Vol. 51, #8 - October 14, 2013 - Issue #951
Migrating mail to Office 365
- Editor's Corner
- Free ebook: Configuration Manager Field Experience
- Migrating mail to Office 365: Cloudy with a chance of rain
- Tip of the Week
- Recommended for Learning
- Quote of the Week
- Admin Toolbox
- Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
- Events Calendar
- Webcast Calendar
- Featured Webinar: Auditing Group Policy changes: What you don't know Can hurt you!
- Register for Webcasts
- Tech Briefing
- Windows Server
- SharePoint, Exchange and Office
- Windows Azure
- Windows Server News
- Seeing platform software through the cloud computing lens
- Making the case for non-Windows desktops in the cloud
- When setting up VLANs makes sense in your virtual data center
- VMware High Availability and high availability: What's the difference?
- WServerNews FAVE Links
- This Week's Links We Like. Fun Stuff.
- WServerNews - Product of the Week
- Don’t Let Bandwidth Hogs Slow Down Your Network
- SAVE THIS NEWSLETTER so you can refer back to it later for helpful tips, tools and resources!
- FORWARD THIS NEWSLETTER to a colleague who you think might find it useful!
- SEND YOUR FEEDBACK to [email protected] if you have any comments or suggestions!
This week's newsletter is all about migrating a small business from Exchange to Office 365 with a guest editorial by Dieter Wijckmans. While some migrations can be challenging to perform, they can often make your business easier to manage as this Dilbert cartoon tells us:
Yes it's Yet Another Free Ebook (YAFE)!! Configuration Manager Field Experience
The second title in the new series of free ebooks from Microsoft Press on System Center 2012 has now been released! Microsoft System Center: Configuration Manager Field Experience provides Configuration Manager administrators with helpful and tested real-world guidance from consultants and product experts at Microsoft.
You can download this free ebook in PDF format from the link in this post on the Microsoft Press Blog:
Stay tuned for more free ebooks from Microsoft Press!!
And now for our guest editorial by Dieter Wijckmans...
Migrating mail to Office 365: Cloudy with a chance of rain
During my journeys through the IT world I come across a lot of customers who have a lot of questions regarding the fact that Microsoft is stopping the development of the SBS server series. A lot of SMB clients are using this quick and easy solution to set up their office. There are a lot of pros and cons but still this is quite good value for the money considered the fact you get an "almost everything you need in one server" package deal. As Microsoft announced that the 2011 series was the last one, clients started wondering what to do next. They all heard about the cloud but are at the least hesitative with putting their data in the Cloud.
For my small company I also run SBS2011 because it was fast and easy to setup and get the mail flowing. It also served as a nice lab when customers had questions. So on a slow Thursday I decided to start to move my mail to the cloud to check the process for further customers.
The reasons were very simple. I have 2 servers running at home with a fixed IP supplied by my ISP. For some reason a fixed IP subscription still costs a lot of money but the extra factor that started me thinking was the electricity cost. In a constant effort to go greener and save on my electrical bill I purchased an Electricity management system to monitor my electricity consumption:
Also the fact that every time the server had an issue mail was down became more and more annoying so the decision was made to move to the cloud… I was going on an adventure….
Preparing my cloud…
My environment was very simple. I only had 2 mailboxes and some aliases to migrate. Unfortunately the SBS2011 exchange install is a little different than the standard exchange setup as it is somewhat wizard driven so some settings can't be adapted in the console.
First things first. Let's get a subscription. Microsoft has clearly made a lot of effort making this as straightforward as possible with keeping the different pricing formulas to an absolute minimum. You can get either mail only, with website (so far hosting my website at my costly fixed IP subscription at home) or with office included. In my case I just needed to have 2 mailboxes and included the option to have the website included as well. Order your subscriptions and you are good to go.
The first thing you need to understand is the fact that you need to make a new email address with .onOffice365.com extension. Your domain name needs to be verified by Microsoft to be able to switch it to the Exchange online services. Luckily Microsoft from their part guide you through the process.
Figure 1: The 5 step solution to get you setup
This process consists out of 5 simple steps. First you need to verify that you are the owner of your domain name. This can be implemented with putting up a custom MX record in your current DNS zone. Microsoft is checking for this DNS entry and if found you can proceed to the next steps. The next steps are basically questions whether you want to host your website on premises or use the advantage of a public facing website included in the subscription. I left it at my fixed IP as I found out you can only use SharePoint based websites. I myself am a WordPress adept and will not convert that easily so a solution should be found for that later on.
The last step was in fact the step that held back my setup the most. To be able to use the services of Microsoft the name servers on your domain need to be changed from the name servers from your registrar to the Microsoft ones. Unfortunately my registrar did not allow to change the name servers on my subscription so I had to transfer it to another registrar. This was a somewhat tedious process which included also a certain amount of outage during the transfer. As it is not in your control when this outage will occur due to DNS synchronization make sure to check this step before proceeding with the project to migrate.
