Monday, February 23, 2015

Exchange Hybrid: Automated Hybrid Troubleshooting Experience

Exchange Hybrid deployments are now widely adopted around world, though this deployment model is set to be complex, Microsoft team made their best efforts all the way in simplifying the deployment methods with each version of Exchange server from the time this model was introduced to till date and also added more features on the fly, which reduced the deployment overheads and increased the adoption rate.

Troubleshooting Hybrid deployments is always challenging, It involves some deep dive knowledge on the Environment design, Since we are connecting two different environments to work like one to provide seamless experience of Mail flow, Free/Busy look-up, E-discovery, Mail Tips etc.,

While deploying Hybrid model using the new Hybrid Configuration Wizard we might get in to some configuration issues that will make the Wizard fail and up next is to identify the underlying issue using the HCW logs and try to resolve it with support and re-run the wizard.

 To make things easier Microsoft team today released the new Automated Hybrid Troubleshooter Tool, "Exchange Hybrid Configuration Diagnostic" which will run diagnostic checks and provide solution to address some of the common failures and also upload the logs to Microsoft Data Center, which can be used by the support personnel for faster troubleshooting.

Microsoft team is planning to add more complex troubleshooting features to the tool in the upcoming days.

Access the Tool here: Exchange Hybrid Configuration Diagnostic

Note: Only IE is supported, if you use other browser you will get the below message.

Once the Tool is successfully Launched on the Machine where the HCW failed it will Run Checks and start the diagnostics.

Review the Official Blog post here for more details : Automated Hybrid Troubleshooting Experience

As always try to use the Tool and share your feedback !!!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Office Mechanics: Azure AD and Office 365 sign-in updates

Microsoft team recently hosted the Office Mechanics live video series session on Azure AD and Office 365 sign-in updates, This session gives us the first look at extending Office 365 and Azure AD secure authentication into other SaaS services and internal applications

Access the video here from the Office Mechanics YouTube channel: First look at Azure AD and Office 365 sign-in updates

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

New Identity and Access Management features added to Office 365!!!

Today Microsoft team made a significant announcement for Office 365 by adding two most awaited features to Office 365 which were earlier part of premium subscription.

Below is the extract from the Official Announcement

"Today we are adding two Identity and Access Management features to the Office 365 subscription, which were previously only available with an additional Azure Active Directory (AD) Premium or Enterprise Mobility Suite subscription. The new features are the Sign in page and Access Panel company branding and cloud user self-service password reset. These two new features are beginning to roll out for Office 365 customers starting today."

Note: Azure AD Self-service password reset is applicable only for Cloud managed accounts and for Accounts managed via On premises, you still need to be using Azure AD premium or Azure Enterprise Mobility Suite subscription.

Also a quick comparison table of Azure AD features and Azure AD usage reports included with Office 365 subscriptions  is provided for reference.

Access the Official blog post here: Sign in page branding and cloud user self-service password reset for Office 365

Keep an eye on the Office 365 Roadmap site, we have more to come soon...

Alternative Microsoft Training Options !!!

I recently came across this excellent Ask PFE Blog post written by Dan Cuomo & Scott Simkins | Microsoft Platforms Premier Field Engineers on various Microsoft training options available for everyone.

This post is quite significant in terms of Microsoft learning, which shows us references to most of the vital resources available outside from Microsoft that can help us to learn and do more with the Technology.

Below are few of the top Learning resources referenced and there are more available inside the blog post with clear description and references.

Access the post here: Alternative Microsoft Training Options, Many Free!

Believe this where to post is worth sharing and would like my readers to utilize these resources and take your Learning to the next level. Happy Learning...

Sunday, February 15, 2015

An End-to-end Experience with Groups White Paper

Office 365 new Groups feature started rolling out to customers and some of the Organizations started to use this feature to take their collaboration experience to the next level.

Microsoft team recently published a White Paper on the new Groups feature with Office 365 to provide some deep dive experience for readers to know more and do more with Groups.

