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AZ-800 Administering Windows Server Hybrid Core Infrastructure

Exam Details for AZ-800 Administering Windows Server Hybrid Core Infrastructure:

Number of Questions: The test consists of approximately 40-60 questions.

Time Limit: The total time allocated for the test is 180 minutes (3 hours).

Passing Score: To pass the exam, you must achieve a minimum score of 700 out of 1000.

Exam Format: The test is conducted online and may include various question types such as multiple-choice, scenario-based, and interactive questions.

Course Outline:

1. Implementing and Managing Hybrid Networking:
- Configuring Azure Virtual Networks
- Implementing hybrid connectivity with Azure ExpressRoute
- Configuring hybrid network security

2. Implementing and Managing Azure Active Directory:
- Integrating on-premises Active Directory with Azure AD
- Implementing Azure AD Connect
- Managing Azure AD identities and access

3. Implementing and Managing Hybrid Identity:
- Configuring Azure AD Connect for hybrid identity
- Implementing Azure AD Connect Health
- Implementing Azure Multi-Factor Authentication

4. Implementing and Managing Azure Backup and Site Recovery:
- Implementing Azure Backup for hybrid workloads
- Configuring Azure Site Recovery for hybrid disaster recovery
- Monitoring and managing backup and recovery operations

5. Implementing and Managing Hybrid Virtual Machines:
- Deploying and managing Azure virtual machines
- Configuring Azure VM networking and storage
- Managing hybrid VM connectivity and operations

6. Implementing and Managing Azure Governance and Security:
- Implementing Azure Policy for hybrid infrastructure
- Configuring Azure Security Center for hybrid security
- Monitoring and managing hybrid governance and compliance

Exam Objectives:

1. Implement and manage hybrid networking solutions.
2. Integrate and manage Azure Active Directory.
3. Implement and manage hybrid identity solutions.
4. Implement and manage Azure backup and site recovery.
5. Deploy and manage hybrid virtual machines.
6. Implement and manage Azure governance and security.

Exam Syllabus:

The test syllabus covers the following topics:

1. Implementing and Managing Hybrid Networking
- Azure Virtual Networks configuration
- Azure ExpressRoute for hybrid connectivity
- Hybrid network security configuration

2. Implementing and Managing Azure Active Directory
- Integration of on-premises Active Directory with Azure AD
- Azure AD Connect implementation
- Azure AD identity and access management

3. Implementing and Managing Hybrid Identity
- Azure AD Connect configuration for hybrid identity
- Azure AD Connect Health implementation
- Azure Multi-Factor Authentication implementation

4. Implementing and Managing Azure Backup and Site Recovery
- Azure Backup implementation for hybrid workloads
- Azure Site Recovery configuration for hybrid disaster recovery
- Monitoring and management of backup and recovery operations

5. Implementing and Managing Hybrid Virtual Machines
- Deployment and management of Azure virtual machines
- Azure VM networking and storage configuration
- Hybrid VM connectivity and operational management

6. Implementing and Managing Azure Governance and Security
- Azure Policy implementation for hybrid infrastructure
- Azure Security Center configuration for hybrid security
- Monitoring and management of hybrid governance and compliance
Administering Windows Server Hybrid Core Infrastructure
Microsoft Infrastructure Study Guide

