Tag Archives: Exchange Online

Demystifying Exchange Online plans

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Exchange Online is a great business productivity service, just like the entire Office 365 suite. However, offering each company only the services that the company really needs is not an easy task since companies of all sizes would like to use these services. This is the reason why Office 365 comes with different subscriptions, where each subscription includes different service plans. Further, we also have the so called standalone plans that companies may use. All of this could become very confusing for customers and that’s why I often receive questions like what Exchange Online plan is included in Office 365 Business Premium and how is this plan different from other Exchange Online plans? Other customers prefer an Office 365 Business subscription, but would like to have only all the Exchange Online features that are present in Office 365 E3 subscriptions. So that’s why I thought of trying to demystify Exchange Online plans. I can’t promise I will succeed, but I’ll give it a try.

So, first of all, please note that all Office 365 Business subscriptions and the Office 365 E1 subscription include Exchange Online Plan 1! All other Office 365 Enterprise plans include Exchange Online Plan 2. Having this in mind, the next question would be: “what are the differences between Exchange Online Plan 1 and Exchange Online Plan 2?” Continue reading

About Exchange Online Archiving and Outlook client limitations

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Exchange Online Archiving seems to be a very popular service offered by Microsoft via Office 365 and it usually is a key factor for enterprise customers and small businesses to opt for their way to Exchange Online. Enterprise customers usually use Office 365 enterprise subscription, like E3, where Exchange Online Archiving is included by default, together with the Office 365 ProPlus desktop applications. Everything is very straightforward. However, small businesses usually work with the Office 365 Business Plans that don’t include Exchange Online Archiving by default, neither the Office ProPlus desktop applications and this may cause some headaches. That’s why I aim to clarify some important aspects around Exchange Online Archiving and Outlook client limitations.

First of all, if you are using an Office 365 business subscription (essentials, business, business premium), this doesn’t include Exchange Online Archiving. However, you can purchase it as additional service for your tenant for a fee around 3$/month/user. Still, there is another very BIG aspect you should take into consideration: Exchange Online Archiving is supported only with Office 365 ProPlus! With the Office 365 business plans you get the Office 365 Business desktop applications, and Exchange Online Archiving will not work with Outlook!  Continue reading

Exchange Hybrid deployment certificate requirements

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Exchange Online gains more and more momentum and Exchange hybrid deployments are already a pretty common scenario for a lot of IT organizations. Even if almost every aspect around an Exchange Hybrid deployment is well known by IT pros, there is still a point that seems to cause some difficulties: certificates. And since an Exchange hybrid deployment is not possible without a proper certificate configuration, I thought to clarify the most important aspects about certificates in such a scenario by answering 5 questions I often hear when working with IT administrators.

One of the top question I deal with almost every day is: “I have a self signed certificate configured for my Exchange Server deployment, issued by my Windows Server 2012 R2 Certification authority. Can I use this certificate for an Exchange Hybrid deployment?” The answer is NO! In order to create an Exchange Hybrid deployment, organizations need a certificates issued by a trusted and public certification authority. And the reason why is very simple. Certificates are meant to prove your organization’s identity so that users and other service providers (like Microsoft) can be sure that they engage with the organizations they wanted to engage and not with an attacker. Continue reading

Some PowerShell magic with Office 365 licenses

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PowerShell is a great tool when we have to manage a lot of resources, because it enables automation. Most of you may be already aware that we can use PowerShell also with Office 365. So let’s see some PowerShell magic with Office 365 licenses.

These days one of my colleague had to deal with a very interesting scenario. A customer moved to Exchange Online and therefore assigned only Exchange Online licenses to the users that were synchronized from the local Active Directory. After the whole migration process was ended, the customer decided to also use the powerful features of SharepointOnline. So he wanted an automated option to assign to some users also the SharePoint Online licenses, without removing the Exchange Online license first. (Removing an Exchange Online license would disconnect the mailbox and put it into a soft deleted state. Assigning the license back would re-connect the mailbox, but in some cases this process causes some big problems).  Continue reading

Inside Exchange Server 2016

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Exchange Server 2016 has been announced for some time, but we were able to take a first look inside the Exchange Server 2016 only on the second day of the Microsoft Ignite conference in Chicago. It was a pretty long journey with a lot of live demos and plenty of information that might be difficult to memorize. Therefore, here are some key points regarding the new Exchange 2016 server.

