Archive for the ‘Technology’ category

Agile business with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and SCMO Webinar with Synergy, Redington & Microsoft.

October 22nd, 2020

Agile business and digital transformation with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and SCM
Webinar with spears from Synergy Software Systems, Redington and Microsoft.

Also features a local case study for a leading UAE real estate group.
Date and Time: UAE – 28th October 2020 | 10:00am -11:30

For existing Dynamics customers looking to upgrade there will be a special offer announced by Redington and Synergy.

Please register on the link :


If you are unable to attend this session and would like to know more about Dynamics 365 then call us on 00971 4 3365589.

DymaxIO Subscription Licensing -all Condusiv products now rolled into one for fast data.

October 21st, 2020

All of the technologies in V-locity®, Diskeeper®, and SSDkeeper® have been rolled into one new product – DymaxIO™.

New DymaxIO is fast data software. Whether on-premises or in the Cloud, DymaxIO returns more than 40%+ of your hroughput that is being robbed due to I/O inefficiencies of Windows, SQl and virtualisation.

Fix your application slows, freezes, timeouts, slow SQL queries, reduce cloud compute costs, and more, at the source – no new hardware needed.
A software solutlion to a software performance problem.

DymaxIO is sold as an annual subscription which saves you money. Subscriptions are available for client, server, and host systems.

A new DymaxIO site license is also available to conveniently and cost-effectively optimize the performance of all Windows systems.

To improve performance across your systems callus on 009714 3365589

DYNAMICS 365 FOR MARKETING – October 2020 updates

October 8th, 2020

Microsoft understands customer engagement is the key to every business development process. This month, they add meat to their 360-degree view of customers with smart improvements to relationship-building processes and capabilities.

In-Place Editing of Email & Forms. No longer will you have to disengage from a customer journey to create or edit email communications or forms. In-place editing keeps the focus where it should be – within the customer journey. You can also create or edit marketing forms related to an event within the event itself. This one is a big improvement and just makes smart sense.

Enhanced Content-Rich Social Media Creation and Managemetn. The entire social media post creation experience has been redesigned for ease of use, better management across multiple channels and enhanced scheduling features.

A Redesigned, More Efficient Customer Journey Canvas. The new design offers a more intuitive approach to building customer journeys. The experience is further enhanced by no longer needing to hop between the canvas and the toolbox when creating the journey. One of my favorite new features is the inclusion of negative journey paths that allows you to create alternate journeys and follow-up events for those customers not meeting a certain condition (like not opening an email or not clicking on a specified link). This alone is a real game-changer.

Running Webinars within Microsoft Teams. With the onslaught of virtual events, the October release enables you to manage webinars and video meetings in Teams, directly from the Dynamics 365 Marketing platform. You can create and host live events – and integrate them directly into Marketing events. Businesses are already looking for better alternatives to Zoom and other video conferencing platforms and Microsoft is definitely stepping up to the plate.

Expanded Entity Options for Easy Data Collection. Before now, forms had to be connected to a lead or contact. But with the new release, forms no longer need to be mapped this way. Instead, marketers can store form submissions to other entities. and workflows can be created to move the data to where it needs to be.

The entirety of Dynamics 365 October Release is enormous, with updates and enhancements made throughout the entire suite of applications including: Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, Finance, Supply Chain Management, Human Resources, Commerce, Fraud Protection, and Business Central. There are also notable Microsoft Power Platform features in the new release, including substantial improvements for Power Apps developers.

Dynamics 365 Fraud protection

October 6th, 2020

Today’s digitally transformed enterprise conducts business online in real time – little human intervention is involved. This reduces costs and improves the customer experience. However, it exposes the enterprise to serious threats of fraud from sophisticated cybercriminals who try to take advantage of the online channel’s relative anonymity and accessibility. In e-commerce, transactions can be maliciously created via compromised accounts and stolen payment instruments

A key difference in E-Commerce fraud compared to any other fraudulent activity is that criminals do not even need a physical card for their actions.
For a false transaction to occur between a marketplace and a customer bank account only card information is required.
There are multiple ways to steal customer’s information, that’s why online payment fraud detection deserves to be managed separately.

Chargeback Fraud examples:

A customer buys a massive order and cancels the order right after the shipment, receiving goods without any payment.
A criminal, acting as a customer, gets in touch with the banking institution and claim his identity was stolen, and by this cancel the transaction
A scammer claims he never received the delivery and asks for another delivery.
For the business, it takes time and effort to properly investigate each case, so it will lose money no matter what the outcome. It’s even harder to distinguish real criminal activity from “friendly fraud” –i.e. genuine mistakes by your operation or by the real customer.

Other malicious activities include:
account takeover,
abuse of free trials,
fake product reviews,
warranty fraud,
refund fraud,
reseller fraud,
abuse of program discounts.

Such activities, affect the enterprise’s profitability and reputation and may also have serious consequences for society. Examples include money laundering and posting fake news

Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection is a cloud-based solution.
It is designed to help e-commerce merchants
decrease fraud costs,
increase acceptance rates,
improve the customer shopping experience.
Prevent payment and account-creation fraud with adaptive AI technology.
Get the benefit of connected knowledge from all Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection merchants for better fraud insights.
Improve customer service with the built-in escalation support.

