Skip Links

Parallels Mac Management for Microsoft SCCM

Managing Apple Macs from Microsoft System Center
Submitted by Rand Morimoto on Mon, 04/07/14 - 3:51pm.

For organizations that are already managing their Windows systems using Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager (2012, 2012R2) that have Apple Macs in their environment, the company Parallels (maker of the virtual machine technology for Macs) released a plug-in for the Mac that provides extensive management of Macs from SCCM.  (and no, you do NOT need to be running the Parallels VM software on the Mac to use this plug-in, two completely separate parts of the company).

In a nutshell, with this Parallels for SCCM add-in, you can:

Read more

Top initiatives in IT operations for 2014-2015

Planning and Implementation Roadmap for the Year
Submitted by Rand Morimoto on Tue, 04/01/14 - 6:28pm.

In conversations with I.T. executives over the past couple months, I found the I.T. “projects” and initiatives that seemed to float to the top of all of the organizations fell into a handful of core initiatives. Most of the initiatives were aimed at updating technologies to improve I.T. efficiencies, lower costs, and optimize operations. In no particular order, the initiatives are as follows:

Read more

Microsoft's Hybrid Cloud - Extending the Datacenter to Windows Azure in the Cloud

Stretching the Datacenter to the Public Cloud
Submitted by Rand Morimoto on Thu, 03/13/14 - 11:38pm.

For more than two decades, organizations built datacenters and hosted their own servers and systems within their datacenters.  The role of the Information Technology (I.T.) department was to keep these systems within their control running in an optimal manner.  That included keeping the systems patched and updated, servers and applications backed up, and ensuring all systems were fully operational.

Read more

The New World of IT: Cloud, BYOD, Social Media's Impact on Corporate Networking

Changing the way IT works.
Submitted by Rand Morimoto on Thu, 03/13/14 - 11:16pm.

Over the past few years, the tech industry, that for the previous two to three decades was operated in organizations as the Management Information System (MIS) department or Information Technology (I.T.) department, has undergone a drastic change.  And presentation after presentation, I’ve seen those in the industry talk about the impacts and effects of the change, but not a single person has gotten to the root cause…until now!

Read more

Microsoft Exchange Calendaring Problems - A Current Perspective (Mar/2014)

Addressing Calendar Corruption, Lost Appointments, Duplicate Appointments in Exchange
Submitted by Rand Morimoto on Wed, 03/05/14 - 12:09am.

Over the years, I've written what have become the authoratative guides on addressing calendar corruption, calendar delegate, missing appointment problems in Microsoft Exchange.  I've gotten a flurry of emails and calls over the past handful of months seeking assistance, so I figured it was time to update my blog post here with the latest.

Read more

Choosing Office 365 for the Enterprise

Microsoft's Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, and Office in the cloud.
Submitted by Rand Morimoto on Tue, 03/04/14 - 11:17pm.

Office 365 is Microsoft’s cloud-hosted service that effectively provides Microsoft Exchange, Lync, SharePoint, OneDrive Pro and Yammer on a monthly fee basis. Instead of organizations having to setup, configure, patch, upgrade, update, and backup systems, Microsoft takes care of all of the “backend” server tasks.

Organizations can just focus on being able to access and use applications for email, file sharing, web conferencing, video conferencing, audio conferencing, document management, and the like.

Read more

Improvements to Microsoft's Skydrive

Easier Document Sharing and Editing
Submitted by Rand Morimoto on Sat, 02/09/13 - 5:21pm.

This past week Microsoft added a function that allows SkyDrive users to share documents for EDITING that does NOT require the recipient to have to login with a LiveID. Effectively, as long as you "share" the content for editing, the recipient of the URL can make changes and save changes to documents.

Read more

Virtual Networks in Windows 2012 and Azure VMs

Today's Foundational Building Blocks for a Microsoft-based Private and Public Cloud Environment.
Submitted by Rand Morimoto on Sat, 01/19/13 - 11:40pm.

