Friday, November 29, 2013

Support for Microsoft Exchange Server and Office 365

This post is written to bring to your attention over the two support articles or we can even call them as support resources for Exchange Server products and Office 365 products, This is a one shop resource from Microsoft where it provides you with all the required information  and support you need to know about the products under a single window which is categorized for your ease of selection.

I found these resources useful and sharing with you here to get it added to your browser favorites and Bookmarks for future reference.

Access the articles below,

Support for Microsoft Exchange Server

Support for Microsoft Office 365

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Exchange Server 2013 CU3 Upgrade Experience from Experts

Microsoft Exchange team released CU3 for Exchange Server 2013 and Update Rollup 3 for Exchange Server 2010 Sp3 earlier this week, Updating Exchange Server 2010 Sp3 follows the similar procedure for updating the server with new update Roll-up as we do traditionally, If want to do it at ease checkout here. Since with the latest release of our Exchange Server 2013 we have the Cumulative updates which are full build of the Exchange Server with the additional fixes and updates bundled together and eventually requires Schema update and also a painful rework of configuring your customized settings once again post upgrade.

I wrote this post to guide you for performing a successful upgrade through the experience and guidance shared by our Experts. first let's begin with the the latest post from our renowned Exchange MVP JaapWesselius on his blog over his Exchange Server 2013 CU3 upgrade experience and this is an excellent post to begin, where Japp explains in detail about the above said points for better understanding and also visually shows you with instructions how to perform a seamless upgrade.

Read the post here: Upgrade to Exchange Server 2013 RTM CU3

Additionally, take a look at the New Updated post from Our Exchange MVP Michael Van Horenbeeck on his office blog where he has made some updation to the automated scripts he created for placing the server in Maintenance mode which is essential during the CU upgrade and this automated scripts are rich resource and makes our work at ease and saves time.

Check out here : Script: putting Exchange Server 2013 into Maintenance Mode

For detailed Information on upgrading Exchange Server 2013 check out this post from ExchangeServerpro from our Exchange MVP Paul Cunningham

Review here : Installing Cumulative Updates for Exchange Server 2013

Now the heat has started and we can receive more over the CU3 upgrade experience from our experts watch out their blogs to stay updated and also I am planning to test it soon and will share my experience, As usual test and play with it in the Lab environment and wait for a while and analyze whether everything is fine and then start with your production upgrade.


Read this below Excellent post from 250 Hello TechNet blog written by Rhoderick Milne MSFT  over the installation of Exchange 2013 CU and the common mistakes to avoid while installing through command line which we normally do.

Check here : 6 Mistakes To Avoid With Exchange 2013 CU Command Line Installations

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012 TechNet Library Documentation Now Available

Today Microsoft Team has released the TechNet Library Documentation for Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

Quick preview of the topics covered

This documentation is quite a big one to read as it contains about close to 8000 pages which covers all the aspects of these Server Operating systems and we can call this one as a rich resource to know more and understand better over these products at all levels.

Download here : Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012 TechNet Library Documentation

Lync-Skype Connectivity

I am writing this post a bit late as most of you are already aware about the general availability of Lync-Skype connectivity, this great enhancement allows Lync and Skype users to add each other as their contacts and start to do IM sessions and audio calls seamlessly, Video features is on the way and we can expect this to be included soon as things are now happening rapidly with Microsoft as ever before.

Prior to this feature, Lync already has a great feature of connecting with external IM providers like Yahoo, Google Talk, AOL and Skype(before MS acquired) etc., using the Public IM connectivity feature and time is moving fast and Federation with Yahoo and AOL will end soon in mid of 2014 and now Skype has become a part of Microsoft as a result we have the new Lync-Skype connectivity at ease and enabling it is easy with prescribed guidelines and this differs from the traditional PIC configuration.

I reviewed few vital articles and sharing them here for your easy reference which would typically assist you in understanding more on this topic and also show you how to enable this feature in both Lync Online and On premise along with the detailed instructions of what an end user should do to get this feature to work on the move and few other important information in a nutshell.

First review the Lync Team blog post : Lync-Skype connectivity available today

Once you get to know the feature it's time for deployment and validating it on live and you can easily get this done with the help of the excellent Microsoft Provisioning Guide

Download: Provisioning Guide for Lync-Skype Connectivity: Lync Server 2013 and Lync Online

Finally, Check this Provisioning Lync Server for Skype Connectivity - FAQs 

Monday, November 25, 2013

It's Update Day for Exchange!

Today is quite significant that Microsoft Team has released two important long awaited updates for Exchange Server 2010 and 2013, they are Update Rollup 3 For Exchange 2010 SP3 and Cumulative Update 3 for Exchange Server 2013, these updates are quite significant as Microsoft promised most of the current issues on the product will get addressed with the release of these updates at various instances.

Download them and test them before you start your production deployment as usual and also have a quick check at the corresponding Ehlo blog posts and description for detailed information.