When my domain name finally was transferred and the name servers where configured the final check finally cleared and mail was directed to my Exchange online account. Cool I now have mailbox in the cloud!
Filling my cloud with my precious mail…
But how to get my mail to the cloud? This was a straightforward process. As (I believe like many) my mailbox is my archive I have a mailbox of around 2 GB of mails. I did not do a cutover install so I just dumped all my mail to a PST and loaded the PST in the Office365 web portal and imported it in my mailbox. Very simple and well put together process. This way of working is not acceptable for a full blow migration but Microsoft has a set of great migration tools for this purpose so make sure to check them out here:
Figure 2: The console is well organized.
So my mail is in the cloud. Cool. But how to get it in my Outlook, phone, tablet and such. No problem I'll just delete my account on my pc and create a new account in a new outlook profile and that's it… Not quite. The autodiscover of Exchange always directed my email back to my exchange server. Checked the DNS records for autodiscover online on the Office365 portal. They are ok. Checked my local DNS and created a CNAME record to redirect to the Microsoft autodiscover. No dice. All the articles I found were related to full blown Exchange environments so no chance that they work on SBS2011 wizard driven. I ended up deleting the autodiscover virtual directory on my exchange server via PowerShell:
After deletion of this virtual directory the autodiscover of Office365 was found and it successfully connected my mailbox and configured it on my Outlook install.
There are a couple of walkthroughs on different blogs to manually configure your outlook client with Office365 but Microsoft recommends against it as some features will not work and most important as your mailbox is moved from 1 server to another you will have to reconfigure your clients. This eliminates one of the main advantages of Office365 in my opinion. The fact that you do not have to care anymore about the platform but can just focus on your business and let Microsoft do the maintenance , security management and patching.
Last thing I did was connected my other POP3 mailboxes to my mailbox to keep everything in one place. This worked for my ISP mail but unfortunately not for my Gmail account. Maybe a result of the current "battle" between Microsoft and Google so in the end I resorted to an auto FWD of the mails.
To Cloud or not to Cloud?
In conclusion I must say Microsoft did an excellent job in guiding you through the steps to get you going with easy step by step walkthroughs on the Office365 portal you can quickly get up to speed. Some things you need to check upfront which slowed my migration down where in fact not at all Microsoft related. In fact the change of name servers was the most stunning surprise as my former registrar was not allowing to change them. If you check in advance whether you can change your DNS zone and name servers of your domain you will save some time because as soon as your domain name is linked on your Office365 account it's fairly easy to set everything up and move the mailboxes to the online service.
I'm currently running on the Office365 subscription for approx. 1 week without an issue. In overall I would recommend everyone to move to this service just to get yourself a sort of ease of mind. You do not need to care anymore about the platform, backups, storage issues and can keep your cost predictable and low.
I now am able to run all my necessary services and my WordPress on a Synology 412+ NAS and switched of the servers for now. Mission accomplished.
About Dieter Wijckmans
Dieter Wijckmans is a technology enthusiast who is mainly working with Microsoft products. He is specialized in System Center products but keeps a healthy open mind to other IT products and processes. While supporting clients he documents his wonders through the IT world on his blog.
You can find my blog here:
You can also connect with Dieter on Twitter:
Send us feedback
Got feedback on anything in this issue? Let us know at [email protected]
Tip of the Week
Documenting configuration changes
Want a quick way of documenting the steps you perform when installing or configuring software on a Windows server or client system? Why not use Problem Steps Recorder! Read this blog post on SCOMfaq.ch for more info:
GOT TIPS you'd like to share with other readers? Email us at [email protected]
Recommended for Learning
This week we have a new book on Office 365 you might want to pre-order:
Microsoft Office 365 Administration Inside Out (Microsoft Press)
Quote of the Week
"We must always change, renew and rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Note to subscribers: If for some reason you don’t receive your weekly issue of this newsletter, please notify us at [email protected] and we’ll try to troubleshoot things from our end.
Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
Download 2X ApplicationServer XG to deliver virtual desktops and applications from a central location, providing continuous availability, resource-based load balancing and complete end-to-end network transparency for administrators.
Make backing up Hyper-V VMs easy, fast and reliable. Free for WServerNews subscribers. Download now!
Try LepideAuditor for File Server to manage all changes made to any File/Folder. Find the 4Ws of Who, What, When and Where for all changes and uphold compliance through various predefined reports.
HVRemote makes enabling remote support of workgroup machines a lot easier:
Having problems removing Citrix Online Plugin or Citrix Receiver? Citrix Receiver Clean-Up Utility can resolve these issues:
Project Conference, 2014 on February 2-5 in Anaheim, California
Lync Conference 2014 on February 18-20, 2014 at The Aria in Las Vegas, Nevada
SharePoint Conference 2014 on March 3-6, 2014 at The Venetian in Las Vegas, Nevada
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC 2014) coming in July, 2014 in Washington, D.C.
