Vol. 20, #2 - January 12, 2015 - Issue #1012
Whatzup with Microsoft Intune
- Editor's Corner
- Whatzup with Microsoft Intune
- Tip of the Week - Deduplication revisited
- Free White Paper: The Case for Third Party Archiving in MS Exchange Environments
- Recommended for Learning
- Microsoft Virtual Academy
- Quote of the Week
- Admin Toolbox
- Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
- Events Calendar
- Webcast Calendar
- Register for Webcasts
- Tech Briefing
- Pinned - Microsoft Intune
- Enterprise IT
- Microsoft Azure
- Mobile Device Management
- Windows PowerShell
- Recommended TechGenix Articles
- Recommended articles from websites in TechGenix Network
- Windows Server News
- Cloud pendulum swings toward intelligent agents
- Examining cluster-to-cluster VM migration
- Should you deliver VDI to mobile workers?
- How to add stability to your vSphere environment
- WServerNews FAVE Links
- Amazing 'Hologram' Technology At Dubai Mall
- Cat Falls From The 5th Floor And Lands Safely
- Jingle Bells On Grocery Checkout Scanners
- 'Mamma-Mia' Flash Mob At Warsaw Airport
- WServerNews - Product of the Week
- New Veeam Backup & Replication v8
- 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 what's happening these days with Microsoft Intune (formerly known as Windows Intune). We were originally going to call this issue "In tune with Intune" but decided instead to adopt the more technical term of "whatzup" since readers of our newsletter tend to be on the technically-savvy side of things. By the way, that's a joke about a joke--a recursive joke in other words. For a good definition of what "recursion" means, see the following wiki page on xkcd, the webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language:
Would you like me to repeat that?
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Whatzup with Microsoft Intune
If you grew up in the 60s you probably remember the slogan "You've come a long way, baby" used by Phillip Morris Companies to market their Virginia Slims brand of cigarettes. If you didn't grow up in the 60s, well, you didn't miss anything important. Microsoft Intune has also come a long way since it was introduced way back in July 2011. It's funny though how technology seems to compress time so much--the 60s don't seem so long ago, but three years feels like a very long time as far as cloud computing is concerned.
Shortly after Windows Intune was released about three years ago, I wrote a series of articles about Intune for WindowsNetworking.com. My articles were designed to walk admins through how to set up Microsoft Intune (or Windows Intune as it was called then) so you could use it to manage and secure a small network of PCs by using a web-based interface to a cloud service instead of needing to deploy a systems management platform on-premises. Take a quick look at the first article of my series and check out Figure 1 to see what Windows Intune looked like back then:
Now take a look at what the Microsoft Intune console looks like today:
Figure 1: the Admin workspace of the Microsoft Intune console.
It definitely looks a lot prettier, but is it really more functional? Let's examine one area of functionality in particular so we can see how far Intune has evolved in only three short years.
The Policy workspace (the fifth node on the left in Figure 1 above) lets you configure policies you can use to manage settings on devices being managed by Intune. In the original version of Intune you could only create a few kinds of policies:
Windows Firewall settings for the managed PCs
Configuration settings for the Intune agent installed on managed PCs
Configuration settings for the Endpoint Protection agent installed on managed PCs
Support information displayed when a user opens the Intune Center on their managed PC
In other words, the first version of Intune really didn't offer administrators much in terms of policy-based management. Plus you could only apply Intune policies to PCs running supported versions of Microsoft Windows. You can read about it in the last article of my 2011 series here:
What does Intune policy-based management offer us today? First, it offers several different kinds of policies:
Configuration - These policies are similar to the ones listed above but they now support a much wider range of platforms as shown in Figure 2 below.
Compliance - These are rules-based policies that define the compliance level required in order for devices to access specific Office 365 services like Exchange. See Figure 3 for an example of how you create a compliance policy.
Conditional Access - These are policies you can configure in order to manage access to specific Office 365 services like Exchange.
Device Enrollment Profiles - These are on-time configurations you can apply to company-owned devices when they are being enrolled for use on the corporate network.
