Outlook performance issues will affect your business in many ways. Ensure to follow the below steps if your users are reporting any outlook performance issue.

Basic Requirements to Access Office 365 Mailbox

Ensure User using Outlook 2016 or above and the Proxy settings configured properly

Ping outlook.office365.com and ensure it is resolving to nearby Microsoft Datacenter (local Airport Code). Chennai\India resolves to MAA – maa-efz.ms-acdc.office.com

Troubleshooting Steps:

If user using WIFI, ask the user to switch to LAN and check the performance issues still exists, just to isolate the issue not with WIFI.

Check the Outlook Connectivity Status

To identify the network latency, Open outlook in normal mode and check the connection status by Ctrl + Right click the Outlook icon from system tray and select connection status.

On the Connection Status, Connections with larger request count is for Synchronizing mailbox. On the above image, the Average Response Time is 131 ms & Average Processing Time is 4 ms. Network Round Trip Time calculate as 127ms (Avg Resp – Avg Proc)

Ensure the values are below to confirm no issues with Proxy or Network.

  • Max Avg Proc Time (Exchange RPC Latency) = 25ms
  • Max Network RTT Time (Network Ping Time) = 500ms
  • Max Avg Resp Time (Exchange RPC Latency + Network Latency) = 525ms

If, Network RTT above 500ms involve Network Team and If Avg Proc time is above 25ms then issue with Office 365, raise a ticket with Microsoft.

On the Req/Fail column, high fail count shows a network disconnection. Involve network team to identify the network connectivity problem. .

System Performance

If the network and Exchange connection are good and still an Outlook performance issues, check the CPU / Memory / Disk Utilization are not above 80 % consistently. Sort the CPU /Memory / Disk one by one in ascending order and see if any unwanted applications closed and reopened when required.

If Antivirus constantly utilize the resources then involve relevant team to identify whether it is normal. If it is not expected, ask the respective team to troubleshoot.

Try to differentiate whether it is an Outlook performance problem or System Performance issue causing the outlook slowness. If a System Performance Issue identified outlook performance degradation is expected.

Check the Outlook Add-Ins

If the CPU usage is high and outlook is consuming more CPU, then Add-Ins may cause the problem. Disable all the Outlook Add-In (MacAfee, WebEx & Report Spam) or Open Outlook in safe mode and check any changes to Outlook performance. If Performance improved, then one of the add-in caused a performance problem. Try to disable add-in one by one to isolate the problem and report the Add-In owner.

Outlook -> File -> Info -> Manage COM Add-Ins

Mailbox baseline

Ensure User is maintaining the below which will prevent outlook slowness

  • 100, 000 items per folder
  • 5,000 items per calendar
  • 500 folders in mailbox

Check whether OST is fragmented >1000 frags/file

OST Files considerations

Large OST files impacts the system performance, ensure to keep the OST files larger than 10 GB on a SSD disk.

If not using SSD, ask the outlook Sync slider to keep the OST files less than 10 GB. Make a note, when user changes the sync slider, outlook will synchronize the emails as per the settings and user has to wait until the sync completes.

Check the Disk capability

OST size above 5 GB size has to be placed in a fast disk to get good performance result. WinSAT Windows System Assessment Tool can help to analyze the disk read write capabilities. Run the below command on an administrative command prompt and check the Disk Random Writes value.

Disk Random Write value less than 15 MB/s can provide good performance only for OST of less than 5 GB size.

Anti-Virus Exclusion

One of the important thing to look at is the Anti-Virus scanning exclusions. Applications like Outlook.exe, Lync.exe and in addition, the files associated with that are to be excluded from Virus scanning.

Recently, Microsoft announced an option in OWA to control the additional storage like Box addition in OWA, which allows users to add an attachment or Save a document in email to the third party storage options.

Microsoft Announcement on AdditionalStorageProvidersAvailable Parameter.

You can validate the change by running the below command.

Get-OwaMailboxPolicy “Policy Name” | fl additional*

If that parameter set as True, your users will have the below options to add third party storage accounts in OWA.

To restricted the third part storage accounts like Box or DropBox in OWA, disable that option by running the below command

Set-OWAMailboxPolicy “Policy Name” – AdditionalStorageProvidersAvailable:$false

Once that option disabled, user will not see the option to add third party storage option as shown below.

Make a note: OneDrive will not be considered as thirdparty storage option and earlier available command thirdpartyfileprovidersavailable will not work after 15th August 2019.


Multi-Geo Capability in Office 365

August 17th, 2019 | Posted by admin in Exchange - (0 Comments)

Multi Geo capability allows the Office 365 customers to keep their data in the country they are located. Currently Multi-Geo capability available only for the Office 365 Services like Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and One Drive for Business Online.

When an organization signup for Office 365 services, tenant will be created automatically on the nearby Office 365 datacenter location they mention on the Signup page. Organization normally have employees in different countries and many countries demand to keep the employees data on their country itself. Microsoft introduced the Multi-Geo capability to meet the Organizations “Go Local” compliance requirement.

