Blog

Shut Down Azure VMs Out of Hours

Public Cloud is great for many reasons but two aspects of this greatness can also be a serious fall. Number one is the ease of which it can be consumed which means if allowed to, things can run away and spiral out of control. Number two is that you pay for what you use (pay-as-you-go). In normal circumstances, once you create a start an Azure Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) Virtual Machine, it will stay running until you tell it otherwise. When it comes to paying for what you use, that means paying 24 by 7 for that server, but the question is: do you really need that server 24 by 7? Could you cope with that server shut down the rest of the time?

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Introducing HTTP/2 and Support in Azure Web Apps

HTTP/2 is the latest upgrade for the internet offering us advantages in performance and reduction in wait times, server resource usage and network resource usage. In this article, we explain what HTTP/2 is and why you want to use it over and above HTTP/1.1, some of its advantages and some things you need to consider before thinking about using it.

Once we get past the introduction, we’ll talk about how we can support HTTP/2 in Azure-hosted websites.

If you run a website then performance is one of the key metrics that you must consider: how does the site perform for end-users accessing the page; how many connections the website can handle at once (concurrent connections) before things start to go a bit haywire; how does the load generated by end-users impact the performance of the server and more. For a long time now, the web has relied on HTTP/1.1 as a protocol for delivering content to end-users.

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Get Office 365 and Azure for Free as a Charity

Did you know that as a registered charity you can get some of the best bits of Microsoft Azure and Office 365 for free? We didn’t think you did because it’s not something Microsoft advertise very well and the registration process is just as confusing and undocumented. Luckily for you, here at Arcible, we’ve been through it all before and know what to expect and when to expect it.

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PCI DSS Changes to Supported Security Protocols

Do you run a website? Is your organisation required or meet or have you opted to voluntarily meet the requirements of PCI DSS or do you just like to keep up with good security practices?

Starting on 30th June 2018, the PCI Security Standard Council (PCI SSC) has given organisations who must comply with PCI requirements until this date to move away from insecure web security standards. This means that if your organisation is running a website or have any web-based services which use a secure connection, they must use the TLS 1.1 or above protocols; the web service must reject connections over SSL 3.0 and TLS 1.0 protocols. There is a handy PDF guide at https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/pdfs/PCI_SSC_Migrating_from_SSL_and_Early_TLS_Resource_Guide.pdf.

For most websites and web services, this is a simple change to implement, however, some platforms will not allow you to make this change and some application development languages may not even support these newer versions.

For big businesses, they may have teams dedicated to managing these requirements but for small organisations or start-up businesses offering online web fronts and check-out shopping services, you may not. Why not get in touch with us about consulting and we can help you investigate whether you can simply make this change or whether there is more work in store to get yourselves ready for the change. Now may even be a good time to take a look at modernisation such as Azure Web Apps for your website.

Moving to a Secure Web World

The internet and digital communications are evolving. In recent years, there is momentum and support for stronger internet security and adherence to best practice and industry standards. Part of this is for more websites to deliver their content over secure channels even if the website is not transacting payments and orders or accepting input of personal data. If you are transacting and taking online payments or orders; if you have people entering their details such as a contact or subscription page on your website then you definitely should be using secure connections.

According to Scott Helme, a British security researcher, in 2017, the number of websites from the Alex Top 1 Million Websites using secure communication as standard reached 38% which is still a remarkably low number. Google now provides preference to websites which use secure channels in their rankings and modern web browsers such as Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox all now clearly show you if the website being browsed is not secure.

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Free Support and Advice for the Scout Association

We love the work that The Scout Association do and we love contributing to it and it’s members which is why we offer free support, advice, and guidance on digital and technology services to The Scout Association and Groups within in. Read on to find out what we can offer you and how to access our offers. Hopefully, you’ll understand that we can’t give away everything for free but we promise to do our best.

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