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We are currently planning the next set of IT Pro Camps and are looking for your input.
What cities would you like to see the camps run in. We’ve posted the poll on our Facebook Page.
Get your voice heard and vote now!
Empower all users to gain breakthrough insights as a natural part of their day-to-day activities using PowerPivot and PowerView, now in Excel.
User created, IT managed - Enable enterprise grade IT governance for your BI solutions via SQL Server and SharePoint
MLS the largest library product providers to the education sector in the UK shows how it uses Windows Azure to scale.
In April 2012, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online took a major step towards providing transparency by becoming the first CRM service provider to register with the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) Security, Trust & Assurance Registry program. It was announced yesterday that we’ve now gone even further by launching the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Trust Center.
The Trust Center is a website that provides in-depth information about the privacy, security, and compliance practices for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online service. This is significant for our customers as data protection is a key consideration for organizations evaluating cloud services.
Available at http://crm.dynamics.com/trust-center, the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Trust Center details our service operations, including the steps that Microsoft takes to keep data private and secure, as well as the key industry standards that we comply with.
Colin Chaplin is a freelance IT Consultant specializing in IT transformation projects involving Microsoft software, and very occasional blogger (http://colinchaplin.wordpress.com/). If you cut him in half, it would probably say 'infrastructure'
Microsoft do a pretty good job of getting knowledge ‘out there’ to us techs; there’s formal documentation, blogs direct from the people that put it together, quick-start documentation – in just about any format you want. Best of all, it’s not hidden away behind a support contract login, It’s one Search away from locating it.
So, if you’re planning an Exchange 2010 migration, you’re probably familiar with the term ‘you had me at ehlo’ and various books with a blue/black cover.
But there’s no substitute for experience, and although no two migrations are ever the same, here’s my top list of my ‘surprises’ from an email migration running into the tens of thousands of mailboxes. You may never encounter them, nor may I again, but maybe, just maybe it’ll save you a 1AM conference call…
1) You really, really need to understand your user profile Don’t rely on the Microsoft defaults provided with the Calculator. You have, I assume, an Exchange environment already, and that you can go out there and measure. Once you have these stats, you might find that the idea of hosting 20,000 mailboxes on the old P3 laptop you’ve found in the corner of the office isn’t going to fly. Or more likely, you will find that your initially generous assumptions about deleted item retention and mailbox recovery might need to be trimmed a bit, and log file disks and required IOPS bumped a little. Or a lot.
2) Firewalls need love, too.
Traditionally, a firewall would be put between the bad guys on the internet, and the internal network, and perhaps some partner organisations. However, in a diverse network arrangement, it’s quite common that there might be a firewall between your internal client machines and your CAS’. Your firewall guys will be wise to the fact that a ‘traditional’ outlook client connection uses MAPI based on RPC, in which we’ll look to use TCP/135 and high ports. So, bang the protocols and destination IP addresses in the firewall, and away we go?!
Modern firewalls can determine exactly what is the nature of the RPC traffic and allow/deny access based on the specific nature of the protocol. So they can allow outlook MAPI traffic, but deny the pointing of a compmgmt.msc at your CAS machines. This is done by specifying the UUID of the MAPI communication protocol.
When your client machine initially connects on port 135 there’s a conversation with the server about the desired universally unique identifier your client is looking for. The firewall, being piggy-in-the-middle sees this communication then allows on going communication based on it not only ‘liking’ the UUID but also the destination and ports discussed in the connection with the RPC server
Firewalls being things that like order and predictability will then seek to statefully inspect these communications, and make sure everything is just so.
And herein lies some fun.
Your firewall might boast big numbers like “10GBit throughput” but that’s only half the story. Doing such analysis as described above is expensive in terms of firewall resources, and you may find you quickly run out of CPU capacity, and the default-size state table sizes aren’t big enough. And whilst, we’re here, you might find that one packet in a million isn’t liked by the stateful inspection on the firewall.
3) If you’re migrating from Exchange 2003, you’re really migrating to Exchange 2007 too I don’t mean you’re doing some kind of painful two step migration. Naturally, a lot of the literature about Exchange 2010 is comparing it to Exchange 2007.
That’s great if that’s your source platform is exchange 2007 but I bet many of you reading this are planning a migration away from Exchange 2003. During your preparations, you should read all the Exchange 2007 upgrade guidance too. Then you might figure things out like:
4) Storage also needs love Now, you’re a switched on chap/ lady (you’ve read this far!) so you know that Exchange 2010 is putting to bed the notion that a big, expensive SAN is not necessary and good old DAS is the way forward. That’s great, but it doesn’t always play well in large organisations who have certain ways of doing things and storage teams looking after spinning disk. Plus, with large re-seed times, it can sometimes make sense to avail the services of a SAN.
If your lovely Exchange 2010 databases with their low IO requirements are set to nestle on a SAN, don’t just assume that because you’re using an army of super-expensive disks, all will be well. These disks connect through a fabric, and a storage controller, which all need to be up to the task of handling at least twice the load (or whatever your DR scenario is)
Sometimes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Jetstress is still a critical tool in your arsenal whilst testing your change environment. Make sure you plan for it, and use it. It’s possibly a good idea at this moment to have a frank chat about jetstress, and day-to-day Exchange load on a SAN with your storage vendor, because you might find their interpretation of what’s required and what Microsoft produce out of the calculator (which you feed in to JetStress) might differ. Before you have that chat, have a look at the ESRP website, too. This provides paradigms of Storage designs that are certified to work in particular use cases. Chances are it might not fit your environment perfectly, but it provides a goo exemplar of what your design should achieve.
