Interested in learning more about Data Loss Prevention on Office 365 and Exchange 2013, read my article here
Sorry for the delay on the recap, was a very busy week, with work and personally getting my house sold and finding a new one!
The April meeting was Tuesday the 23rd, and we had Vaultive’s Steve Coplan (@stavvmc), Sr. Director of Marketing and Strategy, present to the group on Vaultive’s email encryption service. The service allows for encrypting email at rest within Office 365 Exchange Online. It was a great presentation and here is the PowerPoint deck Steve used.
After the presentation we had a lively discussion about Office 365 Wave 15 Upgrades. Several people shared their experiences and issues with the upgrades that they have already completed. Martina Grom (@magrom) and Nicki Borell facilitated much of this conversation. Several members provided some links around the Upgrade process:
Service Upgrade Autodiscover Article on community.office365:
Good pointers in this list regarding MX:
To wrap up the meeting we discussed Public Folders in Exchange Online Wave 15 and how to migrate from existing on-premises Public Folders to Exchange Online. One good link was shared around scripts for Pubic Folder Migrations:
While I didn’t start the recording when the meeting started, I did start it right before Steve’s presentation, here is the meeting recording.
I am working on a project that has us migrating approximately 2,400 mailboxes from Exchange 2003 to the New Office 365 (Wave 15). As you are probably aware it is not possible to install an Exchange 2013 server into an Exchange Organization that has Exchange 2003 servers, here is a link to the supported scenarios, http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh534377(v=exchg.150).aspx So we went with the next option, using an Exchange 2010 Service Pack 3 Hybrid Server. We were able to get Hybrid installed along with Identity Federation setup with DirSync and Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS). We had verified Single SignOn as well as mail flow between on-premises and Office 365 and did a mailbox migration for a mailbox we created on the Exchange 2010 Hybrid server to Office 365. Everything was going smoothly.
Next step, we attempted to migrate a mailbox directly from the Exchange 2003 server to Office 365. First attempt was met with a failure on corrupt item count being exceeded. Easy enough, we used PowerShell to submit the Move Request and increased the BadItemLimit to 25. Well this migration failed as well, after reviewing the Migration log more closely it appeared that no successful items were migrated, the first 25 items attempted to be migrated were failed with corruption. Ok, maybe this is a messed up mailbox (it was a test mailbox that has been around for a while) again back to PowerShell and set the BadItemLimit to Unlimited. Failed again! Now I began researching and reaching out to my fellow MVP’s and my Microsoft Contacts. Long story short here is I found this to be somewhat of a known issue, you cannot migrate from Exchange 2003 directly to Office 365 even when using a supported scenario with a Exchange 2010 SP3 Hybrid Server. The only way that is currently available to get a mailbox migrated from Exchange 2003 to Office 365 is to do a dual hop; Exchange 2003 migrated to Exchange 2010 and then migrate to Office 365.
We tested this out and it the dual hop migrations completed just fine. While this is not ideal at all it does have one small benefit. Migrating from Exchange 2003 requires an offline migration, meaning the user cannot access their mailbox while it is being migrated. When we migrate from Exchange 2010 to Office 365 this is an online move, meaning the end user can be using Outlook or OWA to access their mailbox while it is being migrated. This small benefit allows for the downtime migration, from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010 to be done over LAN speeds and thus the downtime is shorter. Once the mailbox is located on Exchange 2010, the user can access the mailbox while we conduct the Exchange 2010 to Office 365 migration over the internet. Small victory! But this method does require more administrative overhead, end user communication and additional storage on the Exchange 2010 server to temporarily host the mailboxes while in transit from 2003 to Office 365. Our plan is to migrate user mailboxes in batches, moving a group from 2003 to 2010 the immediately to Office 365. This will minimize the additional storage on the Exchange 2010 server versus migrating all mailboxes first to 2010 and then to Office 365.
One decision we are still discussing is how to handle mobile devices. We are thinking about only touching, or having the users reconfigure the devices once, after the final migration to Office 365. Again still working on this, but we feel the phones might be “offline” for about a day or so. We will be talking to the business about this decision.
