SharePoint Server 2019

Just upgrade to SharePoint 2013? That means you probably know the ins and outs of your information architecture and just transitioned all of your apps over to either Provider Hosted or SharePoint Hosted apps… what better time than to start thinking about setting up new kit to install SharePoint Server 2019? 🙂

Go ahead, click the download link. Give it a whirl on your Azure subscription to try it out and get your modern on.

New and Improved features in SharePoint Server 2019

Download Link for SharePoint Server 2019

Download Link for Language Packs for SharePoint Server 2019

Office 365 Home Device Limits…

In case you missed it, Jared Spataro recently announced that the Office 365 Home and Personal subscriptions will no longer have install limits on devices as of October 2, 2018.  A caveat to this is that you can only be logged into five devices at a time.  In the past it was 10 devices in total (across five users for the home plan, or two installs for the personal account).

Additionally, Office 365 Home is upping the number of seats from 5 to 6.  While that may seem pretty insignificant, that’s an additional license to software essentially as well as the services that come along with it and a terabyte of storage on OneDrive.

More about this can be read yonder on the Microsoft Technical Community here:

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Office-365-Blog/You-re-about-to-get-even-more-from-your-Office-365-Home-or/ba-p/234907

QNAP Friends… Update your firmware…

Unless you’re running your servers, devices and other items that connect to a network of some sort in a pile of concrete at the bottom of a lake (perhaps a Great Lake) disconnected from the world, it may be time to go and start checking your firmware. I know that it’s one of the most fun activities to do over a Memorial Day weekend – right?

In this case I noticed a post about something called VPNFilter over on Ars Technica – sounds nasty right? It makes mention of what software systems and devices are affected –  in a particular set of QNAP devices as well as the software platform that operates QNAP devices, QTS.

For me, I quickly checked my firmware and noticed that I was not in the impacted group, but that’s not to say that you shouldn’t check your QNAP device if you’ve got one. Obviously check to make certain that you’ve got a backup of your QNAP sitting somewhere that you’re able to roll back to if you need to (I’ve never had a problem with their firmware personally).

More details are available here:  https://www.qnap.com/en-us/security-advisory/nas-201805-24

 

Azure: Public Preview of Serial Console

I have to say that this is crazy that Microsoft Azure now supports a Serial Console for Virtual Machines (at least in Public Preview).  Check out the blog entry over here – https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates/azure-serial-console/

I decided to give it a little try to see more and it works like a champ. Very cool to see this capability coming to light as it’s been something that I know I’ve been looking for some time to have available when a VM wasn’t coming back up slower than I would have assumed it would. Well done folks!

Check out the announcement yonder on the Azure blog – https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/virtual-machine-serial-console-access/

Don’t lose your identity in the Cloud…

If you happen to log into your Office 365 Admin Portal on a regular basis good on you – though perhaps you can get most of your alerts through the Office 365 Admin app on your phone. If you do happen to log in though and you’re using Directory Synchronization by way of either Azure AD Connect or Microsoft Identity Manager, you hopefully don’t stumble upon a message like this on the Home page.

Screenshot 2018-03-24 23.31.07

If you do though, don’t worry, it’s not just a red highlighted bit of text, but it’s a link to your Directory Synchronization status (not DirSync is no longer around… AAD Connect is the way to go these days). What does it mean to your end users if Directory Synchronization is failing? Well, any change that they happen to make to their profile within your on-premises Active Directory won’t be synchronized with Azure Active Directory until the issue is resolved. Not a big deal – right? Well, just think if you changed your password on-premises, you’ll still be using your old password through Office 365.

If you happen to click the error message though you’ll come to a page with this displayed, you’ll note that you see something like this:

Screenshot 2018-03-24 23.28.11

If you’re not familiar with the above, it’s the Sync Status Health page. Typically if things are working good then you’ll see the last time that you sync’d successfully in addition to other pertinent information about your Office 365 tenant’s synchronization status as well as a less stormy picture of the cloud. 🙂

In this case though, the troubleshooting tips are fairly helpful and link to https://support.office.com/en-us/article/fixing-problems-with-directory-synchronization-for-office-365-79c43023-5a47-45ae-8068-d8a26eee6bc2?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US

In this case, it just happens to be that I turned off the server that the Azure AD Connect tool was running on. Turning the server back and on and the error messages go away and identity changes begin to synchronize once more – life is good.

How do I remove my domain name from Office 365?

So you have a proof of concept Office 365 instance and you realize that you want to take things to Production, but you also realize that you want to keep your POC tenant up and oeprational. Caveat, you went through and applied your Domain Name to your tenant thorugh another registrar.  How do you get your domain back?

Well, it’s not as difficult as you might think.  Simply wander into the Office 365 Admin Portal over at https://portal.office.com/adminportal/

Under the “Setup” section of the Admin Center, you should see “Domains“. That will show you what domains you currently have associated with your Office 365 Tenant.

Screenshot 2018-03-25 21.32.07.pngIn my case I’ve got a custom domain, “potatoe.cloud” associated with my Office 365 tenant but still have my “onmicrosoft.com” domain as the default.

Step one to removing a domain is setting another domain as default. It’s pretty quick and easy, click on the other domain (in this case spsvabeach.onmicrosoft.com) and click “Set as Default.”

Next, within potatoe.cloud, I need to click on “Remove.” This should be simple enough.

Screenshot 2018-03-25 21.34.44.png

Crikey! What’s this message at the bottom yammering about being enabled in the region? So essentially, I get to write a quick PowerShell script using some of the Azure AD components available over at the PowerShell Gallery – https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/MSOnline/1.1.166.0

The gist of the script was running get-msoluser and feeding that to an array. From there looping through and modifying the UserPrincipalName’s domain name. Required a little more work than expected but in the end, worked quite nicely.

If you’ve only got a few users, probably easy enough to make this change through the Office 365 Admin UI. If you’ve got more than a few, PowerShell is your friend – working with arrays and foreach clauses to filter out the users you need to update to the “onmicrosoft.com” domain or another domain you’ve established and working.

Screenshot 2018-03-25 22.57.27

After you get below a certain number of users (unknown what that is) with the non-offending domain remaining in the UPN, you can delete the domain from the tenant.

From there you can change your DNS settings back within your DNS registrar to continue making use of the domain or setting it up on your new Office 365 tenant that you’re actually switching over to use for production.

Nevertheless, be sure to try this all out in a test tenant and be mindful that if you’ve got a provider hosted app that’s looking for a specific domain name associated with a user and it’s changed, the user’s access may also have been changed with it. This is similar to if you have an on-premises application and you modify the user’s User Principal Name on-premises – applications that used to rely on that begin to break.

Bottom line – TEST! TEST! TEST!

After you’ve worked out the kinks, you should be good to go! Best of luck!

 

Are you blocking Office 365?

One of the funnier things that I run into every so often is when someone’s Office 365 implementation isn’t working because their firewall administrator is following the age-old practice of least permission.  Definitely, a good way to keep your environment secure, and I wouldn’t tell you not to go down this path… but you probably want to tell your firewall admin to open up the IPs and URLs that are needed for your end users to make use of Office 365 appropriately.

Check out the latest and greatest list here – https://support.office.com/en-us/article/office-365-urls-and-ip-address-ranges-8548a211-3fe7-47cb-abb1-355ea5aa88a2?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US

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