So, a few late nights then?
I’ve been involved with Exchange in one form or other since Exchange 4.0 and it’s probably my favourite Microsoft product. Whilst it is scalable and more robust than ever, the complexity has ratcheted up a few notches too and if nothing else I hope I’ve convinced you that you cannot be resourced, planned and prepared enough when if comes to an Exchange 2010 rollout and migration.
Over the last week or so we’ve been collecting questions from those of you who follow us on Twitter and Facebook for Alex. Alex has been interning here at Microsoft on the DPE team for the last 12 months. The video below gives some great insights into his time here and highlights some of his most memorable moments.
Please join us in wishing Alex all the best in his final year at university and welcoming Marcel to the team!
If you want to follow Alex's progress through his final year at university you will find him on Twitter here!
We have just released information about even more Windows 8, Windows Phone, UX and Windows Azure camps for the period until the end of September!
To avoid disappointment register for a camp near you now! Here’s what to expect with each of the different types of camps.
Microsoft Windows 8 DevCamp The Windows 8 Camps have been designed to show you how to build a Windows 8 app and get it published in the Windows Store. These events are hands-on and flexible so you can tailor the day to suit your needs; from working on your own project with assistance from our Windows 8 experts to networking with others and attending short tutorial sessions.
Windows 8 UX Workshops These workshops are suitable for designers who want to know a bit more about Metro, UX professionals who are looking to create wireframes and supporting technical documentation for application developers. The workshop is also suitable for people who already have applications on other platforms and are looking to bring them across to Windows 8.
Microsoft Windows Phone DevCamp The Windows Phone Camps are events which will show you how to learn and build Windows Phone apps. You can work on your own projects with assistance from our Windows Phone MVPs, network with others and also have the option of attending short tutorial sessions on Windows Phone related topics. If you are new to Windows Phone, this is the ideal event for you as you will have the opportunity to understand the general approach and capabilities of Windows Phone development.
Windows Azure Developer Camp Want to get up to speed quickly with Windows Azure? The Windows Azure Developer Camp will take you from knowing nothing about the cloud to actually having deployed a simple application to the cloud and made it available on the public Internet. During the Camp there'll be experienced people available to guide you through each exercise. Once you have the basics in place, you'll be up and running.
Developer Weekly Drop-In Clinics, Tuesdays 12-1pm from 7th August We will have a team of technical and marketing experts on standby ready to answer any question you have about Window 8 app development – whether it be questions about an idea for an app, development, design, getting your app into the Windows Store, or any other burning question you have.
Last week was all about Office 365 with video’s, virtual tours, case studies and much more. Also slipping into the week was a guest post – Part 3 of our high availability series and an interesting article from Andrew Fryer on Hyper V for small businesses. We also introduced the newest member of our team to you – Marcel!
This coming week should be just as busy and this time it’s all things flexible working with a few Windows Azure and SQL Server items to keep you on your toes. Share your flexible working tips with us on Twitter and Facebook!
We are delighted to introduce you to the latest addition to the TechNet UK team. Marcel Boothe is joining the team as our intern. You will no doubt meet him at some of our technical events as he will be taking over from Alex Guy who is sadly leaving us to return to university for his final year. (Alex’s exit interview will follow next week! Send us your questions via our Facebook page!)
1. What is your name and where do you come from? (Imagine this being said Cilla Black – Blind Date Style!)
My name is Marcel Boothe and I come from the wonderful city of Birmingham!!
2. How would you describe yourself using 3 tags?
#Creative #Ambitious #Risk-taker
3. What is your favourite gadget?
Xbox 360 Kinect (We suspect every lunchtime he will be playing Kinect in office! There’s a Kinect & Xbox in reception for visitors to play on.)
4. What would we find if we asked you to empty out your pockets?
Tissue, mobile phone and maybe a pack of skittles
5. If you were on a desert island what 3 items would you take with you?
Chicken, iPod and dumbbells
6. What was your first Microsoft product and what is your favourite current product?
Microsoft Office products were my first Microsoft products and my favourite has to be the Xbox 360
7. What did you want to do when you were little?
I wanted to be a footballer and star for Manchester United
8. How many pets do you have/ or had and what were their names?
I have 2 goldfish called Precious and Juels.
9. What are you looking forward to in technology?
I am looking forward to the virtualisation aspects of technology. Also after seeing the Microsoft Future Productivity video I am excited about the way technology is going make things more simple and efficient in everyday life.
10. What was your most embarrassing tech moment?
I have had a few embarrassing moments with Excel. At school I remember losing my entire coursework a few weeks before the end date!!
Meet the rest of the team if you haven’t done already and find out how they answered these questions!
The Cloud Fundamentals Video Series - An Inflection Point: Cloud Computing Overview
Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Trustworthy Computing, Scott Charney, gives a big picture view of cloud computing today and the forces creating change.
Watch the Video
The Cloud Fundamentals Video Series - Data Classification and Access Control
Lori Woehler, Senior Director in Microsoft's Worldwide Public Sector, discusses cloud migration and data access requirements that are top of mind for public sector customers.