Our Top Announcements and News from Microsoft Build 2020

Written by Mike Douglas on Thursday, June 4th 2020 — Categories: Azure, Windows 10, O365, DevOps, Microsoft, Software Development

At Green House Data, we help deliver a wide range of technology solutions for our customers, including many as a Microsoft partner and MSP. It’s vital for us to understand the strategic direction at Microsoft and the direction of the overall industry, so we naturally were paying close attention to see which announcement at Build 2020 might be relevant.

Like many other technology conferences in the shadow of COVID-19, Microsoft decided to go all-digital for this year’s edition of Build, the company’s massive annual developer-focused conference. The affect of COVID-19 on Build 2020 couldn’t have been more obvious than the “work from home”-style keynote that Scott Hanselman and friends did.

This year was the 10th edition of Build and due to the digital nature was even entirely free to attend. 48-hours of sessions were peppered with news about Azure, .NET, Windows, Microsoft 365, GitHub, and more, alongside educational content in the form of Q&As and tutorials.

Read on to discover our top picks from Build 2020.

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4 Digital Transformation Focus Areas During a Pandemic

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, April 9th 2020 — Categories: Datacenter Automation, DevOps, IT Operations, Digital Transformation

You’ve already been disrupted –- now see why this is an opportunity for transformation.

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench into many IT plans and budgets for 2020. We won’t dive into that right now, as it’s been said many times over.

Now, many IT managers are turning towards the grim possibility of reduced budget. With economic uncertainty looming, it may be enough to just keep the proverbial lights on. This is a great time to take a look at both short- and long-term opportunities presented by pursue digital transformation.

Your daily operations are already disrupted. Your users are adopting new ways of working. And even if your IT staff and budget are stretched thin, many aspects of digital transformation can actually help you increase efficiency and deliver more value to your organization.

Here are the most vital transformative measures to focus on during this time of upheaval.

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Shift Left? Shift Right? Continuous Improvement Depends on Both

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, December 12th 2019 — Categories: DevOps, Enterprise Applications, IT Operations

As you dig into DevOps methodology, you’re likely to encounter the term “shift left” and the slightly less common “shift right.” What exactly are we shifting here?

The two terms are sides of the same coin. They refer to when you will test your application or piece of technology – is it during development or once your solution has already entered production? Of course, for true DevOps success, the answer is both! Continuous improvement involves testing at all phases of the application lifecycle.

Let’s take a closer look at the ideology behind “shift left” and its counterpart as well as how they affect the development cycle (which can also be applied beyond app development itself and used when designing and deploying most IT systems).

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Our Biggest Takeaways from Microsoft Ignite 2019

Written by Rory McCaw on Wednesday, November 13th 2019 — Categories: Azure, SCOM, SCCM, DevOps, Enterprise Applications, Hybrid IT, IT Modernization, IT Operations, Microsoft, Software Development

Green House Data was onsite last week at Microsoft Ignite. We had some incredible conversations at our booth about Azure, PowerApps, application modernization, DevOps, Windows Server end of support, and more. Of course, while we were working the floor, Microsoft made a bevy of product announcements around core products and services that are sure to shake up your IT world! I’m super excited about these new developments, so here are my top takeaways from the show.

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What is DataOps? Roles, Strategies, and Differences from DevOps

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, October 10th 2019 — Categories: DevOps, IT Modernization, IT Operations, Data & Analytics

It might feel like DevOps is eating the world, but there’s still room for other innovations within and adjacent to IT operations. One such example is the DataOps movement. The general inspiration behind DataOps is similar to DevOps in that is strives to provide higher quality deliverables from shorter cycles by leveraging technology and specific methodologies around it.

DataOps does not boil down to DevOps principles applied to data analytics, however. While both approaches may embrace automation, continuous improvement, and strong communication between departments, DataOps is less of an infinite cycle and more of an injection of agility into a one-way data pipeline.

Let’s explore the roles, strategies, and technologies at play in a DataOps approach to analytics.

