Welcome!

.NET Authors: ChandraShekar Dattatreya, Trevor Parsons, Peter Silva, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: .NET, Cloud Expo

.NET: Blog Post

Office 365: How Microsoft Does IT

Part 24 - The Cloud on Your Terms: Hybrid Public Cloud

In part 2 of this 30 part series we introduced the topic of Hybrid Cloud. That is the combining of Public, Private, and or traditional IT into a system that works for you.

One of the great Hybrid examples I like to talk about is internally here at Microsoft. Microsoft is an extremely email centric company. Email is beyond a mission critical app for us. As such we spend a lot on our internal Exchange infrastructure. I have been on a beta test program for many years helping our Exchange team test the next version of Exchange before they are released.

Well we have started moving "Some" of our end users to Office 365. "Some" is 10's of thousands of users. My account for now stays on Exchange to help test the next versions, but I have several co-workers that their email has been transitioned to Office 365 and they don't see any difference.

Our MSIT department recently did a webcast and case study about how we are rolling out Office 365 internally. Here is the link to the video.

Another area we need to talk about is Windows Azure in a Hybrid environment.

First check out this site: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/hybrid-cloud-solutions-with-windows-azure-appfabric-middleware.aspx

This site talks about how to use Windows Azure Appfabric as your middleware in your applications.

Here is the abstract from that article:

Abstract
Technical and commercial forces are causing Enterprise Architects to evaluate moving established on-premises (definition on Wikipedia) applications into the cloud (definition on Wikipedia) - the Microsoft Windows Azure Platform.

This blog post will demonstrate that there are established application architectural patterns that can get the best of both worlds: applications that continue to live on-premises while interacting with other applications that live in the cloud - the hybrid approach. In many cases, such hybrid architectures are not just a transition point - but a requirement since certain applications or data is required to remain on-premises largely for security, legal, technical and procedural reasons.

The cloud is new, and the hybrid cloud is even newer. There are many technologies that have just been released or announced so there is no one source for authentic information, especially one that compares, contrasts, and ties it all together. This blog, and a few more that will follow, is an attempt to demystify and make sense of it all. We begin with a brief review of two prevalent deployment paradigms and their influence on architectural patterns: On-premises and Cloud. After that, we discuss developing the hybrid architecture.

This posting takes an architect's perspective and surveys the major building block components that compose this hybrid architecture. We also match requirements against the capabilities of available and announced Windows Azure and Windows Azure AppFabric technologies. Our discussions also factor in the usage costs and strategies for keeping these costs in check. We conclude with a survey of interesting and relevant Windows Azure technologies announced at Microsoft PDC 2010 - Professional Developer's Conference during October 2010.

clip_image0023

Back to our part on Office 365 deployment in house. Here is the article on our plan:http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh134273.aspx

Introduction
Microsoft Office 365 includes Exchange Online, LyncTM Online, SharePoint® Online, and Microsoft Office Professional Plus. As part of the planning for a "dogfood" deployment of Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft IT (MSIT) is moving to a hybrid deployment of Microsoft Exchange where MSIT hosts some user mailboxes in MSIT's on-premises service and hosts other mailboxes online in the cloud. For customers planning a move to a hybrid messaging model, it is important to understand application technology dependencies and user experience and support needs. This article discusses how MSIT planned for a hybrid deployment of Microsoft Exchange.

Planning Process
As part of the planning process for a hybrid messaging model, MSIT determined that the following key workstreams were critical to a successful rollout:

  • Upgrade line-of-business (LOB) applications to Microsoft Exchange Server 2010
  • Build out Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS)
  • Plan for mailbox migration (Microsoft Lync Server 2010 dependencies)
  • Create a cross-premises support model
  • Evaluate network readiness
  • Adjust the service management model

Upgrading LOB Applications to Microsoft Exchange Server 2010
The first step in MSIT's planning process was to ensure that LOB applications were compatible with Exchange Server 2010. MSIT focused on upgrading mail-enabled applications from Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2010. This enabled MSIT to retire expensive Exchange 2007 clusters worldwide, and reduced incompatibilities between mail-enabled applications and Exchange Online. By doing this work up front, as MSIT moves thousands of mailboxes to the cloud, those mailboxes have seamless interoperability with the many existing mail-enabled applications. This strategy preserves MSIT's long investment in rich, mail-enabled LOB applications.