Download : Update Rollup 3 For Exchange 2010 SP3

Ehlo blog post: Released: Update Rollup 3 For Exchange 2010 Service Pack 3

Download: Cumulative Update 3 for Exchange Server 2013

Ehlo blog post: Released: Exchange Server 2013 Cumulative Update 3

We can wait for the next update from Microsoft for Exchange 2013 early next year,  and if you have not yet migrated to 2013, you can wait till the next release and then start your migration.

Tony Redmond is faster than any one when it comes to Exchange and within few hours of  today's update release he has written an excellent post over his views and a quick overview of some the new enhancements and requirements with Exchange Server 2013 CU3 for better understanding.

Check out here : Seeking quality with Exchange 2013 CU3

One more post from our Paul Robichaux MVP on his blog over this update releases which throws some additional light over few major considerations when upgrading to CU3 and most important facts over Exchange Hybrid deployment.

Check out here : Exchange 2013 Cumulative Update 3 released

Both of these articles from our experts is quite good to know more on this update release and few facts over the upcoming release of Exchange Server 2013 SP1 early next year.

Managed Availability Documentation Now Available

Today Scott Schnoll MSFT has written an excellent post on his Is this thing On?  blog over the availability of Managed Availability documentation. In here is quickly summarizes what is Managed Availability is all about and its vital components and directs us where to go and read more to on the topic along with rich information and examples.

Scott categorized this into below 5 categories and explains them clearly and for people who wants to know what is Managed availability then this is the best place to start
  • Overview
  • Health Sets
  • Health Groups
  • Overrides
  • Management Tasks and Cmdlets

Additionally look out this EHLO Blog post along with it's previous posts which will be shown inside to know more on Managed Availability and also review the recorded Ignite event occurred recently for real time demo from Microsoft , I myself attended this session and gained a good experience on the topic and had my queries clarified.

Access the post here: Customizing Managed Availability

Access the Video here : Ignite Webcast - Managed Availability

New ActiveSync Issue for Android Devices with KitKat

Today I came across a tweet from MVP Tony Redmond that pointed me to his new blog post on the WindowsIT Pro forum, where he update us regarding the new ActiveSync issue faced by users who has upgraded their Mobile device OS to the latest release KitKat (Android 4.4). I reviewed the Android forums and found most users are affected and also Google has closed this bug, but no proper fix released yet to address this issue. With this state make sure you educate your users to stay with Android 4.3 and avoid this upgrade if they want to use ActiveSync without issues, and can perform an upgrade later, once things are sorted out.

Read the post and provide an Heads up to your Admins and Users over the issue to manage thing before it breaks out at the earliest.

Read the full post here: Kitkat causes ActiveSync headaches for Android users


Found a blog post which provides resolution to this issue.

Review here : Android KitKat 4.4.2 Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) Error Solved

Before you make any upgrade to your Mobile OS version always have a check in the Online Communities to ensure that your are not getting affected with any issues through that upgrade.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Comparing remote display protocols with TechTarget

Today I was reading over VDI and came across this excellent post from TechTarget under SearchVirtualDesktop forum, When it comes to Desktop virtualization the major concern is over the GPU which is required for working with high end graphical applications which requires 3D modelling, rendering etc., This articles takes focus on top 3 virtualization providers and their protocols which delivers this service and they are none other than our Microsoft, VMware and Citrix and their RDP/RemoteFX, PCoIP and HDX protocols.

I recently attended a live VMware symposium event where I got glimpse of VMware's VDI deployment with Horizon View, which was quite excellent, Citrix Xen Desktop is already famous and needs no introduction and now Microsoft  joined the race and competing with the two major giants through it's RemoteFX protocol for delivering high end VDI experience.

Check out this article to know more: Comparing remote display protocols: RemoteFX vs. HDX vs. PCoIP

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Configuration & Clients E-Book

Exchange Server 2013 is on the move now and major Organizations already started to migrate to 2013 and it's now time for the Admins to know more on the product and get things done with perfection. Download and read this excellent E-book written by renowned Technical Expert and Author William R. Stanek to know and do more with Exchange Server 2013.

Download : Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Configuration & Clients

Grab your paper back from Amazon and also Author has written few other books in series get them all for understanding Exchange Server 2013.

Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Pocket Consultant: Configuration & Clients Paperback

The Hands-on Guide:Understanding Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012

Hyper-V is a not new to many of us but it was not quite popular as VMware on Server virtualization and now Microsoft team has spent additional time on improvising their Virtualization platform and brought in some enhanced features with the new release of Hyper-V 3.0 with Windows Server 2012 which is starting to revolutionize the Virtualization industry as Organizations started to adopt for their Server Virtualization as now it offers similar and some enhanced features in comparison with it's competitors and it's time for us to take a quick preview and Hands on experience through the excellent E-book from our all time favorite MVP Brien Posey along with other Technical experts Pete Zerger and Chris Henley published by VEEAM Software.

