Yesterday, the 6th, Election Day in the U.S. was the November meeting of the Office 365 International User Group. The meeting started out on somewhat of a bad note, all due to my inability to share my screen via the Lync Meeting. I really need to look into whether it is a driver issue or Lync 2013/Windows 8 issue why I am unable to share out my screen. What I was trying to share, and then just ended up talking to is the my blog series, that I am way behind on, around setting up Exchange 2013 on-premises and Office 365 vNext/Wave 15 hybrid configuration. What I was primarily talking to was the great new Exchange Administration Center (EAC) and how easily you can manage on-premises and cloud based mailbox and settings from the single web interface.

After my bungling, Loryan Strant, @theCloudmouth, showed us and discussed his white paper regarding running Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) on Windows Azure. This was a topic that had been a high priority for the user base. Loryan talked about just moving ADFS to Windows Azure only solves the issues of deploying additional servers on premises for Identity Federation and Single Sign-On (SSO). He went on to further explain to make authentication to Office 365 via SSO you also need to deploy at least one domain controller and DirSync to Windows Azure. The reason for deploying a domain controller in the cloud as well as ADFS is that if the internet connection to your on-premises environment was down, ADFS alone cannot authenticate a user, it needs to contact a domain controller to validate the user credentials,

We then had numerous discussions about Office 365, the Microsoft Surface RT device and various other stuff. One discussion talk a bit about the various ways different countries elect their leaders. Hope you can join us for the December meeting, I will get it scheduled soon, please follow me on Twitter @S_McNeill and also watch this blog and check out the User Group website at http://www.office365union.com/Pages/default.aspx for updates as well.