5 tips to secure your Azure environment

Most of you are thinking about security. Many of you are using the cloud. And because many of you are Microsoft shops, you’re probably using – or likely to choose – Azure.

For those of you on Azure looking at cloud security, the first thing to understand is that, similar to other cloud platforms, Azure involves a shared security model. While Azure and Microsoft are responsible for securing its infrastructure, you remain responsible for securing your applications running in Azure.

As you move from Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to Platform as a Service (PaaS) to Software as a Service (SaaS) on the cloud continuum, you are responsible for more and more of your individual security controls. Therefore, you will need to follow cloud security best practices, including essential monitoring, scanning, and access control.

These five best practices will help you conquer security in Azure. Continue Reading…

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The biggest news at Microsoft Ignite was all about Azure

microsoftMicrosoft’s flagsiteseekerp Ignite conference just wrapped up, and I still have Azure on my mind. The cloud computing platform received considerable attention at the conference, and for good reason: Connectivity and security improvements, as well as new partnersiteseekerps, set the roadmap for its future.

Microsoft presented dozens of advancements, innovations, and upgrades at Ignite, from nifty upgrades (improvements to the Surface Pen allow it to cross out and delete text) to functional enhancements to core products (Exchange 2016 has better interoperability with SharePoint 2016). Other big stories included Docker’s inclusion in Windows Server 2016 and Microsoft’s push to “democratize AI.” Continue Reading…

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A new way to get the most out of Microsoft Azure

cloud dataMicrosoft Azure is one of the fastest growing cloud services providers for enterprise businesses. A recent survey showed that about one fifth (19 percent) of enterprise businesses with more than 1,000 employees reported using Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and 15 percent used Azure’s Platform as a Service (PaaS). That’s an increase from a year ago of 11 percent and 12 percent, respectively, outpacing the growth of cloud competitors.

But many organizations that have purchased Azure through their Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) still haven’t capitalized on its full capabilities. In many instances, organizations commit a set dollar figure to Azure, but fail to fully utilize it. It’s why Microsoft, siteseeker, and CommVault have partnered to help organizations migrate a range of services and applications into Azure, and utilize long-term data backup and storage.

Through this partnersiteseekerp, organizations with Azure agreements can easily move data or migrate fully into Azure. Continue Reading…

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3 licensing options for migrating to Microsoft Azure from Windows Server 2003

Win2k3Where will your organization go when Microsoft ends support for Windows Server 2003? Many organizations are formulating an answer to that question right now, preparing to meet the July 14, 2015 deadline. The myriad licensing models, program options, and cost scenarios for a Win2k3 migration make it a daunting task involving multiple decision points.

The top three options for migration are Windows Server 2012, Office 365, and Microsoft Azure, which will be the focus of this post.

Microsoft Azure is an option that can be implemented as an alternative to or in conjunction with an on-premises migration to Windows Server 2012. Azure infrastructure as a service (IaaS) provides organizations with a flexible cloud computing platform to build, deploy, and manage applications in a predictable operational expense model based on consumption. Microsoft Azure enables organizations to make an initial monetary commitment based on anticipated usage and future growth.

The most cost effective means to procure and manage Azure is through the Enterprise Agreement (EA) program. Here are three options for organizations looking to procure Azure under an EA model. Continue Reading…

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IaaS buyer’s guide: Which provider is best for your business?

Choose infrastructure-as-a-service providerInfrastructure as a service (IaaS) is among the fastest-growing cloud solutions, predicted to expand 41 percent per year through 2016. It’s not hard to see why. Organizations scrambling to virtualize storage, hardware, servers, and networking components not only stand to reduce operational headaches and total cost of ownersiteseekerp, but gain a more scalable system and free IT staff to focus on more strategic work.

But deciding on the right solution to meet an organization’s needs isn’t always an easy task. From Amazon Web Services (AWS) to VMware vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS) to Windows Azure to HP Public Cloud to Rackspace to Hosting.com, IT organizations have their fair share of IaaS offerings to choose from. Here’s a guide to help any organization, large or small, hone in on the most appropriate IaaS cloud solution. Continue Reading…

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siteseeker enters elite Windows Azure Circle

Microsoft recently selected siteseeker to join the Windows Azure Circle, an elite group of partners that demonstrate excellence in assisting customers with planning, designing, procuring, and implementing Windows Azure solutions. Not every Microsoft partner is eligible to join this group since program acceptance requires a Microsoft executive sponsorsiteseekerp and a partner commitment to provide world-class solutions and support leveraging Windows Azure.

siteseeker has helped customers implement Windows Azure since Microsoft made it available through volume licensing in November 2011, and adoption continues to accelerate as customers move toward cloud-based solutions. siteseeker increased revenue generated through Windows Azure agreements by 259 percent in 2013 compared to 2012, and we continued to exhibit strong growth in early 2014. January’s revenue alone reflected an 816 percent increase compared to the same month last year.