Download the White Paper here: An End-to-end Experience with Groups

Along with this, review the below excellent Windows ITPro blog post from our MVP Tony Redmond

Friday, February 13, 2015

MVA Learning : Windows 10 Technical Preview Fundamentals for IT Pros

Windows 10 Technical preview is released, the entire world is testing the preview release and experiencing the latest technology and sharing their reviews in the global community every second, to add to this we now have a new Microsoft Virtual Academy course available on demand for ITPros to know and understand the fundamentals of Windows 10 Technical Preview.

This new course focuses on the below topics,

  • Windows 10 Technical Overview
  • Windows 10 Management and Deployment
  • Windows 10 Security
  • Internet Explorer

You can Register & Access the MVA Course here and add points to your Microsoft Learning : Windows 10 Technical Preview Fundamentals for IT Pros

You can directly access the Course videos from Channel 9 here: Windows 10 Technical Preview Fundamentals for IT Pros

Add-on Bytes:

Microsoft team yesterday announced the the first build of Windows 10 Technical Preview for Phones, this is the current hot topic in the Mobile world. If you are already registered for  Windows Insider Program you can register your device and enjoy the new Mobile experience and share your feedback.

Note: Currently only few selected Microsoft Mobile device models are eligible for this program and soon we can see this list expanding.

More information is available in the Official Announcement : Announcing the first build of Windows 10 Technical Preview for Phones

Download instructions : Download Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

New Support Article:How to migrate mailboxes from one Office 365 tenant to Another

Microsoft team recently published an support article to migrate mailboxes and service settings  from one Office 365 tenant to another in a business-merger scenario.

As per Microsoft guideline, If you have more than 500 users to migrate or a large amount of SharePoint data to migrate, it's a good idea to work with an Office 365 partner.

This is an excellent article the provides step by step walk-through to perform this mailbox migration from one Office 365 Tenant to another.

Access the article here: How to migrate mailboxes from one Office 365 tenant to another

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Office 2016 Consumer Technical Preview now available !!!

Microsoft team made a significant move recently by making the next version of Office 2016 Consumer Technical preview available for download from Microsoft Connect site.

All we need to do is to sign-in to Connect site agree the NDA and download the test bits and play around. We can expect the Official release in the later half of this year 2015.

Review the ZDNet post below for more details and access the connect site to download and experience the next version of office.

Access here: Microsoft opens Office 2016 preview to more testers

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Get to know the Evolution of SharePoint

Microsoft is continuously making more innovation to their product line in the recent years, this is a know fact. Innovation is not happening only in one region and it spreads across various areas from traditional On premises and extends to the cloud, also one more excellent way of connecting this both On premises and Cloud exist using the Hybrid, which gives us the flexibility of enjoying the innovation of both areas and manage things seamlessly.

This post is a where to post pointing you to the latest announcement on the Office Blogs on the Evolution of SharePoint, this post is quite significant to know the future Road Map SharePoint. Many Organizations using SharePoint Server On premises are now adopting the Hybrid model with SharePoint Online, there are few Organizations who are dependent only on On premises and some are open to Cloud, to bridge the gap between the Cloud and On premises the fore said Hybrid deployment is the best option. Keeping this in mind Microsoft team is planning to release the next version of SharePoint  2016 with more enhancements on Hybrid.

Review the Official write up by Julia White, General manager for the Office Product Management team.

Access here: Evolution of SharePoint

We can expect more updates on this topic in the upcoming Ignite event, stay tuned...

Microsoft Azure Essentials: Fundamentals of Azure Free E-book

Microsoft team added one more new free E-book to the Microsoft Virtual Academy E-Book collection, from Microsoft Press on Fundamentals of Azure.

The “Microsoft Azure Essentials” series helps you advance your technical skills with Microsoft Azure. “Microsoft Azure Essentials: Fundamentals of Azure” introduces developers and IT professionals to the wide range of capabilities in Azure. The authors—both Microsoft MVPs in Azure—present conceptual and how-to content for seven key areas and describe management tools and business cases.

Know more and Download here: Microsoft Azure Essentials: Fundamentals of Azure


Microsoft team recently announced the availability of Microsoft Azure Essentials: Fundamentals of Azure, Second Edition.

Download here: Microsoft Azure Essentials: Fundamentals of Azure, Second Edition

Access the complete Free E-book collection from MVA here: Free ebooks from Microsoft Press