4 Things to Consider When Selecting an IT Partnerhttps://www.bluechip-llc.com/Blog/Pages/4-Things-to-Consider-When-Selecting-an-IT-Partner.aspx4 Things to Consider When Selecting an IT Partner

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Leveraging PowerBI for Rich SharePoint Reportinghttps://www.bluechip-llc.com/Blog/Pages/Leveraging-PowerBI-for-Rich-SharePoint-Reporting.aspxLeveraging PowerBI for Rich SharePoint Reporting2017-02-27T05:00:00Z<p>​​​​​Often, I have clients ask me for ways to view and report on data within SharePoint. While the modern list experience has substantially improved 'out of the box' list views, it is still difficult to create the data visualizations that business users desire. With that being said, PowerBI is changing the game. Its integration with SharePoint is a great way to produce reports and data visualizations. Let's walk through the basics.</p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-DarkBlue">Reporting on SharePoint List Data</span></p><p>​<img src="/Blog/PublishingImages/PowerBI-One.png" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:950px;height:586px;" /><br></p><div>Note the data types in the list – which include: </div><div><br></div><blockquote style="margin:0px 0px 0px 40px;border:none;padding:0px;"><div>String: Title</div><div>Date/time: Delivery Date, Order Date</div><div>Currency: Sale Amount</div><div>Managed Metadata: Bicycle Model, Distributor</div><div>Integer: ID</div></blockquote><div><br></div><div>Also worth mentioning, this list contains approximately 3100 items. </div><div><br></div><div><span class="ms-rteStyle-DarkBlue">Power BI Report – Sales Order Data</span></div><div>To report on this data, we start in Power BI Desktop, and create a new connection using the “SharePoint Online List” data type:</div><div><br></div><div><img src="/Blog/PublishingImages/PowerBI-Two.png" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:496px;height:546px;" /><br></div><p><br></p><div>From there, we connect to the SPO site that contains the sales data discussed earlier. Then, we choose the list(s) we want to query.   </div><div><br></div><div>The nice thing about Power BI is the amount of customization you can do, and easily. For example, here are the visualizations available for reports as of this post:</div><div><br><img src="/Blog/PublishingImages/PowerBI-Three.png" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /></div><div><br></div><div>Note the ellipsis at bottom-right, which allows you to import custom visuals as well if desired.</div><div><br></div><div>For the sake of this post, let us assume we have already connected to our data source and chosen the columns we want to use. The next step is to start building your visualizations. The sample below is fairly simple, but powerful nonetheless. </div><div><br class="ms-rteStyle-Blue"></div><div><span class="ms-rteStyle-DarkBlue">Report – default view (no filters, slicers, etc. applied):</span></div><div><br></div><p><img src="/Blog/PublishingImages/PowerBI-Four.png" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:950px;height:471px;" /><br></p><p>After clicking “Diverge” to see sales of that bicycle model only. Note the updated counts by distributor:<br></p><p><img src="/Blog/PublishingImages/PowerBI-Five.png" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:950px;height:471px;" /><br></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-DarkBlue">Report – after clicking "Ryan's Bike Shop" to see sales from that distributor only:</span><br></p><p><img src="/Blog/PublishingImages/PowerBi-Six.png" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:950px;" /><br></p><div>As you can see, the result is an elegant and aesthetically pleasing report. The report can be published to a SharePoint site in one of two ways: either as an iframe in a script editor web part, or (for first release tenants) via the Power BI (Preview) app part. </div><div><br></div><div>Keep in mind that by leveraging Power BI for our reporting, we have the ability to schedule data refresh, define row-level permissions, and many other compelling capabilities. </div><div><br><div>Here is another take on the same data, this time focused on revenue dollars instead of sales / product numbers:</div><div><br class="ms-rteStyle-Blue"></div><div><span class="ms-rteStyle-DarkBlue">Revenue Report – default view (no filters, slicers, etc. applied):</span></div><div><br><img src="/Blog/PublishingImages/PowerBI-Seven.png" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:950px;height:471px;" /></div></div><p><br></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-DarkBlue">Report – after clicking “Ruby” to see sales of that bicycle model only. Note the updated revenue by distributor:​</span><br></p><p><img src="/Blog/PublishingImages/PowerBI-Eight.png" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:950px;height:470px;" /><br></p><p>As you can see, Power BI provides rich reporting and data visualizations, which can greatly enhance the ability to see data in new ways. With just a little time, the right licensing, and some trial and error, you will be a Power BI pro no time. More details, including a systematic walkthrough, in a future post.<br></p>
