ENow Exchange & Office 365 Solutions Engine Blog (ESE)

Skype for Business Hybrid Options

Posted by Nathan O'Bryan MVP, MCSM on Apr 12, 2017 1:06:17 PM

I have spent most of the last six years of my professional life configuring Exchange hybrid deployments for organizations looking to move their email into Office 365. Speaking from the perspective of someone who has set it up repeatedly, Exchange hybrid is straight forward. You take your on-premises Exchange organization’s and run the Hybrid Connectivity Wizard (HCW) to connect to Office 365. I suppose there is more to it than that, but this blog post is not the place to go into those details.

In this blog post, I want to talk about the hybrid options for Skype for Business. Hybrid for Skype for Business is a much newer offering from Microsoft, and in my opinion (as someone who has not set it up for hundreds of customers) much more complex.

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Topics: Hybrid Cloud, Skype, Skype for business

Hybrid headache: Modern Public folders and Exchange Online: a story of hate and love?

Posted by Michael Van Horenbeeck MVP, MCSM on Jan 6, 2016 9:23:44 AM

Over the past few years, Microsoft has made many attempts to do away with public folders. If you have had the pleasure to work or are still working with Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010, I’m sure you’ll remember the many rumors about Public Folders being deprecated in “vNext”. Yet, they still exist today in Exchange 2016 –although not in exactly the same form as in earlier versions of Exchange. Not only do they still exist, but Public Folders are still widely used! It’s not unheard of that a company has several million public folders representing terabytes worth of data.

Many administrators reacted surprised when Microsoft first announced “Modern Public Folders” back when Exchange 2013 was introduced to the world. Modern Public Folders offer the same exact user functionality as traditional public folders, but align with Microsoft’s efforts to improve high availability using Database Availability Groups. Traditional Public Folders, which were stored in separate Public Folder databases, did not fit into that paradigm. Even more so, because of that architecture with separate databases and no real HA story, Microsoft could not really support Public Folders in Office 365. To be honest, I am almost certain that Microsoft made the changes to the Public Folder architecture so that they would be able to offer them in Office 365. The fact that on-premises customers can now take advantage of those advancements is an added bonus.

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Topics: Hybrid Cloud, Exchange Hybrid Deployments, Hybrid Headaches, hybridheadaches

Azure in 5 Minutes

Posted by Joel Brda on Feb 25, 2015 2:38:00 PM

Have you explored all of Azure yet? These Azure in 5 Minutes videos will walk you through the amazing capabalities of Azure from Identity Management, to Hybrid Cloud, Backup/DR and more!

Check out the full list:

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Topics: Hybrid Cloud, Azure, Backup/DR, Identity Management

The Future of Software Defined Networking in Windows

Posted by Jonathan Hassell on Nov 12, 2014 2:02:00 PM


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.
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Topics: Hybrid Cloud, Windows Server 2012, Cloud Management

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