Microsoft The Year that Was

Please refer here to see my latest Microsoft TechNet article.

Wow, what a year it was for Microsoft and the cadence of technology in general! There were so many highlights from Microsoft that I thought it was time to reflect now on some of the major points.
Hardware:
Microsoft promoted and demonstrated HoloLens and its exciting potential.
Microsoft’s New Lumia 950 with Windows 10 Mobile was released.
Microsoft Band 2 was released.
Microsoft, Dell team up for new, standard ‘cloud in a box’ system.
Microsoft Surface Book was released.
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 was released.
Dell, HP announced they will resell Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablets.
Microsoft Surface Hub will start to ship starting January 1, 2016. Here is a quick demonstration on starting a meeting with the Surface Hub.
Cloud:
Microsoft really helps drive Windows 10 IoT.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 was released.
Microsoft Identity enhancements came multiple times throughout the year.
Microsoft extends Azure Active Directory authentication with Business to Customer and Business to Business support (BETA).
Azure AD Connect was released allowing customers to sync their users credentials to the cloud.
Azure AD Connect Health was released.
Microsoft makes its Hadoop on Azure service available to Linux users.
Productivity:
Microsoft adds a new Office 365 license E5 with a new set of features.
Microsoft revamps its Outlook mobile apps for iOS, Android.
Microsoft’s Office 2016 for Windows is released.
Microsoft makes Sway generally available for Windows 10, iOS, Office 365 users.
Microsoft Identity Manager 2016 is released.
Microsoft makes Office 2016 for Macavailable before Office 2016 for Windows.
Microsoft’s new Office apps are released forAndroid phones.
Microsoft readies Office updates for iPad Pro, iOS 9 and WatchOS 2.
Microsoft brings Office Lens scanning app to iOS, Android.
Microsoft released Skype for Business.
Microsoft pushes the benefits of Enterprise Mobility Suite (Identity + Mobility + Security).
More new Microsoft productivity apps: OneClip, Revolve.
Other:
The first Ignite conference delivered in Australia.
Microsoft’s first Sydney flagship store opens with a huge success.
Microsoft releases Exchange Server 2016.
Microsoft made 17 acquisitions.
Windows 10 was delivered with success.
Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2015 was released.
Microsoft’s new browser was released ‘Edge’.
Microsoft turns 40. Here are a few thoughts from Bill Gates on the millstone.
Windows Server 2003’s support ended.
Additionally, we know of some other big releases that are coming in 2016. New versions of SQL, SharePoint, Windows Server and I am sure a whole lot more. Stay tuned for some other exciting updates in the new year!

Aaron @aaronw2003

It’s a Wrap- XMAS celebrations

What an exciting year. One thing is for certain the rapid pace and evolution of the market and the many great emerging technologies that were released this year, will continue in the new year with an even faster cadence. We finished the year with some drinks provided by JustPeople at Jimmy’s on the Mall. Thank you to Adam Broadbent for generously supplying these.

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Next Year-

  • Call for content/suggestions.
  • Speakers.
  • Additional assistance/hosts
  • Sponsors.

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The ability to share and learn is provided by the sponsors throughout the year so a big thank you to all. Additionally thank you to Microsoft for providing the room. Stay tuned for some exciting developments come next year.

 

Aaron @aaron2003

Reset an Azure VM password

I came across a tweet today by Stephen Owen and I just had to test it.

Now you can reset an Azure VM local password directly from the portal.

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Now we will need to have security considerations around who can have global admin access. This works for Windows and Linux machines. I have not found any information on the minimum permission levels required to perform this work. This site should be updated soon with this information.

Aaron @aaron2003

New Venue- December User Group- Xmas drinks celebration.

New Location below:

This December our User Group will be a Xmas drinks celebration.

Come along and have some drinks, discuss the year and plan for your coming year. We will have some special Microsoft guests from Sydney attending.

A big thank you to this events sponsors, Adam Broadbent from JustPeople and Microsoft. Just People is one of Australia’s leading Executive and Technology Recruitment Companies.

JustPeople

Microsoft

Location: Jimmy’s on the Mall upper deck (opposite Hungry Jacks)

jimmys

Time: 5:30pm

Date: Tuesday 8th December

Please register here for table bookings and budgeting.

lerwick_brewery_azure_beer

Aaron @aaronw2003

December User Group- Xmas drinks celebration.

This December our User Group will be a Xmas drinks celebration.

Come along and have some drinks, discuss the year and plan for your coming year. We will have some special Microsoft guests from Sydney attending.

A big thank you to this events sponsor, Adam Broadbent from JustPeople. Just People is one of Australia’s leading Executive and Technology Recruitment Companies.

JustPeople

Location: http://fireflybrisbane.com.au

map

Time: 5:30pm

Date: Tuesday 8th December

Please register here for table bookings and budgeting.

lerwick_brewery_azure_beer

Aaron @aaronw2003

Using Microsoft Media Services, Azure Media Player and Azure CDN

Firstly lets explore what the two services are and what they offer.