Register yourself free and download the copy here: The Hands-on Guide:Understanding Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012

Friday, November 22, 2013

Mastering Microsoft Lync Server 2013 E-Book

Mastering Microsoft Lync Server 2013 book is one of the fine resource for learning Lync Server 2013, download this E-book and add it to your study collection and Master yourself with Lync.

Download here: Mastering Microsoft Lync Server 2013

Grab your Paperback from Amazon, This E-book is a must one to have Handy to know about Lync Server 2013 for every Administrator.

Mastering Microsoft Lync Server 2013 [Paperback]

Exchange and Office 2013 Service Pack 1 coming in early 2014

Microsoft team released two Official announcement that early next year 2014 we will have Service Pack 1 released for Exchange Server 2013 and Office 2013, its been quite a while ago these products were released and already Microsoft team is releasing cumulative updates for Exchange and Office which ideally fixes few outstanding issues and brings in new features but eventually triggers new issues which in turn gets fixed in the upcoming updates and the story goes on and on.

From the Exchange Server 2013 perspective we can expect some good features with SP1 like inclusion of Edge Transport role again which is discontinued and getting re-added now and also support for Windows Server 2012 R2 etc., if  you check the comments section on the EHLO Blog post you will get to know more on various views and queries raised by customers and Microsoft answers for better understanding, We don't have much visibility on Office end and we may get one soon and I hope these products stays stable and add value to our environment.

Check the announcements here

Exchange Server 2013 Service Pack 1 Coming in Early 2014

Office 2013 Service Pack 1 coming early next year

Office 365 Admin App Now Available

I reviewed the Office 365 Blog again today and came across one more new add-on from Microsoft O365 team and it's the new Office 365 Admin App released for Checking the status of your O365 services health on the move from your mobile device and get to know what's happening without connecting to the Admin Portal and receive updates and communicate accordingly to your users from anywhere and currently the App is released for Windows Phone 8 and in the upcoming weeks we will have the App released for Android and iOS devices.

Check out the below O365 blog post to know more and also download the app to experience the feature.

Access here: Check the service health of your Office 365 service on the go

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Office 365 Message Encryption Coming Soon!

Today we had official announcement from Microsoft O365 team over the new upcoming Office 365 Message Encryption feature, Message Encryption is not a new term as most of us are well aware over this for years and many of the Organizations still continue to use this mechanism for secure email exchange.
Microsoft team is now majorly concentrating on Security and Compliance, with the release of Exchange Server 2013 we have strong DLP features and the same available in O365 and also the new RMS feature introduced adds additional layer of Security for Collaborating with O365 and additionally now we have the Message Encryption feature getting added and this makes us to feel now O365 is becoming a better choice in terms of Compliance, Privacy and Security.

I am listing out few Vital blog posts from O365 Technical blog for you to read on the DLP and RMS features with O365 and we can proceed with the actual post for Message Encryption

Check these posts

Office 365 compliance controls: Data Loss Prevention

Collaborate confidently using Rights Management

Cloud Services you can trust: Security, Compliance, and Privacy in Office 365

Now get in to our Topic and take a look at the blog post over the upcoming release of Message Encryption, with E3 and E4 license you will get this for free along with Windows Azure RMS and for other plans you can acquire it for $2 per month included with Windows Azure RMS standalone service without any additional cost.

Introducing Office 365 Message Encryption: Send encrypted emails to anyone!

Additional Bytes

Check out the below latest post from WindowsITPro on the Topic from none other than our MVP Tony Redmond for some more additional information.

 Office 365 Message Encryption: Protect your email against the spooks

Microsoft team Announced the General availability of the Service today from FEB 19 2014.

Read the official announcement : Office 365 Message Encryption — now rolling out!

*Check the below TechTarget post to know how Azure RMS provides strong data protection explained clearly.

Azure RMS offers a simpler data protection alternative

*Finally, review the below TechNet Blog post to know complete information on this Message Encryption feature with guided walkthrough for implementation along Technical deep dive experience.

Office 365 Message Encryption (& Decryption) - Steps – Understanding, Purchase Options, Configuration, Branding & Use 

Lync and Exchange - Better Together Presentation

Microsoft Lync Server 2013 and Exchange Server 2013 are very robust products individually and when we integrate both of them we will get some enhanced features as ever before with these latest version in comparison with it's predecessors.

I already wrote a blog post on this topic referencing a Technet Blog post from Alan Maddison MSFT under the title Lync Server 2013 and Exchange Server 2013 Integration , in here Alan shows us the benefits of having Lync and Exchange together in a detailed description.

To further add to this topic, I reviewed few of my Power point presentation collection and came across two vital ones for our topic, one from Lync Conference under this blog post title occurred early this year and the other one from Ignite event.  These presentations will typically show you how the architecture behind Exchange and Lync integration works with live examples, benefits and much more, after reviewing this you will have a clear understanding on the subject.

I am providing you the direct download links below,

Download : Lync and Exchange - Better Together

Download : Lync People, Presence, and Federation Infrastructure

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

BYOD is the Brave New Mobile World - INFOGRAPHIC POSTER

Check out this Infographic Poster from Citrix to know about how BYOD and Consumerization is having Impact on Organization's Enterprise mobility in Today's IT .