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AZ-800
Administering Windows Server Hybrid Core Infrastructure
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Question: 26
You need to meet the technical requirements for Server1.
Which users can currently perform the required tasks?
A. Admin1 only
B. Admin3 only
C. Admin1 and Admin3 only
D. Admin1 Admin2. and Admm3
Answer: A
Question: 27
You have an Azure virtual machine named VM1 that runs Windows Server.
You perform the following actions on VM1:
Create a folder named Folder1 on volume C
Create a folder named Folder2 on volume D.
Add a new data disk to VM1 and create a new volume that is assigned drive letter E.
Install an app named App1 on volume E.
You plan to resize VMI.
Which objects will present after you resize VM1 ?
A. Folded and Folder2 only
B. Folder1, volume E, and App1 only
C. Folded only
D. Folded. Folder2. App1, and volume E
Answer: C
Question: 28
You need to implement a name resolution solution that meets the networking requirements.
Which two actions should you perform? Each correct answer presents part of the solution. NOTE: Each correct
selection is worth one point
A. Create an Azure private DNS zone named corp.fabhkam.com.
B. Create a virtual network link in the coip.fabnkam.com Azure private DNS zone.
C. Create an Azure DNS zone named corp.fabrikam.com.
D. Configure the DNS Servers settings for Vnet1.
E. Enable autoregistration in the corp.fabnkam.com Azure private DNS zone.
F. On DC3, install the DNS Server role.
G. Configure a conditional forwarder on DC3.
Answer: A,E
Question: 29
HOTSPOT
You need to configure Azure File Sync to meet the file sharing requirements.
What should you do? To answer, select the appropriate options in the answer area. NOTE Each correct selection is
worth one point.
Answer:
Question: 30
You need to meet the technical requirements for the site links.
Which users can perform the required tasks?
A. Admin1 only
B. Admin1 and Admin3 only
C. Admin1 and Admin2 only
D. Admin3 only
E. Admin1, Adrrun2. and Admin3
Answer: C
Question: 31
Topic 1, Contoso Ltd
This is a case study. Case studies are not timed separately. You can use as much test time as you would like to
complete each case. However, there may be additional case studies and sections on this exam. You must manage your
time to ensure that you are able to complete all questions included on this test in the time provided.
To answer the questions included in a case study, you will need to reference information that is provided in the case
study. Case studies might contain exhibits and other resources that provide more Information about the scenario that is
described in the case study. Each question is independent of the other questions in this case study.
At the end of this case study, a review screen will appear. This screen allows you to review your answers and to make
changes before you move to the next section of the exam. After you begin a new section, you cannot return to this
section.
To start the case study
To display the first question in this case study, click the Next button. Use the buttons in the left pane to explore the
content of the case study before you answer the questions. Clicking these buttons displays information such as
business requirements, existing environment, and problem statements, if the case study has an All Information tab.
note that the information displayed is identical to the information displayed on the subsequent tabs. When you are
ready to answer a question, click the Question button to return to the question.
AD DS Environment
The network contains an on-premises Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) forest named contoso.com. The
forest contains two domains named contoso.com and canada.contoso.com.
The forest contains the domain controllers shown in the following table.
All the domain controllers are global catalog servers.
Server Infrastructure
The network contains the servers shown in the following table.
A server named Server4 runs Windows Server and is in a workgroup. Windows Firewall on Servei4 uses the private
profile.
Server2 hosts three virtual machines named VM1. VM2, and VM3.
VM3 is a file server that stores data in the volumes shown in the following table.
Group Policies
The contoso.com domain has the Group Policies Objects (GPOs) shown in the following table.
Existing Identities
The forest contains the users shown in the following table.
The forest contains the groups shown in the following table.
Current Problems
When an administrator signs in to the console of VM2 by using Virtual Machine Connection, and then disconnects
from the session without signing out another administrator can connect to the console session as the currently signed-
in user.
Requirements
Contoso identifies the following technical requirements:
Change the replication schedule for all site links to 30 minutes.
Promote Server1 to a domain controller in canada.contoso.com.
Install and authorize Server3 as a DHCP server.
Ensure that User! can manage the membership of all the groups in ContosoOU3.
Ensure that you can manage Server4 from Server1 by using PowerShell removing.
Ensure that you can run virtual machines on VM1.
Force users to provide credentials when they connect to VM2.
On VM3, ensure that Data Deduplication on all volumes is possible.
You need to meet the technical requirements for VM3
On which volumes can you enable Data Deduplication?
A. D and E only
B. C, D, E, and F
C. D only
D. C and D only
E. D, E, and F only
Answer: D
Question: 32
HOTSPOT
Which groups can you add lo Group3 and Groups? To answer, select the appropriate options in the answer area.
NOTE Each correct selection is worth one point.
Answer:
Question: 33
You need to configure the Group Policy settings to ensure that the Azure Virtual Desktop session hosts meet the
security requirements.
What should you configure?
A. security filtering for the link of GP04
B. security filtering for the link of GPOl
C. loopback processing in 0PO4
D. the Enforced property for the link of GP01
E. loopback processing in GPOl
F. the Enforced property for the link of GP04
Answer: D
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Sat, 09 Dec 2023 15:09:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.sdxcentral.com/resources/guides-and-explainers/composable-infrastructure-101-getting-started-guide/
Comparative Study: Microsoft And Industry Competitors In Software Industry

In the dynamic and fiercely competitive business environment, conducting a thorough analysis of companies is crucial for investors and industry enthusiasts. In this article, we will perform an extensive industry comparison, evaluating Microsoft MSFT in relation to its major competitors in the Software industry. By closely examining crucial financial metrics, market position, and growth prospects, we aim to offer valuable insights for investors and shed light on company's performance within the industry.