The return on investment (ROI) for cybercrime online fraud is high, and it’s likely that most of an enterprise’s vulnerabilities will be discovered and exploited. Additionally, unlike during the early years of the internet, today’s fraudulent transactions can be orchestrated by well-funded and well-equipped rings of professionals. Fraud protection professionals need the right tools to fight this threat

By using Fraud Protection, you can help protect your business from fraud through several innovative and advanced capabilities. Here are some examples:
AI and insights from the fraud protection network
Device fingerprinting
A rules engine and virtual fraud analyst
A graph explorer and scorecard
A transaction acceptance booster

PURCHASE PROTECTION
1. Decrease wrongful rejections and boost acceptance rates with adaptive AI technology that continuously learns and adapts from patterns and equips store managers with tools to optimize fraud controls.
2. Increase fraud awareness and help reduce losses with a fraud protection network that uses connected knowledge to provide broad awareness of fraud activity across the globe, while keeping the security of your confidential information and shoppers’ privacy top of mind.
3. Boost transaction acceptance rates and improve the shopping experience by sharing transactional trust knowledge with issuing banks to increase authorization rates.
4. Improve customer service with a built-in escalation support tool that displays detailed context of the customer transaction including fraud insights provided by the service.

ACCOUNT PROTECTION

1. Safeguard your system with bot protection that helps protect against bots attempting to gain access to accounts with stolen credentials or to create fake accounts and transactions.
2. Help avoid losses due to fraudulent accounts with account creation protection that helps minimize abuse and automated attacks on customer accounts.
3. Reduce fraud with account sign-in protection that helps safeguard customer accounts, improving customer engagement and conversion by reducing friction.
4. Help protect customers with device fingerprinting to leverage the fraud network linkages and detect automated fraud attacks

LOSS PREVENTION
1. Help protect profits and reduce losses using adaptive AI technology that learns patterns and adapts to help optimize fraud controls.
2. Gain visibility into fraud risk with business intelligence reporting that enables store managers and investigators to take action by providing them with insights on anomalies with merchandise discounts and returns.
3. Increase operational efficiency by reducing manual effort required to determine the business entities and functions that may be at risk.
4. React quickly to dynamic fraud and purchase patterns using an enhanced loss prevention system with analysis that provides actionable insights to help reduce fraudulent returns and discounts.

Call Synergy Software Systems to learn more 00097143365589

What’s new in Dynamics SCM October 2020 Wave release – Ask Synergy Software Systems

October 6th, 2020

Edge computing is not just a buzzword. Companies often struggle with latency and connectivity when running operations in remote facilities. In fact, network latency is a top connectivity challenge for 30 percent of manufacturers, according to the IDC1. A leading cause of latency is high volume and resource-intensive processes running in parallel, resulting in reduced productivity.

Edge computing, is a means go changing where processing happens. The edge is the end of your organization’s network, the end of your reach. Edge computing put Internet of Things (IoT) devices closer to the locations they serve. The big benefits of edge computing is bandwidth savings and reduced latency, or the time it takes data to travel. Sending all data captured to a remote, central location requires a lot of bandwidth. When you put devices at the edge of your network, they can process the data before transferring only the output to your central server, which will reduce the amount of data and thus the bandwidth needed to send the information across the internet.

Data centers, typically run in cool dry atmospheres with little variability in temperature, edge computing devices are meant to operate in real-world conditions. They are usually more robust against heat and humidity and require less power, because they’re not located in big data centers that consume large amounts of electricity.

Operations without interruptions
The new Cloud and Edge Scale Unit add-ins for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, coming to preview in October, brings the power of the intelligent cloud to the edge. It allows organizations to run critical warehousing and manufacturing workloads on the edge in a distributed model using Azure stack devices. This improves resilience and ensures operations without interruptions even when temporarily disconnected from the cloud.

Scaling production and distribution with agility
Customers can make data-driven decisions before making any investment by easily simulating various factors that impact resilience of their critical manufacturing and warehouse processes, such as network latency, traffic volume, time-outs, or intermittent connectivity. They can then deploy the scale units—edge or cloud—to best overcome these challenges.

Microsoft Azure compute technologies make the deployment of edge scale units seamless with a plug-and-play experience and allows customers to easily scale during usage spikes to ensure high throughput.

In the past, edge deployments have been associated with use cases related to asset management due to the biggest concern associated with latency issues. With the new scale units for Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, however, the use cases have expanded to other critical manufacturing and warehouse execution scenarios.

Many manufacturers and distributors are heavily regulated and have strict policy requirements. These customers have been conservative with their migration to the cloud, which has impeded their ability to overcome disruptions like the one caused by the current pandemic. With the ability to run distributed workloads on the edge, these companies can feel more confident running the manufacturing and warehousing workloads on their premises while migrating the rest of their operations to the cloud; thereby digitally transforming their organizations and reducing costs to become more resilient.

