Posts Tagged ‘Exchange Online

Quest Connect is a big online conference put together by Quest, Microsoft, , Dell, NetApp, Vizioncore, Scriptlogic, Techrepublic, Oracle Magazine, Redmond Magazine, and The Code Project. The agenda is packed with a lot of useful material on Windows Server 2008 R2, AD, Identity Management, Exchange 2010, Virtualization, Cloud Computing, SharePoint, SQL, Oracle – see full agenda here – and they include some sessions specifically on cloud computing and Microsoft Online Services.

Here are a few:

Here or Way Out There? Should Your Active Directory Management Be In Cloud?

Available the whole day on-demand

Dmitry Sotnikov, New Project Research Manager, Quest Software

Spend a few minutes learning how to leverage the Cloud Computing Craze in your environment. During this session, Dmitry Sotnikov will demonstrate provisioning for cloud directories and review Quest’s soon-to-be-released SaaS solution for AD backup and recovery. You can even sign up for the beta!

Exchange 2010 and the Cloud – Migration and Management Best Practices

Live: 12:00 pm BST/7:00 am EDT/ 4:00 am PDT – then recorded on-demand
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Keith Ridings, Product Manager, Exchange Migration; and Rob Sargent, Product Manager, Exchange Management – Quest Software

Exchange 2010 and the Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) are designed to help organizations achieve better business outcomes while controlling the costs of deployment, administration, and compliance. But adopting these innovative Microsoft technologies can be one of the most complex, labor-intensive projects an organization can undertake. However, it does not have to be. With the proper planning and execution, you can successfully migrate to and proactively manage Exchange 2010 and BPOS and minimize the impact on your users and your help desk. Join Quest product managers Keith Ridings and Rob Sargent as they share best practices for maximizing the value of your next-generation Exchange investment.

Reach for the Cloud: Seamlessly Migrate to Microsoft BPOS

6:00pm BST/1:00 pm EDT/10:00 am PDT – then recorded on-demand
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Keith Ridings, Product Manager, Notes and GroupWise Migration – Quest Software
Matt Fangman, Director, Unified Communications – Microsoft

In a time of diminishing IT budgets and headcounts, hosted e-mail and collaboration services are an increasingly attractive alternative to on-premises platforms, offering reduced costs, increased protection from outside threats, and enhanced operational efficiency. Many organizations are choosing Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS): a set of hosted messaging and collaboration solutions including Microsoft Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Office Communications Online. In this webcast, experts from Microsoft and Quest will discuss how to ensure a fast and seamless migration from Lotus Notes to Microsoft Exchange Online and SharePoint Online.

A Complete Notes-to-Microsoft Migration

2:00am BST/9:00 pm EDT/6:00 pm PDT – then recorded on-demand
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Tim Fountain, Systems Consultant, Notes Migration Solutions – Quest Software

For organizations looking to migrate from the IBM Lotus platform, Quest offers the industry’s most complete set of transition solutions for seamless, cost-effective migrations of Notes mailboxes to Microsoft Exchange/Exchange Online, application content to SharePoint/SharePoint Online, and Sametime users to Office Communication Server. Learn from experts at Quest and Microsoft the best ways to analyze the Lotus environment, rapidly rebuild complex applications and allow the Notes and Microsoft environments to coexist throughout the migration.

Speed and Simplify Your Notes Migration to Exchange Online

Pete Caldecourt, Solutions Architect, Quest Software

There is also quite a few sessions related to Private Clouds: virtual datacenter management, VDI, end-user experience monitoring and so on.

In-between the sessions you can hang out in the conference lobby or booth area and discuss the topics with other attendees.

See live session list here and on-demand list here.

This online show is a great learning alternative if you cannot make it to TechEd and other face-to-face conferences this year. Register for the event here. Virtually see you tomorrow!


Recording from my TEC session on IT professional view on identity management and AD-integration for Exchange Online and Windows Azure has just got posted:


You can find other session recordings from TEC (including keynote!) here.

Also, if you are based in Europe – TEC Europe in coming to Berlin in September and early bird discounts are still available – see the conference site for details.

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The Experts Conference 2009 web site TEC 2009 (Las Vegas March 22-25) agenda is almost complete now and it seems to be biggest show since PDC (Professional Developers Conference) last year on which Microsoft and their key partners will talk about Azure, Exchange Online and other “cloud” platforms.

Also, while PDC was mainly dev-oriented – this is going to be first one oriented on IT professionals, system integrators and architects.

Here are the sessions which caught my attention:

Directory track:

This Cloud Has Roots: A Peek Into Microsoft’s Global Foundation Services AD Infrastructure by Sean Deuby (Microsoft MVP, Windows IT Pro Magazine contributor, and Enterprise Solutions Strategist with Advaiya).

Federating with the Cloud by Randy Wiemer (Architect at Oxford Computer Group – the main system integrator for Microsoft’s identity management solutions.)

GALSync and Federation in Exchange Online by Craig Martin (Director of Identity Architecture at Oxford Computer Group.)

Implementing an Identity based solution using Microsoft’s new Cloud based infrastructure by Danny Kim (CTO at FullArmor, Microsoft MVP) – Danny is telling me this will be basically a session on identity in Windows Azure based on their experience moving PolicyPortal to Azure.

Identity Integration: Multiple Directories in Cloud by Patrick Harding (CTO at Ping Identity – these guys know about identity federation in the internet probably more than anyone else!)

Exchange track:

Modern Techniques for Large Scale Exchange Environments Keynote by Konstantin Ryvkin (Konstantin is a Sr. Technology Architect in the Microsoft Business Collaboration Services Group a team which provides Exchange based hosted messaging services to Microsoft IT and other enterprise customers – really looking forward to this one!)

