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.”


Matt Scherocman

Comparing Microsoft Office 365 F1 vs E1 Licensing Plans for Firstline Workers

Comparing Microsoft Office 365 F1 vs E1 Licensing Plans for Firstline Workers

Firstline Workers – a workforce comprised of over 2 billion employees including retail sales associates, hospitality staff, medical workers and teams on the manufacturing floor - are often the first and only representation of your brand with your customers. To help transform and empower this workforce, Microsoft Office 365 offers two specific licensing plans that were designed to foster culture, collaboration, and teamwork through technology enablement at a much lower cost per user.

The first plan is the Office 365 F1 licensing plan (a replacement to the K1 Kiosk plan). It was created for deskless workers – users who are often working away from a desk or using a shared PC and don’t need desktop versions of Office. The other plan is the E1 plan. Understanding the fundamental differences between these two plans will enable you to decide which plan would best support your employees.  

Comparison: F1 Plan vs E1 Plan

Office 365 plans firstline workers f1 vs e1

F1 vs E1: Breaking Down the Differences

Skype for Business

One of the key differences between the F1 and E1 plans is the functionality of Skype for Business. E1 users have access to all the features of Skype for Business including instant messaging, desktop sharing, app sharing, multi-party VoIP audio, video and web conferencing, and meeting scheduling. F1 users have access to instant messaging and can only set an online availability status and attend meetings – not schedule them.


Email functionality and storage is also different between these two plans. F1 users, being frontline and (mostly) deskless workers get up to 2 GB of storage in their mailbox. While the E1 users get a 50GB mailbox limit. Both plans include the ability to access with a mobile device over Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) and can send attachments up to 150MB.

Both the F1 and E1 plans use versions of Outlook but with a key difference: F1 users are required to access Outlook through Outlook Web Access or through a mobile browser while the E1 users have the option to connect through the Outlook desktop app, although the license for Outlook 2016 isn’t included in the E1 package.

File Sharing & Storage

Finally, the plans slightly differ in file sharing and storage. Both plans use OneDrive for Business. However, the E1 plan gives each user up to 1 TB of personal cloud storage data while the F1 plan gives users only 2 GB.

Empower your Firstline Workers

With F1 licenses, clients can provide their staff with access to company email, instructional videos, role-based content, on-boarding materials, shift-management tools, and more at 50% less than traditional E1 licenses. Office 365 provides the workers most likely to engage with your customers a better and easier way to engage with the company and their co-workers, which drives loyalty, productivity and customer service.

Learn More

If you would like to learn more about your options as you consider your cloud purchase, we would be happy to help and show you how to get the most out of your Microsoft licensing. Give us a call at 800-900-1150 or contact us.

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.

Alex Paul

WEBINAR ON 03.23.18 | Azure Security Center: Simplify Your Hybrid Cloud Protection

WEBINAR ON 03.23.18 | Azure Security Center: Simplify Your Hybrid Cloud Protection

While the cloud brings lot of benefits, it also brings another footprint that needs to be protected.

To stay ahead of current and emerging threats, you need a solution that ensures all of your data is guarded, and the appropriate security controls are in place and configured correctly. Azure’s tools are simple to use and provide enterprise level security – quickly. 

In a special on-line event on March 23, Microsoft and Interlink Cloud Advisors will cover Azure Security Center – a Microsoft service that helps you prevent, detect and respond to threats while delivering increased visibility and control over the security of your resources – whether they reside in Azure, on-premises or in other cloud providers.

save my seat Azure Security Center

In this webinar, you’ll learn how Azure Security Center allows you to:

  • Make server security easy with whitelisting and automated recommendations
  • Get instant insight into security of your Azure deployments
  • Provide just in time access for remote administration
  • Review both the free and $15 per node options
  • Proactively limit risk by locking down access and applications
  • Quickly find and fix security vulnerabilities and configurations
  • Detect and respond to active threats across your entire IT infrastructure

We’ll also show you a live demo that covers Security Center’s advanced analytics, which will help you identify attacks that might otherwise go undetected.

Register today to learn how you can get unified security management and advanced threat protection across your Azure and non-Azure workloads.



Date: March 23, 2018
Time: 10:00 - 11:00 AM EST
No Cost


Matt Scherocman
President | Interlink Cloud Advisors

mike wilson
Mike Wilson
Vice President & Managing Consultant | Interlink Cloud Advisors

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