Posts Tagged ‘cloud’

Microsoft (SFB/O365) Dropping Support for PBX Connections leaving Legacy Platforms behind

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

Microsoft recently announced that it will no longer provide session border controller (SBC) support for PBX systems accessing Office 365.

Essentially, the news means that starting July 2018, users of Exchange Online Unified Messaging (UM) will have to use an alternative method of connecting voicemail with Outlook. Microsoft won’t support PBX connections using SBCs for that purpose.

In its announcement, Microsoft suggested that only “a small number of customers are affected by this change” and that it was making it to “provide a higher quality of service for voicemail.” Microsoft also offered four alternative options, though they likely won’t be cheap or simple for affected organizations, said Paul Cunningham, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, commenting in a Practical 365 blog post. The move could simplify things for Microsoft, though, he suggested.

“I see this simply as part of Microsoft’s grand strategy to jettison legacy platforms and solutions that are complex and not highly profitable, and focus on services like Cloud PBX that they can deliver more efficiently,” Cunningham added.

Microsoft is discontinuing its SBC support on the Office 365 side so that it won’t have to rely on “a third-party system” that’s difficult to manage, suggested Jeff Guillet, a Microsoft certified solutions master and Microsoft MVP. He explained the technical aspects of Microsoft’s move in this blog post, adding that giving companies just one year to move is “asking a lot,” since the switchover likely will affect large companies.

Some Help for Orgs
Meanwhile, AVST, a Microsoft Gold partner on Skype for Business and Exchange, and a voicemail pioneer, is indicating that it has the means to support organizations faced with Microsoft’s one-year deadline.

The company’s CX-E Unified Communications platform offers a quick solution that can integrate with leading PBX systems, such as systems from Avaya, Cisco, Microsoft and others. The platform permits organizations to continue to use Outlook forms to link voicemail with e-mail. Because of the potential pain involved in such moves, it’s currently offering discounts via its Value-Added Reseller partners.

How AVST can address the issue was explained by Tom Minifie, AVST’s chief technology officer, as well as Denny Michael, senior vice president of sales and marketing at AVST, in a phone interview last week.

AVST has been addressing the unified communications space for decades.

“The company goes back over 30 years and we were one of the folks that brought voicemail to the marketplace,” Michael said. “We’ve been around for a long time, and we primarily service the enterprise space. We’re very strong in healthcare, state and local government, regulated industries, higher education and other horizontal industries as well.”

Minifie explained that organizations with third-party (or non-Microsoft) PBX systems using Office 365, or thinking about moving to Office 365, will be affected by Microsoft’s change. Most options, of the four listed by Microsoft, will require moving to Skype for Business and scrapping PBX systems. It’ll be “disruptive,” he said.

“Clearly, from Microsoft’s position, they want that alternative to be ‘Get rid of your PBX and use Skype for Business,'” Minifie said. “So, for customers that have already been planning for that, that’s a good option for them. They move to Skype for Business and continue to use the Exchange [Online] UM component. But for customers that aren’t interested in doing that or aren’t ready to do that, then this is pretty disruptive because it’s not something that they’ve planned for already.”

AVST, with its CX-E Unified Communications platform, specializes in the fourth option presented by Microsoft.

“And what that is, it’s really saying is that instead of directly connecting the Exchange [Online] UM environment to the PBX, I’m going to have a different unified messaging solution that performs that same functionality, and that’s how we approach it,” Minifie said. “Because of our history, we evolved the integrations into the various phone systems, so whatever phone system or PBX the customer is using, we’ll be able to integrate into that, but then we also integrate into the Exchange environment so that we can provide unified messaging through Exchange.”

End users also get the same familiar Outlook look and feel with AVST’s platform.

“In our eyes, we’re providing the best of both worlds,” Minifie said. “We’re solving the problem, which is you can no longer connect Exchange [Online] UM into your PBX. So we take care of that PBX connection. But you get to continue to use the familiar Outlook interface that the end users are used to.”

Minifie affirmed that Microsoft was essentially eliminating the SBC on its end. The change was aimed at improving the quality of service of voicemail, according to Microsoft.

The Time Factor
AVST and its partners validate phone systems and architectures. They perform application discovery to address any functionalities that organization may want. The time it takes to deploy will depend on the solution chosen.

