Azure cloud services.

The new partnership will allow customers and service providers to even more easily store their data or clients’ data in the Azure cloud. Azure will be available as a storage destination option alongside Acronis Cloud and other public cloud vendors in future versions of Acronis products.

Service providers can choose to buy their Azure storage directly from Microsoft, or Acronis can include the Azure storage costs as part of a single invoice.

The partnership is part of Acronis’ overall strategy to support all workloads, delivering safety, security, accessibility, privacy and authenticity for data stored in local, cloud and hybrid environments.

By delivering full support of more than 20 platforms, native integration with PSA and RMM tools, and growing support of public cloud vendors, Acronis enables service providers to make the most out of their existing cloud arrangements

Acronis President John Zannis said: “A lot of products that we build deliver value to clients using Microsoft technology. With easy, reliable and efficient backup and built-in security in the form of active protection against ransomware, our clients enjoy complete protection of their data. Adding Azure as a native storage destination increases their options, making Acronis solutions even more attractive to use. For any organization that has built their strategy on Microsoft, this is great news.”

Judy Meyer, General Manager, ISV partners at Microsoft, said: “It’s great to see how Acronis is transforming the services it offers to its customers, innovating in anti-ransomware and data protection. Microsoft and Acronis have worked closely together over several years in planning the adoption of public cloud services as part of Acronis’ portfolio, and we’re delighted to see the progress that’s been made in using Azure and the Microsoft AI platform.”

Ensono gets Microsoft’s Azure Expert status

two-clouds-1385018843_27_contentfullwidthHybrid IT services provider Ensono has been named as one of the first managed service providers to be recognised as a Microsoft Azure Expert MSP from the Microsoft pilot programme after an intensive audit process.

Ensono is now one of just 32 certified Azure Expert MSPs after proving itself as an expert ally in assisting clients in adopting Azure services. This certification recognises that Ensono clients on Azure receive continuous optimisation in spend and technology.

Ensono’s managed Azure clients will receive fully audited managed services and will have access to the most qualified consultants and technical resources throughout their digital transformation journeys.

The outfit underwent an in-depth audit that evaluated its technical expertise, assessment and design, build and migration, cloud operations and service management, security and governance, SLAs customer satisfaction, cost optimisation and reporting for its Azure services. Ensono’s Hyper Cloud Platform was a critical element in receiving the certification. This cloud management platform allows clients to have full visibility of their Microsoft Azure environment without having to worry about day-to-day management and long-term strategy.

Gavriella Schuster, corporate vice president, One Commercial Partner, Microsoft Corp. said: “Ensono continuously delivers excellence in Microsoft services to its clients, which is why recognizing them with this certification is well-deserved.  Ensono’s dedication to its clients and leadership in managed services is exactly what we look for in Azure Managed Expert MSPs.”

Ensono worked with Sonoco, one of the largest diversified global packaging companies, to implement a cloud-first strategy through Azure GoLive, Ensono’s process for migrating clients to Azure. Ensono identified opportunities for digitally transforming workloads on Azure and lead the company’s transition from the mainframe to Azure. The migration provided the client with an improved user experience, cost savings, and a competitive advantage by delivering client-specific apps from Azure.

Executive Vice President of Technology and Strategy Brian Klingbeil said: “Our clients and global businesses looking to transform can be assured we provide optimal managed Azure services and a steamless digital transformation journey. “The Azure Expert MSP designation provides our clients with the reassurance that we are the right partner to take their cloud strategies to the next level.”

 

Commvault expands Azure offerings

cloudEnterprise backup, recovery, archive and the cloud solutions outfit, Commvault has expanded integration with Microsoft Azure Stack enabling enterprises to simplify migration, management, protection and activation of data on Azure Stack, the Microsoft Azure public cloud, its recently announced Azure Government Cloud, and other hybrid cloud infrastructure.

Commvault Data Platform is designed for enterprise customers using on-premises Azure Stack hybrid clouds in hybrid environments have the powerful data management capabilities they need to accelerate digital transformation initiatives, helping them increase agility, reduce risk and improve business outcomes.

Commvault allows global corporations, small businesses, healthcare organisations, public agencies and managed service providers to use Azure Stack as a Commvault appliance, with all of Commvault’s capabilities running and managed from the Azure Stack.

In addition, with Commvault software, they can quickly migrate data and workloads between Azure Stack hybrid clouds, Azure public cloud, other clouds, on-premises and legacy infrastructures. The Commvault Data Platform enables enterprises to protect, archive, move and search data on Azure Stack private clouds, helping them find data for e-Discovery or data privacy compliance purposes, recover data after a ransomware attack or other data disasters, and activate data with analytics and other data analysis tools.