What is the downside?
Edge computing requires a lot of hardware. For example, a large distributor or manufacturer who wanted to use IoT security cameras would need to have those edge devices at all of their hubs or warehouses. Decentralizing your equipment can present logistical challenges when it comes to management and maintenance

Edge computing has an increased attack vector because these multiple internet-facing devices are not behind well-secured corporate networks with giant firewalls, and therefore are more vulnerable to being hacked. A malicious user might try to steal your data or just commandeer your devices.

In the consumer space, a lack of security updates is a problem for products like smart lightbulbs, doorbells, and home sensors. As vulnerabilities are found, these devices need to be patched, to ensure a cybercriminal does not get unwarranted access onto your home network or take over the operation of your lightbulbs or doorbell.

To learn join us for two Webinars with Microsoft and Reddington on 21 October 2020 covering Dynamics 365 Finance, Dynamics 365 SCM Dynamics 365 Fraud protection, and how the cloud and Dynamics 365 is supporting digital transformation and new business paradigms.
To learn more call us on 009714 3365589

MrbMiner – act now to protect your SQL databases

October 3rd, 2020

MSSQL databases are under attack by a new devastating attack campaign. This time it is a dangerous malware called MrbMiner which is devised by an experienced hacking group. At this moment there is no information available about the identity of the criminals behind it. The name was given to the virus after one of the domain names which was registered to spread it.The attacks using a botnet approach — numerous computers and hacked hosts are tasked with the goal of automatically identifying accessible database servers on a given network. If such is found an automated script will be invoked which will attempt to leverage various security exploits. The main technique used is the brute force attempts that will use a dictionary or algorithm-based lists of usernames and passwords of the administrative users.A new malware gang has made a name for itself over the past few months by hacking into Microsoft SQL Servers (MSSQL) and installing a crypto-miner.

Thousands of MSSQL databases have been infected so far, according to the cybersecurity arm of Chinese tech giant Tencent.In a report published earlier this month, Tencent Security named this new malware gang MrbMiner, after one of the domains used by the group to host their malware. The Chinese company says the botnet has exclusively spread by scanning the internet for MSSQL servers and then performing brute-force attacks by repeatedly trying the admin account with various weak passwords.

Once the attackers gain a foothold on a system, they download an initial assm.exe file, which establishes a (re)boot persistence mechanism and adds a backdoor account for future access. Tencent says this account uses the username “Default” and a password of “@fg125kjnhn987.”

The last step of the infection process was to connect to the command and control server and download an app a Trojan module. that mines the Monero (XMR) cryptocurrency by abusing local server resources and generating XMR coins into accounts controlled by the attackers. It is used to keep a connection to the hacker-controlled server. It is used to take over control of the systems and steal any files and data from the hacked hosts. Usually, database servers are built on top of enterprise-grade and performance-optimized servers. For this reason, the hackers behind the ongoing campaign have implemented another dangerous action – to deploy a cryptocurrency miner. This is a script configured to download multiple performance-intensive complex tasks onto the infected servers. They will run automatically which will have a crippling effect on the usability of the systems. For every reported and completed the job the hackers will receive cryptocurrency assets as a reward.

The attacks will probably change in the near future. They are particularly useful for spreading dangerous malware such as the Qbot Trojan.

LINUX AND ARM VARIANTS ALSO DISCOVERED

The MrbMiner C&C server also contained versions of the group’s malware written to target Linux servers and ARM-based systems.
The Monero wallet used for the MbrMiner version deployed on MSSQL servers stored 7 XMR (~$630). While the two sums are small, crypto-mining gangs are known to use multiple wallets for their operations, and the group has most likely generated much larger profits.
For now, what system administrators need to do is to scan their MSSQL servers for the presence of the Default/@fg125kjnhn987 backdoor account. In case they find systems with this account configured, full network audits are recommended.

A T-SQL query that will collect data for you:

SELECT COUNT(*)
FROM sys.sql_logins AS s
WHERE s.[name] = ‘Default’
AND PWDCOMPARE(‘@fg125kjnhn987.’, s.password_hash) = 1

See this link for guidance on removal:

SSD performance degrades over time- prevent this with DymaxIO

September 29th, 2020

Can SSD performance degrade over time and is there a way to prevent this? The answer is YES and YES. the same solution that addresses the inefficiencies of iops in Windows , SQL and VMs can also help you to maintain the performance of your solid state disks.

The reason for this degradation is an undesirable SSD phenomenon called the Write Amplification Factor (WAF), . This is a numerical value that indicates the actual amount of data that was written to an SSD in relation to the amount of data that was requested to be written from the Host (i.e. Windows OS System)

WAF = the data written to the SSD / the data written by the host

For example, an application on the Windows Server system writes out 128kb of data to the SSD, but internally on the SSD, 512kb of data is written on the SSD for this to occur. This will degrade SSDs write performance.