Microsoft Background

Microsoft develops and licenses consumer and enterprise software. It is known for its Windows operating systems and Office productivity suite. The company is organized into three equally sized broad segments: productivity and business processes (legacy Microsoft Office, cloud-based Office 365, Exchange, SharePoint, Skype, LinkedIn, Dynamics), intelligence cloud (infrastructure- and platform-as-a-service offerings Azure, Windows Server OS, SQL Server), and more personal computing (Windows Client, Xbox, Bing search, display advertising, and Surface laptops, tablets, and desktops).

Company P/E P/B P/S ROE EBITDA (in billions) Gross Profit (in billions) Revenue Growth
Microsoft Corp 36.36 12.64 12.83 10.44% $31.73 $40.22 12.76%
Oracle Corp 29.35 75.55 5.77 80.28% $5.16 $9.2 5.43%
ServiceNow Inc 90.76 20.06 16.99 3.43% $0.45 $1.79 24.96%
Palo Alto Networks Inc 166.06 42.94 14.15 9.91% $0.35 $1.41 20.13%
Fortinet Inc 41.25 615.57 9.11 163.37% $0.36 $1.02 16.1%
Gen Digital Inc 10.30 6.10 3.93 6.27% $0.16 $0.77 26.74%
Dolby Laboratories Inc 42.39 3.51 6.53 0.39% $0.05 $0.26 4.44%
Qualys Inc 53.74 22.59 13.85 15.51% $0.05 $0.12 13.09%
Teradata Corp 72.78 35.01 2.46 7.06% $0.05 $0.26 5.04%
N-able Inc 110.50 3.60 5.98 0.9% $0.02 $0.09 15.01%
Progress Software Corp 30.75 5.33 3.58 4.42% $0.06 $0.14 15.72%
Average 64.79 83.03 8.23 29.15% $0.67 $1.51 14.67%

By carefully studying Microsoft, we can deduce the following trends:

  • The stock's Price to Earnings ratio of 36.36 is lower than the industry average by 0.56x, suggesting potential value in the eyes of market participants.

  • Considering a Price to Book ratio of 12.64, which is well below the industry average by 0.15x, the stock may be undervalued based on its book value compared to its peers.

  • The Price to Sales ratio of 12.83, which is 1.56x the industry average, suggests the stock could potentially be overvalued in relation to its sales performance compared to its peers.

  • The Return on Equity (ROE) of 10.44% is 18.71% below the industry average, suggesting potential inefficiency in utilizing equity to generate profits.

  • Compared to its industry, the company has higher Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA) of $31.73 Billion, which is 47.36x above the industry average, indicating stronger profitability and robust cash flow generation.

  • With higher gross profit of $40.22 Billion, which indicates 26.64x above the industry average, the company demonstrates stronger profitability and higher earnings from its core operations.

  • With a revenue growth of 12.76%, which is much lower than the industry average of 14.67%, the company is experiencing a notable slowdown in sales expansion.

Debt To Equity Ratio

The debt-to-equity (D/E) ratio is a key indicator of a company's financial health and its reliance on debt financing.

Considering the debt-to-equity ratio in industry comparisons allows for a concise evaluation of a company's financial health and risk profile, aiding in informed decision-making.

By analyzing Microsoft in relation to its top 4 peers based on the Debt-to-Equity ratio, the following insights can be derived:

  • Microsoft demonstrates a stronger financial position compared to its top 4 peers in the sector.

  • With a lower debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39, the company relies less on debt financing and maintains a healthier balance between debt and equity, which can be viewed positively by investors.

Key Takeaways

The valuation analysis for Microsoft in the software industry reveals that its PE ratio is low compared to its peers, indicating that the stock may be undervalued. The PB ratio is also low, suggesting that the company's stock price is relatively low compared to its book value. However, the PS ratio is high, indicating that the stock may be overvalued based on its revenue. In terms of profitability, Microsoft's ROE is low, suggesting that the company is not generating significant returns on shareholders' equity. On the other hand, the company's EBITDA and gross profit are high, indicating strong financial performance. Lastly, Microsoft's revenue growth is low, suggesting slower expansion compared to its industry peers.

This article was generated by Benzinga's automated content engine and reviewed by an editor.

© 2024 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

Sun, 31 Dec 2023 21:00:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.benzinga.com/news/24/01/36444195/comparative-study-microsoft-and-industry-competitors-in-software-industry
Microsoft To Roll Out Customer Campaigns, Four-Tiered Infrastructure Model

The customer campaigns, which in some cases replace existing go-to-market initiatives, are for Microsoft's year-old core infrastructure model and for two new models Microsoft developed for knowledge workers and applications, sources told CRN.

