Update Exchange Online Global Address List (GAL)

There are situations where you would like to enforce an update of the Exchange Global Address list (GAL) in Office 365. With a few steps this can easily be done!

STEP 1: First we will need to make sure that our admin account has the correct permissions. Go to the Exchange Online Admin center, and then to permissions – admin roles and click on the + sign to add a new role

We will now create a new role group. Give it the name Address List Management and assign the role Address lists, and make sure to add the administrator account as a member. Click Save when ready.

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Office 365 Set language and time zone for all users with PowerShell (Manual)

When you create a new Office 365 tenant, all user mailboxes will have the default timezone and language. In my case, I work in the Netherlands, the preference for most companies is to set the Time zone to Central European Time (GMT +1) and the language of the users default folders to Dutch.

You can either ask the users to logon to webmail using https://outlook.office.com and fill in the first time question to set the time zone and default language. But how cool would it be to do this for all your users using PowerShell?

First time login screen Outlook Web Access
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Azure Risk based conditional access explained and how to set it up!

With the Azure AD Premium P2 license you are entitled for Azure AD Identity Protection. You will get the option in Conditional Access to assign risk level based options to your policies. Azure AD Identity Protection can detect six different types of suspicious sign-in activities with 3 different levels of risks.

Six suspicious sign-in activities and 3 risk levels

With the riks levels combined with conditional access policies we can protect sensitive application and data access. With this article I am going to show you how to create risk-based conditional access policies

So let’s create a Policy and get Conditional Access applied with risk levels

Step 1: Log in to the Azure Portal: https://portal.azure.com

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PowerShell script to export and import legacy Exchange x500 addresses (Manual)

When you’re migrating from one Exchange environment to another, or from on-premise to Exchange online without using the hybrid setup, the most forgotten part is the migration of the users x500 address. The reason why this is so important is because Exchange uses this to deliver local emails instead of the SMTP address that is normally associated with email. (This also goes along for calendar appointments)

So, by not migrating the x500 address it means that communications will fail when changing calendar appointments, or replying on old emails. To prevent this we will need to export the ExchangeLegacyDN from Active Directory, and import it again as a ProxyAddress in Active Directory.

Export the x500 address (ExchangeLegacyDN)

Step 1: From your source Active Directory, look up the distinguishedName, and copy the content of the value.

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Improved Azure Portal design

Today I noticed that the Azure Portal had a new appearance. By default the menu from the left is now hidden, giving you a cleaner view of all the blades, and as well on your dashboards.

But what I really like, is the Auto Refresh button on the dashboard. Although 30 minute interval might still be to long, this can help you get the cool dashboards that you want on a big screen.

Enforce (Azure) MFA with Conditional Access policies

Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) is an added security feature from Azure which I believe that should be enabled by default for everybody in Office 365 and Azure. There for this manual how to enforce (Azure) MFA for all users using Azure Multi Factor Authentication

MFA can prevent unauthorized access in case of the following events:

  • Leaked credentials
  • Sign-ins from anonymous IP addresses
  • Impossible travel to atypical locations
  • Sign-ins from unfamiliar locations
  • Sign-ins from infected devices
  • Sign-ins from IP addresses with suspicious activities

Using Conditional access we can ensure that your users and company data is safe. Important to know is that Office 365 MFA is free of charge, and if you have Azure AD applications an Azure AD Premium license is required.

Named location

If you want to mark your locations as trusted location, you can do that if you have a static public IP. So the first steps are there to define your office locations.

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Exchange Online: Set default calendar sharing permissions for all users

In a new Exchange (Online) environment you might want to change the default calendar sharing permissions for all users. By default the sharing permissions for the entire organization are set to “Can view when I’m busy”.

Some companies have a different wish on the default calendar settings of their users. The preferred setting might be “Limited details”. This will show just the headlines and location of the calendar.

If you try to open an invite, it will notify that you do not have access.

So, what options do we have? From the Outlook app you can see that there are 5 options to choose from. (See screenshot below)

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Change default send items behavior of Auto-mapped Shared Mailboxes

A commonly heart end-user frustration with Auto-mapped shared mailboxes is that Send emails from the shared mailbox end up in the send items of the user it self. In the past you would need to set a registry key on the client computer to get this resolved. But with Office 365, there is an easy way to change this behavior for every user.

PowerShell

With PowerShell this job is done in less than a minute in just 2 simple steps.

STEP 1: First connect to Exchange Online using the following commands:

$UserCredential = Get-Credential

$Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri https://outlook.office365.com/powershell-liveid/ -Credential $UserCredential -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection

Import-PSSession $Session 

STEP 2: Now run the following command to set the default behavior for all Shared Mailboxes in your Exchange Online environment.

Get-Mailbox | Where {$_.RecipientTypeDetails -eq “SharedMailbox”} | Foreach-Object {Set-Mailbox -identity $_.Alias -MessageCopyForSentAsEnabled $True } 

Azure SQL update statistics (Manual)

I recently run into a case where I needed to update statistics of an Azure SQL Database because of poor performance and deadlocks. Preventing disruptions is key, so it is important to do something about it. With a simple script we can update the statistics easaly.

Why should I update statistics?

SQL Server statistics are essential for the query optimizer to prepare an optimized and cost-effective execution plan. These statistics provide distribution of column values to the query optimizer, and it helps SQL Server to estimate the number of rows. The query optimizer should be updated regularly. Improper statistics might mislead query optimizer to choose costly operators such as index scan over index seek and it might cause high CPU, memory and IO issues in SQL Server. We might also face blocking, deadlocks that eventually causes trouble to the underlying queries, resources.

The script

Just execute the following query on your database and you should be good to go! Keep in mind, depending on your database this might take a while. During this script your database will get slow, but will remain online.