“As far as the amount of time, that kind of depends on the solution,” Minifie said. “Ours is quick because you really aren’t changing anything. Your phone system doesn’t change. Your Exchange doesn’t change. We just get put in the middle of it. And so that can be deployed very quickly.”

Other approaches can get delayed.

“With the other solutions, you’re getting into having to order telecom things,” Minifie said. “You need SIP trunking and have to order from the carrier, and there are whatever delays for that to get delivered.”

AVST’s solution can be installed on premises or it’s provided as a hosted software-as-a-service solution via subscription. More information about AVST’s replacement offerings for Exchange Online UM can be found at this page.

By Kurt Mackie

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

Source: Microsoft Dropping Support for PBX Connections Using SBCs — Redmond Channel Partner

​Why has SQL Server come to Linux? Windows-only cloud makes no sense | ZDNet

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016

Some people are asking why. After all, with MySQL, MariaDB, postgreSQL, and Oracle Database 12c Linux, there’s no shortage of RDBMS servers on Linux.Part of the reason is simple enough. Scott Guthrie, head of Microsoft’s Cloud & Enterprise business, said “This will enable SQL Server to deliver a consistent data platform across Windows Server and Linux, as well as on-premises and cloud.The more complex answer is that Microsoft’s fortune is no longer based on Windows. True, SQL Server will be available on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and Canonical’s Ubuntu Linux as a standalone server applications, that’s not where it’s meant to run. As Ed Bott recently uncovered, Microsoft’s new cash cows are Azure and server applications. In particular, “Microsoft Azure is growing rapidly and is reported in the same group as traditional server products (SQL Server is up, Windows Server is down). Collectively, that pair is at the top of the list.”And what operating systems run on Azure? Mark Russinovich, CTO of Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s cloud program, said last fall that open source and Linux make great financial and technical sense for Microsoft. “It’s obvious, if we don’t support Linux, we’ll be Windows only and that’s not practical.” Then, one in four Azure operating systems instances were Linux. And that number has only been increasing.ADVERTISINGFor Microsoft to continue to grow as a cloud and services company it must become a Linux company.And, in particular, Microsoft wants to be a Linux cloud power. Today, Azure is certainly the primary way Microsoft monetizes Linux, so it’s only logical that SQL Server would be added to Linux.Al Gillen, IDC’s group vice president, sees this. “By taking this key product to Linux, Microsoft is proving its commitment to being a cross platform solution provider. This gives customers choice and reduces the concerns for lock-in. We would expect this will also accelerate the overall adoption of SQL Server.”

Source: ​Why has SQL Server come to Linux? Windows-only cloud makes no sense | ZDNet

AT&T serves up cloud connectivity for VMware customers – FierceTelecom

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

As a combined solution, AT&T will pair its VPN networking capabilities with VMware’s hybrid cloud platform. One of the benefits for business customers is that they can dynamically connect to VMware vCloud Air from any location on their private corporate networks.

The new solution is expected to be available in the first half of 2015.

Partnering with major cloud vendors such as VMware is important to AT&T as it continues to expand its User-Defined Network Cloud program since it provides greater flexibility and reach for business customers. Other partners that AT&T has invited to the cloud party include Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Fujitsu and

via AT&T serves up cloud connectivity for VMware customers – FierceTelecom.

‘Internet Speeds by State’ map is out. How did your state fare? : Tech Times

Monday, August 11th, 2014

is almost always the first thing that’s compromised when major providers would intentionally throttle speed and concerned individuals would openly debate on net neutrality.In the U.S., Internet speed varies in every state. One state has managed to stand out with the highest average internet speed recorded.Among all the states and territories in the U.S., it is Virginia that tops the list. With an average Internet speed of 13.7 megabits per second, Virginia becomes the state with the speediest Internet access.The information is based on the recent annual State of the Internet report by Akamai, a cloud services provider. Its clients would include some of the world’s largest corporations. In order to have a visual representation, Broadview Networks, another cloud services provider, produced a map by pulling the state by state data from the report. The top 10 states, ranked according to Internet speed in megabits are: 1. Virginia 13.7; 2. Delaware 13.1; 3. Massachusetts 13.1; 4. Rhode Island 12.9; 5. District of Columbia 12.8; 6. Washington 12.5; 7. New Hampshire 12.3; 8. Utah 12.1; 9. Michigan 11.8; and 10. Connecticut 11.7.

via 'Internet Speeds by State' map is out. How did your state fare? : PERSONAL TECH : Tech Times.