Organizations can get a Multi-Geo license (5 USD/3 Months) and they can migrate their data from the existing Office 365 location to their preferred Geo location. Not all the countries are having Microsoft Azure Datacenter, currently Microsoft has datacenter in 16 countries and the data can be migrated only to the datacenter that supports the Multi-Geo capability.

Below are the datacenters that currently supports Multi Geo capability for the services like EXO, SPO & OD4B.

Make a note, Multi-Geo license cost is additional to Office 365 E3 Plan and the license can be purchased on 100 numbers and above only. You can request for a Trial Multi Geo license and you will provided with 25 license to validate the Multi-Geo capabilities.

Microsoft Teams application was introduced 2 years back and now it announces 13 million active users using Microsoft Teams on daily basis. It is a great achievement by Microsoft to have the Teams collaborative Tool.

Slack and Microsoft Teams are workplace collaboration tool used by enterprises. Slack is there in the market starting from Aug 2013 and 10 million daily active users are using Slack. Microsoft reached the Slack daily active user count in 2 years and they will lead 10x in a Year, as Microsoft Teams is part of Office 365 services. In addition, if Microsoft announce a sunset of Skype for Business, all SFB users will be forced to use Microsoft Teams and the daily active users will be infinity ;).

Microsoft Team application looks similar to Slack (design may be inspired from Slack), includes the price of $12.50 per user/month (billed annually) with some additional benefits over Slack like no limit on conversation history, large number of participants in conference and 10K attendees on live events etc. Though Microsoft Teams is leading as a Collaborative Tool, it is having it’s own limitations like interoperability and enterprises are looking for perfect solution.

Microsoft working on enhancing the below Teams features.

Cloud recording, Inline message translation, Cortana voice interactions for Teams-enabled devices, Background blur on video, Proximity detection for Teams Meetings, Mobile sharing in meetings, Channel Cross Posting, Targeted Communication and easy administration on deploying policies.

Tips for Office 365 IT Managers

August 17th, 2019 | Posted by admin in Exchange | Office 365 - (0 Comments)

Microsoft Office 365 introduced many new services when compared with the services available 5 years back. Office 365 Enterprise E3 Plan was mostly used by enterprise organization for the services like Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, One Drive for Business Online and Microsoft Teams. As on date, ~250 Million mailboxes are there in Office 365 and the mailbox count increasing day by day.

As an Office 365 IT manager, you need to ensure the following are properly monitored as part of your daily activities.

Service Health Dashboard:

Microsoft announces Office 365 related outages on your Office 365 Tenant Service Health Dashboard. Though there is a delay that you can see on the notification, it is your responsibility to monitor the Service Health dashboard and check if any of your users are reporting the issues.

Message Center:

Any planned changes or enhancements to the Office 365 services will be announced in Message Center and you have an option to receive the announcements in email. Details about the announcement, the services that are going to get affected and the steps that you need to follow will be shared here. Ensure you are reviewing the announcements on daily basis

Office 365 Reports:

Microsoft provides a best in class reporting feature about the Office 365 services. Active Users, Application Usage, Storage consumption and License usages can be viewed from the Reports. Review the report to understand the Office 365 services utilization in your environment.

Security and Compliance Dashboard:

Security and Compliance portal provides the information about Security. Reporting section on this portal is enhanced and it provides more insights about your Office 365 Tenant. Review the available reports.

Azure AD Sign-In Logs & Audit Logs:

Users with administrative permissions can make changes in your environment. Review the Audit logs of the changes done by them to see whether the administrators are not changing anything without Change Approval.

Review the Permissions assigned to Administrators:

Users left the Organization may still have permission on the environment or the common account that has an admin permission and the password may be known by the person who left the organization, change the password for common accounts.

Azure AD Connect Sync:

Though the AD objects automatically synchronize to Azure AD by Azure AD Connect, it is better to check the last successful Synchronization. Monitor the AD Connect alerts in Azure AD to find the duplicates etc… In addition, ensure the AD Connect application updated with latest updates.

ADFS Health Check:

Configure ADFS Health agent and monitor the server status from Azure AD. Azure AD Monitoring will alert you in case of any issue with ADFS infrastructure.

License Validation:

License validation is required to ensure you are not over subscribing the office 365 services. If you do not want your users to use the free trails, disable the trial services from Office 365 Admin Portal.

External Sharing Capability:

Validate whether the external Sharing Capability from OneDrive, SharePoint, Office 365 Groups and Teams are properly configured as per your plan.

Data Retention:

Ensure you have configured the retention policies on all the Office 365 Services as per your legal and compliance requirements.

Guest Accounts:

Review the guest accounts in your Azure AD. They are already interacting with your users and having access to your company data in one or other way.

Application Permission:

Are you allowing users to register the Azure AD application on their own? Review the applications registered and what data they are accessing in Azure AD.

Having queries… reach us @ superhybrid.coud@yahoo.com

Microsoft 365 workloads:

Microsoft 365 workloads includes the services like Exchange Online, SharePoint Online \ OneDrive for Business, Microsoft Teams and few other services like Planner, PowerApps etc. Microsoft 365 E3 & E5 license allows the use of these Microsoft 365 workloads.

