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Tag Archives: Azure

Azure VM Issue–The Local Security Authority Cannot Be Contacted

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Filed under Cloud Practice, SharePoint

I’ve been running my SharePoint dev environments in the Cloud lately. It makes a lot of sense to me, I need AD, SQL and SharePoint and I find that for less than $5 a day I can run those easily as AZURE VMs.

When I’m not using them I shut them down so I’m not paying for them.

This morning I had an interesting issue crop up though. When I tried to remote into my SharePoint VM I was getting a message “The Local Security Authority cannot be contacted”. It refused to authenticate my domain account.

Read More »

LightSwitch Apps for SharePoint 2013 Rollup

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Filed under Cloud Practice, LightSwitch, Productivity, SharePoint

Hey, I may be all about cloud computing these days, but my heart is still anchored in all that is LightSwitch. With the new Visual Studio 2013 Preview out, I’ve been a busy little beaver (okay, a busy big ol’ bear) with all that interesting LightSwitch stuff.

VS2013_LightSwitch_01

(image courtesy of Microsoft)

For what it’s worth, here is a bit of a web content rollup about creating LightSwitch applications in SharePoint (yes, most are from Microsoft):

Building Modern, HTML5-based Business Apps for SharePoint 2013 with Visual Studio LightSwitch

Building Modern, HTML5-based Business Apps for SharePoint 2013 with Visual Studio LightSwitch (same presentation, different presenter at TechEd 2013 Europe)

Walkthrough: Creating an App for SharePoint by Using LightSwitch

Walkthrough: Accessing a SharePoint Workflow from a LightSwitch Mobile App

Get Started Building SharePoint Apps in Minutes with LightSwitch

Sending Email from a LightSwitch SharePoint App using Exchange Online

Theming a LightSwitch SharePoint App with ThemeRoller (way cool!)

Publishing LightSwitch apps for SharePoint to the Catalog 

Survey App Tutorial: Developing a SharePoint Application Using LightSwitch

More to come I’m sure.

Hey, if you’re curious to learn more about LightSwitch, I’m your guy. Contact me and I’d more than happy to chat with you about how using LightSwitch can shave weeks, if not months, of your next line of business software project.

Cheers!

Paul P

Creating a Governance Model for Public Cloud Security

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Filed under Cloud Practice

(re-post from the blog of PaulSPatterson.com)

What does public cloud governance mean to you?

Their are obvious opportunities that the public cloud offers, and while the rewards far outweigh the risks, there are still risks. Applying governance to your cloud strategy will set you in a better position to realize value, within the levels of risk that you are willing to accept.

The flexibility of today’s cloud services, especially public cloud services, provides for very convenient and easy ways of “spinning up” services on demand. Just like the way grocery store candy and magazine stands serve customer impulse buying tendencies, so do the offerings of some public cloud services. It is very easy to provision a new service in the public cloud. With Windows Azure for example, I can fire up a full blown 8 server infrastructure, complete with networking and integrated services, in a matter of twenty minutes. That simple convenience makes it easy to cater to impulse tendencies.

Policies and procedures are meant to ensure that activities are executed in way that are in the best interest of the organization. Additional governance processes specifically for cloud services ensures that those services are used in a controlled way, so that the interests of the organization are maintained. Creating and deploying a cloud based server farm that includes virtual networking connected to your on-premise infrastructure, for example, presents risks. With a set of governed practices, that cloud based deployment will meet the expectations of the organization, and thus make your CIO sleep better at night.

Is governance for cloud services needed? Well, let’s try and answer the questions that help determine if your use of cloud services should be governed in some what or another.

What returns do you expect to receive from public cloud services? What opportunities will be lost of you don’t adopt a cloud strategy?

Again, the risk of using public cloud services are likely insignificant compared to the opportunities that will be lost.  Operational efficiencies. Improved customer service and satisfaction. Sales and revenue. There are plenty of opportunities in adopting a public cloud strategy. Planning and executing on a sound cloud strategy can enabled an organization to realize a return from new opportunities.

