Alleviate Direct and Indirect Patching Costs Through Automation

Written by Rory McCaw on Wednesday, November 7th 2018 — Categories: Patching, SCOM, SCCM, Datacenter Automation, Microsoft

In a world where we have self-driving cars, cures for complex diseases, and where we’re building houses with 3D printers, some enterprise organizations still manually patch servers which run their mission-critical applications.

Enterprise data center management can fray the nerves of even the most experienced administrators. “To err is human”, as the saying goes, and errors can happen during patching, even with the powerful toolset in Microsoft System Center. A server admin could spend hours struggling with a single patch and cause productivity delays the next day for the systems which don’t get addressed.

There are effective ways of automating these tasks, which come with price tags both directly and indirectly related to patching itself.

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Why Managed Services Are Key to Fill the Multi-Cloud Skills Gap

Written by Thomas Burns on Thursday, November 1st 2018 — Categories: Azure, Managed Services, Multi-Cloud, Cloud Hosting, Hybrid IT, IT Modernization, IT Operations

Multi-cloud is the IT service model du jour, but it comes with a set of challenges that many IT departments aren’t yet ready to tackle. There are many reasons to go with more than one cloud provider, including the use of specific services or abilities, backing up storage across various vendors, maintaining availability or minimizing latency, and even using different cloud vendors as bargaining chips for pricing negotiation.

A managed services partner might be the best way for you to take advantage of multi-cloud IT infrastructure and services, especially if you face the all-too-common cloud skills gap that many organizations encounter.

Read on for statistics on multi-cloud adoption and cloud skills difficulties, as well as ways in which a partner can help you alleviate the top multi-cloud obstacles.

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How to Extend Your Azure Automation Library Modules

Written by Freddy Mora Silva on Wednesday, October 31st 2018 — Categories: Azure, Datacenter Automation

Azure Automation is a cloud-based configuration service that automatically manages your Azure and non-Azure environments based on your runbooks, update management features, and shared capabilities like access controls, global storage of credentials/certificates/etc, tags, and more.

Included in Azure Automation is the option to extend your libraries. You can import a set of libraries called Modules to your automation account from a preexisting list that can be found in the Gallery or by uploading script files of your own.

Below you’ll see where to upload or choose these Modules.

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The Growing Importance of Digital Ethics, Transparency, and Privacy

Written by Shawn Mills on Wednesday, October 24th 2018 — Categories: Managed Services, Green Data Center, Security

Technology continues to envelop our daily lives, in business, at home, in leisure and athletics, across the globe and into space. Despite wide ranging benefits, corporate entities and individual consumers alike have begun to recognize the risks inherent in digital services.

I recently spoke at a Daniels Fund conference panel about ethics in business. A student remarked, “I have access to so much data in the workplace. How can you protect from a bad apple stealing your information?”

Ethics is the key to protecting from these types of internal threats — and it helps your company handle external threats as well.

Gartner has even named Digital Ethics and Privacy as their Number 9 trend on the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2019. They recognize this growing awareness of the value of personal information and concern among various entities and individuals over how personal and sensitive data is being consumed, processed, and shared among public and private organizations.

Gartner’s advice? Move from asking “Are we secure?” or “Are we compliant with regulations?” to asking “Are we doing the right thing?”

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Application Patching, Testing, and Validation: Closing the Gaps that Microsoft SCCM Doesn’t Address

Written by Rory McCaw on Wednesday, October 24th 2018 — Categories: Azure, Patching, SCCM, Microsoft

Automated patching server application patching can alleviate a lot of work for IT management teams. It shifts the patching and updating process outside of business hours. In an ideal world, Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) would flawlessly execute server application patches. 

However, there are some gaps in SCCM patching functionality, especially when it comes to orchestration, validation, and report logs. These can cause issues with QA and risk mitigation and can drive frustrations among your IT staff.

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