Microsoft Exchange Online

On-Premise version of Exchange Server is available as a Cloud Service from Microsoft as Exchange Online service. EXO provides a secure email infrastructure with email, meetings, tasks and book resources.

As part of digital transformation, organizations are migration their data to Cloud environment. Exchange On-Premise infrastructure is being migrated to Exchange Online and enterprise are maintaining a Hybrid Exchange Infrastructure by keeping few of the mailboxes in On-Premise Exchange and most of the mailboxes in Microsoft 365 Exchange Online to minimize the total cost of ownership.

Exchange Online Migration Options:

Migrating the mailboxes to Exchange Online be planned and the IT team should know the migration strategies that are available to migrate their data to Office 365. We should full details about the exchange infrastructure,

Note: Migration approach decided\concluded based on the three things current email system, number of email system and the co-existence requirement.

Below are the Office 365 migration approaches available now

Cutover Exchange Migration: Organizations using Exchange 2003 and above with less than 2000 users can prefer the Cutover Migration. Only mailboxes will be migrated to Exchange Online. Admin has to create the groups manually in EXO.

Cutover Migration Steps:

  1. Admin will verify the email domain in Microsoft 365
  2. Create a migration endpoint type as Outlook Anywhere in EXO
  3. Assign full access permission and receive as permission on all mailbox to the migration account
  4. Migrate the mailboxes to Office 365
  5. Route the emails via EXO by modifying the MX Record. Create the Groups manually in EXO
  6. Assign the license once the mailboxes migrated to Office 365.

Staged Migration: Organizations using Exchange 2003 or Exchange 2007 with more than 2000 mailboxes can use staged migration. EXO migration happens through RPC over HTTP and properly configure it with a third party certificate. Directory Sync required synchronizing objects from On-Premise accounts to Microsoft 365.

Staged Migration Steps:

  1. Verify the On-Premise email domain in Microsoft 365
  2. Sync the Objects to Microsoft 365 Azure AD using AD Connect
  3. Create a CSV (emailaddress,password,changepassword) with mailboxes selected for migration
  4. Create a migration endpoint type as Outlook Anywhere
  5. Migrate the mailbox to Office 365
  6. Migrated users will have two mailboxes, convert the On-Premise mailbox as mail-enabled user
  7. Change the MX record to receive the email through Microsoft 365 and assign the license

Hybrid Configuration: Organization using Exchange 2010 and above with more than 2000 mailbox and prefer to keep mailboxes both in Exchange On-Premise and Exchange Online can use the Hybrid Configuration. We have two types Hybrid Configuration,

Minimal Hybrid, to migrate the mailbox the mailboxes in few weeks and keep the entire mailbox in Office 365.

Full Hybrid, to migrate required mailboxes to Office 365 and stay in a coexistence of Exchange On-Premise and Office 365 in the environment.

Full Hybrid Configuration Migration Steps:

  1. Verify the email domain in Microsoft 365
  2. Synchronize the On-Premise mailbox objects to Microsoft 365
  3. Create an Exchange Remote Migration endpoint in Exchange Online
  4. Enable the MRS Proxy in EWS virtual directory
  5. Migrate the mailbox to Exchange Online from Exchange Online Portal / PowerShell.
  6. Route the emails to Microsoft 365 when required
  7. Assign the license to migrated mailbox accounts

IMAP Migration: If you have environment that supports IMAP like Gmail or organization using Exchange 2000\earlier and want to migrate the mailbox to Office 365, we can use IMAP migration. Only email will be migrated as part of IMAP migration. Things like Contacts, tasks and calendar will not be migrated and user has to manually move those things if required.

Note: Before doing IMAP migration, the mailbox should be created in Exchange online and then the IMAP system mailbox can be migrated.

IMAP Migration Steps:

  1. Create the Users accounts in Microsoft 365
  2. Prepare the IMAP Email System for Office 365 Migration
  3. Verify the email domain in Microsoft 365
  4. Configure the admin credential used for Migration
  5. Create a CSV (emailaddress,password,changepassword) with mailboxes selected for migration
  6. Create a Migration endpoint type as IMAP migration
  7. Migrate the mailbox to Microsoft 365
  8. Route the email to Microsoft 365 by modifying the MX record
  9. Assign the license to migrated mailboxes

PST Migration: Once the user migrated to Exchange online and if they old PST files, the user can directly copy from PST contents and past it in EXO Mailbox or the EXO Archive mailbox. Administrator also can assist the end users by copying the PST into a central location and use the PST import service to copy the PST into respective user’s mailbox\archive.

Third-Party Migration (IBM Domino, Novel GroupWise etc.): We can migrate data from IBM domino and Novel GroupWise to Microsoft 365.

Managing Recipients in Exchange Online

Recipient types available in On-Premise version of Exchange server is available in Microsoft 365 service like

User Mailboxes: Mailbox associated with the user account. It requires an Office 365 license and the User mailbox can have 100 GB size for Primary mailbox and an unlimited Archive Mailbox.

Shared mailboxes: Shared Mailboxes are common mailboxes used by group of users in the Organization. Shared Mailbox does not require license and no license required for this mailbox.