The models provide recommendations and architectures for building and optimizing Office productivity and application stacks as well as core Windows infrastructures, sources said.

The four levels include basic, standard, rational and dynamic and refer to the state of a customer's infrastructure and security model or Office infrastructure model. For example, basic refers to a company with a more chaotic model with no processes while the standardized model pertains to a corporate infrastructure that has common standards and some processes but little automation, sources added.

"Customer Campaigns replace partner go to market programs. Microsoft has developed a maturity model for infrastructure and a series of step up programs for the four levels of maturity to add new management capabilities," said one source familiar with the announcement. "Partners loved the end of GTMs. They never really got anything out of it and customer campaigns seem to be getting better traction. At least everyone knows what's going on."

Sources said most of the implementations of the programs will be through large systems integrators and Unisys, Fujitsu, Avanade and EDS "will be the big players," that source added.

Bart Hammond, CEO for Interlink, Englewood, Colo., said the three customer campaigns are targeted at IT administrators and other campaigns are being developed for business decision makers.

He does not view the customer campaigns as replacements for go-to-markets but more specific advice on implementation and deployment.

"My understanding is Microsoft is broadening the concept from a pure infrastructure maturity model right up to information workers maturity and application infrastructure maturity," Hammond said, noting the two new offerings enable partners to recommend to customers ways to optimize internal IT architectures and step them up to more mature levels in a defined manner.

"The existing infrastructrure and security model is taking companies from a reactive infrastructure to proactive management and control," Hammond said. "It gives clients a step by step way to assess where they are in their business productivity platform and applications. Microsoft is continuing with its GTMs but they are segments of the customer campaigns.

"For me, it's a road map to go to the customer and use this model as an objective starting point to assess where customers are," Hammond added. "You either operate in a basic environment, standard environment, or advanced environment."

Sun, 10 Dec 2023 22:35:00 -0600 text/html https://www.crn.com/news/applications-os/186700613/microsoft-to-roll-out-customer-campaigns-four-tiered-infrastructure-model
Microsoft’s Digital Crime Unit Goes Deep on How It Disrupts Cybercrime

The DCU’s hybrid technical and legal approach to chipping away at cybercrime is still unusual, but as the cybercriminal ecosystem has evolved—alongside its overlaps with state-backed hacking campaigns—the idea of employing creative legal strategies in cyberspace has become more mainstream. In recent years, for example, Meta-owned WhatsApp and Apple both took on the notorious spyware maker NSO Group with lawsuits.

Still, the DCU's particular progression was the result of Microsoft's unique dominance during the rise of the consumer internet. As the group's mission came into focus while dealing with threats from the late 2000s and early 2010s—like the widespread Conficker worm—the DCU's unorthodox and aggressive approach drew criticism at times for its fallout and potential impacts on legitimate businesses and websites.

“There's simply no other company that takes such a direct approach to taking on scammers,” WIRED wrote in a story about the DCU from October 2014. “That makes Microsoft rather effective, but also a little bit scary, observers say.”

Richard Boscovich, the DCU’s assistant general counsel and a former assistant US attorney in Florida’s Southern District, told WIRED in 2014 that it was frustrating for people within Microsoft to see malware like Conficker rampage across the web and feel like the company could Strengthen the defenses of its products, but not do anything to directly deal with the actors behind the crimes. That dilemma spurred the DCU’s innovations and continues to do so.

“What’s impacting people? That’s what we get asked to take on, and we’ve developed a muscle to change and to take on new types of crime,” says Zoe Krumm, the DCU’s director of analytics. In the mid-2000s, Krumm says, Brad Smith, now Microsoft’s vice chair and president, was a driving force in turning the company’s attention toward the threat of email spam.

“The DCU has always been a bit of an incubation team. I remember all of a sudden, it was like, ‘We have to do something about spam.’ Brad comes to the team and he’s like, ‘OK, guys, let’s put together a strategy.’ I’ll never forget that it was just, ‘Now we’re going to focus here.’ And that has continued, whether it be moving into the malware space, whether it be tech support fraud, online child exploitation, business email compromise.”