Microsoft Ignite Sessions Every Exchange Admin Should Seehttps://www.bluechip-llc.com/Blog/Pages/Microsoft-Ignite-Sessions-Every-Exchange-Admin-Should-See-.aspxMicrosoft Ignite Sessions Every Exchange Admin Should See2017-01-02T05:00:00Z​​A whopping 1,412 sessions were hosted at Microsoft Ignite in September. Here are the 15 sessions I think every Exchange administrator should watch.<div>​<br></div><div><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TX82MRpbOoE"><span class="ms-rteStyle-DarkBlue">Understand the Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 Architecture</span></a></div><div>Ross Smith discusses the Exchange 2016 preferred architecture and Mike Cooper of General Motors joins him to discuss his implementation of Exchange 2016. In addition, Ross demonstrates a new feature where you can recover deleted or purged items to their original folder.</div><div><br></div><div><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ta2hLZQzYw"><span class="ms-rteStyle-DarkBlue">Deploy Microsoft Exchange Server 2016​</span></a></div><div>Brian Day and Jeff Guillet discuss what’s changed in Exchange system requirements. Discussions included:</div><blockquote style="margin:0px 0px 0px 40px;border:none;padding:0px;"><div>- Exchange 2016 CU3 supports Windows Server 2016</div></blockquote><blockquote style="margin:0px 0px 0px 40px;border:none;padding:0px;"><div>- Server 2008 R2 FFL/DFL will become the new minimum requirement in future Exchange     2016 releases.</div></blockquote><blockquote style="margin:0px 0px 0px 40px;border:none;padding:0px;"><div>- .NET 4.6.2 currently only supported on Exchange 2016 CU3 on Server 2016. Will be made     available in CU15/CU4 for older operating systems.</div></blockquote><blockquote style="margin:0px 0px 0px 40px;border:none;padding:0px;"><div>- .NET 4.6.2 will be mandatory with CU16/CU5. The setup will block you if you don’t have       4.6.2 installed.</div></blockquote><blockquote style="margin:0px 0px 0px 40px;border:none;padding:0px;"><div>- ​​WMFS 5 is only supported on Windows Server 2016. It is not supported when you install it    on older operating systems (use the version that comes with your OS).</div></blockquote><div><br></div><div><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z32lmrkfanU"><span class="ms-rteStyle-DarkBlue">Design Y​our Exchange Infrastructure Right (or consider moving to Office 365)​</span></a></div><div>Robert Gillies, Boris Lokhvitsky and Adrian Moore discuss the business benefits of deploying the Exchange preferred architecture. </div><blockquote style="margin:0px 0px 0px 40px;border:none;padding:0px;"><div>- The importance of eradicating failure domains​</div><div>- SAN versus DAS</div><div>- Since Exchange 2003 each version has dropped IOPs requirements.</div><div>- Exchange 2016 uses 93% less IOPs than 2003</div><div>- Exchange 2016 uses 30% less IOPs than 2013</div><div>- Exchange databases average 10 IOPs</div><div>- 7200 RPM SATA/NL-SAS average 70 IOPs</div><div>- Thick versus Thin Provisioning</div><div>- The importance of controller write cache</div><div>- Bound versus Unbound Namespaces</div><div>- Stretched DAGs</div><div>- Virtual vs. Physical​</div></blockquote><div><br></div><div><span class="ms-rteStyle-DarkBlue"><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=653-8z1nQWY">Run Microsoft Exchange Hybrid for the Long Haul</a></span></div><div>Nicholas Blank & Timothy Heeney discuss running hybrid indefinitely. Topics include:</div><blockquote style="margin:0px 0px 0px 40px;border:none;padding:0px;"><div>- Importance of low-latency connections to O365</div><div>- Adjusting TCP keepalives to improve performance</div><div>- Using ExpressRoute with hybrid Exchange</div><div>- Multiple on-prem Exchange Orgs to a single Office 365 tenant</div><div>- Challenges with hybrid free/busy and org relationships with partners</div><div>- Acquisitions & divestitures with hybrid Exchange</div><div>- Need for on-prem Exchange when using dirsync</div><div>- Why you shouldn’t convert to shared mailboxes through the cloud</div><div>- Should you upgrade your “hybrid” servers?