Room mailboxes: Room Mailbox is a special type mailbox to book conference rooms and allocated with 50 GB mailbox size. License not required for Room Mailboxes that you are creating \ migrating to Office 365

Equipment mailboxes: Equipment Mailbox is a special type of mailbox to book equipment like whiteboards and Projectors in the company. 50 GB allocated and no license required

Distribution groups: Distributions Groups used to send emails to groups users who are member of the groups.

Security groups: Security Groups can be mail enabled to receive email and used to assign permission to certain resources for members of that Security Group

Dynamic distribution groups: Dynamic Distribution Group can have members are user or devices. Using certain query, Dynamic Distribution Groups are created.

Office 365 groups: New Type of modern group created directly in Microsoft 365. Office 365 Groups has Groups Expiration Policy. If policy configured as 365 days, it will prompt the owner of the group to recertify whether the group is required or deleted. If user not certifying the group, then it will be deleted after 30 days.

Mail contacts and Mail users: We can create mail contacts for External email users in Office 365 so that they will appear in organization’s global address book.

Mail-enabled Public Folders: Public folders with mail enabled to post content into Public Folders.

As part of managing the recipient in Exchange Online,

Assign full access permission to UserA on a UserB Mailbox:

Add-MailboxPermission –Identity UserB –AccessRights Full Access –User UserA

Assign Send-As Permission to UserA on a UserB Mailbox

Add-RecipientPermission –Identity UserB –AccessRights Send-As –Trustee UserA

Mail Flow Architecture in Exchange Online

Below diagram shows the Exchange Online Protections components. Diagram illustrates how the mail flow occurs in Exchange Online.

Exchange Online Mail Flow Planning and Configuration:

When you verify the email domain, which is going to be used as email address for the migrated mailbox, Microsoft 365 service will ask you to create an MX record like domainname-com.protection.outlook.com so that, emails to your primary email domain will be routed via Microsoft 365 Exchange Online Protection email gateway. In addition, it will also provide an SPF record that needs to be created to avoid email spoofing for your email domain.

We need to know the options available for mail flow configuration once the data migrated to Exchange online.

Hybrid Mail Flow – Route 1: when MX record and the SPF record created that points to Microsoft 365.

Inbound Mail from Internet sent to a mailbox in Exchange Online, the mail sent to EOP and then email delivered to EXO mailbox. If the Inbound email sent to a mailbox in On-Premise, the email reached EOP and then it will be sent to On-Premise exchange via the outbound connector in Exchange Online.

Outbound email from Exchange Online User to Internet sent to internet through EOP. If On-Premise Users send an email to internet, the mail will be send to Exchange Online using Hybrid Edge Servers in your organization to the Inbound Connector in Exchange Online and that mail sent to Internet through EOP.

Hybrid Mail Flow – Route 2: When MX record and SPF record created that points to Microsoft 365 and Centralized Mail Transport enabled.

On a Hybrid Exchange environment, Organizations having a requirement to do filtering only from On-Premise can enable centralized mail transport. When MX record points to EOP and Centralized Mail Transport enabled, mail flow occurs like below

Inbound email from Internet to an Office 365 Mailbox will reach EOP, EOP route the email to Edge Server in On-Premise environment via Outbound Connector in Exchange Online and Edge will send the email to Transport server. Transport Server will search for the recipient and it sends the email back to Exchange Online as the recipient mailbox is in Exchange Online.

Similar to the above, email from EXO mailbox to Internet sent to On-Premise Transport Server and then the email routed to internet based on the internet email routing configuration.

Hybrid Mail Flow – Route 3: MX record points to On-Premise Email Gateway.

Inbound Emails Sent to On-Premise and Office 365 mailbox sent to the On-Premise email gateway as per the MX record setup and then email gateway routes the email to On-Premise Transport Server. If the recipient is On-Premise mailbox, mail delivered locally and if the recipient is Office 365 mailbox, email sent to Office 365 and delivered there.

Hybrid Mail Flow – Route 4: MX record points to On-Premise Email Gateway and Outbound emails to Internet configured to send through Office 365 Exchange Online Protection.

Inbound Emails Sent to On-Premise and Office 365 mailbox sent to the On-Premise email gateway as per the MX record setup and then email gateway routes the email to On-Premise Transport Server. If the recipient is On-Premise mailbox, mail delivered locally and if the recipient is Office 365 mailbox, email sent to Office 365 and delivered there.

Outbound emails from On-Premise User and Office 365 users email to Internet routed to internet using Office 365 Exchange Online Protection.

Anti-Malware and Anti-Spam Policies in Exchange Online

Exchange Online has several Anti-Spam protections capabilities to protect the email environment. Exchange Online Protection component in Microsoft 365 is the email gateway that performs the email filtering. Below are the filters available in Exchange Online Protection

Connection Filtering: EOP validates the IP reputation and allows the emails from valid IP address only. Connection filtering allows additional options like configuring allowed IP address to mark the IP address as safe IP and Blocked IP address to reject the emails from the blocked IP addresses.