SET NOCOUNT ON
 GO

 DECLARE updatestats CURSOR FOR
 SELECT table_schema, table_name  
 FROM information_schema.tables
        where TABLE_TYPE = 'BASE TABLE'
 OPEN updatestats

 DECLARE @tableSchema NVARCHAR(128)
 DECLARE @tableName NVARCHAR(128)
 DECLARE @Statement NVARCHAR(300)

 FETCH NEXT FROM updatestats INTO @tableSchema, @tableName

 WHILE (@@FETCH_STATUS = 0)
 BEGIN
    SET @Statement = 'UPDATE STATISTICS '  + '[' + @tableSchema + ']' + '.' + '[' + @tableName + ']' + '  WITH FULLSCAN'
    EXEC sp_executesql @Statement 
    FETCH NEXT FROM updatestats INTO @tableSchema, @tableName
 END

 CLOSE updatestats
 DEALLOCATE updatestats
 GO
 SET NOCOUNT OFF
 GO

How to solve Failed to sync the ArchiveGuid in Office 365 (Manual)

Last few weeks I’ve been struggling with an very difficult Office 365 / Exchange Online case, that got escalated to multiple Microsoft departments to be fixed. I already found one part of the solution, but Microsoft found the second part. Today I would like to take you through all the steps to fix possible causes and resolutions. So the initial problem started with the following error in the Office 365 admin portal with the affected users:

Failed to sync the ArchiveGuid 00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000 of mailbox MailboxGuid because one cloud archive CloudArchiveGuid exists.

Another symptom is the mailbox provisioning gets stuck, and hangs on “We are preparing a mailbox for this user”

You will only see this error with AD connect sync enabled environments. The problem occurs when the on-premise value mismatches with the Online Archive Guid. With just a few easy steps we can fix this issue.

Resolution

We will need to fill multiple Active Directory user attributes to resolve this issue.

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Windows Virtual Desktop now general available!

Windows Virtual Desktop is the new Azure desktop and app virtualization service running in the cloud. With simplefied management, multisession Windows 10, optimizations for Office 365 using FSLogix in the background. With this cloud managed VDI environment, you can build, deploy and scale your virtual desktops and apps in minutes.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor windows virtual desktop

If you’re still hosting RDS servers with virtual desktops and apps, and you want to migrate to the cloud, you definitely need to look in to Windows Virtual Desktop.

In the coming month I will be writing a manual how to set it up, and where to think about.

More information on the Microsoft website: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/virtual-desktop/

New AMD EPYC virtual machine series in Azure!

Today I was browsing the Azure Management portal and discovered that Microsoft Azure released a new virtual machine series based on the AMD EPYC 7452V processors that can achieve a boosted 3.35Ghz. With these new AMD processers there are 4 new series available in Azure: Dasv3-series, Dav3-series, Easv3 and the Eav3-series

Same performance, lower price!

With almost the same performance as the DSv3 and Dv3 series Intel virtual machines, these machines might be an interesting choice, especially if we do a price comparison, just 2 examples:

CPU BrandMachineCPUMemoryPrice per month
IntelD2 v328€ 128
AMDD2a v328 54
IntelD4s v3416€ 257
AMDD4as v3416€ 109

If we look at the above pricing, there is a 234% price difference between AMD and Intel. I know, its not a perfect 1 on 1 comparison, but for the same price, you get the double amount of cores, and memory…

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Create new Outlook profile after Office 365 mail migration using GPO (Manual)

You want to move your mailboxes from Exchange on-premise to Office 365, and you want to give you users a smooth transition experience, then you will definitely need to implement the following to automatically create and configure a new Outlook profile on all Windows devices.

ZeroConfigExchange (ZCE)

Within Outlook Microsoft has created ZeroConfigExchange to setup new profiles with minimal user interaction. Depending on your exact configuration Outlook will be configured fully automatically, or the user is required to fill in his email address and/or password.

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Azure Private Link now available in Preview!

With an increased security and privacy in mind Microsoft has been working on private links to Azure resources. Azure Private Link is a secure way to consume Azure Services like Azure SQL and Azure Storage using a private connection in your own VNet. This will replace the need for IaaS hosted virtual machines with SQL Server or the file server role installed.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor azure private link

Azure Private Link brings Azure services inside the customer’s private VNet. The service resources can be accessed using the private IP address just like any other resource in the VNet. It is basically an NIC inside one of your VNET’s. This will allow all traffic to flow over the internal network, and will not go over the internet. There is no need to put gateways or any other network devices in place to make this happen.

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How to block non-modern authentication to Office 365 services. (Manual)

With Azure Conditional access you get more control over your data, get better security and visibility! To use this feature you will need to buy and assign Azure AD Premium or EM+S E3/E5 licenses to your users.

This manual can be used to enforce the use of the Outlook app on IOS and Android devices by blocking all apps that do not support Modern Authentication like iOS mail and Google mail client.

Step 1: In the Azure Portal go to Conditional Access. On the first page that you get create a New policy

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How to configure Outlook on IOS & Android using Intune (Manual)

If you deployed Intune to your mobile devices, you want to enforce the use of the Outlook app on the mobile device. We want to make the end user experience as smooth as possible and preconfigure Outlook for the. How can we prepare the Outlook app with your company email settings? With just a few steps, we can get this setup!

Step 1: From the Azure Portal go to Intune –> Clients Apps –> App configuration policies and click Add

Step 2: Give the configuration policy a name and description. Select Device Enrollment type, my preferred method is to use Managed apps, because this will deploy the policy to both enrolled and unenrolled devices. Select the Outlook apps on Associated app, and go to Configuration settings.

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