Wednesday, August 30, 2017

MVA Learning: Experience the Microsoft Cloud with Cloud Adoption Test Lab Guides

To get hands-on experience in the latest Microsoft Cloud technologies you can utilize the "Cloud adoption Test Lab Guides (TLGs)" as an essential resource, and to know more on how to use this resource you now have the latest Microsoft Virtual Academy course.

This course provides an overview of the Cloud Adoption Test Lab Guides and steps you through:

  • The value of using prescriptive, modular Test Lab Guide (TLG) documents for technical ramp-up, demos, proof-of-concept configurations, and dev/test environments.
  • Using cloud adoption TLGs to experience the integration of Microsoft’s cloud offerings, which include Office 365, Azure, Dynamics 365, and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS)/Intune.

Access the MVA course content here: Experience the Microsoft Cloud with Cloud Adoption Test Lab Guides

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Licensing Microsoft 365

A new Licensing guide is now available for licensing Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 is a per-user licensing option that includes Office 365, Windows 10 Enterprise, and Enterprise Mobility +Security. Microsoft 365 is available in two options, E3 and E5. You can access the Licensing guide to know the available licensing options in detail and choose the right option for your requirement.

This guide also includes details on how to license Microsoft 365 in different customer scenarios and answers the common FAQs.

Download the guide here: Microsoft 365 Licensing Guide

Additionally, Get to know about the new Microsoft 365 F1 plan here: Maximize the impact of your Firstline Workforce

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Defense in depth: Secure your enterprise with advanced protection capabilities Whitepaper

Microsoft team released a new whitepaper that outlines how Enterprise Mobility + Security Advanced Protection Capabilities forms the defensive rings to Secure your Organization.

Read this White paper to learn about the defensive rings built into EMS, including:

  • Azure Active Directory Identity Protection Security Reports
  • Azure Active Directory Risk-Based Conditional Access
  • Microsoft Cloud Application Security
  • Advanced Threat Analytics
  • Azure Active Directory Privileged Identity Management
  • Azure Information Protection
  • Microsoft Intune Mobile Device Management and Mobile Application Management

Download here: Defense in Depth: Enterprise Mobility + Security Advanced Protection 

Also read the below documentation on best practices for securing administrative access in Office 365 and Azure Active Directory

Securing privileged access for hybrid and cloud deployments in Azure AD

Monday, August 21, 2017

MVA Learning: Active Directory in a Hybrid Environment

Microsoft’s identity solutions span on-premises and cloud-based capabilities, creating a single user identity for authentication and  authorization to all resources, regardless of location. We call this Hybrid Identity. Today most Organizations adopt the Hybrid Identity Model to provide rich end user experience when accessing resources from anywhere, anytime on any device with enhanced Access controls.

Extending your AD DS to Azure, Integrating your On premises AD DS with Azure AD, and Extending your AD FS to Azure are some key concepts when you plan on this Hybrid Identity Model. To understand these topics in detail you now have the latest Microsoft Virtual Academy Course "Active Directory in a Hybrid Environment" a new addition to the list of authoritavie set of Course on Azure.

Microsoft MVP Corey Hynes presents this excellent course to cover the below key concepts to get you prepared to understand and implement the Hybrid Active Directory.
  • Hybrid Active Directory: Learn the different ways that Azure AD can be connected to Windows Server AD.
  • Azure AD Connect: Walk through Azure AD connect, the tool used to connect Azure AD and Windows Server AD.
  • Manage and Monitor Azure AD Connect: Use the monitoring tools to maintain the health of Azure AD Connect.
  • AD Federation: Configure Azure AD Federation and connect it to Windows Server Active Directory.
Access the Course here: Active Directory in a Hybrid Environment

You can further advance your learning by reviewing the below Resources:

Reference Architecture: Identity management

Microsoft Ignite session : Connect your on-premises directories to Azure AD and use one identity for all your apps

Microsoft Cloud IT Architecture Resources: Microsoft Cloud Identity for Enterprise Architects

Design GuideHybrid Identity Design Considerations Guide

Finally, A real world Technical Case study from Microsoft on their own Journey: Managing user identities and secure access at Microsoft

Hope these resources are useful for your Learning. Stay tuned for more updates...

Thursday, August 17, 2017

MVA Learning : Skype for Business Infrastructure

If you are planning to learn, deploy and manage Skype for Business, and also preparing for the Microsoft Exams  70-333, Deploying Enterprise Voice with Skype for Business 2015 and 70-334, Core Solutions of Microsoft Skype for Business 2015, you now have the latest Microsoft Virtual Academy course series to begin your journey.

Following Courses are available now in this series:
As an add-on learning take a look at the below video to know the available deployment models for Skype for Business Cloud PBX presented by MVP Tom Arbuthnot.

View here: Skype for Business Cloud PBX - your four deployment models explained


Read the real time Microsoft IT Showcase Business case studies below to know how Microsoft as an Organization adopted Skype for Business in the cloud and received enhanced benefits

Stay tuned for more updates...