Commvault has strengthened its integration with Azure Stack, providing new capabilities to Azure Stack users that help them further accelerate their digital transformation initiatives,

Microsoft creates the UK’s most powerful cloud service

PAY-Lion-King-cloud-MAINSoftware king of the world Microsoft thinks that it has created the UK’s most powerful cloud.

The M-Series virtual machines (VMs) in Azure can handle large workloads that involve a lot of data and Vole claims to be the only outfit offering this level of cloud computing power in this country.

The M-series supports up to 128 virtual central processing units (vCPU) and between one and 3.8 tebibytes of RAM – a tebibyte is equal to 1,024 gigabytes – on a single VM. It also offers up to 20 terabytes of memory which is huge for a public cloud.

Data can also be transferred between VMs at up to 30 gigabytes per second, making it easy for companies to back up files or replicate their databases.

The VMs are the only ones in the UK able to handle large workloads on the SAP HANA platform. Microsoft has also announced Dv3 VMs in UK data centres. These are built using new technology, so can perform better and more efficiently, enabling Microsoft to pass these savings on to customers who store data and run apps in the cloud for their businesses.

Microsoft Principle Programme Manager Jon Beck said that ny unlocking more power from the underlying hardware, Vole could harness better performance and efficiency, resulting in cost savings. They will cost up to 28 per cent less than the previous VMs – Dv2.

The Dv3 VMs use “hyper-threading technology” on Intel processors, which allows users to run several processes at once. Along with the new Ev3 VMs, they are some of the first to run on Windows Server 2016 hosts, and also boast nested virtualization – the ability to run a VM inside another VM.

The Dv3s offer up to 64 vCPUs and 256 gigabytes of RAM, while Ev3s offer 432GB of RAM, giving customers more computer memory to run larger workloads.

Vole has announced B-series VMs, a new low-cost range that offers customers flexibility in how much Azure computer power they use.

UK data centres will get a Notification Hub service which lets users send push notifications (information in a pop-up box) to their customers regardless of which platform they are using – Windows, iOS, Android, Kindle or Baidu.

Notification Hubs can send messages to millions of mobile devices with one single process, and can be tailored to specific customers or everyone in a group, in their language.

 

Techdata increases Azure training

schoolDistributor Tech Data is leaning on Microsoft partners to get up to speed on the Azure platform.

It has put 50 resellers through its Azure Velocity Partner Acceleration Programme in the last year and has plans to put the same number through the scheme in the next six months.

The programme enables a reseller to aim for silver competency with the Azure cloud platform and improve their chances of growing their hosted revenues.

The distributor is highlighting the levels of support that are on offer to those that use the training and tools with the investment per partner reaching £20,000.

Microsoft said that Azure remains a huge focus and it wants more partners selling the platform and associated hosted services.

Tech Data is at the gold level for the Microsoft Cloud Solution Partner (CSP) and in a position to provide this level of training and support.

The outfit has put more than 70 individuals from around 50 resellers through a five-day Azure technical training course and saw their revenues with Azure and with CSP grow significantly over the past six months.

 

PowerOn’s revenues double

PF-loadsamoney_2177214kMicrosoft Azure partner PowerON’s revenue has doubled thanks to its services business.

The outfit, which is based in York saw year-on-year revenue for the year ending 30 September 2017 jump about 98 percent to £2 million.

The three-year-old company said that the firm’s growth was due to demand for  its IT services, particularly around automation and device management.

The company has a mix of IT and services which it thinks gives it a competitive edge against the competition that take a traditional approach.

These include projects such as Windows 10 upgrades and the operating management. However the company reports genuine industry growth too.

PowerON has offices in York, Chessington and Lincolnshire, is mostly a Microsoft Azure reseller but also develops its own platforms and tools in-house.

It has a consultancy team which focuses on the modernisation of workplaces and device management, and the cloud infrastructure team which specialises in Azure and hybrid IT.

PowerON became an Elite Partner on Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility and Software Programme this year.

The firm is projecting revenue of £3.2 million in its current financial year, £4.4 million in 2019, and £6.2 million in 2020.

 

Dell EMC will offer Azure Stack

IMG_1049Dell EMC has signed an agreement with Microsoft to provide w Azure Stack through its channel partners.

Dell EMC was announced as one of three hardware vendors launching the Azure Stack, alongside HPE e and Lenovo. Cisco has since been added. The Azure Stack is an extension of Microsoft Azure, bringing the cloud capabilities to on-premise environments. The solution started shipping earlier this month.

Dell EMC also announced a range of services and updates around backup, data protection and hyperconverged infrastructure management.

