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Cloud

Microsoft adds new access control options to Azure Monitor Logs

To save people from the hassle of having to use complex logs, Microsoft has announced a number of new capabilities for Azure Monitor Logs.

These capabilities will enable resource-centric logging, by allowing users to have their monitor logs centralized while staying integrated into Azure and its role-based access control mechanisms (RBAC).

Previously, due to the complexity of logs architecture, the organizations were not able to maintain access control on their own. This not only lowered the usage of data but also resulted in inaccurate decision making as these decisions were generally not taken on the basis of data.

To tackle that, Microsoft has unveiled two new access control options:  Workspace-centric and Resource-centric.

“We have recently announced a new set of Azure Monitor Logs capabilities that allow customers to benefit from the advantages of both paradigms. We plan to enhance and complete alignment of all Azure Monitor’s components over the next few months,” wrote Microsoft in a blog post.

The Workspace-centric mode will provide centralized teams the full access to all the logs from all workspaces regardless of the resource permissions. There will soon be a new option that will also allow them to use this mode for the components that don’t provide support for resource-centric or off-Azure resources.

On the other hand, the resource-centric mode will enable query of the logs that are related to a source. This mode will work for a specific resource, all the resources in a specific group, or all the resources in a specific subscription.

“Logs will be served from all workspaces that contain data for that resource without the need to specify them. If workspace access control allows it, there is no need to grant the users access to the workspace,” explained Microsoft.

The new features will have simpler models with fewer workspaces that will now allow the administrators to govern their environments better and in a secured manner.

Also read: Microsoft and industry leaders launch new open project for service mesh interoperability

Additionally, Microsoft introduced an automated capability to Azure Monitor that quickly decides on the right mode on the scope a user opts. If the user chooses a workspace, queries will be sent in workspace-centric mode. Alternatively, if the user selects a resource option, resource group, or subscription, the resource-centric is used.

Microsoft also mentioned the capability to set permissions per table that store the logs. The users who have permission to access workspace or resources, can read details of their log types. Admins can use custom roles to limit the user access.

Microsoft added that the Azure Monitor will soon be able to scope queries for an entire subscription.

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Cloud Cloud News

Microsoft to end support for Windows 7 next year

Microsoft has announced that it will end support for Windows 7 operating system next year. The tech giant wants to empower enterprises with modern workplace by making them shift to Microsoft 365.

The tech giant had introduced Microsoft 365 in 2017, combining Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility plus Security (EMS). The service provides enhanced experience to users, empowers creativity and teamwork, and offers a secure and easy-to-manage platform for modern workplace.

Since, the Microsoft 365 comes with Windows 10, the company is dropping support for Windows 7, so that more and more users can move to the latest Windows edition. Also, Windows 10 has recently became the most popular operating system across desktop devices, surpassing the dominance of Windows 7.

“Changes and upgrades in technology are inevitable, and there’s never been a better time to start putting in motion the things you need to do to shift your organization to a modern desktop with Microsoft 365. As you think about this upgrade, this is a time to consider how your approach can set you up for the future to deliver an incredible experience for your users that is empowering and secure,” wrote Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365, in a blog post.

Microsoft also revealed that over 50% of all commercial monthly active devices are running Windows 10. The leading companies like Hendrick Automotive Group, Anheuser-Busch, Fruit of the Loom, and Rogers Communications, have chosen to shift to a modern desktop to gain benefits from improved security and productivity.

Modern desktop by Windows 10 and Office 365 not only streamlines the IT management, but also makes employees more productive and provide more secure computing experience.

One of the main reason for enterprises to adopt a modern desktop is to avoid security concerns. For instance, Windows 10 comes with features like Windows Hello which enables password-less login. This can prevent common security threats like compromised credentials.

If enterprises go on to use Microsoft 365, they also get Office 365 which has built-in features for securing confidential data, meet compliance requirements, and stay in control in the cloud.

Also read: Microsoft 365 boosted with advanced security and compliance packages

The Windows 7 support will end after one year on January 14, 2020. After this, Microsoft is also planning to drop support for Office 2010.

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News Newss

Microsoft acquires FSLogix to extend Microsoft 365 virtualization capabilities

Microsoft recently announced the acquisition of FSLogix – a next-generation app provisioning platform, to extend Microsoft 365 virtualization capabilities and for providing richer experiences to its customers.

Earlier in September 2018, Microsoft announced a virtual desktop solution that allows customers to run Windows 10 and Office 365 in the cloud. It mentioned several supporting partners who were working on the solution with them, FSLogix is one of those partners.

With its app provisioning capabilities, FSLogix is able to reduce resources, labor and time required to support virtualization.

