Monthly Archives: July 2014

Microsoft to try again to deliver an Azure ‘cloud in a box’ appliance

Back in 2010, Microsoft officials announced the company was readying Windows Azure Appliances, meant to function as “private clouds in a box.” But that plan fizzled over the next three years, with Microsoft eventually discontinuing work on the project.

Back in 2010, Microsoft officials announced the company was readying Windows Azure Appliances, meant to function as “private clouds in a box.” But that plan fizzled over the next three years, with Microsoft eventually discontinuing work on the project

It now sounds, however, as though Microsoft is going to try, try again to provide partners and larger enterprise users with preconfigured Azure appliances.

Not sure  which vendors’ servers will be included or when Microsoft will announce officially its new appliance plans.

Microsoft originally announced Azure Pack back in July 2012 when it was known as “Windows Azure Services for Windows Server.” Azure Pack integrates with Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2. It provides users with the on-premises equivalents of a number of Azure technologies, including a self-service portal for managing services like Web sites, virtual machines and Service Bus; a portal for administrators to manage “resource clouds”; scalable Web hosting and more. For more useful information on Azure Pack, check out the Azure Pack Wiki on TechNet.

Microsoft plans to rely on Windows Storage Spaces drive-pooling technology and cluster shared volume (CSV) for appliance storage, my sources say. Microsoft officials already have acknowledged the company is working with various server partners to create a cluster-in-a-box architecture for those who prefer Scale-Out File Server (SOFS) for file-based storage for Hyper-V and SQL clusters over SMB 3.0.

According to sources, customers and partners will order the coming appliances directly from Microsoft and Microsoft will be providing them with direct support. They have not said anything about intended pricing, but these appliances will be aimed, at least for now, at partners and large business customers only, sources said.

 

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Fix email connectivity problems after Office 365 upgrade

Some people who have been recently upgraded from the pre-upgrade version of Office 365 are having connectivity problems with Outlook. For example, you may see a message in the status bar at the bottom of your outlook window that says Trying to connect or Disconnected. There are a few things that can cause connection issues.

The most common cause for connection problems is outdated operating system or app software, so you should check that first. If your software meets office 365 requirements, try the other steps here. Test your Outlook connection between each step.

 TIP  While you track down Outlook connection issues, you can keep sending and receiving email and manage your calendar and contacts in Outlook Web App.

Step 1: Make sure that your operating system is up-to-date

  1. Check the version of your software and your operating system to see if they meet the minimum requirements for Office 365. There’s a list of all the minimum software requirements located here. If the versions that you’re using aren’t supported, you’ll need to upgrade.
  2. If your operating system and software meet requirements, you might just need to install a software update for Outlook. Run Windows Update to install the latest patches and feature updates.

Step 2: Repair your Outlook profile

  • Follow these quick steps to repair your Outlook profile and see if that fixes your email connection.

Why this might help: If your Outlook profile was set up so that Outlook automatically discovers the right mail server (using Autodiscover), email will continue to work during an upgrade. If the profile was set up manually to use a specific email server name, you may need to repair the profile.

Step 3: Create a new Outlook profile

  • If repairing the profile doesn’t work, try creating a new email profile in Outlook.

Step 4: Use the Outlook Connectivity Troubleshooter

  • If you’re still experiencing connectivity problems, try the Outlook Connectivity Troubleshooter. This tool can help guide you through diagnosing and resolving Outlook issues.