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Enterprise Tech Microsoft

Microsoft begins the Private Preview of SQL Server on Linux

Microsoft announced their plans to bring SQL Server to Linux. A step towards making the industry-leading data management and business analytics platform available for any data, to run any application, anywhere. SQL Server on Linux gives developers the power to build and deploy intelligent applications on a single data management and business analytics platform. This will enable SQL Server to deliver a consistent data platform across Windows Server and Linux, as well as on-premises and cloud. The preview of the core relational database capabilities is available today, and are targeting availability in mid-2017.

SQL Server on Linux will provide customers with even more flexibility in their data solution. One with mission-critical performance, industry-leading TCO, best-in-class security, and hybrid cloud innovations – like Stretch Database which lets customers access their data on-premises and in the cloud whenever they want at low cost – all built in.

Bringing SQL Server to Linux is a welcome step and is in-line in the efforts to make products and new innovations more accessible to a broader set of users on other platforms. Performance monitoring tools like SQL Sentry and others are now available and provide support for SQL servers running on Linux

SQL-Server-Loves-Linux

“This is an enormously important decision for Microsoft, allowing it to offer its well-known and trusted database to an expanded set of customers”, said Al Gillen, group vice president, enterprise infrastructure, at IDC. “By taking this key product to Linux Microsoft is proving its commitment to being a cross platform solution provider. This gives customers choice and reduces the concerns for lock-in. We would expect this will also accelerate the overall adoption of SQL Server.”

“SQL Server’s proven enterprise experience and capabilities offer a valuable asset to enterprise Linux customers around the world,” said Paul Cormier, President, Products and Technologies, Red Hat. “We believe our customers will welcome this news and are happy to see Microsoft further increasing its investment in Linux. As we build upon our deep hybrid cloud partnership, spanning not only Linux, but also middleware, and PaaS, we’re excited to now extend that collaboration to SQL Server on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, bringing enterprise customers increased database choice.”

“We are delighted to be working with Microsoft as it brings SQL Server to Linux,” said Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical. “Customers are already taking advantage of Azure Data Lake services on Ubuntu, and now developers will be able to build modern applications that utilize SQL Server’s enterprise capabilities.”

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Enterprise Tech Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT Security Challenges and how can we address them?

From music speakers to thermostats, to lights and accessories, everything has some sort of intelligence; We are living in tech heaven, to be precise. Having moved from keypads to touch interfaces, we are currently in the no interface era. Every company is focusing on getting the maximum done with very little interaction with the device, and that means voice-activated computing powered by artificial intelligence.

Opportunities IoT Implementations Can Bring

The thing that makes everyone excited about the future of IoT is the versatility of solutions it can provide. This also makes IoT the buzzword of the decade because we can expect an explosion of IoT solutions in various sectors.

Internet-equipped sensors on any device make it possible to tap all the unused data, and analysis of this data leads into inferences about things that are usually considered ‘offline’. This can lead to better productivity, reduce cost, and can bring about a sustainable lifestyle.

Think about it – there are so many devices we use on a daily basis that is generating vast amounts of data. This data provides great insight into user behaviour, the implications of this data over the lifecycle of a device is still unknown. For example, the information generated by health bands provides insight into your daily habits, like step counts, heart rate and sleep pattern.

Wearable technology enabled bands, accessories and even clothes are connected to the phone and are recording data about everything from blood pressure to the posture.

Further, this can help transform insights into action through powerful applications thereby creating new revenue and business opportunities.

Also speaking of the Internet of Things (IoT), it is not just the companies building consumer-facing products that are a big deal, there are many companies providing wireless power solutions and cloud-based solutions that are more useful. This increase in IoT adoptions have also made organizations rethink traditional IT approaches.

Need for Security:

Since the term ‘IoT’ was coined first, the definition has evolved a lot. In a generic sense though, this is a highly intelligent Machine-to-Machine technology which has potential to revolutionize how we live and work.

