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Where to find information on eDiscovery for Exchange, SharePoint and Lync either online or on premises.

Hi,

I am now out in Austin, Texas for MEC 2014. I’ve been asked about supported eDiscovery capabilities across Lync, SharePoint and Exchange. Here is some useful information which can help get you up and running.

This would be a good place to start:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/jj650012.aspx

The above link is focussed on the on premises deployments but will give you loads of information to get stuck into.

This webinar, part of the Ignite training series,  is also worth a look:

http://ignite.office.com/webcasts/in-place-discovery-and-hold

This link covers Lync archiving integration to Exchange which would then be searchable.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2614242/en-gb

Here is a useful resource about Exchange and Search:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd298021(EXCHG.150).aspx

Finally, these are the important supported cross premises scenarios:

  • Search on-premises mailboxes that use Exchange Online Archiving for cloud-based archive mailboxes.
  • Search on-premises and cloud-based mailboxes in the same eDiscovery search.
  • Search on-premises mailboxes by using the eDiscovery Center in SharePoint Online.

Hope that helps get you up and running.

Cheers

Nathan

It’s time for a new challenge… can you help?

I have been working at Microsoft in the technical pre-sales space for three and a half years now. In that time I’ve learnt a lot technically, in a business context and of course I’ve made contacts throughout the organization. I’ve also had the opportunity to co-author three books on Lync and Exchange and to speak at many technical conferences around the world.

Over the last year or so, I’ve found that the business development and colleague mentoring aspects of my role have become far more interesting to me, and the day to day technical nuts and bolts of Office 365 have started to take a back seat. I’m still very much amazed and enthralled by technology, especially the developments around Big Data and the Internet of Things, however I know that I’m looking for a new challenge.

That challenge should allow me to develop my career further as an all-round business leader with a particular focus on people, team and business unit development. Obviously I’m still heavily invested in the Office 365 and Microsoft devices space and these are areas I am keen to continue working in both technically and in a management capacity. However it is clear to me that over the next five years this world will change drastically.

Currently there is still much work to be done in migrating companies to the cloud, however more and more leading companies are taking that journey and gradually the products themselves are developing in such a way that deployment becomes a central part of the service. With that in mind, it seems clear that the future lies in driving adoption and with it business value for companies. This means a change of focus for many Microsoft partners, however it is one which can be phased in and one which brings exciting possibilities for development of a practice into new profitable areas. It means a move outside of the traditional IT led relationships to those held with business leaders like the Chief Marketing Officer and HR Director.

I’m looking to join an organization keen to take on this challenge, whether they are somewhere along the road, or just starting. I hope to lead a team to help people develop their skills and further their careers whilst feeling really connected to the outcomes that are derived by customers.

If you work somewhere that is looking for someone like me then feel free to reach out either through this blog or directly through LinkedIn http://uk.linkedin.com/in/nathancwinters/

I look forward to working with you.

Conferences coming up…

Hi,

A quick update on some up coming conferences which may be of interest to people.

Firstly Quest; The Experts Conference is taking place in Barcelona in two weeks from 22nd to 24th October at the Hotel Rey Juan Carlos.

For more information and to sign up see the link below:

http://www.theexpertsconference.com/

I will be with two sessions on the New Exchange.

The first is on the Monday and will cover –

Exchange 2013: Archiving and Compliance Tools.

The second is first thing on the Tuesday and will cover –

Collaboration and Exchange: How to Use Shared Mailboxes, Site Mailboxes and Modern Public Folders

If you would like to see the full agenda take a look here:

http://www.theexpertsconference.com/europe/2012/exchange-training/agenda/

 

Secondly…

I will also be speaking at the Penton lead Exchange Connections conference in Las Vegas.

image

For more information see the site here:

http://www.devconnections.com/shows/fall2012/default.aspx?s=194

This time I will be doing three sessions as follows:

1. ESE207: The New Exchange Security and Protection – Features to save your job!

2. EAR309: Dealing with those Pesky PSTs. A Look at Archiving and Discovery in Exchange 2010 and Office 365

3. ECO306: Collaboration and Exchange: How to Use Shared Mailboxes, Site Mailboxes and Modern Public Folders

For a list of all the sessions at the conference see the link below:

http://devconnections.com/shows/fall2012/sessions.aspx?s=194

 

Hope to see some of you at the events.

Cheers

Nathan

Speaking at The Experts Conference 2012 in San Diego

Hi,

I am very happy to say that I will be at The Experts Conference in San Diego this April.

The conference runs from April 29th to May 2nd. This time round I have two sessions, which will be as follows:

Dealing with those pesky PSTs. A look at archiving and discovery in Exchange 2010 and Office 365

A growing number of businesses face regulatory pressures to retain and retrieve business data. This session will look at the features available in Exchange 2010 to manage, maintain and retrieve large quantities of data. You will learn about your options for storing data either in large mailboxes, using the archive functionality of Exchange on premises or through archiving to Office 365. We will discuss where and when the different approaches make sense and cover what your options are if you already have a vast amount of data stored in an existing archiving platform. Finally we will take a look at the new PST Capture tool from Microsoft which gives a solution to the problem of locating and importing PSTs from across your network.