</div><div>- Delegated permissions between on-prem and Office 365</div></blockquote><div><br></div><div><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5x8pcbLOiI8">Migrate to Exchange Online via Exchange Hybrid​</a></div><div>Timothy Heeney and Michael Van Horenbeeck (Van Hybrid) discuss all the new options coming to hybrid. Topics include:</div><blockquote style="margin:0px 0px 0px 40px;border:none;padding:0px;"><div>- Overview and history of Exchange hybrid</div><div>- End-to-end on-boarding with one-time AD Sync & MRS moves (no need for cutover migrations – yay!)</div><div>- More informative HCW errors and logging.</div><div>- Federation Gateway domain proof will be skipped for domains already DNS validated in - Office 365 (coming soon!)</div><div>- Exchange hybrid PowerShell to support Multi-Factor Authentication (coming soon!)</div><div>- Minimal hybrid configuration vs. full hybrid experience</div><div>- Tips and tricks from Michael Van Hybrid for a successful hybrid migration</div></blockquote><div><br></div><div><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_zEvo9cm_c"><span class="ms-rteStyle-DarkBlue">Tools and Techniques for Exchange Performance Troubleshooting​</span></a></div><div>In this session Jeff Mealiffe and Nasir Ali discuss how to prevent performance issues from occurring, as well as share troubleshooting methods when issues do occur. Topics include:</div><blockquote style="margin:0px 0px 0px 40px;border:none;padding:0px;"><div>- Prevent performance issues before they happen</div><div>- Environment best practices</div><div>- HealthChecker script</div><div>- Case Study: Intermittent high processor utilization</div><div>- Performance Monitor</div><div>- Log Parser Studio</div><div>- Analyzing performance data in Excel and Power BI</div><div>- Reviewing Load Balancer logs</div><div>- Case Study: Search stops working after applying Exchange 2016 CU1</div><div>- Test-ExchangeSearch cmdlet</div><div>- Err.exe</div></blockquote><div><br></div><div><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ww1wZBj1FFo"><span class="ms-rteStyle-DarkBlue">Dive D​eep into Microsoft Exchange Server High Availability</span></a></div><div>In this session, Andrew Higginbotham discusses how to make Exchange highly available. Andrew also discusses recent improvements from the latest cumulative updates; rebuilding search indexes from their passive copies.</div><div><br></div><div><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9JChbPhFZc"><span class="ms-rteStyle-DarkBlue">Scott Schnoll’s Exchange Tips and Tricks​​​</span></a></div><div>Scott Schnoll discusses his Exchange tips and tricks. Topics include:</div><blockquote style="margin:0px 0px 0px 40px;border:none;padding:0px;"><div>- Servers placed offline after analysis starting with CU3</div><div>- Deploying Exchange on Windows Server 2016</div><div>- .NET supportability</div><div>- AutoReseed and BitLocker</div><div>- Bugs in the new PreferenceMoveFrequency property in CU2+</div><div>- DMARC in Exchange Online</div><div>- Exact Domain Spear Phishing Protection in Exchange Online</div><div>- Relay mail changes coming to Exchange Online</div><div>- Known bugs with Public Folders</div><div>- Tips for Office Online Server (OOS)</div><div>- Microsoft manufactures its own servers for O365</div><div>- Secure Score in preview</div></blockquote><div><br></div><div><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-FOqlfRmXQ"><span class="ms-rteStyle-DarkBlue">Unplug with the Experts on Exchange Server and Exchange Online​​</span></a></div><div>Ross Smith, Wendy Wilkes, Greg Taylor, Brian Day, Jeff Mealiffe and Timothy Heeney discuss the following:​</div><blockquote style="margin:0px 0px 0px 40px;border:none;padding:0px;"><div>- Microsoft Federation Gateway</div><div>- The pitfalls of using shared namespace with a federation trust (and possible workarounds)</div><div>- Tenant to tenant migrations</div><div>- Modern authentication for Outlook with Exchange on-prem</div><div>- Adding subdomains to another tenant</div><div>- Delegation permissions between on-prem and Office 365</div><div>- How to prevent spoofing with DKIM</div><div>- Using DLP across hybrid Exchange</div><div>- Troubleshooting slow mailbox moves</div><div>- Geographically dispersed tenants</div><div>- Exchange Online Protection send limits</div><div>- RPC over HTTP is being phased out of Office 365</div></blockquote><div><br class="ms-rteStyle-DarkBlue"></div><div><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5V3DO4sMdes"><span class="ms-rteStyle-DarkBlue">Unplug with the Experts on Mi​​crosoft Exchange Top Issues​</span></a></div><div>In this session, Shawn McGrath, Nino Bilic, Timothy Heeney, Scott Landry, Nasir Ali, Gabe Bratton, Amir Haque and Angela Taylor (from the Exchange and Outlook program groups) answer support and architecture questions.