While we enjoy these benefits, there is a huge chance that things could go wrong. Chances of data leaks, modification, the hacker gaining control over your products etc. Hence, it is important to focus on these areas and ensure that we are safe and secure.

Further, the increase in the adoption of IoT based technology in areas of a home, retail and industrial automation, health & fitness monitoring and connected vehicles as well as the advent and growth of Smart cities, has also resulted in a greater need for a better model to secure these products.

Key Security Challenges and Solutions for protecting IoT devices

Security and Privacy are critical issues for any company that offers IoT Based products and solutions. According to Gartner, it is expected that by the year 2020, we will have over 25 billion devices connected to the Internet.

It is important to understand the key security challenges that come along with IoT; this needs more attention to detail than anything else. With the rise of connected devices, IoT based products need built-in security that can cover every aspect of the design. Let us look at the top 5 areas that can help make secure IoT solutions.

1. Secure Product Lifecycle:

Security must be addressed throughout the device lifecycle, from the initial design to the operational environment. Ensuring the product boots up with the known configurations and only digitally signed applications are installed.

The products have to be tamper-proof as well. The device should ensure data encryption is used; for when in transport and at rest. Also, it’s important to use secure APIs and tokens for access authorization. Usage of PKIs will also ensure Data Integrity.

The devices need to be properly secured to mitigate risks for organizations and individuals from malicious attacks.

2. Maintain Updates on Devices:

When we analyze the reasons behind the increasing numbers of vulnerabilities on IoT products, there clearly stands out two important reasons:

  1. Lack of standards and guidelines in the manufacturing of IoT devices.
  2. More open source platforms usage also allows attackers to stay ahead of the curve.

To address this, it’s important to have a security validation done on these devices before deploying these products in a work environment. It is also important to perform continuous updates and patching on personal devices to reduce vulnerabilities.

3. Secure Device Settings:

Data Leaks in IoT is another threat vector which most of the companies need to focus on. In the wake of massive data breaches and data theft cases we’ve seen in recent years, more effort needs to be made to secure IoT-related data to ensure the privacy of consumers and the functionality of businesses and corporations.

The gateways that connect IoT devices to company or manufacturer networks need to be secured as well as the devices themselves. IoT devices are always connected and on. In contrast to other devices, they go through a one-time authentication process, which can make them perfect sources of infiltration into company networks. Therefore, more security needs to be implemented on these gateways to improve the overall security of the system.

Data Integrity is a key aspect that would need focus as well. Certificates for devices validate identities to make sure only authorized users and machines have access to the device. It creates an encrypted link and allows information to be transmitted privately. They also make sure that any messages or data transferred from/to the device are not altered.

Good security principles are needed; regardless it is a low-powered device or a desktop class laptop.

4. Defense in Depth Strategy:

Defense in depth often includes usage of products and solutions like AV software, firewalls, anti-spyware programs, hierarchical passwords, intrusion detection and biometric verification.

Defense in Depth strategy would be the ideal solution for securing data from the IoT devices. Defense in Depth is an information assurance mechanism where multiple layers of security controls are placed throughout an information technology system.

A well-designed strategy will help system administrators identify people who attempt to compromise a device. If a hacker gains access to a system, defence in depth minimizes the adverse impact and gives administrators and engineers time to deploy new or updated countermeasures to prevent recurrence.

5. Default Passwords:

Most devices are ready to use out-of-the-box, attackers have learned how to leverage this to access devices discovered on the internet through tools like Shodan which has an inventory of Cameras, Refrigerators and other IoT devices. This has also been leveraged to employ devices to participate in massive attacks on the Internet.

In October 2016, Dyn DNS was attacked with IoT devices which were taken over in this way and caused a prolonged outage for sites including Twitter, Amazon, Tumblr, Reddit, Spotify and Netflix.

Changing your default password on all devices helps prevent this type of attack and helps maintain your privacy.

