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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Migrating Exchange to the Cloud? You’ll Want to Keep One Server On-Prem

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, January 24th 2019 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Hybrid Cloud, Azure, Active Directory, O365, Migration, Cloud Hosting, Enterprise Applications, Hybrid IT, IT Modernization, Microsoft

When you decide to move your Exchange environment to the cloud, you might be confused to discover that you still need to maintain an on-premises Exchange server. There are several reasons for this, stemming from the migration process and on to Identity Management.

If you’re moving from an active on-premises Exchange deployment, you’ll first configure an interim “Exchange Hybrid” environment which hosts mailboxes within Exchange Online and your local Exchange server. The two locations share namespace, address books, free-busy, calendars, really every Exchange functionality is synced between them. Mail flow and other functions appear to be internal, but might actually be processed and stored in the cloud environment.

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2018 Blog Wrap Up: Our Most Popular Posts

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, December 27th 2018 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Data Center Design, Enterprise Applications, IT Modernization, IT Operations, Security

Another year successful year has gone by on the Green House Data blog. We're thrilled to surpass 150,000 views in 2018! Thanks for reading our humble blog. In case you missed anything, here are the five top posts from 2018, covering VM performance monitoring, GDPR, and a subject no modern blog should be without…millennials. And more!

Don't forget to tune in after the New Years for more great data center, cloud, and managed IT services content!

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Are You in SaaS Denial? Here’s How to Get Ahead of Adoption Hurdles

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, December 5th 2018 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Enterprise Applications, IT Operations, Security

Will we ever get past talking about IaaS vs. PaaS vs. SaaS? Perhaps not. Gartner recently published a list of the Top 10 Trends Impacting IT Infrastructure and Operations for 2019. Sitting at Number 8? Software as a Service (SaaS) denial.

Basically, most organizations have been hyper focused on Infrastructure and Platforms as a Service — migrating to cloud VMs, hiring admins for Azure and AWS ecosystems, learning Kubernetes and Docker.

Meanwhile, shadow IT and the overall enterprise trend is to initially prefer SaaS. Of course, SaaS has made inroads with IT departments even at the enterprise level, especially Office 365. But without Infrastructure and Operations teams taking SaaS seriously, your overall IT environment could be opened up to security risks on top of integration problems, fragmentation, and service delivery concerns.

Are you in SaaS denial? Do you have blinders on as you focus entirely on IaaS adoption or other more pressing matters? Now is the time to get ahead of the SaaS adoption hurdles by being proactive within your IT and operations departments.

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