Windows 365

Windows 365: Cloud PC for your Hybrid Workplace

Microsoft has recently announced that it will be releasing Windows 365, an incredibly simple way to securely stream Windows from the Microsoft Cloud, the most comprehensive and trusted cloud on the market. As also referred to as Cloud PC, a new user experience is on the horizon, with the traditional PC operating system moving completely to the cloud without impacting on users’ expectations. Whether it is a personal computer or a corporate device, the full experience of providing the apps, data availability and settings will be maintained in this Cloud PC. 

What is Windows 365 

Windows 365 is a virtual desktop service that is a part of Microsoft 365.  It offers organizations a fixed-price monthly subscription, to a cloud PC that is dedicated to a user and can be managed using the exact same tools as a traditional Windows PC. Making a cloud PC available to a user (once the initial environment is set up) is a matter of assigning a Microsoft 365 license.  Three key properties of Windows 365 are worth repeating and emphasizing.   

A cloud PC is dedicated to a user, fixed price, and part of the Microsoft 365 cloud rather than Azure. 

This SaaS (Software as a Service) offering that is built on the Azure Virtual Desktop platform, will allow anyone to freely access their desktop wherever they may be in the world and from whichever device. This is a persistent Cloud PC, meaning it is always on and easily accessible 24 x 7. You will also find the exact same desktop, wallpaper, and document you were working on a few minutes, hours (or days) ago readily available to continue where you left off. 

How Veracloud Supports Windows 365 

Microsoft has expanded the available options for virtual desktops.  Organisations now have the flexible Azure-based AVD with single-user, multi-session, and RemoteApp options and the simplified M365-based Windows 365 with Enterprise and Business cloud PC alternatives. 

For the past year, Veracloud has gained momentum in implementing Azure Virtual Desktops for almost every solution need and gained hands-on experience building successful setups on the Microsoft cloud. We do this by helping our customers choose the right Microsoft service for the right use-case, automate the deployment, simplify ongoing management, and optimize to reduce ongoing costs. 

If you are considering either an AVD or a Windows 365 deployment, or maybe a bit of both, our technical engineers will provide the support and guidance required to identify the solution that works best for you and your business’s needs. Contact us now and explore the world of a hybrid workplace and get your business to the next level. 

Partner of the Year

Veracloud is awarded the Microsoft 2021 Partner of the Year for Malta

Veracloud has won the Malta 2021 Microsoft Partner of the Year Award. The company is honoured among a global field of top Microsoft partners for demonstrating excellence in innovation and implementation of customer solutions based on Microsoft’s technologies.

“We are honoured and humbled to be recognized as the Microsoft 2021 Partner of the Year for Malta. Veracloud has recently celebrated its 2nd year of operation and this achievement truly symbolises that with hard work and focus you may reach great goals, no matter the size of the company. We could not have achieved this milestone without our valued customers who trust us with their digital transformation journey.” says John Ellul – Sales Director at Veracloud

The Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards recognises Microsoft partners that have developed and delivered outstanding Microsoft-based solutions during the past year. Awards were classified in various categories, with honourees chosen from a set of more than 4,400 submitted nominations from more than 100 countries worldwide. Being recognised for providing outstanding Microsoft solutions and services in Malta, Veracloud’s focus is to empower organisations with the benefits of digital transformation solutions. By leveraging Microsoft technologies, Veracloud has developed in-house solutions to provision, deploy and maintain efficient business operations, with or without COVID-19 restrictions.

“I am honoured to announce the winners and finalists of the 2021 Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards,” said Rodney Clark, corporate vice president, Global Partner Solutions, Channel Sales and Channel Chief, Microsoft. “These remarkable partners have displayed a deep commitment to building world-class solutions for customers—from cloud-to-edge—and represent some of the best and brightest our ecosystem has to offer.” 

Veracloud is a Microsoft Gold Partner who provides companies with cloud-centric solutions and is driven to operate as efficiently as possible to allow for a more cost-effective solution, drastically minimising client costs and IT overheads, gaining more value out of the solution.  Our mission is for clients to invest in what matters, the services, the solution, the value add.

For additional information:

[email protected] or call +356 2099 7741

WVD on Azure Marketplace

Veracloud Launches its WVD Service Offerings in Azure Marketplace

Veracloud is proud to announce that as a Microsoft Gold Partner, we have launched our very first product offerings focused around Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) and placed them within the Azure Marketplace. This is a significant milestone on our journey with Microsoft. Although we just launch on the marketplace, this does not mean we are new to the WVD technology. We have been implementing this solution ever since its early release due to the demand for remote working brought forward by the COVID pandemic.

What type of Services are we offering? 

We feel that the market thinks that virtual app & desktop delivery is something that may only be done by the big guys and we are here to say that, thanks to Microsoft’s public cloud offerings, this statement couldn’t be further from the truth – have a look at our FAQs.

We, therefore, launched the following WVD offerings in the Azure Marketplace:

A FREE 2hour WVD Walkthrough where we give insight into the power of WVD and how it may help your organisation with 10+ users to be empowered with this technology.

