Vol. 19, #3 - January 20, 2014 - Issue #963
Are Hybrid Solutions Best?
- Editor's Corner
- Are Hybrid Solutions Best?
- Tip of the Week: Deploying 32- and 64-bit Windows from one DVD
- Recommended for Learning
- Microsoft Virtual Academy
- Quote of the Week
- Admin Toolbox
- Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
- Events Calendar
- Asia Pacific
- Webcast Calendar
- Register for Webcasts
- Tech Briefing
- Major Hybrid Cloud Players
- Amazon the nay sayer
- The Year of the Hybrid Cloud
- Windows Server News
- Amid security concerns, cloud insurance makes headway in the enterprise
- What tasks are fair game for VDI automation?
- Build your mobile security policy around the enterprise laptop
- Modern Infrastructure E-Zine: Cloud storage at your service
- WServerNews FAVE Links
- This Week's Links We Like. Fun Stuff.
- WServerNews - Product of the Week
- Monitor Remote Desktop Sessions with Remote Desktop Reporter
- SAVE THIS NEWSLETTER so you can refer back to it later for helpful tips, tools and resources!
- FORWARD THIS NEWSLETTER to a colleague who you think might find it useful!
- SEND YOUR FEEDBACK to [email protected] if you have any comments or suggestions!
This week's newsletter is all about hybrid solutions that combine on-premises computing with cloud-based services. Are hybrid solutions the best approach for everyone? Or should some businesses either stick with on-premises solutions or move entirely to the cloud? Even Dogbert things that hybrid solutions can bring benefits (to himself at least) as this Dilbert comic illustrates:
Are Hybrid Solutions Best?
"Hybrid is the new cloud" seems to be the mantra these days for marketing cloud-based services. Two years ago everyone was saying hosted cloud computing would revolutionize the way businesses do IT by increasing their agility, reducing costs, and expanding reach. Then reality started to set in as major cloud service providers like Amazon, Dropbox, Google and even Microsoft suffered major outages as illustrated in this slide show from InfoWorld:
The vulnerability of cloud services was brought back to me again just this week by this article on TechCrunch about the latest outage on Dropbox:
The basic idea behind hybrid computing is simple: combine the benefits of cloud computing while maintaining control over key resources within your existing datacenter. It's the "best of both worlds" approach to enterprise computing, and offhand I can't think of a single large company today that doesn't embrace this approach in some measure, even if it's just for sharing files over the cloud or using cloud-based backups as a secondary safeguard for traditional backups.
The question I'm grappling with though is whether the hybrid approach is right for everyone.
Large enterprises tend to approach IT changes conservatively because of issues of scale, manageability, security, and regulatory requirements. For large companies, hybrid solutions are usually implemented in stages. For example, they might migrate a portion of their workforce to Office 365 to make budgeting easier and simplify their deployment architecture. They could move their application development platform into Windows Azure so they can test applications in an IaaS cloud infrastructure before they roll them out in their production environment. For their call center, they could provision managed desktop computing services from the cloud using a third-party offering like Amazon WorkSpaces. And to make their customer-facing services more flexible and cost-effective, they might implement a customer relationship management (CRM) solution from Salesforce.com.
And by integrating an on-premises private cloud solution, such as one built with the Windows Server and System Center platforms, with a public cloud offering like Windows Azure, enterprises can increase the scalability and flexibility of their datacenter. For example, they could develop and test an application in Windows Azure and then deploy it in-house using System Center. Or they could migrate some of their virtualized workloads from their on-premises Hyper-V hosts onto Windows Azure Virtual Machines. Such a solution is more than simply hybrid computing--it's a hybrid cloud.
So basically, integrating at least some forms of cloud computing with their existing infrastructure is a no-brainer for most large enterprises, which means hybrid computing is the de facto best-of-breed answer to the needs of such companies. But what about smaller businesses? Is hybrid the best approach for them or is it better to follow a "pure play" approach by either keeping all IT in-house or migrating everything they do to the cloud?
