AC Brown’s Cloud Guide – Part 1 – The Basics

Cloud Concepts and Terminology

As a consultant who was working on Office 365 migrations shortly after it was released (well, renamed), I have worked on a log of migrations. Migrations are a always a project that can be difficult to manage if not done properly. As with any project, planning for a migration is extremely important.…

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IT Concepts – What is Identity Federation

One of the most historically difficult problems to address in IT is usernames and passwords for multiple applications. We all have a multitude of accounts we have to manage. Bank accounts, social media, email, work accounts, cloud storage, and every other system we use relies on usernames and passwords to “authenticate” who we are. There are a number of different solutions for this problem, but the most user friendly method is a technique called “Identity Federation.” Now that the cloud is becoming more important to business functions, IT needs to simplify the relationship between devices that access corporate resources and the resources themselves.…

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Office 365 Hybrid Agent – An Overview

If you have set up a new Hybrid configuration with Office 365 lately, you will notice a new option in the Hybrid Config Wizard, the Hybrid Agent. Before I go into my personal views on this new option and whether you should use it, let me first explain what this agent does. Note: Before I start, I should state that I have not had an opportunity to test the Hybrid agent’s features yet, so there are still a few questions I have about it.…

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Office 365 Migration – When Do I Need to Use Third Party Tools?

This post may be late in coming, given that most smaller companies have already moved away from on-prem solutions to cloud based services for things like email and file sharing, but I feel like it’s important to stress some of the realities involved in migrating from on-prem to cloud systems. Particularly when migrating to Office 365.…

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Hardening Microsoft Solutions from Attacks

Take a minute to go over this post from Dirk-jan Mollema. Go ahead and read it. I’ll wait…

Did you realize how scary that kind of attack is? As an IT guy who specializes in Exchange server and loves studying security, that article scared the snot out of me. Based on my experience with organizations of all sizes I can say with a good bit of authority that almost every Exchange organization out there is probably vulnerable to this attack.…

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Enabling Message Encryption in Office 365

As I mentioned in an earlier post, email encryption is a sticky thing. In a perfect world, everyone would have Opportunistic TLS enabled and all mail traffic would be automatically encrypted with STARTTLS encryption, which is a fantastic method of ensuring security of messages “in transit”. But some messages need to be encrypted “at rest” due to security policies or regulations.…

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ADFS or Password Sync: Which one do you use?

I’ve run into a number of people who get confused about this subject when trying to determine how to get their On-Prem accounts and Office 365 synced and working properly. Most often, people are making a comment somewhere that says, “Just use Password sync, it’s just as good and doesn’t require a server,” or something similar.…

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Do I need Anonymous Relay?

Problems

If you have managed an Exchange server in the past, you’ve probably been required to set things up to allow printers, applications, and other devices the ability to send email through the Exchange server. Most often, the solution to this request is to configure an Anonymous Open Relay connector. The first article I ever wrote on this blog was on that very subject: http://wp.me/pUCB5-b . …

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How Will the Cloud Affect My Career as an IT Professional?

Well, after a year’s hiatus due to some particularly difficult personal trials, I’ve decided to come back to the block and weigh in on one of the big hot-button subjects in the IT industry – How the cloud will affect the job market.

The Push to Cloud

In the modern world, as the Internet has developed and increased in prominence in our lives, the increased infrastructure, security technology, and bandwidth is beginning to allow businesses and individuals to forgo the traditional need to pay big bucks for things like processing power and storage.…

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Should I Switch to Office 365? A Frank Examination

The Cloud – An Explanation

As time moves on, technology moves with it, and times they are a’changin’! There have been many drastic changes in the world of IT over the years, but the most recent change, the move toward cloud computing, is probably one of the most drastic and industry redefining change to occur since the release of HTTP in the early 1990s.…

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