Lumia 640 XL used in new interactive exhibit at the Design Museum in London

If you happen to be travelling to London in the next few months, you might want to stop by the Design Museum. It currently has an exhibit with many of the products that were named as winners in the 2015 Designs of the Year Award, and visitors can pick up a Lumia 640 XL smartphone with a special app to learn more about those designs.

Azure Government cloud announces Azure Backup for U.S. public sector

Azure Government cloud now provides Azure Backup to cater to the huge demand from U.S. public sector customers for an efficient and secure way to protect their on-premises and on-cloud assets to Azure. Below are the top capabilities built in Azure Backup to meet the requirements for providing backup in the Azure Government cloud:

Isolation: Azure Government cloud provides isolation to meet stringent compliance standards of the U.S. public sector. With Azure Backup, public sector customers can now protect their business data for workloads such as SQL Server, SharePoint, Exchange and Hyper-V VMs running on the Azure Government cloud.
Screened personnel: Azure Backup operations and support as part of Azure Government cloud are performed by background screened, U.S. citizen personnel. 
Security: Azure Backup ensures the data is encrypted before it leaves the customer’s premises. This encrypted backup data is transmitted securely using HTTPS protocol and stored in an encrypted manner in the Azure Government cloud.
Business continuity: Azure Backup is a highly reliable service with 99.9% availability. It stores data in highly resilient storage, up to six copies in two Azure Government cloud datacenters, geographically distributed more than 500 hundred miles apart.
Efficient: Azure Backup performs incremental backups where it only transfers changed blocks between successive backups. It also compresses them before sending to Azure to optimize network bandwidth and cloud storage.

To get started, request an Azure Government trial subscription. If you already have Azure Government subscription, try out Azure Backup in 10 minutes. 

Related links and content

Learn more about Azure Government cloud, Azure Backup and System Center DPM.
Need help? Reach out to the DPM forums and the Azure Backup forum for support.
Tell us how we can improve Azure Backup by contributing new ideas and up-voting existing ones.


5 Core Capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Microsoft Dynamics NAV is a robust and mature Business Management ERP System designed for growing Wholesale Distribution and Manufacturing companies. In the mid-market space, over 110,000 companies worldwide rely on Dynamics NAV, more than any other ERP solution.  At this ERP’s foundation are 5 Core Capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics NAV that make this a popular Business Management System solution.

Financial Management and Accounting. Manage your cash, assets, and banking with extensive financial control features such as: Cash Flow Forecast, Bank Reconciliation, Responsibility Centers, Inter-Company Postings and Cost Accounting.
Supply Chain Management, Manufacturing, and Operations. Track and manage your production, inventory, orders, and vendors using granules like:  Order Promising, Campaign Pricing, Production Bill of Materials, Demand Forecasting, Multi-Currency, Cycle Counting, and Warehouse Shipment.
Marketing, Sales, and Service Features: For example, functionality inside NAV includes many management features for contacts, campaigns, opportunities, service orders, price, items, and contracts.
Project Management. Create estimates, track projects, and manage capacity through use of NAV’s Capacity Management, Multiple Costs, Budgeting, Phases/Tasks/Steps and Job Suite features.
Business Intelligence and Reporting. Get real-time visibility and analytics to track performance and to act with insight.  With Microsoft’s tight integration with other applications such as Word, Excel and Office 365, business data can be displayed, analyzed and visualized with enhanced displays and reporting.

Learn more about the feature of Microsoft Dynamics NAV here
Posted by iCepts Technology Group, Inc. a Microsoft Dynamics NAV partner in Pennsylvania 

Related Posts

Exploring ERP: Enhanced Manufacturing Capabilities in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013
Fixed Assets ERP Functionality in Dynamics NAV’s Starter Pack
New Document Reporting Features in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015

Why Upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015?

