17 Oct 2019

What went down at Future Decoded 2019

It’s October 2019 which means its Future Decoded!
Once again, for the 3rd year in a row, Venture 1 attended day 2 of Microsoft UK’s leading European Conference full of exciting breakout sessions, insightful keynote speakers and a fantastically run expo.
Each year, Microsoft likes to keep Future Decoded on a consistent theme that all the breakout sessions are based upon. This year was all about focussing on how gathering data and analysing it properly can lead to real results for your business. This coupled well with the overarching use cases of utilising AI to sort through data and give users real business intelligence.
An highly informative keynote presentation from the British Heart Foundation opened day 2 explaining how collaboration with Microsoft is helping map out where the UK’s public defibrillators can be found. The partnership started after shocking figures revealed public access defibrillators being used in less than 3 per cent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, significantly reducing the survival chances of tens of thousands of people every year. A real use case scenario that will for sure make a huge difference.

 

 

Carrying on with the AI theme, Microsoft wanted to demystify AI and make it look a lot less intimidating by diving into the business use case. For example, there was also a talk on AI ethics and what it should do or should not do and how certain countries were prioritising becoming the best country for AI development. Microsoft had set up their very own AI juice bar in which a camera looked at how you react to certain pictures to understand and work out which juice drink you should have. Safe to say we were all given a ‘pick me up’ drink!

 

AI has become the new focus of international competition, with a general shift away from industrial manufacturing commodities to a technology and services driven economy. If “cloud computing” or the “cloud” was the buzzword a few years ago, now it’s AI and it’s here to stay for a long time…

 

If you would like to ask us any questions on any other 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!

Services@venture1consulting.com

+44 (0)20 8405 6434

11 Jul 2019

Oracle and Microsoft team up to connect Azure and Oracle Cloud

Microsoft and Oracle recently announced that customers will soon be able to migrate and run workloads across Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud thanks to a new cloud partnership between the two companies. Users will also be able to connect Azure services such as AI to Oracle Cloud services. The exciting partnership between Microsoft and Oracle will enable customers to run parts of workloads within Azure and other parts of the same workload within Oracle’s Cloud as part of a “best-of-both-clouds experience”.

Oracle’s executive vice president for Cloud Infrastructure, Don Johnson believes that this partnership will enable businesses to make the most of their cloud investment and reduce Cloud architects time. Mr. Johnson also went on to state that this will only be available to the Azure US East and Oracle Ashburn region first, with additional regions gaining access within the near future.

To read Microsoft full statement: https://news.microsoft.com/2019/06/05/microsoft-and-oracle-to-interconnect-microsoft-azure-and-oracle-cloud/

If you need some advice and guidance on how the Cloud can change your business for the better, whether that be for AWS or Azure, FIND OUT MORE HERE.

07 Jun 2019

Why has Windows XP received a new patch in 2019?

2014 was Microsoft’s official timestamps for when Windows XP would stop receiving support. That was until 2017 when a patch was released to defend itself against the WannaCry ransomware situation. 2 years down the line and again it seems Microsoft have released another new patch…. But why?

 

Microsoft recently released patches for both Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. The reason behind this is said to be to prevent a ‘wormable vulnerability’ that has the potential to cause as much chaos as WannaCry did back in 2017 if unchecked.

 

On the 14th May 2019, Microsoft stated:
Today Microsoft released fixes for a critical Remote Code Execution vulnerability, CVE-2019-0708, in Remote Desktop Services – formerly known as Terminal Services – that affects some older versions of Windows. The Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) itself is not vulnerable. This vulnerability is pre-authentication and requires no user interaction. In other words, the vulnerability is ‘wormable’, meaning that any future malware that exploits this vulnerability could propagate from vulnerable computer to vulnerable computer in a similar way as the WannaCry malware spread across the globe in 2017. While we have observed no exploitation of this vulnerability, it is highly likely that malicious actors will write an exploit for this vulnerability and incorporate it into their malware.

Now that I have your attention, it is important that affected systems are patched as quickly as possible to prevent such a scenario from happening. In response, we are taking the unusual step of providing a security update for all customers to protect Windows platforms, including some out-of-support versions of Windows.

Full Microsoft statement HERE

 

If you need some advice and guidance to do with IT security, or an independent security audit please feel free to contact us directly! CLICK HERE

23 May 2019

How Sainsbury’s using AWS is both good and bad for business?

On the 8th May 2019, Amazon hosted its AWS London Summit bringing thousands of the cloud computing community together to learn about and understand the direction AWS is heading towards. This year’s event saw over 12,000 attendee’s and 40 speakers, with Amazon presenting its overarching idea that the future of IT is Cloudification.

