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.
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.
Microsoft Azure Active Directory (AAD) is a multi-tenant cloud-based directory and identity management service. It combines core directory services, access management, and identity protection in to a single solution. Azure Active Directory is not to be confused with Azure Active Directory Domain Services, which is a separate service and not the focus of this article.
For every organization that chooses to subscribe to Microsoft Online Services– Office 365, Dynamics 365, Intune, etc., choosing the correct identity model for AAD becomes an important task. In this article, we will have a look at the characteristics of each.
While there are no specific dependencies on the identity model of AAD for Microsoft Online Services to function, your organizational needs and other factors such as manageability, access control, auditing, and user experience determine which identity model should be deployed.
As part of any monitoring strategy, we might need to automate some tasks to provide key information to evaluate the state of our infrastructure or apply a repetitive action to resolve specific issues.
We have several ways to implement this. One option is to use Microsoft’s Azure Automation toolset. Let’s explore what you can control with Azure Automation and how to get started using it for cloud server update management, configuration, and more.
Creating a new Management Pack is not complicated—all you need to do is first install Visual Studio Authoring Extensions.
This blog will walk you through how to create your first Management Pack in Systems Center Operations Manager, one that will discover apps by identifying their registry key.
Microsoft Azure Active Directory, or AAD, is an IDaaS (Identity as a Service) offering that helps you manage corporate identities in the cloud. In this blog series, we're taking a look at the primary AAD features that you'll use to get your ID management up and running for Azure cloud services.
In Part 1 we discussed Connect, Single-Sign On, and Multifactor Authentication. You can also find a table of AAD pricing on that post. Remember, this series is not a deep dive into AAD configuration, but rather an overview of key features. Depending on your SKU you may or may not have access to all of these features.
Part 2 includes Self Service Password Resets, Identity Protection, Conditional Access, and Privileged Identity Management. These features help you control access and maintain security and compliance protocol across your enterprise cloud.
A Network Policy Server is Microsoft implementation of a RADIUS server that performs authentication, authorization, and accounting for remote VPN connections. Network policies are defined by network administrators to use conditions, settings, and constraints in order to determine who can connect to the network.
I was recently involved in reviewing the existing VPN solution and then deploying another solution for a client. Here are some common mistakes I found made when configuring these policies.
Microsoft Azure Active Directory is an IDaaS (Identity as a Service) offering that helps you manage corporate identities in the cloud. The solution itself is a cloud service that is hosted in Microsoft Azure datacenters globally. You can provision your tenant in a datacenter closest to where your organization is located.
Since AAD is a cloud offering it of course requires a paid subscription to use many of its features. But there’s a free tier for those who want to explore and are just getting started with the service.
This two part article is not a deep dive how-to guide. Rather, this is an effort to talk about a few major features available with AAD that you can use to get started with managing identities in the cloud. Depending on your AAD SKU, you may, or you may not have some of the features that are being discussed.
If your enterprise cloud environment has started to sprawl out beyond one or two Azure subscriptions, chances are you’ll need to implement some form of management and policy enforcement across your Enterprise Agreement to control costs and ensure compliance. Enter Azure Management Groups.
Management Groups can be used to apply conditions to subscriptions based on Azure regions, SKU sizes, server versions, resource type, and more. They work in conjunction with Azure Policy and Azure Role Based Access Controls (RBAC) and are similar to Active Directory in their setup and administration.
Why do companies do this with software?
The concept sounds crazy. Logic says that you lease a car, start to drive it immediately, and continue to drive it for the lease term. Yet with Microsoft software, even cloud-based software like Azure, O365, Dynamics CRM, and Windows 10, companies continue to buy SaaS offerings on their traditional Enterprise Agreements (EAs) and pay for them before they start to use them.