Barracuda Web Application Firewall, Cloud Edition: Now on Windows Azure

by Shijaz Abdulla on 16.01.2014 at 18:30


Barracuda Networks offers a fully scalable security solution running in Windows Azure to protect services from different types of attacks. For any projects requiring extra security Barracuda Web Application Firewall can be used for Security-as-a-Service option.

The Barracuda Web Application Firewall, Cloud Edition is the first integrated, fully scalable security solution on Windows Azure. With predefined security templates and load balancing built in, companies of all sizes can enjoy total application security with no need to learn, configure, and manage complex technology. Download the Barracuda WAF on Azure whitepaper to learn more on why application firewalls makes sense in Azure.

  • Comprehensive protection against inbound attacks – including zero-day exploits and the OWASP Top 10
  • Advanced Outbound data loss prevention (DLP) to ensure confidential data stays that way
  • Automatic security updates and virtual patching through Energize Updates to stay ahead of new and evolving threats.

Windows Server 2012 hits General Availability!

by Shijaz Abdulla on 04.09.2012 at 22:50

Today, Windows Server 2012 hits the General Availability (GA) milestone!

This means the product is now officially available to partners and customers to purchase and install in production.


Windows Server 2012 expands the definition of a server operating system from the single server up to the datacenter and out to the cloud, while also incorporating breakthroughs across advanced storage, software-defined networking, virtualization and automation.  Windows Server 2012 delivers hundreds of new features that will help customers achieve a transformational leap in the speed, scale and power of their datacenters and applications.  In combination with Windows Azure and System Center 2012, Windows Server 2012 empowers customers to manage and deliver applications and services across private, hosted and public clouds.

Customers can use their existing skills and investments in systems management, application development, database, identity and virtualization to take advantage of Windows Server 2012 and realize the promise of cloud computing.

What’s New in Windows Server 2012? A LOT! Click here to read more.

What about VMware?

On the virtualization front, there is no reason why customers should be looking at VMware anymore for virtualization! Windows Server 2012 is the ultimate, no compromise hypervisor release that encompasses all that you need for virtualization to build a private or hybrid cloud!

Read about it! Competitive Advantages of Hyper-V over VMware vSphere 5.1


  1. Microsoft Premier Support Services will begin support for Windows Server 2012 starting October 30, 2012.
  2. Some of our top partners in Qatar are already trained on Windows Server 2012 and have done early deployments for select customers. Watch out for some exciting news.
  3. Our partners in Qatar are being trained on the Windows Server 2012 licensing in the coming days and will be able to help you with licensing.
  4. Qatar customers can also reach out to me directly by email or phone 33549982 for any questions/clarifications.
  5. Join me and other datacenter experts from Microsoft at the Hilton Hotel Doha on September 18 for the Private Cloud Roadmap event to have a 1:1 discussion over coffee!

Install Internet Explorer 9 RTM today

by Shijaz Abdulla on 15.03.2011 at 08:53

Unleash the Beauty of the Web

temp-ie9Internet Explorer 9 has been released today! Click here to download Internet Explorer 9. IE 9 has been discussed enough times on this blog and needs no further introduction!

Here are some reasons why you should install IE9.

1. IE9 is the fastest adopted beta in IE browser history.  With over 40M downloads and a usage share on Windows 7 well over 2% globally, IE9 adoption has more than surpassed expectations.

2. IE9 is enterprise ready.  IE9 has the highest LOB compatibility pass rate of any product in Microsoft’s internal IT “dogfood” history –  99% – coupled with one of the lowest IE helpdesk contact rates (number of helpdesk calls/number of installs) to date.  And for our customers, IE9 is ready to go with their Windows 7 deployments.

3. IE9 has the fastest JavaScript engine in the industry.  Script is one of many factors in performance. On a commonly used micro-benchmark, IE9’s improved JavaScript performance now holds the top spot in the industry, an improvement of almost 18 times from IE8.

4. IE9 is the only fully hardware-accelerated browser.  All graphics, video and text in IE9 are hardware-accelerated.  We re-architected IE9 to take full advantage of the Windows PC.  IE9 was the first to introduce this concept and other browsers have been scrambling to catch-up.  See the difference for yourself.

5. IE9 treats your favorite sites like apps.  The site is the center of attention in IE9’s new frame.  When you pin a site to the taskbar, your experience is even better.  Over 250 of the world’s top sites have already taken advantage of Jump Lists, notifications, and thumbnail previews to make their sites more app-like.  Web site publishers are seeing close to a 50% increase in engagement from their IE9 customers through pinned sites. 

6. IE9 protects against 99% of socially-engineered malware.  Malware is the #1 threat on the internet today.  With Microsoft SmartScreen and the new SmartScreen application reputation feature in IE9, no other browser comes close in protecting consumers from these real-world threats.  IE9 is 33 times better than Chrome and over 5 times better than Firefox. 

7. IE9 is the only browser with integrated online tracking protection for consumers.   Microsoft changed the browser and industry landscape with the introduction of IE9’s Tracking Protection, providing the only built-in browser solution protecting consumers today.

8. IE9 is leading with site-ready HTML5 support.  IE9 is all in when it comes to delivering developers new standards-based capabilities with HTML5.   Microsoft co-chairs the W3C HTML5 working group and during the IE9 release has contributed almost 6000 test cases to the W3C and international standards bodies.  Currently, IE9 has the best conformance with W3C HTML5.

