News | Venture 1 help with Spectre Meltdown crisis

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With the recent outbreak of Spectre Meltdown occurring within the last month, Venture 1’s consultancy division recently helped a long term customer with this potentially disastrous problem. If you’re not aware, flaws had been found within the security of Intel’s central processing units (CPU’s) which meant that raw data was accessible to others from the unit’s memory.

Venture 1 was able to use its extensive knowledge of security and business continuity to put its’ skills to the test and achieve an excellent solution for a problem that could have turned out to be very serious without the right procedures put in place. Venture 1 was able to improve the overall security of many devices that are being used on a day to day basis within the customers’ own IT department.

If you’d like to know more about how Venture 1 could help you with device security , or would like to ask us any questions on a topic you feel we could help with, give us a call or send us an email today and we’d be more than happy to have a chat!



Reducing your Azure Cloud Expenditure

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Without the right knowledge or enough experience, it is very easy for a business to overspend when using and/or implementing an Azure solution. With several years of experience under our belt at Venture 1 Consulting, we’ve put together our top tips and tricks for how you can reduce your Azure expenditure.

If you are in the process of planning or preparing to move towards Azure, it’s essential that you use the pricing calculator available to you for free via Microsoft themselves. This will provide you with an estimate of how much it will cost before creating an Azure resource. This can be found within the Azure portal.

Billing Alerts can also be set up to make sure you’re not exceeding your monthly budget on Azure spending. You can set a limit and time period which means that when you’re about to exceed your budget, you will receive a warning email. To learn more on how to set up billing alerts, click HERE for a step-by-step guide on how to do this.

Azure Dashboards are a great way to see an overview of what you are using in Azure. From usage amounts, to time spent, there are many different views that can be created to meet your business needs. One dashboard that is often utilised by users is a cost dashboard whereby you can manage and see where money is being spent across the whole of Azure. To do this, you have to divide the resources by subscriptions that define cost areas and then you can easily compare and detect deviations.

You may be aware that Azure offers many different extras to improve and adjust its use to fit business needs. However, with these extras, there’s also a price to pay. Many users make the mistake of adding all the extras they believe their business needs when first setting up Azure that results in it costing more than necessary and also not using some of the added extras when Azure is live. The net result of this is that in the long run, they waste money. What users should be doing is setting up a basic service first and then thinking afterwards about what possible extras the business needs.

Let us know in the comments below of your own top tips to help reduce Cloud expenditure and if you’d like to know more about how Venture 1 could help you,  or ask us any questions on a topic of your choice, please give us a call, or send us an email today and we’d be more than happy to have a chat!

Predictions for the Cloud in 2018

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As 2017 has come to a close, we start to look at the direction in which technology will go in 2018. You may be aware that 2017 was very much AI and how it would have an effect on us as users within our working and social life instead of the gimmick uses we have seen in previous years. Here at Venture 1 we’re very interested in where the Cloud will be next year and how that will affect the way IT is innovating in tomorrow’s world, so we’ve put together our own list of predictions for what we think is going to happen next!

Within the major players, Google Cloud will be the ones to watch. We already know Google has announced its ‘Cloud Next’ event for next July which is guaranteed to bring some exciting news for Googles’ public Cloud offering. This could lead to the possibility of Google expanding its presence and being right up there with the main Cloud players such as Microsoft and Amazon and we for one, cannot wait!

As well as Google, we still believe Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure will be the major players in the Cloud game. Forrester believes that both companies will take the majority, with 76% of all Cloud revenue in 2018 and even grow this to 80% by 2020. With this prediction, it will be interesting to see what Oracle, IBM and Rackspace (to name a few) will pull out of the bag next year in an attempt to catch up with their main competitors.

Something that has been mentioned recently that we’re still waiting to see where it goes is the idea of Hybrid Cloud solutions. What we do know is that the whole idea of a hybrid solution is becoming a lot more popular as users and businesses are starting to find out that not all applications are best suited to the Cloud and that a physical local environment would be more suitable. Microsoft this year debuted its Azure stack which gives an Azure service within your own data centre. This is a definitely a path we believe most Cloud providers will take at some point which is why this is something you’ll definitely want to keep your eyes on.

