IBM recently announced a high end Power10 server, the E1080, which is meant for its largest customers who may need up to 240 processor cores and the highest levels of RAS (Reliability, Availability and Security) to run their enterprise applications. We know that Power10 servers for customers with smaller workloads will soon follow. This seminar will help you to determine if you should be considering upgrading to a Power10 server and how to prepare for it.

 

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The construction industry relies on unique resources and programs to run their operations. Time is money in any business, but it proves especially true in construction, with these industry-specific IT requirements.

Join Aktion for this 30-minute educational webinar about preventing costly downtime and the advantage that managed services can give your company.

 

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Aktion is pleased to announce that we are an authorized partner for IBM Storage Solutions.

Join the Aktion hosted webinar including several recent IBM Power announcements and High Availability (HA)/Disaster Recovery (DR) options for IBM i customers (previously AS/400 and iSeries) and a spotlight on IBM Storage.

Charles Kaplan of the Aktion technology division will lead the IBM Power and HA/DR discussion. Ric Halsaver from IBM will provide a brief overview of their award winning storage offerings and how they fit into both your mainstream needs as well as supplementing IBM Power Systems to cut costs and increase functionality.

 

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More employees are working remotely than ever before. Being able to work as effectively and as efficiently as possible in their remote environment is critical. The adoption of collaborative technologies like Microsoft Teams has become a key piece of today’s modern remote work strategy.

Aktion has developed an approach to help our clients quickly arm their employees with tools to work from any location.

Join Aktion for a live interactive webinar to learn more about Microsoft Teams and our proven deployment and migration strategy that helps our clients effectively collaborate from any location.

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Join the Aktion hosted webinar on High Availability (HA) and Disaster Recovery (DR) solutions and several recent IBM and Power announcements for IBM i customers (previously AS/400 & iSeries). Featuring a survey of the various HA/DR options and real-life story of a customer who recently had to recover their system due to hardware failure.

Your IBM i applications should always be available when they are needed. HA/DR costs are now so low there is no excuse for application outages.

 

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What is Start Menu Search?

In all versions of Windows since the release of Windows Vista, one of the key features the Windows Start Menu supports is a quick search.  You can try this by clicking on the start button and start typing.  Typing when the Start Menu UI is active will change the screen to a search type screen.  This is a great feature if you’re not sure where a program or document is located on your PC.  While not an obvious UI element, understanding you can start typing while the Start Menu is active is a very handy feature to quickly find things.

Search no longer finds anything

We have seen many instances where users complain the search function cannot find anything.  Search UI opens up, but searching does not find anything.  We’ve seen this occur on Windows 10 workstations and Windows Server 2016 systems, but not necessarily on all systems.    Additionally, we have seen a few isolated instances where at first the keyboard didn’t seem to work when logging into Office 365  with Modern Authentication enabled.

CTFMON.EXE not running

The core issue is CTFMON is not running.  You can test this quickly by going to Run… on the Start Menu and starting up CTFMON manually.  At this point, test to see if this clears up the Search issue.  If so, this will stay running until you next reboot your system.

For a permanent fix, you will want to start Windows Task Scheduler and check to ensure the MsCtfMonitor is set to run automatically for any user who logs on.  Launch the Task Scheduler application which is built into Windows and expand the tree on the left under Microsoft –> Windows –> TextServicesFramework.   Check the task MsCtfMonitor to ensure it is not disabled.  It should be set to Ready as the example below shows.

 

Most of us are by now aware that the coronavirus (and the associated disease which frequently results from infection, COVID-19) has had major impacts within the IT supply chain. This has resulted in shortages in IT equipment from nearly all major vendors, and across all classes of devices. Savvy business owners are planning for the lack of general availability by ordering what’s in stock when it’s in stock to keep business processes from breaking down.

