BizTech Brief #31

Week Commencing 15th May 

After the WannaCry cyberattack took over all It news over the past week or so, IT news is now returning to normal now and is full of the latest updates, releases and announcements. This BizTech Brief summarises all the latest news and content from the It industry over the past week. 

To read other BizTech Brief articles, that summarise all the biggest news articles within the past week of tech, click here. 

Office 365 ProPlus updates

On April 20th Microsoft announced that they are making changes to the Office 365 system requirements to ensure customers are getting the most out of their Office 365 subscription.

Changes to the Office 365 system requirements

In 2020, Office 365 ProPlus or Office perpetual in mainstream support required to connect to Office 365 services. However, this update does not change the system requirements or support policies for the Office perpetual clients, Office Perpetual clients connecting to on-premises servers, or any consumer services.

Improvements to the Office 365 ProPlus update model

Starting in September 2017, Microsoft will make the following changes to the Office 365 ProPlus update model:

  • Two updates a year. We will reduce the Office 365 ProPlus update cadence from three to two times a year. 
  • 18 months of support. We will extend the support period for Office 365 ProPlus semi-annual updates from 12 to 18 months.
  • System Center Configuration Manager support. System Center Configuration Manager will support this new aligned update model for Office 365 ProPlus and Windows 10.

Veeam Availability Suite reaches the tenth grade

Veeam has issued the tenth version of its Availability Suite backup and restore product, saying it offers a wider-ranging data protection environment than ever before.

The new version features:

  • Veeam Availability for AWS
  • General availability of Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows protects Windows-based physical servers and endpoints, and apps running in Azure, AWS and other public clouds
  • Veeam CDP (Continuous Data Protection) to protect and recover Tier-1 and mission-critical applications
  • Extended Veeam "Always-On Cloud" Availability Platform with new Universal Storage API framework

The company says that the v10.0 Availability Suite product offers "end-to-end availability and cross-cloud data management platform for enterprise customers by supporting any workloads (virtual, physical or cloud) on any infrastructure in Multi-Cloud and Hybrid Cloud environments (private, public, managed or SaaS)."

WannaCry is 'Different from anything we've ever seen' security experts say

The massive WannaCry cyberattack has represented a new type of threat by combining a computer worm with ransomware, cybersecurity researchers told CRN.

The worst of the WannaCry attacks may be over, after 200,000 computers were crippled across 150 countries starting last Friday. The attacks have involved a demand of a Bitcoin payment — equal to $300 -- in order to unlock computer systems. 

"WannaCry is different from anything we've ever seen before in that it's a union of the old and new," said Haiyan Song, senior vice president of security markets at Splunk, in an email to CRN. "When you combine WannaCry ransomware and a worm this powerful, there's no surprise the result is a global attack."

Why IT needs effective monitoring for cloud applications

IaaS and PaaS free up IT from running day-to-day administration tasks, but the cloud can become a black box, limiting visibility. Amazon Web Services (AWS) recommends that IT departments should collect monitoring data from all parts of the AWS technology stack used in their application so that a multi-point failure can be debugged more easily.

Areas to monitor include all metrics relating to CPU utilisation, memory, disk, networking and operating system health.

Bola Rotibi, research director at Creative Intellect, said: “It hasn’t been easy to get insight. In the past, companies just wanted to see headline key performance indicators, but now data is the new currency.”

Companies have no control of the cloud services they use, said Rotibi. “You can only see service levels, but it is hard to look at an impact analysis for a business transaction that runs across interacting components in the cloud.”