Perhaps it depends on the kind of business we're talking about. A cutting-edge online media company will probably follow the cloud-only approach because company employees are likely to span the globe with many working from home. Going cloud-only allows them to focus on content creation/distribution without having to spend unnecessarily on brick-and-mortar infrastructure.
Rapidly growing companies like tech startups are also probably well-served by the pure cloud approach to IT infrastructure and application provisioning. After all, why spend money on server hardware when you might sell your company to an eager buyer and then take the money and run?
And with Microsoft having discontinued their Small Business Server (SBS) platform and pushing their partner network instead to market Microsoft cloud solutions to customers, it's become harder for smaller businesses to build their own on-premises IT solution without also footing the cost of hiring at least one well-qualified tech person to deploy, manage and maintain it.
But despite what reading/watching the tech media might suggest, there are tons more smaller businesses out there than just tech startups. An A to Z of businesses that might have 25 or fewer employees would include architects, bookkeepers, consultants, designers, engineering companies, financial advisors, general contractors, and so on up to zookeepers. All of them need some types of IT services to support their business activities. For some a good old file server might be all that's really needed. Others may find that cloud-based services are all they need to run their business.
But other than using Gmail or Outlook.com and a service like SkyDrive or Dropbox, can any of these smaller businesses benefit from a true hybrid computing solution that tightly integrates on-premises infrastructure with hosted cloud services? If the business is not in the tech field, will they have the expertise to build and maintain such a solution? And would it be cost-effective for them to do so?
What do you think?
We'd like to hear from any of you readers who work in a smaller business with fewer than 50 employees. Do you run all your IT in-house? Why? Have you outsourced everything to the cloud? Why? And have you made the effort to integrate your on-premises infrastructure with cloud services? How has this worked out for your business? Share your stories with me by sending email to [email protected].
Tip of the Week: Deploying 32- and 64-bit Windows from one DVD
Want to install both 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 from a single DVD? I didn't know you could do this until a colleague pointed me to the following article from TechPowerUp:
How to Create a Universal Windows 7 Disc (AIO) with both 32 and 64-bit versions
GOT TIPS you'd like to share with other readers? Email us at [email protected]
Here are some books on hybrid cloud computing that you might want to check out:
Hybrid Cloud For Dummies
Rethinking Enterprise Storage: A Hybrid Cloud Model
Windows Azure Hybrid Cloud
Building Hybrid Applications in the Cloud on Windows Azure
Keeping Windows 8 Tablets in Sync with SQL Server 2012: Private and Hybrid Cloud Solutions for the Mobile Enterprise
Microsoft Virtual Academy
This new section of our newsletter highlights the latest announcements from the MVA.
January 27-31: Windows Azure Week
Join Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) for Windows Azure Week January 27-31. It’s a free, one-week, real-time intensive virtual conference. Get answers to your questions in a live Q&A from the people who are building Windows Azure. You’ll learn what you need to start moving your existing applications to the cloud today. See all the available sessions, and register for any or all that interest you!
Quote of the Week
"Know yourself and you will win all battles." - Sun Tzu
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Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
Monitor and report on Remote Desktop & XenApp sessions on your network. Audit teleworkers, licensing/app use, performance, & more. Perfect for corporate networks, MSP/Cloud Providers, & SaaS vendors.
Windows Server 2012 introduced many changes to the way we think about OSes, storage, Hyper-V, networking and clouds. R2 preview continues on that path. Download this ebook to learn about the new features of Windows Server 2012 R2 preview.
Server performance problems? Find out why with FactFinder Express. See whether the issue is a slow app, slow SQL requests, or a CPU/Memory/Disk bottleneck. 30 day free trial.
Want to know how your Exchange messaging system is being used or misused? Want to know most active users, who are overusing the system and what is being stored in their mailboxes?