This article addresses a key function built in to Windows 2012 that on first blush may seem like a complex technical networking feature, but that functionality has GREAT implications when extending your on-premise Windows to the cloud (like Azure VMs). You don't recognize the value of Virtual Networking in Windows 2012 until you truly start to see where the functionality is CORE to an organization that in a few years (or sooner) have servers on-premise as well as in the cloud.

Read more

Understanding and Implementing Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines

Building Hyper-V Guest Sessions in Microsoft's Cloud
Submitted by Rand Morimoto on Fri, 01/04/13 - 5:37pm.

For organizations looking to "go to the cloud", as much as Microsoft has had Azure Services that allows orgs to rewrite their apps and host them in the cloud, this new Azure Virtual Machines actually allows you to build a full blown Windows 2008 or 2012 Virtual Machine (VHD) in the cloud so you can load up whatever apps you want on the server.

Read more

Showcasing Surface Tablet and Windows 8 at the Palo Alto Microsoft Store

Blending Devices with the Cloud for Home and the Enterprise
Submitted by Rand Morimoto on Mon, 12/17/12 - 1:01am.

I had an opportunity to speak at the Microsoft Store in Palo Alto, California, this afternoon and demonstrate the Microsoft Surface Tablet and Windows 8. I can't say I've had an opportunity to spend a lot of time in one of the Microsoft Stores, so this was a great experience for me to get to know the Microsoft Store and the various products at the store!

Read more

Leveraging Microsoft’s SkyDrive for Cloud-based Storage

Sharing Files, Storing Pictures, Simplifying Communications
Submitted by Rand Morimoto on Sat, 12/15/12 - 10:08pm.

How often do you attach a picture to an email, send it to someone, only to later to want to dig up that same picture to attach and share with someone else?  Of course there’s Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, etc that all work great for photo sharing.  But then for work, you need to share a Word document, PowerPoint presentation, PDF files, and the like which aren’t well shared by the Facebook, Instagram, Flickr’s of the world.  This is where I’ve come to realize that Microsoft’s SkyDrive has REALLY fit in to a great overall content sharing medium for me!

Read more

Microsoft Surface RT or Surface Pro?

Choosing the Right Model for your Microsoft Tablet Device
Submitted by Rand Morimoto on Thu, 11/29/12 - 6:27pm.

Microsoft announced the pricing and a release date for their Windows 8 Surface Pro tablet today, so the question is, do you get a Surface RT now, or wait a few weeks to get the Surface Pro.

Read more

What’s New in Windows 2012

Insiders Comments over 2-1/2 years of Early Adopter Experience
Submitted by Rand Morimoto on Mon, 11/26/12 - 8:04pm.

I just wrapped up a blog series on Exchange 2013, now going to focus on a blog of “What’s New” in Windows Server 2012.  Windows 2012 shipped in the summer of 2012, however I was fortunate to have been able to work with Microsoft for the past 2-1/2 years on the development, deployment, feedback, and testing of Windows 2012.  We put our first round of 2012 servers into production as early as the Winter of 2011 serving up full time access to Win2012 functions.  But like every version of Windows, organizations don’t simply just implement the new version of Windows Server

Read more

Tutorial on Using Windows 8

Finding things and doing things from the new Windows 8 interface.
Submitted by Rand Morimoto on Sun, 11/25/12 - 4:03pm.

The first time I sat in front of the Windows 8 interface, I have to admit I was not thrilled; no Start button, I couldn’t find the control panel, things just weren’t what I was used to. That was over  two years ago in the early adopter program for Windows 8, and now when I use Windows XP or Windows 7, I find it very inefficient to "have to click through so many menus" to find and do basic stuff.

Read more

Revisiting Microsoft Intune for Cloud-based Systems Management

Patching, Inventory, Remote Control, and Pushing Policies from the Cloud
Submitted by Rand Morimoto on Wed, 11/21/12 - 11:10pm.

