Azure Stack: What You Need to Know Before Deploying Your On-Premises Cloud

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, November 28th 2018 — Categories: Azure, Cloud Hosting, Microsoft

Azure Stack enables you to run Azure workloads on-premises or even within a colocation facility, enabling stronger security and control over your data and applications with a single management platform for your public Azure cloud infrastructure and your Azure Stack deployment.

You can use many of the best Azure tools, processes, and features — including add-ons and open source solutions from the Azure Marketplace — in the cloud of your choice, helping to meet regulatory or technical challenges.

Before you get started with this intriguing hybrid and private cloud technology from Microsoft, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind, however. Here are some of the most important.

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Beyond One and Done: Consulting and Managed Services Enable Continuous Improvement

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, November 8th 2018 — Categories: DevOps, IT Modernization, IT Operations

A traditional enterprise advisory engagement is often a “one and done” deal — you have an IT problem to solve or a new technology to implement and the consulting agency comes in, gathers info, makes recommendations, helps with the execution and steps out of your way.

That’s great for large-scale improvements. But modern IT practices preach continuous improvement, agile methodology, and DevOps practices even beyond the software development world. With the advent of cloud, it’s all about continuous, constant iterations of your software and services.

Many SaaS platforms take care of this for you. That may not be the case with IaaS and remaining hardware, however. Focusing your existing staff on business goals and service delivery while augmenting it with an advisory and managed service provider partner can take even your backend infrastructure and upstack applications into the realm of continuous improvement via cloud management services, automation, and feedback loops.

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Business Indicators to Help You Decide Public vs. Hybrid/Private Cloud

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, October 11th 2018 — Categories: Managed Services, Cloud Hosting, Hybrid IT, IT Operations

There are myriad technical considerations when deciding how to architect and deploy your cloud infrastructure, but your business structure, size, strategy, and industry are also significant factors.

You don’t need to take a deep dive into technical evaluations of each workload to choose between public cloud and a hybrid or private infrastructure. It’s possible that your business practices will make that decision for you before you ever get to individual app/system analysis.

Here are the business traits to consider as you weigh your cloud options.

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What Is the Difference Between Microsoft SCCM and Microsoft SCOM?

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Friday, October 5th 2018 — Categories: Microsoft

Microsoft’s products “SCCM” and “SCOM” sound like confusingly-named twins, but try to get past your first impression of them as a set in identical dresses posing for a portrait. It is true that they are in the same Microsoft system center family, but each has its own distinctive traits and roles.

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Manage Data Across Your Cloud(s) with Data Federation, Data Hubs, or Data Lakes

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, October 4th 2018 — Categories: Cloud Storage, Data Center Design

As more and more businesses move their applications and associated data to the cloud, managing all that information becomes more complicated.

IT no longer has complete control and insight over every aspect of the datastore; instead as multiple cloud providers are implemented and endpoint data is served and collected from widely-flung users and workstations, you’re likely to run into compatibility and versioning issues between various databases and storage platforms. The data management problem grows even larger as multicloud, the Internet of Things, and Big Data initiatives rise in popularity and real-world applicability.

Three ways to get all your ever-growing databases and datastores on the same page are data federation, data hubs, and data lakes. What are the differences between each, and what are some pros and cons of their use?

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