Category Archives: Enterprise

Project Honolulu admin GUI out of preview as “Windows Admin Center”

Enlarge / Windows Admin Center

Announced last year as Project Honolulu, Microsoft today released Windows Admin Center, the new Web-based graphical administrative interface for Windows systems.

Admin Center is intended to provide a common interface for remote management of Windows machines running Windows Server (2012 or newer) or Windows 10, whether on physical hardware, virtual hardware, or in the cloud. Admin Center is built to offer a common remote admin interface that replaces the mess of MMC applets, control panels, settings apps, and dashboards that are currently used to graphically configure and maintain Windows machines. It operates at the server, failover cluster, and hyper-converged infrastructure level.

The intent behind Admin Center is that it should replace the mix of remote and local admin tools that are used for ad hoc administrative tasks, many of which might traditionally be done with Remote Desktop. To that end, it has interfaces for tasks such as registry editing, managing network settings, listing and ending processes, and managing hardware.

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Google brings ‘intelligent search’ to business users

Google's new Springboard search may be aimed at companies, but it's just the kind of AI-powered tech that can trickle down to consumers. The search giant describes it as a sort of digital assistant that helps employees search through piles of documen…

Uber Launches Insane “Pay-to-Work” Car Rental Program 

Uber is partnering with Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and—as the slogan goes—they’ll pick you up! By “they” I mean the poor schmucks who sign up to pay around $1000 a month to work for Uber.

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Red Hat Enterprise Linux to become officially supported on Azure (at last)

Microsoft and Red Hat together announced that Red Hat’s software, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and the JBoss app server, will be fully supported on Azure.

While Azure has hitherto been an officially supported platform for other Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, CentOS, Oracle Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise and openSUSE, RHEL has always been missing from this list. With Red Hat being arguably the most important distribution in the enterprise space, this has been a significant gap in Azure’s Linux support.

That gap is now closing. Azure will become a Red Hat Certified Cloud and Services Provider. In the coming months, Red Hat system images will become available to buy on a pay-as-you-go basis through the Azure Marketplace. In the meantime, Red Hat Cloud Access subscribers will be able to provide their own virtual machine images for running in Azure.

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New System Center Configuration Manager to be “as a service,” matching Windows 10’s pace

Microsoft is continuing to move away from infrequent major releases and towards a steadier stream of regular updates, with System Center Configuration Manager next to receive the “as a service” makeover, as described in a blog post by Brad Anderson.

The successor to System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2 is simply System Center Configuration Manager—no calendar year, no “R2″-style suffix—to denote that instead of receiving periodic major updates, service packs, and cumulative updates, it will instead receive a steady stream of incremental updates. These updates will be named “vYYMM” (with v1510 being the current October 2015 build), and each update will be supported for 12 months. The first release of this new SCCM will be made by the end of the year.

This change will make it easier for SCCM to keep pace not only with Windows 10—set to receive its first major update in November—but also, for those using SCCM with Intune, iOS and Android developments. This will become increasingly important as the full range of Windows 10 streams—Current Branch, Current Branch for Business, and Long Term Servicing Branch—make their way into corporate deployments. Under the new release process, SCCM will be able to track Intune updates, and so can be used as the single management interface for the full range of PCs, phones, and tablets.

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Google lures your workplace away from Office by covering app costs

Google really, really wants your company to jump from Microsoft Office to Docs. So much so, in fact, that it's willing to pay a lot to make sure that happens. It just launched a promo that will cover your firm's Docs costs so long as it's stuck i…

Report: Dell in merger talks with storage giant EMC

The Wall Street Journal reports that according to unnamed sources Dell is in talks with storage company EMC over a full or partial merger.

EMC has reported declining profits in July, and its core storage division has seen revenue growth grind to a halt; it grew just 2 percent between 2013 and 2014, compared to 16 percent between 2010 and 2011. Activist hedge fund Elliott Management Corp., which has a 2 percent stake in EMC, has also pressured the company to sell its 80 percent stake in VMware.

Dell was taken private in 2013 in a $25 billion leveraged buyout by founder Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake. Even before the buyout, it had been increasingly positioning itself as an enterprise-oriented firm, expanding its server, storage, and security offerings in a bid to move away from the slim margins of the PC business. Merging with some or all of EMC would be consistent with this shift.

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HP to cut up to 30,000 jobs as it splits into two

HP’s imminent split into two companies—the PCs-and-printers HP Inc, and the enterprise services Hewlett-Packard Enterprise—is going to come at a high cost in both personnel and restructuring, the company told analysts today.

Tim Stonsifer, who will be made CFO of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise once the split occurs on November 1, has said that there will be some 25-30,000 positions cut, primarily from its Enterprise Services division. The cost of the restructuring will be around $2.7 billion, with HP claiming that it will lead to savings of $2.7 billion a year. The cost cuts of the split were previously estimated at around $2 billion a year in Enterprise; another $700 million in savings have been found elsewhere.

Enterprise Services—HP’s IT outsourcing service—currently makes up about 40 percent of the new Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s revenue, but it has struggled with declining revenue; it’s down $4 billion a year since 2011. The group’s head, Mike Nefkens, has outlined plans to move more employees offshore, and consolidate them onto fewer sites. His goal is to have 60 percent of the workforce in countries with low labor costs by 2018. HP got into the Enterprise Services business when it bought EDS in 2008.

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Dell to start selling Microsoft’s Surface Pro in new enterprise push

Starting in early October, corporate customers will be able to buy Microsoft’s Surface Pro hardware, along with its accessories, not from Microsoft but from Dell. Dell will provide sales, servicing, warranties, and replacements in addition to offering corporate-friendly configuration and deployment options. The new scheme will initially start in the US and spread to the Surface’s other 28 markets early next year.

When Microsoft first announced that it was building hardware, it meant that for the first time the software company was competing directly against the OEM partners on which it was heavily dependent. Acer in particular was vocal in its criticism of the move, but we struggle to believe that any of the PC OEMs were happy about Microsoft muscling in on their turf. The new venture suggests that whatever concerns the OEMs may once have had are now water under the bridge.

In some ways, the new pairing is similar to the partnership between Apple and IBM, under which IBM would provide enterprise support and servicing for iPads. The situation is a little different, insofar as Microsoft already had strong direct links to enterprises. Apple didn’t. What Microsoft doesn’t have, however, is the support infrastructure for enterprise hardware. When the Surface line was first introduced, any kind of enterprise sales were tricky, as Microsoft’s stores weren’t really equipped for this kind of business. The situation improved as the company added additional enterprise-oriented sales channels, though it still left Surface’s support options relatively weak when compared to those of other OEMs.

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Liveblog in progress: Microsoft talking cloud in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO—Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Executive Vice President for Cloud and Enterprise Scott Guthrie are talking cloud today, so we’re on the scene to hear what they have to say. Join us for live updates and check back for a recap of any important announcements.

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