Release: Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 9.2

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Microsoft has released version 9.1 of its capactiy planning tool the Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP). This version is the follow-up of version 9.1 which was released in July last year. Microsoft provides the Assessment and Planning Toolkit as a so called solution accelerator for free.

The MAP Toolkit uses Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS), SMS Provider, and other technologies to collect data in your environment and inventories computer hardware, software, and operating systems in small or large IT environments without installing any agent software on the target computers. The data and analysis provided by MAP streamline the planning process for software migration, help assess device driver availability, and allow you to make hardware upgrade recommendations. The MAP Toolkit also gathers performance metrics from computers you are considering for virtualization and includes a feature to model a library of potential host and storage hardware configurations.

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Book: Microsoft Azure Essentials: Fundamentals of Azure

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Microsoft has published a free ebook titled: “Microsoft Azure Essentials: Fundamentals of Azure“. The book, which contains 246 pages covers the fundamentals of Microsoft Azure’s cloud offering. It concentrates on the features of the Azure platform which are most common. Using walkthroughs several scenario’s are covered.

The book is targeted towards developers and IT professionals who are new to cloud computing.

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VMware announces VMware Integrated OpenStack

Besides announcing vSphere 6 and Virtual SAN 6, VMware has also announced that it will launch its OpenStack Distribution called VMware Integrated OpenStack. VMware Integrated OpenStack is designed for enterprise customers providing cloud-style APIs on top of their VMware infrastructure.

VMware Integrated OpenStack is a downloaded virtual appliance that is deployed using the vSphere Web Client, afterwards the vSphere Web Client deploys all the VMs and components needed to create a highly available, production grade OpenStack infrastructure. It can be deployed on any vSphere supported hardware.

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VMware announces integration with Google Cloud Platform services into vCloud Air

VMware last week announced that it will integrate Google Cloud Platform services into its Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) product vCloud Air (formely vCloud Hybrid Service). VMware will offer Google Cloud Storage, Google BigQuery, Google Cloud Datastore and Google Cloud DNS.

VMware will directly connect the services to its vCloud Air solution, so that all traffic will travel over a dedicated private connection to customers. Also Global Support Services (GSS) from VMware will support both the vCloud Air and Google Cloud Platform services. VMware announced that the Google Cloud Services will be made available to user in the first half of 2015.

Microsoft outlines roadmap for Windows Server and System Center

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In October last year, Microsoft provided more information about the next version of Windows Server and System Center and releasing a Technical Preview of both products. At that time it provided more details about upcoming features in the next version of Windows Server and only detailing deprecating features for the System Center Suite. In a blog post last Friday, Microsoft outlined the roadmap for the upcoming versions of Windows Server and System Center.

Up until now, the releases of the Client OS Windows and Server OS followed each other up in a short timeframe. For unknown reasons, Microsoft has now decided to delay the release of Windows Server vNext and System Center vNext to 2016, while still planning to release its client OS (Windows 10) at the end of this year. One product within the System Center suite, System Center Configuration Manager though will be released in the same time frame as Windows 10. Configuration Manager provides the Enterprise Client Management part of the System Center Suite, and is a necessary component for companies which want to manager the Windows Client OS with System Center tooling.

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Cloudbees raises $23.5 million in funding round

Cloudbees, headquartered in Los Altos, CA, provider of continuous delivery (CD) solutions based on Jenkins, announced to have raised $23.5 million in a new funding round from investors Lightspeed Venture Partners and existing investors Matrix Partners, Verizon Ventures and Blue Cloud Ventures. This round brings the company’s total venture capital investment to approximately $50 million since 2010.

The company also announced to plan to use the funding for its growth as CloudBees forecast an increasing demand in 2015 for its solution.

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Platform9 releases its Managed OpenStack SaaS solution

Platform9, which exited stealthmode in August last year last week released it’s Software as a Service (SaaS) solution based on OpenStack. This platform aims to reduce operational complexity offering non-disruptive setup and upgrades, a single pane of glass (unified management) for KVM and VMware vSphere, a native support for teams collaboration and a solid OpenStack base. All you need to do is sign up for a Platform9 account, and pair your servers with it. The Platform9 dashboard starts offering visibility into your infrastructure across compute, storage, network and existing workloads.

The product is currently based on OpenStack Havana, and Platform9 expects to update to OpenStack Juno in H1 2015. They aim to update to every 2nd OpenStack release, within a quarter of the release.

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Ravello Systems raises $28 million and announces major release of HVX

Cloud computing startup called Ravello Systems announces to have secured $28 million funding and to have boost a total of $54 million capital led by Qualcomm Incorporated, through its venture investment group, Qualcomm Ventures, and SanDisk Corporation through SanDisk Ventures. Among the investors that participated in this funding round: Sequoia Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners and Vintage Investment Partners.

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Amazon updates AWS plugin for Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager

In October last year, Amazon released the AWS System Manager for Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM). AWS System Manager is an add-in for SCVMM which allows customers to monitor and manager EC2 instances from within SCVMM.

Yesterday Amazon announced that an updated version of the add-in has been released, adding support for importing existing virtual machines and launching new EC2 instances without the need to use the AWS management console.

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VMware announces vCloud Air Disaster Recovery

VMware has announced that later this quarter it will release an updated disaster recovery solution for its IaaS solution vCloud Air (formerly vCloud Hybrid Service). The solution which will be called vCloud Air Disaster Recovery includes new service enhancements.

These new enhancements will include:

  • Native failback support – providing reverse replication from vCloud Air to customers environment
  • Multiple recovery points of replicated VMs
  • Self-service automation leveraging vRealize Orchestrator via a plub-in for vCloud Air DR.