Directory Based Edge Blocking Filtering: DBEB filtering allows email to valid recipients in the organization. Configuring the domain as Accepted Domain automatically enabled this features. On a Hybrid Exchange environment, before enabling DBEB, we need to ensure all the On-Premise email recipients synchronized in Microsoft 365.

Malware Filtering: Configure the Malware filtering policy to perform an action on Malware identified email whether to quarantine or delete the emails. Malware Filter Rule can be configure to app the Malware Policy to specific set of users.

SPAM Filtering: Anti-SPAM agent process the email once the transport rule processing completed. It checks for malicious emails and attachments. Based on the SCL value, we can configure an action to send the email to Junk email folder or the email can be quarantined.

Exchange Online Admin Roles

Admin Role Groups are created with predefined Roles (Group of commands that admin can execute) and the Role Groups are assigned to a User or a group to assign the permission.

Role Based Access Group available in On-Premise version of Exchange supported in Exchange Online to customize the roles and the customized roles assigned to user accounts or Groups.

Below are the default Admin Role Groups Available in Exchange Online.

SharePoint Online

SharePoint Online is a collaboration tool, which helps organizations to manage the contents and to allow users to collaborate effectively with monitoring and auditing capabilities.

SharePoint Online provides below capabilities

  • Hybrid SharePoint Environment
  • Local Site Management
  • Data Encryption
  • Data Loss Prevention
  • Anti-Malware Protection

Hybrid SharePoint Environment

Like Exchange Online Hybrid Exchange environment, SharePoint Online supports Hybrid Sharepoint Environment. Organizations want to migrate their On-Premise SharePoint environment data to SharePoint Online can have Hybrid SharePoint environment that provides staged migration path.

Once the Hybrid Configuration configured, it allows users to access the SharePoint contents from both environment in single place. We can also configure integrated functionality for the features like SharePoint Search and User Profiles.

SharePoint 2013 and above supports the SharePoint Online Hybrid Configuration.

Additional features provided in hybrid scenario includes:

Hybrid OneDrive: Hybrid OneDrive for Business migrated the On-Premise OneDrive account to Online and users automatically redirected to SharePoint Online OneDrive for Business.

Hybrid Sites Features: When Hybrid Team sites enabled, users can follow both On-Premise and Online Site. Team sites followed shown together in SharePoint Online site.

Hybrid App Launcher: This enabled users to access both online and on-premises application from single menu.

Business-to-business (B2B) extranet sites: We can allow external access on required site collections.

Hybrid Auditing: Auditing results from SharePoint Online shows the result for both On-Premise SharePoint Sites and Online SharePoint Site.

Hybrid Search: Users can perform a search and it shows the relevant contents from both environment.

SharePoint Online Local Site Management

SharePoint Online allows for its own independent, intranet site collections

Some of the different styles of sites include:

  • Personal blogs
  • Community
  • Company Feed
  • Site Feed
  • Wikis
  • Team Sites

Permission levels play a major role in creating separate sites, and segregating and restricting access to content.

SharePoint Online Encryption

SharePoint provides encryption for customer data at rest or in-transit based on Rights Management Services

Encryption at rest

  • Encryption at rest provides BitLocker encryption by default
  • Per-file encryption

Encryption of data in-transit

  • Client communication with the server
  • Data movement between datacenters

Sharepoint Online Data Loss Prevention

SharePoint Online has several options to maintain and recover content that has been deleted \ misplaced

Common way to recover deleted content is through the Recycle Bin

There are two types of Recycle Bins in Sharepoint:

  • Local Recycle Bin
  • Site Collection Recycle Bin

You can use versioning to:

  • Track history of a version
  • Restore a previous version
  • View a previous version

Point-in-time recovery is a last resort when trying to restore an item

SharePoint Online Anti-Malware Protection

SharePoint Online provides anti-malware protection for files uploaded and saved to document libraries

The following options help provide anti-malware protection:

  • Layered Defenses Against Malware
  • Real-time Threat Response
  • Fast Anti-Malware Definition Deployment

Microsoft Teams

Make a note: None of the questions related to Microsoft Teams asked in MS-100 exam.

Microsoft Teams is the replacement of Microsoft Skype for Business with additional features. Teams provides Chat conversation, meetings, files and party integrations. Single solutions that helps organizations to form teams for collaborations.

When Microsoft Teams created, it can have different channels to organize specific topic or project. IT Admin or If you have the permission, you can create Microsoft Teams. Teams have two roles, Teams Owner and Teams Member.

Inside Channel, we can create Bots & Tabs, Configure Connector to different apps and store files.

Planning Microsoft Teams

We need to understand the below options for Microsoft Teams Planning and Implementation.

Microsoft Teams Architecture

Microsoft Teams is the next generation collaboration tools for Organization. Services offered in Office 365 combined to provide a better collaboration experience.

When a Microsoft Teams created, in parallel it creates an Office 365 Group, a Shared Mailbox, a SharePoint and an OneDrive Site. Office 365 Groups manages the Teams Owner and the members. Channel Messages are Stores in Shared Mailbox and the Files are stored in SharePoint site. Chat messages are stored in Personal mailboxes of the users. Files shared over the Chat conversation saved in OneDrive site.

