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Category Archives: Blog

Jeff Woolsey explains and demos the steps to discover, assess and migrate Windows and Linux virtual machines from VMware to Azure. The new Azure Migrate service helps you find on-premises VMs and apps using a collector appliance, then exposes VM attributes – including utilization, sizing and dependency information – to help you plan your migration. Azure Site Recovery then provides the tools to replicate discovered and targeted VMs into Azure storage, then allows you to test and move workloads into production. Along the way, Jeff explains how the tools in Azure help you determine costs and take advantage of potential cost savings via the Azure Hybrid Benefit for Windows Server.

To learn more, go to the Azure migration center http://www.azure.com/migrate.

To see how VMs can be secured and managed once in Azure, check out the recently published “Steps to securing and managing your VMs in Azure” show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAXz8zK8bks

And if you have further questions, join the Azure Migration Tech Community: https://www.youtube.com/redirect?event=video_description&v=qtRwJUhniAg&q=https%3A%2F%2Ftechcommunity.microsoft.com%2Ft5%2FAzure-Migration%2Fbd-p%2FAzureMigration&redir_token=th9sfE1ekikjM-qcd6Vxw2XWQnB8MTUxMzkxODc0OUAxNTEzODMyMzQ5

We take a look at SQL Server 2017, and how the SQL Server that you know now runs on Linux with the new platform abstraction layer. We’ll look at and how well it performs as well Active Directory Authentication on working on Linux; high availability options as well as failover between Windows and Linux Platforms. We’ll also show you support for Graph analysis to identify new relationships in your data and more.

At Henson Group, our employees and contractors are like family. On this occasion of Labor Day, sending our team warm wishes for you are the strength and support of our company. I wish you and your family the best of happiness and health. Happy Labor Day!

Explore the streamline update model between Office and Windows 10. See the upcoming changes to Office 365 system requirements so that your Office desktop apps can benefit from the latest Office 365 capabilities. Also, take a look at the improvements that we’re making to make it simpler to deploy and update Office 365 ProPlus on Windows 10. Please contact us if you have any questions or need assistance with Office 365.

About the Client
Smartsoft is a leading provider of workflow management software.  Smartsoft has helped top American businesses improve returns on investment, decrease costs, and increase efficiency in operations.  Since its founding in 1997, Smartsoft has grown to become a full service company for its SAP clients.

Business Situation
Given Smartsoft’s continued growth, it needed a more resilient and elastic environment and decided to switch from on premise infrastructure to Azure.  Microsoft Azure is a growing collection of integrated cloud services—analytics, computing, database, mobile, networking, storage, and web—for moving faster, achieving more, and saving money. Smartsoft enlisted the assistance of Henson Group, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner with extensive experience in solving the IT challenges of companies like Smartsoft.

Solution
Henson Group team moved the customer from on premise infrastructure to Azure. The customer had issues with their on-premise Infrastructure and wanted to be moved to a more resilient and elastic environment. Henson Group worked with the client to complete the migration of their servers which included applications and SQL servers. The high-level deliverables included:

  • Build a new Windows 2012 R2 server
  • Add server to Active Directory and configure access
  • Install SQL Express 2008 R2 on new server
  • Move data from existing MS061 server to Azure server (~120 GB)
  • Move 2 SQL express 2008 R2 databases to new server
  • Move 4-5 IIS Application to new server
  • Support testing on server and applications
  • Final migration of SQL databases on go-live

Objectives
The primary objectives of this project were to increase the resiliency and elasticity of Smartsoft environment to prepare for future growth while maintaining low costs.

Henson Group was also tasked with improving the quality and efficiency of the system, while reducing risk.  Upgrades were to be made with minimal disruption to the work at Smartsoft.

In addition, Smartsoft wanted to gain practical experience during the transition to Microsoft Azure.

Results and Benefits
The Henson Group oversaw the development, implementation, and transition for Smartsoft from on premise to Azure.  The transition included building a new Windows 2012 R2 server, upgrading software and data management systems, and moving pre-existing data to new server. The project included support testing on the servers and applications.