</div><div><br></div><div><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GZumemh2w8"><span class="ms-rteStyle-DarkBlue">Meet Twin Sons of Different Mothers – Exchange Engineers and Exchange MVPs​</span></a></div><div>In this session Exchange Engineers and Exchange MVPs discuss Microsoft Exchange. Questions and discussions include:​</div><blockquote style="margin:0px 0px 0px 40px;border:none;padding:0px;"><div>- Cloud Witness in Windows Server 2016</div><div>- Server hardware guidance</div><div>- Exchange on-prem/online feature disparity</div><div>- Monitoring Exchange and Managed Availability</div><div>- Exchange Online Protection</div><div>- Single Item Recovery with versioning</div><div>- Defrag vs. database trimming vs. new database</div><div>- Reverse proxy and Exchange server placement</div><div>- Calendaring on mobile</div><div>- Online archive</div></blockquote><div><br></div><div><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNCNmYYb0mA"><span class="ms-rteStyle-DarkBlue">Debate the Top 10 Reasons Not to Move Your Exchange On-Premises M​​ailboxes to Exchange Online​</span></a></div><div>In this session Tony Redmond and Greg Taylor discuss the top ten reasons not to move to Exchange Online. Steve Conn moderates. Special guest appearances include Flat Tony, an oddly shaped carrot and, Greg’s grass.</div><div><br></div><div><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdEps9gF-6w">Ultimate Field G​uide to Microsoft Office 365 Groups​</a></div><div>Tony Redmond, Benjamin Naulin and Amit Gupta discuss Office 365 groups. Topics include:</div><blockquote style="margin:0px 0px 0px 40px;border:none;padding:0px;"><div>- A history of collaboration technologies</div><div>- What are Office 365 groups?</div><div>- Who should use groups?</div><div>- Controlling who can create groups & usage guidelines</div><div>- Deploying and managing groups</div><div>- Group creation & group naming policies</div><div>- Identifying inactive groups</div><div>- Compliance</div><div>- Secret & dynamic groups</div><div>- Backup Office 365 groups</div><div>- Hybrid</div><div>- External access</div><div>- Migrating to Office 365 groups</div></blockquote><div><br></div><div><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q65W0d4qugg">Discover What’s New and What’s Coming to​ Microsoft Outlook​</a></div><div>JJ Cadiz, Allen Filush and Julia Foran discuss new features coming to Microsoft Outlook. Topics include:</div><blockquote style="margin:0px 0px 0px 40px;border:none;padding:0px;"><div>- Focused Inbox</div><div>- @Mentions</div><div>- Travel/package rich snippets for email and automatic calendar entries</div><div>- New Outlook UI mockups</div><div>- Calendar sharing and delegation improvements</div><div>- Free/Busy caching</div><div>- New account configuration</div><div>- Outlook for iOS/Android no longer use AWS</div><div>- HX protocol to replace EAS for Windows 10 Mobile</div><div>- Calendar improvements</div><div>- Upload traditional attachments to OneDrive</div><div>- Improved people cards + Office Graph</div><div>- Rich image editing</div></blockquote><div><br></div><div><span class="ms-rteStyle-DarkBlue"><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Wa39qNEdik">Unplug with the Microsoft Outlook Experts​</a></span></div><div>Allen Filush, Julia Foran, Eduardo Melo, Gabe Bratton, James Colgan, JJ Cadiz, & Victor Wang answer questions from the audience. Questions include:</div><blockquote style="margin:0px 0px 0px 40px;border:none;padding:0px;"><div>- Outlook for iOS shared calendars</div><div>- Office 365 Groups for Mac</div><div>- Categories and Search Folders for Mac</div><div>- S/MIME</div><div>- Reply-All storm prevention</div><div>- Mobile Device Management</div><div>- User experience improvements in the coming months</div><div>- Fonts & Rendering​​</div><div>- Signatures</div><div>- Delegation</div><div>- Adding senders to always appear in Focused Inbox</div><div>- Distribution Lists vs. Office 365 Groups</div><div>- Outlook for Android UI questions</div><div>- Planned changes to People tab in Outlook for mobile</div><div>- Room mailbox attributes</div><div><br></div></blockquote>Looking for more session content? You can view sessions from <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrhJmfAGQ5K81XQ8_od1iTg">Ignite on YouTube</a> or the <a href="https://myignite.microsoft.com/videos">Microsoft Ignite On-Demand portal</a>.​<br><br>
