Use the Cloud to help people in need

In this holiday time, peoples’ thoughts turn to helping those less fortunate. If you’re a charity, helping people is your business all year round, and every dollar spent on computing infrastructure is a dollar taken away from those you’re trying to help. That’s why, increasingly, charities and nonprofits are turning away from expensive on-premises solutions and moving to the cloud.

Take Minnesota-based RREAL, the Rural Renewable Energy Alliance, which helps low-income households receive the advantages of solar power.

As their business grew, RREAL needed ways to track new customers, to manage their manufacturing, and to collaborate without incurring the costs and overhead of expensive infrastructure. Azure-based Dynamics GP and Dynamics CRM along with Office 365 met these needs. And with Dynamics’ Business Analyzer they track KPI’s, and with PowerBI they have a have real-time dashboard.

The result: they have cut installation time by over 50 percent: more people get cheap, renewable power faster.

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Microsoft Azure Storage Import/Export Announcements

Azure Import/Export Service enables transfer of data in and out of Azure Blob Storage by shipping data on hard drives. You can use this service when you have large amount of data which takes long to upload/download over network. We are happy to share some improvements we have made to this service with you today.

Azure Import/Export in Azure portal

Today we are excited to announce the general availability of Azure Import/Export Service in the new Azure portal.

With Azure portal support, you will have added ability to:

  • Manage import and export jobs across all storage accounts from the same pane.
  • View status of overall job and of each drives individually with percentage complete during data transfer.
  • Obtain a link to error log in case of a warnings/failure encountered during import or export job.
  • See reminder warning signs if you happen to miss updating tracking information to avoid delays in the job-processing.

Read More


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Announcing the public preview of Azure Advisor

While it’s easy to start building applications on Azure, making sure that the underlying Azure resources are setup correctly and being used optimally can be a challenging task. Today, we are excited to announce the public preview of Azure Advisor, a personalized recommendation engine that provides proactive best practices guidance for optimally configuring your Azure resources.

Azure Advisor analyzes your resource configuration and usage telemetry to detect risks and potential issues. It then draws on Azure best practices to recommend solutions that will reduce your cost and improve the security, performance, and reliability of your applications. In this blog post, we will do a quick tour of Azure Advisor and discuss how it can help optimize your Azure resources.

Announcing the public preview of Azure Advisor

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Four stages based on overall “Data Platform Maturity”

As per a research by Keystone Strategy Group, enterprises are split into four stages based on overall Data Platform maturity.

  1. In most basic stage, companies are only starting to generate benefits from data and use it reactively.
  2. Going forward organization begin to use data more in informative way to support business and improve processes
  3. They then utilize predictive capabilities to lead decision making.
  4. In the final stage data becomes a transformation force, driving the business and creating new value.



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New feature in “Azure Analysis Services preview”

Azure Analysis Services preview brings the ability to scale up and down the capacity of the server after it has been created.

Click here to learn more about this new feature..

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Azure Backup Server now supports VMware Backup!

Microsoft recently added support for protecting VMware virtual machines (VMs) using Azure Backup Server, and storing your backups of these VM in Azure for long-term retention.

Click here to read more..

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Why Cloud Migration Is Still a Work in Progress

Despite the seemingly ubiquitous presence of the cloud, many organizations are still in a transitional stage when it comes to cloud adoption, according to a recent survey from Unisys. The accompanying report, titled “Trends in Hybrid Cloud Computing,” indicates that most companies are planning for a private or public cloud migration (with most favoring the private cloud). As a result, they want to replace end-of-life technology while reducing costs and increasing capacity on demand. However, most organizations are still keeping mission-critical apps and storage tools on-premise, with many citing security in the cloud as a leading concern. “Far-sighted (executives) have a clear view of the competitive, operational and economic benefits of cloud computing, and are taking energetic action to realize them for their organizations,” said Steve Nunn, vice president of cloud and infrastructure services for Unisys. “At the same time, those decision-makers are clear-eyed about the need to secure both existing IT and new cloud resources in order to protect vital business assets.” More than 200 IT and business execs took part in the research, which was conducted by Gatepoint Research – See more at:

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