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8 benefits of using Microsoft CSP for your Azure consumption

The Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program enables partners to directly work with and manage the customers lifecycle. The CSP can directly provision, manage and support customers subscriptions. Basefarm is Tier 1 CSP Partner, meaning that we work directly with Microsoft and not through a CSP Distributor. A Tier 1 CSP needs to prove themselves with capabilities like handling support and cloud expertise.

What is the Azure Stack?

– Azure Stack is Azure public cloud services delivered from our own local datacenter. It is made up of dedicated hardware delivered by Microsoft certified partners such as HP/Dell/Lenovo based on Microsoft specifications.

What is the Azure Stack?
– Azure Stack is Azure public cloud services delivered from our own local datacenter. It is made up of dedicated hardware delivered by Microsoft certified partners such as HP/Dell/Lenovo based on Microsoft specifications. The solution is available through the Azure Stack portal, APIs, Resource Manager templates. These are all consistent with the Azure in the public cloud, so the experience for the IT Pro and developer are the same.

Are all Azure services available?
– No, just as in the public cloud version of Azure. The services offered in the region may differ. In the Azure Stack, a subset of the services will be available. To begin with, the focus will be on core services compute, storage and networking (IaaS) and certain PaaS services (App Service, Service Fabric). This will be expanded during the next releases. Some services will never be appropriate to establish in a local version of Azure, ex: HPC solutions where one scales up to 1000 computers for a few hours.

When will it be launched?
-Today the Technical Preview v3 (TP3) is available. GA (General Availability) from Microsoft is scheduled to be in middle of the summer, and for a period after the launch there will be tests and integration tests with hardware vendors before the solution is installed in Basefarm’s data center.

When will it be available As A Service from Basefarm?
– Basefarm plans to offer Azure Stack during the late summer/fall. This depends on Microsoft and hardware partners.

How should the Basefarm offer Azure Stack?
– Basefarm will initially offer Azure Stack as a Service just as Azure in the public cloud. This means several customers can use the solution as they would like. There will also be a Pay As You GO model. It will also be possible to offer Azure Stack as a dedicated solution for the customers has special requirements and needs.

What are the key scenarios for Azure Stack?
– Azure Stack is relevant for customers with needs for solutions and data to be local. There may be various reasons for this. Here some examples:

  • Modernization of legacy applications. You have an existing application that consists of layers that you would like to modernize, e.g. the Web frontend. Taking advantage of the flexibility that public cloud offers is tempting, but you cannot move it all to the Azure because of a larger database, software that is not supported in Azure or software that cannot run in Azure due to dependencies to other components.
  • Latency, the distance to the Azure regions (e.g. The Netherlands and Dublin) is too large and it is creating a delay in the network.
  • Regulatory requirements, e.g. requirements for inspection of the data center.
  • Data sovereignty, data needs to stay in the country

How will the Azure Stack connect with public Azure (technical and billing/subscription)?
– Billing/subscription: The customer can buy consumption in the Azure Stack through Basefarm’s Cloud Solution Provider Agreement with Microsoft. The same ‘pay as you go’ model and the flexibility as in the public cloud.
– Technical: Basically, customers can build solutions that run across the Azure public and Azure Stack. Furthermore, it is also planned for the combinations of these with Basefarm’s own cloud solutions/private clouds.

Do I need an Azure subscription to use Azure Stack?
– Yes. One uses a subscription just as in Azure public cloud. It’s consistent.

Will Basefarm offer operation services for infrastructure based on Azure Stack?
-Yes. We will offer operations like we do on Azure. The managed services will be flexible to the customer depending on whether their focus is DevOps with customer’s process and control, or a more ITIL based process offered by Basefarm.

Replaces the Azure Stack a typical “private cloud”?
– Eventually. Initially it is a limited version of public Azure.

Can I start to test and possibly create a reference architecture for the Azure Stack today?
– Yes. You can set up a test version (TP3), but the easiest way is to use public Azure and set Resource Policies on a subscription or a resource group. You can read more about that on the Microsoft blog.

Where can I find more information about Azure Stack?
– Azure Stack Shotcuts is a good place to start. Jeffrey Snover (Microsoft), Chief Architect Azure Stack, held on 7. May an overall presentation during DEVIntersection that gives a good updated introduction to Azure Stack.

Who can I contact for more information in Basefarm around Azure Stack?
– Please contact Geir Morten Allum, Senior Cloud Architect – Product Development, geir.morten.allum@basefarm.com

Patch Tuesday February 2016

Yet another patch Tuesday has come upon us.
Microsoft released 13 updates, some of which fix critical issues, to address vulnerabilities in their product line. Adobe on the other hand has released patches which address 22 vulnerabilities for their Adobe Flash and Adobe Acrobat/Reader products.
Oracle also pushed out a new update – Java SE 8, Update 73.

Microsoft
Adobe

Patch Tuesday November 2015

Yet another patch Tuesday has come upon us.
Microsoft released 12 updates, some of which are critical, to address vulnerabilities in their product line. Adobe on the other hand has released updates for their Adobe Flash product.

Microsoft
Adobe

Patch Tuesday October 2015

Yet another patch Tuesday has come upon us.
Microsoft released 6 patches that address 33 issues, some of which are critical. Adobe on the other hand has released updates for Reader, Acrobat and Flash which address 69 Vulnerabilities.

Microsoft
Adobe

Patch Tuesday September 2015

Yet another patch Tuesday has come upon us.
Microsoft released patches that address 12 different issues, 5 of which are critical. Adobe on the other hand has released a security update for their ShockWave application.

Microsoft
Adobe

Patch Tuesday August 2015

Yet another patch Tuesday has come upon us.
Microsoft released patches that address 14 different issues, 4 of which are critical. Adobe on the other hand has patched more than 30 vulnerabilities in their Flash product.

Microsoft
Adobe

Patch Tuesday May 2015

Another month, another patch Tuesday!
Microsoft and Adobe has both released a large amount of updates (Microsoft update fixes 46 flaws in Windows, Internet Explorer, Office and other Microsoft products), and some of these will enable malicious code execution if abused.

Also, this week’s newsletter will be postponed for next week due to holidays in Sweden.

You can find links to the updates below:
Microsoft
Adobe

Microsoft MS15-034 (HTTP.sys DoS, Memory Disclosure and potential Remote Code Execution)

As mentioned in our post for Patch Tuesday April 2015, the MS15-034 has now work a working exploit which causes a DoS for unpatched Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2, if they’re running a service that’s using IIS (or any other service uding HTTP.sys) and have kernel caching turned on (which it is by default).

This DoS is extremely simple to cause (just a simple curl/wget), and will cause your server to have a BSOD.

Update: It seems like this issue also does information disclosure à la heartbleed. With small modifications to yesterdays published exploit one can disclose memory regions from a vulnerable server.
There has also been rumours that Exchange servers with autodiscovery turned on are vulnerable for DNS hijacking/corruption.

There are various ways to see if you are vulnerable, but they are not fool-proof and because of this it is extremely advised to just apply the patch.

It is just a matter of time now before a remote code execution exploit is released, which means someone would gain control of your server, so do not wait to patch your systems.

Patch Tuesday February 2015

Another month, another patch Tuesday!

Microsoft has released eight updates to address vulnerabilities in Windows, Internet Explorer and the Office package.
Adobe has released security updates to address multiple vulnerabilities in Flash Player. Check the link below and make sure you are running the latest version available.

Some of these vulnerabilities could allow elevation of privilege, denial of service, remote code execution, or security feature bypass that allows an attacker to take control of the affected system. It is advised to upgrade as soon as possible.

More information:
Microsoft
Adobe