Figure 2: Creating a new configuration policy for iOS devices.
Figure 3: Creating a new compliance policy.
It's obvious from the above that Microsoft has been investing heavily in Intune to make it a cloud-based management platform not just for Windows PCs but also for a wide range of mobile devices including Windows Phone, iOS and Android devices. Mobile device management (MDM) is a pressing need for today's businesses, and Microsoft Intune offers a cloud-based solution for doing just that. A good resource to keep tabs on new Intune features being rolled out is Brad Anderson's blog:
System Center integration
Microsoft Intune is more than just a stand-alone management solution. It's also an essential add-on for Microsoft's on-premises management solution called System Center. Consider this for example: If you have System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager deployed in your environment, you can manage Windows, Linux and Mac OS X computers but you can't manage mobile devices running Windows Phone, iOS or Android. But if you have Configuration Manager 2012 R2 deployed together with Intune, you can manage all of these computers and mobile devices. See the table on the following TechNet page for a full comparison of the different management platforms:
If your current systems management platform is approaching end of life, or if it's not meeting your growing needs in the area of MDM, then you might want to sign up for a free trial of Microsoft Intune here:
The sign-up process is easy and doesn't require a credit card, so there's no worry and no hassle involved in trying it out.
Finally, for links to where you can find more information about Microsoft Intune, see the Tech Briefing section of this issue.
Send us feedback
Have you tried using Intune in your environment? What do you think of it? Let us know at [email protected]
Tip of the Week - Deduplication Revisited
In last week's issue our Tip of the Week was titled "To dedup or not to dedup?" and we said that if you're running Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2012 R2 and you're trying to decide on whether or not you should make use of the Data Deduplication feature of these platforms, you should make sure you first check out this TechNet page:
An alert reader from Switzerland named Christoph Huwyler pointed out to us that an important consideration concerning Data Deduplication is not discussed on the above TechNet page, namely the fact that enabling Data Deduplication on volumes that have shared folders might result in incomplete search results when searching for files on those shares. This is because Windows Search does not support Data Deduplication as described near the bottom of the following TechNet page:
Thanks for pointing this out. After all, if you search for a file that you know must be in a share, you certainly expect to find it!
On the other hand, some good news is that Microsoft has just announced that customers who use their System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager can now reduce the storage needed by 50 to 90 percent when running DPM 2012 R2 on Windows Server 2012 R2 and making use of the Data Deduplication feature of that platform. For more information about this, see the following post on the DPM blog:
GOT TIPS you'd like to share with other readers? Email us at [email protected]
Native archiving features and functions in MS Exchange have evolved and improved since first offered in Exchange 2010. However, Exchange native archiving still lacks capabilities that many organizations will require.
An Osterman Research survey of IT Professionals conducted for this white paper indicates that the majority of Exchange-enabled organizations will require third-party archiving tools to meet their needs.
Recommended for Learning
Here are a few IT Pro courses on Microsoft Intune from the Microsoft Virtual Academy you might want to check out:
Windows Intune for IT Professionals Jump Start
System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager & Windows Intune
Microsoft Virtual Academy
Some announcements from the Microsoft Virtual Academy:
Upgrading to Microsoft SQL Server 2014
If you are considering a SQL Server upgrade, but need some help, watch this course for, guidance from the experts who walk you through the process. They look at the technology but also at the methodology, processes, and tools to help make your SQL Server 2014 upgrade a success. View the course here.
Designing BI Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server
Business Intelligence (BI) professionals looking for tips and ideas for implementing BI solutions should check out this course. Our experts walk you through planning and designing a BI solution based on SQL Server 2014 and other Microsoft BI technologies. Learn how to plan a data warehouse infrastructure, define an appropriate disaster recovery approach, balance query‐based processing versus filter-based processing, and more. Watch here.
Quote of the Week
"A man provided with paper, pencil, and rubber, and subject to strict discipline, is in effect a universal machine." --Alan Turing
Until next week,
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New Veeam Backup & Replication v8 for vSphere and Hyper-V is packed with 200+ new features to provide recovery time and point objectives of < 15 minutes for all applications. Download now!