Amazon’s own Matt Garman (VP of EC2) started the Summit talking about one of its largest UK customers, Sainsbury’s and how its AWS journey has just started. To see the Sainsbury’s name using AWS has been seen by some as quite a shock due to Amazons affiliation with Whole Foods, a competitor, which was acquired by Amazon for $13.7 billion in 2017.

 

This begs the question…

Is Sainsbury’s now funding the competition?

 

Many of Whole Foods other competitors, such as Walmart and Target have already made the change from AWS to Azure due to concerns about possible conflicts of interests.

Notwithstanding this, Sainsbury’s CIO, Phil Jordan, explained that the relationship with AWS started when it was decided it was time to rebuild the groceries online business into the Cloud. Mr. Jordan went on to say how a big database migration was successfully achieved using AWS services, with the result that now 80% of Sainsbury’s groceries are now run online.

 

The numbers behind this migration are certainly impressive:-

  • 7TB of data was migrated to the Cloud
  • infrastructure costs are down by 30%
  • Sainsbury’s has seen an increase of up to 80% in interaction with its website and batch processing services

 

Whilst AWS may not be the answer for every organisation it has certainly had a significant impact at Sainsbury’s so if you need some advice and guidance on how the Cloud can change your business for the better whether that be for AWS or Azure, FIND OUT MORE HERE.

20 May 2019

First Glance: AWS vs Azure Networking

Venture 1 Consulting is proud to present First Glance! 

Each week, before a new Tech and Tea with V1C (TATWV1C) episode is released, a teaser insight will be posted in the form of blog post. This will give listeners a First Glance look at what they can expect from the upcoming episode a week before it is released. 

 

In this week’s First Glance, we take a look at one of the IT industries most talked about questions, a heavyweight clash in its own right… AWS vs Azure: Overview and Networking. 

 

Venture 1 Consulting Managing Director, Mark Thurston, once again joins Charlie to discuss the Networking differences of both AWS and Azure. Mark dives deep into the thinking behind the different ways both platforms are set up and the different services each platform has to offer. 

Having worked extensively with both platforms, Mark provides listeners with many interesting insights about how they are setup and how both providers think they know what is best for a Cloud platform and Infrastructure. In this latest episode, at a high level, Mark also talks about the restrictions each platform has, the reasons behind these and how to get around them. 

If nothing else, one key takeaway from the session will certainly be Mark finishing up with his entertaining ‘Cake Shop’ analogy on the differences between each Cloud provider! 

The AWS vs Azure battle will be a consistent theme for several episodes in our first series of TATWV1C, in which we will discuss all the different aspects that make up a public Cloud platform. 

 

To stay up to date and to be the first to read our First Glance posts and listen to each podcast as soon as they’re released, CLICK HERE to Sign up and Subscribe. 

08 May 2019

Tech and Tea with V1C: The Venture 1 Consulting Podcast!

Venture 1 Consulting is today delighted to announce the imminent launch of our first in a series of podcast shows, Tech and Tea with V1C.

Each episode of the Tech and Tea Podcast series will treat listeners to the wealth of knowledge that the fantastic technical team at Venture 1 has; as well as exposure to exciting special guest presenters from time to time! With over 100 years of combined experience between the team, we’re delighted to share our stories and industry insights with you, our listener. Episodes will be posted on iTunes, Spotify and the Venture 1 Podcast Page.

Join Venture 1 and guests as we dive deep into the questions you want answering on a range of technical topics from Cloud, Storage and Infrastructure, to the latest and greatest Security solutions. Venture 1 will both educate and entertain listeners in an informal, chatty atmosphere. So grab yourself a tea and let’s talk tech with V1C!

 

To stay up to date with every episode as it is released, sign up to our newsletter here.

 

We look forward to you joining us and sharing our real life experiences of working with the latest technologies!

16 Jan 2019

The Venture 1 2018 Security Threat Summary

As we start a new and exciting year at Venture 1 Consulting, we wanted to summaries what we believe were the top stories that shook the IT world over the last year to do with security threats.

 

Spectre Meltdown crisis

Just over a year ago, on the 4th January 2018, Spectre Meltdown was a security breach that affected almost all server chips, mobiles and desktops. This allowed hackers to gain information from the processor’s kernel memory and potentially usernames and passwords. The knock on effect was significant with major corporations including Microsoft and Intel spending months dealing with the problem.

 

US mid-term election hacking speculation

America’s political status is constantly gaining the mainstream media’s attention around the world. The usual mid-term elections came about in November and whilst usually low key and quiet outside of America, last year was a completely different story…

With the 2016 presidential election campaign already under investigation due to hacking claims, the 2018 vote was also investigated over possible security attacks. Both domestic and foreign hackers were said to have possibly had an effect on the sway of voters by leaking out incorrect information. Security firms were also warning that Russian hackers were trying to affect campaigns in the summer and influence the outcome, favouring one candidate over the other.