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 Delivers More Than 100 New Features
With a simplified user interface, Dynamics NAV 2015 delivers new industry functionality, expanded core ERP capabilities, structural enhancements, business intelligence and reporting and new interoperability with other Microsoft products and technologies. Columbus can help you understand the business bene?ts of upgrading to Dynamics NAV 2015 and how best to get there.
In today’s modern world, businesses are running at a faster pace than ever before. If you’re not leveraging your software solutions properly you may find yourself a step behind the competition. Newer versions of Dynamics NAV include powerful enhancements, which translates into higher productivity and cost savings for your business.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV for Tablets

Intuitive User Experience

Office 365 Integration

Faster Cash Management

Document Reporting with Microsoft Word

Data Visualization and Sharing with Power BI
Totals on the Document Pages
One-Click Report Scheduling

If you’re thinking about upgrading to Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015, but are concerned about complications, cost and interruptions, Columbus can put your mind at ease. We’ve simplified the upgrade process into a 90 day timeline that helps companies upgrade quickly and affordably.
Tasks involved in the upgrade process will include:

New feature/functionality training
Testing support
Technical upgrade
Infrastructure review
Post upgrade support
Project management

Based on our sheer volume of upgrades and industry experience Columbus is UNIQUELY positioned to deliver best in class upgrade consulting services.
To learn more about Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 Upgrade Services, download our fact sheet, or contact your local Columbus representative today to get started.
by Columbus

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MSCloud: Don't miss our round up of this week's rapid release announcements from #AzureCon, #Strataconf & the MSFT #Cloud:

MSCloud: Don’t miss our round up of this week’s rapid release announcements from #AzureCon, #Strataconf & the MSFT #Cloud:

SQLServer: Built #cloud first, the #SQLServer CTP 2.4 is available today w/ new enhancements. Read more & start your download:

SQLServer: Built #cloud first, the #SQLServer CTP 2.4 is available today w/ new enhancements. Read more & start your download:

How to manage Windows 10 devices from your Microsoft account

Windows 10 isn’t just an operating system that works locally in your computer. It’s also an operating system that works in combination with Microsoft online services such as with Bing and OneDrive. Furthermore, in Windows 8, the software giant introduced the Microsoft account, leaving the old time local account as a secondary option.

mamathashiny: Pace Computer Solutions Inc. is hiring a SQL Server Developer (Full Time) in chicago, IL #job #sql #server,

mamathashiny: Pace Computer Solutions Inc. is hiring a SQL Server Developer (Full Time) in chicago, IL #job #sql #server,

Microsoft Loves Linux Deep Dive #2: Linux and FreeBSD Integration Services Core Features

This post was written by Michael Kelley, Principal PM Manager, Cloud + Enterprise team
This blog post is #2 in a series of technical posts about running and managing Linux and FreeBSD in your on-premises datacenter.  Previous posts in the series are here:
Overview• Microsoft Loves Linux
Running Linux and FreeBSD as a guest operating system on Hyper-V• Microsoft Loves Linux Deep Dive #1:  Introduction to Linux and FreeBSD on Hyper-V
I encourage you to check back weekly as I add to this series.
Hyper-V Functionality for Linux and FreeBSD
The full range of functionality available to Linux and FreeBSD guests running on Hyper-V fits into two broad categories.  The first category is functionality outside the guest, while the second category is functionality requiring guest cooperation.  Let’s briefly look at each category.
Hyper-V functionality outside the guest doesn’t depend on the operating system running in guest virtual machines, so it works for Windows guests, Linux guests, and FreeBSD guests.  This category is by far the larger of the two and represents the majority of the investment that Microsoft is making in enabling great functionality and performance for guest VMs.  The salient point is that this work accrues to Linux and FreeBSD VMs just like it does to Windows VMs.  Examples of this functionality include:

Super-fast live migration of virtual machines to another Hyper-V host using RDMA
Storage Quality-of-Service (QoS) controls
Software Defined Networking

These feature examples, along with a large list of other features, provide the same benefits to Linux and FreeBSD guests as they do to Windows guests.  They are described in other blogs posts outside this Linux/FreeBSD series, so I won’t be covering them in more detail here.
The second category, functionality requiring guest cooperation, includes:

Enhanced guest operations
Direct guest-host communication
Dynamic memory
Live backup

The guest cooperation is implemented via the Linux and FreeBSD Integration Services described in last week’s blog post.  Since this functionality has attributes specific to Linux and FreeBSD, this blog post series will focus on this functionality.
Enhanced Guest Operations
Operations on Linux and FreeBSD guests are performed using the same tools as for Windows guests.  These tools include:

Hyper-V Manager:  Basic graphical user interface for operating a modest number of Hyper-V hosts and guest virtual machines.
PowerShell:  Command line interface on Windows for performing basic virtual machine operations.  Even though PowerShell runs on Windows, it can perform operations on virtual machines running Linux or FreeBSD just like it does on VMs running Windows.
System Center Virtual Machine Manager:  Graphical user interface for operating a full scale private cloud.  VMM operates on Linux VMs just like it operates on Windows VMs.  (VMM cannot operate on FreeBSD VMs.)