 

Forefront Online Protection for Exchange (FOPE) – What is it an why should you care?

Outsourcing your mail filtering is nothing new, however that doesn’t mean it isn’t a complex area which needs careful consideration and configuration. In this session we will introduce the capabilities of FOPE before diving into a demo based walk through of its configuration including coverage of Exchange Hosted Encryption (EHE). We will cover standalone FOPE used to protect an on premises deployment of a messaging platform and then cover the differences when using FOPE with Office 365. Finally we will get into the detail of routing topologies covering how mail flows in different scenarios from standalone, to Office 365 passing through Hybrid on the way.

 

If you want more information about the conference then take a look at the website here:

http://www.theexpertsconference.com/us/2012/

Cheers

Nathan

The 2012 Minasi Conference

Hi,

As you may know, I’ve been very fortunate to be able to attend the first five years of Minasi Conferences held each year from 2006 to 2010. It gave me my first speaking opportunity and prompted me to get into writing (as well as photography!)

Well after a gap in 2011 the conference is back in 2012. Once again there is a great line up of speakers and the chance to hang out with some of the leaders of our industry. Sadly this year I won’t be able to make it as I’m going to be at another event in the US (more of which later). I have no doubt that it will be a great event!

For more information see the website here

http://minasiconference.wordpress.com/

And for schedule info here:

http://minasiconference.wordpress.com/minasi-2012-timetable/

Hope some of you manage to make it to the event.

Cheers

Nathan

Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC) is back!

Hi,

Just a quick post to spread the announcement on the Exchange Team blog that MEC is back!

From what I’m told MEC was the best conference out there! A great chance for Exchange experts from all around the World to come together and share information about the latest and greatest in the world of messaging.

After an absence of 10 years, it’s back. To find out more checkout the post here:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2012/03/06/mec-is-back.aspx

Looking forward to seeing you there Smile

Cheers

Nathan

A further look at uCertify Prepkit 70-663

As I mentioned a while back I’ve been trying the uCertify Prepkit for the Microsoft Exchange 2010 Design exam (70-663). In fact I also used the Prepkit for the Configuration exam (70-662) as well.

Having passed both exams I thought it was time to share a few thoughts about the Prepkits.

The download and install process is very straightforward and it is possible to use a trial version which gives you a selection of tests whilst you decide whether they are right for you.

Once installed and fully licensed, a simple matter of inputting your purchase key into the software, there is a large range of information and test methods which help you study for your exam.

The Prepkit lays out the Exam Objectives and also has a range of Study Notes which outline key topics and which are supplemented by a couple of longer articles. It would be nice if these Study Notes were linked from the Exam Objectives so that there was a better flow from piece to piece however the information in general is useful.

Once you get down to the actual test material then there are various ways of learning including many ways to customise the actual tests by selecting the type of areas you want tested and also whether you want to be able to get the answers after each question or only at the end of the test.

Whilst testing, you can of course mark items for review and also tag items and give feedback on the questions. Your scores are logged and you can easily see which areas need more study and then take questions on those areas only. Equally you can simply retest questions that you got wrong before.

All in all, I found having sat and passed the exam, that the type of material in the 70-663 Prepkit wasn’t entirely representative of the material on the exam. The Prepkit material seems a little more suited to the 70-662 exam around configuration rather than more focussed on the design type questions in 70-663. Also 70-663 has a scenario type case study section where you must read a bunch of key information about a customer and come up with design suggestions. This isn’t covered at all in the Prepkit.

My feeling is that for the 70-663 exam whilst the Prepkit is full of useful Exchange related info I don’t think it was an ideal tool especially compared to the 70-662 Prepkit which was much better suited to that particular exam.

The ease of use and the general experience is good, but there is room for improvement in how the material matches the exam.

Studying for the Exchange 2010 exams

One of the things I’ve been a little slow in keeping up with is MCP exams. It’s something that I’m sorting out and in the next couple of weeks intend to take the two Exchange 2010 exams – 70-662 and 70-663.

With that in mind I thought I would look at some of the study aids out there. In particular uCertify offered to let me review their PrepKit for the Exchange design exam (70-663).

I’ve used their products once or twice before and have found them generally easy to use with a decent number of questions. So I will be testing out their product and hopefully it will get me through the exam.

I will write up a longer review of the PrepKit once I’m done!

Creating certificates from the shell.

As always it seems, it’s been ages since I’ve actually blogged anything. Anyhow, having finally completed my first book Mastering Lync 2010 for Sybex, i’ve got some time back to build some labs…

… As always with modern technology there is a need for certificates. In this case I’m setting up a Hybrid Coexistence system for Exchange 2010 SP2 and Office 365 and need a cert for the ADFS box. Well one thing I finally figured out whilst writing the Lync book was how to generate a certificate request from the shell.

