We had a great, make that excellent meeting today! We set a new record for the number of attendees for a single meeting. I really appreciate all the people who attend these meetings as well as the various entities that are working to promote and grow the membership. Speaking of membership, it is free, and really is not tracked other that adding yourself to the MailChimp.com mailing list. For me, and going to speak for the other MVP’s that helped create and that support this group, we want it this way. My feeling is that dues are not needed, Microsoft has provided us with an Office 365 Tenant for the Http://www.office365union.com site and my company allows me to utilize out Lync on-premises system for the meetings. Loryan and I have talked about getting some sponsors eventually, but for now I really like the grassroots we have going!

So onto the meeting. Due to some baby duty by Loryan Strant (@TheCloudMouth) we switched up the order of the presentations, originally Loryan was to present first and then I, but baby Chloe woke up right about the meeting time and being a great dad and husband Loryan asked me to switch so he could take care of his little princess! I started out the meeting talking about my experience at The Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC) and my attendance in Redmond at the US Partner Ranger and Ignite Training for Office 365. I went over two different PowerPoint decks from the Ignite training (got approval to post all the Ignite PPTs, waiting on some updates before posting them, stay tuned). I went over Hybrid deployment as well as Office 365 Identity (Online versus Federated with SSO).

Loryan then jumped in after his daddy duties were done to go over a White Paper he wrote (as he mentioned, full disclosure it was paid by for by Symantec) comparing the Office 365 Exchange Personal Archive versus the Symantec EV.Cloud offering. If you are running out to find the white paper, it has not been published yet. Loryan explained how even though it was a paid engagement, he worked with Symantec to properly represent the Microsoft solution and not have a totally one-sided paper. Some of the benefits of EV.Cloud is that it is a true Journal Based archive solution that prohibits end users from tampering with the data and also allows for the data retention for users who have left the company without additional charges. Microsoft’s solution is included with E3 or a separate Online Archive SKU but it was originally developed for extending storage and not compliance. I encourage you to follow Loryan on Twitter and also monitor his blog, http://thecloudmouth.com/ to find out when the paper is fully published and read it yourself!

We had planned to talk about placing ADFS for Office 365 in Windows Azure, but unfortunately Loryan’s work on the aforementioned white paper his work on the ADFS Azure paper fell behind. So we hope that we (and when I say we, I really mean Loryan and not to put pressure on Loryan but he is the man!) to present this next month. In the mean time I encourage you all to check out Windows Azure for a free 90 day trial. Another 3rd party service you can look into for Hosted ADFS is IAM Cloud they offer hosted Federation services that work with Office 365 (Since I just mentioned them, thinking I should work them for a sponsorship for the IUG J)