Benefits
Due to its transition to Azure, Smartsoft reduced it’s administration by 39%.  With this solution, the hardware is maintained by Microsoft, so the client saved 24% on hardware cost maintenance.  Smartsoft realized a ROI within 6 months of the migration.

Elasticity was another benefit Smartsoft received after its transition to Azure.  Because of the migration to Azure, the client is able to install and use servers according to their need.

With the implementation of the Azure solution, quality has greatly improved.  Smartsoft is now experiencing 99.99% reliability with the Azure cloud solution.

Risk reduction was improved, as the transition to Azure led to a higher rate of server and data security.  This security improvement also increased its access to its IT infrastructure.

Products

  • Microsoft Azure
  • Windows Server 2012
  • SQL 2008 R2
  • IIS 7.0
  • Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit
  • Microsoft System Center 2012

To request a free consultation to learn how your organization can realize similar benefits and gains with Microsoft Azure deployment services provided by preferred Microsoft Gold Partner Henson Group, please email Info@HensonGroup.com.

Based in Wallingford, CT, Amphenol is one of the largest manufacturers of interconnect products in the world. The Company designs, manufactures and markets electrical, electronic and fiber optic connectors, coaxial and flat-ribbon cable, and interconnect systems.

The primary end markets for the Company’s products are communications and information processing markets, including cable television, cellular telephone and data communication and information processing systems; aerospace and military electronics; and automotive, rail and other transportation and industrial applications.

To efficiently support its IT environment, Amphenol leverages Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 (SCCM), a Windows product that enables administrators to manage the deployment and security of devices and applications across the enterprise.

Amphenol recently sought to upgrade its existing environment to SCCM 2012 R2, the latest iteration of the technology. The company enlisted Microsoft and The Henson Group, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner with extensive experience in System Center technology and a long history serving the IT needs of manufacturing organizations.

 

Solution

Microsoft enlisted the assistance of The Henson Group, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner with extensive experience in solving the IT challenges of modern professional services organizations like Amphenol.

The client partnered with Henson Group for a seamless upgrade to SCCM 2012 R2. A Henson Group System Center architect defined the scope of the engagement by mapping out a phased approach that included gathering functional and technical requirements, and after, an extensive engineering and testing phase was implemented.

The main deliverables for the project included:

Review of Amphenol’s SCCM architecture

  • Review current desktop environment (Image Creation/Update, Management Tools, Software Updates, Folder Redirection/Synchronization, User Profiles, Shares, Printers, Group Policies, User location, Collect Hardware refresh cycle, etc.)
  • Review existing tools and processes for PC deployment

Subsequent to the review, Henson Group formulated an extensive array of recommendations for the upgrade and optimal use of SCCM 2012. Henson Group then a series of onsite meetings at the client to review these customized best practices and provide specific training and walkthroughs. These sessions focused on various topics, including, but not limited to:

  • Manage Sites
  • Manage collections
  • Monitor site health
  • Configure software updates
  • Manage site communications
  • Manage boundary groups
  • Manage role-based security
  • Managing clients
  • Deploying clients
  • Deploy and configure SCCM end point protection for AV
  • Manage client agent settings
  • Manage hardware inventory
  • Manage software inventory
  • Manage Operating System Deployment (OSD)
  • Configure the OSD environment
  • Build and capture an image
  • Deploy an image
  • Manage images
  • Deploy Applications and Software Updates
  • Create an application/update
  • Deploy an application/update
  • Monitor application/update deployment
  • Manage the software library and application catalog

 

Results & Benefits

Based on the review, analysis and knowledge transfer provided by Henson Group, Amphenol was able to successfully achieve its vision for an optimal upgrade to System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2.

During the requirements gathering and review phases of the engagement, the client’s existing policies and solution for imaging was updated to match a more comprehensive set of requirements. The policy, governance and new systems management capabilities offered an efficient and more predictable deployment and administration capability.

The improved imaging process was more reliable and more supportive of the client’s long-term vision. Henson Group partnered with Amphenol to design a migration plan which minimized disruptions to daily business. Meanwhile, Henson Group supported the IT organization with the expert mentoring and cross-training the client’s IT staff needed. The business successfully met its deployment goals.

