AC Brown’s Cloud Guide – Part 4 – Cloud Service Providers

What are Cloud Service Providers

Moving from a traditional IT infrastructure to a cloud-based or hybrid infrastructure is a complicated undertaking. Cloud systems will reduce the level of control an organization has over their application, and getting the right setup is sometimes difficult. This is where Cloud Service Providers (CSP) come in. I should first point out that CSP is a Microsoft term for organizations that partner with them to provide migration, administration, architectural, security, and development services to their customers.…

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AC Brown’s Cloud Guide – Part 3 – Shared Responsibility Model

What does “Shared Responsibility” Mean

“Shared Responsibility” explains the demarcation line between what the cloud provider controls and what the cloud consumer controls. In a traditional DIY IT environment, responsibility for everything rests entirely on the business. Electricity, physical security, hardware, software, and everything else has to be purchased, installed, maintained, and administered by the company directly or through an intermediary.…

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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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Step by Step: Export Office 365 OneDrive Data

Office 365’s OneDrive is a wonderful tool for storing, sharing, and securing access to files of all types, but running an export of Office 365 data can be confusing. One of the rules for OneDrive is that, unless shared, data is normally only accessible by the user who owns the OneDrive folder. But when employees leave the company, accessing that data and exporting it to a more accessible location requires a bit of work.…

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Step by Step: Export Office 365 Email to PST

Microsoft has significantly changed the way admins export email in Office 365 are done by eliminating export tools in each application (Exchange, SharePoint, etc). There is now a single solution for exports, including Exchange PSTs, OneDrive, and SharePoint files. This central solution is the Security and Compliance center. Unfortunately, there isn’t much information on how to properly export data from Exchange Online now that the Compliance center in Exchange Admin is deprecated.…

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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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Fixing Outlook Certificate Errors

How to solve problems with Exchange Autodiscover. Certificate Error issues in particular.

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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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Exchange Server EMail Routing – Accepted Domains and Send Connectors

Exchange Server (And Exchange Online) can be a little confusing at times, particularly when we're dealing with mail routing. Internal mail routes are handled almost automatically (especially if you keep all your Exchange servers in the same AD Site, which I recommend), but how do you get it to route email to mail servers *outside* your organization? This post answers all the questions you might have about how to handle Special Mail Routing cases for Exchange.

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