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ITPro SnapShot: What Else Happened This Week? (Feb. 23 - Mar. 2, 2017)

ITPro SnapShot offers a short and snappy round-up on the week's industry-related announcements and news around the globe. Here's what happened in the last week.

There's a lot of product announcements every week -- and sooner or later, something gets announced that you'll want to know. Every Friday, we'll connect some of these newsy little dots and draw a picture as to what's going on with tech vendors and industry trends.


Deploy Drupal on the AWS Cloud with New Quick Start

Amazon has added a new option to its cloud service that allows you to deploy Drupal in approximately 30 minutes from start to finish.

Drupal is open source software that can be used to create and manage websites with its content management and development tools. It is an alternative back-end framework that is used on 2.3 percent of all websites worldwide, compared to WordPress which is used on just over 29 percent of websites on the Internet. 

Popular uses for Drupal include knowledge management and business collaboration sites.

This new deployment template for Drupal on AWS supports customization options for network resources, settings for Drupal, and AWS services such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, Virtual Private Cloud, Relational Database Service, and Elastic File System.

Confidently Plan your Cloud Migration: Azure Migrate is Now Generally Available

Microsoft has wrapped up a five month preview period for its Azure Migrate service and are now making it available to Azure subscribers.

Azure Migrate will discover resources in your on-premises setup such as VMWare and Linux based VMs plus an optional feature will help you see the connections between different machines in your organization to understand any multi-tier applications that are in use.

This information will help you plan a migration to Azure based services based on three factors:

- Readiness for hosting your multi-tier applications in Azure

- Rightsizing for your Azure VMs based on your current use and setup scenarios for other VMs

- Cost analysis to understand what your recurring Azure costs will be

Move Projects Forward from One Place—Hangouts Chat Now Available

Microsoft is not the only cloud provider moving features from testing environments to production. Google has now made its Hangouts Chat, which is part of G Suite, available as a key service for G Suite subscribers.

Hangouts Chat is coming up against challengers such as Slack and Microsoft Teams as a centralized collaboration hub for companies, businesses, and teams to accomplish multiple tasks due to features like:

- Integrated with G Suite apps for easy access and sharing of documents

- Uses AI to make workflows more efficient and quicker

- Enable worldwide collaboration for team members now matter where they are globally

- Security is enterprise grade and it supports using Google Vault to archive, preserve, search, and export data in Hangouts Chat

The landscape of chat-based collaboration tools is getting quite crowded with Slack, Google, and Microsoft all continuing to introduce features to make their product more desirable and enhance their subscription offerings in services such as Office 365 and G Suite.

Amazon WorkDocs Now Offers Data Retention Capabilities

Users of the Amazon WorkDocs service, the AWS equivalent of Microsoft's OneDrive for Business, can now dictate site wide data retention policies to comply with applicable rules and regulations. 

The default is 60 days but it can be set anywhere between 0 and 365 days, and this setting can be applied to a WorkDocs setup from the Administrator console.

This service is available in all AWS regions that support WorkDocs.

Update on Spectre and Meltdown Security Updates for Windows Devices

This past week Microsoft updated customers on its continued efforts working with OEM partners to insure that devices continue to be protected against the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities.

The following resources were announced and shared as part of this effort:

- Windows customer guidance article with a list of updated Windows editions and a chronological list of released updates for Windows

- Microsoft Update Catalog list of Intel's microcode updates

Windows Analytics service for Azure subscribers to track Meltdown and Spectre compliance for end points

These resources will be updated as new information is made available so bookmarking these sites for updates would be a good idea for IT pros.

Announcing Flutter Beta 1: Build Beautiful Native Apps

At Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona, Spain, Google unveiled its first beta of a new cross-platform (iOS and Android) development tool for mobile apps called Flutter. 

For those keeping score, Flutter is a direct competitor to Microsoft's Xamarin toolset for cross platform development, however Flutter does at least support Visual Studio Code from Microsoft in addition to Google's own Android Studio.

I suspect Flutter will be a big discussion point a Google I/O this May as it is happening at the same time as Microsoft's own developer conference BUILD 2018.

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