In this example, the WAF = 512kb/128kb = 4 ! This is bad, a 128kb write from the host that resulted in 512kb of internal writes on the SSD

Ideally, you want a WAF = 128KB/128KB = 1

Why does this occur. Unlike HDDs, data cannot be directly overwritten on a disk. On SSDs, data can only be written to erased spaces. When you have a brand new initialized SSD, all of the pages are in a free/erased state, and there is no problem for it to find free/erased spaces to write new data. But as the SSD starts to fill up with data, resulting in erased spaces having to be created that causes the WAF to increase. I can go into more detail on this but will save it for another time. Suffice to say, a higher WAF value means SSD performance degradation.

Do SSDs degrade over time?

The answer is YES but this has to do more with the SSDs filling up over time. Some recommendations on the web advise to keep free space on SSDs anywhere from 10% to 30% to avoid this degradation. With less free space on a highly I/O intensive system, a couple of things occur:

-There are less free spaces to write to, extra overhead may have to occur like block erasures to allow the new updates to occur. This increases the WAF – Not a good thing.
- With less free space, file data may get spread out to different locations on the SSD. For example, in the best case, 10 pages of file data that is being updated are all on the same block.
- When the block needs to be erased to be updated, then just that one block needs to be updated. If those 10 pages are on 10 different blocks, then in the worst case, those 10 blocks have to be erased and re-written – More overhead and a higher WAF.

The result is

➣SSDs are overprovisioned. For example, a 1TB SSD actually contains 1.1TB of data space. This extra space (seen only by the SSD internals) helps to allow the WAF to remain low.
➣SSD Garbage collection and Trim. Both of these processes include freeing/erasing spaces in the background so new writes can occur quickly on these newly erased spaces.

How doies DymaxIO™ help with SSDs Degrading?

DymaxIO has technology to keep the WAF low.

The patented IntelliWrite® technology enforces efficient Sequential Writes to occur rather than smaller Random Writes from the Windows Host. Sequential writes are more likely to place data in the same blocks which can decrease the WAF

Optimization engines keep the free space contiguous when needed on the host logical side. This will help enforce larger sequential writes to occur which decrease the WAF.

There are also a few more benefits of enforcing larger sequential writes.
- Sequential I/Os out-perform Random I/Os on storage, both HDDs and SSDs, so this ensures you are getting the optimal performance from your storage.
- Keeping the WAF low and writes lower on the SSD helps to extend the lifetime of the SSD.

IntelliWrite technology in DymaxIO does both of these functions automatically
- Keep sufficient free space on your SSDs
- Enforce Sequential Writes rather than Random Writes.

Fix at the source. 2X SQL application performance, accelerate Windows throughput 40+%, extend hardware life 2 to 3 years, reduce timeouts, crashes, and more. A software solution to software problems Just install, DymaxIOno code changes, no reboot necessary.

Call Synergy Software Systems 0097143365589

Zerologon – critical to patch now – especially for those with Windows Server 2008R2 or earlier versions

September 26th, 2020

One of the highest-impact Windows vulnerabilities patched this year is now under active exploitation by malicious hackers, Microsoft warned overnight, in a development that puts increasing pressure on laggards to update now. The Zerologon micropatch is ‘primarily targeted at Windows Server 2008 R2 users without Extended Security Updates’

CVE-2020-1472, as the vulnerability is tracked, allows hackers to instantly take control of the Active Directory, a Windows server resource that acts as an all-powerful gatekeeper for all machines connected to a network. Researchers have dubbed the vulnerability Zerologon, because it allows attackers with only minimal access to a vulnerable network to login to the Active Directory by sending a string of zeros in messages that use the Netlogon protocol. The entire attack is very fast and can last up to three seconds, at most. In addition, there are no limits to how an attacker can use the Zerologon attack. For example, the attacker could also pose as the domain controller itself and change its password, allowing the hacker to take over the entire corporate network.

Simply put Zerologon lets anyone with a network toehold obtain the domain-controller password

“A security update was released in August 2020. Customers who apply the update, or have automatic updates enabled, will be protected.” Microsoft statement

Organizations with vulnerable servers should muster whatever resources they need to make sure this patch is installed sooner rather than later.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4557222/how-to-manage-the-changes-in-netlogon-secure-channel-connections-assoc

A test tool form Secura on Github, which you can download here: https://github.com/SecuraBV/CVE-2020-1472 can tell you whether a domain controller is vulnerable or not.

We advise readers ‘not to be the organisation that made the headlines because it failed to patch.”

It cannot be used to take over Windows Servers from outside the network. An attacker first needs a foothold inside a network. However, when this condition is met, Satnam Narang, staff research engineer at Tenable, described Zerologon as a “game over” situation for any organisation unlucky or foolhardy enough to fall victim to it, and urged prompt attention.

This bug is also a boon for malware and ransomware gangs, which often rely on infecting one computer inside a company’s network and then spreading to multiple others. With Zerologon, this task has been considerably simplified.

0patch, issued a “micropatch” of its own for the bug. “Our micropatch was made for Windows Server 2008 R2, which reached end-of-support this January and stopped receiving Windows updates” 0patch is also porting the micropatch to various still-supported Windows Servers for customers who for various reasons can’t apply the Microsoft patch, he added.