Wed, 13 Dec 2023 22:22:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.wired.com/story/microsoft-digital-crime-unit-2023/
Exclusive: Infrastructure faces $600 billion hit in worst-case climate shift - study No result found, try new keyword!Data infrastructure was at 32%, or $61 billion. The study also looks at the so-called physical risks from climate impacts, or the damage done to infrastructure by fires, floods or typhoons. Tue, 12 Dec 2023 02:28:00 -0600 text/html https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/infrastructure-faces-600-billion-hit-worst-case-climate-shift-study-2023-12-12/ Microsoft Set To Spend £2.5 Billion On The UK's AI Infrastructure, Here's How It Will Benefit People

Microsoft is gearing up to spend $3.2 billion (£2.5 billion) in a bid to create a large AI infrastructure in the UK.

In an official statement, Microsoft Vice Chair and President Brad Smith shed some light on the company's plans to create "a major AI infrastructure and skilling investment supported by a new partnership on security" in the UK.

Aside from this, the American tech behemoth plans to support the growth and progress of AI without compromising on public security. The company's goal also includes helping the economy and providing jobs.

In line with this, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak recently announced GBP29.5 billion of private funding for new UK projects that would create 12,000 jobs in various sectors including tech, life sciences, renewables, housing and infrastructure.

The Redmond-based tech firm said it will collaborate with the UK government and university researchers to achieve all this. A more formal version of this statement has been shared on the Gov.UK website.

According to Smith, Microsoft will be spending $3.2 billion (£2.5 billion) over the next three years as part of this investment. Also, he revealed the "three key areas" this investment encompasses.

  • Microsoft will invest in the UK's AI infrastructure
  • Microsoft will invest in AI talent and education programs
  • Microsoft will invest in AI safety and security measures

Investment in the UK's AI infrastructure

This investment will see London, Cardiff and potentially northern England-based sites focusing on growing the AI infrastructure. The program comprises "prioritised access to GPUs for the UK's science and research community".

Moreover, researchers from "universities including Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College, UCL, Bath, and Nottingham" will be participating in this program.

Investment in AI talent and education programs

As part of the plan, Microsoft will train 1 million people in collaboration with non-profit groups on syllabus like how to work with AI, start a career in AI and how to build upon AI. However, the company will not deviate its focus from "Responsible Generative AI" training.

Investment in AI safety and security measures

Microsoft will ensure things are safe and secure by teaming up with both the UK government and the AI Safety Institute. It is also worth noting that the UK recently became the first country to sign an Online Fraud Charter with eleven tech companies.

AI is expected to radically overhaul nearly every aspect of tech, entertainment, the workforce and other areas in the coming years.

So, it is imperative for big tech companies like Microsoft to spearhead the growth of this newfangled technology and ensure it is developed responsibly. This will allow people to take advantage of it rather than being terrified of it.

Tue, 05 Dec 2023 18:32:00 -0600 Vinay Patel en text/html https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/microsoft-set-spend-25-billion-uks-ai-infrastructure-heres-how-it-will-benefit-people-1722024
Infrastructure REITs

Infrastructure REITs are real estate investment trusts that invest in a property class that many people don’t consider when they think about real estate investments. These REITs own certain pieces of infrastructure, like data networks and energy pipelines, that are essential for our daily lives

What are Infrastructure REITs?

Infrastructure REITs own and manage properties used by cellular and wireless communication providers. They then collect rent from tenants that use the property. This may include:

  • Telecommunication Towers
  • Fiber Cables
  • Energy Pipelines
  • Wireless & Wired Infrastructure
  • Waste Management Facilities
  • Airports and Airfields
  • Road Construction and Maintenance

Benefits of Infrastructure REITs

  • Lease Structure: The lease structure for these properties is primarily long-term. A common lease is for 5-10 years, with automatic rent increases built right in. This helps maintain profits and makes them easier to predict.
  • Regulations and Zoning: Since there are actually a lot of limitations when it comes to regulations and zoning for communication tower supply, this is great for Infrastructure REITs. This means there is less chance of oversupply and better opportunities for tenant retention and pricing power.
  • Increasing Value: Real estate and infrastructure projects can also be sold at some point when they rise in value so much that the REIT feels it is best to take the money, thus returning more dividends to investors.

Risks With Infrastructure REITs

Interest Rates: As with all REITs, interest rates are a risk to keep in mind. When the interest rates go up, it’s not good for share prices. Higher returns are expected on investments that are income-based...but the interest rates can deter that from happening. When interest rates are on the rise, the demand for REITs goes down. Some investors will go for safer, lower-risk investments instead.

New Regulations: Although regulations and zoning limitations are a benefit, there is also a risk for new regulations. They can be costly changes to an investment with an already diverse nature.

Investing in these types of REITs can be a great way of making passive income. Like with most REITs however, a long-term investment is the key to making the most in returns. While keeping in mind the risks along with the benefits, and paying attention to the economy and interest rates, Infrastructure REITs are a rather low-risk investment with the potential for great rewards. 