Microsoft Teams related data, which was stored in Azure Storage, now moved to CosmosD for reliability and performance improvement. With this move, the chat messages are continue to get stored in Exchange.

Teams provides a meeting experience built on the next generation, cloud-based infrastructure used by Skype for Business.

To bring external contents and Intelligent Interactions in Microsoft Teams, we can use Connectors, Tabs & Bots available as Apps.

Users Authentication and the Access to Microsoft Teams:

Microsoft Teams supports all the available authentication methods like Cloud Identity, Synchronized Identity and Federated Identity.

Access to Microsoft Teams requires a Microsoft 365 E3 or E5 license. Once the license enabled, user will be able to access Microsoft Teams.

Make a note: Microsoft Teams creation enabled by default, User can create a Private Teams or Public Teams. If an admin disable the option to create Office 365 Groups in an organization. End user cannot create Microsoft 365 Teams.

Guest Access & External Access in Microsoft Teams

Guest Access allows the Teams users to collaborate with external partners. Guest Access allowed on all the Subscription and no additional license required enabling Guest Access.

Organizations using Teams can provide external access to teams, documents in channels, resources, chats, and applications to their partners, while maintaining complete control over their own corporate data

Guest Access provides access for an individual user on a Microsoft Teams. External Access provides access to entire domain on Microsoft Teams.

Guest Access by default allow access to Channel discussion and files on a specific Team. Guest Access will not allow the guest to access OneDrive for Business, perform a People search outside of Teams, access to Calendar, Scheduled Meetings, or Meeting Details, PSTN, view Organization chart, Create or revise a team, Browse for a team and Upload files to a person-to-person chat

Note: You can add 5 Guests per each licensed user on a Microsoft Team.

Microsoft Teams Guest Access should be provided from the Azure AD and below diagram shows the flow on how to control the Guest Access.

External Access is equal to configure federation in Skype for Business. External Access will not allow users to access any channel discussion or files on Team; it allows users to chat with external access allowed domains.

Create B2B accounts

Azure AD B2B collaboration lets you securely share your company’s applications and services with guest users from any other organization, while maintaining control over your own corporate data.

Administrators can create B2B guest accounts in Azure AD and can send in invitation link for guest users to accept privacy statement.

Non-Administrator users also can B2B accounts by sending an invitation to external user and add them in a Group or share an application to guest users. To make it work, Global Administrator has to enabled self-service management for a group and assign the user as owner of the group and the group added in the application.

Conditional Access can be used to control the organization data.

To create a B2B account

Azure Portal -> Azure AD -> Users -> New Guest User -> email address and the personal message and click on Send Invite.

Guest can accept the invitation and the external user account added as Guest User in Azure AD Tenant.

Create guest accounts

Guest account creation is same as B2B account creation.

Design solutions for external access

We can plan the external access restriction with the below settings.

Navigate to Azure Portal -> Azure AD -> User Settings -> Manage External Collaboration Settings

Guest Users Permissions are Limited

Admins and Users in the guest inviter role can invite

Members can Invite

Guest can Invite

In addition to the above external access settings, we can configure the below collaboration restrictions

MS-100 Configure Application Access

May 31st, 2019 | Posted by admin in Exchange - (0 Comments)

Configure Application Registration in Azure AD

Registering the application means that your developers can use Azure AD to authenticate users and request access to user resources such as email, calendar, and documents.

Registering an application allows any user to do the following:

  • Get an identity for their application that Azure AD recognizes
  • Get one or more secrets/keys that the application can use to authenticate itself to AD
  • Brand the application in the Azure portal with a custom name, logo, etc.
  • Apply Azure AD authorization features to their app, including:
    • Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)
    • Azure Active Directory as OAuth authorization server (secure an API exposed by the application)

  • Declare required permissions necessary for the application to function as expected, including:
    • App permissions (global administrators only). For example: Role membership in another Azure AD application or role membership relative to an Azure Resource, Resource Group, or Subscription
    • Delegated permissions (any user). For example: Azure AD, Sign-in, and Read Profile

Users can register an application by default. We can control the application registration by users by disabling the App registration option.

Azure Portal -> Azure AD -> User Settings -> App Registrations -> Select No and Save.

In addition to the above, we have the below application registration settings to manage for Enterprise Applications. Choose the required option for your organization.

Configure the app to require user assignment and assign users

By default, users can access applications without being assigned. However, if the application exposes roles or if you want the application to appear on a user’s access panel, you should require user assignment.

Suppress user consent

By default, each user goes through a consent experience to sign in. The consent experience, asking users to grant permissions to an application, can be disconcerting for users who are unfamiliar with making such decisions.

If we are disabling Application Registration option for end users, only Global Administrator can perform Application Registration. To delegate the permission, we have two Azure AD Roles

Application Administrator: Users in this role can add, manage, and configure enterprise applications, app registrations and manage on-premises like app proxy.

Application Developer: Users in this role will continue to be able to register app registrations even if the Global Admin has turned off the tenant level switch for “Users can register apps”.