Zerologon carries a critical severity rating from Microsoft as well as a maximum of 10 under the Common Vulnerability Scoring System. Despite the high rating, the escalation-of-privileges vulnerability received scant, if any, attention when Microsoft patched it in August, and Microsoft deemed the chances of actual exploitation “less likely.”

The security world finally took notice last week with the release of several proof-of-concept exploits and a detailed writeup, which demonstrated the severity of the vulnerability and the relative ease in exploiting it.
All hands on deck. On Wednesday evening, Microsoft issued a series of tweets that Zerologon was now being exploited in the wild.
“Microsoft is actively tracking threat actor activity using exploits for the CVE-2020-1472 Netlogon EoP vulnerability, dubbed Zerologon,” Microsoft representatives wrote. “We have observed attacks where public exploits have been incorporated into attacker playbooks.”

The company provided several digital signatures of files used in the attacks, but it didn’t publicly provide additional details. Microsoft has published a threat analytics report that’s designed to help administrators assess the vulnerability of their networks, but it’s available only to Office 365 subscribers..

It’s hard to overstate the severity of an exploit that makes it possible to take control of an Active Directory using several dozen lines of code. Active Directories (and the domain controller servers they run on) are the resources most cherished by ransomware attackers. With control over the central provisioning directory, they can infect entire fleets of machines within minutes. Nation-sponsored hackers performing surgical-precision espionage campaigns also prize such access because it allows them to control specific network resources of interest.

There may also be ways to exploit Zerologon directly from the Internet with no previous access. Internet searches and now more than 33,000 and 3 million networks are exposing domain controllers and Remote Procedure Call login servers to the public Internet. In the event a single network is exposing both resources, the combination may leave a network wide open with no other requirements.

The risk posed by Zerologon isn’t just that of facing a catastrophic hack. There’s also the threat of applying a patch that breaks a network’s most sensitive resource. Late last week, the cybersecurity arm of the Department of Homeland Security mandated agencies to either apply the patch by Monday night or remove domain controllers from the Internet. Less than three days later exploits are in the wild, so it’s clear there was good reason for the directive.

Patching Zerologon was no easy task for Microsoft, as the company had to modify how billions of devices are connecting to corporate networks, effectively disrupting the operations of countless of companies. This patching process is scheduled to take place over two phases. The first one took place last month, when Microsoft released a temporary fix for the Zerologon attack.
This temporary patch made the Netlogon security features (that Zerologon was disabling) mandatory for all Netlogon authentications, effectively breaking Zerologon attacks.
Nonetheless, a more complete patch is scheduled for February 2021, just in case attackers find a way around the August patches. Unfortunately, Microsoft anticipates that this later patch will end up breaking authentication on some devices. Some details about this second patch have been described here https://portal.msrc.microsoft.com/en-US/security-guidance/advisory/CVE-2020-1472

Note if you use Samba for domain control then that is also impacted and there is a patch available.

Microsoft Power BI new license option – called Premium Per User, or Premium Gen2. Ask Synergy Software Systems

September 25th, 2020

A recent, Microsoft Ignite 2020 announcement of a new licensing plan for Microsoft Power BI, called Premium Per User, or Premium Gen2.

We already have license options for:
Per user Pro
One of the most common licensing options is the Power BI pro account, that gives the user enough access to do *almost* anything they want in the world of Power BI development, building solutions, creating workspaces in the service, sharing the content to the users, etc. This licensing is priced $9.99 USD per user per month.

Good enough to cover the analytics needs of a small to medium scale business with usual analytics requirement. Requirements such as getting data from multiple sources, combining it, building superb visualizations and sharing among a reasonable number of end-users.

Premium: capacity-based
Another popular option is to purchase a dedicated capacity (a dedicated node of certain amount of CPU cores and RAM power) to host the Power BI content on it. The dedicated capacity comes not only with a better performance, but also, with extra features. Such as using AI abilities, some extra features in the dataflow development, geo replicas for the data model, paginated reports and many other features. Dedicated capacity comes in two modes; embedded, and Premium. and the minimum entry for Premium is $4,995 USD per node.

Good for enterprise scale businesses with advanced analytics requirement, such as working with big data, building computed entities in the dataflow, leveraging AI functionalities, and requiring high performance for their big data analytics.

Pro is cheap enough to get every business started with analytics, and Premium is powerful enough to cover sophisticated analytics requirements. However, there is a large group of small to medium scale business which have advanced analytics needs. Premium capacity-based licensing for this group is too expensive. For a company with l only 10 to 20 users, there may not be an ROI to pay $4,995 per month for analytics. On the other hand, Pro is too limited. They need some features that are not available in this licensing.

The details of how much the licensing would cost are still to be determined, as the licensing for Premium Per User, or Premium Gen2 will come later this year (2020). It means that a small scale business can pay for the analytics requirement with a per-user licensing , which may be a worthwhile option. That means business can scale with advanced analytics features like an enterprise customer.