Research: 2014 Healthcare IT Priorities – InformationWeek Reports

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Government mandates and programs are top of mind for the 322 IT pros in our 2014 Healthcare IT Priorities Survey. Meeting Meaningful Use Stage 2 criteria, implementing ICD-10, and working to qualify as an accountable care organization doesn’t leave much time for IT organizations to help healthcare providers optimize the new technology put in place in the last few years. Other data points:>> 30% say their organizations have no plans to use cloud computing.>> 37% say their organizations are implementing or planning to implement Epic electronic health records systems; 22% choose Cerner.>> 20% of providers have a system in place for chronic disease management.>> 17% say security concerns are keeping them from participating in an HIE.Respondent breakdown: 39% work for organizations with 5,000 or more employees; 23% have over 10,000. Fourteen percent are executive IT management C-level or VP. R7840514Survey Name InformationWeek 2014 Healthcare IT Priorities SurveySurvey Date February 2014Region North AmericaNumber of Respondents 322Purpose To gauge the state of healthcare technologyMethodology InformationWeek surveyed 322 technology professionals working for healthcare providers in North America. The survey was conducted online, and respondents were recruited via an email invitation containing an embedded link to the survey. The email invitation was sent to qualified InformationWeek subscribers.

via Research: 2014 Healthcare IT Priorities – InformationWeek Reports.

NSA Employees Routinely Pass Around Intercepted Nude Photos

Monday, July 21st, 2014

The 31-year-old former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden has warned that during surveillance, among other things, NSA system administrators also intercepted and routinely passed the nude photos of people in "sexually compromising" situations among other NSA employees.

In a video interview, NSA whistleblower speaks with the Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger and reporter Ewen MacAskill in Moscow, which was then published by the Guardian on Thursday.


"You’ve got young enlisted guys, 18 to 22 years old. They’ve suddenly been thrust into a position of extraordinary responsibility where they now have access to all of your private records," he said in the video interview.

"During the course of their daily work they stumble upon something that is completely unrelated to their work in any sort of necessary sense – for example, an intimate nude photo of someone of in a sexually compromising situation, but they’re extremely attractive. So what they do? They turn around in their chair and show their co-worker."

“The co-worker says: ‘Hey that’s great. Send that to Bill down the way.’ And then Bill sends it to George and George sends it to Tom. And sooner or later this person’s whole life has been seen by all of these other people. It’s never reported.”

When Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger asked Snowden, “You saw instances of that happening?”

Snowden responded positively saying, “Yeah.”


“It’s routine enough, depending on the company that you keep, it could be more or less frequent," Snowden says. "These are seen as the fringe benefits of surveillance positions."


The person’s whose private life has been exposed never know about it, because the internal auditing procedures at the NSA are incredibly weak that there is no comeback of those intercepted naked photos.

“The fact that your private images, records of your private lives, records of your intimate moments have been taken from your private communications stream from the intended recipient and given to the government without any specific authorization without any specific need is itself a violation of your rights,” he added and questioned, “Why is that in a government database?”


Edward Snowden said cloud storage service Dropbox is "hostile to privacy," and called for more companies to offer services that prevent government snooping.

Snowden spread light on the cloud storage provider company, Spideroak, which offers greater protection to its users. The only fact behind it is that the company stores all the users data for backups, but in an encrypted form. So, its employees do not have access to the encrypted user data. Also if the government ask for user data, the company cannot hand over any meaningful or decrypted content.

Snowden calls Dropbox, a "PRISM wannabe." He asserted that the cloud storage Dropbox has recently appointed former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to its board of directors, who Snowden said is “hostile to privacy” and described her as "the most anti-privacy official you can imagine."

Accountants, lawyers, and doctors should all level up their skills, Snowden said, and journalists in particular should be aware that a single slip up could compromise their sources.


