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Feb 17th

A Beginner’s Guide to Cloud Computing

What is Cloud Computing?

Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence—over the Internet (“the cloud”) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping you lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.


Benefits of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a big shift from the traditional way businesses think about IT resources. Here are seven common reasons organizations are turning to cloud computing services:


Cloud computing eliminates the capital expense of buying hardware and software and setting up and running on-site datacenters—the racks of servers, the round-the-clock electricity for power and cooling, and the IT experts for managing the infrastructure. It adds up fast.


Most cloud computing services are provided self-service and on-demand, so even vast amounts of computing resources can be provisioned in minutes, typically with just a few mouse clicks, giving businesses a lot of flexibility and taking the pressure off capacity planning.

Global scale

The benefits of cloud computing services include the ability to scale elastically. In cloud speak, that means delivering the right amount of IT resources—for example, more or less computing power, storage, bandwidth—right when they’re needed, and from the right geographic location.


On-site datacenters typically require a lot of “racking and stacking”—hardware setup, software patching, and other time-consuming IT management chores. Cloud computing removes the need for many of these tasks, so IT teams can spend time on achieving more important business goals.


The biggest cloud computing services run on a worldwide network of secure datacenters, which are regularly upgraded to the latest generation of fast and efficient computing hardware. This offers several benefits over a single corporate datacenter, including reduced network latency for applications and greater economies of scale.


Cloud computing makes data backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity easier and less expensive because data can be mirrored at multiple redundant sites on the cloud provider’s network.


Types of Cloud Computing

Not all clouds are the same and not one type of cloud computing is right for everyone. Several different models, types, and services have evolved to help offer the right solution for your needs.

First, you need to determine the type of cloud deployment, or cloud computing architecture, that your cloud services will be implemented on. There are three different ways to deploy cloud services: on a public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud.

Public Cloud

Public clouds are owned and operated by a third-party cloud service providers, which deliver their computing resources, like servers and storage, over the Internet. Microsoft Azure is an example of a public cloud. With a public cloud, all hardware, software, and other supporting infrastructure is owned and managed by the cloud provider. You access these services and manage your account using a web browser.

Private Cloud

A private cloud refers to cloud computing resources used exclusively by a single business or organization. A private cloud can be physically located on the company’s on-site datacenter. Some companies also pay third-party service providers to host their private cloud. A private cloud is one in which the services and infrastructure are maintained on a private network.

Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid clouds combine public and private clouds, bound together by technology that allows data and applications to be shared between them. By allowing data and applications to move between private and public clouds, a hybrid cloud gives your business greater flexibility, more deployment options, and helps optimize your existing infrastructure, security, and compliance.


Get in touch with us!
Questions about Azure or any other training?  Call (614) 481-4345 or e-mail


Feb 11th

Launch Your Career with the New CCNA

Introducing the new CCNA
New exam goes live on February 24, 2020

Achieving CCNA certification is the first step in preparing for a career in IT technologies. To earn CCNA certification, you pass one exam that covers a broad range of fundamentals for IT careers, based on the latest networking technologies, software development skills, and job roles.

The new CCNA program was designed to prepare you for today’s associate-level job roles in IT technologies. CCNA now includes security and automation and programmability. The program has one certification that covers a broad range of fundamentals for IT careers, with one exam and one training course to help you prepare.

Newly retooled for the latest technologies and job roles, the CCNA training course and exam give you the foundation you need to take your career in any direction. CCNA certification covers a breadth of topics, including:

  • Network fundamentals
  • Network access
  • IP connectivity
  • IP services
  • Security fundamentals
  • Automation and programmability

There are no formal prerequisites for CCNA certification, but you should have an understanding of the exam topics before taking the exam.

CCNA candidates often also have:

  • One or more years of experience implementing and administering Cisco solutions
  • Knowledge of basic IP addressing
  • A good understanding of network fundamentals

Recommended Training
Implementing and Administering Cisco Solutions (CCNA)

200-301 CCNA

Questions?  Get in touch!

Dec 4th

Microsoft SATV Training Benefit – Update

Microsoft is updating Software Assurance benefits beginning in February 2020 to ensure Software Assurance stays relevant and useful to customers. With this change in direction, some Software Assurance benefits will be retired or changed to eliminate redundancies and better align Software Assurance benefits across Microsoft’s products and services portfolio. The changes made also simplify benefit redemptions and replace outdated implementation mechanisms. While each customer experience is unique, all customers can benefit from the ability to optimize their business performance through Software Assurance.