PowerBi support for Windows7 and older versions of .net will end soon -ask Synergy Software Systems

September 25th, 2020

After 10 years, support for Windows 7 ended on January 14, 2020.
In line with this, Microsoft will be stopping support for Power BI Desktop on Windows 7 on Jan 31st 2021.

After that, Power BI Desktop will only be supported on Windows 8 and newer versions.

The January 2021 release of Power BI Desktop Optimized for Report Server will be supported as per the Modern Lifecycle Policy i.e. supported until the next release (currently scheduled for May 2021), after which it will only receive security updates until January 2022, after which support will stop.

Microsoft is also making a change to the version of .NET that is required to run Power BI Desktop.
Starting from the October release you need the .NET 4.6.2 or greaterversion to be installed. This is installed by default with Windows 10 and for older versions of Windows the Power BI Desktop installer will launch the .NET installer for you.

Why software update is important – the latest patches from Microsoft monthly ‘Patch Tuesday’

September 16th, 2020

There many reasons from performance to new features to compliance and to support new ways of working.
However, with the huge sophisticated increase in cybercrime, unpatched and out fo date software versions are most vulnerable.

As part of this month’s Patch Tuesday, Microsoft today released a fresh batch of security updates to fix a total of 129 newly discovered security vulnerabilities affecting various versions of its Windows operating systems and related software. Of the 129 bugs spanning its various products — Microsoft Windows, Edge browser, Internet Explorer, ChakraCore, SQL Server, Exchange Server, Office, ASP.NET, OneDrive, Azure DevOps, Visual Studio, and Microsoft Dynamics — that received new patches, 23 are listed as critical, 105 are important, and one is moderate in severity.

Unlike the past few months, none of the security vulnerabilities the tech giant patched in September are listed as being publicly known or under active attack at the time of release or at least not in knowledge of Microsoft.

A memory corruption vulnerability (CVE-2020-16875) in Microsoft Exchange software is worth highlighting all the critical flaws. The exploitation of this flaw could allow an attacker to run arbitrary code at the SYSTEM level by sending a specially crafted email to a vulnerable Exchange Server.

“A remote code execution vulnerability exists in Microsoft Exchange software when the software fails to properly handle objects in memory,” Microsoft explains. “An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts.”

Microsoft also patched two critical remote code execution flaws in Windows Codecs Library; both exist in the way that Microsoft Windows Codecs Library handles objects in memory, but while one (CVE-2020-1129) could be exploited to obtain information to compromise the user’s system further, the other (CVE-2020-1319) could be used to take control of the affected system.

Besides these, two remote code execution flaws affect the on-premises implementation of Microsoft Dynamics 365, but both require the attacker to be authenticated.
Microsoft also patched six critical remote code execution vulnerabilities in SharePoint and one in SharePoint Server. While exploiting the vulnerability in SharePoint Server requires authentication, other flaws in SharePoint do not.

Other critical flaws the tech giant patched this month reside in Windows, Windows Media Audio Decoder, Windows Text Service Module, Windows Camera Codec Pack, Visual Studio, Scripting Engine, Microsoft COM for Windows, Microsoft Browser, and Graphics Device Interface.

Vulnerabilities marked as important reside in Windows, Active Directory, Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS), Internet Explorer Browser Helper, Jet Database Engine, ASP.NET Core, Dynamics 365, Excel, Graphics Component, Office, Office SharePoint, SharePoint Server, SharePoint, Word, OneDrive for Windows, Scripting Engine, Visual Studio, Win32k, Windows Defender Application Control, Windows DNS, and more.

Most of these vulnerabilities allow information disclosure, the elevation of privilege, and cross-Site Scripting. Some also lead to remote code execution attacks. In contrast, others allow security feature bypass, spoofing, tampering, and denial of service attacks.

Windows users and system administrators are highly advised to apply the latest security patches as soon as possible to keep cybercriminals and hackers away from taking control of their computers.

For installing security updates, head on to Settings → Update & security → Windows Update → Check for updates or install the updates manually.

S

SnapLogic and rapid integration with SAP, Concur, Ariba, Fieldglass, Cloud Analytics….

September 15th, 2020

On 16th September, SnapLogic and SAP will present the very latest in Citizen-Integration IPaaS simplifying integration of SAP Ariba, SAP Concur, SAP Fieldglass, multiple data sources and apps with SAP Cloud Analytics and SAP Data Warehouse Cloud.

You will also hear from Siemens AG, how they drove their integration vision successfully.
Learn how, by adding SnapLogic to your SAP data and application fabric, you can better:
• Maximise your SAP investments and reduce IT debt
• Optimise procurement operations and accelerate SCM delivery by 10X
• Create smooth paths to your other best-of-breed applications and solutions
• Align your business with application delivery and initiatives
Speakers:
- Thomas Hecht, Head of Technology at Siemens AG
- Klaus-Peter Sauer, Senior Director Data Warehousing EMEA at SAP
- Roger Coles, Director of Alliances and Channels, EMEA at SnapLogic
- John Landells, Solutions Engineer, EMEA at SnapLogic

Contact Snaplogic partner Synergy Software Systems us for information on how to register.

