Categories
Community Office 365

We’re getting the band back together…

It’s been a long time coming, but with the normal of “COVID” and how we operate tech communities, we’re re-launching the Reston SharePoint Users Group as the Northern Virginia 365 and Azure Cloud Group.

In July I reached out to the greater Twitter community to see who was interested in participating as a speaker and was blown away by the response.

“What’s that? I can present remotely? I’m all in…”

That’s effectively the response that I received from individuals in the tech community. Some that I knew, some that I hadn’t met before or even heard of before. But that’s the beautiful thing about this community, there are a ton of individuals out there that do so much for the tech community that we just don’t happen to have a connection – yet.

So how do you find us? Head on over to http://www.nova365.ms

How do we meet? Back before we went on a hiatus when our lives got overly busy due to fast ring releases from Microsoft (I kid, I kid), we were meeting in the Microsoft Reston offices. Now we’re making use of Microsoft Teams for our sessions, but also recording the sessions and posting them over on our YouTube Channel

Want to get involved? Send an email to us at nova365 dot ms.

We look forward to meeting you all virtually through Teams meetings!

Categories
Office 365

Sticky Notes

If you’ve been using OneNote for a while you’ve probably found the ability to review tour notes on mobile as something helpful. Caveat, you probably don’t leave OneNote open at all times… and sometimes maybe you don’t need a whole notebook, just a Sticky Note.

In Windows 10 you may have noticed an app on your desktop calmly Sticky Notes. Recently (maybe the past 6 months… hard to say…) Sticky Notes on the desktop became integrated with the OneNote mobile app.

It’s pretty helpful when you just need to put together a quick bulleted list while you’re out and about that you need to be on your desktop.

Nonetheless, more details here on Docs – https://support.office.com/en-us/article/get-started-with-sticky-notes-86b36182-fdf5-4f9b-af7a-2846f83263f5#ID0EAACAAA=Windows_10

Categories
Cloud Community

Reviving a User Group…

The year was 2019. We had just wrapped up Cloud Saturday DC in Reston, VA at the Microsoft offices. We were pumped. The community had shown up in a fairly large capacity. Finally it was go time to restart the Reston SharePoint User Group… then the fall hit and school started, and priorities shifted.

January 2020 hit… we’re doing this we told ourselves. Then news started coming out of Asia of Covid-19. Then, the world stood still.

So here we are, nearing Memorial Day 2020, and it’s time to revive the Reston User Group with the help of Jay Leask. We are transforming it a bit… like most organizations we’re going online (hope Meetup.com doesn’t mind…). We’re using Teams (and maybe Skype for Business).

We’ll be looking for speakers from around the world. If you’re interested in being a part of this journey, feel free to ping us on Twitter Dan – @binarybrewery or Jay – @jayleask. We’d be delighted to have you as a part of the community!

Categories
Conference Development Office 365 SharePoint

SharePoint Conference 2020

Have some free time on your hands in May and itching to get to know the SharePoint Framework and all the other capabilities of SharePoint and SharePoint Online? Check out the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada the week of 17 May 2020 … and if you go and check out Andrew Connell’s session I guarantee that you will not be disappointed.

https://www.andrewconnell.com/blog/learn-sharepoint-framework-with-me-sharepoint-conference-2020/

Why do I say this? Because Andrew knows the SharePoint platform inside and out from the Developer perspective (which means also understanding a good chunk of the underlying architecture). He’s incredibly well positioned to teach on the SharePoint Framework having worked alongside the Product Group in testing it and maintaining portions of the Patterns and Practices for SharePoint Development. Further, if you didn’t know, Andrew has been around the platform since “the beginning” back when we all used to struggle with SharePoint Portal Services 1.0 – those were the days…

Nevertheless, check it out, say hi to Andrew, enjoy some “cooler weather,” and get smart on the Framework.

Categories
Azure Cloud SharePoint

Azure Shared Disks are coming!!!

Do you still have a need or desire to continue to run your SharePoint environment in an on-premises data center so that you can have them luxury of Always On Availability Groups with SQL Server? Well… now you can really take that workload to the cloud (with some minor caveats) once Microsoft fully goes GA with the Azure Shared Disks server.

https://azure.microsoft.com/blog/announcing-the-preview-of-azure-shared-disks-for-clustered-applications/

If you’re thinking to yourself, isn’t this just the next revision of Azure Files? Nope, that makes use of SMB and NFS protocols for accessing disk – akin to your favorite file share or iSCSI device. This is effectively zoning disk and making it available to your operating system as a logical volume that can be accessed by your server.

So if you want to create a volume that’s a part of a clustered file share, look no further, we have a “better” solution for you now… the real question of course is what the performance will look like and whether or not it will be able to keep up… I’m pretty certain that this will be something that will become the de facto standard for architects and IT Pros as they begin to set something up in the cloud.

Categories
Office 365

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

Categories
Azure

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/

Categories
Azure Cloud Office 365

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.

Categories
Cloud Office 365 Office 365

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!

 

Categories
Office 365

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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