The second is a proven, pre-staged WVD 2 Week Implementation which usually follows the free 2hour workshop. Here we roll out the solution and customise it to fit your needs to meet the initial virtual desktop & app delivery requirements.

Interested to find out more? 

We’re a Microsoft Managed Service Provider and our #1 goal is to help you thrive in the cloud through COVID-19 and beyond. After your Windows Virtual Desktop initial deployment, you will not be left alone — our Managed Services team is available around the clock, so you can stay focused on doing your business and sticking to your strength…leave the rest to us. Get in touch now!

Exchange Server Hack

What to Learn from the recent On-Prem Exchange Server Hack

It has been a pretty challenging week for those that still manage and maintain on premises Exchange servers due to HAFNIUM targeting Exchange Servers with 0-day exploits.

Who Is HAFNIUM?

HAFNIUM is a state-sponsored advanced persistent threat group from China that is described as a “highly skilled and sophisticated actor.” 

While Hafnium originates in China, the group uses a web of virtual private servers located in the US to try and conceal its true location. Entities previously targeted by the group include think tanks, non-profits, defence contractors, and researchers. 

Our Take on the Situation

From what has been read online regarding the HAFNIUM Exchange Server hack, what was noted is that many organisations did not have a business continuation/response plan in place for this.  Although guidance and resolution were given by Microsoft to administrators to run scripts and patch systems, we read that most seemed totally unprepared for this kind of situation, especially at scale.

Many may think by shift everything to the cloud that all worries are over, however, challenges in the cloud may easily be of the same scale and impact. The cloud is a shared responsibility model which means that both Microsoft and end-user are both responsible for cloud security. In this case, specifically, the recent Exchange issues have largely fallen to Microsoft when it comes to the cloud.

Most cloud systems offer availability of over 99.99% which allows for a large amount of complacency to creep into internal systems and procedures, especially those responsible for maintaining these systems, both internal staff and external 3rd parties. Thoughts of disaster recovery and outage impact get put on the back burner and are never really addressed because there are always higher priorities.

Next Steps

In the end, it comes down to risk analysis. No matter where your systems are hosted, you always need to have an action plan of what do in case of disaster. But where do you start? That is where Veracloud has you covered. Contact us today to find out how to create a business continuity plan as well as discuss the different ways of migrating to a cloud or hybrid cloud setup.

Microsoft Gold Partner

Veracloud are delighted to share that we have been awarded the prestigious Microsoft Gold Partner status! This is a significant milestone on our journey with Microsoft. 

What is Microsoft’s Gold Partner Status? 

This is the highest partner status one may achieve with Microsoft where they recognise Veracloud in delivering leading cloud solutions that help companies collaborate and improve productivity in a secure manner.  

In order to attain Microsoft’s gold competency, companies have to meet a number of strict requirements. These include the number of Microsoft-certified employees, as well as meeting the threshold of project deliveries. Veracloud has satisfied all these requirements to obtain Gold Partner status and can now show the level of commitment we have with Microsoft technologies.  

Why is this important to Veracloud and its Customers? 

Veracloud and ultimately its customers, will now benefit from continuous online technical support and an even deeper working and collaboration relationship with Microsoft. 

What is next? 

The recognition and investment from Microsoft are fantastic however, we need to keep on evolving and creating even more value for our customers. To do this, we need more talented individuals to join our ranks and hop on board our vision in offering true solutions for digital transformation. 

Have a look at our openings and get in touch! 

Cloud Managed IoT Sensors

Protecting your Data Centre with Cloud Managed IoT Sensors

With cloud managed IoT sensors, real-time visibility into IT environments has now become a reality to help ensure proper business continuity plans are put into place. Protect your critical IT infrastructure through a powerful platform and simple-to-deploy environment sensors.

Maximize network uptime and equipment lifespan – Real-time visibility and alerts give you control over your environment. Ensure optimal conditions and minimize risk with remote monitoring and flexible alerting.

Gain value in less time – Quickly provision and manage thousands of sensors to monitor temperature, humidity, leaks, and intrusion. Simply insert the batteries and add to the dashboard. Say good-bye to on-premises servers, dedicated gateways, and management software.

Drive smarter decisions through data – Understand trends about your physical environment. Improve safety, security, and operational decision-making through a data-driven approach. Build on top of our platform using APIs or the vast ecosystem partner community and further enhance operations

Secure IoT devices seamlessly – Each sensor features a unique per-device identifier, which securely authenticates the device and encrypts all communication with the sensor gateways. Combined with automated firmware updates, our sensors pack a powerful security punch in a smart package.

Features include:

  • Centralized cloud management – The dashboard provides secure monitoring and management of all sensors, from anywhere in the world.
  • Flexible alerts – Set customized thresholds for devices and receive alerts via SMS, push notifications, email, or use webhooks to connect to your platform of choice.
  • Seamless setup and installation at scale – Wire-free installation, flexible mounting options, and automatic pairing makes it easy to provision.
  • Onboard storage – Five days of onboard storage keeps data safe in the event of an outage.
  • Long battery life – Field-replaceable AA batteries, with up to five years of battery life, provide one less thing to worry about.
  • Open API – Automate analysis outside of the dashboard, link to third-party services, and aggregate sensor data with information from other business systems.
  • Secure and always up to date – a secure way to exchange data between the gateway and sensor. Automatic firmware updates keep things running smoothly.