Check out the poster in Zoomit for ease of viewing : Click here

Curah! is Here...

Today I am glad to share with my readers about the new Microsoft Technical Community forum "Curah", I came across this excellent forum which is quite available for while only today and after checking this I can call it as a one shop IT resource for your queries and solutions, was amazed and happy to see many of our Technical experts and fellow community folks have joined here already and started to share their experience and knowledge on various Technologies.

I Would recommend you to Join here and create your profile and publish your Curations soon, I Joined and started to post mine from today and expecting all of you there with your Curations.. Catch you soon... :)

Access here to know about Curah : What is Curah!, and how do I get started?

Is Your DNS Secure?

When it comes to Internet the most vital part to design and manage is your Organization's DNS Environment, As secure as your DNS you can say that your Company is secure, Now Vulnerabilities and Hacking attacks have became common and occurring everywhere in the Internet and Major companies DNS Servers were attacked recently and caused a huge Impact and threat to the IT Industry.

I recently came across an excellent WhitePaper from Infoblox  posted on on this topic, this is a rich resource where you will get to know over the recent DNS attacks occurred  in the Industry and understand more on the causes and get to know how to overcome these attacks and securely manage your Environment.

Access the whitepaper here : Top 5 DNS Security Attack Rises and How to Avoid Them

One more vital whitepaper on the topic including the latest attacks and shows how to prevent them, available here:  5 DNS Security Risks That Keep You Up At Night

ADFS in O365 in a Nutshell

When it comes to O365 deployment Identity and Access Management plays a vital role and once the Organization decided for moving it's resources to cloud and also wants to have a seamless sign in experience on both On premise and Cloud which we termed as Single Sign On (SSO) , then your Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) is the backbone for making this possible, I already wrote a post on O365 SSO Content road map where all the required components for establishing a successful SSO setup with O365 is written and explained by Microsoft and this is second one in the series which covers some vital part over ADFS in detail and puts things in a nutshell.

As usual I am not going to write the whole story as these topics were widely covered by Microsoft and Renowned MVPs and Experts in an excellent manner and I am pointing you today to a high level Technical documentation and also to a presentation on Exchange 2013 Hybrid deployment which typically explains about what you need to prepare yourself for a successful O365 Hybrid environment and most vital part it will clearly explain you each aspect and also shows you how the authentication happens with ADFS, while your clients are attempting to connect to O365 inclusive of Active and Passive authentication mechanisms and other vital components like Dirsync etc. which gives you a rich experience on understanding how authentication works in O365 with ADFS.

Let's get started.

Technical Documentation from Message Ops : ADFS Deployment Considerations for Office 365

Presentation from IT/Dev Connections by O365 MVP Jethro Seghers

Download here : Preparing for an Exchange 2013 Hybrid

For ease of understanding things read this Excellent post from Mads Sorensen Blog

How Does ADFS Work With Office 365?

Additionally, read this below quick guide to know how ADFS can be utilized to enable SSO with Office 365 explained by MVP Greg Shields.

Geek of All Trades: Office 365 SSO: A Simplified Installation Guide

Along with this Topic you need to know the role of ADFS proxy server, what it is used for and understand how it should be deployed,  its benefits etc. explained clearly in the below TechNet blog

Check here: Understanding the AD FS 2.0 Proxy

Additionally, Some Organizations don't want to spend cost on deploying ADFS proxy and will publish ADFS using the TMG Server which is also supported but it still has some limitations and complications.

Below is a walkthrough post from C7 Solutions blog from Publishing ADFS Through ISA or TMG Server on publishing ADFS using TMG for Office 365

Publishing ADFS Through ISA or TMG Server

Once you are clear with the ADFS Server and ADFS Proxy and their role in implementing SSO with the help of above blog posts and reference articles, Its time for you to advance the next level.

Download and read the below WhitePaper for successfully implementing SSO for Office 365 with ADFS 2.0

Office 365 Single Sign-On with ADFS 2.0 whitepaper

Read the below TechNet blog post covering various other vital aspects of ADFS for your deep dive experience.

ADFS High Availability – Quick Reference Guide for Administrators. Implement Single sign-on for Office 365.

Finally, Review this below ADFS Deep Dive Primer from PFE Blog covers everything in a nutshell.

ADFS Deep-Dive: Primer

Update: Various enhancements were made in the ADFS deployment with the next release ADFS 3.0 and I have written a post on the same with various vital references, once you review these information above and understand things navigate to the below blog post to know more on the present and future Road-map with ADFS.

Check here: ADFS 3.0 with Office 365

Performance Analysis of Logs (PAL) Tool

Today I was checking over  Exchange and Lync Performance Analysis Tools and came across an excellent post from Windows ITPro forum on the free Performance Analysis of Logs (PAL) Tool  from CodePlex, the same place where we download our well known open source tools and one great example is our MFCMAPI.