As you would expect, guest operations include the ability to start and stop guest VMs, as well as to suspend and resume VMs.  The “stop” operation has two variants:  “turn off” and “shutdown”.  From outside the VMs, it’s easy for Hyper-V to just turn off the VM – equivalent to turning off a physical computer.  But this approach results in an unclean shutdown, with attendant problems such as file system inconsistency.   So Hyper-V also implements “shutdown”, which uses the LIS/BIS code in the guest to perform the equivalent of the Linux “shutdown” command within the VM itself.  This approach allows the operating system to go through normal shutdown procedures so that, for example, file systems are left in a consistent state.   Hyper-V implements shutdown without having to login to the Linux or FreeBSD guest VM, so anyone with permissions to Hyper-V can perform the shutdown.
Time Synchronization and Time Keeping
When a Linux or FreeBSD virtual machine is started or resumed, its time-of-day clock is set to match the time-of-day on the Hyper-V host.  From there on, the guest does its own time keeping using counters provided by the Hyper-V host.  However, accurate time keeping in a guest VM is extremely challenging, and some clock drift is inevitable unless an external time synchronization mechanism is used.   Windows guests are typically domain-joined and benefit from ongoing time synchronization performed by the Active Directory Domain Controller.  For Linux and FreeBSD guests, we recommend using an NTP service in each guest to perform ongoing time synchronization and ensure that clock drift does not accumulate.
Direct Guest-Host Communication
Hyper-V provides two mechanisms for direct communication between the host hypervisor and its guest VMs.  In this context, “direct” means communication that does not require a network connection between the host and the guest.  Such network connections may be difficult or impossible to achieve in some environments where the host and guest networks are completely separate for security purposes.
The first mechanism is Data Exchange, also called Key/Value Pairs or just KVP.  Key-value pairs consist of a “key” and a “value”. Both the key and the value are strings, with the “value” string being up to 1024 characters long.  When a key-value pair is created or changed, it is visible to the guest and the host.  Key-value pairs can be created and read on both the host and the guest, so information flow is bi-directional – from the host to the guest, or vice versa.  This TechNet article provides an overview of key/value pairs, as well as the details on how your applications can make use of key-value pairs within the Hyper-V host and within Linux or FreeBSD guests.
Some key-value pairs are automatically created in the guest and host to transmit basic information.  For example, a KVP is created in the host with the name of the host itself, so the guest can find out what host it is running on.  Similarly, the guest creates a KVP with its IP address so the host can know the IP address of the guest.
The second mechanism is “file copy”.  File copy moves a file from the Hyper-V host into a guest VM, and is much more efficient for bulk data transfer than key/value pairs.  The data transfer is uni-directional — from the host to the guest only.  The file copy feature is invoked via the Copy-VMFile PowerShell cmdlet.  Within the Linux guest, make sure the hv_fcopy_daemon process (which is part of LIS) is running.
Other Functionality
Recent Linux distros (but not FreeBSD) have support for booting from UEFI and can run in Hyper-V Generation 2 virtual machines.   Generation 2 VMs are slimmed down VMs that don’t provide most legacy PC devices, and can also do things like PXE boot from a synthetic network adapter.  The “Secure Boot” option on Generation 2 VMs must be disabled in order to run Linux on Hyper-V 2012 R2, but in the Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 2 and later versions of Hyper-V, Linux distros also work with Secure Boot, provided you specify the Microsoft UEFI Certificate Authority via Hyper-V Manager UI, PowerShell, or the System Center VMM UI.
Hyper-V gives you the ability to change the size of a virtual hard disk (VHD or VHDX) used by a guest VM, even while the guest VM is running, so that you don’t incur any downtime.  In a Linux or FreeBSD guest, the new size of the virtual hard disk is immediately visible with commands such as df –k.  You can then use partitioning and file system commands to take advantage of additional space, or adjust to reduced space.
Hyper-V provides an important set of core features that make it easy to run Linux and FreeBSD as a guest operating system.  Most of the functionality of Hyper-V is independent of the guest OS, and so the functionality “just works” with Linux and FreeBSD.  But the functionality that requires guest cooperation also “just works” via the Linux and FreeBSD Integration Services.
In my next post I’ll give details on two additional important features:  dynamic memory, for achieving higher VM densities, and live backup, for eliminating downtime due to backing up your virtual machines.