Summary:

IoT devices can help simplify and improve our visibility and capabilities, at the same time it can expose us to new threats, taking a few simple steps will help protect us against these threats:

  • Keep devices up to date
  • Choose Secure settings available
  • Change all default passwords.

Building a successful IoT environment will require massive amounts of coordination and strong analytics. More platforms are coming up to sync up devices on a data level, and not just with respect to connectivity alone.

Just like any other field, there are many sceptics around in tech industry as well. They predict IoT as a bubble that would burst very soon. But for the rest of us, we are definitely heading towards a better, sustainable future where there’s going to be a lot more evolution happening on the IoT front and we will be there to protect it.

 

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Enterprise Tech

IBM Introduces Cloud Tools and Collaborative Coding for Swift

Last week IBM announced new cloud tools for Swift and Watson designed for mobile development and cognitive apps at IBM DeveloperConnect. The event had over 10,000 developers across India, who attended in person or virtually via Lifestream. IBM has debuted two new capabilities to advance Swift on IBM Cloud.

One of the highlights from the event was the 12 year old, Tanmay Bakshi who was delivering an address for the developers. He is the youngest IBM Watson programmer in the world. Read his interview where he spoke about his journey so far.

IBM introduced the beta version of IBM Cloud Tools for Swift to simplify the management and deployment of server-side assets in an environment complementary to Xcode. IBM Cloud Tools for Swift is a free app that provides a single, visual interface for developers to assemble, manage, deploy and monitor apps.

Developers can also use Swift on LinuxONE™, IBM’s Linux-only enterprise system, to create applications that connect into the hybrid cloud. By running Swift on LinuxONE, developers can combine the programming language they know with the system’s speed, security and scale.

To provide an easy entry point into cognitive and help developers infuse Watson capabilities into their apps more seamlessly, IBM has launched the Watson Developer Cloud Application Starter Kits, which provides code examples based on common use cases. Developers can leverage Business Intelligence (combining AlchemyLanguage, AlchemyData News and Tone Analyzer) to analyze news and social media, the Conversational Agent (combining Dialog and Natural Language Classifier) to guide users through a series of tasks in natural language rather than long form, and Audio Analysis (combining Speech to Text and Concept Insights) to extract concepts from a stream of audio and make recommendations based on those concepts.

 

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Enterprise Tech Microsoft

Microsoft brings in more tools to the community, joins Eclipse Foundation.

Microsoft is taking its relationship with the Eclipse community to the next level by joining the Eclipse Foundation as a Solutions Member. With joining the Eclipse Foundation, Microsoft will collaborate more closely with the Eclipse community, deliver set of tools and services for all development teams, and of-course continuously improve our cloud services, SDKs and tools.

Earlier this week, Microsoft also announced the Private Preview of the Microsoft SQL Server on Linux. This was indeed a great step towards making the industry-leading data management and business analytics platform available for any data, to run any application, anywhere.

Microsoft delivers a number of Eclipse-based tools today. The Azure Toolkit for Eclipse and Java SDK for Azure enables Eclipse users to build cloud applications. And with the free Team Explorer Everywhere plugin, developers have access to the full suite of source control, team services, and DevOps capabilities of Visual Studio Team Services from within their IDE. These offerings will continue to be maintained and shared through the Eclipse Marketplace.

With Visual Studio Team Services, Azure, and Codenvy, software development teams can collaborate more easily than ever before. The Azure VM Marketplace now includes a virtual machine preconfigured with Codenvy, so developers can instantly provision private Codenvy workspaces on Azure.

Microsoft is also planning to announce more tools and services specifically for Java and Eclipse developers that provide powerful development solutions and services that span platforms.

  • Open sourcing the Team Explorer Everywhere Plugin for Eclipse on GitHub today, so it can develop it together with the Eclipse community.
  • Azure IoT Suite support in Kura. Microsoft will contribute an Azure IoT Hub Connector to Kura that will allow to easily connect gateways running Kura to Azure IoT Suite.
  • Azure Java WebApp support in the Azure Toolkit for Eclipse, which makes it easy to take a Java web app and have it running in Azure within seconds
  • A refreshed and updated Azure Java Dev Center

With the Java Tools Challenge, Microsoft are inviting Java developers to build apps and extensions for VSTS.

