Meet SQL Server 2017

Today’s businesses have widely available unstructured data, and they want to deliver powerful insights through big data. But they must adapt quickly to change by using new technologies that fuel competitive advantage, or risk getting left behind.

That’s why it’s imperative to make the most of big data, the cloud, and intelligence capabilities, all of which help companies accelerate their speed of business through smarter decision-making and faster execution. And that’s the idea behind Microsoft SQL Server 2017.

The complete modern data estate can utilize both structured data—such as OLTP, mobile, ERP, and LOB data—and unstructured data—like graph data, social media, and IoT data. Continue reading

Zones can lead you to “Zero Touch” efficiency as you plan your Windows 10 deployment

Windows 10 is indisputably Microsoft’s best operating system to date. It’s a refreshing mix of the best things from Windows 8 plus returning to the spirit of Windows 7. And, considering the recent wave of cybersecurity threats, you’ll find it comforting to know Microsoft is doubling down on its existing security efforts to use the cloud to analyze security threats and prevent attacks.

So, as you plan for your Windows 10 adoption, trying to figure out the best way to deploy it and making the right choices to meet the needs of your organizations may seem daunting. It doesn’t have to be.

We can help.

As an authorized Microsoft Licensing Solutions Partner (LSP) and a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP), we combine tools, people, and processes to help you gain deep insight into everything that’s on your corporate network – and what you need to know about it – to plan for upcoming projects, eliminate unnecessary costs, and minimize risk. Continue reading

Introducing Zones CloudDirect for Skype for Business

Hardly a day goes by without us noticing the profound change and impact that the drive to the cloud is having within many technology industries – including the Unified Communications market. One of the key drivers behind this change is Microsoft Office 365 (O365) which is generally agreed to be the most widely used cloud service by user account.

Many folks know that Skype for Business (SfB) is purchased and used with an O365 subscription plan and offers the potential to be a complete collaboration solution for businesses. And a complete collaboration solution is really important to IT departments, since they can consolidate all of their legacy point-UC-related systems such as IM, Voice, Conferencing, and Video onto a single platform – saving them time, money, and resources. Such a complete collaboration solution also enables employees to have a single, common experience to find and connect with co-workers across platforms and devices, anywhere and anytime – making them more productive. Continue reading

The foundation of a successful OS upgrade

Upgrading your organization’s operating system is a big investment in time, money, and resources. But of course, it’s worth all the work.

After all, you’ll be delivering a more secure and responsive infrastructure that will support your business for years to come.

A successful migration starts with a Zones OS Readiness Assessment. This professional service administered by our Advanced Solutions Group will help you verify that your systems have everything necessary to deploy, integrate, and support the new OS. Continue reading

Are you ready for Windows 10?

Ready or not, here’s Windows 10.

Whether Microsoft’s latest operating system is proliferating in the corporate space due to consumer adoption, or through sheer force in partnership with OEMs, we know that businesses are adopting Windows 10 twice as fast as Windows 7. Intel Kaby Lake (7th generation) processors will only support Windows 10. Devices with Windows 7 or 8.1 running on Intel Skylake (6th generation) chips will lose support in July of this year.

IT departments are pressed for time and have limited options. Either upgrade all devices to Windows 10 Enterprise via volume licensing, or manage two operating systems as devices are refreshed. Choosing the former option allows your organization to fully take advantage of Windows 10 Enterprise edition, in particular. Continue reading

Getting to the core of Microsoft’s new licensing model

Navigating the move from per-processor to per-core licensing

new-microsoft-logoWith the arrival of Windows Server 2016, customers can soon be running a cloud optimized operating system that supports current workloads, and offers new technologies to simplify the transition to cloud computing.

In addition to the many networking, compute and storage advances included in Windows Server 2016, Microsoft is also transitioning from per-processor to per-core licensing.

Moving Windows Server and Microsoft System Center 2016 to per-core licensing aligns the servers to a common and consistent licensing denomination that is already a standard measure for capacity across environments: cores. This also brings Windows Server into alignment with the per-core licensing model that applies to Microsoft’s SQL Server 2016 and Azure products.

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Windows Server Datacenter now has more to offer

Win10-Logo-5 ExtWindows Server 2012 became generally available in September 2012 and came in two flavors through volume licensing: Windows Server Standard and Windows Server Datacenter.

You would expect technical differences between the Datacenter and Standard editions, yet Microsoft only addressed virtual machine entitlements – that’s it. Standard allows for two VMs per license, while Datacenter gives admins the opportunity to run an unlimited number of VMs, as long as the hardware could handle it. In regards to the software, there were no technical advantages in having Datacenter edition.

Windows Server 2016, which is rumored to be available this quarter, brings new features and technical advantages of having the Datacenter edition, as well as additional advantages of Software Assurance. Continue reading

Modernize your business with Zones Azure Complete

Zones-Azure_Complete-infographicPlanning and implementing a cloud computing platform can be complex and time consuming. Zones Azure Complete accelerates the adoption of your cloud computing platform, and allows you to discover new ways of optimizing the performance of your Azure environment.

Through a wide array of services to support your organization’s cloud-based functions, Zones Azure Complete provides help to enhance the utility and management of Azure in your organization.

Zones Azure Complete delivers best-in-class technologies and proven methodologies for thorough assessment, thoughtful design, seamless implementation, and consistent management of the Azure cloud platform. It’s an all-inclusive program that goes beyond cloud subscriptions to include reliable ongoing services for your cloud environment.

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Still Running SQL Server 2005?

It’s time to give your data the care it deserves

MicrosoftSQLServerOn April 12 Microsoft ended extended support for SQL Server 2005. That means security updates and hotfixes will no longer be available from Microsoft. And unsupported software means increasing vulnerability to data issues and exposing other devices and associated applications to these same vulnerabilities.

What’s new?

A lot has changed since the launch of SQL Server 2005. Back then, the common practice was to deploy software on-premises on physical hardware. End of story.

Today, you have a number of on-prem and cloud options, including SQL Server 2012, SQL Server 2014, and Azure SQL Database.

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Go beyond deployment to true management

Get more, with Microsoft Office 365 and Zones Office 365 Complete

Zones Office 365 CompleteThe Microsoft Office 365 experience is collaborative, reliable, secure, and fast. It also eases maintenance and management. But it’s not always easy to deploy, and it needs ongoing management.

Planning and implementing an Office 365 migration can be complex and time-consuming. Then, there’s the regular and ongoing need to do things like manage mailboxes, provide end user support, and perform data backups and restores. Hiring experts in Office 365 features and functionality is usually cost-prohibitive and waiting for issue resolution is costly and hinders productivity.

Delivered through best-in-class technologies and proven methodologies, Zones Microsoft Office 365 Complete is an all-inclusive program that goes beyond cloud subscriptions to include reliable, ongoing services for your Office 365 environment.

“Zones has always helped customers with license provisioning and software migrations,” says Brent Swank, Zones director of Microsoft software. “Now we’re expanding our support services to calm the fears of moving to the cloud and afterwards provide consistent, reliable ongoing support to our customers.”

The Zones Office 365 Complete program is designed to be flexible so you can customize your packaged solution by choosing our services for each lifecycle phase: assessment, implementation, and management.

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