We did submit a Support Request via Office 365 to also validate the need for two hops in this scenario. Support did verify that right now this is the only way to migrate a mailbox from Exchange 2003 to Office 365 Wave 15. Support did ask us to run another migration from Exchange 2003 to Office 365 directly with some additional logging to assist them in gathering information and looking for a possible fix to enable direct migrations. I will keep monitoring this and if a solution becomes available I will either update this post or more likely create a new blog post.
I have also request that the link that I shared earlier in this post be updated to have a note that two hops are needed to migrate from Exchange 2003 to Office 365. Hopefully this gets updated soon.
UPDATED: We received the below information from Microsoft Support:
We have been working with the backend teams on the offline mailbox move issues between Exchange 2003 to O365 via Exchange 2010 hybrid.
We understand that the fix is being rolled up rigorously to mitigate this issue and the problem should be fixed in the next 10days. I will keep you posted once the rollout have been completed.
Another issue that we ran into as part of this project is that the client is primarily using Outlook 2007 as their client. They did not enable RPC Over HTTP in Exchange 2003 (now called Outlook Anywhere) so the Outlook client did not have the checkmark set for Outlook Anywhere set:
(The above picture is from Outlook 2013 but is very similar in other Outlook versions)
This prevented the Outlook client from being Auto-configured for Office 365 after the migration completed. If we created a new Outlook profile it Auto-configured just fine and connected to the mailbox in Office 365.
What we found during testing is that we needed to enable this checkbox prior to Outlook being launched for the first time after the final Office 365 migration. Group Policy to the rescue, we added the Outlook GPO ADM and were able to configure a GPO to turn on (checkmark) the Outlook Anywhere feature in the Outlook client and this solved the issue.
The Office 365 Ignite Team has revamped the http://guides.officeignite.com/ and one of the very cool things they did was allow imbedding of the content. I will be reviewing these videos and posting them here for my loyal readers.
First up is the new Office 365 Overview for IT Administrators
The March meeting of the Office 365 International User Group will be March 26th at 1pm Mountain Time, 8pm UTC/GMT. The link below has the meeting info for you to add to your calendar. Looking forward to another great meeting.
This summit was very good! Along with the content we received from the Program Groups within Microsoft is the direct interaction with fellow MVPs! This is really the amazing and cool part of being an MVP is being connected with other IT Professionals that share the same passion and energy that I have for technology. I have been an MVP for a little over 6 months, and have been “talking” with fellow MVPs primarily over email and during the Office 365 International User Group meetings. But this week it really was great to put faces with names and talk directly one-on-one or within a group. I have had numerous great conversations and discussions around all things NDA and some non-NDA stuff.
While the majority of information I learned was indeed under NDA, here are a couple things to note:
- Check out https://onramp.office365.com – this site basically does an online Solution Alignment Workshop (SAW) for Office 365 as well as a Readiness Assessment
- Don’t miss the Office 365 Wave 15 launch on February 27th, https://vts.inxpo.com/scripts/Server.nxp
- Office 365 International User Group Meeting is February 28th, http://www.office365union.com/Pages/default.aspx
I leave you with a picture of me singing Karaoke at CenturyLink Field as part of the MVP 2013 Big Event Party!
Tomorrow I am heading out to Seattle/Bellevue/Redmond for my first Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Summit! I am really looking forward to meeting several of the other Office 365 MVPs in person that I have been working with over the last year on the Office 365 International User Group as well as many other MVPs! I am also looking forward to meeting with and learning from the Microsoft employees! This is a great benefit of being awarded as an MVP, an opportunity to talk with the engineers and product group members responsible for the Microsoft technology. While I am under a strict Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) as part of being in the MVP Program, I will ask if any of the information shared with us can be shared with the general public and if I get the blessing I will share in a recap blog post.
I joked earlier on twitter that my tweets next week might look some like this “I just heard NDA and that it will NDA along with NDA, so excited!” J
The next meeting of the Office 365 International User Group has been scheduled for February 28th at 2pm Mountain time, 9pm GMT/UTC. Select the link below to get the meeting invite added to your calendar so you won’t forget to join us. This meeting had to slide from its normal Tuesday day and about a week later due to the Microsoft MVP Summit being held in Redmond the week of the 18th and my attendance at the Microsoft Partner Advisory Council (PAC) for Office 365 and Intune the 25th through the 27th. Now as most of you know, my fellow MVP’s and I are bound by a very strict NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) pertaining to any and all information that is shared with us as part of the MVP program and I am under a similar NDA for the PAC. But I think the timing of the meeting could be very advantageous to any information that is related to the MVPs or myself at the PAC meeting that we are allowed to publicly share.