“Dell EMC values the strong collaboration we have had with Microsoft for more than 30 years, which has resulted in world-class, innovative solutions delivered to customers worldwide”,  said Armughan Ahmad, senior VP at Dell EMC. No surprises there, then.

“The innovations we’re announcing today are evidence of how our work with Microsoft has truly changed how our customers conduct their day-to-day activities, enabling them to gain greater value from their IT infrastructures and, more importantly, develop and deliver services to help achieve their ultimate business goals.”

Eamon Moore, managing director at Dell EMC and Microsoft partner EMIT, said the partnership means partners can offer a solution to customers no matter how they want their infrastructure to look.

“A lot of customers will have been very pro Microsoft and pro Azure but might not have been able to adapt for certain reasons”, he said. “Now companies that partner with both [Dell EMC and Microsoft] can give a solution no matter what the requirements are.

“If you look at the future of cloud, we’re seeing, for various reasons, that customers might need to go with a hybrid approach, so it fits perfectly into that. We all see that hybrid is the future, so this will give all the advantages and solutions available on Azure in a hybrid platform.

“It’s almost the missing piece to now give an overall solution to customers and not be hindered by certain assets [that need to remain on-premise] that you might have been hindered by in the past.”

NTT Com and Dell EMC build Azure lab

cloud1NTT Com has teamed up with Dell EMC to provide a Microsoft Azure application testing lab for non-production virtual workloads at limited scale.

NTT Com claims to be the only global service provider to offer a choice of on premises or hosted services in one of its 140 data centres via fully managed private cloud solutions using Microsoft Azure Stack.

The Proof of Concept to test applications on Azure Stack will run on a single node server in one of NTT Com’s data centres. The low PoC fee includes the necessary Azure Stack qualified engineering services to load and test the application, rented time on the test server and fully documented objectives and reported outcomes. With the cost of the Proof of Concept being refunded if the customer opts to take out a managed Azure Stack solution from NTT Com.

Azure Stack is designed to bring many of the features of the Azure cloud computing platform into the enterprise data center, providing hybrid cloud customers with the flexibility and innovation capabilities designed to meet the business objectives of those adopting a data transformation strategy. Azure Stack is now available to order on dedicated server hardware from Dell, however testing your application compatibility before making the move to Azure Stack is highly recommended.

Jay Snyder, Senior Vice President, Global Alliances, Dell EMC said his outfit was delighted to be collaborating with NTT Communications.

He said it would provide a powerful application testing facility focused on the Azure Stack. These capabilities will enable customers the ability to migrate existing applications efficiently as they establish their long-term strategy for hybrid cloud.

The Dell EMC hardware platform delivers an automated, Azure – consistent experience on a single hybrid cloud platform for both traditional and Cloud – native applications, which, when coupled with managed services from NTT Com, provides customers with a credible choice when seeking a viable solution partner to this new cloud product in the market.

Roger Vilà, SVP Enterprise Services at NTT Europe said: “Azure Stack is the backbone of Microsoft’s new Cloud strategy. By utilizing this PoC facility, organizations can help ensure they are harnessing all of the power offered by Microsoft cloud and unify the disparate systems that may be running across their business effectively from the onset.”

NTT Com is a  member of the Microsoft Early Adopter Initiative for Azure Stack for over eight months and is providing global managed services through NTT Com Managed Services, delivering a one-stop shop for managed hybrid cloud services. NTT Com already has numerous large customers on the managed Azure platform and is fully prepared for Microsoft Azure Stack’s release.

Veritas cuddles up to Microsoft

friends15Veritas’ Las Vegas conference showed how close the outfit has got to Microsoft Azure.

Mike Palmer, executive vice president and chief product officer at Veritas, told the assorted throngs at the firm’s Veritas Vision conference that its customers are adopting cloud at an “unprecedented pace”, but Veritas customers are finding it tricky.

“Those customers have a legacy of applications, many of which were built 20 or 30 years ago and eventually evolved. Now they are moving into the public cloud, but they are struggling with how to make that pivot”, he said.

“These struggles include how to build native applications and how to manage deploying applications in a global environment. They also continue to struggle with visibility of data, particularly around data which is regulated.”

Palmer said regulations such as GDPR are seeing companies need to form data retention policies where in the past they had data deletion policies.

“Our customers are struggling and we know that all the technology transformation that is happening is driving a lot of these concerns, but that is also driving a lot of opportunity for us and our partners”, added Palmer.

However, the conference also heard how close Veritas was getting to Microsoft. Mark Russinovich, CTO of Microsoft Azure at Microsoft, claimed the partnership with Veritas worked due to the vendors’ joint understanding of the enterprise space.

