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Interlink Cloud Blog

Welcome to the Interlink Cloud Blog

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations or warranties regarding the information from our partners or other external sources.
Matt Scherocman

Is Disaster Recovery important when using the cloud? Yes!

Disaster Recovery or DR for short, is a hot topic for many companies and with the spate of hacks and natural disasters and incredible storms, i.e. the snowstorm that hit Buffalo, NY just a few weeks ago, has many companies revisiting their disaster recovery solutions. Today’s blog will talk about DR for your applications running in Azure.

Just because you are storing your app in the cloud doesn’t mean you don’t need a DR strategy, should something like mentioned above happen; are you fully prepared for a temporary or even large scale failure? Before you answer that question, let me ask you another question. Does your company rehearse these failures? Has your company determined what applications, should they go down, what your tolerance level is for that app(s)? Some things to consider when creating your cloud DR plan:

  1. Test your recovery of databases to ensure you have the correct process in place
  2. High Availability
  3. Availability
  4. Scalability
  5. Fault Tolerance

Azure DR

DR is a key component to every company’s long-term success. Taking a short-sighted approach to a DR strategy isn’t sound business. As more and more companies put more and more business critical applications in the cloud, the attention paid to DR needs to be evaluated with each application that goes into the cloud, the impact its failure can have on a company and the impact it can have as it is recovered.

In addition to dealing with unexpected disasters, rolling back failed changes and handling data corruption issues are key considerations that sometimes get forgotten when deploying to cloud platforms with greater than 99.99% uptime. 

Microsoft Azure services have a number of ways that you can meet this challenge. For more detailed information on how to setup your Azure DR strategy for your applications running in Azure you can check out a white paper Disaster recovery and high availability for applications built on Microsoft Azure

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Matt Scherocman

What's REALLY in Office Mobile Apps?

Office Mobile is one of the most downloaded mobile apps of all time.   Today we are going to take a look at what features are standard with the mobile App and what features require a bit more. First let's see what you get with the initial download from your respective app-stores:

Office Mobile

Here's what you get with the basic app download:

  • Email
    • Full version on iOS
    • Light version for Android, BlackBerry and Nokia Symbian OS phones
    • Remote wipe for all devices / GAL Search
  • Word, Excel and Power Point
    • Versions for iOS and Android
    • No client for Blackberry or Symbian
  • Lync
    • Versions for iOS, Android, and Symbian
    • Instant messaging / GAL Search / Join a Meeting
    • No client for Blackberry
  • OneNote
    • Versions for iOS and Android
    • No client for Blackberry or Symbian

 For a more comprehensive list of the features by device type please see the link here

Here's where it gets a little more complicated for you iPhone and iPad users. To unlock the premium features listed below, a qualifying subscription to Office 365 is required.

Premium Features:

  • Word
    • Insert/Edit WordArt
    • Add/Modify chart elements
    • Insert section breaks
    • Enable columns in page layout
    • Customize headers and footers for different pages
    • Change page orientation
    • Track and review changes
    • Add custom colors to shapes
    • Add shadows and reflection styles to pictures
    • Highlight table cells with custom color shading
  • Excel
    • Customize PivotTable styles and layouts
    • Add custom colors to shapes
    • Insert/Edit WordArt
    • Add shadows and reflection styles
    • Add/Modify chart elements
  • Power Point
    • Check speaker notes while you present with Presenter View
    • Add custom colors to shapes
    • Insert/Edit WordArt
    • Add shadows and reflection styles to pictures
    • Add/Modify chart elements
    • Highlight table cells with custom color shading

For a more detailed list of the premium features that requires a qualifying subscription to Office 365 plan, please see the link here

Microsoft EA Renewal
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Matt Scherocman

Developing Enterprise Applications with Azure

Application development is a key component for many company’s long-term and   short-term strategies. One of the biggest questions is, what platform do I develop on? Another is will that platform limit my salability and reachability to my customers? Microsoft’s Azure platform supports any operating system, language, tool and framework; from Windows to Linux, SQL Server to Oracle, C# to Java. Not only that, but also, iOS, Android, .NET, Node.js, PHP, Python and Ruby.

