4 Ways Stratogator Outshines Cloudyn in Cloud Comparison Tools

Cloud solutions are revolutionizing the tech industry. But how can you figure out what solutions work best for you?
Compare all cloud platforms and find your best match with Stratogator.


Is Stratogator Right for You?

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1) Stratogator Recommends The Best “Match” Based On Your Needs.

With Stratogator, you can search for the Azure stack that meets your specific needs, narrowing down your options by what you want to focus on. Choose from Performance Match, Price Match, or Geo Match for a personalized Azure solution.
While Cloudyn does compare Azure and other cloud solutions, only Stratogator tailors each search for your personal preferences.

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Find the Azure stack that meets your performance needs. Search based on vCPU, CPU Speed, RAM, Network Ingress Speed, Network Egress Speed, and Storage.

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Narrow your results by choosing a min/max for hourly price.  Your results will also show an estimated monthly price, so you can easily see what fits in your budget.

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Find solutions that will work best in your desired location. Select a region, such as Europe or Western US, to limit results to exactly what you want.

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2) Stratogator Sends Instant Pricing Update Alerts.

Adapt at a moment’s notice with instant price change alerts from Stratogator that enable you to migrate the the best environment at the best price.
On Cloudyn, you spend more time searching and finding the best price. That's time that could be used in other areas of your company. Let Stratogator do the work for you.

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3) Stratogator Helps You Migrate To The Cloud In Minutes.

Stratogator's automated guide helps you map your current hardware to an optimized cloud cluster. In the past migrating to the cloud could have taken a week…now, you can move to the cloud in minutes!
Getting a grasp on what resources you need to replicate your system is easy - contact us or fill out the infrastructure template and send it back to get started.

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4) Stratogator Analyzes Your Current Infrastructure. 

Right size your cloud. Upload your system resources and we’ll match your current infrastructure to the best set of Azure cloud systems. All you need is the Server name (Excel file upload), CPU, memory and disk space.

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Microsoft's Acquisition of Cloudyn

Microsoft recently acquired the Israeli cloud start-up, Cloudyn. Microsoft is excited about the capabilities of Cloudyn to manage cloud billing and services for companies (Source: techcrunch.com).  Despite the acquisition, Stratogator remains the over-all leader in cloud comparison tools, with more focus on finding cloud solutions and matches for companies with the ability to derive reports and manage billing.

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Introducing #AzureAD Pass-Through Authentication and Seamless Single Sign-on

By Alex Simons as written on blogs.technet.microsoft.com
Howdy folks,
Today’s news might well be our biggest news of the year. Azure AD Pass-Through Authentication and Seamless Single Sign-on are now both in public preview!
When we talk to organizations about how they want to integrate their identity infrastructure to the cloud, we often hear the same set of requirements: “I’ve got to have single sign-on for my users, passwords need to stay on-premises, and I can’t have any un-authenticated end points on the Internet. And make sure it is super easy”.
We heard your feedback, and now the wait is over. I’m excited to announce we have added a set of new capabilities in Azure AD to meet all those requirements: Pass-Through Authentication and Seamless Single Sign-on to Azure AD Connect! These new capabilities allow customers to securely and simply integrate their on-premises identity infrastructure with Azure AD.

Azure AD pass-through authentication

Azure AD pass-through authentication provides a simple, secure, and scalable model for validation of passwords against your on-premises Active Directory via a simple connector deployed in the on-premises environment. This connector uses only secure outbound communications, so no DMZ is required, nor are there any unauthenticated end points on the Internet.
That’s right. User passwords are validated against your on-premises Active Directory, without needing to deploy ADFS servers!
We also automatically balance the load between the set of available connectors for both high availability and redundancy without requiring additional infrastructure. We made the connector super light-weight so it can be easily incorporated into your existing infrastructure and even deployed on your Active Directory controllers.
The system works by passing the password entered on the Azure AD login page down to the on-premises connector. That connector then validates it against the on-premises domain controllers and returns the results. We’ve also made sure to integrate with self-service password reset (SSPR) so that, should the user need to change their password, it can be routed back to on-premises for a complete solution. There is absolutely no caching of the password in the cloud. Find more details about this process in our documentation.

