This is old news but for the purposes to making sure folks know:

Office 2016 connectivity support for Office 365 services
In addition, we are modifying the Office 365 services system requirements related to service connectivity. In February, we announced that starting October 13, 2020, customers will need Office 365 ProPlus or Office 2019 clients in mainstream support to connect to Office 365 services. To give you more time to transition fully to the cloud, we are now modifying that policy and will continue to support Office 2016 connections with the Office 365 services through October 2023.

The previous support end date was October 2020.  Basically, connectivity from Office Professional Plus 2016 was gonna be “no longer supported” after this month.  This support statement changed as you can see.

(It’s buried at the bottom of this post so I wanted to highlight it for those who needed it)

Interested in posting a message in a Microsoft Team when an VM in Azure goes down?

imageI thought this might be a cool exercise for folks invested in both Azure & Teams. Using these instructions, when an Azure-based VM goes down, a message is sent directly into a Teams channel for people to know.

Here’s the step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish this using simple Azure Logic Apps & Azure Resource Health:

Posted by: kurtsh | October 29, 2020

INFO: Microsoft Newsletters

Here’s some newsletters that we publish that everyone can enroll in:

Posted by: kurtsh | October 29, 2020

INFO: Azure Files & Azure File Sync

One of my favorite Azure services is Azure Files.  It’s so elegantly simple:  It delivers SMB/NFS/CIFS file shares & storage… from the cloud.

  • It provides access to files securely over SMB, NFS or CIFS to clients
  • It can alternatively provide a file cache on-prem & sync files  between on-prem file shares and the cloud (using an installable sync service)
  • It can archive files that aren’t used often to the cloud in cheap, tiered storage & display stubs in the directory for files that aren’t on-prem and will be retrieved from the cloud
  • It can provide antivirus, file backups, encryption & file level restores, all in the cloud.

Here’s an overview of how it works:

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfWLO7F52-s)

clip_image002Microsoft is very excited to announce an “Azure Serverless & Azure Function” Ask Microsoft Anything (AMA) on October 29!  The AMA will take place on Thursday, October 29, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. PT in the Azure AMA space.   Add the event to your calendar and view in your time zone here.

An “Ask Microsoft Anything” (AMA) is a live online event similar to a “YamJam” on Yammer or an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. This AMA gives you the opportunity to connect with cloud solution architects who will be on hand to answer your questions and listen to feedback.

Upcoming dates/events are below:

  • November 5 – App Services & Standard Web Apps

clip_image002Join this webinar to learn about built-in security capabilities of Windows Virtual Desktop. You’ll also find out how to improve your security posture by integrating your desktop environment with other Azure and Microsoft offerings.  Get technical guidance to help you:

  • Understand the security controls available in Windows Virtual Desktop.
  • Use multifactor authentication and conditional access to help keep your users safe.
  • Configure security tools such as Azure Security Center and Microsoft Endpoint Manager to help protect your infrastructure.

Register now at:

Yay!

Windows Virtual Desktop is now Generally Available in Azure US Government regions, along with the Azure portal integration. With the Azure portal integration, you get a simple interface to deploy and manage apps and virtual desktops. Host pool, workspace, and all other objects you create are Azure Resource Manager objects and are managed the same way as other Azure resources. You can provide fine-grained access to Windows Virtual Desktop resources using role-based access control, publish remote apps and desktops to AAD groups instead of individual users, and troubleshoot issues faster with Azure Monitor.

Reference:
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates/windows-virtual-desktop-is-now-generally-available-in-the-azure-government-cloud/

We have a session from some of the security principals of our Support Services organization coming up specifically on directing your organization to “Zero Trust”.

imageNever trust, always verify. Once, before the pandemic, you may have found Zero Trust interesting. Yet you didn’t rush to implement it. And you’re not the only one. We found that only 10% used multi-factor authentication, let alone all the tenets of Zero Trust.

Then Covid-19 forced businesses to send their workforce home. Many of our customers turned to Zero Trust to enable and secure remote work. You may have elevated it from yellow-light optional to green-light imperative overnight.

Microsoft Support Services can help you navigate the challenges of a larger attack surface. Join our webinar on October 22 to find out how to create strict boundaries around data. We’ll talk about the balance between access and productivity. We’ll share info about workshops, assessments, and engagements to help you reach Zero Trust.

