• Hi Clive,
    I hear your frustration and I’m sorry that you’re caught up in Microsoft’s focus on the cloud and neglect of on-premises products. I didn’t know about the rebuilding of the search index not working, very poor showing from Microsoft.

  • Just about a year ago, I looked at Azure Sentinel, a new cloud-based security information and event management (SIEM) from Microsoft. Since then, I’ve deployed it for two clients with a third to follow soon. In this article, I’ll recap some of the lessons I learned and how Sentinel can fit into a modern SMB cyber strategy.

  • Anyone who has purchased a Windows device from Microsoft or several other vendors in the last few years might have been presented with Windows Hello. A biometrics-based technology (face or fingerprint scans), it lets you securely and quickly sign in to your device. In this article, we’ll look at a real-world deployment of Windows Hello for Business at a small independent school in Australia.

  • Hi Jack,

    There's no tie in to DAGs specifically BUT the Preferred Architecture assumes that you're using clusters and DAGs (after all, you don't want a single failed server to bring down your entire Exchange environment). 

    I'm not really sure what the NVMe disk will give you in this scenario, as mentioned, Microsoft assumes individual (non-RAID) HDDs for storage of your mailbox databases and the SSD for caching is "icing on the cake". 

    Or put another way – are you or your users seeing degraded performance today? You've got some sweet SSDs there – they'll be LOT faster than HDDs. 

    Hope that helps,


  • Hi Jack,

    Glad you liked the article.
    It depends, not so much on the size of the databases, but on the number of physical HDDs that underlies them. How many drives do you have? Are they just plain drives (not RAID) as the Preferred Architecture specifies?
    The recommendation is one SSD per three HDDs so that’ll be your design point.
    Having said that, I don’t know whether you’d get better performance if you just introduced a single SSD, I don’t have a system of your size to test that.
    Let us know about the number of drives,


  • Information governance is a hot topic for IT, particularly as GDPR, CCPA, and other regulations start to take hold. Microsoft has been providing information governance tools for your documents for quite a few years now, but until recently, there hasn’t been a first-party tool to manage structured data in databases and data lakes. In this post, we’ll look at the recent public preview of Azure Purview and talk about why you should consider using it in your business.

  • OAuth is an open standard for access delegation to resources on behalf of a resource owner. So-called OAuth Apps are used to grant access to the user’s resources. In this article, we’ll look at the threat that fake OAuth apps pose, what you can do to protect yourself using Azure Active Directory (AAD), and, if you have the licensing, Microsoft’s Cloud App Security (MCAS), which offers additional protection.

  • Are you looking for a way to ensure that your business doesn’t end up in tomorrow’s headlines due to a data breach? Concerned that your staff, probably mostly working from home on unmanaged devices, are putting your business data at risk? Keen to implement a Security Information and Event Management solution (SIEM) but overwhelmed by all the options and infrastructure required? Azure Sentinel from Microsoft is a good place to start. And if you’re using Microsoft 365, you can get value from day one at no extra cost.

  • In this post, we’ll look at what Microsoft Cloud App Security is, how it works, what you can do with it, its various licensing levels , and how it works with other Microsoft security products.

  • Hi William, 

    Thanks for the feedback, which I agree with. 

    Many small and medium businesses won't look beyond a built in capability like this and for a small investment in effort they'll increase their security a great deal. But yes, if you're a large enterprise or you need very specific security functionality there are third party services available. 




  • Hi Matt,

    Thanks for the kind words and I'm very glad to hear that it worked out for your org. It really makes sense but it always takes time to change "best practise truths" that have been around for a long time. 

  • This article looks at various password attacks, good password policies and management, and how you can improve your Microsoft 365 tenants’ security stance in just a few clicks by enabling Azure AD Password Protection.

  • Hi Allan, 
    Interesting observation, I think it depends on what's happening at the time. If I'm presenting and conveying theory information, yes I agree with you. But there are many times in modern learning when it's less about "the lecture" and more about facilitating exploration and learning by the students themselves. And certainly in this part of a learning experience (in a physical classroom) I do want the learners to interact amongst themselves, many times students have experience and skills to contribute to the overall learning and I'd like to replicate that experience in a virtual classroom. 

    Hope that makes sense,


  • In this article, I’ll try to condense my experience over the last few years (and especially the last few months) in delivering IT training remotely—the good, the bad, and the downright ugly—into some tips and tricks. I’ll also have some suggestions for learners on how to get the maximum value from this type of training. Finally, I’ll look at the future of (IT) training and how we can all adapt to the “new normal.”

  • Hi Ron,
    Thanks for your feedback – I was expecting some comments on this piece and you really didn't disappoint. 

    I agree with your points regarding the issues around Microsoft's Windows 10 releases, although I would point out that more recent releases have had improved quality and less issues. I think Microsoft does work hard to learn from their mistakes. 

    As for using the same approach internally in a business I can understand your concerns. I would mention that you don't have to take every Windows 10 release, especially if you're on the fall releases you can stick with it for up to 30 months, which would give you longer to do more comprehensive testing of all business applications. For what it's worth I upgrade my client's Windows 10 installations every 12 months, with some testing of their most important applications but not comprehensive testing of every app, but then again I work in SMB and not enterprises. 

    And finally, I do agree that Microsoft's decision to get rid of their testers in hindsight probably wasn't the best decision they could have made. 

    Overall though I do think there needs to be a balance between the IT department's desktop management approach from 10-20 years ago (what I call the "Stalin school of IT") which is very regimented, very locked down and providing no flexibility for end users and the YOLO world of upgrading to every new release with no testing at all. Somewhere in-between (and it'll be different for every business) is where I think a modern IT department needs to be to help the business be more effective with their IT infrastructure investments. 

    Just my two cents 🙂

  • You know Microsoft is serious about something when there’s an exam for it. In this case, it’s MD-101, Managing Modern Desktops. In this article, we’ll look at what a modern desktop is and how it fits into Microsoft’s vision of a modern workplace.

  • Wow, a celebrity (Cameron Fuller) is commenting on my nine year old article :-). This is a good day for me. Anyway I agree – no serial No gathered. 

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