Best Infrastructure REITs

Ticker Company ±% Price Invest

Industry Overview

Number of REITs 4
Average Dividend Yield 4.25%
YTD Total Return -20.01%
October Total Return 6.11%
2022 Total Return -28.61%

Quarterly Performance Data

Financial Metric Q3 2023 2023
FFO ($M) $2,504 $7,239
NOI ($M) $4,299 $4,299
Dividends Paid ($M) $1,552 $4,666

All Infrastructure REITs

Ticker Company ±% Price Invest

REIT Alternatives

REITs provide a low-cost and simple way to invest in real estate. However, they aren't the only option available to generate passive income through real estate with a low minimum investment.

Real estate crowdfunding offers investors the ability to decide which properties they want to invest while still enjoying passive income at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods of investing in real estate. Here are some of our favorite real estate crowdfunding platforms:

  • securely through CrowdStreet's website

    Best For:

    Accredited Investors

  • securely through Yieldstreet's website

    Best For:

    Diverse range of alternative assets

  • securely through Fundrise's website

    Best For:

    Beginner real estate investors

    This is a testimonial in partnership with Fundrise. Benzinga earns a commission from partner links across Benzinga.com.

  • securely through CityVest's website

    Best For:

    Accredited Investors

    Must be accredited investing a minimum of $25,000.

  • Best For:

    Investors looking for a diverse range of offerings

Frequently Asked Questions

A

Yes, REITs are good investments because real estate tends to be a fairly safe investment compared to other channels.

A

Yes, you can make very good money working in and investing in real estate, depending on how much you plan to invest or the segment of the industry you wish to work in.

Sun, 03 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.benzinga.com/money/infrastructure-reits
Microsoft to spend $3.2 billion on the UK's AI infrastructure that should bring "more than 20,000 of the most advanced GPUs to the UK by 2026"

Robot standing in front of city with Microsoft logo.

What you need to know

  • Microsoft Vice Chair and President Brad Smith released an official statement on the company's plans to create a large "AI infrastructure" in the UK.

  • The company will spend $3.2 billion (£2.5 billion) on this effort over the next three years to bring more than 20,000 advanced GPUs to the UK by 2026.

  • Microsoft will invest in three main areas: The UK's AI infrastructure, AI talent and education programs, and AI safety and security measures.

  • Smith states this should help the UK economy while "supporting the UK’s growing AI safety and research efforts."

Microsoft Vice Chair and President Brad Smith released an official statement on the company's $3.2 billion (£2.5 billion) plan to create "a major AI infrastructure and skilling investment supported by a new partnership on security" in the UK. The goal is to support the growth and progress of AI while "protecting public security," helping the economy, and providing jobs. To achieve all this, the company will work with the UK government and university researchers.

It will help the UK seize the artificial intelligence (AI) opportunity and ensure that AI innovation and safety progress together while creating jobs, improving services, and protecting public security. Microsoft is committing to more than doubling its datacenter footprint in the UK, training more than one million people for the AI economy and supporting the UK’s growing AI safety and research efforts through partnerships with the government and leading universities.

A more formal explainer can also be found at Gov.UK as well.

Smith explains this investment will see Microsoft spending $3.2 billion (£2.5 billion) over the next three years. He also explains the "three key areas" that this investment will cover — 1. ) Microsoft invests in the UK's AI infrastructure, 2.) Microsoft invests in AI talent and education programs, 3.) Microsoft invests in AI safety and security measures.

  1. Microsoft will invest in the UK’s AI infrastructure — Sites in London, Cardiff, and potentially northern England will focus on growing this AI infrastructure. As part of the plan, the program will "include prioritized access to GPUs for the UK’s science and research community" with researcher participants from "universities including Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College, UCL, Bath, and Nottingham."

  2. Microsoft will invest in broad-based AI talent and education programs — The company plans to train one million people while working with non-profit groups on subjects such as how to work with AI, start a career in AI, and even how to build upon AI. Microsoft also states it plans to have a focus on safety and responsibility including "Responsible Generative AI" training.

  3. Microsoft will invest in strong AI safety and security measures — To keep things safe and secure, Microsoft will have ongoing collaboration with both the UK government and AI Safety Institute.

Windows Central's take

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Obviously, AI isn't going away and will continue to drastically change just about every aspect of entertainment, media, the workforce, tech, and various other areas going forward. It's important that companies step in to guide the growth of this complex technology so that it's developed responsibly and so that people are prepared to take advantage of it rather than being daunted by it. If Microsoft keeps true to its focus on responsibility, safety, and education, this investment plan will benefit people around the world.