Microsoft is investing in new ways to help organizations deploy, train, and get support for the products and services they buy. Because those new ways overlap with some dated and underused Software Assurance benefits, and the redemption process for some benefits are cumbersome and outdated, Microsoft is retiring those overlapping and outdated benefits.

Why are the SATV training vouchers being retired?

Customer and market feedback indicated a need for a streamlined learning experience. Microsoft is making significant investments to increase the alignment and quality of training offerings and certifications outside of Software Assurance over time.

When do the SATV program changes begin?

Over the next three years, Microsoft will be retiring the Software Assurance Training Voucher program and it will be migrated to new training and certification programs designed to better support learners.  Important dates to be aware of:

  • FEBRUARY 1, 2020 – Azure Cloud Services training courses will be retired from the SATV catalog.
  • FEBRUARY 1, 2021 – This is the final day that new SATV training vouchers can be purchased for any training.
  • JANUARY 1, 2022 – The is the final day any SATV training voucher can be redeemed.

How can Babbage Simmel help?

  • Find Azure Training – We are here to assist during this transition period so we have filled up the Azure schedule between now and February 1, 2020.
  • Reach out to us – e-mail or call (614) 481-4345.


The ability to access your training vouchers expires with your Software Assurance coverage. If you create a training voucher before your Software Assurance coverage expires, the voucher remains valid for 180 days after the date it was created.

While Software Assurance Training Vouchers are being retired, you can still create and use training vouchers until January 01, 2022, with the exception of Azure training, which will be removed from the course catalog in February 01, 2020.

If your organization purchased volume licensing of Microsoft software, you most likely participate in Software Assurance. Software Assurance offers a broad range of benefits in one program which helps you deploy, manage, and migrate software.

Software Assurance is selected at the time of software purchase. If your organization purchased volume licensing of Microsoft software, you most likely participate in Software Assurance. “SA Pack MVL” on your Microsoft Licensing invoice means your organization participates in the Software Assurance program. The Notices Contact listed on the agreement is your organization’s Agreement Administrator. Your organization can begin using qualifying benefits immediately and over the term of the license agreement.

You can ask the Benefits Administrator, Software Purchasing Manager or IT Manager at your organization for your training vouchers.

Training vouchers can be used for any of the following type of courses designated for IT professional and developer courses only.

  • Digital MOC (DMOC)
  • Community Courseware
  • MOC On-Demand

SA training vouchers cannot be used for:

  • First Look Clinics
  • Hands on Labs
  • End User ILT training
  • Fresh Editions

Software Assurance training vouchers can only be used for eligible courses. Courses not covered under SATV scheme can be enrolled by making payments separately.

Training vouchers expire 180 days after their creation date. If the designated employee does not use a voucher within 180 days, the voucher is automatically revoked and the training days are returned to the company pool of days for use by others. If the customer agreement has expired, vouchers and training days will be forfeited.

You can redeem training vouchers only at participating a Learning Partner like NetCom.

One training voucher day equals one classroom training day. For example, if a course is five days, a five-day voucher is required.

The voucher value is the same for all eligible courses. There is no difference in voucher value between a developer course and an IT professional course. If the course length is the same, they both require the same number of voucher days.

Other questions not listed?
send us an e-mail or give us a call (614) 481-4345

Oct 23rd

10 Common Cybersecurity Misconceptions


Misconception #1: My data (or the data I have access to) isn’t valuable.

All data is valuable

Take Action: Do an assessment of the data you create, collect, store, access, transmit and then classify all the data by level of sensitivity so you can take steps to protect it appropriately.

Misconception #2: Cybersecurity is a technology issue.

Cybersecurity is best approached with a mix of employee training; clear, accepted policies and procedures and implementation of current technologies.

Take Action: Educate every employee on their responsibility for protecting sensitive information.

Misconception #3: Cybersecurity requires a huge financial investment.

Many efforts to protect your data require little or no financial investment.

Take Action: Create and institute cybersecurity policies and procedures, restrict administrative and access privileges, enable multi-factor authentication and train employees to spot malicious emails.

Misconception #4: Outsourcing to a vendor washes your hands of liability during a cyber incident.

You have a legal and ethical responsibility to protect sensitive data.

Take Action: Put data sharing agreements in place with vendors and have a trusted lawyer review.

Misconception #5: Cyber breaches are covered by general liability insurance.

Many standard insurance policies do not cover cyber incidents or data breaches.

Take Action: Speak with your insurance representative to understand your coverage
and what type of policy would best fit your organization’s needs.

Misconception #6: Cyberattacks always come from external actors.

Succinctly put, cyberattacks do not always come from external actors.

Take Action: Identify potential cybersecurity incidents that can come from within the
organization and develop strategies to minimize those threats.