Snowden addressed a number of things, noting that if he ended up in US prison facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, he could “live with” that. He again dismissed any claim that he was or is a Russian spy or agent, describing those allegations “bullshit.”

"I’m not going to presume to know what a jury would think, or to say what they should or should not think. But I think it’s fair to say that there are reasonable and enduring questions about the extent of these surveillance programs, how they should be applied and that should be the focus of any trial," he said.


The NSA’s spokesperson said such activity wouldn’t be tolerated, but didn’t explicitly deny the Snowden’s claim.

“NSA is a professional foreign-intelligence organization with a highly trained workforce, including brave and dedicated men and women from our armed forces,” said spokesperson Vanee Vines by email. “As we have said before, the agency has zero tolerance for willful violations of the agency’s authorities or professional standards, and would respond as appropriate to any credible allegations of misconduct.”

via NSA Employees Routinely Pass Around Intercepted Nude Photos.

Rackspace Leads Managed Cloud Hosting Market in Europe

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Less than one week before Rackspace announced new services for managing customers’ application stacks running in its infrastructure cloud, Gartner published a report identifying the Windcrest, Texas-based company as leader in the European cloud-enabled managed hosting market.

Rackspace has been leader in Gartner’s North American “Magic Quadrant” for the category for the past two years. This is the first time the market research firm has published a European Magic Quadrant for cloud-enabled managed hosting, determining that Rackspace beats all competitors in Europe as well, including European companies Interoute, Colt, BT Global Services and Claranet, as well as its U.S.-based competitors playing in the European markets, such as Verizon and CenturyLink, among others.

via Rackspace Leads Managed Cloud Hosting Market in Europe.

App and Browser Plugin – Runs Check for Heartbleed –

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

Most major websites have patched the gaping security hole called the Heartbleed bug, which at one point affected up to two thirds of the Internet. However, there are still some stragglers. A new free browser plugin and Android app from cloud security company Trend Micro can help check that the sites you visit and Android apps you download are Heartbleed-free.

The Heartbleed bug exists in a version of OpenSSL, a type of software used to encrypt data in transit, such as between your computer and the server of a webpage you’re visiting, or between your smartphone and the server of an app you have installed. Trend Micro’s browser plugin and app can help users feel a bit more secure on the Internet.

via App and Browser Plugin Check for Heartbleed.

Red Hat Touts Linux Containers For Cloud – InformationWeek

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Red Hat is turning to lightweight Linux containers to package workloads for transport to the cloud. As others take a rival approach sponsored by VMware-originated Cloud Foundry, Red Hat is standing by its OpenShift platform as a future element of OpenStack clouds.


Red Hat isn’t necessarily using containers to compete with VMware. Rather, the company hopes that in some cases, developers will package applications in containers, thus stepping over the large VMware presence in the enterprise datacenter on their way to the cloud.

Cormier said Linux containers form a solid basis for planning hybrid cloud operations, where workloads sometimes run in an enterprise datacenter and other times are shuffled out to run in a public cloud. Red Hat offers a service to verify whether containerized applications have been formatted properly, and it will certify cloud servers as ready to run such workloads.

To support this approach,

via Red Hat Touts Linux Containers For Cloud – InformationWeek.

List of Features – sipXecs – Avaya SBC

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

All the sipXecs application services are allocated to specific server roles. Using the centralized cluster management system each role can be instantiated on a dedicated server or several (all) roles can be run on a single server. Configuration of all services and participating servers is fully automatic and Web UI based.

SIP Session Router, optionally geo-redundant and load sharing

Media server for unified messaging and IVR (auto-attendant) services

Conferencing server based on FreeSWITCH

XMPP Instant Messaging (IM) and presence server (based on Openfire)

Contact center (ACD) server

Call park / Music on Hold (MoH) server

Presence server (Broadsoft and IETF compliant resource list server for BLF)

New: Shared Appearance Agent server to support shared lines (BLA)

Group paging server

SIP trunking server (media anchoring and B2BUA for SIP trunking & remote worker support)

Call Detail Record (CDR) collection & processing server

Third party call control (3PCC) server using REST interfaces

Management and configuration server

Process management server for centralized cluster management

via List of Features – sipXecs – SIPfoundry Wiki.