As with the blossoming of the internet in the 90s, the growth of AI has already had an impact on the job market and will continue to affect it as time goes on. Rather than fighting it, we should embrace it but with the understanding that it can be used as a tool to assist us in our daily work, not as a replacement for people.

Sun, 03 Dec 2023 23:48:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://finance.yahoo.com/news/microsoft-spend-3-2-billion-184824701.html
UTSA professor advances study to enhance transportation infrastructure

APRIL 5, 2023 — The deterioration of transportation infrastructure has become a growing issue for the nation, so a UTSA professor is researching transformative technologies that provide feasible solutions.

Samer Dessouky, a professor in UTSA’s Margie and Bill Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design, is part of a team that has been awarded a five-year contract totaling $10 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The funding will enable the team to create and support a Transportation Infrastructure Precast Innovation Center (TRANS-IPIC) that will Strengthen the durability and extend the life of transportation infrastructure such as bridges, tunnels, railroads, pavements and ports. Five universities including UTSA will make up the consortium.

Emerging technologies to address infrastructure issues such as robotics and automated manufacturing face challenges including high costs. It is also difficult to incorporate delicate technologies into construction sites using conventional techniques where concrete is poured on-site.

The researchers will focus on the use of precast concrete, which is casted in a reusable mold and cured in a controlled environment and transported to a construction site and maneuvered into place.

This approach provides a controlled environment for engineers to incorporate new technologies that can quickly and significantly impact the durability and service life of infrastructure.

“Outcomes from this center will lead to advancing the field of building information modeling (BIM), automated manufacturing and repair of precast elements using new technologies like unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) drones and additive manufacturing (3D printing) of forms and concrete,” Dessouky said.

The researchers at the Transportation Infrastructure Precast Innovation Center, led by Bassem Andrawes at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, also aim to develop precast concrete that can conduct self-assessments using smart materials and remote sensing. 

The new center will focus on the following three key research subject areas: (1) application of new materials and technologies, (2) construction methodologies and management, and (3) condition monitoring and remote sensing. The research that TRANS-IPIC conducts will play a significant role in supporting U.S. DOT Strategic Plan goals including Transformation, Climate & Sustainability, and Safety.

The group will also recommend long-term solutions by replacing existing infrastructure with more durable components that are built in a controlled environment and more efficiently to reduce cost, carbon emissions and increase quality and productivity.

As a Tier One research university and a Hispanic Serving Institution, UTSA is committed to tackling society’s grand challenges through world-class education and research programs. As an urban serving university, it is driving San Antonio’s knowledge economy, living out the notion that great universities need great cities and great cities need great universities.

Thu, 07 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.utsa.edu/today/2023/04/story/study-will-enhance-transportation-infastructure.html
AI, EVs, Fed, consumers, election: Investor Guide highlights

As 2023 comes to a close, investors want to know what’s in store for the year ahead. What's in store from the Fed in 2024? Will the AI hype continue? What is the future of EV charging? How will the 2024 election impact the market? Yahoo Finance spoke to experts across the industry to answer these questions and more as part of the weekly series "Investor Guide 2024."

Market outlook (00:00:05)

Infrastructure Capital Advisors CEO Jay Hatfield anticipates the S&P to reach as high as 5,500 points by the end of 2024. Hatfield said, "Europe is in a recession. And so we think the ECB is going to be forced to cut first, which will provide the U.S. Federal Reserve cover. So it's really more of a global focus."

Goldman Sachs Chief US Economist David Mericle predicts that recession odds have eased to 15%, but challenges still loom over the U.S. economy. "The soft landing has gone from on track to largely here," Mericle explained. "Rather than gliding into the mid-2s next year, which would have been a perfectly good outcome, it now looks like instead we are abruptly finding ourselves more or less at a 2% underlying pace."

AI (00:00:47)

Tech giants Nvidia (NVDA), Google (GOOG), and Microsoft (MSFT) helped to drive the AI hype in 2023. But did the AI frenzy steal all of the metaverse's thunder?

Wagner James Au, Author of Making a Metaverse That Matters, joins Yahoo Finance Live to weigh in on the metaverse’s outlook for 2024 and whether a comeback is possible. He said, "The metaverse ... has actually been growing in terms of monthly active users, upwards of 600 million active users, led by Roblox (RBLX) is the leading metaverse platform."