Friday, August 11, 2017

PowerShell Module Browser Now Available

Microsoft team recently released the new PowerShell Module Browser, an easy, predictable way to search all Microsoft PowerShell modules and cmdlets.

Access the Browser here: PowerShell Module Browser

Review the documentation here: Announcing the PowerShell Module Browser

New Servicing Model for Windows 10

Microsoft team recently updated the Servicing Model for Windows 10 to align with Office 365 ProPlus as announced earlier, and also now adopting common terminology to make it as easy as possible to understand the servicing process.

 The two most important terms to understand:

Semi-Annual Channel. These are the twice-per-year feature update releases, targeting March and September, designed for the broad population of general-purpose PCs used throughout organizations.  Each of these releases will be serviced for 18 months from the date of release.  (The Semi-Annual Channel replaces the Current Branch [CB] and Current Branch for Business [CBB] concepts.)

Long-Term Servicing Channel. These are less frequent releases, expected every 2-3 years (with the next one expected in 2019), designed for special-purpose PCs such as those used in point-of-sale systems or controlling factory or medical equipment.  Each of these releases will be serviced for 10 years from the date of release.  (The Long-Term Servicing Channel replaces the Long-Term Servicing Branch [LTSB].)

Access the Official Blog post here: Windows as a service: Simplified and Aligned

Additionally review the below Blog post for more details.

Demystifying Windows as a Service – wake up! please

More detailed updates are shared in the below Blog posts.

Update to the Windows as a Service Model

Automating Windows as a Service

Get your hands-on on WaaS with the new Windows 10 Virtual lab.

Access the virtual lab here: Deploy and manage Windows as a service

Also take a look at the latest Microsoft Mechanics video to explore the streamline update model between Office and Windows 10.

Keeping your Office clients up-to-date: New tools and aligned update model with Windows 10

Updated Support article: Overview of the upcoming changes to Office 365 ProPlus update management


Access the related Microsoft Ignite 2017 Sessions on demand to know more.


Access the below blog post from David das Neves MSFT providing more updates on this topic with the content presented during Microsoft Ignite 2017.

WaaS at MSIgnite – Official Rings and asking for Feedback

Stay tune for more updates...

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Skype for Business topologies supported with Modern Authentication

As of August 1, 2017, for all newly created Office 365 tenants, use of modern authentication is now on by default for Exchange Online and Skype for Business Online

Microsoft team updated the Office Blogs post to reflect the new updates and the related Support article is updated to reflect the new changes. 

You can access the support article here: Using Office 365 modern authentication with Office clients

You can follow the instructions in the below posts to know how to turn on Modern Authentication for Skype for Business Online.

This Blog post is written to share the above updates and direct you to the new TechNet article published recently on the Skype for Business topologies supported with Modern Authentication.

This article lists what online and on-premises topologies are supported with Modern Authentication in Skype for Business, as well as security features that apply to each topology.

Supported MA topologies in Skype for Business

There are potentially two server applications, and two Office 365 workloads, involved with Skype for Business topologies used by MA.
  • Skype for Business server 2015 (CU 5) on-premises
  • Skype for Business online (SFBO)
  • Exchange server on-premises
  • Exchange server online (EXO)

If your Organization is planning to enable Modern Authentication for your users with Skype for Business, this article is quite handy to know the supported topologies for Modern Authentication.

New Sign-in Experience Updates !!!

Microsoft team is making progress to converge the Azure AF and Microsoft Account (MSA) identity systems and as a part of this Journey last week they announced the new unified log-in screen/experience which is now in Public Preview.

This new change makes both Azure AD Login and Microsoft Account sign-in page to have a consistent look. Users have the option to Opt-in to this new experience now, Per the Official Announcement below, This new experience will be available as an opt-in public preview for the next few weeks and Microsoft will switch over to the new UI by default during the last week of September.

Read the Official Announcement here to know more: The new Azure AD Signin Experience is now in Public Preview

Microsoft team is still working to update this new Sign-in experience with missing features.

Review the related Comments in the Blog post above and the Conversations in Microsoft Tech Community to know the latest updates and feedback on the new Sign-in experience.

Read the below Blog post from Veteran MVP Tony Redmond to know the issues caused by this new change and plan on the next steps if your are getting impacted.

Read here: Azure AD Sign-in Changes Cause Problems for Office 365

In addition to this above change, Microsoft team recently announced, Accessing the authenticated Office 365 home page (either through or will require that your users satisfy the Azure Active Directory Premium Conditional Access policies that you have applied to either Exchange Online or SharePoint Online.

Earlier this change was planned to roll-out on Aug 09th as per this Microsoft Tech Community post, and now its planned for Aug 24th  as per the Official Announcement made in the Enterprise Mobility and Security Blog.

Access the Official Announcement here: An update to Azure AD Conditional Access for

This change has a minor impact on the installation of Office Applications which is explained in the above post.

Ensure that you take required actions as applicable, and update your end users and support teams on these new Sign-in Experience changes and provide the right support.