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Azure Governance: Defining Your Organizational Hierarchy

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, October 2nd 2019 — Categories: Azure, Cloud Hosting, DevOps, IT Operations, Microsoft

A fundamental building block for your successful adoption of cloud services is the organizational hierarchy, a mode of organizing your cloud services, resources, and virtual machines in such a way that you ensure cloud governance and can better resolve billing within your organization.

Cloud governance is the answer to common questions like:

• “How do I keep my data compliant with industry regulations?”

• “How can I implement chargeback within my organization so I know which departments are consuming cloud services and account for that usage?”

• “How can I mandate security and access measures across our cloud environment?”

By implementing a flexible set of controls and overall organizational hierarchy within Azure, you can enable adoption of the cloud services your business units require and avoid shadow cloud use. A well-designed enterprise cloud environment can accommodate modern agile practices alongside traditional workloads.

Here’s how to structure your organizational hierarchy within Azure so you can set governance requirements and encourage speed of delivery for your individual departments and business units.

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When It Comes to Application Security Testing, Should You Go Dynamic or Static?

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, September 26th 2019 — Categories: Patching, DevOps, Security

There are two main categories of application security testing: dynamic and static. They can be thought of as testing from the outside-in and from the inside-out, respectively.

Dynamic testing is performed as an application is running and focuses on simulating how an outside attacker might access that application and associated systems. Static testing, on the other hand, examines the code itself and related documentation, often throughout the actual development process, to try and discover potential vulnerabilities before the application reaches production.

Should you use DAST or SAST for your applications? In truth it is not an either/or situation, as DAST and SAST are complementary and evolved indivually. First let's take a look at the key differences between them.

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Agile Scrum in DevOps Ecosystems, Part Two

Written by Thusi Hettigama on Tuesday, September 17th 2019 — Categories: DevOps, IT Modernization, IT Operations, Software Development

Last week I introduced key agile concepts including the history of and essential roles required for Scrum practices. I described a real-world example of how DevOps could have saved my organization major headaches and expenses.

In Part Two of this post on using agile Scrum methodology within DevOps ecosystems, we'll examine the Four Values of Agile and learn how to change your organizational mindset to accommodate this new paradigm.

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Agile Scrum in DevOps Ecosystems, Part One

Written by Thusi Hettigama on Wednesday, September 11th 2019 — Categories: DevOps, IT Modernization, IT Operations, Software Development

In early 2001 I was involved in a software development project on integrating bolt-on application to a JD Edwards ERP software platform. The team completed the initial requirements collection and developed a comprehensive Business Requirement Document (BRD), investing roughly two to three months. The team had multiple review sessions to identify gaps in the requirements process and after a few cycles received approvals to proceed to the development phase.

While development was in progress, some of the EDI-based vendor data sources changed the mapping. This situation created chaos in the project. The management team decided to hold off the development phase. The project had to go through the requirements cycle again to identify the gaps. This situation impacted the schedule and budget, creating massive frustration in the organization. The first six months of the project investment was on hold. The sequential software development process we followed did not allow the flexibility to deliver any incremental value to the organization since the beginning of the project.

If we had followed an agile approach, this challenging outcome might have resolved in a different manner. The short intervals of development would have produced incremental value to the organization. Therefore we would have minimized the organizational concerns of not providing any value for six long months.

Here's how agile practices, Scrum, and DevOps all work together. Learn how to overcome adoption obstacles and several keys to Scrum success in this two-part blog series.

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Before Going Serverless, Be Aware of Limitations

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, July 25th 2019 — Categories: Azure, Cloud Hosting, DevOps, IT Modernization

Serverless functions (often referred to as Functions as a Service or FaaS) will no doubt continue to grow in popularity and remain a cornerstone of IT services for many years to come. However, they are simply another way of building, maintaining, and delivering IT systems. With that in mind, they naturally have disadvantages or situations in which they may not be the preferred technology to use. These are due both to the nature of serverless and how it is currently implemented by cloud service providers.

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