Microsoft Office 365 has become an option for organizations looking to move content – particularly Exchange – to the cloud. Learn about the new capabilities in Office 365 and what pitfalls await you.
Project Conference, 2014 on February 2-5 in Anaheim, California
Lync Conference 2014 on February 18-20, 2014 at The Aria in Las Vegas, Nevada
SharePoint Conference 2014 on March 3-6, 2014 at The Venetian in Las Vegas, Nevada
NEW! TechEd North America on May 12-15, 2014 in Houston, Texas
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC 2014) coming in July, 2014 in Washington, D.C.
European SharePoint Conference on May 5-8, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain
NEW! TechEd New Zealand on September 9-12, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand
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We'll start off this week with some links to where you can find more information about hybrid cloud solutions.
Major hybrid cloud players
Let's start by hearing what the vendors themselves say about hybrid cloud:
Amazon the nay-sayer
Not all cloud service providers think hybrid is the answer. Amazon is one player who thinks pure-cloud will be best in the long run for most businesses. Here's some commentary on the matter:
Amazon Web Services grudgingly accepts hybrid cloud (ITworld)
AWS Enterprise Spending Surges as Hybrid Cloud Utilization Declines (The Street)
The Hand That Rocks The Hybrid Cloud Could Rule The Enterprise (ReadWrite)
VMware's Hybrid Cloud: Not Amazon's Model (Information Week)
The Year of the Hybrid Cloud
Finally, will 2014 be the Year of the Hybrid Cloud? Or was that last year? And when will the Year of Linux on the Desktop finally arrive? (Long-running joke.) Let's hear from a few tech news sites:
2013: Year of the hybrid cloud (NetworkWorld)
2013 – The Year Of The Hybrid Cloud (CloudTweaks)
Microsoft, VMware, and the year of the hybrid cloud (VentureBeat)
Why 2014 will be the Year of the Hybrid Cloud (CloudVelocity)
2014: The Year of the Hybrid Cloud (TalkTechToMe)
Why 2014 will be the Year of the Hybrid Cloud (Archimedius)
Amid security concerns, cloud insurance makes headway in the enterprise
Providers may have found a solution to the great cloud security scare – insurance policies for companies to protect themselves. Examine the pros and cons of cloud insurance, and its potential in the future of the cloud-based data center.
What tasks are fair game for VDI automation?
Virtual desktop infrastructures are uniquely suited for utilizing automation tools for updates, deployment and distribution – especially for a large number of end users. But, what exactly should you automate? Find out in this IT tip.
Build your mobile security policy around the enterprise laptop
With the proliferation of smartphones and tablets – you can’t forget about the protection of corporate laptops when building a mobile security policy. Hear from our experts as they outline the 6 essentials steps for developing an effective end point security strategy for today’s mobile workforce.
Modern Infrastructure E-Zine: Cloud storage at your service
The cloud may provide a viable option for cost-effective, optimized storage – but you must choose wisely. Hear from industry pros as they discuss the effective uses cases, buyer tips and tricks, and advice for overcoming cloud storage conundrums in this exclusive download.
This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
GOT FUN VIDEOS or other fun links to suggest you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]
Ventriloquist Nigel Dunkley tries to pick up girls on the NYC subway using his dummy. Will he succeed?
While telling a story about his grandmother in a cafe, Criss continues to astound us with his amazing magic.
An interesting film showing London in 1923 and 2013 side-by-side.
Amazing views from the cockpit, the tail camera and the ground of a Lufthansa Airbus A380 landing at San Francisco airport.
"The Bear" is an unusually involving film about animals that will give you a fresh perspective on their world.
WServerNews - Editors
Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. Mitch was lead author of the bestselling Windows 7 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press and has published hundreds of articles for IT pros. Mitch is also a seven-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his outstanding contributions in support of the global IT pro community. Mitch owns and runs an information technology content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information see www.mtit.com