Evaluating #Office365 ‘Directions on Microsoft’ Webinar Registration #O365 #DirectionsOnMS

Office 365 is a line of Microsoft offerings that combines cloud services such as Exchange Online e-mail with subscription licenses to the Office desktop software. This is the second major release of Office 365, and is now based upon Exchange 2013, Lync 2013, and SharePoint 2013. Office 365 strives to reduce IT costs and help free up personnel for business-specific tasks. Office 365 is also useful for IT organizations that want a single, predictable, per-user bill for their collaboration and communication software. However, Office 365 also requires organizations to trust Microsoft and their ISPs with critical infrastructure and data.
This TeleBriefing provides an overview of Office 365, summarizes the improvements that it delivers over the previous release of Office 365, and highlights some important transition considerations for customers.

Register for Webinar here: http://bit.ly/11wihFx

Visio Stencil Download for #Exchange2013 #Office365


Creating visual representations of your on-premises, hybrid and Office 365 architectures, including Microsoft Exchange icons is helpful way to communicate your deployment. This Visio stencil provides icons — many depicting servers, server roles, services, and applications — that you can use in architecture diagrams, charts, and posters. These icons are primarily centered around on-premise deployments of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013, as well as hybrid Office 365 deployments of Exchange 2013.

Can Windows servers consume untreated Internet traffic safely? #Exchange #Lync #ISA #TMG #RIP

Courtesy of Tony Redmond’s Blog

Can Windows servers consume untreated Internet traffic safely?

Last September, Microsoft dropped a bombshell when they announced that they were dropping development of the Threat Management Gateway (TMG) product along with their decision to cease production of on-premises ant-virus products. The problem for the Exchange community was that TMG had become the de facto choice as a reverse proxy deployed alongside Internet-facing Client Access servers to handle inbound client traffic.

Since the original announcement, Microsoft has done its best to reassure customers and explain that TMG support remains in place until April 2015. In a nutshell, although no more TMG licenses can be bought, you can continue to run TMG alongside Exchange 2007, 2010, and 2013 until support expires.

But thinking about the situation after a thought-provoking discussion with Greg Taylor of Microsoft, I wonder whether the function served by TMG and ISA Server, its immediate predecessor, is focused on the needs of the past rather than the present. If you go back to a time when Outlook Anywhere started to popularize HTTPS connectivity instead of running MAPI RPCs over a VPN, the target infrastructure was Windows 2003 servers and Exchange 2003 SP2. External threats abounded as hackers attempted to penetrate past corporate firewalls to attack unhardened internal systems, including Exchange.

So it was logical to deploy multiple levels of protection, starting at the firewall and going through servers to perform tasks such as packet inspection before any traffic was allowed to go to an internal server. The approach worked and has served IT well as long as IT exerted strict control over networks, devices, and servers.

The same conditions do not exist today. On the plus side, the latest version of Windows and application servers like Exchange are more secure than they were in the past, thanks to customer pressure to drive improvement and changes in Microsoft’s engineering practices to enforce “secure by design”. On the downside, infrastructures have to cope with connections coming in from a multitude of device types, not all of which are “approved” because of the popularity of BYOD.

The latest versions of Exchange demand nothing more than TCP (port 443) to be open on corporate firewalls before clients can connect. The question then is what additional processing needs to happen before a sanitized traffic stream from the firewall hits an Exchange server. And as it turns out, the answer is “not much”, largely because Windows and Exchange have the capability to protect themselves against suspect packets and because the latest generation of firewall-cum-load balancer products are capable of doing much more than simply blocking inbound traffic. If this assertion is true, then what value does a product like TMG or UAG deliver? And is that additional product even required to maintain a secure environment?…. Read More

Exchange Server 2013 changing the way hotfixes and service packs are delivered #Exchange2013 #CU1

Cumulative Updates for Exchange 2013


Topic Last Modified: 2013-04-02

With Microsoft Exchange Server 2013, we have changed the way we deliver hotfixes and service packs. Instead of the priority-driven hotfix release and rollup update model used by previous versions of Microsoft Exchange, Exchange Server 2013 now adheres to a scheduled delivery model. In this model, cumulative updates are released every three months.

For more information about cumulative updates as they relate to Exchange 2013, including an extensive FAQ, see Servicing Exchange 2013. For more information about Exchange 2013 CU1, see “New Functionality Included in Cumulative Update 1” in Released: Exchange Server 2013 Cumulative Update 1



Exchange 2013 CU1 ….the missing Jigsaw Piece #Exchange2013 #CU1

Exchange 2013 CU1: The software that RTM could have been

Courtesy of Tony Redmond

Six months after RTM, Microsoft has shipped the first cumulative update for Exchange 2013 (CU1) on April 2, 2013 to complete the software line-up required to start deployments alongside previous versions of Exchange. Many good changes are made in CU1 to address some of the problems noted in the RTM version, so now’s the time to really become interested in Exchange 2013. …Read More

Product Software Development is a Marathon #AllAboutAgile

Taken from the post by www.allaboutagile.com

Read the full article here: http://bit.ly/11GDJsb

…Most people like short things: short tasks, short emails, learn-how-to-program-java-in-24-hours books, lose-weight-in-a-month video guides. Modern society is cursed by impatience and time pressure. Information flows hit us from all sides and we just can’t resist. We spend more and more time on shorter and shorter things.

Software development demands focus. You can’t create anything significant hopping from one thing to another. That is obvious. Less obvious is that product development demands patience.

patience is a virtue

Service development is different. In most cases you have a project with a visible end. It may be a year long, or even several years long. But still project will be completed someday… Or abandoned. Most service products are sprints. Clients pay you money and they want to have something as soon as possible. They radiate the impatience. They set deadlines. They resist to invest much into good engineering practices like automated tests. Yes, you negotiate all that and sometime with a success, but still it’s quite hard to sell a great development process to the customer. So you rush, cut corners, drop some good practices to save time and argue about change requests. Agile approach helps to solve some of these problems, but you still feel the constant…