Configure Azure AD application proxy

Using Azure AD Application Proxy service helps to integrate the On-Premise application with Azure AD. Refer the below link for additional information.



You need to understand the additional settings available for when adding an Enterprise Application and the cookie settings. You can expect one questions from this.


Publish Enterprise Apps in Azure AD

Enterprise Applications Published will be available in Access Panel for end users. We can search for application in the Gallery and publish them for the Users. Below are the default applications published.

Azure Portal -> Azure AD -> Enterprise Application

Publish an Enterprise Application

Click on New Application and Search for the application from the gallery and add it to your organization.

We can modify the settings of an app like SSO / User provisioning once it is added.

MS-100 Implement MFA

May 31st, 2019 | Posted by admin in Exchange - (0 Comments)

Design an MFA solution

Azure AD P1, P2, EMS E3 & EMS E5 includes the option to enable Azure Multi factor Authentication. As a Microsoft 365 Enterprise Customer, you need to design MFA authentication to protect your organization data access by authenticated users.

Design a solution like below

  • Implement Conditional Access to enable MFA for the required applications.
  • If required, set MFA exception is the application is accessed from Compliant / Hybrid Azure AD Joined / Corporate Trusted Location
  • Irrespective of any application force Users with Admin Roles to challenge MFA
  • In addition, keep the below questions to design your MFA solution
  • Does your company need to protect privileged accounts with MFA?
  • Does your company need to enable MFA for certain application for compliance reasons?
  • Does your company need to enable MFA for all eligible users of these application or only administrators?
  • Do you need have MFA always enabled or only when the users are logged outside of your corporate network?

Configure MFA for Apps or Users

Configured MFA for Apps

Use Azure AD Conditional Access Policies to enable MFA for Azure On-boarded Application.

To create a Conditional Access Policy

Azure Portal -> Azure AD -> Conditional Access -> New CA Policy -> Select the Users -> Select the Application -> review the other settings -> enabled MFA on the Grant section and save

Configured MFA for Users

We can enable MFA on the user level so that whenever user access an Office 365 services or Azure AD Integrated Application, user will be prompted for MFA challenge for second factor authentication.

Azure Portal -> Azure AD -> Users -> Open the Multi-Factor Authentication -> Search for the User -> Enabled MFA

Administer MFA Users

Manage MFA Service Settings:

We can configure below MFA service settings as an administrator for the organization.

App Passwords: Users can use the app password to sign in to non-browser apps. We have the option to allow or restrict.

Verification Options:

If MFA enabled, what are the verification options allowed for users. We can control the options here.

Remember Multi factor Authentication: If a user passed the MFA validation, it will be a annoying prompt every time they access the service. We can control the option on how long to remember the MFA authentication on that device. By default, this is not enabled.

Azure Portal -> Azure AD -> Users -> Open the Multi-Factor Authentication -> Service Settings

And, from Azure AD Portal -> Security -> MFA -> MFA Server -> Activity Report

Mange User Settings

If MFA enabled on an account, we have the below options to administer on the account

Above 3 options are self-explanatory. Please know the available options.

Report MFA utilization

MFA activity reports are available for administrator review.

To monitor MFA usage, we have the option to use the below PowerShell

Get-MsolUser -All | where {$_.StrongAuthenticationMethods -ne $null} | Select-Object -Property UserPrincipalName

Navigate to Azure Portal -> Azure AD -> Security -> MFA -> Manage MFA Server -> Reports -> Activity Reports

Identify users who have registered for MFA using the PowerShell that follows.

Get-MsolUser -All | where {$_.StrongAuthenticationMethods -ne $null} | Select-Object -Property UserPrincipalName

Identify users who have not registered for MFA using the PowerShell that follows.

Get-MsolUser -All | where {$_.StrongAuthenticationMethods.Count -eq 0} | Select-Object -Property UserPrincipalName

MS-100 Manage Authentication

May 31st, 2019 | Posted by admin in Exchange - (0 Comments)

Manage Authentication

To manage the authentication options, we need to know the Authentication Methods available and how that works.

Understanding Authentication Methods:

Below are the authentication options or Sign-In options available for Office 365 / Azure AD.

  • Federation Authentication
  • Password Hash Synchronization Authentication
  • Pass-through Authentication
  • Seamless SSO (enabled when choosing PHS or PTA)

Federated Authentication

Most of the Companies preferred to use federated authentication. When the federation sign in option enabled, the domain used for authentication will be configured as federated domain in Azure AD. Below shows the authentication flow for federation sign-in

How it works

To explain the Federation Sign-in flow, when you access any claims aware application that trusts Azure AD as the STS, the application will redirect you to authenticate with Azure AD, Azure AD prompts you to login with the user name option only and when you enter the user name, the domain validated whether it is a federated domain. Since it is a federated domain, you are redirected to On-Premise ADFS infrastructure with a Token Request from On-Premise AD, (to WAP server if you are in Internet and to ADFS server if you sign-in from Intranet). ADFS receive the SAML request and prompts you to enter the user name and password passed and it authenticates with Active Directory. On successful authentication with AD, ADFS send a Security token with claims to User that will be send back to Azure AD. Azure AD evaluates the token response and if valid response, Azure AD confirms the successful authentication and user will be allowed to access the application.