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Enterprise Tech News

Dell acquires EMC. Technically, the biggest Merger Ever!

Dell Inc. and EMC Corporation today announced they have signed a definitive agreement under which Dell, together with its owners, Michael S. Dell, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Dell, MSD Partners and Silver Lake, the global leader in technology investing, will acquire EMC Corporation. The transaction is expected to be around USD $67 billion. This deal will unite Dell’s strength with small business and mid-market customers with EMC’s strength with large enterprises to fuel profitable growth and generate significant cash flows.

Mr. Dell and related stockholders will own approximately 70 percent of the company’s common equity, excluding the tracking stock, similar to their pre-transaction ownership. EMC stockholders to receive approximately $33.15 per share in a combination of cash as well as tracking stock linked to a portion of EMC’s economic interest in the VMware business.

The combination of Dell and EMC is expected to create the world’s largest privately-controlled, integrated technology company. The company will be a leader in the extremely attractive high-growth areas of the $2 trillion information technology market with complementary product portfolios, sales teams and R&D investment strategies. The transaction combines two of the world’s greatest technology franchises with leadership positions in servers, storage, virtualization and PCs and it brings together strong capabilities in the fastest growing areas of the industry, including digital transformation, software-defined data center, hybrid cloud, converged infrastructure, mobile and security.

VMware will remain a publicly-traded company and continue to provide customers value through leading software- defined data center technology, together with its cloud, mobile and desktop offerings. This transaction is expected to accelerate VMware’s growth across all of its businesses through significant synergies with Dell’s solutions and go-to-market channels. VMware remains committed to investing in and partnering with its strong, industry ecosystem.

The combined company will consist of strategically-aligned businesses and incubated high-growth assets, fostering innovation, enabling customer choice and attracting and retaining world-class talent. 

EMC and VMware hosted a joint conference call with investors on October 12, 2015 at 7:45 am Eastern Time to discuss the transaction. The call can be heard here at http://www.emc.com/corporate/investor-relations/index.htm

This is the biggest merger ever in the Tech industry. The previous bigger was the HP-Compaq acquisition; however, this is expected to be twice as big as that.

I think, Citrix is the next big company to look at. I predict, either Microsoft or HP will buy it. Lets see if it ever happens!

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Enterprise Tech Microsoft News

Microsoft Azure services now available via India Datacenters

Microsoft today announced the availability of Microsoft Azure services via local datacenter regions in India. As the first public cloud provider from India, Microsoft has opened three new regions – Central India in Pune, South India in Chennai, and West India in Mumbai.

Few months ago, in July 2015, Customers were able to participate in a private preview of Microsoft Azure from India datacenter. This has seen significant interest from BFSI, government departments and organisations, ISVs, ecommerce organizations and startups with participation from over 125 customers. Organizations such as Mahindra, Aditya Birla group, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Bank, BPCL, AIIMS, Fortis Healthcare, Narayana Healthcare, Apollo Hospitals, Haryana State Electronics Development Corporation, MIDC, TN ePDS, UP Power Corporation, Wipro, Infosys, Rediff, BookMyShow, Sony Corporation, NanoBi Data and Analytics, etc. have been using Microsoft local cloud services under this private preview program.

In addition to the Microsoft Azure services launching today, Office 365 services are slated for availability in October 2015, with Dynamics CRM Online services to follow in the first half of 2016.