Tired of your Active Directory management tools? Centralize and simplify all Windows and AD management without scripting - Download a free, fully functioning 30-day trial.
Install and update all your programs at once with Ninite:
SoftPerfect Network Scanner is a free multi-threaded IP, NetBIOS and SNMP scanner with a modern interface and many advanced features:
Dia is an open source program you can use for creating more than 30 different diagram types like network diagrams, flowcharts and database models:
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Pinned - Microsoft Intune
We'll start off this week's Tech Briefing section with some links to where you can find more information about Microsoft Intune. Be sure to SAVE THIS NEWSLETTER so you have access to these links later like you had pinned them onto your bulletin board.
Documentation Library for Microsoft Intune
Microsoft Intune evaluation guide
Microsoft Intune walkthrough guide
Microsoft Intune requirements
Microsoft Intune MDM capabilities
Microsoft Intune blog
Microsoft Intune blog post archive
Microsoft Enterprise Mobility blog
Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite
Now on to some of our usual Tech Briefing items...
Third-Party Software is a Security Threat (Part 2) (WindowSecurity.com)
Lessons learned from Windows XP Regarding Upcoming Windows Server 2003 End Of Life (CanITPro)
Running FreeBSD in Azure (Azure Blog)
Introduction to SQL Database Options in Microsoft Azure (CloudComputingAdmin.com)
Mobile Device Management
Planning Considerations for BYOD and Consumerization of IT (Part 6) (WindowSecurity.com)
Mobility Solutions: Enabling Workplace Join Via PowerShell (CanITPro)
Collecting the Output of Remoting Commands (Windows PowerShell Blog)
PowerShell Essentials (Part 3) (WindowsNetworking.com)
Identity Crisis in the Cloud
Getting Started With Amazon Web Services for Free
Exchange Server 2013 Backup and Restore 101 - Disabled mailboxes (Part 4)
Working with the Desired State Configuration Feature (Part 5)
Windows 10 - Privacy and Security Features at a Glance (Part 2)
Cloud pendulum swings toward intelligent agents
Artificial intelligence has grown in popularity recently with smart cloud agents such as Apple's Siri, which saves access bandwidth and device resources. With the right planning, you can take intelligent agents to the enterprise. Learn how to leverage intelligent agents by following four simple steps.
Examining cluster-to-cluster VM migration
VM creation can often lead to major side effects, such as virtual machines outgrowing the clusters where they reside. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to perform a cluster-to-cluster migration, including VM replication – a lesser known, but safe method that works especially well. Learn more about VM replication as a cluster-to-cluster migration alternative and see why it just might work for you.
Should you deliver VDI to mobile workers?
Before you let mobile workers use their smart devices to access virtual desktops and applications, there are many factors to take into account to avoid serious challenges. Check out the four most important considerations for delivering VDI to mobile workers and decide if it’s the right move for your organization.
How to add stability to your vSphere environment
Many vSphere administrators can help themselves by checking over a few key areas that are frequently misconfigured to avoid errors and misconfigurations down the line. Check out these commonly missed VMware best practices today so you can add stability to your 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]
Amazing 'Hologram' Technology At Dubai Mall
This 'holographic' show has all types of wildlife running amok on the main floor of the mall - from dolphins to leopards, rhinoceros and even dinosaurs:
Cat Falls From The 5th Floor And Lands Safely
A cat falls from the 5th floor, twists its body to face downward, spreads itself to increase drag and lands safely:
Jingle Bells On Grocery Checkout Scanners
Grocery store employees in Germany play 'Jingle Bells' as a cash register symphony for their customers:
'Mamma-Mia' Flash Mob At Warsaw Airport
LOT Polish Airlines welcomes their 500,000th Boeing-787 Dreamliner passenger at Warsaw Chopin Airport:
WServerNews - Product of the Week
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 and has been author or series editor for almost fifty books mostly published by Microsoft Press. Mitch is also a ten-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.
Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of WServerNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. Ingrid is also manages research and marketing for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.