Interlink Cloud Blog

Interlink Cloud Blog

Welcome to the Interlink Cloud Blog

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations or warranties regarding the information from our partners or other external sources.
Matt Scherocman

Interlink Welcomes Their Newest SQL Practice Lead, Ken Kruthaup

Interlink Welcomes Their Newest SQL Practice Lead, Ken Kruthaup

Interlink has expanded their SQL Practice and has brought on Ken Kruthaup to lead their team. Ken has worked with Fortune 500 companies and small businesses for the last 30+ years. Working both as a consultant and a Microsoft instructor for the past 21 years, Ken is well versed in many aspects of Microsoft technologies. He currently has 38 Microsoft certifications and has worked on many technologies in the Microsoft arena, yet, his area of focus has been on SQL Server. He has been certified since SQL 6.0 (1997) and recently passed the BETA SQL 2016 Admin exam.

Ken’s expertise allows him to help clients get the most of their SQL environment. This includes building redundancy, upgrades, scaling out to Azure, performance tuning, and general administrative tasks. He can create processes for immediate and long-term solutions that help clients gain the most of their SQL database environments. 


Are you interested in identifying the issues your database environment is having? Ken will conduct Interlink’s SQL Server Energize Assessment - a process is guaranteed to give you guidance toward better performance. Contact us today to discuss.

 

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Ken Kruthaup

Microsoft SQL 2016, Azure, OLTP…Together?

Microsoft SQL 2016, Azure, OLTP…Together?

Not a far “STRETCH” after all with SQL Server Stretch Database

As IT leaders, you have most likely experienced the huge costs associated with a “Data Warehouse” implementation. The level of complexities can grow quickly and leave you asking yourself many difficult questions such as:

  • Do I need to hire Cube developers?
  • How much local storage do I need?
  • Will I need another Enterprise SQL server to run the SSAS engine?

And finally…

  • Is it even worth it?

So many questions with high associated costs can negatively affect your projects and budgets. This leads us to the next question.

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Matt Scherocman

The Road to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Compliance with Microsoft and Interlink

The Road to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Compliance with Microsoft and Interlink

In the ever-changing digital age, one of the most important things is data protection. In an effort to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union (EU), the EU has decided to implement a new law called General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR for short. This regulation will start being enforced on May 25, 2018 and will impact almost every business that has employees, customers or potential customers in Europe.

What does the GDPR mean for your company?

With more than 160 GDPR regulation requirements, ranging from mandating a 72-hour notification for personal data breaches to regulations on how you collect, store and use personal information, it’s clear companies will need to get on the path to compliance.

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Eric Inch

"Stay Out Unless I Say So!" - The Sweetness of Azure AD Conditional Access

"Stay Out Unless I Say So!" - The Sweetness of Azure AD Conditional Access

I talk to a lot of customers using Office 365 that would like to have granular control on who can access the hosted services and only allow access to these services from corporate owned and managed devices. Enter Azure AD Conditional Access. “Keep out.. Unless of course you meet certain conditions!”

For example, with Azure AD device access rules you can restrict access to Exchange Online to only domain joined machines.

“Wait?! What?! That sounds just like what I’m looking to do.

What does that look like?”

 

When a user attempts to access Outlook Web App from a personal computer, they go to the OWA URL and enter their username and password.


The conditional access policy will look to verify that the device being used to access OWA is domain joined and registered in Azure AD. Since the computer is a personal computer, the user is denied access.


After closer examination using the “More details” link, you can see the access rules set require the device to be domain joined for access. In the scenario of personal computers, this will show as Unregistered.

Your access to corporate resources was swatted away like Dikembe Mutumbo. “Not in my house!”

“Good Eric, that’s all great but how about the full Outlook client? I would really like to see what options we have to prevent our users from connecting their personal Outlook client to our corporate email.”


When a user attempts to connect the Outlook client on a non-domain machine, the Outlook client will open and prompt the user for authentication.


The user will enter their username and password and the authentication process will look for a registered device.


Once again the user will be gently reminded that they need to be on a corporate owned device.

“Wow Eric, I’m really impressed by Conditional Access and the device access restrictions available in the Microsoft security suite. Anything else we should know? What about users that want to access OWA from other browsers?”

 

First and foremost, under no circumstance should you ever use anything other than Microsoft technology. Ever!

But, in the event some of your users want to go against my recommendation, to access corporate resources protected with device access rules they would need to use a supported browser. Conditional access support for applications: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/active-directory-conditional-access-supported-apps/


The behavior when attempting Outlook Web App using the Google Chrome browser would be as follows:

The user enters their username and password from a non-domain machine.

Since the user is trying to use a browser that doesn’t support conditional access, it gives the user a warning that the browser is not supported and to use Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer.

The device based access rules are configured within Azure AD Premium and have the following options.

  • Enable Access Rules – On or Off. (self-explanatory)
  • Apply To – Specific groups that you want to scope the access rules to. You also have the ability to except specific users from the scope.
  • Device Rules – The access rules you want to enforce for access to the corporate resources.
  • Application Enforcement – “For browser and native applications” OR “For only native applications” Exchange ActiveSync – Require a compliant device to access email

For more information on Azure AD Conditional access, please read the official Microsoft blog article AzureAD Conditional Access Policies for iOS, Android and Windows are in Preview!

 

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Matt Scherocman

Microsoft EMS Case Study: Interlink Sets G&J Pepsi Free to Innovate, Collaborate and Grow

Microsoft EMS Case Study: Interlink Sets G&J Pepsi Free to Innovate, Collaborate and Grow

G&J Pepsi Cola is the largest family-owned and operated Pepsi franchise bottler in the United States. Over 1,000 of their 1,600 employees are made up of deskless workers, including drivers, salespeople, and merchandisers. Not yet utilizing mobile devices, this sizable workforce did their job based on paper marching orders each morning. Over time, these paper instructions became hefty books that field people lugged around and rummaged for information.

hybrid Use Benefit quoteRealizing the need for change, G&J transitioned from paper to electronic documents and outfitted its deskless workforce with Android smartphones. The move created hundreds of new, unsecure and unoptimized mobile endpoints.

hybrid Use Benefit case study

Here’s just a couple of ways Interlink used the full value of Microsoft enterprise cloud products to meet G&J’s business challenge.

  • Secured the Digital Link with Microsoft EMS
    Using Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS), Interlink quickly secured 1,200 smartphones and tablets.

    With the mobile devices secure, G&J corporate offices, distribution centers, and field employees can now communicate and collaborate without having to worry about endpoint security. Management is free to share sensitive data in real time with other business units, decreasing data availability downtime while increasing efficiency of response to changes in operations.
  • Extended Microsoft EMS with Azure Active Directory Premium
    G&J uses several different applications across their IT infrastructure, all deployed with the challenge of needing to be secure and easily accessible. Using Azure Active Directory Premium, Interlink streamlined the management of these applications and improved the secure accessibility of multiple applications.

    By using a cloud-based single-sign-on (SSO), G&J consolidates application management and usage into one simple process. IT no longer needs to spend time and resources configuring multiple sets of credentials, and field employees never need to be concerned about not having access to their suite of third-party applications.

Read the full case study and see how Interlink met G&J Pepsi’s business mobility challenges with Interlink and Microsoft EMS.

hybrid Use Benefit case study

Contact us to show you how we can improve your collaboration, security, and mobility with Microsoft EMS too.  

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Welcome to the Interlink Cloud Blog

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations or warranties regarding the information from our partners or other external sources.