Interlink Cloud Blog
Mike Wilson

Windows 10 Enterprise E3 Features

Windows 10 Enterprise E3 Features

Windows 10 Enterprise E3 was built for organizations that need enterprise-grade security for their sensitive data, operate in regulated industries, and need increased management functionality. If this sounds like your organization, the Windows 10 Enterprise E3 version is the way to go.

Below is a deeper dive into what Windows 10 Enterprise E3 features set it apart from Pro:

Credential Guard

A lot of people believe that most security breaches happen because of an algorithm being hacked, but it turns out, a lot of breaches are a result of credential theft. That’s why it is imperative for any business to ensure that credentials and critical data is kept secure. Credential Guard aims to prevent credential theft with its feature set:

  • Hardware-level security that takes of advantage of platform security features such as Secure Boot and virtualization to protect credentials
  • Virtualization-based security that keeps credentials and other secrets secured in a protected environment that is isolated from the operating system
  • Better protection against persistent threats, such as malware, that may already be on your system

Windows Defender Device Guard

Device Guard works to prevent malicious code from running on devices. Where Credential Guard keeps things safe in the event of a “pass the hash” style attack when someone already has access to a portion of your environment, Device Guard works to make sure that no one gets into your system in the first place through malicious code. It locks down the system so only applications that are specifically trusted can run.

  • Helps protect the Windows system core from vulnerability and zero-day exploits
  • Virtualization based protection of code integrity

AppLocker Management

AppLocker can work separately or on top of Windows Defender Device Guard to white list applications at a more granular level.

  • Protects against unwanted software by denying the ability for any non-whitelisted application to be run
  • Define rules by things like publisher, file name, file version, and digital signature
  • Know what applications your users are running by enforcing audit-only mode where all app access activity is registered in event logs
  • Assign rules to specific security groups or even individual users

Application Virtualization (App-V)

  • Capture user-customized Windows and application settings and store them on your network for a seamless experience on any device
  • Make hardware changes easy for users by being able to recover their personal settings after any hardware replacement, upgrade, or reimage

Application Virtualization (App-V)

  • Make applications available to end users without having to install and manage those apps on users’ devices
  • Transforms applications into centrally managed services that never have to be installed on the PC, don’t conflict with other applications, and ensuing they are kept current with the latest security updates installed on the server-based application

Managed User Experience

  • Lock down a user’s device to restrict it to a specific task or scenario such as a cash register in a retail store
  • Prevent access to features such as shut down, restart, sleep, and hibernate
  • Customize and remove anything on the Windows Start menu
  • Prevent changes to Taskbar and Start menu settings

For years, organizations have been asking for a way to purchase Windows Enterprise without the need for a long-term volume licensing agreement. Windows 10 Enterprise E3 licensed under the CSP (Cloud Solution Provider) program is exactly that solution. At $6 a month per user for Windows 10 E3 any organization is now able to take advantage of Windows 10 Enterprise E3 features without having to lock into a long-term agreement or break the bank. When the software is purchased in a per user licensing format, the user can install Windows 10 on up to five devices that they use.

With these features and more Windows 10 Enterprise E3 stands above Windows 10 Pro as the more secure way to run Windows 10. If you would like to discuss if Windows 10 Enterprise is right for your business, then please contact us today!

For more information on Windows 10, contact us and make sure to check out our On-Demand Webinar on “Windows 10 Deployment Best Practices and Licensing Options.”


Ken Kruthaup

8 Major Updates Included in SQL Server 2017

8 Major Updates Included in SQL Server 2017

If you haven’t heard yet, there are several major and exciting updates to SQL Server with the 2017 release.  From the ability to run on Linux and Docker containers to rich data graphing functionality, the new features could have a big impact on your database and your data.

1) Expanded operating system support

In addition to Windows, you can now run SQL Server on Linux and Docker containers. If you’re already managing one of these environments – or you’ve been considering moving an existing SQL Server to one of these environments – then this will come as particularly welcome news.

It is worth nothing that there are some pieces of functionality that are missing on Linux. There are no Reporting Services, Analysis Services, or Machine Learning Services (formerly R services) yet. Only time will tell if customer demand sways Microsoft to offer these functions across all operating systems.

Matt Scherocman

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) vs. Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Licensing Agreement: What's Best for You?

Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) vs. Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Licensing Agreement: What's Best for You?


Choice is critical in business, but sometimes it’s difficult to determine the best decision for your specific organization. Such is the case when it comes to contracting services for Azure and your other Microsoft cloud applications. For many years, the best choice for larger organizations was signing up for an Enterprise Agreement (EA) directly with Microsoft. However, now there is a new option called Cloud Service Provider (CSP), a contract you can purchase from a certified Microsoft partner.

Both offer similar services and similar pricing. There are advantages and disadvantages to both depending on your size and type of business. So, how do you decide what’s the right choice for your organization? Below is a look at the two options in several key areas.

ea vs csp

An EA is a three-year agreement and requires a minimum of 500 licenses to be purchased at the same time. The most frequently purchased licensing options are Office 365 plans - any combination of the E1, E3, and E5 licenses would count. Customers pay upfront for the entire year at one time, which is unexpected for a subscription service and can make cash flow tough. Any user licenses added during the year would be paid on the next anniversary, which can also make cross charging quantities difficult. Quantities on the EA can go up during the year but can only come down by providing a notice 30 days prior to the anniversary. If the company divested a division in the first month after their anniversary, they may have to pay for licenses for 11 months that are unused. CSP licensing is based on a month-to-month commitment, which can be attractive for businesses in volatile markets with inevitable ebbs and flows or businesses that have seasonality. It is also beneficial for organizations who find it difficult to predict longer term usage requirements or those who may want to start with a basic plan as they move to Office 365 (like email only) and then increase the licensing level as users adopt the functionality.

In general, larger organizations with 500+ users are frequently be better off with an EA. For smaller organizations, a CSP might be the best alternative. However, each business will have unique needs to be considered. Contact us to discuss your options and help determine the right option for your business.

Ken Kruthaup

Microsoft PowerApps: Quickly Build Custom Business Apps

Microsoft PowerApps: Quickly Build Custom Business Apps

Office 365 can be an incredibly powerful tool. However, there are times when more automation is needed than comes out of the box. Whether it is the need to automate a workflow, simplify a process, or just have an easy to use application, Microsoft PowerApps looks to fill this gap by allowing organizations to easily create their own solutions which can include Office 365, third party, and home grown applications. So, what is PowerApps and how easy is it to use within an organization?

Sarah Bunt

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR | Modern Collaboration with Microsoft Teams

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR | Modern Collaboration with Microsoft Teams

teams webinar view webinar slides

Is it a constant struggle to effectively communicate with your team members?

Do you also find it hard to keep tasks on track and delegate who does what? Have you ever wondered who should be copied on a communication and who shouldn’t? Microsoft Teams may be the answer!

With Teams, you can communicate in the moment and keep everyone in the know! The application lets you stay connected with chat, calls, and meetings within your business and tailors your workspace to include key services, explore data and get updates from the products your employees use every day! 


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