With the local cloud services, regulated industries such as BFSI, government departments and state-owned enterprises will now be able to leverage public cloud services and be able to take advantage of local data residency. In addition, businesses that deal with large amounts of data e.g. media companies, will benefit from data replication in multiple regions within India for backup and recovery, reduced network distance, lower latency, and the option of a private connection to the cloud.

cloud

Microsoft local cloud services are well-suited for governments and businesses that already have significant investments in owned IT infrastructure.  They will now be able to extend their existing IT infrastructure and private clouds to Microsoft local (public) cloud, thereby creating compelling hybrid cloud scenarios and reducing their cost of IT operations significantly.  The impact on citizens is expected to be all the more significant as it will accelerate e-governance and roll-out of citizen services at unprecedented scale and speed by governments, thereby accelerating the governments’ Digital India and Smart Cities programs.

“The Microsoft cloud in India will transform the way computing is done in the country.  The hyper-scale cloud will empower governments, businesses and users and offer enough computing power that will support all their existing workloads. We are happy to partner with Government and businesses to make the Microsoft cloud work for India and for Indians.” – Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft India. 

Microsoft local cloud services are well-suited for governments and businesses that already have significant investments in owned IT infrastructure.  They will now be able to extend their existing IT infrastructure and private clouds to Microsoft local (public) cloud, thereby creating compelling hybrid cloud scenarios and reducing their cost of IT operations significantly.

Here are some best practices and recommendations on when can you move your applications to cloud

The impact on citizens is expected to be all the more significant as it will accelerate e-governance and roll-out of citizen services at unprecedented scale and speed by governments, thereby accelerating the governments’ Digital India and Smart Cities programs.

In order to help organizations evaluate their path to the cloud, Microsoft published a Cloud Decision Framework  for BFSI and Government earlier this year. It is an open framework to help BFSI, government and other regulated industries to choose the right cloud model in a structured and auditable manner. The framework builds on international ISO standards and incorporates India-specific guidelines from IRDA, IDRBT and the IT Act to help organizations arrive at a cloud roadmap specific for their business needs.

Microsoft has also launched Cloud Accelerator Program along with its partners to help businesses create cloud adoption blueprints to identify applications which can move to the cloud.  More than 15 Microsoft partners including HCL, Wipro and Tech Mahindra are a part of the Cloud Accelerator Program in India.

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Enterprise Tech Microsoft News

Microsoft Azure: Private Preview from India Datacenters begins in July 2015

Customers will be able to participate in the private preview of Microsoft Azure from India datacenters in July 2015, which is a key component of our Microsoft Cloud services. This will give them a head-start to run trials of their apps on Microsoft Azure from local infrastructure. With these hyper-scale datacenters, Microsoft will offer enterprise-grade cloud services from local data-centers to customers of all sizes and industries including government departments and banking and financial services. Microsoft will launch the commercial cloud services from local datacenters by the end of this year.

In addition to Microsoft Azure and Office 365, Microsoft also announced that Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online will also be available from India datacenters in the first half of 2016.

Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President, Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Group, said“Building an intelligent cloud is a key Microsoft strategy for global markets, including India. We deliver the most open, complete and secure enterprise-grade cloud services.  Services from local datacenters will open infinite computing capacity for Indian government departments, banks, telecom companies and enterprises or all sizes. This will help make Digital India a reality.”

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With the availability of Microsoft’s commercial cloud service from local datacenter, public and hybrid cloud adoption will likely accelerate in India. Organisations in the country will benefit from data sovereignty, lower latency and geo redundancy with the availability of local infrastructure.

Microsoft’s cloud services in India have grown over 100 percent in revenue in the past year, and the commitment to offer locally hosted Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and CRM Online will further accelerate this. Microsoft’s locally available cloud services will open opportunities for customers across many different segments and industries including banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) companies, state-owned enterprises and government departments, to now adopt the public cloud. The services offered via the local datacenter will create new avenues for Microsoft India’s 10,000+ partner ecosystem, comprised of hosters, independent software vendors (ISVs), system integrators (SIs) and others.  It can open new possibilities in e-governance, financial inclusion, healthcare and education, and positively impact the lives of a billion people.

