April 14, 2020, was the original end-of-support date for Windows 10 Enterprise and Education 1709. However, due to COVID-19, Microsoft has increased the original 30-month support term up to 36 months. This extension will provide organizations short-term relief from being forced into upgrading when there are more critical priorities. October 13, 2020, is the updated end-of-support deadline for Windows 10 Enterprise and Education 1709.
In an official statement, Microsoft’s Director of Program Management, John Cable, wrote, “To ease one of the many burdens you are currently facing, and based on customer feedback, we have decided to delay the scheduled end of service date for the Enterprise, Education, and IoT Enterprise editions of Windows 10, version 1709.”
Up until February 2018, Microsoft had reduced its support cycle down to 18 months. This was in the hope to limit the various versions of Windows 10 Enterprise and Education that needed to be supported. It was a costly business to be in and left much flexibility to organizations who wanted to remain on older versions. In February 2018, after much customer feedback, it was announced that support would be increased to 24 months from release. Finally in September 2018, it was further announced that support would now be increased to 30 months.
At this moment, Windows 10 Home and Pro 1709 end-of-support deadline remains April 9, 2019.
Moving forward, it would be best to monitor support and upgrade announcements as there will likely be further delays and extensions while many businesses work towards business continuity. In light of these special circumstances, Microsoft could very well defer upgrades to 2021 and continue to support other versions of Windows 10 that have approaching end-of-support dates.
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Google has announced a premium support plan for its cloud customers, promising a 15-minute response to the highest severity tickets. Google’s cloud has long struggled with enterprise customers – especially when compared to giants Microsoft and AWS – and this announcement is the latest incarnation of Google’s push to better serve a critical constituency.
In January, Microsoft announced what it’s calling “the largest expansion of its Canadian-based cloud computing infrastructure” since 2016. Additional availability zones and services will increase capacity for cloud-hungry Canadians, and the addition of an Azure ExpressRoute site in Vancouver will guarantee security and performance in a regulated jurisdiction.
Microsoft’s announcement that server-side encryption with customer managed keys for Azure Managed Disks is now available is welcome news for security-minded public cloud customers. Managing one’s own keys in a cloud environment can be an important step in complying with regulatory requirements, and this new feature should open Azure Managed Disks to a wider group of customers who may have held back for this reason.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has provided its customers with better options for Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) ingress routing. Customers will have to consider which works best for their needs.
AWS VPC Traffic Mirroring gives customers more visibility for out-of-band traffic inspection. This feature is another useful tool for monitoring in the AWS cloud.
Organizations have been running into capacity constraints on cloud infrastructure in regions with enforced social distancing due to COVID-19. Having a back-up plan will be critical to your business continuity plans.
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A year has passed since Microsoft converted Premier Support to Unified. High costs, little information, and few comparable options make it difficult for many organizations to decide whether to keep Unified Support, find an alternative, or drop it all together.