What’s a Jumpbox or Bastion Host, Anyway?

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, June 20th 2019 — Categories: Azure, Cloud Hosting, Microsoft, Networking and Fiber, Security

Microsoft recently revealed a service called Azure Bastion that allows customers a more secure way to connect and access virtual machines (VMs). It uses Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) and Secure Shell (SSH) network protocol alongside Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption.

Bastion connects VMs, your local computers, and cloud resources without exposing them to public network connections. As a Platform as a Service, it simplifies the process of setting up and administrating bastion hosts or jumpboxes in your cloud environment.

But what are bastion hosts or jumpboxes? And why would you use them, or a service like Azure Bastion?

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Multi-Cloud Survey: 72% Using Multiple Cloud Providers, But 56% Have No Multi-Cloud Strategy

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Friday, June 14th 2019 — Categories: Multi-Cloud, Cloud Hosting, Hybrid IT

We recently launched a survey of IT professionals to see how multi-cloud adoption is progressing among members of the community. While we packaged it as a fun quiz to “Learn Your Cloud Animal” based on what results were chosen, the results offer some great insight.

Most crucially, we discovered that while 72% of respondents were currently using multiple cloud providers, a whopping 56% of them had no multi-cloud strategy or long-term roadmap.

We dug in deeper to learn how these IT pros were using external service providers to manage multi-cloud workloads, whether they were using multi-cloud management tools, if containers entered the equation, and much more.

Read on to learn the rest, including the top challenges faced in a multi-cloud environment.

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End of Support for SQL Server and Windows Server 2008: Should You Migrate to the Cloud?

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, June 6th 2019 — Categories: Active Directory, Cloud Hosting, IT Modernization, Microsoft, Security

You would be a woefully uninformed and unprepared as an IT admin if you didn’t know that two major Microsoft products, the 2008 versions of SQL Server and Windows Server, are each about to reach their end of support. That means it’s time to upgrade or migrate lest you fall victim to inevitable security vulnerabilities.

One big question when facing a major software upgrade such as this is whether to remain in place, so to speak, and update to the latest version from your current deployment scenario on premise or in a hosted environment, or to move to a cloud-based server – namely Azure, since that offers you tight integration and lower costs with Microsoft products such as these.

SQL Server end of support is imminent, coming up on July 9, 2019. Windows Server has a few months to go, ending support on January 14, 2020.

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Linking Patch Validation Tasks in Beekeeper

Written by John Hann on Monday, June 3rd 2019 — Categories: Beekeeper Software, Documentation

We return to our ongoing series on Beekeeper patching automation software penned by Beekeeper Product Manager John Hann. This entry describes how to link validation tasks to your various Application Groups, Failover Clusters, and Exchange DAGs.

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Office 365 vs. Microsoft 365: Which Is Right for Your Business?

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, May 29th 2019 — Categories: Azure, Active Directory, Windows 10, O365, IT Modernization, Microsoft

As you research your options for enterprise productivity applications you likely will come across Microsoft 365 alongside the more commonly known Office 365.

In typical Microsoft fashion, there are an array of different plans and licensing levels for each option. Deciding which is the best option can therefore take some time.

What is Microsoft 365 and how is it different from Office 365? M365 includes enterprise-specific features that you would likely purchase separately, critically several Enterprise Mobility and Security components.

For businesses at the midsize and enterprise levels, M365 seems like the clear choice. But what exactly do you get at each level of M365? And how does it compare to O365?

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