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BELLEVUE, Wash., September 10, 2009 - Likewise announced today that it is releasing a high-performance, Windows-compatible file server, Likewise-CIFS. It is designed for independent software vendors and large organizations that require access to Linux, Unix, and Mac servers from Windows computers. Likewise-CIFS is available at and in Likewise Open 5.3 under GPLv2 licensing terms.  Likewise will also license Likewise-CIFS under commercial licensing terms that allow original equipment manufacturers to embed Likewise-CIFS in a variety of network attached storage devices, including network appliances and clustered storage solutions. Likewise-CIFS supports both the SMB1 and SMB2 versions of the Server Message Block protocol. It is designed to be a high-performance, highly-scalable protocol stack. Its modular and extensible driver architecture lets OEMs... (more)

Likewise Unveils Enterprise 6 Software

Likewise takes the wraps off of its Enterprise 6 software with quite a few performance improvements and two features, in particular, to call out - Smart Card support and a command line (CLI) administration tool. Likewise joins desktops and servers running Linux, Unix, and Mac OS to an organization's existing network using Microsoft Active Directory (AD). This provides a single, secure framework for authentication and access control in mixed networks. These days, many enterprises - and especially government customers - are turning to dual-factor authentication to further secure their networks. By utilizing a Smart Card alongside traditional password-based authentication, organizations have an additional layer of security and protection against security threats. The dual-factor authentication requires both "something you have," the smart card, and "something you know... (more)

Passwords Suck: Learn About and Use Multi-Factor Authentication

Passwords suck. They are long, hard to remember (even if you have easier-to-remember phrases), more so when new, and are largely a difficulty for users to user properly.  Combined with the fact that many users choose easy-to-guess or easy-to-ascertain passwords based off of commonly-known facts about themselves and that they will try all of their passwords when told one isn’t working…the list goes on. Passwords are essential to our daily lives because they provide a facet of authentication security — the ability to confirm that you are who you say you are, because you know something someone else does not.  In security circles, this type of password authentication is known as “something you know.”  In authentication security experts have long pointed out that just having “something you know” is not good enough. Three key facets are required for good authentication:... (more)

Overview of Windows Azure

In the previous article in the Monitis blog we discussed the design of Windows Azure. In this article we will focus on the advantages and disadvantages of using that design — compared to an on-premises solution. Let’s first look at the advantages of using Windows Azure: Per-use pricing As with other cloud services, Windows Azure charges the subscriber on per use basis. What this means is that if your application needs only two instances in the beginning, you will only pay for these two instances. At the moment your application starts needing four instances for example, you will start getting charged for those extra instances. This pricing model makes Windows Azure a great platform for applications that occasionally need a lot more resources than normal. It completely eliminates the need to purchase expensive hardware and software for building your applications. Scala... (more)

Is Cloud a Threat or an Opportunity for the Channel?

One of the key tenets of the Cloud is self-service. Anyone from an individual entrepreneur to an enterprise CIO with a valid credit card can subscribe to the Cloud. This has been the biggest driver of Cloud adoption especially among the startups and SMEs. While this is definitely an advantage for the Cloud providers and Cloud consumers, there is one entity in the ecosystem that is intimidated by this paradigm. And, that is the reseller community which is also known as the channel or the Value Added Reseller (VAR). Before we analyze whether Cloud is a threat or an opportunity for them, let’s see their role in the current context. Having worked for the world’s largest software product company, I witnessed the significance of a software reseller first hand. Any software company dealing with shrink-wrapped products classifies their customers into large enterprises, med... (more)

31 Days of our Favorite Things: The Recap

It’s over!  November (Movember?) is here!  Now it’s time to sit back and soak in all of this great information! Below is a complete list (Thank you, Keith Mayer for compiling it) of links to our full 31 Days.  Enjoy! 31 Days of our Favorite Things The Cloud OS Platform by Kevin Remde Server Manager in Windows Server 2012 by Brian Lewis Feel the Power of PowerShell 3.0 by Matt Hester Live Migrate Your VMS in One Line of PowerShell by Keith Mayer Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V Replica by Kevin Remde Right-size IT Budgets with “Storage Spaces” by Keith Mayer Yes, there is an “I” in Team – the NIC Team! by Kevin Remde Hyper-V Network Virtualization by Keith Mayer Get Happy over the FREE Hyper-V Server 2012 by Matt Hester Simplified BranchCache in Windows Server 2012 by Brian Lewis Getting Snippy with PowerShell 3.0 by Matt Hes... (more)