Microsoft Lists now in Teams – ask Synergy Software Systems

September 8th, 2020

Microsoft Lists, a new product based on SharePoint Lists, is now generally available through the Microsoft Teams service for both business and government users, Microsoft announced this week. Besides Teams, Lists is also slated for SharePoint Online and the Microsoft 365 Launcher application.
Mobile apps for iOS and Android are expected to be released around the end of the year.
Lists in Teams Availability
Lists in Teams availability depend on the sort of Microsoft 365 updates an organization elects to receive. The feature started rolling out in August to tenants getting “targeted” update releases, according to Lincoln DeMaris, a Microsoft principal program manager on the Microsoft Lists team, in an interview published by Microsoft on Monday.
The application more likely will arrive in Microsoft 365 tenancies in early September, and will get finalized in mid-October, according to Daniel Glenn, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, in an Aug. 8 “365 Message Center Show” podcast.
Lists wasn’t there in Teams when I checked the Apps menu. However, when it’s available, Lists will get added by default for all Teams users unless IT pros block it, according to this Microsoft help document. Data used with the Lists app are stored in an organization’s “SharePoint Online team site,” the document explained. Permissions associated with Lists in Teams apparently get controlled via SharePoint List or Library permission controls that IT pros may set.
Lists Capabilities
Microsoft Lists is different from other Microsoft list programs in providing user-friendly templates to help create lists. Within Teams, it’s possible to chat about the lists using a pane on the right side. Lists also can be created from Excel workbook files, if wanted.
Microsoft’s premade Lists templates include:
• Patients
• Loans
• Incidents
• Issue Tracker
• Event Itinerary
• Business Trip Approvals
• Team Contacts
• Asset Tracker
• Project Planning
• Onboarding Checklist
The first three lists (Patients, Loans and Incidents) are described as being new “industry-specific templates.” It’s also possible to create new lists by scratch, or create a new list using the formatting of an existing list.

End users can change the views in how the list information gets presented. Some views, though, such as “calendar views, gallery views and rules” are yet to come, according to DeMaris. While end users typically create lists within an organization, they also can create personal lists. DeMaris suggested Microsoft was working to address possible organizational governance issues associated with this personal lists creation capability.
Lists is powered by the same technology Microsoft uses to power SharePoint Site designs, DeMaris explained. That circumstance means that some of the same sort of customization options available for SharePoint Sites may be coming to Microsoft Lists, as well, he suggested.
Organizations using Lists in SharePoint Online don’t need to migrate them to SharePoint Lists because they are basically the same thing, DeMaris noted.

Machine learning, UiPath and Ai Fabric

September 3rd, 2020


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Windows performance problems – one major cause.

September 1st, 2020

12 substantial Windows performance problems that can cause the most frustration and chew up valuable time can be directly traced to a single source.

1. Slow Application Performance Familiar?. A company runs a large application such as EMR/EHR or ERP o which the entire enterprise depends, and users have to end wait endlessly for data. A sales team operating on a CRM application, and speaking with prospects loses the sale while waiting for data. It could be an LMS, used for the vital administration of educational programs. Other applications such as SharePoint, MS Exchange, VDI, POS and even legacy and proprietary apps all suffer from this same malady. The phone line and support desk tickets is overwhelmed with user complaints.

2. Application Crashses This t brings everything to a dead stop. Freezes and crashes are the biggest headaches of IT, there is nothing worse than angry users. When the application has crashed this will affect others accessing that application, too. When this happens, often a user will yell out, “What’s wrong with the computer?!” But of course, it’s not the computer. We’ll get to that at the end. Meanwhile, log files fill up, transactions or batch tasks don;t complete, and data gets corrupted. There may be downtime to reboot the server, or users may need to rekey data.

3. Missing SLA targets SLAs are the delivery backbone of many companies. Service quality and availability are service aspects written into contracts, and when those re not met, it not only means lost income, it can also mean lost business and clients. This is especially true today in a SaaS environment, in which a client can simply pull the plug and go to another provider. A primary cause of missed SLAs is slow performance. Yet again, it traces to the same source .

4. Slow Data Transfer Rates There are many reasons for heavy data transfer, including backups to other locations, and importing data to new locations, integrations and BI , When transfer rates are slow, it means waiting. And waiting. And waiting. This Windows performance problem eats up system as well as staff resources. Slow data transfer rates are traceable to this same source.

5. SQL Query Timeouts and Latency Enterprises run on data, which means they’re also living and dying on database queries. When a query is originated, the process through which the query was made will wait until the query is satisfied. The longer the wait (latency), the longer a data record, or computing resource is locked to other users. When a timeout occurs, that means that the query must be started again. This, of course, can mean a serious delay.

6. SQL Deadlocks This phenomenon occurs when two or more processes are waiting for the same resource. Each process is then waiting for the other process to complete before continuing. On the user end, SQL deadlocks produce the same result as timeouts: endless waiting.