“We are working closely with Veritas around the integration of its technology with Azure so they can produce a high-performing and secure product. We have go-to-market plans together and we also have mutual channels that work together.”

Veritas has announced 360 data management expansions for Veritas and Microsoft Azure customers. These include plans for business continuity and disaster-recovery readiness, hybrid cloud scale-out storage optimisation and data visualisation across disparate sources.

 

Windows Server shrinks its footprint  

giantfootprintSoftware King of the World, Microsoft, has shrunk Windows Server’s footprint when you run it in Azure.

The slimmed down version of Windows Server is destined for use in Azure’s Managed Disks. This is a storage option that allows the creation of disks without first creating a storage account and without the need to manually assign a universal resource indicator.

Microsoft offers Managed Disks at 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 512GB and a terabyte, with the two smallest sizes a recent addition. But it looks like users had trouble squeezing Windows into the little ones, because Microsoft’s now announced it has “added a second set of Windows Server offerings with 30GB OS disks for Windows Server 2008R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012R2 and Windows Server 2016”.

Microsoft channel partners can now put it into 32GB Managed Disks and save customers “US$2.18 per VM if you choose to deploy with 32GB Standard Managed OS disk vs. 127GB”.

Windows Server 2012 could be installed onto a 32 GB partition that was an absolute minimum value needed for successful installation. It was providing a  Windows Server Core with IIS and no GUI, which was not very useful.

The new Azure version, though, makes it fit rather well into the tighter partition which makes it an easier sale.

Microsoft looks to channel to sort out its small blue things

hqdefaultSoftware King of the World Microsoft is ending pay-as-you-go Azure access for new smaller customers on the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement, as it turns to channel partners to win small customers.

At the moment punters are purchasing Azure on a pay-as-you-go basis through the MPSA.  Vole’s new customers seeking the payment plan will be “guided” towards Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) programme.

According to Richard Smith, Microsoft’s general manager for commercial licensing the new licensing focus was a matter of “enhancing and creating synergies” across the ways in which it goes to business.

It means that customers seeking to dip their toes into Azure on a PAYG basis will now need to go through the Channel.

Vole will not make much extra cash from selling through the channel, but Volish thinking is that small suppliers are more likely to stay signed up to a Channel programme than sticking to something more direct.

Many smaller customers don’t see the true benefits of the Azure cloud because they lack the skills.

By encouraging customers to work with partners via the CSP programme, it will mean that there is a  greater chance of success and ultimately a greater consumption of services from the Cloud.

France surrenders to Microsoft Azure Blitzkrieg

surrenderMicrosoft is pushing hard to get its Azure cloud offerings accepted in Europe and has announced that it will build its first Azure data centre in France this year.

Vole has written a $3 billion cheque to build its cloud services in Europe. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told the assorted throngs in Dublin that the expansion would mean that Microsoft covers “more regions than any other cloud provider. In the last year the capacity has more than doubled.”

The French data centre comes a month after Amazon announced that it would also be building a data centre in France.

Nadella said today that Microsoft has data centres covering 30 regions across the globe, “more regions than any other cloud provider,” with the European footprint including Ireland, the Netherlands, the UK and Germany.

In Germany, its data centre is operated by its glorious Deutsche Telekom allies in a trustee model, a move made both for “digital sovereignty and compliance,” Nadella said, “and a real world understanding of what the customer needs.”

“We have a very particular point of view by what we mean by mobile first and cloud first,” Nadella said today “It’s about the mobility of your experience across all devices in your life [and] the way to achieve that mobility … those experiences… is only possible because of the cloud.”

Vole claims that it is the “more trusted, more responsible and more inclusive” cloud provider, in contrast to Amazon and Google.

HPE unveils new channel scheme

HPE The former maker of expensive printer ink, HPE has taken the covers off its new channel programme.

The outfit’s new Flexible Capacity model for Microsoft Azure allows partners to bridge private and public cloud with a single pay-as-you-go unified billing consumption model.

HPE unveiled the Flexible Capacity option as part of the launch of a new HPE Microsoft Azure Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) stack for HPE’s DL380 hyperconverged system.

The HPE Microsoft Azure stack should be ready to go in mid-2017 and HPE Consulting for Azure Hybrid Cloud services are available now.

The stack provides customers with Flexible Capacity single pay-as-you-go bill for both on-premise HPE private cloud and Microsoft Azure public cloud.

HPE said the DL380 Azure stack, which will sit in the customer’s data center, can be deployed with HPE SecureData software – protecting data in both public and private clouds and HPE Operations Bridge analytics software.