Misconception #7: Younger people are better at cybersecurity than others.

Age is not directly correlated to better cybersecurity practices.

Take Action: Before giving someone responsibility to manage your social media, website and network, etc., train them on your expectations of use and cybersecurity best practices.

Misconception #8: Compliance with industry standards is sufficient for a security strategy.

Simply complying with industry standards does not equate to a robust cybersecurity strategy for an organization.

Take Action: Use a robust framework, such as the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, to
manage cybersecurity risk.

Misconception #9: Digital and physical security are separate things altogether.

Do not discount the importance of physical security.

Take Action: Develop strategies and policies to prevent unauthorized physical access to sensitive information and assets (e.g., control who can access certain areas of the office.)

Misconception #10: New software and devices are secure when I buy them.

Just because something is new, does not mean it is secure.

Take Action: Ensure devices are operating with the most current software, change the manufacturer’s default password to a unique, secure passphrase and configure privacy settings prior to use.

Next Steps For You

Now that you’re more aware of common cybersecurity misconceptions, the next step is to sharpen your security skills, either for upskilling or with the idea of starting a new career. Babbage Simmel’s Comprehensive NIST Cybersecurity Framework (NCSF) Training & CompTIA CySA+ Cybersecurity Analyst Certification Cybersecurity training options will equip you with the skills needed to become an expert in the security field. You will learn comprehensive approaches to protecting your infrastructure, including securing data and information, running risk analysis and mitigation, architecting cloud-based security, achieving compliance and much much more.

Questions about Cybersecurity?  Get in touch!




Oct 18th

5 Steps to Protecting Your Digital Home

More and more of our home devices— including thermostats, door locks, coffee machines, and smoke alarms—are now connected to the Internet. This enables us to control our devices on our smartphones, no matter our location, which in turn can save us time and money while providing convenience and even safety. These advances in technology are innovative and intriguing, however, they also pose a new set of security risks. #BeCyberSmart to connect with confidence and protect your digital home.


  • Secure your Wi-Fi network. Your home’s wireless router is the primary entrance for cybercriminals to access all of your connected devices. Secure your Wi-Fi network and your digital devices by changing the factory-set default password and username.
  • Double your login protection. Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) to ensure that the only person who has access to your account is you. Use it for email, banking, social media, and any other service that requires logging in. If MFA is an option, enable it by using a trusted mobile device such as your smartphone, an authenticator app, or a secure token—a small physical device that can hook onto your key ring. Read the Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) How-to-Guide for more information.
  • If you connect, you must protect. Whether it’s your computer, smartphone, game device, or other network devices, the best defense is to stay on top of things by updating to the latest security software, web browser, and operating systems.
    If you have the option to enable automatic updates to defend against the latest risks, turn it on. And, if you’re putting something into your device, such as a USB for an external hard drive, make sure your device’s security software scans for
    viruses and malware. Finally, protect your devices with antivirus software and be sure to periodically back up any data that cannot be recreated such as photos or personal documents. Learn more about the Internet of Things (IoT) or smart devices which refer to any object or device that is connected to the Internet.
  • Keep tabs on your apps. Most connected appliances, toys, and devices are supported by a mobile application. Your mobile device could be filled with suspicious apps running in the background or using default permissions you never realized you approved—gathering your personal information without your knowledge while also putting your identity and privacy at risk. Check your app permissions and use the “rule of least privilege” to delete what you don’t need or no longer use. Learn to just say “no” to privilege requests that don’t make sense. Only download apps from trusted vendors and sources.
  • Never click and tell. Limit what information you post on social media—from personal addresses to where you like to grab coffee. What many people don’t realize is that these seemingly random details are all that criminals need to know to target you, your loved ones, and your physical belongings—online and in the real world. Keep Social Security numbers, account numbers, and passwords private, as well as specific information about yourself, such as your full name, address, birthday, and even vacation plans. Disable location services that allow anyone to see where you are— and where you aren’t —at any given time. Read the Social Media Cybersecurity Tip Sheet for more information.

Next Steps For You

Now that you’re more aware of protecting your digital home, the next step is to sharpen your security skills, either for upskilling or with the idea of starting a new career. Babbage Simmel’s Comprehensive NIST Cybersecurity Framework (NCSF) Training & CompTIA CySA+ Cybersecurity Analyst Certification Cybersecurity training options will equip you with the skills needed to become an expert in the security field. You will learn comprehensive approaches to protecting your infrastructure, including securing data and information, running risk analysis and mitigation, architecting cloud-based security, achieving compliance and much much more.

Questions about Cybersecurity?  Get in touch!