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Enterprise Tech Microsoft News

Welcome Microsoft Windows 10; Ten Highlights from the Announcement

Update: For the Announcements which Microsoft made on 21st January, 2015: Read these highlights.

Few days back, Microsoft had sent out invites to the press to show off its next version of Windows, codenamed Threshold. Microsoft today announced that, the successor to Windows 8 will officially be known as Windows 10.

I still wonder why they had to skip Windows 9? Well, that means, you will not see the Windows Phone 9 as well. The Windows 10 is more likely to be a One Product, all devices. We will see more information on this in coming months.
Personally, I consider Windows 8 to be a disaster move. It was much worse than Windows Vista to me. With Windows 8, Microsoft was looking at having a product with a good touch-first experience for consumers; Either they didn’t care about the Enterprise users or presumed that, users will get used to the new OS no matter how different it would be. One can’t force people into a situation where everything they know has changed. That indeed caused huge frustration among the PC buyers and eventually affected the Windows 8 sales as well.

Anyway, Glad that Microsoft made this announcement of the Windows 10 Platform. Much towards what Satya focused on “One product family. One platform. One store” approach. The new operating system will offer a tailored experience for each device, but a single store will offer apps and updates across all devices. The two-in-ones devices are going to make the best of this OS. In tablet mode, it makes apps fullscreen. There’s a software back button; You have an option to enter and exit tablet mode.

Ten Highlights of the Annoucements made today:

  1. The most significant visible change to the Windows 10 will be the return of the start button and menu, which was replaced by a tiled start screen in Windows 8. The new button is a mixture of the classic Windows start menu and the live tiles introduced in Windows 8. The start tiles are going to be resizable too.
  2. Other notable features include virtual desktops feature, the Notification Centre and a flatter user interface. Command Prompt gets better as well.
  3. More Multi-tasking Support: With power view you can see the running tasks; and it also supports multiple desktops. It tiles the windows and desktops. You can snap into quadrants.
  4. The web results are now integrated with the search field for the Start Menu. Not a surprise, considering, OS X Yosemite was announced few months back with the Spotlight search feature.
  5. Cortana is integrated to the desktop OS. Its not just going to be a Windows Phone feature only. Its a good way to start with a one OS fits all screen ideology.
  6. Windows 10 will run on the boradset devices from IoT (Internet of Things) to Servers. A tailored experience for each device.
  7. One store to discover apps and update across all devices. Will deliver the right experience on the right device at the right time.
  8. Value for Enterprises: Will be compatible with all the tools and apps they are using today. All devices can be managed by one tool. Customised store for every device you use. Similar to Android L concepts, the OS will have a separates corporate and personal data on devices.
  9. Microsoft is definitely not killing Touch; the new OS will also support touch devices and will be familiar to the Windows 8 users. With Windows 10, when you swipe in from the left, you get the task view. With a swipe in from the right, you get the charms bar.
  10. Will be widely expected to arrive sometime next year post the Build Conference.

Windows Insider program is going to be live tomorrow for all interested beta testers. It will start off with a Technical Preview build for laptops and desktops, with one for servers to follow. There will be a variety of survey tools, forums interactions with engineering team members to enable better feedback mechanism. Microsoft is very keen to learn from the community and make the best of the platform before it retails next year.

Read here for the official Release.

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Enterprise Tech Microsoft

Security and threat information exchange: Microsoft Interflow

Today, Microsoft announced the private preview of Microsoft Interflow, a security and threat information exchange platform for analysts and researchers working in cybersecurity. Interflow uses industry specifications to create an automated, machine-readable feed of threat and security information that can be shared across industries and groups in near real-time.

The goal of the platform is to help security professionals respond more quickly to threats. It will also help reduce cost of defense by automating processes that are currently performed manually.