Exchange 2007 and its Web Services byIlse Van Criekinge (Global Knowledge)

Software + Services Integration with Microsoft Live by Richard Wakeman (Senior Consultant with Microsoft Public Sector Services.)

These are the sessions on my must-attend list. Looks like, as usual, TEC organizers managed to get a very impressive line-up of speakers and sessions. I have attended TEC (previously called DEC – Directory Experts Conference) before and based on my experience this has always been the most deep and cutting edge conference on Microsoft’s directory technologies you could find – far ahead of general purpose events like TechEd.

Registration and details can obviously be found at the conference web site.

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Microsoft is producing so much effort in the SaaS space recently that they can get one easily confused. Quickly: can you tell the difference between Microsoft Exchange Online, Exchange Labs, Windows Live Hotmail, Microsoft Live@edu, and Exchange Hosted Services?

Fear not. This post will make the distinction crystal clear!

First of all: All of them except Exchange Hosted Services are hosted messaging solutions from Microsoft. Exchange Hosted Services are Microsoft’s anti-virus, anti-spam, archiving solution in the cloud having nothing to do with Exchange. They acquired the services from Frontbridge back in 2005.

By the way, the archiving services are not yet fully integrated with Exchange Online and others (although manual procedures to set the integration up exist), are limited to 10,000 mailboxes per organization, and have performance issues. All of that is to be resolved next year with both software updates and new datacenters getting rolled out.

Now to the actual messaging services…

Windows Live Hotmail (previously known as Hotmail, then MSN Hotmail, then Windows Live Mail, and recently re-branded to the current compromise name) is the only one of them which is not based on Microsoft’s Exchange Server technology. Instead it derives from the webmail system Microsoft acquired back in 1997.

The other difference is that unlike the other three solutions this one is entirely consumer-oriented.

According to Eric Ashby (Microsoft’s program manager in charge of Exchange Online, with whom I talked at TechEd EMEA last week), there are no current plans to move Hotmail to Exchange technology, so both these differences are there to remain for the time being.

Microsoft Live@edu – is Microsoft’s free set of tools and services for educational institutions. Messaging is the key service in the bundle and it comes in 2 options: Hotmail (at which we already looked above) or Exchange Labs (to be discussed below.)

Exchange Online and Exchange Labs are very similar. Both represent hosted Microsoft Exchange Server-based solutions for businesses. The key difference is that Exchange Online is based on the already RTMed Exchange 2007, and Exchange Labs – on the next version (code name “E14”) currently in development.

Here’s a very high level comparison between the two:

Feature Exchange Online Exchange Labs
Technology Base Exchange 2007 E14
Datacenter Hosted by Microsoft Hosted by Microsoft
Availability Commercially available in North America, Europe and other regions to come next year as new datacenters are opened Available at no charge for universities and colleges in North America within the Live@edu program
Future roadmap To be upgraded to the Exchange Labs/E14 technology after it RTMs To become mainstream Exchange Online after the beta is over
Sign-On No single sign-on (SSO). Users get separate Live accounts with separate passwords (not synchronized with AD). To mitigate the impact, Microsoft suggests that you install a sign-on tool on every desktop. The tool can store the password and log the user in. Federation enables single sign-on (SSO) so users do not have to type in their Live credentials. If federation is not set – users maintain their credentials and need to sign-in manually.
Directory Synchronization Based on Microsoft Identity Lifecycle Manager (ILM) software. Installed in the organization and doing one-way synchronization of users and groups for the whole AD forest every 3 hours. Same as Exchange Online.
Administration Via web portal. Large companies get dedicated (not shared) installation and more administrative controls. Web portal and PowerShell v2. Exchange Management Console (being based on top of PowerShell) might also become available at some point.

Other interesting tidbits of information which Eric shared:

  • Currently the Exchange Online service is limited to 25,000 mailboxes per customer.
  • He kept using companies migrating from Notes/Domino as deployment examples. Could be related to personal bias or Microsoft’s push for competitive upgrades. He kept recommending Quest Notes migration tools for the task (full disclosure: I work for Quest although not for that team.)
  • At Microsoft 500 employees are using Exchange Online. The rest are on regular on-premise Exchange.
  • There are a few limitations during the co-existence period when some users are still using on-premise Exchange. The biggest one is unavailability of free/busy information. There are also issues with voice-mail and other services relying on mailbox data. Eric mentioned that there was a yet not-to-be-disclosed vendor working on a mailbox synchronization solution to solve the problem.
  • Currently they often recommend dedicated Exchange Online environment for bigger organizations as the only way to have full administrative control of their system. In the Exchange 14 timeframe most of these advantages will go away, so technically everyone will be able to share environment with other customers. Some might still pay extra to feel special and know that they get dedicated service.

I hope this all is making sense now:

  • Exchange Hosted Services – is an anti-spam, anti-virus, archiving solution,
  • Windows Live Hotmail – is webmail for consumers,
  • Microsoft Live@edu – is a bundle for educational institution which may use Hotmail or Exchange Labs as the messaging engine,
  • Exchange Online – is hosted Exchange 2007.
  • Exchange Labs – is hosted beta of the next version of Exchange (E14) and using all the great federation technologies pitched by Microsoft on the recent PDC event.

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The posts on this blog are provided “as is” with no warranties and confer no rights. The opinions expressed on this site are mine and mine alone, and do not necessarily represent those of my employer Jelastic or anyone else for that matter. All trademarks acknowledged.

© 2008-2012 Dmitry Sotnikov

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