Microsoft News Summary – 19 September 2014

The positive highlight for me is the excellent TechNet article on managing tiered Storage Spaces. The lowlight was the unannounced price changes in Azure – (A) it was unannounced (B) there was no notice, and (C) it means that customers cannot plan; customers hate each and every one of those, especially the latter.


Window Server


  • The September 30th Microsoft Event: Paul Thurrott (on Windows Weekly) confirmed that this event will not be streamed. Major mistake in my opinion. The attendees are a small set of media, and the subject matter is Windows “Threshold” in the enterprise. Sure … let’s not let the IT pros who will make the recommendation see the event. That’s reeeealllly sensible. Let the Windows 8 insanity continue.


Office 365



  • SPLA Audit start to finish: SPLA is based on an honour system – but audits have become a way of life with such licensing programs.


Microsoft News Summary – 12 September 2014

The big news yesterday was the leaking of screenshots of Windows “Threshold” (9). Most of them were more of the same, but we saw confirmation of some recently rumoured changes.


System Center Operations Manager

System Center Data Protection Manager


  • StorSimple Snapshot Manager: StorSimple Snapshot Manager is a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in that simplifies data protection and backup management in a Microsoft Azure StorSimple environment. You can use StorSimple Snapshot Manager to configure backup schedules and retention policies, generate on-demand backups, and clone or restore volumes.
  • The Microsoft Azure Sales Strategy for Small and Medium Enterprises: An article by me on
  • Announcing Long Term Retention for Azure Backup: Previously, we had announced long term retention for cloud backups from DPM. With this month’s release of the Azure Backup service, we are extending that capability to cloud backups from all currently supported SKUs of Windows Server and Windows Server Essentials.
  • Getting started with Azure Backup: It’s nice and easy, but resellers really could use a central portal.


Retaining my backup of PowerShell scripts for 9 years!

Windows Intune

  • Intune to support iOS 8 on Day 0: Next week iOS 8 will be released to the public, and the Windows Intune service will be ready on Day 0 to manage devices on this new version of the platform. With Managed Domains, enterprise data will be tracked from its source, which will allow management systems to better separate corporate from personal data. Document Extensions will provide significant interaction between applications, introducing new extensibility opportunities that iOS hasn’t had previously.
  • Day Zero Support for iOS 8 with Intune: Earlier this week Apple released iOS 8 to developers (public release on 9/17), and the Windows Intune service is ready to support your use of it.
  • Data sent to and from Windows Intune and System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager: As a Windows Intune customer, you have entrusted Microsoft to help protect your data. Microsoft values this trust, and the privacy and security of your data is one of our top concerns.

Office 365

  • Microsoft withdrew KB2889866 from Windows Update: "We are investigating an issue that is affecting the September 2014 update for Microsoft OneDrive for Business. Therefore, we have removed the update from availability for now. We apologize for any inconvenience that this might cause." < You wouldn’t care if you followed my "wait 1 month before approving updates" advice.
  • Office 365 Certificate Update Will Affect Some Exchange Deployments: On Sept. 23, 2014, Microsoft is planning a certificate change to the Microsoft Federation Gateway. Organizations that have hybrid networks combining Office 365 services with Exchange Server or that use the Microsoft Federation Gateway to establish trust relationships need to set up a certificate update process before the Sept. 23 deadline to "avoid any disruption" in service, according to Microsoft’s Wednesday announcement.


  • Azure Rights Management Administration Tool: Azure Rights Management Administration Tool installs the Windows PowerShell module for Azure Rights Management. Azure Rights Management provides the ability to enable the use of digital rights management technology in organizations that subscribe to the Office 365 services.


  • Microsoft stock hits highest price since 1999: With that in mind, Microsoft’s stock has hit a 52-week high today (Sept 6th), coming in at $45.93 at the time of closing, suggesting that Wall Street appears to approve of new CEO Satya Nadella’s direction for the company. FYI – the stock is now at $47.
  • Forget Conventional Wisdom, Microsoft (MSFT) Is A Growth Stock Again: Microsoft sales are growing at an annualized rate of over 25 percent again and the stock is up over 30 percent in the ensuing 7 months, well over double the increase in the broader market during that time.
  • (UK Government, William) Hague reassures MPs of data safety in Microsoft’s Dublin Data Centre: William Hague, the leader of the House of Commons, said there is nothing to fear after an MP said he was concerned about the security of parliamentary data stored on Microsoft’s Cloud-based servers in Europe. Billy-boy should read the news more, as one of his colleagues points out. This is exactly why Microsoft is fighting the US government on foreign-located data access.

Microsoft News Summary – 8 September 2014

It’s been 5 days since my last of these updates – events, meetings and travel take their toll!

Below you will see an announcement on how to deploy DPM in Azure to backup stuff from within Azure VMs (not a host level backup). Please note that this is licensed using on-premises SysCtr SML licenses and cloud management licensing is not the same as on-premises licensing. A SysCtr Datacenter SML covers 8 VMs in the cloud, so you might need lots more SysCtr licensing to manage Azure.

Microsoft has also launched a Migration Accelerator for Azure based on the InMage acquisition. Right now, the preview is limited to the USA. That’s pretty dumb; anyone who knows MSFT virtualization knows that Europe is the place to be.

Oh – the MSFT versus FBI Irish data centre case rumbles on. It’s clear that the motivations of the US government were not speed (the Irish government would have been quick to help) but are more along the lines of “Mine! MINE! MINE!!!! MY PRECIOUSSSSS!”.

Windows Server



Office 365



Microsoft News Summary – 25 August 2014

Not much has happened since last Friday morning. VMworld is on this week in San Francisco – maybe it’s no coincidence that there have been earthquakes nearby?


  • AzureConf, free online Azure conference: On September 25th, 2014, Microsoft will be hosting AzureConf, another free event for the Azure community. This event will feature a keynote presentation by Scott Guthrie, along with numerous sessions executed by Azure community members.



  • The Windows Intune Team will be performing scheduled maintenance at the end of August: All service functions and operations are expected to perform normally during this maintenance window. Once the upgrade to the Windows Intune service is complete, a number of mandatory agent updates will be pushed out to all PC client machines connected to the service. In most cases, these updates will not require a reboot after being applied.

Office 365

  • Matter Centric Legal Document Management: MSFT has launched a limited pilot program for an industry vertical O365 solution to improve the way law firms and attorneys work together by making it easier to organize files by client and matter, review documents, and find information when needed without ever leaving Microsoft Word or Outlook. < I wonder, if like some other verticals, this only applies to the USA … try set the URL to be non-US.

Microsoft News Summary – 4 July 2014

Not much news for you to read today: