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/

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!

 

Blocking the installation of SharePoint 2013…

Recently I came across a thread on SPYAM regarding whether it’s possible to block SharePoint 2013 installations using group policy or through the registry.

Sure enough it’s possible to use the SharePoint 2010 installation blocking technique for SharePoint 2013 with a minor modification. Rather than having the Registry Key be for 14.0, just modify it to be 15.0.

So the key that end up implementing either through Group Policy, Power Shell or Registry key setting is:

HKLMSOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftShared ToolsWeb Server Extensions15.0SharePoint

With a DWORD Value of ‘DisableInstall’ with a property value of 1.

Sure you can still install the pre-reqs for 2013, but when you attempt to install the actual SharePoint 2013 binary, this is what you end up with:

SharePoint2013-BlockInstall

Time to pick up that VOIP handset and call the administrator about the GPO that seems to be pushed to my server and why I should be allowed to be moved to another OU that has a different domain linked policy. 🙂

Fresh SharePoint 2010 Content in 2011

A few new documents have been released from Microsoft for SharePoint Products and Technologies here in 2011, though they aren’t yet showing up in the TechCenter. I found this out only due to the fact that Isaac Stith (aka @mrisaac) made note of an updated Capacity Planning guide that wasn’t listed in the TechCenter feed.

These recently published documents this first week of January 2011 include:

1/3 – SharePoint Foundation Server 2010 Deployment Guide
1/4 – Capacity Planning for SharePoint Server 2010
1/4 – Planning for Sites and Solutions for SharePoint Server, Part 1
1/4 – Planning for Sites and Solutions for SharePoint Server, Part 2
1/4 – Planning for Server Farms for SharePoint Server 2010

Also something that was snuck in at the end of the year that may be helpful for all the IT Pro Individuals out there – Microsoft has released a Help File doc that contains all SharePoint Server 2010 content on TechNet through 12/17/2010 here:

Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 IT Pro Content – CHM

There’s also a SharePoint Foundation Server 2010 document available here:

Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Server 2010 IT Pro Content – CHM

Happy reading!

Visio Stencil for Office IT Pros…

So this definitely isn’t something new, however I feel that it comes up from time to time when folks notice that I’m working with a stencil set that they don’t have since it’s not out of the box available for Visio.

If you’re looking for the Visio stencil used with all of the SharePoint 2007 / 2010 technical diagrams then look no further, you can grab it from Microsoft’s downloads at:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=08105458-1d92-44ad-b7e0-744aa853a7bf&displaylang=en