Microsoft, through this acquisition, aims to enhance the virtual desktop experience for its customers through faster load times and better performances, especially for its Office 365 ProPlus users.

“We are excited to welcome FSLogix to Microsoft, and we look forward to the impact its technology and its people will have on our customers’ virtualization experience. ” Brad Anderson, CVP, Microsoft 365 and Julia White, CVP, Microsoft Azure, wrote in a blog post announcing the acquisition.

From the beginning, in working closely with several teams at Microsoft, we recognized that our missions were completely aligned. Both FSLogix and Microsoft are dedicated to providing the absolute best experience for companies choosing to deploy virtual desktops.” – Randy Cook, Founder and CTO, FSLogix, wrote in a blog post.

Microsoft has always focused toward customer empowerment through its various product and services. It launched Microsoft 365 to help customers shift to a modern desktop experience, putting it at the center of workplace transformation.

A modern desktop with the capabilities of Office 365 and Windows 10 combined, offers the most productive and secure computing experience. This helps companies save on time and drive better results.

A few days only Microsoft had announced the intent to acquire XOXCO – Austin based bot developer company for expanding development of conversational bots.

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Cloud Cloud News Datacenter

Microsoft updates Microsoft 365 to meet GDPR compliance 

Microsoft announced a number of new information protection capabilities and updates to its Microsoft 365, in response to GDPR which will come into effect after 25th May.

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is aimed at protecting and empowering the data privacy of all the citizens of Europe, as well as reshaping the way organizations in Europe approach data privacy. The organizations found to be non-compliant after May 25th may face heavy fines.

It is the responsibility of an organization to meet all regulatory requirements when the data is on-premises. However, when the data is moved to cloud, it becomes the responsibility of Cloud Service Provider as well.

The updates in Microsoft 365 include general availability of Compliance Manager for Azure, Dynamics 365, and Office 365 Business and Enterprise subscribers. Compliance Manager, available for Preview since November 2017, enables organizations to perform on-going risk assessments, and makes it transparent to customers how Microsoft protects their data.

Compliance Manager includes Compliance Score feature, which allows organizations to gain visibility into compliance stature of organization with a risk-based score reference. It is available for Office 365 users.

Microsoft also announced general availability of Azure Information Protection scanner, which enables users to automatically discover, classify, label, and protect documents in on-premises repositories like File servers and on-premises SharePoint servers.

The new intelligent compliance solutions in Microsoft 365 will help organizations to protect sensitive data, support data protection in apps and across all cloud services. Organizations can use it to scan hybrid and on-premises repositories by periodically configuring it.

Additionally, Microsoft is previewing Consistent labeling schema experience, which will be used to eliminate the need to create labels in two different places across information protection solutions in Microsoft 365.

Also read: Microsoft working on adding support for Java and Python to its Bot framework

Microsoft said that its new solutions will be helpful in efficiently managing compliance risks and leverage the cloud to identify, protect and monitor sensitive data to support GDPR compliance.

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News Uncategorized

Microsoft’s hiked quarterly earnings confirm its booming cloud business

Microsoft disclosed its earnings report for FY17 Q4 for the month ending June 30, 2017.

Surpassing analysts’ expectations, Microsoft recorded a revenue of $23.3 billion GAAP and $24.7 billion non-GAAP. This was higher than the Wall Street’s anticipation of $24.3 billion. It further reported an operating income of $7.0 billion non-GAAP.

Its intelligent cloud revenue grew 11 % year-over-year to $7.4 billion.

Microsoft CEO – Satya Nadella, said that innovation across company’s cloud platforms is a major reason behind the revenue hike.

He said, “Customers are looking to Microsoft and our thriving partner ecosystem to accelerate their own digital transformations and to unlock new opportunity in this era of intelligent cloud and intelligent edge.”

Apart from Azure, Office 365 also recorded a good performance with Office consumer products and commercial products increasing by 13% and 5% respectively.

Other products like Windows OEM recorded a 1% (up 1% in constant currency) increase in revenue, which is a bit ahead of the overall PC market.

Surface revenue decreased by 2% (1% in constant currency), supposedly due to product life-cycle transition.

Company’s gaming console unit also reported good revenue increase due to strong products like Xbox.

The increased revenue is a clear indicator of company’s constant efforts to evolve digitally.

The recently held Microsoft Inspire also focused on the same vision – to invest in areas that drive success for both Microsoft and its customers with products like Microsoft 365.

On top of the Q4 earnings report, Microsoft also revealed the results for the full financial year 2017. The company earned non-GAAP revenue of $96.7 billion for the twelve months ending on June 30, and a net income of $25.9 billion.