Microsoft Media Services– A cloud media solution for encoding, encrypting, and streaming audio or video at scale, live or on demand. This is fully integrated to Azure’s CDN (Content Delivery Network).

Azure Media Player– Plays Media that you upload to the above media services. You can view this content from the basic Azure media player website or embed this in another website.

I could not find a fully completed blog on this topic, so I was working rather blindly.

Below are my steps:

Firstly I created a media service.

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Then I uploaded a video, I found an old short video on my laptop.

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Then I selected Process.

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I left the options as default except I shortened my output content name from the default name.

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Here you can see the encoding task which took several minutes for a 10 second video.

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Then I created 1 Streaming Unit.

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Now you can see my original and encoded content. Note that the encoded file is 7 times larger. Then I copied the URL for the encoded file.

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Then I pasted my video file in the URL field. I then selected update player button and my video started loading and playing. Up the top you will note two orange sections. You can share the URL, or get the code to embed this within your website to deliver this content. As this is a free WordPress blog I was unable to embed it in the site. However I was able to link the content HERE.

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Please share any comments and ideas on embedding the video in the WordPress blog below. If any one wants to try to embed the video for testing themselves they can also do that obtaining the link above.

Aaron Whittaker @aaronw2003

IMG_0441.5 - bnecloud

Bitcoin User Group session was a huge success

Last night Wade Alcorn @WadeAlcorn the Founder of Alcorn Group, a leading security consultancy had all attendees hanging on the edge of their seats.

We learnt about many digital currencies and the underlying methods of the way this technology works. There was so much to cover, we even went into overtime!

overtime

We learnt about the Block Chain. The session was definitely an eye opener. Thanks to Adam Broadbent from JustPeople for the Pizza’s and Beers afterwards, and Microsoft for the facilities.

bitcoin-block-chain-verified

Please contact me if you require the slides.

Aaron Whittaker @aaronw2003

Reminder: Bitcoins and the New Frontier (Cloud Computing) User Group Next Thursday.

November User Group Thursday 5th- Bitcoins and the New Frontier (Cloud Computing).

Starts: 5:45pm

Where: Microsoft Brisbane HQ Level 28

bitcoin

What started with a technology underpinning the Bitcoin digital currency has extended into other exciting areas. It is even branching into cloud infrastructure. This presentation will explore the rise of the Block Chain and how it applies to Etherium. You will understand why some of the smartest people in the room are calling the Block Chain “Web 3.0”.

Bio:
Wade Alcorn (@WadeAlcorn) is the Founder of Alcorn Group (http://alcorngroup.com), a leading security consultancy.  Wade has published technical papers on emerging threats and is the co-author of the internationally available and popular “The Browser Hacker’s Handbook”. He was awarded the AusCERT National “Award for Individual Excellence in the Field of IT Security” in 2011. Wade is also the creator of the BeEF open source browser exploitation framework, which is included in toolswatch.org‘s top 10 security tools.

Great prizes on offer!

Register Here

Presented by Alcorn Group

Microsoft Azure Cloud Security, Compliance and Transparency

Something that is generally forgotten during times of migration and transition is cloud security and who is responsible for what.

The first step on any journey to any cloud is security and compliance. Microsoft meets a vast array of industry and country specific certifications including the ISO 27001, and specifically (for Australians) the Australian IRAP certification. A first point of call for discovery when considering designs on Azure is the Microsoft Azure trust center. There is a vast amount of information on specific items such as: Compliance, security, privacy, and transparency which is a very important item.

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Microsoft has a disclosure site where they release information on their transparency to the authorities.

In Australia in the last year there have been 2,226 requests for information from the authorities. Do you know how many requests resulted in disclosing content? Zero. Generally on most occasions Microsoft simply gives subscriber data saying go talk to the customer. This is how most requests are handled.

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As a consumer of cloud services it is important to know where Microsoft’s responsibility stops, and it becomes the customer or the partners responsibility. Microsoft is responsible for the foundation layer; physical and virtual security and segregation of your services.

  • Application security
  • Operating System Security
  • Data Security

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At Melbourne IT (my employer) we have partners such as Trend Micro who can help fill this gap. Trend Micro has a purpose built deep security product which can manage multiple clouds and has multiple security features. There are multiple ways to purchase your license, with the easiest being per server per month/minute.

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Aaron Whittaker @aaronw2003

November User Group Thursday 5th- Bitcoins and the New Frontier (Cloud Computing)

November User Group Thursday 5th- Bitcoins and the New Frontier (Cloud Computing).

Starts: 5:45pm

Where: Microsoft Brisbane HQ Level 28

bitcoin

What started with a technology underpinning the Bitcoin digital currency has extended into other exciting areas. It is even branching into cloud infrastructure. This presentation will explore the rise of the Block Chain and how it applies to Etherium. You will understand why some of the smartest people in the room are calling the Block Chain “Web 3.0”.