Register below:

Posted by: kurtsh | October 18, 2020

INFO: Microsoft Edge (Chromium) Add-ons

Here are a few useful add-ons for Microsoft Edge Chromium: (This is mainly a reference for myself)

  • imageARCHIVE PAGE
    Adds a button to the Microsoft Edge toolbar. When clicked, it sends the URL of the current tab to archive.today to preserve a snapshot of the page, and opens the result in a new tab. Also includes Link context menu to Archive or Search, Page context menu to Search. Archive URL can be bookmarked for future reference, shared, whatever. Uses HTTPS for security.
    (For similar functionality on Android, check out Share2Archive in the Play Store.)

    archive.today is a time capsule for web pages. It takes a ‘snapshot’ of a webpage that will always be online even if the original page disappears. It saves a text and a graphical copy of the page for better accuracy and provides a short and reliable link to an unalterable record of the web page

    https://microsoftedge.microsoft.com/addons/detail/archive-page/llldbgankiiaiobhnjpbllpijlidinaf

  • imageTAMPERMONKEY
    Tampermonkey is the most popular userscript manager, with over 10 million weekly users. It’s available for Microsoft Edge, Chrome, Safari, Opera Next, and Firefox.

    Tampermonkey makes it very easy to manage your userscripts and provides features like a clear overview over the running scripts, a built-in editor, ZIP-based import and export (Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, WebDAV), automatic update checks and also browser and cloud storage based synchronization. And finally it’s compatible to Greasemonkey up to version 3.x.

    https://microsoftedge.microsoft.com/addons/detail/tampermonkey/iikmkjmpaadaobahmlepeloendndfphd

  • imageI DON’T CARE ABOUT COOKIES
    Get rid of cookie warnings from almost all websites!

    https://microsoftedge.microsoft.com/addons/detail/i-dont-care-about-cookie/oholpbloipjbbhlhohaebmieiiieioal

  • imageDISABLE HTML5 AUTOPLAY
    “Disable HTML5 Autoplay” disables HTML5 audio and video autoplaying.

    Now any video is blocked until you click the agreement button.

    In addition to removing the HTML autoplay attribute from media elements, “Disable HTML5 Autoplay” also hooks into the media’s JavaScript API. This allows for restrictions on media control and simulation of expected behavior to ensure that all pages behave normally. Main and most requested feature: this blocker has a customizable white list, so you may add your favorite sites to exclude from blocking autoplay. To deactivate a function, simply uncheck the related item from toolbar-panel. With this extension you will never have to worry about videos auto playing in the background. In addition, the video will be automatically buffered if necessary.

    https://microsoftedge.microsoft.com/addons/detail/disable-html5-autoplay/angamhlikfokpbmfppadnnbmflollmnc

imageI was asked to do some research around the “costs associated with storage for software distribution & update packages for Modern/Managed Desktop” configurations.

In that vein, I thought I’d share a couple things for folks looking to manage desktops on the Internet without VPN, but to summarize what I understand:

  1. SCCM CMG/CDP configurations will have Azure Storage, outbound Azure Networking, & Azure VM Compute costs for software distribution
  2. Microsoft Intune has no additional cost for software distribution storage and networking

SCCM CLOUD MANAGEMENT GATEWAY/CLOUD DISTRIBUTION POINTS

SCCM Cloud Management Gateways or CMGs have a cost associated with their operation – mostly Azure Compute.  The rough estimate for this is ~$150/gateway/month where each gateway can sustain a rough maximum 3000 devices, with a recommended limit of 1000 devices/gateway and obvious redundancy for each gateway. (Those with Premier Services will want to speak to a Premier engineering resource for more guidance)

SCCM CMGs require the use of “Cloud Distribution Points” or CDPs for distributing software – these may be on the same VMs as the SCCM CMGs or on separate VMs but you’ll want to discuss architecture & configurations with a Premier subject matter expert or a Professional Services Architect. (From Microsoft Consulting Services or a Microsoft certified partner) CDP costs for software distribution include Azure Storage & Azure Networking costs along with the VM/compute costs.

Per the documentation, there are 5 potential costs:

  1. CMG VM costs
  2. CMG Outbound data transfer costs
  3. CDP VM costs
  4. CDP Outbound data transfer costs
  5. CDP Storage costs

For more details, visit:

MICROSOFT INTUNE
Microsoft Intune, when licensed for all endpoints being distributed to, does not have any additional cost associated with software package storage & distribution. 

  1. There’s no limit on the amount of storage; storage comes with the purchase of a Microsoft Intune license.
  2. There is a 8GB maximum file size limit on any individual desktop file uploaded.

Taken from the Microsoft Intune documentation:

All apps that you create by using the software installer installation type (for example, a line-of-business app) are packaged and uploaded to Intune cloud storage. A trial subscription of Intune includes 2 gigabytes (GB) of cloud-based storage that is used to store managed apps and updates. A full subscription does not limit the total amount of storage space.

For more information, read the following:

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