Automate Your Way to SharePoint Online Using Windows PowerShellhttps://www.bluechip-llc.com/Blog/Pages/Automate-Your-Way-to-SharePoint-Online-Using-Windows-PowerShell.aspxAutomate Your Way to SharePoint Online Using Windows PowerShell2016-09-23T04:00:00Z<p>​​Once used by most as a replacement for the command-line, <span style="line-height:28px;">Windows PowerShell</span> has evolved into a very useful automation tool; one that every IT organization should utilize. ​​I<span style="line-height:1.6;">f you are bound to the Microsoft ecosystem, you need to use PowerShell, </span><span style="line-height:1.6;">or you will fall behind. </span><span style="line-height:1.6;">​</span></p><p>Why? Well, let's break down the administrative capabilities of PowerShell within Office 365 and, more specifically, SharePoint Online.</p><p>PowerShell and SharePoint first came together in the SharePoint 2010 release. In addition to <span style="line-height:28px;">the deprecated STSADM.exe tool</span>, 200+ cmdlets (pronounced command-lets) were provided. These cmdlets provided the framework for developers and administrators to write their own scripts, functions, cmdlets and modules. </p><p>When SharePoint 2013 was released, roughly 720 cmdlets were included, further reinforcing PowerShell as the administrative tool for SharePoint. While SharePoint 2016 has over 800 cmdlets, SharePoint Online only lists about 42 cmdlets. </p><p>​While it's certainly helpful that Office 365 provides cmdlets for SharePoint Online, the small number (due to the multitenant infrastructure) limits your capabilities from an administration perspective. Let's explore the nouns you have access to using the Microsoft.Online.SharePoint.PowerShell module:​<br></p><div><ol><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">SPOUser </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">SPOService </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">SPOMigrationTargetedPackage </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">SPOAppErrors </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">SPOAppInfo </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">SPODeletedSite </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">SPOExternalUser </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">SPOMigrationJobProgress </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">SPOMigrationJobStatus </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">SPOSite </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">SPOSiteGroup </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">SPOTenant </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">SPOTenantLogEntry </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">SPOTenantLogLastAvailableTimeInUtc </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">SPOTenantSyncClientRestriction </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">SPOWebTemplate </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">SPOMigrationPackage </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">SPOMigrationJob </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">SPOPersonalSite </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">SPOUpgradeEvaluationSite </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">SPOUserSession </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">SPOMigrationPackageAzureSource</span><span style="line-height:1.4285;">​</span><br></li></ol></div><p>While there are several areas you can administer from SharePoint Online via PowerShell, you don't get the granular level you do in on-premises versions. This is why Blue Chip developed a tool called BluePrint.<br></p><p>BluePrint is a framework for the development of custom PowerShell cmdlets for use with SharePoint Online and SharePoint 2013/2016 on-premises. </p><p>To align with the shift to client-side code, Blue Chip developed PowerShell cmdlets for SharePoint using C# with client-side object model (CSOM) code. This allows BluePrint to work with both on-premises and online versions of SharePoint Server. </p><p>To really understand the value that BluePrint adds, let's look at the nouns available in the BluePrint PowerShell module:<br></p><div><ol><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPO2010ListWorkflowAssociation </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOContentTypeToList </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOSandboxedSolution </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOSiteColumnAssociation </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOUser </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOWebPartToGallery </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOWebPartToPublishingPage </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOFeature </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOSearchConfiguration </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOAvailableAndDefaultPageLayouts </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOContentType </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOContentTypeFromList </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOGroup </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOList </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOListItem </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOListView </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOMasterPageUrl </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOPermissionLevel </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOResultSourceId </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOSearchNavigationNode </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOSiteCollection </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOSiteColumn </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOTerm </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOTermGroup </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOTermGroups </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOTerms </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOTermSet </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOTermSets </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOTermStore </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOWeb </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOWebPartFromGallery </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOWebPartFromPublishingPage </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOContentOrganizerRule </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOContext </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOMetadataSiteColumn </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOPublishingPage </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOReusedTerm </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOGroupPermission </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOListField </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOPublishingPageLayouts </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOSiteCustomScripting </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOWebProperty </span><br></li><li><span style="line-height:1.4285;">BPSPOWelcomePage</span><span style="line-height:1.4285;">​</span><br></li></ol></div><p>With BluePrint, there are 43 <strong>new</strong> nouns implemented and key areas with which automation is now possible. </p><p>Imagine you are implementing SharePoint Online for a global company with many departments and divisions. You may have dozens of site collections, subsites, lists, libraries or standard managed metadata terms used across the tenant. Implementing all of those things manually is possible, but it would take a very long time. It would also open up opportunities for mistakes or misconfigurations. But, by<span style="line-height:1.6;"> u</span><span style="line-height:1.6;">sing BluePrint, an</span><span style="line-height:1.6;"> entire architecture could be open​ed</span><span style="line-height:1.6;"> up front and implemented</span><span style="line-height:1.6;"> </span><span style="line-height:1.6;">very quickl</span><span style="line-height:1.6;">y</span><span style="line-height:1.6;">. </span></p><p><span style="line-height:1.6;">Imagine a mature IT organization implemented multiple Office 365 tenants for development, testing and production purposes. Migrating the SharePoint Online configuration from one tenant to another is possible using other methods (e.g. a 3rd party migration tool) but, using BluePrint, the configuration can be documented once in XML format. Then, the</span><span style="line-height:1.6;"> same configuration can be used for other tenants while specifying a different tenant URL, administration account and other high-level, tenant-specific variables.</span></p><p>Simply put, Office 365 and SharePoint Online are now the de facto standard for collaboration within the Microsoft ecosystem. While there are tools available to you out-of-the-box, IT partners, like Blue Chip, can extend your tool belt. Using a tool like BluePrint, value can be added to solutions and consistent, repeatable processes for deployment automation can be defined.<br></p><p>Want to learn more about BluePrint? Drop us a line: <a href="mailto:info@bluechip-llc.com">info@bluechip-llc.com​</a>.</p>