9. IE9 has had the strongest press in IE history:   Here is a small sample of what reviewers are saying:


Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010 released!

by Shijaz Abdulla on 20.12.2010 at 02:27

Microsoft Forefront Endpoint Protection (FEP) has been released to manufacturing (RTM) on December 16, 2010. The licensed version of the product will be available on the Volume Licensing website, starting January 1, 2011.

For more information on FEP, visit the FEP website.

Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, Visio 2010, Project 2010 – Released!

by Shijaz Abdulla on 19.04.2010 at 11:59

Microsoft has announced that Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, Visio 2010 and Project 2010 have been released to manufacturing.

Visit this page for an overview of the new wave of products. Customers with Software Assurance can download Office 2010 starting April 27, 2010.

Find a launch event near you at

Threat Management Gateway 2010 now available

by Shijaz Abdulla on 28.11.2009 at 18:24

TMG LogoMicrosoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway has been released to market on November 16, 2009 after completing three beta releases and receiving extensive customer feedback.

You can download the trial version of Threat Management Gateway here.

From the Forefront TMG team’s blog:

“Forefront TMG is a Secure Web Gateway (SWG) that improves security enforcement by integrating multiple detection technologies such as URL filtering, Anti Malware, and intrusion prevention into a single, easy-to-manage solution. We have seen a lot of interest in the features that comprise this solution, so here is some information on what they do and how:

  • URL Filtering: URL Filtering allows controlling end-user access to Web sites, protecting the organization by denying access to known malicious sites and to sites displaying inappropriate or nonproductive materials, based on URL categories. TMG features over 80 URL categories including security-oriented categories, productivity-oriented and liability-oriented categories. Forefront TMG uses Microsoft Reputation Services (MRS), a cloud-based categorization system hosted in Microsoft data center. To ensure the best bandwidth utilization and low latency, Forefront TMG has implemented a local URL cache. There is a lot more on URL Filtering available in an earlier URL Filtering post (on the TMG blog).
  • Anti Malware: Stopping malware on the edge significantly decreases the possibility that a virus will hit a computer with anti-virus signatures that are not up-to-date or a test computer without an anti-virus to protect it. TMG has integrated the Microsoft Anti Malware engine to provide world class scanning and blocking capability on the edge.
  • Network Inspection System (NIS): NIS is a generic application protocol decode-based traffic inspection system that uses signatures of known vulnerabilities, to detect and potentially block attacks on network resources. NIS provides comprehensive protection for Microsoft network vulnerabilities, researched and developed by the Microsoft Malware Protection Center – NIS Response Team, as well as an operational signature distribution channel which enables dynamic signature snapshot distribution. NIS closes the vulnerability window between vulnerability disclosures and patch deployment from weeks to few hours.
  • In addition, HTTPS scanning has been introduced to enable inspection of encrypted sessions, eased the deployment and management with a set of easy to use wizards and significantly improved logging and reporting to provide full visibility into how your organization is accessing the web and whether it’s compliant with your organization’s policy.
  • VPN, Firewall, Email Protection and Infrastructure.
    Significant investments have been made to ensure that we keep delivering top notch VPN and Firewall functionality. We made quality improvements in Web Caching and made sure it works well with the new Windows 7 BranchCache feature. We have added several new features, among them: Email Protection, ISP redundancy, NAP integration with VPN role, SSTP, VoIP traversal (SIP support), Enhanced NAT, SQL logging and Updated TMG Client (previously known as the Firewall Client). In addition TMG was built as a native 64bit product that supports Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Server 2008 SP2, allowing better scalability and increased reliability.”

Exchange Server 2010 gets green light

by Shijaz Abdulla on 12.10.2009 at 23:31

Microsoft released to manufacturing (RTM) Exchange Server 2010 last Thursday. The full release/public availability is scheduled for next month during TechEd.

Now would be a good time to have a quick recap on some of the new features in Exchange Server 2010:


  • Change in Permissions Model: 

    ADMINISTRATORS can define extremely broad or extremely granular permissions, and can manage permissions by adding or removing users to role groups.

    USERS can change their own personal information, contact information, join or leave a distribution group/mailing lists, etc on their own, if the administrator has allowed it.

  • New Admin features:

    You can now remotely manage Exchange 2010 servers over the network using Windows PowerShell thanks to the Windows Management Framework.

    Administrator audit logging allows logging of all administrator actions for later review.

  • IRM integration with Active Directory Rights Management Service (AD RMS)
  • Cool new transport features, including MailTips (example below):


  • New High Availability (HA) features:

    – Failover clusters invisible to the administrator,
    – Ability to create a cluster without on an existing installation without having to uninstall Exchange,
    – Ability to co-exist other roles on mailbox clusters to ensure overall availability of transport and client access roles.
    – Each mailbox server can have as many as 100 databases, and each database can have up to 16 copies
    – Online Move Mailbox operations supported
    – Database Availability Groups
    – Shadow Redundancy feature provides redundancy for messages while in transit.

  • New Outlook Web App (previously Outlook Web Access) features


    Search folders

    Ability to set categories from Outlook Web App

    Grouping message threads (Conversation view): This saves time, and helps you delete or move a whole thread in just one quick step.

    Chat integration in Outlook Web App

    Side-by-side calendar view in Outlook Web App:
    and many more new features.

  • Unified Messaging & text messaging enhancements
    I will cover these in another post.
  • Client Throttling
    Ensures that users don’t choke the system intentionally/unintentionally by enforcing client connection bandwidth limits.

Exchange Server 2010 also gives organizations the flexibility to host their email servers on-premises, or through a hosted services provider or have a mix of both.