We’ve also found this year that Containers are slowly gaining in popularity against the use of Virtual machines. Due to their portability and size, they’re convenient when moving between an on premises environment and the Cloud. We expect there will yet again be an increase in the use of containers, with IBM, Azure and AWS all supporting the idea. Let us know below if you agree with our predictions, or if not, what you think is going to happen next year!

If you’d like to know more about how Venture 1 could help you with your Cloud solution, or would like to ask us any questions on a topic you feel we could help with, give us a call or send us an email today and we’d be more than happy to have a chat!

News | VDI Performance Review for a Local Authority

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Venture 1 recently conducted a performance and configuration review of a medium sized VDI estate (circa 400 users), for a well-known local authority.

Venture 1 was able to use its expertise in VDI end user computing to produce a detailed and comprehensive report that allows the Council to address the shortcomings of the current environment and  improve the overall user experience whilst reducing the total cost of ownership and  the operational efficiency of the IT department as a whole.

If you’d like to know more about how Venture 1 could help you with your VDI solution, or would like to ask us any questions on a topic you feel we could help with, give us a call or send us an email today and we’d be more than happy to have a chat!


4 things you didn't know about AWS?

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As Cloud technology is developing and changing by the month, new and innovative Cloud options and providers are surfacing to challenge bigger competitors such as Microsoft. One provider that has really come into its own and is now one of the biggest Cloud providers out there is Amazon Web Services (AWS). Lauched In 2002, but turning customer facing in 2012, AWS now has more than 1 million active users in over 190 different countries. Here, we want to show and explain 4 Things you may not know about AWS?

It is often said by most Cloud users that they find the Cloud is much safer and more secure than running services within datacentres. One customer which has openly admitted its satisfaction at using AWS as a service is The United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)! The CIA says that using the latest technology, AWS helps it complete tasks using a comprehensive set of tools that is available on AWS within the safe and secure enviroment that it needs.

In order to keep up with customer demands and constant technological development, AWS is always being updated and upgraded to ensure users are getting consistency and stability across the whole platform and it is precisely the way that AWS is set up like this that makes it such a popular option today. Users know they’re able to get a great service with outstanding support, which are 2 of he biggest factors when looking for a Cloud Provider.

It’s easy to understand that powering datacentres consumes a lot of energy and costs a lot of money. Back in 2016, AWS engineer James Hamilton spoke at the AWS reinvnet conference stating that by the end of 2017, 50% of its datacentres would be running on renewable and efficient energy. The long term goal is to have all its data centres running off renewable energy, although a date has not been set for when they hope to achieve this.

Each month the Cloud marketplace is getting bigger due to more and more users moving to the Cloud as well as  new Cloud providers being available with a variety of different options. Currently, AWS makes up approximately 27% of the market for Cloud Infrastructure as a service, compared to 7% for IBM and 10% for Microsoft.

If you’d like to know more about how Venture 1 could help your business, or would like to ask us any questions on any topic you feel we could help with, give us a call or send us an email today and we’d be more than happy to have a chat!

+44 (0)20 8405 6434

Integrating Office 365 with LinkedIn

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As you maybe aware, back in June last year Microsoft announced it had bought social media giants LinkedIn for more than $26 billion. Since then we haven’t really heard much about what Microsoft intends to do or change at LinkedIn, unitil now. Recently,  at the Ignite conference in Orlando Florida, Microsoft announced how LinkedIn and it’s social graphs can be integrated with other Microsoft products.