Fortunately and ensuring a fair election, only a single instance of voter fraud was found, with hacker’s attempts hardly causing an effect but this event did serve to further highlight the potential for election disruption from hostile external sources.

 

Cambridge Analytica fights back at Facebook

For several years, Facebook has been under fire due to its privacy and data policy. In 2018, the heat was turned up dramatically when British political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica was able to capture information on millions of user profiles.

Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was forced to face the crowd as well as tough questioning from both the U.S. Congress and European Parliament and apologise to the world for allowing users’ personal profile information to be accessed by third parties.

 

Over the last few years, the steps businesses now have in place to deal with hackers and security threats has completely changed. The lacklustre response to almost all of these stories shows that in the world we live in today, we now have an expectation that sooner or later our personal or company data will be subject to some sort of security breach. Therefore, in an ever-changing IT landscape I’m sure we can expect that 2019 will be full of surprises and shocks in the world of IT security similar to last year!

 

What other security stories do you believe could have made our list?

If you need some advice and guidance to do with IT security, or an independent security audit please feel free to contact us directly! (CLICK HERE)

10 Jan 2019

News: Venture 1 confirm deployment partnership with Talon

Venture 1 Consulting is delighted to announce a new partnership with storage solution experts Talon. As strategic deployment partner, Venture 1 Consulting is able to engage with businesses at an enterprise level to help gain maximum benefit from using one of the best technology solutions currently available for data storage, having already installed at one of Venture 1 Consulting’s key clients. Venture 1 Managing Director Mark Thurston believes that:

 

Talon is a remarkably clever, agnostic and flexible solution. With its ability to solve a genuine business challenge of distributing files and still being able to maintain file locking in a distributed file system”.

 

If you’d like to know more about Talon, CLICK HERE

If you would like to ask us any questions on any other 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!

 

Services@venture1consulting.com

+44 (0)20 8405 6434

14 Dec 2018

How many users can you effect with an expired software certificate?

Well according to Ericsson, tens of millions…

 

On Thursday last week (December 6th 2018), millions of UK O2 users were unable to text, call or use their 4G connections.
Late that same evening the Swedish technology company Ericsson, which creates most of O2’s back-end network admitted that the service downtime was due to an expired certificate! These certificates manage the way a service is provided to O2 customers and put simply, the software will not work if the certificate isn’t up to date or has expired!

This meant the certificate had to be reissued and updated which is also why users were kept offline for so long, with each Network node having to be updated manually, one by one. Ericsson CEO, Börje Ekholm stated:

 

"The faulty software that has caused these issues is being decommissioned and we apologize not only to our customers but also to their customers. We work hard to ensure that our customers can limit the impact and restore their services as soon as possible."

 

Most O2 customers were off line for almost 24 hours, causing chaos for all O2, Tesco Mobile, GiffGaff, Sky Mobile and Lyca customers, which all use the O2 network. O2 has since apologised and has given all customers credit for two days of their monthly airtime subscription.

24 May 2018

Top 5 considerations to think about before migrating to Office 365

For small and medium sized businesses, Office 365 is a game changer with its wide range of applications and well established, versatile options to suit any business’s needs. As friendly as Office 365 may be for users, there are a few factors that should be considered before making the jump to reduce the risk of time, effort and money being wasted. To help with your decision, we’ve put together our top 5 considerations to think about before migrating to Office 365.

 

Identity

With mailboxes moving to the cloud, access to these mailboxes for on premise users needs to be considered. There are various ways to do this with separate passwords, password synch and ADFS. ADFS is recommended for a fully featured single sign on experience. With this comes the need for ADFS infrastructure.

 

Email clients

It is best practice for Email clients such as Outlook to have the latest updates installed, to maintain Office 365 hybrid functionality.

 

Shared calendars:

In a hybrid environment, shared calendars across premises (O365 <-> On Prem Exchange) can only have read permissions and not write permissions. Therefore it is best practice to migrate teams who share calendars at the same time.

 

Backups:

Although Office 365 is designed in a high availability manner, data is not backed up; meaning deleted user data is not recoverable. It’s worth considering looking into 3rd party backup solutions or using Office 365 litigation hold to retain all data.

 

Active Directory UPN:

Ensure the AD UPN matches the primary O365 SMTP address to ensure a seamless logon when it comes to Single Sign On. If they don’t match it’s worth considering changing the UPN name.

 

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!

Services@venture1consulting.com

+44 (0)20 8405 6434