While reading the post I was amazed that it contains 6000 line VB script and also some default known threshold limits which makes our job easier and effectively analyze the performance for our better understanding and proceed with the next steps and it's written by none other than our Clint Huffman,  Microsoft senior premier field engineer. Read the below Post to know more on the History and benefits of the PAL Tool along with the download link.

Access here: Free Tool of the Week: The Performance Analysis of Logs (PAL) Tool

Direct download link: Performance Analysis of Logs (PAL) Tool  

Additionally today our renowned Expert Doug Deitterick MSFT has posted over the availability of Lync 2010 and 2013 Server Threshold files for PAL on his blog and the files can be download from Technet Gallery, which ideally helps us to Analyze our Lync Environment performance and below are the blog links for your reference.

Lync Server 2013 Threshold Files for PAL Available

Lync Server 2010 Threshold Files for PAL Available

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Mobile Device Managment (MDM) A Quick Preview

We have been taking look at various popular terminologies used in today's IT Market recently over the weeks like Orchestrator, VDI, SDN, NFV etc., these technologies were there already but now we get to see them everywhere and in continuation to the series let's take a look at one more key term MDM today in a nutshell.

In Today's IT world we can access our corporate data in wide range of devices and the same way the applications from regular PC, Laptops,Tablets and mobile phones on the fly, but when it comes to administering the mobile devices which is connected to your network from anywhere either internal or external and accessing your corporate data you need to more cautious in ensuring that what data is accessed, how it is accessed, how to ensure security and how to manage the connections and majorly know how to erase the sensitive data when a device which is connected from external network to your Infrastructure is either loss or stolen, and also when a employee leaves the Organization after service or termination to ensure that your Information Security is managed and maintained at all levels.

Also with the advent of Technologies Organizations now adopt the BYOD concept which stands for Bring Your Own Device, where users bring their own devices to connect to corporate network or access the corporate data which causes additional threat to the Security but carefully managed by the polices enforced and a through a proper MDM..

What is MDM ?

Access here mobile device management (MDM) to know the definition from TechTarget 

Once understand what is MDM then you will know it's significance over the Corporate data and application management and next you need to know what to look out for when you are going to adopt a MDM Solution for your needs and the best Tools to adopt as there a huge group of providers available in the IT Market which is Inclusive of all renowned Major Giants.

Access here: Basic features and capabilities to look for in MDM tools

Read the below two other TechTarget articles to know MDM solution can be useful along with MAM solution. MAM is your Mobile Application Management solution, to ensure your IT is secure even if your adopt BYOD concept in your Infrastructure.

 Mobile application security best practices: Leveraging MDM, MAM tools

 Mobile device management systems help mitigate BYOD risks

Other few Posts on the hot topics over MDM happening outside now in the Industry


 The Future of Mobile Device Management


VMware and Citrix aim to simplify BYOD


Microsoft Expanding Mobile Device Management Capabilities in R2 Products

Friday, November 15, 2013

VIrtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) A Quick Preview

Technology keeps changing every day and will continue to change and evolve till human race exist as this World has now became a World of Technology and people now start to live and breathe technology everywhere, Now you can see mobile phone which we can call as an remarkable invention of human race in every hands from a 3 year old kid to the guy who sits at the corner of the world in an isolated place where he is not isolated from the rest of the crowd and still connected virtually with the help of this device and that's the Power of Technology.

Enough of the Tech Story, Let's get in to our topic, I started with the story because the one which we are talking is one such type on innovation where physical desktops are converted in to Virtual desktops and now they are streamed online like other applications and you can access it only fly with reduced set of requirements on a variety of devices with the configurations specified met according to the VDI provider and this saves a huge cost for Organizations and the flexibility for user access.

Let's see what is the Definition of Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) from TechTarget

Click here to know the answer :Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI)

Additionally, Check out this great video from Trainsignal

View here : What is Desktop Virtualization and VDI?

View one more Excellent video here :  What is Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)?

VDI is the next step of computing and Major Organizations now started to provide this service and they started to concentrate now more on Desktop Virtualization and providing it as a service Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) along with the rest of the Cloud Computing Services that are evolving outside to meet both the ends .

I have listed out few articles I read over the days on VDI and its future from Experts, Official documentation and IT Magazine updates for you to check out and understand better.
What Will the Post-PC Era Look Like? - Redmong Magazine

What desktop virtualization really means - Infoworld

VDI: What You Need to Know - OntheNetOffice

Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) goes mainstream - VMware

What's the Difference Between Citrix and VDI? - Whitehat

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure official Site- Microsoft

AWS drops a bomb on VMware, Citrix with Amazon WorkSpace - TechTarget

Outlook Connectivity Guided Walkthrough On-Premise Now Available

As I stated in one of my earlier blog post Microsoft team is now started to concentrate on their Support end too. As a result now we have more troubleshooting online walkthrough available for ease of troubleshooting.