Your Old Version of Exchange Is Costing Youhttps://www.bluechip-llc.com/Blog/Pages/Your-Old-Version-of-Exchange-Is-Costing-You-Money.aspxYour Old Version of Exchange Is Costing You2016-07-05T04:00:00Z<p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">​​​​​​The progression of technological advancement seems to accelerate with each passing year. </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">Take cloud technologies for example. In the last 30 days, Microsoft has pushed seven new features to Office 365 customers, and there are another 121 new features in development. </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">We’re not just seeing a fast rate of change in the cloud. We’re also seeing it with on-prem products and technologies. </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">Over the last few years, Microsoft has adopted a quarterly patching regiment for Exchange Server. Exchange 2013, which was released over three years ago, is already on its 13th, major update. </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">Does this mean there is also ongoing development for older iterations of the product? </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">Sadly, no. </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">If we examine the last several Exchange updates, all development went to Exchange 2013 or 2016, with the majority focused on the latter. </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">Exchange 2010 only saw two updates in the last quarter and a half dozen bug fixes in the previous quarter. Exchange 2007 is even more bleak, with the majority of updates in the last year attributing to daylight savings. </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">The reason? </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe"><strong>Exchange 2007 and 2010 are at end of life.</strong> </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">Mainstream support for both products ended some time ago. Exchange 2007 entered extended support in April of 2012. Similarly, 2010 entered extended support in January of 2015. Extended support means that only bug fixes and security patches are to be released. No further development of the product is scheduled. Simply put, this is the phase where Microsoft gradually prepares to end the product lifecycle. </span></p><p><span style="font-family:"segoe ui", sans-serif;line-height:1.6;"><strong>What comes after extended support? Nothing.</strong> </span><br></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">In less than a year, Exchange 2007 will leave the product lifecycle altogether. As of April 2017, no further patches (including security or bug fixes) will be released for Exchange 2007. </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">In addition, technical support from Microsoft will end. With new security threats every day, and the potential for catastrophic failure, lack of technical support or advancement can make an organization very vulnerable. Not to mention, it can cause significant downtime and lost revenue. </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">Vulnerabilities aside, the cost of ownership of Exchange 2007 is much higher than its newer counterparts. </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">With each new release, the Exchange team has made staggering advancements in the disk I/O needed for the Exchange database. With Exchange 2016 we saw a 22% disk I/O reduction over Exchange 2013. </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">In comparison, Exchange 2016 boasts a 95% reduction compared to Exchange 2003. It’s rare that we see requirements drop for a new product, but the Exchange team is making it happen. This is even more evident in their preferred architecture, which clearly states that commodity server hardware with direct attached storage is all you need. </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">Why? </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">That is what Microsoft is implementing at scale in the cloud. While other applications drive up that need for pricey solid state drives and expensive SANs, Exchange is perfectly happy running on inexpensive 7200 RPM SAS drives. </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">And it doesn’t end there. </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">With Exchange 2016 we saw a 40% drop in network utilization, which is important when it comes to consumption of costly WAN links. </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">Once cutting edge, Exchange 2007 now pales in comparison to its successors – the feature disparity is evident. </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">In newer versions of Exchange, we have seen more resilient high availability, the addition of compliance features, e-Discovery, data loss prevention, rights managements, and retention and archiving. Integration with other products such as SharePoint and Skype for Business provide a seamless collaboration experience and increased productivity. </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">The new e-Discovery feature makes it easier than ever for legal teams to find the information needed for litigation, unshackling the need to rely on IT and, reducing costs associated with legal searches. </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe"><strong>Simply put, if you are on Exchange 2007 or 2010, it is time to upgrade. </strong>​</span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">The upgrade can be a smooth process with the correct partner at your side. <a href="/Blog/Pages/4-Things-to-Consider-When-Selecting-an-IT-Partner.aspx">Here​</a> is how to pick the right one.</span></p>