7. SQL Server 15-Second Warnings An I/O request should complete within milliseconds. The 15-second warning that SQL Server has been waiting for longer than 15 seconds for an I/O request to complete indicates a serious performance problem—once again traceable to the same issue.

8. You Upgrade Hardware…but Performance Still Slow Many think the easy way to solve performance problems is to upgrade hardware. It can help but what happens when you upgrade hardware, and performance is still sluggish? This is a very expensive way to indicate that you have “solved” the wrong problem. Yes, performance was an issue, but the reason behind it was not hardware related. Yes, you guessed it: the cause is the same as all of these other problems.

9. Slow SSD Read/write Speed Companies install SSDs to improve performance—and given the substantial performance difference between SSDs and HDDs, that performance difference should be much better. Sometimes the read/write speed to SSDs is still slow because you’re still suffering from the same problem.

10. Storage Performance Problems Storage is very a sophisticated with solutions designed to improve storage performance. Performance problems you experience with storage are only partly due to the hardware…but to the same cause as the rest of these issues.

11. Slow Server Performance This is the generally sluggish performance phenomenon, the causes of which can be tough to trace down. For that reason, many don’t try—they just decide that hardware must be upgraded: new servers, new storage, perhaps even a new network. Slow server performance is most often rooted in the same cause as all of these other issues. Servers don’t come cheap and they consume utilities

12. VM Density and Consolidation Issues
Its now common practice to consolidate several VMs into one physical server. The higher the VM density is, the more efficient the system may be but those Vms have to talk to each other and the system tBoth VM consolidation and VM density contain the same inherent performance problem as each of these other scenarios and may be preventing you from loading more VMs onto a single host.

The Basic Problem

All of these Windows performance problems that cost you peace of mind can be traced back storage I/O efficiencies.
Virtualization has been great for server efficiency, ba big downsides to virtualization is that it adds complexity to the data path – known as the I/O blender effect that mixes and randomizes I/O streams.

There are 2 severe I/O inefficiencies causing this.

The Windows file system will break up data ‘writes’ into separate storage I/Os and send each I/O packet down to the storage layer separately. This causes I/O characteristics that are much smaller, more fractured, and more random than they need to be – this along with the I/O Blender effect results in bad storage performance. This is a “death by a thousand cuts” scenario – everything is running, but not running nearly as fast as it could.

You could opt to throw more hardware at the problem, but this is expensive and disruptive and can be premature – it is much better to tune what you already own to get the performance of which the server is capable.

Storage I/O contention occurs when you have multiple systems all sharing the same storage resource.

Windows breaks up that I/O profile into a smaller, more fractured, more random I/O profile than it needs to be. when clean that up on one VM then all of the data from that one VM to the host is all streamlined, but then you have all the data from neighbor VMs that are still noisy and causing contention.

So, your performance is penalized once, twice by storage I/O efficiencies. This means systems process workloads are typically about 50% slower than they should on the typical Windows server. Far more I/O than s needed is used to process any given workload. This is a major cause of Windows performance problems

The Solution: ensure large, clean, and contiguous read and write I/Os from all sources, and eliminate the I/O blender effect.

Larger, cleaner, sequential I/Os result in fewer I/Os to process and thus faster data transfer rates for peak performance. In such a case, you can have 1G of data, but instead of transferring it in 100,000 I/Os, you can accomplish it in 70,000, or less.

The next factor is to read and to write I/Os sequentially, instead of randomly. When dealing with storage, sequential I/Os always out-perform random I/Os on hard disk drives, SSDs and flash storage.

These factors work together to transform the nature of the I/O to improve performance:

Larger I/O
Sequential I/O
Less I/O

The overall effect is that the OS workload is reduced, because there are fewer I/Os to process, and they are occurring sequentially.
DymaxIO

This is the solution brought into effect by the DymaxIO fast data software: (A software Solution for a software problem)

-Fewer I/Os, because they are larger
-Sequential I/Os
– Read I/O served from memory DymaxIO accomplishes these improvements through proprietary technology that optimizes and streamlines with both reads and writes.

Write performance: IntelliWrite® patented technology eliminates small, fractured I/Os caused by Windows splitting files into multiple write operations. DymaxIO enforces large, clean, contiguous writes for more payload with every I/O operation.

Read performance: IntelliMemory® patented technology reduces read I/Os from storage by caching hot data server-side. Reads are cached right at VM level from otherwise-idle, available DRAM. Not only does this enormously decrease the I/O latency time, but also decreases the I/O traffic to the storage unit, thus freeing up the storage bandwidth for other work.

Because of these substantial improvements, DymaxIO is able to regularly provide 30 to 40 percent faster data transfer speeds, eliminating a myriad of Windows performance problems.DymaxIO improves the performance and reliability of Windows systems.

Are your servers good candidates for DymaxIO ? Find out quickly and easily without investing a lot of time –
Our I/O Assessment Tool. will:

Analyze data across 11 performance metrics
Easily identify systems suffering from performance issues
Graphs display averages and peaks for each hour

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