MS Azure app dev

Finding tools and development platforms for which to develop on and in Azure is no small list as you can see.  Why is that? Because developing is at the heart of what many companies are doing today to separate themselves from their competition. Apps on iOS, Android, tablets, mobile friendly web pages and then making them all sites that can be revenue producing too! From here companies can now market to their customers in real time about the things they are interested in. Today’s customer has become accustomed to being “in touch” all the time and they want apps that can help them stay in touch, how they want and when they want. 80% of all apps downloaded are used only once and then deleted. Creating apps that are “sticky” is the goal of many companies today. Let’s talk and see how Windows Azure can help your company create the next killer app in the market place!

For more information about Microsoft Azure check out the link here.

Microsoft EA Renewal
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Matt Scherocman

Microsoft Azure Learning Roadmap

Microsoft Azure Learning Roadmap

Microsoft Azure Roadmap

Microsoft’s Azure platform is an every changing platform. We are often asked is there a place I can go to find out what’s going on with Azure, what’s changing and when? Well, today we have that answer for you. Below you will find a small sample from an Azure learning roadmap, some are videos, or demos, tutorials and even sample apps:

  • Deep Dive – a video recording from a TechEd conference in Europe
  • Azure Search scenarios and capabilities – primary scenarios enabled by current functionality
  • Introduction to Azure search – Video recording the explains the architecture and capabilities of Azure search

As you’ll see when you visit the Microsoft site found here, there are lots of ways to keep up with what’s going on with Azure. A notable omission on this site is licensing. If you would like to learn what licensing options you have available give us a call and we can walk you through your options along with information on any Microsoft funding that is available. 

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Matt Scherocman

What are the differences between Office 365 Business Plans and Enterprise Plans?

To say that Office 365 gives you plenty of options, would be an understatement. In today’s blog we’ll take a look at what options are available for Businesses and what some of the differences are. First, let’s take a look at what options you have:

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Can you mix and match the options? The short answer is yes, however, for the best answer possible give us a call and we can talk you through what options make the most sense and why. For examples, some users can even take advantage of a light weight account called a Kiosk plan which could be even cheaper.

Are there differences in support?

Yes, a key difference in the plans centers around 24/7 Support. The Enterprise plans cover all issues; however, the Business plans only cover: Critical Issues.

Let’s take a look at how Microsoft defines critical issues. Only your organization can decide if not having phone coverage is worth it or not for high level issues. That single user could be the owner / CEO.

Severity Level

Operations and Support Description

Examples

Sev A (Critical)

One or more services aren’t accessible or are unusable. Production, operations, or deployment deadlines are severely affected, or there will be a severe impact on production or profitability. Multiple users or services are affected.

  • Widespread problems sending or receiving mail.
  • SharePoint site down.
  • All users can’t send instant messages, join or schedule Lync Meetings, or make Lync calls.

Sev B (High)

The service is usable but in an impaired fashion. The situation has moderate business impact and can be dealt with during business hours. A single user, customer, or service is partially affected.

  • One user can’t access email.
  • One user or admin can’t access SharePoint site.
  • Several users can’t send instant messages, join or schedule Lync Meetings, or make Lync calls.

Is Office Any Different?

Yes, the version of Office in the business plans does not include Access or some of the pre-installed components to make items like data loss prevention and rights management work.

I have terminal server in my environment, does that matter?

Enterprise Plans support a terminal server environment whereas the Business plans do not support a terminal services environment.

Are there any hidden gotchas?

Hybrid configurations and On-Premises are supported in the Enterprise plans only. Business plans do not support either the hybrid or On-Premise options. So, users of the Business plans would only be allowed to deploy the technology in the cloud.

Keep these differences in mind as you plan out your cloud strategy and what plans make the most sense for your company. For a more comprehensive listing of additional support offerings that are offered with the Business Plans please see the link here. Or drop us a line to discuss your options!

Microsoft EA Renewal
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Welcome to the Interlink Cloud Blog

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations or warranties regarding the information from our partners or other external sources.