Outlook plays a major role when it comes to Microsoft E-mail system either On-premise or on Office 365, Outlook connectivity drastically changed over the years from Outlook 2003 to 2013 along the same way in accordance with the backend Server upgrade from Exchange Server 2003 to 2013, After the invention of Autodiscover service Microsoft simplified the client connectivity challenges and provided it as a one shop mechanism for the client to use to get connected to the Server environment both internally and externally seamlessly in wide range of devices which is available today in the IT market.

Let's come to our topic, this is about the latest EHLO Blog post about the release of new Outlook Connectivity Guided Walkthrough for troubleshooting Outlook issues On premise and this is quite use full to narrow down when an outlook connectivity issues occurs for users as a starting point to initiate the troubleshooting process, Also this one is quite good as it covers various common and major issues that could trigger impact on outlook connectivity and provides some insight on where the issue could be and continue to deep dive to get the issue fixed and doucmented.

Check this Blog post to know more : Outlook Connectivity Guided Walkthrough (Exchange On-Premises)

Microsoft team released the Outlook Troubleshooting walkthrough for O365 while ago and this one is also quite significant as the above,  These two now covers both aspects of potential outlook issues in On-premise and O365 environments and provides us with the right steps to follow to get it fixed at the earliest.

Check here : Outlook Connectivity to Office 365 Troubleshooter Now Available

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Ahead of the Game with Microsoft!

It was just minutes before, I wrote my earlier post on the End of an Era for our well known legacy systems and suggested the readers to upgrade their environment to newer ones as soon as possible and start their Journey towards the future. And here comes the future which I am talking about from Microsoft.

Microsoft has released many robust products to the IT Market recently and they revolutionized the industry through its capabilities and to know more on these there are plenty of resources available in the web for each one of them and also hands on labs, trials and tutorials along with used case documentation, Magazine posts available as ever before to put you on the edge of the future Technology.

Book your calendar now for December 3rd to Join our Microsoft team on their Live Event to know how their new products Windows Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V 2012 R2, and Windows Azure is going to work and benefit Organizations towards their future IT demands from the Experts themselves on live.

Register here : Ahead of the Game with Microsoft Event Registration

The End is Near for "Legacies"...

Every one is quite aware about the significance of this future date April 8th 2014. Yes, Its going to be time for end of an Era of our major Legacy Microsoft products as Microsoft Team has officially announced the end of extended support for these products which puts most of the Organizations at the edge to transition to the newer versions at the earliest and this dead line hits them in many ways from a legacy end user Desktop system to the crucial Email system.

I saw this excellent TechNet blog post which shows us about the major Legacy systems reaching it's end of support on this date like Exchange Server 2003 and Windows XP along with the all time favorite Outlook client which is still in use Outlook 2003 and also make us aware over another future date 14th of July 2015 which is even more significant because it's going to be the end of Windows Server 2003 which revolutionized the whole IT industry with it's release and grown up to the stage which is far and beyond our imagination.

Quick Overview 

Read the post here : Save The Date - End of Exchange 2003 Support–T Minus 6 Months

Keep these dates marked on your calendar and create an action plan from now on if you didn't do so to upgrade your environment to the latest ones to avoid an unsupported scenario and join the upper crowd and start your journey towards the future.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

New Lync Online Guided Walkthrough

Microsoft team is doing a great job nowadays in terms of providing enhanced support to their products and continue to innovate new tools and guidance walkthrough which typically assists the Administrators to troubleshoot issues on time with proper steps and restore the service as quickly as possible.

Today, there is a new addition to the list of supported tools for troubleshooting Lync, this time it's on Lync Online and now Almost all major Organizations are using Lync as a part of their regular day to day communication medium which is either On premise or Cloud and even in a Hybrid mode

When it comes to troubleshooting Lync On premise we have access to our servers to check out the events and also with the feasibility of enhanced troubleshooting mechanisms like the new Centralized logging and enhanced resource kit we can troubleshoot a lot and restore services quickly, but with Lync Online there is a limitation and also we rely on many aspects from Network, Single sign-on, ADFS, Dir sync and much more to add up and I have been working on Lync Online for a while now and faced various issues in the environment and resolved many of them, which gave me enough knowledge over the cause of few issues when they occur and gave me confidence to troubleshoot it accordingly and resolve them if we can else approach Microsoft team with the right information to assist further and move on.

Lync Online team did a great job in bring the Excellent Guided Walkthrough for troubleshooting Lync issues in Lync Online environment which typically assists all admins to know what to do when a issues occurs by answering the set of questions and get the answers online in secs and start the investigation.

Read this O365 Community post to know more :

New Lync Online Guided Walkthrough Helps Office 365 Admins Troubleshoot Sign-in Issues

Access the Walkthrough here: Lync Online Sign-in Guided Walkthrough

Good News for Exchange IT Pros!

In Today's IT world Cloud Computing is every where and everyone is either started to learn cross domain technologies or in the path of choosing new carrier path and Most of the IT Pros are worried about the future towards their current domain and over the future of IT. When it comes to IT Pros who work specifically for a particular domain which is getting upgraded faster than ever before and also projecting its target over to the cloud from an outer perspective, The above said points are true on a whole, Yes I am talking about the evolution of Exchange Server and O365.

