Eastern Cloud Blog

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

New Azure Storage Cool tier generally available

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Azure Storage announces the general availability of the Cool storage tier for Blob Storage. Customers can now create a new Blob Storage account that allows them to select between Hot and Cool tiers, depending on the data access pattern. Relative to the Hot tier, the Cool tier is suitable for data that is not frequently accessed and can tolerate slightly lower availability (99 percent SLA). The Cool tier has latency and throughput that are similar to the Hot tier. Customers will see significant cost savings by using the Cool tier for appropriate datasets. Some common scenarios with the Cool tier include: backup data, disaster recovery, media content, social media photos and videos, scientific data, and so on. For more information, please visit the Azure Blog.

DirSync reaches end of life in April 2017

Azure AD Connect is the best way to connect your on-premises directory with Azure AD and Office 365. This is a great time to upgrade to Azure AD Connect from Windows Azure Active Directory Sync (DirSync) or Azure AD Sync as these tools are now deprecated and will reach end of support on April 13, 2017.

The two identity synchronization tools that are deprecated were offered for single forest customers (DirSync) and for multi-forest and other advanced customers (Azure AD Sync). These older tools have been replaced with a single solution that is available for all scenarios: Azure AD Connect. It offers new functionality, feature enhancements, and support for new scenarios. To be able to continue to synchronize your on-premises identity data to Azure AD and Office 365, we strongly recommend that you upgrade to Azure AD Connect.

The last release of DirSync was released in July 2014 and the last release of Azure AD Sync was released in May 2015.

Read more about how to upgrade on this Azure Blog.


The Future of SharePoint Event

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Come celebrate SharePoint and see Jeff Teper, CVP OneDrive and SharePoint, unveil our new vision and roadmap for SharePoint and OneDrive for Business, both on-premises and in the cloud with Office 365.

Following the live keynote from San Francisco there will be a number of on-demand sessions detailing our upcoming innovations. Whether you’re a user, IT pro, or developer, we’ll have a lot to share as part of this historic moment.

Date: May 4th, 2016

Time: 9:30AM PDT

REGISTER HERE


UPDATE - There is a long Microsoft Office Blog entry reviewing the announcements made during the event, and the event is available on demand at the registration link above.  


OneDrive for Business Spring Updates

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The OneDrive for Business team is hard at work improving the service to meet our customers' needs.  In the most recent update to the next generation sync client, there are some significant announcements that you will want to know more about:

  • Support for Windows 8.1
  • Seamless transition from the old sync client
  • Ability to pause sync
  • Ability for IT Admins to block specific file types from syncing
  • Performance improvements


We've also introduced improvements to the mobile apps, and added OD4B usage reporting to the Office 365 Portal.  For more detail on these updates, as well as to learn about updates coming in the next 2 months, check out the video and content on this Office Blog post.


Identity and Security innovations for your enterprise



Microsoft Cloud App Security is a new service from Microsoft that provides IT visibility, control, and security over cloud applications at a level similar to on-premises. With this cloud access security broker (CASB) solution, customers can get the benefits of cloud applications, while gaining insight into user activity, detection of anomalous behavior and compromised accounts, and increased protection over critical company data.  Based on our recent acquisition of Adallom, Cloud App Security is an industry leading cloud – delivered solution built for today’s heterogeneous cloud environments.

Find out more about this new solution on the Active Directory Team Blog.


New security management and transparency capabilities coming to Office 365



Last week, Microsoft announced Microsoft Cloud App Security, a comprehensive cloud access security broker (CASB) solution, based on Microsoft’s acquisition of cloud security innovator Adallom. It will also power new advanced security management capabilities for Office 365 that will improve IT visibility and control.  Advanced Security Alerts, Cloud App Discovery and App Permissions will provide even more controls for IT.  Read more about these upcoming features on the Office Blog.

Azure Virtual Machines Scale Sets generally available


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Scale Sets makes it easy to build highly scalable applications by deploying identical virtual machines (VMs) as a set. Built on the Azure Resource Manager model, Scale Sets works with Windows and Linux images, custom images, and extensions. There is no additional cost to use Scale Sets. For more information, please visit the Virtual Machine Scale Sets Overview documentation webpage.

Introducing Office 365 Connectors

Whether you are tracking a Twitter feed, managing a project with Trello or watching the latest news headlines with Bing—Office 365 Connectors surfaces all the information you care about in the Office 365 Groups shared inbox, so you can easily collaborate with others and interact with the updates as they happen.

Over 50 Office 365 Connectors are available today, spanning popular applications across productivity, news sources, HR systems, sales, project management, marketing automation, entertainment, eLearning, developer tools and many more. Some examples include MailChimp, Asana, GitHub, Stack Overflow, Aha, Zendesk, Salesforce, Twitter and UserVoice. We are also working with many other partners to enable additional connectors that will be made available soon.

Introducing Office 365 Connectors 3


Read more here...


New feature in Office 2016 can block macros and help prevent infection



Macro-based malware is on the rise and we understand it is a frustrating experience for everyone. To help counter this threat, we are releasing a new feature in Office 2016 that blocks macros from loading in certain high-risk scenarios.  Check out this Microsoft Malware Protection Center blog entry for more details on how you can add another layer of defense.

An Introduction to Microservices with Mark Russinovich


Do you know what "Microservices" are?  If you are a developer or an organization looking to move applications and services to the cloud, microservices allow you to break down applications into smaller, reusable parts.  At its simplest, the microservices design approach is about a decoupled federation of services, with independent changes to each and agreed-upon standards for communication.  Learn more about this by watching This Channel 9 overview video with one of the smartest guys at Microsoft, Mark Russinovich.