Richard is the Principal Consultant and Founder of Arcible. A specialist in cloud solutions using Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams, Enterprise Mobility, and more. Richard holds numerous Microsoft certifications for both cloud and on-premises technologies.

Away from Arcible, Richard loves being involved in Scouting and getting outdoors with nature. You can find Richard online on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Manage Software Updates with Azure Update Management

The answer is Azure Update Management so what is the problem we are trying to solve? At Arcible, we have some on-premises servers. To keep safe, secure, and compliant, these servers need patching just like any other server does. Our environment is small and not big enough to justify a Microsoft Endpoint Manager (formerly Configuration Manager) deployment and Windows Server Updates Services (WSUS) is too painful and manual to manage.

So if we aren’t using Microsoft Endpoint Manager or WSUS, what do we do? We want a solution that’s automated to reduce the admin overhead but while being lightweight and not costing much.

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Is Your Physical Security Exposing Your Information Security

Last week I stumbled across a rather interesting set of videos on YouTube by a presenter called Deviant Ollam (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=deviant+ollam+physical+security). Deviant Ollam is a physical security penetration tester in the US and runs a company doing just that: trying to gain access to places he shouldn’t. We’re not talking black hat breaking in activity here but we are talking about white hat: doing these things paid for by the client to test their physical security.

What I found watching some of these videos was startling. Yes, some of the content is a little bit US-centric and perhaps doesn’t apply to the UK, however, it really got me thinking about a question. As IT, we spend all this time and money investing in information security, event logging, event monitoring, alerting, and more. If the physical security of our premises, however, is so easily bypassed, are we just making it too easy for would-be attackers.

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The New Microsoft Edge Stable Release

Earlier this month, Microsoft made the new Microsoft Edge Stable release of its new, Chromium engine based, Microsoft Edge browser available. We’ve been using this new browser, at Arcible, in its early forms for quite a while now and with the stable release now available, that means it’s ready for adoption by end-users.

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Azure Cost Management for CSP

One of the primary routes for Azure consumption has been the Cloud Seller Programme (CSP) model, however, a problem has been that there has been no visible Cost Management for CSP. As of October 2019 though, this is now available giving you access to the same cost management for CSP as Enterprise Agreement and Pay-as-you-Go customers have had.

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Managing Costs in Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure makes building and consuming resources almost too easy so understanding and managing costs in Microsoft Azure is critical.

We aren’t trying to scare you and say that you shouldn’t be deploying resources into the cloud: quite the opposite in-fact. What we are saying though is that you should keep stock of what you are spending and where so that you are managing costs in Microsoft Azure and not the costs managing you.

In this post, we’ll explore some of the ways that you can manage your costs in Microsoft Azure to make sure that you are getting bang for your buck.

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End of Support for Windows 7 and Server 2008

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 (and 2008 R2) has had a great run of it. After Vista that came before it and Windows 8 that came after it, Windows 7 was a shining light for enterprises: it offered the right user experience and the right performance. Windows Server 2008 R2 has been the mainstay of enterprises the world over, far exceeding what was possible in Windows Server 2003 and not feeling quite as bloated as Windows Server 2012 did. Sadly, all good things come to an end at some point and January 14th 2020 marks the end of support for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2.

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Securing Your Cloud Resources for Free

Azure Active Directory Conditional Access is a feature that you get with Azure Active Directory Premium so you can manage who, where, when, and how users can sign-in to access your cloud-based services such as Office 365 and Microsoft Azure. Although it’s great and we’d recommend everyone look at it, for some, the cost it too much. In this post, we’ll explore what you can do when it comes to securing your cloud resources for free.

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Spreading the Cost of Azure Reservations

When Azure Reservations first become available via the Cloud Seller Programme (CSP), enabling you to buy Azure Reservations through your preferred partner, there was a catch. You could commit to a 1-year or a 3-year reservation but that required you to pay for the whole thing upfront and doesn’t having to pay for it all upfront negate some of the fun in saving money?

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