Post by: Nick Gailloux (Softlanding)
Posted on: 7/28/2017 10:50:00 PM
Description: There is a misconception that the cloud is plagued with down-time - leaving most organizations to believe on-prem is the better solution. With the recent Amazon outage, is 99.9% up-time enough to ensure the safety and availability of your data? Softlanding provides three solutions to keep your web service up-and-running in the cloud.
There is a misconception that the cloud is plagued with down-time - leaving most organizations to believe on-prem is the better solution.
A recent failure in Amazon's simple storage service brought down thousands of web sites. While the outage had been limited to Amazon's Northern Virginia datacenter, it happened to be their most widely used region. Such an outage would not be visible to customers if those websites were properly load balanced across multiple regions, something that does not fall within Amazon's responsibility.
From an end-user perspective, any service interruption translates into "the cloud is down". Yet, the failure could be with the application rather than the underlying infrastructure services provided by the public cloud provider. When cloud-based applications fail, it can magnify the misconception that the cloud is unreliable.
In reality, infrastructure in the cloud is designed to fail. They are commonly built using commodity hardware to keep costs down. Cloud providers bake in layers of high availability on top of the commodity hardware, like keeping multiple copies of data across data centers, and re-routing traffic around failed network gear. Service level agreements are based on what can be reliably delivered to the customer with some amount of downtime expected and planned for.
For example, Microsoft Azure provides a service level agreement that states Virtual Machines using premium disks will have an up-time of 99.9%. This leaves an 0.1% opportunity of the service delivered by that single virtual machine to either fail, or see down-time, translating to 8.76 hours per year. Applications must be designed with potential down-time in mind, and cloud providers give high availability design guidance based on their service level agreements.
Here are some examples of high availability, high up-time designs within Microsoft Azure that can keep a web service running even when failures occur
Deploy your application on two Virtual Machines in an Availability Set
Use a Load Balancer to manage traffic, which brings your service level agreement up to 99.95%. This type of design will be resilient against single virtual machine outages.
Deploy your application on three Virtual Machines in an Availability Set
Use a Load Balancer to manage traffic, to take advantage of all three available fault domains in a region. This type of design will be resilient against multiple virtual machine outages.
Deploy your application on six Virtual Machines in two Availability Sets across two Regions
Use Traffic Manager to manage traffic across regions, and Load Balancers to manage traffic within a region, to take advantage of multiple fault domains across multiple regions. This type of design will be resilient against entire region outages.
While these examples can sound complicated, Traffic Manager, Load Balancers, and Availability Sets are actually simple to deploy for http/https based applications.
Deploying your application across multiple fault domains, multiple regions, or even multiple cloud providers will significantly improve your application's availability and up-time.
Moving back to the question in hand. It is not simply a matter of “Is my data safe in the cloud?” There are many factors that need to be considered and understood about cloud services such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS to cross-analyze the benefits and reliability of hosting your data in the cloud vs. on-prem. We would be happy to sit down with your organization to strategize your cloud transformation.
Post by: Briana Lau
Posted on: 7/25/2017 10:47:00 PM
Categories: Business;Office 365
Description: Microsoft introduced Microsoft 365 at their Inspire Conference earlier this month. Inclusive of Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security, Softlanding runs through the operational benefits of Microsoft 365 Business and Microsoft 365 Enterprise for organization looking to transition to the cloud.
Earlier this week, Microsoft introduced the Microsoft 365 Suite bundle to accommodate enterprises and businesses with a complete, intelligent, and secure solution to empower employees. Looking forward, Microsoft aims to address the need to build for a "modern workplace", integrating Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility & Security together as a software-as-a-service subscription plan. Available as preview starting on August 2nd, 2017 - organizations can demo the bundle based on two subscription models Microsoft 365 Business Aimed for small-to-medium sized organizations with low to medium IT requirements - customers can buy up to 300 subscriptions under the Microsoft 365 Business model. Integrating Office 365 Business Premium with tailored security and management features from Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security, Microsoft 365 is available as preview starting August 2nd, 2017. It will become generally available on a worldwide basis in the fall of 2017. Management tools in Microsoft 365 Business include Auto-install (and uninstall) of Office Empower employees to get work done from anywhere, on any device Selectively wipe company data from devices, both company and employee owned within a single IT console Enforce user settings on devices, including access to Windows Store or use of Cortana Force users to save all their work on OneDrive for Business to autonomously sync for shared collaboration Configure new PC's as well as existing systems to Windows 10 using AutoPilot Automatically update and upgrade Windows 10 PC's using Windows Update for Business Protect company data across devices with always-on security Learn more about Microsoft 365 Business Microsoft 365 Enterprise Offered in two plans - Microsoft 365 E3 and Microsoft 365 E5, the enterprise edition of Microsoft 365 is designed for larger organizations and integrates Office 365 Enterprise, Windows 10 Enterprise and Enterprise Mobility + Security. This suite built to replace Microsoft's highly successful Secure Productive Enterprise is reserved for organizations in need of stricter security compliance with advanced business intelligence and communication standards. Microsoft 365 Enterprise includes everything in Microsoft 365 Business with the addition of Office 365 Enterprise Dependent on your SKU purchase, Office 365 is inclusive of Office applications with the ability to add on Skype Integrations with Telephone System With Skype for Business, you can simplify your infrastructure with one platform for calling, conferencing video and sharing. Power BI Easy-to-use live data monitoring and in-depth analysis tools let you discover new stories in your data with even more interactive reports, simpler dashboards, and compelling data visualizations. Advanced Threat Protection With Advanced Threat Protection, you have even more control with increased privacy, transparency, and refined user controls. Windows 10 Enterprise Powerful collaboration, advanced security and control, and all the space you need on the safest, most secure Windows OS ever. Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) Addressing security challenges in this mobile-first, cloud-first era - EMS is an identify-driven solution to not only help protect your organization but also identify breaches before they cause damage. EMS is the fast-growing mobile device management and security suite for enterprises looking to control their 'BYOB' workforce. Simply manage technology costs in one subscription, with simple per user, per month pricing. Learn more about Microsoft 365 Enterprise What does this mean for your business? Microsoft 365 was developed by Microsoft to provide best-in-class productivity and collaboration capabilities of Office 365 together with device management and security solutions that safeguard business data. Combining three different product lines together, IT staff can get a more holistic handle of enabling agility through the cloud, yet ensuring safety in a single, cost-effective solution. For Microsoft 365 Business, cost for the platform costs begin at $20 USD/user. With Office 365 Business Premium valued at $7.50 USD user/month, customers receive Windows 10 Pro and the various management service components for just $12.50 USD more. For organizations that currently own Office 365 and wish to enable a more secure environment with better mobile device management and preventative protection against malware - Microsoft 365 provides a conclusive suite offering for enabling security and productivity through the cloud. Microsoft 365 will be available towards the end of 2017, but current Office 365 customers can try Microsoft 365 for free. Microsoft recommends that all Microsoft 365 Preview Trials are deployed by a Microsoft Partner - and Softlanding is a certified Microsoft Gold Partner. Here are your next steps 1 Previewing Microsoft 365 Business Starting August 2nd, you can preview Microsoft 365 Business under a trial deployed by a Microsoft Partner. Softlanding is able to set up your organization with a free trial as a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. Contact us to get a trial of Microsoft 365 Business started. 2 Understanding the functionalities of Microsoft 365 Softlanding and Microsoft will be hosting a Microsoft 365 information session and going into depth with the business capabilities of Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security. Register to attend August 30th 900AM - 200PM Microsoft Vancouver Floor 11 - 1111 W Georgia Street Vancouver BC Post by: Jeff Lim
Posted on: 7/8/2017 5:34:00 PM
Categories: SharePoint;Office 365
Description: Enabling and using the new client-side theming engine in O365 SharePoint for first release tenants.
On Feb 24, 2016, Microsoft announced a new client-side theming engine for first release users. This new feature reduces the steps and time needed to apply custom themes. This speeds up development and introduces some unique use cases like client-defined theming or theming to match some dynamic event. Compare this with the old style theming engine where annotated CSS styles are compiled after using "Settings > Change the look" and remain static until the next manual theme change. Using server-side theming Put custom CSS with annotations into the /Style Library/Themable/ or /Style Library/[locale]/Themable/ folder Go to Site settings > Change to look > Current > Try it out and apply Wait a few minutes DoneMore info here. Using client-side theming Put your custom CSS anywhere, or download it dynamically using a script (user-defined themes, anyone?) Create the CSS link and register it Done, no waiting needed!The Microsoft announcement here appears to be dead, so see Elio's post here on details how to check if you have client-side theming enabled and how to dynamically register your CSS. Also, see this post on three ways how to use your custom CSS with the engine. To enable the client-side theming engine, you need to enable First Release. In O365, go to Click on the Waffle icon > Admin Click on Go to the old admin center Under SERVICE SETTINGS, click on Updates Enable First Release for entire organization (or select for some people only) Wait 24-48 hoursIn SharePoint Online, run the following function SPThemeUtils.UseClientSideTheming() If it returns true, then client-side theming is enabled and you're good to go! Post by: Jeff Lim
Posted on: 7/7/2017 10:13:00 PM
Categories: SharePoint;Office 365
Description: Fix the "Chrome detected unusual code ERR_BLOCKED_BY_XSS_AUDITOR" error when working with Script Editor Webparts in SharePoint 2013/Online.
If you use Google Chrome like me when customizing SharePoint, you may run into this error when working with the Script Editor webpart in SharePoint 2013 or SharePoint Online. This error appears when you try to save a page after making changes to a Script Editor "Chrome detected unusual code on this page and blocked it to protect your personal information (for example, passwords, phone numbers, and credit cards)." ERR_BLOCKED_BY_XSS_AUDITOR You can avoid this error by using Internet Explorer. However, die-hard Chrome users can do this instead as workaround Install the Chrome extension Requestly Activate Requestly, then open Requestly's settings page Click on the + button Click Modify Headers Enter a rule name, and set Status Active Under the Headers Modification Rules, enter Add Response Header X-XSS-Protection Value 0 Url Contains [hostname of your SharePoint site, e.g. mysite.sharepoint.com] Click Save That's it! This avoids the error and lets you save your pages again. Remember to deactivate the rule when you do not need it anymore.