Why We’re Excited About Fluid Framework in Microsoft 365

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Friday, May 22nd 2020 — Categories: O365, Enterprise Applications, Microsoft

First introduced in 2019, Fluid Framework has made a reappearance at this year’s digital-version of the Microsoft Build conference, and it’s now available for preview with some initial releases for Office.com and Outlook clients coming soon.

But what is this new framework for productivity applications? Here’s why we’re excited about Fluid and the changes it may bring to the way we collaborate and work digitally.

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Using System Center to Reduce VPN Congestion from Remote Workstation Updates

Written by Rory McCaw on Tuesday, April 28th 2020 — Categories: Azure, Patching, SCCM, Enterprise Applications, IT Operations

During this challenging time, we need to make sure our infrastructure is available for our quickly evolving remote workforce while ensuring security and compliance.

Many organizations have sent devices home with employees so they can work remotely. Your standard monthly Windows and security updates — typically distributed across a high speed, corporate network — can now potentially create bandwidth and user performance issues if received over the corporate VPN. It’s critical to maintain patching and compliance schedules while minimizing traffic spikes over your VPN that can cause connectivity and performance issues.

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Digital Transformation vs. Innovation: Where Should You Focus in 2020?

Written by Shawn Mills on Friday, January 24th 2020 — Categories: Enterprise Applications, IT Modernization, IT Operations, Digital Transformation

As we look forward to the new year and the new decade, it’s time for business leaders to identify how they want to drive their organization into the future. What new technologies, tools, processes—and, quite frankly, people—do you need to better serve your clients, stakeholders, employees, and community?

For 8 in 10 organizations, digital transformation has been a focus within the past five years. Meanwhile, 84% see innovation as key to success. So it’s likely either transformation or innovation will reach your whiteboard as a top initiative in 2020. But what do these terms really mean in practice? Aren’t they kind of synonymous? Well, not really. Once you dig into the meat of digital transformation, you realize it could lead to innovation. And if you can truly innovate, chances are you’ll need to transform your digital operations to follow through.

Where should you focus your efforts? That depends on the state of your IT and application teams along with your overall mission.

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What Should You Do About Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 EOL?

Written by Rory McCaw on Monday, January 13th 2020 — Categories: Azure, Windows 10, Migration, Desktop Modernization, Cloud Hosting, Enterprise Applications, IT Modernization, IT Operations, Microsoft, Virtual Desktop

Two major enterprise computing platforms are reaching their end of life this week. Tomorrow (January 14th), in fact. While this may seem like a last-minute blog entry, we know there are plenty of you out there still running Windows 7 on corporate desktops and Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2 in your data centers.

Microsoft itself estimated that 60% of its Windows Server install base was still running 2008 back in August. Some of those instances may have been upgraded or migrated to cloud VMs, but we’re betting many of them remain. Unofficial estimates peg the number of Windows 7 machines worldwide at around 200 million.

Change can be hard, especially when your systems seem to be working properly and upgrading appears to be a complex and time-consuming endeavor. But operating systems that have reached End of Support open the door for vulnerabilities, bugs, and incompatibility with newer infrastructure. They also make it more difficult to deploy and support newer software that can improve employee efficiency and empower the business to drive revenue in new areas and to compete with others in the industry. With Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 End of Support upon us, what are your options?

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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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Integration as a Service Connects Your Apps to the Cloud

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, July 3rd 2019 — Categories: Managed Services, Multi-Cloud, Cloud Hosting, DevOps, Enterprise Applications, IT Operations, Software Development

Hybrid cloud management spans beyond setting up your IaaS environment. The majority of enterprises use a mix of on premises infrastructure (both legacy and newly deployed) and cloud-based resources. Often a major hurdle remains: applications that are not ready to connect to the cloud.

Enter Integration as a Service. We know, we know. Everything as a Service overload! This emerging field involves a vendor who can help architect enterprise IT apps to work across on premises and cloud environments, complete with real-time exchange of data.

How does Integration-a-a-S work and what should you expect from a cloud integration provider?

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Agile Methodology for Cloud Administration is Like Peanut Butter and Jelly

Written by Josh Larsen on Thursday, May 23rd 2019 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, DevOps, Enterprise Applications, IT Modernization, IT Operations

DevOps — the marriage of the development and operations departments within a software organization — and Agile methodology have been mentioned alongside cloud computing for years now, and with good reason. Using Agile in the cloud is a classic pairing that goes together like peanut butter and jelly or macaroni and cheese…okay, let me go grab a snack before this simile gets me drooling.

But seriously, even if Agile and cloud technology aren’t as tasty as PB&J, they can still have you smacking your lips in satisfaction as you react to business problems with technology solutions in a much faster and more reliable manner.

Here’s why Agile software development practices work so well when you’re working with cloud infrastructure, even if you aren’t a software development company.

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Defining Your Enterprise Monitoring Strategy: Close the Gaps with SCOM 2019 and Azure Monitor

Written by Sameer Mhaisekar on Wednesday, April 17th 2019 — Categories: Azure, SCOM, Datacenter Automation, Cloud Hosting, Enterprise Applications, IT Operations, Microsoft, Monitoring, White Papers

When using Microsoft technologies in your enterprise IT stack, you have a few native options for systems monitoring and alerts. Two recent product developments — folding Operations Management Suite (OMS) functionality into Azure Monitor, as well as the release of the new SCOM 2019 — have reignited the debate to determine whether Azure Monitor can entirely replace the long standing, good-old SCOM (System Center Operations Manager).

In a way, I feel this comparison is a bit unfair, like comparing apples with oranges. Ultimately the two products can work together and overlap in order to eliminate monitoring gaps in your environment. So which monitoring solution would work the best for your enterprise? Let’s try to figure out!

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Importing Data Into Beekeeper Patch Automation Software

Written by John Hann on Tuesday, March 26th 2019 — Categories: Software, Patching, Datacenter Automation, Enterprise Applications, IT Operations, Beekeeper Software, Documentation

When you enter data into Beekeeper Patching Automation, you use the UI to add servers groups, Windows Failover Clusters, and Exchange DAGs.  Then, you assign validation tasks to these server groups or clusters.  To create the execution job, you assign the server groups or clusters to a schedule.  This can be time consuming.

I have created PowerShell scripts to do these tasks.  In a series of blog posts, I will share these PowerShell scripts and go over their usage.

The first PowerShell script will export servers from an SCCM collection into a CSV.  Then another script will import that CSV to create the appropriate Application groups, Windows Failover Clusters, or Exchange DAGs.

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