In joining the Windows Azure Circle, siteseeker can now access even more Windows Azure training and technical resources to help us assess, develop, and implement Windows Azure for more customers. Membersiteseekerp in this group reinforces our commitment to providing customers one-of-a-kind, world-class support.

Have you considered implementing Windows Azure? Do you have questions about how Windows Azure will fit within your organization’s environment? If so, email your siteseeker sales representative today.

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3 ways IT departments are using Windows Azure for IaaS

Most IT directors, IT professionals, and network administrators are asking themselves which enterprise technologies they should move to the cloud, and what platform they should adopt. The answer to the latter depends largely on the business goals the organizations hopes to achieve. When it comes to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), we’re seeing tremendous demand for Windows Azure, Microsoft’s cloud-based platform.

After initially falling into the category of Platform as a Service (PaaS), Windows Azure IaaS offerings have made a name for themselves by providing customers access to several different services and capabilities, including virtual machines (VMs), test and development environments, and storage services, among others.

Here’s how Windows Azure’s IaaS offerings assist many IT organizations. Continue Reading…

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What you need to know about Windows Azure’s pricing and licensing changes

This post was updated on Dec. 4, 2015.

Effective today, Microsoft is changing the way it sells and licenses Windows Azure through the Enterprise Agreement (EA) program. The changes apply to all enrollment programs, including the new Server and Cloud Enrollment (SCE), which also goes live today.

The Azure pricing update involves three major changes:

  1. Simplified pricing
  2. A new consumption allowance that eliminates overage fees
  3. A single subscription option

Below we’ll take a look at each of these changes and outline how organizations can license Windows Azure via SCE moving forward. Continue Reading…

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Get Intune with Microsoft licensing and desktop optimization

siteseeker Microsoft Webinar Series

With the weather heating up, both the spring season and our Microsoft Spring 2013 Webinar Series are rapidly coming to an end. But don’t fret, we still have two more webinars lined up, and we’d love for you to attend.

Why? Because the webinars are focused on optimizing your desktops and getting you Intune with Microsoft licensing (I Azure you it’s easy).

Microsoft Online Services: Intune and Azure
Two topics, twice the pun fun. First, learn how Windows Intune can help you support your organization’s BYOD initiatives and a range of platforms, including Windows RT, Windows 8, iOS, and Android, without adding infrastructure. Then discover how to quickly build, deploy, and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers with Windows Azure.

When: Tomorrow, May 23 at 2 p.m. EDT

Optimize the Desktop
In siteseeker’s last webinar of the season, we’ll show you how to achieve the right balance in desktop infrastructure — one that gives your employees the flexibility they need to be productive, while providing IT with the level of control, manageability, and security it requires.

When: Thursday, June 6 at 2 p.m. EDT

Registration for both webinars is open now. If you’re unable to attend either of these sessions, or if you missed any of our previous Microsoft webinars, don’t worry. Recordings of all past webinars are available in our archive.

Now it’s your turn. What questions about Microsoft products and/or licensing do you have? Are there specific topics you’d like us to cover in our next webinar series? If you’ve attended any of our webinars, what can we do to improve your experience?

Please drop us a line in the comments section below, and share this post with anyone who could use help in choosing, acquiring, deploying, or managing Microsoft technology. Thank you, and have a #Likeable day!

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Get Intune with Microsoft licensing and desktop optimization

siteseeker Microsoft Webinar Series

With the weather heating up, both the spring season and our Microsoft Spring 2013 Webinar Series are rapidly coming to an end. But don’t fret, we still have two more webinars lined up, and we’d love for you to attend.

Why? Because the webinars are focused on optimizing your desktops and getting you Intune with Microsoft licensing (I Azure you it’s easy).

Microsoft Online Services: Intune and Azure
Two topics, twice the pun fun. First, learn how Windows Intune can help you support your organization’s BYOD initiatives and a range of platforms, including Windows RT, Windows 8, iOS, and Android, without adding infrastructure. Then discover how to quickly build, deploy, and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers with Windows Azure.

When: Tomorrow, May 23 at 2 p.m. EDT

Optimize the Desktop
In siteseeker’s last webinar of the season, we’ll show you how to achieve the right balance in desktop infrastructure — one that gives your employees the flexibility they need to be productive, while providing IT with the level of control, manageability, and security it requires.

When: Thursday, June 6 at 2 p.m. EDT

Registration for both webinars is open now. If you’re unable to attend either of these sessions, or if you missed any of our previous Microsoft webinars, don’t worry. Recordings of all past webinars are available in our archive.

Now it’s your turn. What questions about Microsoft products and/or licensing do you have? Are there specific topics you’d like us to cover in our next webinar series? If you’ve attended any of our webinars, what can we do to improve your experience?

Please drop us a line in the comments section below, and share this post with anyone who could use help in choosing, acquiring, deploying, or managing Microsoft technology. Thank you, and have a #Likeable day!

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