20 Key Scenarios with Windows Azure Infrastructure Services – The Complete Series

As many of you may already know, this month my Microsoft US DPE Central Region teammates (Matt Hester, Brian Lewis, and Keith Mayer) and I are blogging about “20 Key Scenarios with Windows Azure Infrastructure Services”.  Throughout this month I’ll be adding links, making any updates or changes.  So keep checking back for more, or keep watching my blog.  As before, I plan on adding my own blog post every day, either introducing the day’s topic, or providing the article myself. HINTS: You might want to get your 90 Day FREE TRIAL of Windows Azure, if you haven’t already, You should get your System Center 2012 SP1 trial (to start fully managing all of your clouds), and You should also LIKE my “Kevin Remde is Full of I.T.” page on Facebook, and FOLLOW me on Twitter; whatever is your preferred method of keeping in touch with what... (more)

Likewise Software Named Among Top Finalists

BELLEVUE, Wash., June 24, 2009 - Today, Likewise announced it has been selected as a 2009 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) Awards finalist in the category, Advanced Infrastructure Solutions - Active Directory. "This is further recognition of our company's momentum from one of our most important partners," said Manny Vellon, CTO of Likewise. "We are proud of now having received six industry awards in the past two years, and just completing the best financial quarter in our company's history. We're delivering great software to meet the widespread demand for better integration of all types of computer systems with Microsoft Active Directory." Awards are presented in a number of categories, with the Advanced Infrastructure Solutions, Active Directory Partner of the Year award honoring partners who have proven proficiency in implementing solutions based on ... (more)

What Makes Cloud Storage Different from Traditional SAN and NAS?

Many in the IT industry seem to enjoy arguing exactly what does and does not constitute a cloud service. As I mentioned in my post on the controversy over private cloud services, I do not feel that these arguments are productive. We should focus on results and business value instead of arguing about semantics. However, the current crop of cloud storage solutions have many important differences from traditional SAN and NAS storage, something that seems to surprise many end users I meet. Cloud storage capacity is not your fathers blocks and files! Primary, Secondary, and Tiered Storage Most IT infrastructures contain a wide variety of storage devices, but these have traditionally been divided into two categories: Primary or production storage serves active applications and is accessed randomly. The primary category includes most familiar direct-attached disks (DAS), s... (more)

Google Apps Get Into Enterprise Provisioning Systems

An important milestone just got passed by Google – one of the big enterprise identity management vendors out there – Quest Software (full disclosure: I am working for the company) – has added Google Apps as a directory to which they can provision identities and access. One might argue that this is a small thing considering that Quest is by far not the first vendor to enter Google’s ecosystem. Google Solutions Marketplace lists a few hundred solutions and services around Google Apps and Enterprise Search. However, Quest is the first among the big systems management (Quest, HP, CA, BMC, Symantec) and identity management (Quest, Oracle, Sun, Novell) vendors to get in there and this is a very important milestone for Google’s acceptance in the enterprise. Technically, what Quest did was adding a Google Apps “connector” into their identity management and provisioning pla... (more)

Rapid Low Cost Upgrade to Microsoft Exchange Server 2010

Azaleos Corporation announced that it will expand its market leading Managed Exchange Services to also support Exchange 2010 when it ships later this year, and starting immediately is offering a free basic upgrade to E2010 and migration of 500 mailboxes. To help customers maintain the highest levels of uptime for E2010, Azaleos also announced a new monitoring service for F5 Local Traffic Manager (LTM) appliances. This new offering is designed to increase the fault tolerance and maintain the high availability of the Exchange Client Access Service (CAS), which was redesigned to be the central hub of E2010. To help existing Exchange customers take advantage of the powerful new capabilities in E2010, Azaleos is expanding its market-leading Managed Exchange Services and offering a limited time free upgrade program. New Azaleos customers will be eligible for a free basi... (more)