European SharePoint Conference on May 5-8, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain
Add your event
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Auditing Group Policy changes: What you don't know Can hurt you!
Join industry expert and Group Policy MVP Jeremy Moskowitz and Nick Cavalancia from Netwrix on Thursday, October 17 at 11am PDT / 2pm EDT as they discuss the need for auditing Group Policy changes, what data you can expect, and what tools are (and aren't) useful.
Register here: http://www.wservernews.com/go/1381743413605
In this webinar, you will learn:
- Who can make changes to my Group Policies?
- What constitutes a change in Group Policy?
- What audit data is available to me?
- How detailed can I actually get?
Register for Webcasts
Add your Webcast
PLANNING A WEBCAST you'd like to tell our subscribers about? Contact [email protected]
This section is organized topically by platform/product and provides you with links to tips, tools, information and other resources that can help you in your job role whether you're an IT professional or an IT decision-maker.
Step-by-Step: Setup the Online Backup Service for Windows Server 2012 (Canadian IT Pro Connection)
Using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit To Deploy Servers (Aidan Finn, IT Pro)
My top 10 in new Essentials server (Elvis' Technical Blog)
SharePoint, Exchange and Office
#PSTip How to configure storage quotas for a mailbox using PowerShell (PowerShell Magazine)
Managing a 500,000 mailbox Exchange 2010 deployment (Tony Redmond's Exchange Unwashed Blog)
Implement Office 365 easy? #Unattended Install #O365 with Group Policy #windows7 #windows12R2 (The Windows Server FCI Blog)
Creating A Hyper-V VM from an ISO using PowerShell (Canadian IT Pro Connection)
Why We Never Dedicate a NIC Port to a VM (Third Tier)
Hyper-V over SMB: SMB Bandwidth Limits (Thomas Mauer)
The heart of the XenDesktop 7 blueprint… Resource Layer (The Citrix Blog)
Master Wizard – Let Us Learn The Magic Behind (The Citrix Blog)
Limiting a user to 2 instances of an application (Cliff Davies)
Temporarily Taking a Cloud Service Role Instances Off of the Load Balancer (Alexandre Brisebois)
Windows Azure cloud services achieve critical federal security milestone (The Official Microsoft Blog)
Step-By-Step: Migrating From VMware to Windows Azure (Canadian IT Pro Connection)
We'd like to thank the following individuals for contributing items for this section from time to time:
- Florian Klaffenbach, a Solution Expert in Microsoft & Cloud Computing working at Dell TechCenter Germany. Be sure to check out Flo's Datacenter Report:
- Yuri Diogenes, Senior Technical Writer in the Server and Cloud Division at Microsoft. You can find Yuri's blog on TechNet:
- Heather Witz of the Microsoft Customer, Architecture & Technologies (CAT) team for Windows Server & System Center. Check out their team blog Building Clouds on TechNet:
Seeing platform software through the cloud computing lens
An often overlooked but essential component of a successful cloud is the platform software – the operating system and middleware. Gain advice for selecting the right cloud platform software that will appropriately link your applications to your cloud infrastructure enabling you to effectively run, integrate and administer your workloads.
Making the case for non-Windows desktops in the cloud
Typically dominated by Windows, Desktop-as-a-Service scenarios may also have a place a non-Windows environment. So, what can be done with Linux and OS X in terms of DaaS – and why bother? Hear from our experts as they discuss use cases for non-Windows desktops in the cloud.
When setting up VLANs makes sense in your virtual data center
Although virtual LANs are seen as the "dinosaur" to virtual networking, VLANs are still widely used on production networks among other circumstances. Inside, review the situations where setting up a VLAN is most effective option for your virtual environment.
VMware High Availability and high availability: What's the difference?
Marketing hype often blurs the lines between vendor products and technical definitions. Read on to help you better define the term "high availability" for your virtual environment.
This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
GOT FUN VIDEOS or other fun links to suggest you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]
A collection of funny cats who like the interaction with vacuum cleaners.
Colin Grey examines the border between Canada and the United States - the longest international border in the world.
There are no words to describe Miyoko Shida's performance for the Spanish TV program "Tú Sí Que Vales" ("You Can Do It")
A group of young girls in black and white tights perform a trippy dance to the popular tune of German folk-rock polka band Hiss.
Aidyn Israfilov and Gosha the monkey perform their amazing juggling act for the French television show 'The Worlds' Greatest Cabaret.'
WServerNews - Editors
Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. Mitch was lead author of the bestselling Windows 7 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press and has published hundreds of articles for IT pros. Mitch is also a seven-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his outstanding contributions in support of the global IT pro community. Mitch owns and runs an information technology content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information see www.mtit.com