Note: You need to maintain a ADFS infrastructure to have this federation sign-in option and it is having additional benefits like you use On-Premise MFA server for multifactor authentication.

Password Hash Synchronization Authentication

No need to confuse about the Password Synchronization option, we are not directly synchronizing the password from On-Premise to Azure AD. Only the Hash of the Password hash synchronized with Azure AD using Azure AD connect.

How it works

When Password Hash Synchronization authentication enabled for the tenant, Hash of the password hash is available in Azure AD after Synchronization. If a user access a Azure Integrated application, user redirected to authenticate with Azure AD, Azure AD prompt the user to enter the credential, both user name and the password will be entered in Azure AD authentication dialogue window and it will be validated against the hash Synced in Azure. If successful, user provided with security token to authenticate the service\application. Switching from one application to other prompts the user to validate the credential when this sign-in option used.

Pass-through Authentication

If we use the Pass-through authentication, user name the password gathered in Azure AD but Passwords validated in On-Premise AD. AuthN Agent configured in AD Connect or any member server supports this Pass through Authentication. Below shows the pass-through authentication flow.

How it works

When user access any office 365 application, it will redirect the user to Azure AD for authentication, Azure AD prompt the user to enter both the user and password and it will be sent to AuthN agent server in On-Premise using a securing tunnel established when configuring the AuthN agent. AuthN agent component validate the user name and password with Active Directory using a Win32 API call to Active Directory and the successful authentication will be sent back to Azure AD. Azure AD authentication successful and send a security token to access the application, the user will gain access to Application.

Seamless Single Sign-On Authentication

Seamless SSO works with Password Hash Synchronization and Pass-through authentication. For the seamless SSO to work, the machine has to be domain joined and should have access to AD. Machine authenticates with Azure AD using Kerberos token.

How it works

When Seamless SSO enabled, new computer object created in AD that holds 2 SPN for authentication with Azure AD. Let us take User access a claims aware application, user will be redirected to Azure AD for authentication, Azure AD instructs the client to do an authentication test to find the client is SSO capable and it will send an unauthorized response and to get a token a token from AD. Client requests a Kerberos token ticket from AD and the same will be send it to Azure AD, Azure AD returns a security token which will sent to application and the authentication will be successful.

If Seamless SSO fails, the other enabled option PTA or PHS used for authentication.

Design Authentication Method:

You can choose from below Authentication methods and design your Azure Authentication

  • Cloud Authentication.
  • Federated Authentication
  • Federated Authentication with Password Hash Sync
  • Federated Authentication with Pass-Through Authentication
  • Seamless SSO with Password Hash Sync
  • Seamless SSO with Pass-Through Authentication

Configure Authentication

Enterprise Customers will deploy ADFS for authentication and we will see how to configure Microsoft 365 Authentication using ADFS

ADFS configuration requires

  • Domain Admin Account
  • Publically Trusted Certificate for SSL server authentication
  • ADFS Prerequisites like ADFS Service Name, Service Account, and SQL Database etc.
  • DNS A records for ADFS Service Name in Internal and External DNS
  • Domain going to be federated to added and verified in Azure

Once any of the above authentication method selected, we have the option to Configure Multi factor Authentication for end users.

MFA can be enabled at the account level or it can be enabled per application by using Conditional Access.

ADFS Supports certificate based authentication (smart card certificates)

Implement Authentication Method

Below are the two options available for configuring authentication for Office 365.

Configuring Office 365 / Azure AD Authentication via ADFS

Once the ADFS infrastructure deployed, we need to convert the required domain as federated domain using the below 2 commands

Set-MsolADFSContext -Computer ADFS_Server_FQDN

Convert-MsolDomainToFederated –DomainName SuperHybridCloud.com

Above command will convert the domain as federated domain and it will create a relying party trust for Office 365 services with default claims required for Authentication.

To covert a domain to standard (Managed) or federated, we can use any of the below PowerShell Commands

  • Set-MsolDomainAuthentication
  • Convert-MsolDomainToStandard or Convert-MsolDomainToFederated

Configuring Office 365 / Azure AD Authentication via Azure AD Connect

While configuring the AD Connect, we will have an option to select the sign in option also the ADFS configuration which will convert the domain and create the relying party trust during the Azure AD Connect configuration.

Make a note, Password Hash Sync and Pass through authentication can be done only from Azure AD Connect.

Manage Authentication

To change the authentication method,

On the AD Connect Configuration Wizard -> Configure -> Configure Sign in Options and select the authentication method required for your organization.

To view the configured authentication method,

MFA can be enabled or disabled from the properties of the User Account or via Conditional Access Policy.

Monitor authentication

Azure AD Sign-In Logs are available for 30 days for review; we can navigate to Azure AD portal to view the Sign-In logs. It requires Azure AD P1 or P2

To view the Sign-In logs: Azure AD -> Sign-Ins