When I started to work with different versions of Exchange servers I felt enormous changes had brought in to each of the versions namely say 2010 and 2013, which provided us with reduced complexity of management and enhanced High availability features providing rich user experience. And when I started to handle O365 extensively a question came to my mind, Exchange Online looks excellent in terms of both fully cloud and Hybrid cloud with its great features and co-existence capabilities with Either 2010 and 2013 deployment. and Microsoft is managing and enhancing this at a faster scale and also promoting this as ever before then what will happen to the On premise Exchange? do we still get an other Wave 16 products from Microsoft in mere future or it will be gone soon and do I need to support only the Cloud in the next few years as we all are heading to the Cloud world.

Our renowned Exchange MVP Tony Redmond stated in his recent article that On premises will be still available and this thrown some light on to my Question and made me feel better.

Check here : Why I don't think on-premises Exchange is dead

And coming back to our topic the Good news is Exchange Server On premise will be still available and supported by Microsoft and no plans for discontinuing this product line which is updated to us today in the latest EHLO Blog by Perry Clarke, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Exchange.

I was excited and happy when I saw this message, Since I already got the opportunity and supporting both On premises and O365 versions of Exchange, this news is great and it puts me on the edge of happiness that I will be continue doing this further without losing the opportunity to manage the one from where I started the Journey, Not only me everyone including Microsoft  started their Journey it's the "On Premise".
Also there are other many vital questions were answered in the blog post towards Exchange Server Roadmap to the future. Along with the other Happy folks outside even I am excited to hear this and sharing the joy with you through this post and waiting for the next release of Exchange. Cheers.

Check the Good News here: Exchange Server: The Road Ahead

Additional Bytes:

One more good news to note on the blog post is the 1st anniversary of Exchange 2013 and it's good to know the major changes occurred in this version compared to it's predecessors to predict how the future would be. Tony Wrote a new post today over this topic and shares his views on Microsoft's recent announcement in the EHLO blog in a nutshell.

Read here : Summarizing what's new and what's gone in Exchange 2013

*A new write up from Tony Redmond MVP is written exactly one year after this blog post published available below with more information on the Topic with the recent enhancements that changed the Exchange world.

Review here: The Future of the Exchange Administrator

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Success with Hybrid Cloud Series!

Hybrid Cloud is the word everywhere now in IT, Organizations have already started to either adopt or offer Cloud Computing and the renowned Giants that are already well established in the Market now target their customers to adopt Hybrid Cloud. You can check out my earlier posts on the Hybrid Cloud Series to know more here.

In continuation to the series I found a very rich information today on the topic today which I wanted to share through this post, It's about the New Hybrid Cloud Series post available in the Microsoft Technet In The Cloud blog written by none other than Microsoft's Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President, Windows Server & System Center. Brad named this series as "Success with Hybrid Cloud" and wrote his first post today and planning to write more soon and this series spans across 5 different categories that gives you what a complete understanding of What Hybrid Cloud is all about and how Microsoft is Engineering it's tomorrows with Hybrid Cloud deployments.

Access the post here : Success with Hybrid Cloud: Defining “Hybrid”

Table of Contents and upcoming posts preview : Table of Contents: Success with Hybrid Cloud

Monday, November 11, 2013

Network Functions Virtualization

Networking has evolved far and beyond and now everyone in IT Industry is talking about few hot topics in terms of Networking which is Software-Defined Networking (SDN), Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Network Virtualization (NV).

Recently I wrote a post over Software Defined Networking to understand SDN better in all aspects and to show how major Organizations is focusing on using SDN on their Networking Infrastructure.  It's now time to know about Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), NFV is the next step after SDN and it provides additional benefits by decoupling major networking functions from the underlying hardware and runs them separately in software and providing a robust Networking solution for Virtualized Environment.

Today I read few excellent posts from SDN Central and received more information on the topic and updated them below for your reference through this post.

Definition of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) - What’s NFV – Network Functions Virtualization?

Difference between NFV and SDN - NFV and SDN: What’s the Difference? 

( This above article also covers the benefits of having both solutions together)

One more article from on feature differences and benefits.

Read here: Software Defined Networking and Network Function Virtualization

Comparison  - Which is Better – SDN or NFV?

Major Advantages - Why SDN – Software-Defined Networking or NFV – Network Functions Virtualization Now?

Additionally check out the below YouTube Videos to know more.

Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)

SDN versus NFV

Hope these posts are rich enough information for you to know about NFV and its benefits.

Introducing Windows Server 2012 R2 Technical Overview E-Book

Microsoft Team released a new E-book for IT pros to know what's new in Windows Server 2012 R2.