 

Products

  • Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012

 

Contacts Us Today!

To request a free consultation to learn how your organization can realize similar benefits and gains with Microsoft System Center deployment services provided by preferred Microsoft Gold Partner The Henson Group, please email Info@HensonGroup.com or call +1.800.980.1130.

B&H Photo Video, founded in 1973 and located at 420 Ninth Avenue on the corner of West 34th Street in Manhattan, New York City, is the largest non-chain photo and video equipment store in the United States. Since its founding, B&H Photo has established itself as the place to go for the best prices and service for photographic, audio, video, computer, and home entertainment needs.

To efficiently manage its IT environment, B&H Photo Video decided to deploy Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 (SCCM), a Windows product that enables administrators to manage the deployment and security of devices and applications across the enterprise. Part of the Microsoft System Center 2012 systems management suite, SCCM 2012 discovers servers, desktops, tablets, and mobile devices connected to a network through Active Directory and installs client software on each node. It then manages application deployments and updates on a device or group basis, allowing for automated patching with Windows Server Update Services and policy enforcement with Network Access Protection.

To support this deployment, B&H Photo Video approached Microsoft, which in turn enlisted The Henson Group, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner with extensive experience in System Center technology and a long history serving the IT needs of retail organizations.

Solution

A Henson Group System Center architect defined the scope of the engagement by mapping out a phased approach that included gathering functional and technical requirements, the subsequently managing  the implementation.

The main deliverables for the project included:

Phase 1: Discovery & Deployment

  1. Capturing of SCCM 2012 business and technical requirements
  2. Discovery for AD, Network, Workstation (OSs, Models, Drivers), OS Provisioning, Reporting Requirements, and Processes/Procedures
  3. Review of B&H’s existing desktop environment (Image Creation/Update, Management Tools, Software Updates, Folder Redirection/Synchronization, User Profiles, Shares, Printers, Group Policies, User location, Collect Hardware refresh cycle, etc.)
  4. Creation of logical and physical architecture documentation for SCCM 2012 R2 and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) including server/Virtual Machines, disk/SAN, and High Availability/Disaster Recovery specifications
  5. Creation of SCCM Container(s) in Active Directory
  6. Extension/verification of SCCM Schema Extensions
  7. Creation of SCCM service accounts, Servers/Virtual Machiens, and a Microsoft SQL instance
  8. Configuration of SQL TCP port for SCCM
  9. Installation of required roles and features for SCCM Server

Phase 2: Verification and Training

  1. Review and resolution of any SCCM alerts and event logs
  2. Provision of a list of monitors for SCCM Servers for monitoring
  3. Verification of inventory reports are functional
  4. Deployment of Windows update through SCCM via WSUS
  5. Deployment of one MSI to test collection to validate application/patch deployment
  6. Training, administration, and troubleshooting of BitLocker and AppLocker
  7. Knowledge Transfer , including special emphasis on the following topics:

Manage Sites Manage collections

Monitor site health

Configure software updates

Manage site communications

Manage boundary groups

Manage role-based security

Manage the software library and application catalog

Manage Clients Deploy clients

Manage client agent settings

Configuring SCCM end point protection for AV

Manage Inventory

Manage hardware inventory

Manage software inventory

Results & Benefits

The Henson Group successfully achieved the objectives for B&H’s implementation of System Center Configuration Manager 2012. The Henson Group’s discovery, design and deployment was completed within eight days, without disruption of the client’s business operations.  Moving forward,  B&H is now able to leverage a robust array of management capabilities, including, but not limited to Software Deployment , Operating System Deployment , Software / Hardware Inventory and others to streamline the IT department’s day-to-day tasks.

Meanwhile, Henson Group supported the IT organization with the expert mentoring and cross-training the client’s IT staff needed. The business successfully met its deployment goals.

Products

  • Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2

Contacts Us Today!

To request a free consultation to learn how your organization can realize similar benefits and gains with Microsoft System Center deployment services provided by preferred Microsoft Gold Partner The Henson Group, please email Info@HensonGroup.com or call +1.800.980.1130.