Policies and practices will typically guide how public cloud services will provide value.  Governed cloud services are expected meet organizational expectations, with goal being that the services used will return value and  realize new opportunities.

If you used a cloud service today, is there clear direction and does that direction align with strategic objectives?

Cloud services are not the means to an end. Cloud services are simply another mechanism for enabling and delivering business value. Your current internal data center, or your “private cloud”, was created for a reason; to deliver value to the organization.  Decisions on IT spending are ultimately measured against strategic objectives. The decisions made to use cloud services should be traced back to clearly defined, accepted, and measured organizational priorities.

Do you have a cloud strategy for your organization? If so, does that strategy include plans to meet enterprise goals and objectives?

Are you ready for the cloud? How do you feel when someone starts talking to you about public cloud services?

Some organizations are not ready for the public cloud, or cloud computing in general for that matter. There is a lot of publicized hype and marketing about cloud services. The cloud computing landscape can be confusing and intimidating at best. Being ready for the public cloud means being comfortable about what the public cloud offers, and what risks are, and are not.

An organizations’ readiness for public cloud services can be gauged by the following:

  • The amount of public cloud knowledge in the enterprise.
  • Organizational attitude towards the public cloud, and does the organizations’ culture support public cloud opportunities.
  • Existing strategies conflict with using public cloud services.
  • What does your gut say?

Determining an organizations readiness for adopting a Public Cloud strategy is critical in identifying adoption pressure points. Rather than brute force the implementation of a strategy, due diligence will hash out and prioritize the opportunities that will bring the organization to a state of Public Cloud readiness. Risks should be identified with existing organizational culture, knowledge, and policies and practices. A readiness assessment can then created and vetted.

What else?

Some resource that I have found of interest (so far)…

Hey, this is just one of many topics I am discovering  in my never ending public cloud security journey. I likely just touched the surface on this particular topic and if you have any insight, opinions, or whatever, please let me know. The more discussion the better.

Cheers!

Canadian Legislation and Cloud Security

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Filed under Cloud Practice

(…re-post from PaulSPatterson.com)

If you’re a Canadian based enterprise looking into cloud services, you need to understand that Canada has it’s own domestic security policies that, essentially, mirror those of the United States. You’ve likely heard of the United States’ Patriot Act. Canada has it’s own version of the Patriot Act called the Anti-Terrorism Act (Bill C-36), which amended the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act (CSIS Act) as well as the National Defense Act.

The Anti-Terrorism Act is legislation created in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US. This act amends existing legislation to give Canadian security agencies additional powers to respond to terrorism threats. In effect, the act offers more security and surveillance powers to agencies, when required.  Some of the provisions of act expired in March of 2007, which were not renewed as a result of a House of Commons vote a month earlier.

In 2012, Bill S-7 was introduced in  the Senate. Bill S-7, also known as the “Combating Terrorism Act” sought to restore the expired C-36 provisions, as well as amend new crimes to the bill. The recent bombings in Boston escalated the agenda of S-7, which resulted in a vote in April which saw the bill passed into legislation.

The Anti-Terrorism Act is similar in context to the Patriot Act in the US. What is somewhat different is that Bill C-36 also considers other concerns. Consider the United States Foreign Intelligence Service Court (FISC), which is responsible for issuing surveillance warrants to the likes of the FBI and NSA – basically allowing foreign spies to be spied on. Bill C-36 provides amendments to the CSIS Act that essentially offers the same powers to Canada’s own domestic security and intelligence communities. Considering that Canada is known as a world leader in communications research and technology…

Understanding that these laws are created in the spirit of preventing terrorism, and not meant to be an over arching mechanism to keep tabs on everyone and everything. The immediate thought of a Hollywood type spy movie plot is an unfortunate, and a sensational, scenario that many in the real world immediately think about when first we talk about security and privacy in the cloud. We have the oversight, and general understanding of what the difference is between right and wrong, to mitigate the risks that the legislation is not being used for what it is intended to be used for.