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Benefits of Microsoft Interflow (private preview)

  • A collectively stronger cybersecurity ecosystem means better protection for consumers and businesses. Alliances between incident responders across various industries and organizations are forming today, to help prevent cyber-attacks and to help reduce their damage. Microsoft Interflow, using a distributed architecture, enables sharing of security and threat information within and between communities for a collectively stronger ecosystem. Offering multiple configuration options, Interflow allows users to decide what communities to form, what data feeds to consume, and with whom.
  • Automation of security and threat information collection, processing, and integration helps to reduce the overall cost of an organization’s defense efforts, versus manual or semi-manual information collection and compilation. Community-driven specifications, such as “Structured Threat Information expression”, “Trusted Automated eXchange of Indicator Information”, and “Cyber Observable expression standards” enable automation, and help eliminate data format inconsistences for incident responders using Interflow. Customizable watch lists and the ability to query partners enable users to discover, and prioritize action on the indicators that are of most interest to their organizations. With Interflow, organizations can help reduce the wait time before detection and analysis can begin, while accelerating time to protection and action.
  • Interflow incorporates community-driven specifications  making security and threat information more consumable across the industry. Use of these specifications, as well as a plug-in architecture and related Software Development Kit (SDK), help with integration of Interflow into existing operational tools and incident response systems. Using Interflow, organizations can further their defense capabilities while extending the value of existing investments. Running on Microsoft Azure public cloud, Interflow also helps to reduce the cost of capital infrastructure build-out, in support of business and defense strategies many incident response teams have in place.

Organizations and enterprises with dedicated security incident response teams can inquire about the private preview through their Technical Account Managers or by emailing mappbeta@microsoft.com. Microsoft plans to make Interflow available to all members of the Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP) in the future. During the private preview Interflow is free for Microsoft Azure subscribers. Users need an Azure subscription for compute and storage resources.

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Enterprise Tech

Cloud Computing Service Models and their Benefits

Cloud is the architecture and a set of services that enable access resources on demand. It is a dynamically scalable, on-demand, multi-tenant and often virtualized resources which are provided as a self-service over the Internet/Intranet; Public, Private and Hybrid Models. Cloud gives you the flexibility to handle fast paced customer requirements and also provide a reliable solution for your applications, which can have an option to scale incrementally without having a downtime. However, one needs to have a clear understanding on what specific outcomes are desired before considering the cloud platform.

There are many vendors who provide Cloud Services in the market today; the big ones in the league being Amazon, Google, Rackspace and Microsoft. Services are offered in any of these models, IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. There are some companies who also provide other services like DaaS (Desktop as a Service), Backup as a Service etc. we will talk about these models sometime later.

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) – Typically, this is case of platform virtualization environment which is offered as a service to you, along with raw storage and networking. Rather than purchasing servers, software, data-center space or network equipment, in your environment, you can instead buy those resources as a fully outsourced service. Suppliers typically bill such services on a utility computing basis; the amount of resources consumed (and therefore the cost) will typically reflect the level of your activity.

Platform as a service (PaaS) – This delivers a computing platform and/or solution stack as a service. This often consumes the cloud infrastructure and sustaining cloud applications. This model facilitates you to deploy applications without the cost and complexity of buying and managing the underlying hardware and software layers. As the OS is managed by the Supplier, the underlying patches and updates are taken care by the vendor itself. You don’t need to worry about it.

Software as a Service (SaaS) – This is the most simplest looking cloud offering. Most of us have been using services without realising it to be a cloud platform. This model delivers software as a service over the Internet, eliminating the need to install and run the application on the customer’s own computers and simplifying maintenance and support.  The best example could be Gmail, Office 365 or even Hotmail.

Cloud Responsibility Matrix

Desktop as a Service (DaaS) – This is a cloud service, where the back-end of a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is hosted by a cloud service provider. In the DaaS model, the service provider manages the back-end responsibilities of storage, backup, security, upgrades and monitoring. Similar to other cloud platforms, The VDI service is also available on subscription model. If hosting VDIs in your data-center is a challenge, then DaaS as a model works the best for you.

We will add more to this list, as the types of offerings grow in the market.