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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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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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.

The World Before DNS

Back in the early days of the Internet (And by early, I mean before it was even *called* the Internet), all of the computers that were connected to one another could only be reached by using a series of numbers.…

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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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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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