Act now and contact us today for a FREE proof of concept.

Microsoft announces plans for first datacenter region in Greece

Microsoft announced its intent to build new data centres that will establish a Microsoft Cloud region in the country, adding Greece to the world’s largest cloud infrastructure footprint and delivering access to low-latency, enterprise-grade cloud services.

The Greece datacenter region will join Microsoft’s global footprint of cloud regions, now totalling 63 regions announced, with Microsoft Azure available in over 140 countries, and will provide companies local access to Microsoft’s full set of cloud services, all built on a foundation of trust:

  • Microsoft Azure: An ever-expanding set of cloud services that offers computing, networking, databases, analytics, AI and IoT services.
  • Microsoft 365: The world’s productivity cloud that delivers best-of-breed productivity apps integrated through cloud services and delivered as part of an open platform for business processes.
  • Dynamics 365 and Power Platform: The next generation of intelligent business applications that enable organizations to grow, evolve and transform to meet the needs of customers and capture new opportunities.
  • Compliance, security and privacy: Microsoft offers more than 90 certifications and spends $1 billion every year on cybersecurity to address security at every layer of the cloud. Microsoft’s Greece datacenter region will help companies comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and will also help customers store data at rest in our region.
  • Sustainably operated: As part of Microsoft’s global commitment to be carbon negative by 2030, the company will shift to 100 per cent supply of renewable energy for its data centres by 2025.
Exchange 2010 EOS Version

Exchange 2010 Version – What is yours?

Know your Exchange 2010 version is vital to a migration?

Read our previous post which explains how mainstream support for Exchange 2010 ended in January 2015. Extended support ends for the below Exchange 2010 on October 13, 2020, a grace period Microsoft recently extended.

How to Determine Exchange Version

With Microsoft Outlook running, press and hold CTRL while you right-click the Outlook icon in the notification area, at the far right of the task bar: 

Exchange 2010 version check
Exchange 2010 Version Check
  1. Click Connection Status
  2. Move the horizontal slider all the way to the right. Under the Version column heading, note the number that appears
  3. Compare the number with those in the table below: 
Microsoft Exchange Server VersionVersion
Microsoft Exchange Server 201014.0.639.21
Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 SP114.1.218.15
Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 SP214.2.247.5
Exchange 2010 Version Table

What’s Next?

Veracloud is here to help. From assessing your current Exchange 2010 environment to helping you select a better productivity suite like Office 365 and performing the migration for you—we got you. Act now and Contact us today!

Exchange 2010 EOS

Exchange 2010 End of Support Happening Soon

Time is running out for Exchange 2010, what will you do?

Mainstream support for Exchange 2010 ended in January 2015. Per standard practice, Microsoft extended support ends five years after mainstream. Now, you have less than a year left before extended support ends for this version of Exchange on October 13, 2020, a grace period Microsoft recently extended.

Severe Implications of End of Extended Support

On October 13, 2020 there will be no further security patches, fixes, or updates, no available support for Exchange 2010. Nothing. It all ends with the anticipation that users have already migrated to a more current platform.

Every hacker and other bad actor on the internet is aware of this end of support. They know your platform is vulnerable and are painting a target on your back. After October 13, 2020, they will all go looking for those who are still using Exchange Server 2010.

So, What Can You Do to Protect Your Business?

October may seem far off but being proactive can save you stress as you plan your migration from Exchange 2010 to either Office 365 or Exchange Server 2016. We will need to examine  your retention policies to help you determine what older segment of your mail store will be archived and what segment will be migrated to the new platform. There are rights issues, governance issues, technical issues, and others which need to be discussed and planned for.

Here’s some good new

Veracloud is here to help. From assessing your current Exchange 2010 environment to helping you select a better productivity suite like Office 365 and performing the migration for you—we got you. Act now and Contact us today!

Exchang

COVID-19 Social Distancing

Social distancing is something we all need to have in place for the safety of both our staff and our clientele.

Registering guests and customers is one thing but how do you actively control groups to ensure government restrictions are being met to avoid fines and further spread of the coronavirus?

We have a solution which is fully integrated into cloud-managed Smart Cameras which uses AI and location analytics.  Our Smart Cameras have the capability of setting camera threshold alerts with SMS alerts in a specifically designated zone. This can be extremely helpful for businesses, who can now send alerts to managers when more than the stipulated persons are allowed and seen within a specific zone within a time frame.

How Does it Help with Social Distancing?

This solution gives business 3 types of data-rich insights:

  1. Historical aggregate: How many people were in a given area at a specified time, and where exactly where they in the frame?
  2. Current snapshot: How many people are in a given area right now, and where exactly are they in the frame?
  3. Real-time feed: A stream of the number of people and their exact location in a frame.

We deliver innovative cloud solutions that solve real business problems especially ones which come out of nowhere such as social distancing for COVID-19. Let us help you gain the resilience, agility and create a competitive advantage to thrive. Get in touch.

Microsoft 2021 Partner of the Year for Malta!

X