But not all businesses have turned their attention to the human impacts of a far-reaching epidemic. Widespread concern for safety will almost certainly lead to a much greater demand for remote working capabilities, and IT providers may struggle to keep up. In order to prepare for the possibility that the majority of office employees will follow government recommendations to stay home to help, smart IT leaders are taking the following steps:

1. Increasing bandwidth, remote connectivity infrastructure, and security to help mitigate the increased risk and demand of a higher percentage of remote workers

2. Ensuring that employees understand the methods and capabilities of remote access to the business environment

3. Developing remote user policies and guidelines to ensure that business continues to be conducted on secure, managed endpoints or through zero-trust interfaces

4. Authoring and disseminating response plans and safe practices for reducing risk of spread

A few resources which can potentially be of use as you plan your own response are listed below:

How HR leaders are preparing for the Coronavirus

Checkout Steve Roger’s blog addressing the challenges hardware manufacturers face: Is The Coronavirus Affecting Lenovo Hardware Availability?

I attended the Ingram Micro’s Trust X Alliance meeting for partners in Dallas, March 2 – March 4. Trust X Alliance is Ingram Micro’s global community for top-performing solution providers. It’s a network of more than 340 IT solution providers. Some of the biggest technology brands were in attendance. One of the topics discussed at the meeting was the Coronavirus outbreak and its impact on hardware technology production. A Lenovo representative shared some specifics with us.

Here’s what we learned:

Needless to say, if a model is out of stock, it may remain so for quite some time.

Manufacturing disruption is occurring with just about all technology providers and as a result, the financial impact of the outbreak is affecting the entire hardware industry.

For more information about the Coronavirus outbreak and its impact on hardware technology production, check out these recently published articles from CRN:

Coronavirus Causing Lenovo ‘Delays’ And ‘Short-Term Constraints’

HP Follows Apple In Cutting Guidance Due to Coronavirus

Cyber-crime is Big Business

Forbes magazine projects that cyber-crime costs will reach $2 Trillion by 2019.  That is up from $400-$500 billion in 2015, a quadrupling.

Turn on the news.   Frequently, you will hear or read about a new major cybersecurity attack.  Not surprisingly, these attacks have a devastating impact on a major business or government entity.  Here are a few examples:

12 Pillars of Cybersecurity

Over the coming weeks, I’ll be writing about the 12 Pillars of Cybersecurity.  What are the 12 pillars, you might ask?  In the past, most companies protected their internal networks with anti-virus software.  Then, they added a firewall as they connected their companies to the internet.  Those were and are the first two pillars of protection against cybersecurity threats.  Later, as businesses implemented e-mail, cyber criminals discovered spam.  As a result, anti-spam software was deployed.  That is the third pillar.

The problem is that there is too much money to be made by cybercriminals.  Consequently, they evolve more sophisticated ways to attack your network to steal your identity and your money.  To sum it up, those three pillars are no longer enough to protect your business from a cyber-attack.  Aktion believes that to truly protect your company, you need to implement a ‘defense in depth’ strategy.   Use the 12 Pillars of Cybersecurity to guide your strategy.

[Stay Tuned-More to Come on Each of the 12 Pillars]

For more information on cybersecurity, try these links:

 

With the entry of Windows 10 ARM-based Windows Tablet PC’s that have come onto the market, these systems will catch the eye of many mobile professionals.  The ARM-based CPU’s used in these systems are similar to those CPUs used in modern mobile phones. What are the Windows 10 on ARM features and limitations?

Features

Windows 10 ARM-based systems promise:

Limitations

While Windows 10 on ARM has some very compelling features, there are some limitations that anyone looking at these units should be aware of:

These new Windows 10 on ARM devices will bring in a new wave of features and capabilities, but don’t assume everything will work just because it runs Windows 10. 

Here are a few popular Windows 10 on ARM Tablets that are available on the market:

For more information, visit: 

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/surface/surface-pro-arm-app-performance 

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4521606/windows-10-arm-based-pc