Eastern Cloud Blog

This blog is aimed at our East Region State & Local Government customers. Opinions are our own - be gentle with us.

Announcing StorSimple Update 1 – Availability in Azure Government, Support for Other Clouds, ZRS, and Migration from 5000/7000 series

We are excited to announce that with the Update 1 release, StorSimple 8000 series is now available in Azure Government , and supports other cloud providers and Zone Redundant Storage(ZRS) for backend cloud storage. Update 1 also includes a migration tool kit enabling customers to upgrade from 5000/7000 series devices, as well as enhancements to the initial device setup and update experience.

Read more here...

MS Citizenship - YouthSpark

Every once in a while, I like to remind people of all the good that Microsoft does around the world.  You can find a lot of this information at our Corporate Citizenship site. 

Today, I’d like to highlight YouthSpark, a program to provide opportunities and tools to young people.   

Check out the site and find the YouthSpark Hub, a starting place to find resources to learn new skills and prepare for different careers.  See stories about other young people that are moving and shaking things!  Learn about Digigirlz, a program to expose high school girls to careers in technology.  Or read about the annual Imagine Cup, a global competition for youth and technology.  If you look hard enough, you may find out how to get free software for your children like DreamSpark, Office 365 for EDU, Kodu Game Labs!

Microsoft even provides cash grants to eligible organizations whose missions and activities support youth development. For more information, see our Nonprofit FAQ.  Microsoft also donates software and services to a broad array of eligible nonprofit organizations. Visit our software donation page for more information on eligibility and how to apply.


To do more with less, the City of Miami turns to the cloud

A reduction in IT budget and workforce, combined with an increase in demand for more citizen services and accountability, led Miami to look toward the Microsoft Cloud for solutions.  Read about how the CIO adopted new technologies to support their needs around mobility, availability and scalability.  The discussion with the Miami CIO, Kevin Burns is just one of many you will find in the Forbes Insights report entitled “From Promise to Reality: How Local, State and Federal Government Agencies Achieve Results in the Cloud.”

Analyze Office 365 data with Equivio Zoom

Earlier this year Microsoft acquired Equivio, an eDiscovery software company focused on document analytics, to accelerate our efforts to help customers meet legal and compliance challenges. Today we’re excited to announce that eDiscovery capabilities powered by Equivio Zoom are coming soon to Office 365. Equivio Zoom will become available through a preview program starting in June, followed by a broader release before the end of this year. Here’s a closer look at how it works.

With Equivio Zoom you can better understand your Office 365 data and reduce your eDiscovery costs. Equivio Zoom helps you analyze unstructured data within Office 365, perform more efficient document review, and make decisions to reduce data for eDiscovery. You can work with data stored in Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business and Skype for Business. You can select groups, individual mailboxes and sites, as well as use keyword search to scope the data you want, and then easily analyze it with Equivio Zoom.

Analyze Office 365 data with Equivio Zoom 1

More efficient document review

Equivo Zoom streamlines and speeds up the document review process by identifying redundant information with features like Near-Duplicate Detection, which provides information about how similar documents are to each other; and Thread Analysis, which identifies emails that contain other emails in a thread, allowing you to review just the unique emails rather than every single one. These features reduce document review costs significantly. And when you export data, the near-duplicate and email thread metadata are available to be loaded into other eDiscovery tools.

Analyze Office 365 data with Equivio Zoom 2

Read more here...

Event: 5 Reasons Enterprise Mobility Suite Is The Right Solution For Your Organization

You’ll learn how to provide users the access they need on the devices they want, while keeping your infrastructure secure and data protected. We’ll share details about how the innovative Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) provides a comprehensive cloud solution to address your Consumerization of IT, BYOD, Security and SaaS challenges.

Starts: Wednesday, June 03, 2015 1:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Duration: 1 hour(s)


The Enterprise Mobility Suite is a cost effective way to acquire all of the included cloud services and avoid complex and costly point solutions from multiple vendors:

  • Microsoft Azure Active Directory Premium
  • Multi-factor Authentication
  • Microsoft Intune
  • Microsoft Azure Rights Management

Drive more business value:

  1. Enable your users to be productive across the broad array of devices they love with access to the applications they need.
  2. Unify your IT environment with a common identity across on-premises and the cloud, and deeply integrated capabilities for mobile device management (MDM).
  3. Protect your data with a comprehensive set of access control and data protection capabilities.

SQL Server 2016 first public preview now available!

SQL Server 2016 provides breakthrough performance for mission critical applications and deeper insights on your data across on-premises and cloud. Top capabilities for the release include: Always Encrypted - a new capability that protects data at rest and in motion, Stretch Database - new technology that lets you dynamically stretch your warm and cold transactional data to Microsoft Azure, enhancements to our industry-leading in-memory technologies for real-time analytics on top of breakthrough transactional performance and new in-database analytics with R integration. 

Read more here..

Your Windows 10 PC will love all the devices you own


A real challenge people face is figuring out how to make everything work together. That’s why we’re announcing a ‘Phone Companion’ app built-in to Windows 10, which will help you connect your Windows PC to whatever phone you own– whether it’s a Windows phone, Android phone, or iPhone.

Microsoft continues to innovate an allow our customers to be productive on any platform they choose.  This is a long way from the “old Microsoft,” and our customers are loving it!  If you weren’t excited about Windows 10 before, you have not been paying attention!

Read about the app, and see it in action on this Blogging Windows post by Joe Belfiore.  

Microsoft – the only vendor named a leader in Gartner Magic Quadrants for IaaS, Application PaaS, and Cloud Storage

Gartner recently published their Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service and Microsoft has been named a Leader based on the completeness of our vision and ability to execute in the IaaS market for the second year in a row.


Microsoft is currently the only vendor to be positioned as a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrants for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Application Platform as a Service, Cloud Storage Services and Server Virtualization, and we believe this validates Microsoft’s strategy to enable the power of choice as we deliver industry-leading infrastructure services, platform services and hybrid solutions. This strategy is driving significant usage and growth for Azure with more than 90,000 new Azure customer subscriptions every month and over 57% of Fortune 500 companies using Azure.

You can read more on the Azure Blog. 

By the way, Microsoft has a web page where we post information about analyst reports, so you can see where Gartner, Forrester, IDC and others view us in various technology spaces. By my count (unofficial of course), we are in over 20 different Gartner Leader's Quadrants - I'm pretty sure no one else can match that or even come close.

Announcing a new way to create connectors in Office 365

Out with old, in with the new. We completely overhauled the connector experience in Office 365 to provide you with better guidance, a simplified user interface and an easier way to check that everything works as expected.

This topic digs into all the details, but here are a couple highlights.

No more guess work

Setting up mail flow can be complex given the number of systems that can be involved on a mail path. Here’s a quick look at the different mail flow scenarios in Office 365:

Announcing a new way to create connectors in Office 365 1

Depending on your scenario, you may or may not need to set up connectors. Wouldn’t it be great to know up front whether you need to create connectors for your scenario? Since we thought so, we created some guidance and made some additions to the setup wizard to help you along. You can start with this TechNet article for a list of the different mail flow scenarios and whether connectors are needed.

Read more here..

Updated Microsoft Government Public Safety Page

Whether it's captured by a surveillance, body-worn, dashboard, or interview room camera, video is becoming an essential public safety tool. The Microsoft Azure Government cloud provides law enforcement agencies the ability to manage costs, capacity, and compliance challenges as they face the rapid growth of video assets. And, it is the only cloud platform that contractually commits to meeting the FBI’s CJIS Security Policy! 

Check the updated page at http://aka.ms/publicsafety