Seamless single sign-on for all

Single sign-on is one of the most important aspects of the end-user experience our customers think through as they move to cloud services. You need more than just single sign-on for interactions between cloud services – you also need to ensure users won’t have to enter their passwords over and over again.
With the new single sign-on additions in Azure AD Connect you can enable seamless single sign-on for your corporate users (users on domain joined machines on the corporate network). In doing so, users are securely authenticated with Kerberos, just like they would be to other domain-joined resources, without needing to type passwords.
The beauty of this solution is that it doesn’t require any additional infrastructure on-premises since it simply uses your existing Active Directory services. This is also an opportunistic feature in that if, for some reason, a user can’t obtain a Kerberos ticket for single sign-on, they will simply be prompted for their password, just as they are today. It is available for both password hash sync and Azure AD pass-through authentication customers. Read more on seamless single sign-on in this documentation article

Enabling these new capabilities

Download the latest version of Azure AD Connect now to get these new capabilities! You’ll find the new options in a custom install for new deployments, or, for existing deployments, when you change your sign-in method.


The fine print

As with all previews there are some limits to what we currently support. We are working hard to ensure we provide full support across all systems. You can find the full list of supported client and operating systems in the documentation, which we’ll be updating consistently as things change.
Also, keep in mind that this is an authentication feature, so it’s best to try it out in a test environment to ensure you understand the end-user experience and how switching from one sign-on method to another will change that experience.
And last but by no means least, it’s your feedback that pushes us to make improvements like this to our products, so keep it coming. I look forward to hearing what you think!
Best regards,
Alex Simons



Engineering management may be the most unnatural act of all

By Michael Driscoll as written on techcrunch.com
The best management decision I ever made took five seconds. “I can build a better database,” were the words accompanied by a blank but confident stare from the most talented developer I’d ever hired. “Okay,” I nodded, “see what you can do.”
It wasn’t our top priority at the time, but five years later, the Druid database he conceived stores 300 billion daily events for digital media firms around the globe.
When it comes to software engineering, that management is best which manages least — to borrow Thoreau’s quip about government. While it’s rarely as easy as nodding at a brilliant developer and getting out of the way, the best systems are, like good software, minimalist and lightweight.
Through my experiences as a CTO and through talking to other technical founders, leaders and heads of engineering over the years, I’ve developed the “LITE” philosophy of engineering management. It focuses on a well-leveraged developer, whose innovation drives the development of products that users love and trust, at the right cost efficiency. These are its four pillars: leverage, innovation, trust and efficiency.

Leverage: Protecting your most precious resource

The foremost priority of good engineering management is protecting the quality of your engineers’ work time and ensuring a distraction-free office environment.
On the time side, mind the distinction between managers’ and makers’ time. Group meetings during certain times of the day or week; clustering and cancelling meetings frees up the contiguous blocks of time, which enables engineers to achieve the flow state essential to creative endeavors. Engineers often don’t realize they are the owners of their own time, and telling them they are under no obligation to attend every meeting empowers them.
On the office environment side, invest in noise-cancelling headphones, egg-shaped pod chairs, stand up desks or any other tools that help your engineers concentrate. Offering meals, snacks and varieties of caffeinated experiences are also part of that equation — software may be eating the world, but the engineers who write that software need to eat food.
The development environment matters too, namely the tools and systems that developers rely on to write, debug, test and ship code into production. Anything that induces drag on the critical path from developer laptop to production system should be treated as an obstacle and cleared. Like many optimization problems, there is an inner loop where small improvements in the development chain can yield large savings in time.

Engineers are a unique bunch: persuadable by logic yet driven by ego.

Finally, right-sizing teams is essential to their working well together. Stu Feldman, the inventor of make, offers a piece of collective wisdom that emerged from his early days at Bell Labs: Groups bigger than 10 people tend to suffer communication breakdowns.