When Microsoft Intune first came out a couple years ago at well over $15/user per month and effectively only did patching of systems from the cloud, I wondered who the heck would pay that much money for something you can do for free (simply using Windows Update from the cloud).  But that was version 1.0 of Intune, or what Microsoft officially called Wave “A” of the product.

Read more

Exchange 2013 - Tight Integration with SharePoint, Lync, and Office Web Apps

A vast improvement in making Office 2013 Servers work better together!
Submitted by Rand Morimoto on Wed, 11/21/12 - 11:48am.

The last of this current series on What’s New in Exchange 2013 that have driven organizations to choosing to implement Exchange 2013 is around the tight integration of ALL of the Office 2013 servers (Exchange 2013, SharePoint 2013, Lync 2013, and Office Web Apps) together!  Instead of separate applications that have “hooks” between them, the 2013 family of Office Server products are very tightly integrated, so much so that you can completely get rid of multiple “frontend” Web servers hosting OWA, Lync Web, SharePoint web and have a SINGLE Office Web App server (or cluster of

Read more

Exchange 2013 - Truly Enterprise Scale and Supportability

Simplifying the Architecture of Exchange = Making Exchange Easier to Manage
Submitted by Rand Morimoto on Tue, 11/20/12 - 9:44pm.

Microsoft greatly improved Exchange 2013 to better support millions of mailboxes that Microsoft hosts for Office 365, and the benefits of the enhancements are received by us all even when we put Exchange 2013 on-premise.  As much as most organizations will not have “millions” of mailboxes for their on-premise Exchange, the fact that a single Exchange server can now host thousands of mailboxes (instead of hundreds of mailboxes) means fewer (MUCH FEWER) mailbox servers are needed in an organization.  Also, Microsoft did away with the Hub Transport role that was in Exchange 2007

Read more

Exchange 2013 Enhanced Email Retention, Archiving, Legal Hold, and eDiscovery

Eliminating the Need for 3rd Party Tools and Leveraging the Built-in Capabilities of the 2013 Office Server Products
Submitted by Rand Morimoto on Mon, 11/19/12 - 9:08pm.

In this day and age, email is more than just messages, calendars, and contacts for organizations, they also need the ability to address legal requirements around message retention (both keeping content or automatically deleting content by policy) along with the ability to do eDiscovery search of content throughout the enterprise as well as put content on Legal Hold.  While much of this was included in Exchange 2010, what Microsoft did for Exchange 2013 (and the corresponding SharePoint 2013, Lync 2013, and Office Web Apps) greatly enhances an organizations ability to perform required t

Read more

Exchange 2013: Support for (non-Microsoft) Tablets, Laptops, Mobile Phones

Providing iPads, iPhones, Android, Mac, Linux Systems with a Full OWA Experience
Submitted by Rand Morimoto on Sun, 11/18/12 - 1:51pm.

As I mentioned in my Intro posting on What’s New in Exchange 2013, one of the big drivers for organizations to migrate to Exchange 2013 has been Microsoft’s support for non-Microsoft endpoint devices.  Exchange 2013 has full support for iPhones, iPads, Android tablets, Android phones, Apple Macs, Linux systems in addition to what you’d expect for Windows devices, Windows RT tablets, and Windows 8 systems.

Read more

What’s New in Exchange 2013 (an early adopter’s perspective)

Exchange 2013 - Top Drivers for Migrating to the Latest!
Submitted by Rand Morimoto on Sat, 11/17/12 - 10:18pm.

With the release of Exchange 2013, there have been many blog posts on What’s New or implementation guidance, however the content has been pretty typical of the same stuff repeated over and over, or someone’s perspective of implementing the technology in their isolated home lab.  For those of us officially participating in Microsoft’s early adopter program implementing Exchange 2013 in real life production environments, we are restricted from blogging, talking about, sharing our experiences until the product releases, so I’m always chomping at the bit waiting for the final relea

Read more