Bio:
Wade Alcorn (@WadeAlcorn) is the Founder of Alcorn Group (http://alcorngroup.com), a leading security consultancy.  Wade has published technical papers on emerging threats and is the co-author of the internationally available and popular “The Browser Hacker’s Handbook”. He was awarded the AusCERT National “Award for Individual Excellence in the Field of IT Security” in 2011. Wade is also the creator of the BeEF open source browser exploitation framework, which is included in toolswatch.org‘s top 10 security tools.

Great prizes on offer!

Register Here

Presented by Alcorn Group

Now I don’t need a Domain Controller?

This week Microsoft has released Azure AD Domain Services (Preview). You could describe this service as a Domain Controller As A Service (DCaaS).

First thing to note as this only works in the following regions here. As my Azure environment is in Australian data centers I simply had to make a new network in Southeast Asia.

Mahesh Unnikrishnan MSFT advised me this morning when the Preview became available.

This lab only takes 1-2 hours to complete following here.

Announcing a new User Group Sponsor

Brisbane Cloud is happy to announce that we have secured another sponsor. Adam Broadbent from Just People has confirmed that they have come on board as a full time sponsor.

JustPeople

Last nights session on Microsoft Operations Management Suit by James Crawshaw from MSFT was a huge success. Just People supplied beer and many great prizes.

Stay tuned for more great sessions on all things cloud.

Next session will be on Security by an ethical hacker. Please comment below or pm me for details on this upcoming session.

ethical hackers

Using the Telstra Wi-Fi Maximiser

The Telstra Wi-Fi Maximiser provides a free way to test the Wi-Fi capabilities within your house or office. It provides a cheap and effective heat map to understand where you can get best use of your network.

The app is available to download on iOS and Android

There is a short simple video on how to use it by Telstra on YouTube.

The great thing, it doesn’t matter if your Internet provider is Telstra or anyone else in the world, it is just testing the strength or your Wi-Fi signal from your router.

The steps are very easy. Start the app, create a rough mud map of your house floor plan.

Screenshot_2015-09-30-07-58-16

Plot points on the map, while moving to those locations in the house.

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View the results

Screenshot_2015-09-30-08-00-41

Share as needed.

Screenshot_2015-09-30-07-57-35

Not hard but a great tool to have.

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Aaron @aaronw 

User Group Wednesday 30th- (NXT WK Reminder) The Microsoft Operations Management Suite by James Crawshaw MSFT

September User Group Wednesday 30th- The Microsoft Operations Management Suite by James Crawshaw MSFT

Capture

This month we have a special guest James Crawshaw TSP all the way from Perth to present on The Microsoft Operations Management Suite.

Gain control over any hybrid cloud. Manage Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS), Windows Server or Linux, VMware or OpenStack—all with Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS), our cost-effective, all-in-one cloud IT management solution.

server-cloud-may4-1

We will see:

  • Better control over hybrid cloud
  • Transforming IT agility
  • Extending your System Center investments

Great prizes on offer!

Register Here

Presented by

Microsoft
Microsoft

Azure warns when your MSDN Azure spend wont last the month

Today I was working in the Azure portal. I noticed the Orange credit at the top (normally green). I then clicked on the alert icon in the bottom right corner. I was presented with the message

“The ‘Visual Studio Premium with MSDN’ subscription might run out of credit in 18 days (based on the average usage of $6.57 per day).”.

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An easy fix was to turn off and delete some items that were not required.

Aaron @aaronw2003

Cant install AADSync via AADConnect using a Windows 2016 forest

You cannot yet install AADSync via AADConnect using a Windows 2016 Technical Preview 2 with a 2016 Forest.

I installed a DC on Windows 2016 with 2016 Forest.

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Then I went to install AADSync, and got this error indicating that the 2016 Forest is not yet supported by AADSync.

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I imagine that companies wont be in a great hurry to upgrade their Forest immediately anyway when 2016 goes GA, but I have reached out to Alex Simons for an update on when this will be supported. I will update this post if I receive a time line for this.

Aaron @aaronw2003

September User Group Wednesday 30th- The Microsoft Operations Management Suite by James Crawshaw MSFT

September User Group Wednesday 30th- The Microsoft Operations Management Suite by James Crawshaw MSFT

Capture

This month we have a special guest James Crawshaw TSP all the way from Perth to present on The Microsoft Operations Management Suite.

Gain control over any hybrid cloud. Manage Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS), Windows Server or Linux, VMware or OpenStack—all with Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS), our cost-effective, all-in-one cloud IT management solution.

server-cloud-may4-1

We will see:

  • Better control over hybrid cloud
  • Transforming IT agility
  • Extending your System Center investments

Great prizes on offer!

Register Here

Presented by

Microsoft
Microsoft