Are You Ready for the Public Cloud?https://www.bluechip-llc.com/Blog/Pages/Are-You-Ready-for-the-Public-Cloud.aspxAre You Ready for the Public Cloud?2016-06-06T04:00:00Z<p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">​​​​​​​​​​Once your enterprise IT organization has tackled questions like “What is the cloud?”, “Why should my company adopt public cloud?” and “Does the public cloud offer options for maintaining corporate compliance?”, the next steps are the most challenging, mostly because you will never know less about the cloud than you do today. </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">It only takes a user account and a credit card to rent public cloud resources, but there is more to getting your enterprise IT organization ready than that. </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">How do you adopt public cloud while keeping your existing technology, and your business, running? H</span><span style="font-family:"segoe ui", sans-serif;line-height:1.6;">ybrid IT. </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">Hybrid IT is real-world, rubber-meets-the-road cloud reality. </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">You can't shut down your mainframes while you build out replacement architectures and you can't shut down your on-premises data center(s) while you build out your cloud roadmap. In fact, the greatest challenge in adopting public cloud will likely be your period of coexistence. </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe"></span><span style="font-family:"segoe ui", sans-serif;line-height:1.6;"><strong>So, how well positioned is your organization for hybrid IT?</strong> </span></p><p><span style="font-family:"segoe ui", sans-serif;line-height:1.6;"></span><span style="font-family:"segoe ui", sans-serif;line-height:1.6;">This is part one of a three-part series to help you answer that question.</span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">There are three areas I consider foundational when taking your first steps into hybrid IT. Two are technical. One is organizational. </span><span style="font-family:"segoe ui", sans-serif;line-height:1.6;">The first is identity management and directory services.​</span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">Not new to the IT landscape, identity management is an oft-postponed, rarely prioritized IT project. The importance of identity management grows by an order of magnitude in a hybrid IT world. Whereas IT security has matured from locking down the perimeter of your infrastructure to a multi-layered approach, no amount of technical system security can overcome a lack of corporate user identity control. </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">Many of your peers are storing years of technical debt in their Active Directory in the form of stale structure, deprecated best practices, failed deprovisioning and corrupt objects. A failure to address this prior to adopting cloud technology like Office 365 will result a significantly more difficult and costly migration. </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">Once provisioning / deprovisioning and directory hygiene are addressed, you should turn your attention to design decisions around directory synchronization (possibly including passwords), identity federation, multi-factor authentication and other related topics. Establishing synchronization without a peek over the horizon on these topics will likely set up future frustration. </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">As an enterprise IT consultant who has managed through the fallout of poorly planned cloud identity integration, I sincerely recommend a Design and Supportability Review of your existing Active Directory environment prior to synchronizing data to Azure Active Directory. </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">Understanding the state of the AD environment and the processes which manage it is a key first step to proactively addressing what can become future pitfalls, saving you time, money and user frustration. </span></p><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-Segoe">Part two of this three-part series addresses considerations for your Enterprise Wide Area Network in preparation for a hybrid IT initiative.​</span></p>