Download here:  Free ebook: Introducing Windows Server 2012 R2 Technical Overview

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Cloud Models Overview Poster

Take a Quick look at the Overview of Various Cloud Servicing Models available in Cloud Computing in general, There are other Models available like Backup as a Service (BaaS), Computing as a Service (CaaS), Authentication as a Service (AaaS), Desktop as a Service (DaaS), Hardware Solutions as a Service (HaaS) and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)etc. provided by Various Hosing providers in the IT Market, and I believe other new Servicing models are in pipeline and yet come soon.

Windows Azure Overview for IT Pros Webinar

Windows Azure is gaining more popularity now in Cloud Computing, Microsoft is enhancing Azure to the core where in now it is not only a cloud platform for running VMs for applications and storing data it goes far and beyond with it's new integration capabilities with other products and thus forming a robust Cloud IT solution.

To know what Azure is all about and its capabilities check out this below recorded webinar session from Microsoft Partner Perficient occurred recently and available on demand now to get the overview of Windows Azure from the Expert Adetayo ‘Tayo’ Adegoke. Also download the slides for review from Slideshare.

Access here : Webinar Replay: Windows Azure Overview for IT Pros

Saturday, November 09, 2013

The Cloud: Making the Move to a Hybrid World

In continuation to my Hybrid Cloud Series, here comes an other Video from Microsoft Teched event occurred recently, in here Microsoft Security MVP Andy Malone talks about the benefits of moving to the Hybrid Cloud world.This video session is an excellent one where in you get to know about every aspects of Hybrid Cloud with Microsoft Technologies.

Access here : The Cloud: Making the Move to a Hybrid World

Friday, November 08, 2013

Microsoft Lync Server 2013 Basic Administration E-book

It's time for E-book and now it's on Lync Server 2013 Basic Administration written by Microsoft MVP Fabrizio Volpe,  This E-book is a rich resource to understand and manage Lync 2013 Environment.

Fabrizo divided this E-book in to 5 Chapters to provide Lync Administrators a granular approach to read and understand the content.

  • Before You Begin
  • Building your Lync 2013 Lab
  • Managing users with Lync Server Control Panel
  • Managing Clients, and Devices with Lync Server Control Panel
  • Managing Users with Lync Server Management Shell

What is the future of IT?

Everyone in the IT Industry now ask this Question everywhere with the advent of new Technologies everyday and ever since concentration of Organizations has predominantly shifted to the Cloud Computing and Orchestration which typically causes minimal human intervention required to manage the Infrastructure in mere future which is fully automated and Organizations can plan to spend their expenditure on other new ventures rather than spending on the IT management.

Now this puts IT Pros on the edge of planning towards their future IT Carrier path by concentrating on the new Technologies to gain maximum understanding of where the IT world is heading to and get themselves prepared to face the challenges and sustain.

To know more on the Future of IT Join VMware for a live Google Hangout on December 5 at 10 a.m. PST to talk about the future of IT with futurologist Paul Saffo, along with a number of influential industry analysts and journalists.

Access here to know more: Join us for a live Google Hangout where industry luminaries will gaze into a crystal ball and predict the future of IT

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

What Questions to Ask when you go for a Cloud Offering?

In Today's IT world in every corner you hear about Cloud Computing and most of the Organizations already started to validate the Cloud Offerings and few of them already adopted the Cloud Computing and some are in progress even now when I am writing this post.

I recently came across this Question What Questions to Ask when you go for a Cloud Offering? because this decides your long term goal of moving the services to Cloud which eventually requires proper planning , validation, adoption and post upgrade support and management without compromising on Security. Today there are many providers outside in the IT world who started to provide their Cloud Offerings than ever before and now every major Organizations who once were supporting Infrastructure and Application services now jumped in to this Cloud Offerings with their Cloud Hosting Infrastructure and started to provide various enhanced options in comparison with one another not only in terms of Cost, and Service up time there are many other key features which makes them unique to adopt their offerings amongst the established ones.

There are Already Cloud Computing giants like Salesforce, Amazon, Microsoft, VMware, Citrix, BMC, OpenStack, Rackspace and much more to add up and many other new bees in the Market and when it comes to choose the one for your requirement never restrict yourself by choosing the one which every other company you know is adopting and tend to loose the benefits that other competitor provides in their Offerings which you may require in future and it might not be available with the current service provider you are about to adopt and you can't switch to the new Provider at a later stage for this cause which makes your service availability or future plans at stake.

Let's come to our answer I read 3 excellent articles which sums up the Questions to be asked when you choose a Cloud offering and I believe these covers the major ones required and you can add your own along with it and evaluate the answers received from multiple vendors who approaches you or you are about to approach to get things clarified prior hand and have a smooth transition.

Check these articles 

10 essential questions to ask potential cloud computing vendors  - TechTarget

10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Cloud Provider -

Cloudy with a Chance of Confusion - Microsoft Server & Cloud Blog

Is Cloud Dead? Do IT Pros Still Trust the Cloud Providers? - Netwrix

Additionally, Check out this list of Top 100 Cloud Service Providers for the year 2013 from Talkin' Cloud

Top 100 Cloud Services Providers (CSPs) List And Research