Step-By-Step: Configuring a Hybrid Office 365 Deployment via Hybrid Deployment Wizard

Enabling secure access to data is top of mind for many organizations.  How to achieve this is the troublesome part as there is no one size fits all solution especially surrounding the security of said data and where it should reside.  Some organizations are investigating cloud enablement on behalf of their organization but sometimes data…


Step-By-Step: Enabling an Azure Active Directory Self-Service Password Reset

Password reset requests are a common nuisance for system administrators and the people they support.  Company operations can be negatively affected if users are not provided access to systems and applications promptly.  IT Professionals roll their eyes at password reset requests as they often come in while performing an important task. What if end users could securely reset their passwords…


Step-By-Step: Deploying Blackberry Enterprise Service on Azure via Azure Marketplace

BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) has come a long way from is initial closed offering of strictly managing devices built by BlackBerry themselves.  Now supporting iOS, Android and Windows, BlackBerry’s server offering extends said offering across existing deployments of BlackBerry devices. Enter Azure Marketplace, a tool created for IT Professionals to quickly deploy templates of services on Azure…

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Step-By-Step: Enabling Multi-Factor Authentication for Azure Active Directory Users

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) provides an additional layer of security to confirm the identity of a user. Methodologies utilized can include PIN, phone call, smart cards, biometrics etc.There are many MFA service providers currently in market that offer both on-premises service or via cloud based service. Integrating MFA to secure an on-premises active directory implementation, especially with it…


Step-By-Step: Forcing Azure AD to Sync with On-Premise Active Directory

Azure AD Sync is Microsoft's tool utilized to sync an on-premises Active Directory implementation with Azure AD. Azure AD will sync every 3 hours when implemented in a synchronization model by default. For some, 3 hours is too long of a gap to enable synchronization. There are two ways to address this to quicken the sync. Reduce sync intervals by…


Step-By-Step: Enabling Domain Based Filtering in an Azure AD Connect sync

Microsoft’s Azure AD Connect tool can integrate an on-premises Windows Server Active Directory deployment with Azure Active Directory enabling users to connect to a multitude of SaaS applications, Azure Services and of course Office 365. The following video provides an overview of how the Azure AD Connect tool can enable said services: Several features are included with Azure AD Connect to…


Step-By-Step: Monitoring On-Premise Active Directory via Azure AD Connect Health

Many system administrator monitor their Active Directory infrastructure via tools such as SCOM, Event viewer, Performance monitor or even third party application monitors. When the requirement of the Active Directory infrastructure is to grow to meet certain demands, so to grows the cost and effort put forward to monitor the newly increased AD infrastructure. This becomes more complex in a hybrid infrastructure deployment. Enabling Azure AD integration  with…


Step-By-Step: Removing A Domain Controller Server Manually

The proper way to remove a DC server in an Active Directory infrastructure is to run DCPROMO and remove it. The following video provides an example of these steps: There are certain situations however, such as server crash or failure of DCPROMO option, that would require a manual removal of the DC from the system by cleaning up the servers metadata as…


Step-By-Step: Downgrading A Windows Server Domain and Forest Functional Level

Once upon a time, it was not possible to downgrade Windows Server forest and domain functional levels once upgraded. Enter Windows Server 2012 R2 and it's Active Directory enhancements, as detailed by the video below, backed by PowerShell automation capabilities. This enablement makes the forest and domain functional level downgrade even easier. Do keep in mind however that the lowest functional level…


Step-By-Step: Managing Multiple User Accounts Via Active Directory Admin Center

Normally in a Windows Server Active Directory environment, time is needed to apply same set of changes to a group of users. For example, let’s say a company's domain prefix changed. As the IT administrator you have been asked to change the UPN prefix for all users from abc.com to xyz.com. How long would it take to complete this change if…