The first product to be intergrated with LinkedIn is Outlook. The company explained that you’ll be able to recieve emails from users and when you hover your mouse over their address, you will be able to see their “LinkedIn Card”. Users LinkedIn cards will show information such as what a person does, where they work and who they work for. As you may know, LinkedIn is usually very tight and secure on what information is available to other users. For this to work correctly, Microsoft will establish  connectivity between LinkedIn accounts and Microsoft accounts. Microsoft hasn’t yet officially released how this will happen, but we at Venture 1 are very interested in how it is going to achieve this.

So you’re probably wondering what are the advantages of having this ability? Well we believe this will increase and improve relationships with people both inside and outside of your business when it comes to communication being able to instant message someone anywhere, anytime and overall it opens up more options. With this being the first step Microsoft has taken with LinkedIn, we’re excited to know what they might do next! Let us know in the comments below what you think?

 If you’d like to know more about how Venture 1 could help your business, or would like to ask us any questions on any topic you feel we could help with, give us a call or send us an email today and we’d be more than happy to have a chat!

+44 (0)20 8405 6434

5 Reasons why your business should be using SharePoint

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Microsofts content management system SharePoint has been a leading application within the business world for over a decade. No matter what sector or industry you work in, SharePoint’s great ability to be able to adapt or change for any business is one of the great reasons every business should be considering SharePoint.

SharePoint’s main use when it was officially released to the public was as a content management system, but with its storage capabilities,  this also reduces the need to print or email documents within a business, saving time and money, as well as increasing productivity.

Security and Integrity is key to the way a business runs. One of Sharepoint’s greatest advantages is how secure it is. Whether it be protecting data from unauthorised accesss or company confidential data, Sharepoint enables you to help set up permisssions for your documents and applications and is one of the most secure intranet platforms available.

User engagement between colleagues can be improved with the help of Sharepoint. The intranet application can be used as a social platform for businesses to interact across an entire organisation. When working on projects with multiple people or even document sharing, Sharepoint acts as a hub to help keep all users in the same loop with updates and conversations to keep everything moving forward.

Different roles and permissions can be set out over an organisation within Sharepoint, which makes it so expansible throughout an organisation. For example, folders with documents such as employee handbooks can be made visible and readable to everyone, but with sales stats and analytics, you can make that a private folder so that only the sales team and management can see these.

Finally, SharePoint’s version history control enables users to see when files saved within Sharepoint were last used, changed or moved. Sharepoint automatically updates this which is very useful when working on a single document with a team of people.

If you’d like to know more about how Venture 1 could help your business, or would like to ask us any questions on any topic you feel we could help with, give us a call or send us an email today and we’d be more than happy to have a chat!

+44 (0)20 8405 6434

The 5 biggest benefits of using Microsoft azure

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Since launching back in 2010, The Microsoft Azure platform has developed into one of the worlds most popular public and private cloud options for businesses. With a predicted worth of over £1.5 billion, Azure’s positive impact as a Platform-As-a-Service (PaaS) and a Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) enables it to keep its leadership status within the Cloud world. If your interested in Azure and don’t know where to start, here is the right place as we’d like to share with you, The 5 biggest benefits of using Microsoft Azure!

1)    Its true what Microsoft say, Azure can be deployed almost everywhere and anywhere! With the option of Azure stack, businesses now have the ability to create a hybrid option which is a big preference for many cloud users, especially when there is a need for an on premise requirement. It’s also a very simple transition when it comes to moving from a hybrid solution to full cloud option, or vice versa.

2)    Azure’s Integration option with other Microsfot tools to be able to enhance your cloud option is second to none. Common Microft Applications such as Outlook, Sharepoint and Office 365 can easily be moved over to work with the cloud for a much better experience. Azure also lets you use the same virtual machines that are in Azure and on-premise which makes the process and usability a whole lot easier.

3)    When using the Cloud, whether it be public or private, it’s key to all businesses needs that it’s quick! The speed of a Cloud offering  can often a defining factor and is one of the reason why Azure is so popular today. There are not many Cloud providers that match the speed which Azure runs at across the board both within deployment and when working within Azure or possess the sheer scaleabilty that Azure has.