Innovation: Cooking with chaos, risk and chemistry

If enabling leverage on developers’ skills is a practical means of engineering management, fostering innovation is its highest end. Innovation is a combustive mix of ideas and unmet needs that sparks invention, and ultimately births breakthrough products.
While much digital ink has been spilled on the topic of how to unleash innovation in organizations, here are three ingredients of innovation that I’ve observed are essential based on my experiences.
Chaos: Intel’s Andy Grove described his philosophy as “let chaos reign, then rein in the chaos.” Google celebrates anarchy as part of its edge, and in Facebook’s early days, the “spirit of subversive hackery guided everything.” The lesson: Structure can be stifling to a merry band of rebels conspiring on the next new thing. Whether through allowing engineers 20 percent of their time to work on unorthodox projects, hosting week-long office hackathons or giving a helpful nudge (or turning a blind eye) to an internal skunkworks initiative, innovation breeds best in a bit of chaos.
Risk: This is a truism that deserves unpacking. Unmitigated risk-taking is, by itself, not an intelligent strategy for engineering innovation, any more than an explorer sailing aimlessly out to sea is a strategy for discovery. But development teams must take calculated risks where the expected value is positive. Moonshots with high cost and a low chance of success can be worth it if they have big pay-offs. Perhaps no one exemplifies this engineering strategy more successfully, with billion-dollar, bankruptcy-defying bets on electric automobiles and reusable space rockets, than Elon Musk.
Chemistry: The more genetically distant two parents are, the more successful their offspring. This same kind of “hybrid vigor” applies to the world of innovation. Cryptography combined with one of accounting’s oldest ideas, the general ledger, brought us bitcoin. Psychology, mathematics and computer science have all contributed strains to the modern machine learning behind self-driving cars and speech recognition. Teams with diverse academic and professional backgrounds who dabble at the intersections of disciplines are more likely to innovate.

Trust: Software systems with human accountability

I’ve long believed the true driver of success in technology is trust: software that performs as expected. Google’s search engine gained loyal users because it was fast and always up. WhatsApp rose on the strength of reliable messaging. Whatever it is that users trust your software to do, measure it, and manage toward improving it.
Trust matters not only for external users, it matters for internal engineers. Production systems that are on fire will ultimately consume engineers’ hours. At best, this de-leverages their time and makes them less productive; at worst, it will burn them out and they will quit.

Exposing engineers directly to the stability of their own services enforces ownership.

The best lever of software trust is human accountability. When a site goes down or load times veer out of bounds, someone must ultimately own and solve it. Under the covers of most web-scale applications are dozens of specialized services — such as user authentication, data processing and archiving — but these services have human owners that should be held accountable if a service violates its contract (e.g. “I’ll authenticate users within 500 milliseconds”).
Engineers should not be insulated from the operation of the services. When something breaks badly enough, developers are best equipped to firefight and resolve the issue. Exposing engineers directly to the stability of their own services enforces ownership: They are motivated and capable of writing code that avoids the 3 a.m. red alert. A useful rule of thumb for DevOps investment is as follows: Every hour of firefighting earns at least one hour of development effort to properly solve that problem.

Efficiency: The essence of high performance

Like trust, efficiency is often viewed warily by engineers. Unlike the call to innovate, the call to “reduce our server footprint!” is rarely met with happy emojis. And yet, efficiency by any other name would be just as sweet: Engineers celebrate faster compression algorithms and scoff at slow apps.
Performance and efficiency are often in tension. Yet unlike performance, which often has a useful upper bound in products, the gains from efficiency have only a lower bound of zero. (No one needs a car that goes more than 200 mph and everyone would love a car that requires no gas or electricity.) Thus, engineering teams that drive toward these zero lower bounds open new business models, often with zero in their prices: free search, email and photo sharing on the web were made possible by radically efficient engineering infrastructure.
Efficiency is also a core value because it ties back to our first pillar: developer leverage. The most precious resource that ought to be most efficiently managed is not hardware cycles, but human cycles. This is why Google’s universal measure of cost is not dollars, but developer hours.
Management is an unnatural act, as Ben Horowitz has written, and engineering management may be the most unnatural of all, because engineers are a unique bunch: persuadable by logic yet driven by ego. But getting engineering management right matters: Software engineering talent is the most precious resource on the planet earth, and enabling engineers to do their best work is often the difference between a startup’s success and its failure.


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