To start with, Exchange Server 2016 is basically the first Exchange server built in the cloud. So we have a total different server release model, which now extends to all Microsoft servers, not only Exchange. Till now, we always had an Exchange Server release and then the server was brought into the cloud. If you remember, Exchange Online was at the beginning an online service based on Exchange Server 2010. Then, Exchange Server 2013 was released and afterwards this server was brought into the cloud and all Exchange Online customers were transitioned to this new Exchange Online versions. I think most IT pros will remember this process, since it was kind of painful at times 🙂 Continue reading

Where is my Office 365 tenant located?

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Where is my Office 365 tenant located? This is the kind of question I deal with very often and the answer is not as simple as people may expect. In fact this is a pretty complex topic since Office 365 is not a single service, but a collection of different services using specific data center resources. So we habe Exchange Online, Sharepoint Online, Azure Active Directory, Skype for Business and so on.

First of all, why are admins asking this? In my opinion there are 2 different reasons. One is concerning data privacy concerns and regulations in each country. The other is service performance.  Continue reading

Office 365 tenant to tenant migrations. Some things you should know about

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With cloud adoption going at a fast pace, Office 365 tenant to tenant migrations are scenarios that IT pros have to face more and more often. When a company using Office 365 acquires another company that also uses Office 365, it is obvious that the resources have to be consolidated in a certain way. Being cloud-only organizations, the only choice is a tenant to tenant migration. As this process is pretty painful, I thought to blog about it and point out some things you should know about.

At first, we would have to migrate the users and mailboxes from one tenant to another, including the used mail domain, like domain.com. My recommendation is to start the verification process of the mail domain in the target tenant and to create the necessary DNS record to prove domain ownership. Sure, we won’t be able to completely verify the domain since it is still present on the source tenant, but by doing this we can make sure that the new DNS record will be appropriately propagated in DNS by the time we have removed it from the source tenant.  Continue reading

10 cool features that will come soon to Office 365

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Office 365 is a cool cloud service because it is constantly updated with new features that commonly emerge based on customer feedback. To be sincere, this is typical for the most global cloud providers, but here is a list of 10 cool new Office 365 features that will be soon available to all subscribers.

1. Add external collaborators to your Yammer conversations

This is for the moment not possible, but many customers said that they want to add their vendors, partners or customers to Yammer conversations. This new feature will be available soon and this will make it possible to add external collaborators to new Yammer discussions, existing Yammer discussions or even private messages. This will bring enterprise sociability to a whole new level.  Continue reading

Moving public folders to Exchange Online

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Exchange public folders is always a hot topic. It was since public folders were first released a bunch of years back. Nowadays, with the large adoption of Exchange Online the new and very big challenge is to move the public folders to the cloud. I have to say, there are some limitations which may result in bottlenecks during a cloud migration, so what I want to do is to shed some light onto this topic. My experience is that the official Microsoft documentation on this topic is sometimes misunderstood.

A first point to take into consideration is the migration of Exchange public folders to Exchange online in a non-hybrid environment. This comes also with a trick. It is possible to migrate legacy public folder to Exchange online, but it is currently not supported to migrate Exchange Server 2013 public folders. You can find HERE an extensive documentation on how to migrate legacy public folders to Exchange online and I find that this step by step description is pretty self explanatory. Please be advised that this is basically a staged migration. Continue reading

Scenarii de migrare a mailboxurilor in Exchange Online

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După ce am vorbit despre beneficiile pe care suita de servicii Office 365 le aduce atât companiilor mari cât și intreprinderilor mici și mijlocii, consider că este necesar să mergem un pas mai departe pentru a discuta o primă decizie pe care un proiect de migrare trebuie să o ia: cum migrăm mailboxurile?

Scenariu: Majoritatea companiilor și firmelor care aleg Office 365 au deja un sistem de messaging. Fie ca vorbim de o infrastructura proprie bazata pe Exchange sau Lotus Notes, de servicii gazduite pe alte platforme, sau de servere IMAP, continutul actual al mailboxurilor trebuie  migrat in Office 365.  Continue reading