4)    Due to Microsofts great reputation in being a pioneering public Cloud provider, Azure is one of, if not the most reliable and credible solutions avalible on the market. Today, Azure is used by some of biggest firms around the world including Ebay, Pixar, Aston Martin and NBC to name a few. With a long list of businesses with a high pedigree using Azure, reliabilty is essential, which is why Microsoft is happy to show off its almost 100% availability and 24/7 monitoring and Support.

5)    Finally, Azure is known for its brilliant Disaster Recovery capability within the Cloud, with multiple fail-over options and reboot stages to help keep your data safe.

If you’d like to know more about how Venture 1 could help your business, or would like to ask us any questions on any topic you feel we could help with, give us a call or send us an email today and we’d be more than happy to have a chat!

+44 (0)20 8405 6434

The Effect of GDPR on Microsoft 365?

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You may know that since the end of May this year, businesses that are operating within the UK and Europe now have to follow the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) that protects the manner in which businesses use and process personal data. With Microsoft being a tech leading organisation both inside and out of Europe, it must make sure it is complying and staying secure from data breaches, especially with software such as Office 365.

Most businesses would have now started looking into new privacy procedures to fall in line with the new European regulations, as fines for not complying are said to be as much as 4% of a company’s annual turnover. If you are using the combination of Office 365 with Azure services, this already shows that you’re half way there with complying to GDPR as the two together provide you with a service which meets the GDPR requirements. Core offers from Office 365 such as Office 365 auditing, Advanced Data governance and eDiscovery to name a few, are both services that help you control data that you store within office 365 and Azure.

Office 365 Data Governance allows you to take control of your own data by enabling users to migrate on-premises data, as well as data from outside Office 365 and still be able to comply with GDPR. eDiscovery on the other hand uses machine learning and text analytics to be able to reduce a business’s costs and challenges when it comes to sorting through massive amounts of  unstructured data. Finally, 365 auditing enables you to monitor and look through the history of what and where data has been, so it can understand whether data is valuable or not and protect it if need be.

If you’d like to know more about how Venture 1 could help your business, or would like to ask us any questions on any topic you feel we could help with, give us a call or send us an email today and we’d be more than happy to have a chat!

+44 (0)20 8405 6434

Venture 1 Consulting Takes on Future Decoded 2017!

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Yesterday, a few members of the Venture 1 Consulting team took a trip to the Excel Centre for the second day of the highly anticipated Microsoft Future Decoded event. With keynotes, breakout sessions and an expo in between with names such as Citirx, Adobe and Microsoft displaying their latest products, as well as many more innovative and exciting companies. This was an event surely not to miss!

The day kicked off with an opening, innovating Keynote presentation by a few of the Microsoft team, including Mark Russinovich who is one of the Chief Technology Officer’s for Azure. Mark spoke about the interesting, rising trends of the Cloud and what we can look forward to in the future with this exciting product! There was then a half an hour break in which we chose the time to refuel with complimentary teas and coffees supplied by Microsoft (thanks guys!).

The first breakout session we went to was on IoT (Internet of Things) and how you can use the Intelligent Edge within the real world. Senior technical evangelist Paul Foster from Microsoft was brilliant explaining and showing how and what a LoRaWAN is and its data rates and range. Paul also demonstrated a demo of IOT Edge V1 in action showing the analytics within the process.

After a nice lunch, it was then time to hit the expo itself. We came to the conclusion that this year’s Future Decoded was based around the Cloud and the direction that VR was heading outside of being a novelty. Microsoft, Lenovo and many more had demo VR kits on display for everyone to have a play with, which seemed to be a big hit with queues snaking round other stands. Of course with these type of events there were freebies and competitions all over the place. Popular prizes that most stands were giving away were either drones or Surface pro 2’s which we thought were pretty impressive!

Overall we had a great day stacking up on the latest news coming from the world of Cloud and learning a lot from the brilliant breakout sessions. A special appreciation has to go to Rackspace for the free pint of beer towards the end of the day and quite possibly the best freebie of the day..?