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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How Does SPF Work?

No, I’m not talking about sunscreen. The SPF I’ll be discussing here is Sender Policy Framework. It’s an email security measure that can prevent unauthorized use of your email domain name. I’ll be going over a few things in this post, but if you just want to know how to craft an SPF record, you can scroll to the “The SPF Puzzle” section below.…

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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 a cloud provider controls and what a cloud consumer controls. In a traditional DIY IT environment, responsibility for everything rests entirely on the business and its IT personnel. 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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DNS – An Introduction

Though you may not know it, DNS (Or Domain Name System) is probably the most used things on the Internet. In fact, you’re using it right now. For those who don’t know what DNS is or does, it is the system we use to translate Domain Names to IP Addresses.

What is DNS?

DNS was created to allow easy creation, distribution, and update of “Internet Names.” Internet Names are the words that we assign to numbers (IP Addresses).…

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Data Encryption – How it Works (Part 1)


I’ve decided to start a short series of posts on data encryption, which is becoming an increasingly important subject in IT as government regulations and privacy concerns demand ever increasing levels of privacy and security.

In this series, I’ll try to cover the more confusing concepts in encryption, including the three main types of encryption systems used today; Private Key encryption, Public Key Encryption, and SSL/TLS encryption.…

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Designing Infrastructure High Availability

IT people, for some reason, seem to have an affinity towards designing solutions that use “cool” features, even when those features aren’t really necessary. This tendency sometimes leads to good solutions, but a lot of times it ends up creating solutions that fall short of requirements or leave IT infrastructure with significant short-comings in any number of areas.…

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Resolving the Internal and External DNS zone Dilemma with Pinpoint DNS

Here’s an interesting trick that might help you resolve some of your DNS management woes, particularly if you have a different Public and Private DNS zone in your environment. For instance, you have a domain name of whatever.com externally, but use whatever.local internally. When your DNS is set up like that, all attempts to access systems using the whatever.com domain name will default to using the external, Public IP addresses assigned in that DNS zone.…

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