Editor's Note: Originally posted by Paul Cunningham (Microsoft MVP) on his blog, Practical365, this review is extremely comprehensive and discusses the many ways Mailscape 365 can be used in Office 365 cloud and hybrid environments.
Recently I’ve seen some new features in Office Pro Plus, and they are pretty cool. I’m just as surprised as anyone to be interested in PowerPoint and Word updates, but stranger things have happened I guess. In this blog post, I will go into detail on recent Office Pro Plus updates. I’ll talk about some new features I discovered and how they're improving the Office product.
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about networks and connectivity, especially, about how software defined networking is going to change the traditional networking landscape and how SDN fits in with current deployments, either on premises, in a hybrid cloud, or entirely cloud.
Are you familiar with SDN? “Software Defined Networking” does to networks what virtualization has done to hardware, and in fact, it has already begun to do its work:
- It will abstract away the physical “layer” of cables, routers, switches, and physical IP addresses. With hardware virtualization, the hypervisor took care of working with the actual CPU, memory, buses, and so on, and the operating systems within the virtual machines saw a standard set of virtualized devices—the vagaries of different hardware simply went away. With software defined networking, your Cisco routers and your Juniper switches and your Draytek access points look the same to the operating system, which just sees a bunch of pathways. Your management console is where you define how this abstraction functions, and you get yourself out of any vendor lock in problems you might have suffered in the past.
- It will allow you to squeeze more functionality and use from your existing investments in networking hardware. You may, and probably do, have plenty of switches and routers deployed, and plenty of internal bandwidth available because a decent portion of your network capacity is unused. By separating the control plane from the data plane, you free up the physical plane to provide more data services to more devices, much like virtualizing operating systems lets you stack multiple machines on one physical host without exhausting the capacity of the host hardware.
- It will provide the flexibility to move, reconfigure, transform, establish, and make resilient more of your services. Because all of the physical stuff is abstracted away, you can make a virtual network move from a datacenter in Chicago to a datacenter in Hong Kong without touching a single physical setting. You can move links between local networks and other servers with a couple of clicks. And you don’t have to spend hours readdressing network adapters because, again, the virtual network looks the same to the operating system as it always does—the virtual network manager is doing the heavy lifting of directing the actual packets on the physical layers where they need to go.
Every Quarter a group of business software experts, community members and various other industry-related organizations come together for a Microsoft employee-led meeting. These meetings aim to apply any feedback acquired through Microsoft’s community partnership program towards the development of ideas which pertain to solving and preventing any potential or existing software issues. The content of April’s meeting focused on Windows Azure, cloud and datacenter solutions content, BYOD in addition to other relevant topics. This article will cover topics and directions discussed with the group.Cloud and Datacenter Solutions
First on the agenda was a discussion that provided an overview of cloud and datacenter solutions content. The goal was to provide cross-product or cross platform configuration solutions that solved business problems.
Topics: Cloud Management
For Exchange administrators Office 365 is at the forefront of considerations for the future of email. When thinking about Office 365, my initial thoughts are, "what about security, compliance, and 3rd party systems that integrate with my current Exchange On-Premises implementation?" After thinking further about what Office 365 means for any organization, I created this article which dives into a few key considerations for Office 365 as it relates to email and hopefully helps you decide what's best for your organization.
Organization Size and SLA’s
As I started investigating Office 365 I quickly learned that the general perception is that it's great for small companies. Two major reasons that stand out are cost affordability and these organizations have few 3rd party systems that integrate with their current Exchange On-Premises configurations. For large to mid-sized companies the conversation changed a bit; primarily related to organizational SLA models. Microsoft offers a 99% SLA, but this is not on ALL services to be available at the same time. For example, they will not guarantee that ActiveSync, Outlook Web App and mailboxes will have 99% up-time cumulatively. ActiveSync could be down, but mailbox access could be up. What is acceptable to your organization? With all the facts up front you can better set expectations for your company; regardless of size, if you choose to move your email into the cloud.
Security and Compliance