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News

Microsoft Inspire 2017 wraps up, here’s what you missed

Microsoft’s biggest partner event – Inspire 2017, came to an end yesterday.

The event was a great success with a count of over 17,000 attendees, some major product announcements and partner led digital transformation goals.

The day 1 keynote session focused on empowering organizations through new and advanced technology products like Microsoft 365.

Microsoft’s corporate VP, One Commercial Partner – Ron Huddleston, emphasized the immense opportunity available to the partners through the new partner program.

He said that the new One Commercial Partner Program will work with the partners in three important areas:

  • Build With – The Microsoft partner development experts will work with those partners who need any help around building their own IP, practice or any other capability.
  • Go-to-Market – The Partner experts’ team will help the partners bring their product into the market through offers.
  • Sell With – The channel managers will work hand in hand with the Microsoft sales team to ensure that the right partner solution is available to the right customer at the right time.

While Day 1 keynote focused on new products, programs and partner opportunities, the Day 2 keynote covered the implementation part.

Judson Althoff, Executive VP, Worldwide Commercial Business, talked about the four important pillars of digital transformation at Microsoft – Engage Customers, Empower Employees, Optimize Operations and Transform Products. 

By providing some real-world examples, he explained how partners can play an important role in empowering end customers to ride the digital wave.

The examples that covered wide range of industries from healthcare to retail to manufacturing and mining, helped the partners understand how they can understand customer needs more quickly and act even faster.

He further added that to better the bonding between Microsoft and its partners they would focus on two important areas of selling solutions. One is Azure Co-sell that will assist the partners who create any solution with Microsoft Azure; second are the channel managers who will help partners build and sell powerful solutions within Azure.

The final vision keynote of Day 3 focused on some new efforts by the company in regards with privacy, new sales team reorganization and overall policies they would be using to have an impact on the world.

It included announcements around GDPR policy compliance that will be in effect next year, and that Microsoft is ready to help partners comply with the new rules.

Microsoft also discussed its AI for Earth program, originally announced at AI event in London. Under this, it will provide access to cloud and other AI computing resources, lighthouse projects and technology trainings which is a $2million commitment in the next fiscal year.

Overall, the event brought new inspiration for the partners and strengthened their belief that Microsoft is a partner led company who makes partners stand at the forefront of the digital transformation.

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Event News

Microsoft Inspire 2017 – focus is on simplicity and consolidation of services this year

The day 1 keynote at Microsoft Inspire 2017 led by the company’s CEO – Satya Nadella, saw some major announcements revolving around new products and services driven by digital transformation.

The two-hour keynote session talked about multiple opportunities that a digital world built around Intelligent Cloud and Intelligent Edge offers. Microsoft emphasized the importance of digital technologies and how effective implementation of these can help partners multiply their profits.

Also Read: DHN team at Microsoft Inspire – here’s what partners can expect this year

Announcements that will empower businesses and end customers – the people who are the heart of Microsoft’s digital transformation:

Microsoft 365 – combining the efficiencies of Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security

Microsoft introduced its Microsoft 365 offering to cater to the needs of large and small sized businesses. The offering will be available in two versions – Microsoft 365 Enterprise, which is for large scale organizations and Microsoft 365 Business, which is for small scale organizations.

The large organization version will include Office 365 Enterprise, Windows 10 Enterprise and Enterprise Mobility + Security, offered in two plans – Microsoft 365 E3 and Microsoft 365 E5. The plans will be available for purchase on August 1, 2017.

Microsoft business plan for small and medium-sized organizations will include Office 365 Business Premium and a set of various security and management features for Windows 10 devices and Office apps. The business plan will be available for public preview on August 2, 2017 with worldwide general availability expected by the end of 2017.

By selling comprehensive solutions, partners can increase their profit margin and managed services business, as per Microsoft.

New possibilities for Hybrid cloud environments with the general availability of Azure Stack

Microsoft announced orderability of Azure Stack, from their hardware partners Dell EMC, HPE, and Lenovo. With this, partners will get a new business opportunity through ‘One Azure Ecosystem’ allowing them to extend their Azure investment to Azure Stack. The pricing will be on consumption basis and has been released by the firm. The additional ASDK (Azure Stack Development Kit) to support application development and validation has also been made available.

Also Read: Microsoft Azure Stack TP3 – leading the way to hybrid cloud adoption

The other announcements were around the concept of building a modern workplace by connecting with partners; Windows virtualization use rights that will soon be made available to CSPs; Microsoft’s mixed reality (MR) program; Dynamics 365 July update; and many more.

Watch the live day 1 keynote session here.