Here goes.

In this case I need a simple SSL cert with a single name – adfs.msexchangelab.co.uk

I find that the smoothest way of creating certificates these days is through the shell using certreq.exe. There is a lot of information on the subject of using certreq.exe available at the following links:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff625722(WS.10).aspx

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc725793(WS.10).aspx

Essentially, the process is to create a request template file (.inf) for the required certificate and then to use the certreq.exe utility, which is installed by default on Windows Server 2008 R2, to create a certificate request file.

The template file for a simple SSL single name certificate is show in Code Sample 1.

Code Sample 1: .inf File Text Used to Create Single Name ADFS certificate

[Version]

Signature="$Windows NT$"

[NewRequest]

Subject = "CN=adfs.msexchangelab.co.uk,OU=ICT,O=MSExchangeLab,L=Croydon,S=Surrey,C=GB"

Exportable = FALSE

KeyLength = 2048

KeySpec = 1

KeyUsage = 0xA0

MachineKeySet = True

ProviderName = "Microsoft RSA SChannel Cryptographic Provider"

RequestType = PKCS10

FriendlyName = "ADFS Cert"

[EnhancedKeyUsageExtension]

OID=1.3.6.1.5.5.7.3.1 ; Server Authentication

Once you have created the above file and saved it with the file extension .inf you will take the following steps to create the certificate:

From an Administrator CMD.exe prompt, change to the folder where the request template .inf file is stored and run the following command which will will pull settings from the adfscsr.inf file and output to the adfs.req file in the same directory. 

certreq -new adfscsr.inf adfs.req

At this point you have created the certificate request for the required certificate. You will now need to copy the contents of the .req file and send it to your third-Party CA, such as Digicert or VeriSign.

 

P.S.

If you were thinking about creating SAN certificates in this way, then of course you can. You just need the correct .inf file. An example is Code Sample 2.

Code Sample 2: .inf File Text Used to SAN Cert

[Version]

Signature="$Windows NT$"

[NewRequest]

Subject = "CN=subject.msexchangelab.co.uk,OU=ICT,O=MSExchangeLab,L=Croydon,S=Surrey,C=GB"

Exportable = FALSE

KeyLength = 2048

KeySpec = 1

KeyUsage = 0xA0

MachineKeySet = True

ProviderName = "Microsoft RSA SChannel Cryptographic Provider"

RequestType = PKCS10

FriendlyName = "Example SAN Cert"

[EnhancedKeyUsageExtension]

OID=1.3.6.1.5.5.7.3.1 ; Server Authentication

[Extensions]

2.5.29.17 = "{text}"

_continue_ = "dns=subject.msexchangelab.co.uk&dns=SAN1.msexchangelab.co.uk&dns=SAN2etc.msexchangelab.co.uk"

Speaking at The Experts Conference 2011 in Frankfurt

Hi,

Now that we’ve ticked over into a new financial year at Microsoft and I’ve got the hang of the place (mostly!), one of my aims for this year is to start getting back into the technology community.

To that aim I am pleased to be able to say that I will be presenting at The Experts Conference (TEC) Europe in Frankfurt from 17th to 19th October.

For those that are not aware of the TEC conference it is run by Quest and has several tracks. It originated as a Directory Experts conference but now includes Directory, Exchange, PowerShell and Virtualisation content.

As the web site says:

  • TEC for Exchange is a unique opportunity to…
  • Obtain deep instruction on Microsoft’s Exchange Server messaging platform
  • Network with leading experts while attending intense, 400-level training sessions
  • Share practical advice and best practices you can immediately implement into your day-to-day activities
  • Meet with Microsoft Program Managers, provide feedback, and make a direct impact on the future of Exchange technologies
  • Network on an international level with other Exchange professionals within the industry

There are a good range of sessions with some outstanding presenters. My sessions are as follows:

Archiving and Discovery with Exchange 2010 and Office 365

A growing number of businesses face some regulatory pressures to retain and retrieve business data. This session will look at the features available in Exchange 2010 to manage, maintain and retrieve large quantities of data. You will learn about your options for storing data either in large mailboxes, using the archive functionality of Exchange on premises or through archiving to Office 365. We will discuss where and when the different approaches make sense and cover what your options are if you already have a vast amount of data stored in an existing archiving platform.

 

Designing Exchange 2010 for Site Resilience (It’s more than just technology!)

Exchange 2010 brings great technical wealth in its ability to be deployed in a site resilient way. However do you really need this level of complexity. This session will discuss the business drivers which drive site resilient design. We will then dive into the technical elements which make enable us to make Exchange deployments site resilient, including CAs, Mailflow, Load Balancers, and of course the DAG. You should come away from this session with a clear idea of whether Site Resilience is sensible for you, and how to weight up the various design decisions needed to deploy, and more importantly operate a site resilient model successfully.

 

So all in all, it should be a great event and I look forward to seeing a bunch of friendly faces in the crowd!

Cheers

Nathan

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