Yearly Archives - 2017

How to bulk create users in a hybrid environment with Office 365 Exchange Online

In a hybrid Exchange environment, user accounts are created on-premises, but then licensed through the Office 365 portal (to enable mailbox access). Admins often provision hybrid user accounts incorrectly, and sometimes this needs to be cleaned up after the fact.  But, if you want to do it right the first...
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How to link an existing on-premises AD Account with an Office 365 Exchange Online mailbox

I see this issue a lot out in the field. Admins sometimes create a confusing mess out of their Hybrid Exchange environments, because they don't create users in the "right way." In a hybrid environment, users should (ideally) be created from the on-premises Exchange server, not from the Office 365 portal,...
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Password best practices controversy

Last year, Microsoft published this guidance on passwords, which contains some advice that departs from traditional best practices. For example: Eliminate character composition requirements (e.g. multiple character types @, 2, A, b) Eliminate mandatory periodic resets (do not enforce expiry) The reasoning is based on Microsoft's research, and the fact that...
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PSA RE: Hotfixes: A friendly reminder to keep up with the latest bits

Hey IT Pros. I know many of you are still maintaining (and even still deploying) older versions of Hyper-V, Remote Desktop Services and other Windows Server roles. These in particular, Hyper-V (and failover clustering) as well as Remote Desktop, are notorious for buggyness and issues that can easily be resolved with...
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Three ways to protect your customer’s on-premises data with Azure: Part 3 – Azure Site Recovery

In the previous two posts we looked at: Azure Backup (using the MARS agent) Azure Backup Server (free DPM server) Those two solutions are markedly different from one another, but they both basically provide some kind of backup. The former does only file, folder & system state information--no application data is...
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Three ways to protect your customer’s on-premises data with Azure: Part 2 – Azure Backup Server

In the previous post, we looked at Azure Backup using the MARS agent, which can only do file, folder & system state data, and must be configured on the local machine. As you may already be aware, there are no local backup copies in that solution--you would need to provide...
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Three ways to protect your customer’s on-premises data with Azure: Part 1 – Azure Backup with MARS

In this series we will explore three different Azure solutions, all of which are aimed at one objective: Protecting your organization's (or your customer's organization's) critical data. You might use just one of these, or any combination of them, in your own DR plan--but you will want to choose the right...
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How to improve Remote Desktop performance for remote users through an RDS Gateway Server

Do you have a Remote Desktop Server (properly) configured with the Gateway Role in your environment? In this configuration, all traffic is secured via SSL (port 443), and clients connecting over the internet to your internal RDS host(s) will be encrypted (and not necessarily identifiable as RDS traffic from the...
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How to deal with Dynamic Distribution Groups in an Office 365 Hybrid Scenario

Dynamic Distribution Groups are not directly "migratable" to Office 365. (Yes, I just made that word up, but now it is a real word--that's how words are made). In a hybrid scenario, where you have Azure AD Connect synchronizing your Active Directory objects for single-sign on with Office 365, Dynamic...
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Migrate from Windows Server Essentials with Azure AD integration to Windows Server Standard and Azure AD Connect

I have a love-hate relationship with Windows Server Essentials. It's a great product with a lot of goodness baked in, but there are some real limits to it as well. On the one hand, Remote Web Access, Client PC backup, the Azure Recovery plugins, and so on, add a TON...
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