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Global Chair Richard Lesser discussed the use cases for AI that companies will seek to implement in the coming year. "I think companies are going to end up spending a lot more on AI in the year ahead," Lesser explained. "Companies are going to realize there's a lot of value to be created here."

Ruben Roy, Stifel Applied Technology Analyst, broke down the semiconductor market outlook and the possibilities for semiconductor companies in 2024. "We think Nvidia is one of the first semiconductor companies that's cracked the code on becoming a software and services company," Roy said. "I think that's where investors should be looking. I think that's going to be the big theme when you look ahead to 2024."

Oil, energy, and gas (00:01:36)

2023 was a volatile year for oil prices (BZ=F, CL=F). Rebecca Babin, CIBC Private Wealth, U.S. Senior Energy Trader discussed some of the major catalysts for oil in 2024. Babin said, "So I think the key for 2024 is going to be what does U.S. supply do? Looking at 2024, the market looks very well balanced ... the key that people are looking at is can the U.S. continue to outperform."

Tesla (TSLA) has had quite a turbulent year in 2023. iSeeCars.com Executive Analyst Karl Brauer discussed the outlook for Tesla in 2024 amid the competition from major companies like Ford (F) and GM (GM). Brauer said, "Tesla shares ... they're down to about half the market. And of course they were the overwhelmingly dominant player just a few years ago. Every day, every month, every year we see more cars entering this marketplace, making them less dominant."

Looking ahead to 2024, Patrick De Haan, Head of Petroleum Analysis at GasBuddy, discussed how geopolitical tensions and other factors may impact oil and gas prices. De Haan explained, "The national average is basically on par with where we were last year, but we could see a little bit more increase over the next few days into the holiday and into the close of the New Year."

State of the consumer (00:02:36)

Investors often look for recession proof investments during uncertain times, including food and beverage staples. Peter Saleh, BTIG Restaurants and Food Distributors Analyst, top picks for 2024 include McDonald's (MCD) and Domino's (DPZ). "2024 we're going to start the year with a lot of discounts. We're already seeing that, and in that type of environment McDonald's tends to take some share," Saleh said. "One of our top picks for 2024 is Domino's."

The Magnificent Seven didn't just dominate the markets this year, they also topped the list of the most trafficked ticker pages on Yahoo Finance. Tesla (TSLA), Nvidia (NVDA), Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), and Microsoft (MSFT) topped the ranking. Yahoo Finance's Jared Blikre broke down the list. "Not surprisingly in a year that was all about the mega caps, the Mag Seven, they dominate the top ten most popular pages visited by you on the Yahoo Finance app and website," Blikre said. "And the winner by far is Tesla ... that was seen over 300 million times this year."

2024 election (00:03:21)

The 2024 election cycle is right around the corner and with that comes massive swaths of information about the candidates and the election itself. Yahoo Finance Tech Editor Dan Howley broke down the impact that generative AI can have on the election, specifically as it pertains to disinformation. Howley said, "The AI revolution has really supercharged a lot of companies ... but there also are some drawbacks, and those include the spread of disinformation and misinformation ... basically allowing them to manipulate the news."

LPL Financial Chief Equity Strategist Jeff Buchbinder discussed the historical impact of the presidential election on the stock market. Buchbinder explained, "If you look back at history, the economy is really the biggest driver of not just how elections turn out but how markets do. So if we continue to have surprises on the U.S. economy like we've had in 2023, then no doubt this market can do quite a bit better than that historical average."

Video highlights:

00:00:05 - Infrastructure Capital Advisors CEO Jay Hatfield

00:00:22 - Goldman Sachs Chief US Economist David Mericle

00:00:47 - Wagner James Au, Author of Making a Metaverse That Matters

00:01:06 - Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Global Chair Richard Lesser

00:01:20 - Ruben Roy, Stifel Applied Technology Analyst

00:01:36 - Rebecca Babin, CIBC Private Wealth, U.S. Senior Energy Trader

00:01:58 - iSeeCars.com Executive Analyst Karl Brauer

00:02:19 - Patrick De Haan, Head of Petroleum Analysis at GasBuddy

00:02:36 - Peter Saleh, BTIG Restaurants and Food Distributors Analyst

00:03:00 - Yahoo Finance's Jared Blikre

00:03:21 - Yahoo Finance's Daniel Howley

00:03:48 - LPL Financial Chief Equity Strategist Jeff Buchbinder

Be sure to watch all of Yahoo Finance's 2024 Investor Guide.

Fri, 22 Dec 2023 08:26:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://money.yahoo.com/video/ai-evs-fed-consumers-election-222621615.html




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