What to know more about Canadian privacy legislation, and then some? Check out this massive list of resources compiled by David T.S. Fraser here…

Also, his blog post by Shaun Calderwood from Perpetual West is another terrific resource for all things cloud security and privacy in Canada.

What are your thoughts on domestic cloud security and privacy concerns?

Canadian Cloud Law

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Filed under Cloud Practice

(re-post from the blog of PaulSPatterson.com)

One of my favorite sites these days is David T.S. Fraser’s Canadian Cloud Law Blog (www.cloudlawyer.ca). I can easily answer objections related to using cloud services; especially from people here in Canada. However, I am just one person, and having resources such as David’s blog certainly helps add credibility to the objection handling in my cloud context conversations.

If you are a Canadian organization, or doing business with a Canadian organization, then I encourage you to visit David’s blog. If anything, browse through the Cloud Computing Privacy FAQ on the site. The information on the FAQ is fantastic, and is a great reference point for further cloud privacy conversations.

Remember, using the cloud is not an all-or-nothing proposition. There are private and hybrid cloud opportunities that will address privacy concerns, while still offering real value to the organization. Canadian enterprises specifically can take advantage of these types of integrated cloud scenarios to benefit in ways that will offer a great return.

Data is just a part of the overall solution. Keeping data on-premise while leveraging public cloud services to offload processing, for example, is one scenario that has been proven to be successful. Keeping the data private and within the organizational boundaries keeps data concerns private. Leveraging the elastic nature of cloud services to take care of “spinning up” services when needed takes the load of otherwise important internal IT infrastructure. Data doesn’t need to be stored externally, and when the data is used it is compressed and encrypted for use by external services but not stored externally.

There are plenty of options and opportunities for Canadian enterprises to leverage the cloud. Feel free to send me a note, or contact me directly, with whatever questions or conversations you have. I love talking about this stuff.

Curious to know more about what the cloud means to Canadian organizations? I’d be more than happy to chat about it.

Cheers!

Windows Azure Virtual Machines 101

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Filed under .NET, Productivity

Quercus LiQuid for Application Modernization

When thinking about information technology we generally associate the word “server” with one of those big black boxes where all those shared file folders and databases are stored.

I remember the days when large organizations would have special rooms where rows of monolithic enclosers would house a large number of these servers. The whir of  fans and hard drives, and the many arrays of blinking red and green lights, made it feel like you were walking around on Space Station V from 2001 A Space Odyssey (not that I’d know, but that’s what I’d imagine it to be like).

Here’s the layman’s take on what Virtual Machines are… Read More »

Use the Cloud to Transform, not Migrate

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Filed under Cloud Practice

What is the cloud, and why should I move my application to the Cloud?

Misconceptions about cloud-computing skew the perceptions that most people have about cloud services today. These misconceptions are due to the way we adopt technology today.

The consumerization of technology products has generalized our perceptions and expectations of cloud-based services. Picking up your smart phone, for example, you just expect it to work. Even more so, those apps you have installed on that phone, you also just expect to work.  Why would you really care what that app is really doing behind the scenes.  As long as that device or app is giving you the value that you expect, then why care.

So what does this consumerization really mean to our knowledge of cloud-computing? Read More »

Windows Azure Event – Friday November 9th 2012

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Filed under Cloud Practice

On Friday morning, November 9th  Quercus Solutions is hosting a free Microsoft Windows Azure event. The event will include presentations, including technical demontrations, of Microsoft’s cloud-computing services called Windows Azure.

This event is an excellent opportunity to learn about Windows Azure cloud-computing services. Representatives from the both the Quercus Cloud Practice team and Microsoft will be available to answer all your cloud-computing questions.

We have some seats available and if you are interested in attending, please let us know immediately because the seats are filling up quickly.

If interested, you can call Paul Patterson at 780 784-1010, or email him at Paul.Patterson@QuercusSolutions.com for more information.

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