Upgrading LOB applications involved a number of different application teams and required coordination across several quarterly release cycles.

Building Out ADFS
MSIT provides federated authentication to applications and external partners through ADFS. Office 365 uses federated authentication to provide single sign-on in hybrid mode, which makes ADFS a critical dependency for Office 365 services. It also increases the volume of ADFS traffic significantly. To meet this new demand, MSIT had to scale up support for the ADFS service, which meant doing additional types of monitoring, providing additional supporting infrastructure, and providing 24x7 mission-critical service. Any company that wants to move to the cloud will need to consider an investment in federation services.

Planning for Mailbox Migration (Microsoft Lync Server 2010 dependencies)
MSIT wants users to have the same great collaboration experience whether mailboxes are located on-premises or in the cloud. Microsoft employees and contingent staff are heavy users of Exchange Unified Messaging (EUM), rich instant messaging, presence, and conferencing features that are provided on-premises by Microsoft Lync Server 2010. Microsoft Lync Server 2010 is a requirement for instant messaging and presence integrated into the Web email client (Outlook® Web App). EUM enablement is also simplified by using Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Enterprise Voice, so MSIT made the Lync Server 2010 rollout the leading edge of the large-scale Exchange Online mailbox migration. Using the same conferencing solution in the cloud enabled MSIT to preserve cross-premises feature parity (all provided by Lync Server 2010). To make a seamless move to a hybrid Exchange environment, administrators will need to consider the instant messaging, presence, and conferencing needs of their cloud users. They will need to consider how they want to deploy UM for their cloud mailboxes.

Creating a Cross-Premises Support Model
Every company does support differently, and there are many teams, technologies, and processes to consider. Transparency of support is a key part of the user experience. There should not be any difference in support whether mailboxes are located on-premises or in the cloud. A simple support model is also key for the IT organization accountable for the service. Microsoft IT analyzed their support model, evaluated their future support and service needs, and determined how to integrate with the Office 365 support.

In order to make the end-user support experience seamless, MSIT introduced new Helpdesk processes for determining where the user's mailbox is located (on-premises or in the cloud) and processes for troubleshooting the additional dependencies, such as ADFS.

Evaluating Network Readiness
When all mail services are provided on-premises, the corporate network bandwidth is more than sufficient to handle mail usage throughput for all users. As MSIT migrates mailboxes to the cloud, the dependence on edge ingress/egress capacity increases. MSIT evaluated network utilization and capacity and optimized it to address increased traffic between online and on-premises mailboxes.

Adjusting the Service Management Model
Since MSIT is providing mail services to users through two separate providers, service management complexities have increased dramatically, requiring more extensive Exchange user profile/business needs analysis. MSIT created new processes and workflows in the following areas:

  • End-user communications and readiness workflows
  • Migration workflows
  • Service validation with a test team
  • System Center Configuration Manager strategy to prep and maintain end user computers

Conclusion
MSIT carefully planned its hybrid deployment of Office 365 messaging by upgrading LOB applications to Exchange Server 2010, building out ADFS, planning for mailbox migration with Lync Server 2010, evaluating network readiness, and adjusting the service management model. By doing this planning up front, as MSIT moves mailboxes to the cloud, users have seamless interoperability with Microsoft's many existing mail-enabled applications. Users have the same rich mail experience whether their mailboxes are located on-premises or in the cloud, and since the hybrid model is not a one-size-fits-all solution, MSIT can choose which users go where based on Microsoft's short-term and long-term business needs.

More Stories By John Weston

John Weston is a Cloud IT Pro Evangelist for Microsoft.http://aka.ms/syscntr During the last ten years he has spoken to thousands of IT Professionals across the country. Before joining Microsoft full time, he spent six years as an MCT, training people at a local college and getting new Microsoft hires up to speed. He holds more certifications than he can remember, but the list definitely includes MCITP, MCSE, MCDBA, MCT, and CCNA. Before becoming and MCT, Weston co-owned a software development and consulting firm that was a Microsoft Partner based in Dallas. His primary blog includes http://blogs.technet.com/b/jweston.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the "Internet of Things" (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his General Session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, discuss the real benefits to focus on, how to understand the requirements of a successful solution, the flow of ...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...