Yesterday we had our first Office 365 International User Group meeting of the year. This meeting happened to fall on the date that Microsoft released Office 2013 for consumers. The name that Microsoft choose for the “Home” version of Office 2013, “Office 365 Home Premium”, is a bit of a bone of contention with me a several others. We discussed this at the beginning of the meeting. The issue I have with the name is that it creates great confusion on what is actually the product being purchased. Really the Office 365 Home Premium is the ability to install Office 2013 on up to 5 devices for a yearly subscription price of $100. The confusion is with the TRUE Office 365 Cloud Based Services from Microsoft; Exchange, SharePoint and Lync online as well as the ability to install the latest Office Suite. The Home Premium version does not include any of the services and is just the Office 2013 suite with up to 20GB of SkyDrive storage. I really do understand what Microsoft direction is, subscription based software for consumers, but couldn’t they have choose CloudOffice, OfficeStream, etc and not invade on the Office 365 name?
Side Note, I sent an email to the Office 365 MVP community Distro List (we had a previous thread going on about our distain for the name and the confusion we see it causing. My email went something like this:
“Since we all like acronyms, instead of fighting with the Home Premium name, how about we rename the true Office 365 that we all know, support and advocate for: Microsoft Office Virtually Everywhere: MOVE to the Cloud!” What do you think? I like it, probably should trademark it!
So off my soap box and onto the meeting. In this blog post announcing Office 365 Home Premium (there’s that name again) Steve Ballmer states the real Office 365 for business on the new services will be available on February 27th. This means to me and most of the rest of everyone that Office 365 Wave 15 services based on the 2013 Server versions, Exchange, SharePoint and Lync Online, will go GA then. This is great news and falls right in line with what Microsoft has stated back in October/Novemberish that it would go GA (General Availability) in the first Quarter of 2013.
Brett Hill (@BrettHill) gave the group a good recap of the Office 365 Ignite + sessions he attended in Redmond last week. Some of the highlights I took from his recap is that Microsoft is looking to enable a DirSync version capable of syncing passwords from on-premises (via the Hash File, not the actual passwords) with Office 365 as well as other ways to get users accessing the services faster. He also talked about the synergy between Office 365 and the Office 2013 suite. Brett said while he found the information very informational he did miss the demos and labs of previous Ignite training sessions. Many thanks to Brett for giving us this recap.
I took the stage next and talked about how the Office 365 Wave 14 to Wave 15 Service Upgrade process will be done for existing Office 365 customers. A good overall resource for this is the Service Upgrade Center. I talked this in a previous blog post as well. The overall story about the Service Upgrade Process is it will involve minimal impact to the IT department and end users as well. This is done specifically to counter the BPOS to Office 365 Migration/Transition that many customers struggled with previously.
We ended up the meeting talking about various topics related to Office 365. I really appreciate the energy, questions and support I get from this group and the way everyone is very open to help out and assist others and truly support the community as a whole. For those Sports fans out there you may be aware of a show on ESPN called PTI (Pardon the Interruption) a fast paced show that jumps from topic to topic. Well at the end of each show the two host get “reprimanded” by a fact check on all the false and wrong statements, luckily for me we had no fact checker for the meeting as I messed up several times! Luckily the group members were there to ensure my false or incorrect statements were corrected!
Again I want to Thank all that attended the meeting and hope to see you all in next month’s meeting!
A fellow Office 365 MVP, Loryan Strant @TheCloudMouth, has created a very cool application that can be used to create and manage SkyDrive Consumer accounts based on Active Directory accounts and email addresses. XStran, Loryan’s company, developed this tool to allow Educational Institutions to move user Home Drives away from on-premises servers and place the content in the Cloud with SkyDrive. This is a great idea, it allows a school or university to free up on-premises resources and management of a server infrastructure devoted to just storing user docs, pictures, songs, video, etc. With this application the school can create new SkyDrive accounts based on Active Directory and allow the users the benefit of the cloud for storage, synchronization and sharing of files.
I strongly encourage you to take a look at this application. Great way to provide data storage to students without the cost of servers and storage, http://www.xstran.com/solutions/dirsync-for-skydrive/.