Interlink Cloud Blog
Mike Wilson

Single Sign-on (SSO) Options with Azure Active Directory

Single Sign-on (SSO) Options with Azure Active Directory

Figuring out the best way to implement Single Sign-On (SSO) in a Microsoft cloud environment can be challenging given how the options have evolved over time, but it’s a key component of any successful Office 365 or Azure deployment. There are four main options on how you can configure SSO:

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Matt Scherocman

A Guide to Archiving Mail in Office 365 and Handling Terminated Users

A Guide to Archiving Mail in Office 365 and Handling Terminated Users

“Immutability” is the industry-standard term for “preserving data in the system so that it is discoverable and cannot be destroyed or altered."

With Exchange Server 2016 with Enterprise CAL or Exchange Online Plan 2 (included in Office 365 E3 and Office 365 E5 plans), Microsoft enables organizations to preserve individual or all mailbox items for discovery natively, keeping those items within the Exchange infrastructure. This approach is called, In-Place hold.

One significant benefit of hold - as opposed to separate, read-only storage - is that items are preserved within the Exchange infrastructure. This preserves more of the information, including metadata, and makes management easier for IT admins. Users benefit because they can manage their mailboxes using the familiar Outlook interface. From an IT-perspective, In-Place Hold eliminates the necessity and complexity of maintaining a separate infrastructure and potentially storage for Exchange items.

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Matt Scherocman

Comparing Microsoft Office 365 F1 vs E1 Licensing Plans for Firstline Workers

Comparing Microsoft Office 365 F1 vs E1 Licensing Plans for Firstline Workers

Firstline Workers – a workforce comprised of over 2 billion employees including retail sales associates, hospitality staff, medical workers and teams on the manufacturing floor - are often the first and only representation of your brand with your customers. To help transform and empower this workforce, Microsoft Office 365 offers two specific licensing plans that were designed to foster culture, collaboration, and teamwork through technology enablement at a much lower cost per user.

The first plan is the Office 365 F1 licensing plan (a replacement to the K1 Kiosk plan). It was created for deskless workers – users who are often working away from a desk or using a shared PC and don’t need desktop versions of Office. The other plan is the E1 plan.

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Matt Scherocman

Microsoft Teams | A Hub for Teamwork in Office 365

Microsoft Teams | A Hub for Teamwork in Office 365

Microsoft announced their ‘new vision for intelligent communications’ recently at the Microsoft Ignite 2017 conference, which is to move towards merging everyday communication tasks that users navigate daily into a single application or teamwork hub in Office 365. The typical knowledge worker switches between many different Microsoft applications throughout their work day when interacting with files, meetings, conversations, phone calls, etc. Microsoft is paving the way for their Teams application to be the core communications client for collaborating as a group within Office 365.

Microsoft Teams was launched worldwide in March 2017 and is available to subscribers with the following plans: Business Essentials, Business Premium and Enterprise E1, E3, and E5. At the core, Microsoft Teams is a persistent chat and teamwork hub for Office 365. Built on top of Office 365 Groups and SharePoint, Microsoft Teams can tie together other Office 365 applications into a single client including Exchange, OneDrive and Skype for Business.

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Matt Scherocman

How Does Archiving in Office 365 Work?

Immutability is the industry-standard term for “preserving data in the system so that it is discoverable, and cannot be destroyed or altered."

With Exchange Server 2016, and Exchange Online, Microsoft enables organizations to preserve individual or all mailbox items for discovery natively, keeping those items within the Exchange infrastructure. This approach is called, In-Place hold.

One significant benefit of hold as opposed to separate, read-only storage is that items are preserved within the Exchange infrastructure, preserving more of the information including metadata and making management easier for IT admins. Users benefit because they can manage their mailboxes using the familiar Outlook interfaces. From an IT-perspective, In-Place Hold eliminates the necessity and complexity of maintaining a separate infrastructure and potentially storage for Exchange items.

Exchange gives organizations the flexibility to choose the architecture that can help meet their immutability requirements whether that is on-premises, online, or a hybrid of both, and supports the ability to store archived items in a separate physical location.

In Exchange Online, you can use In-Place Hold or Litigation Hold to accomplish the following goals:

  • Enable users to be placed on hold and preserve mailbox items immutably
  • Preserve mailbox items deleted by users or automatic deletion processes such as MRM
  • Protect mailbox items from tampering, changes by a user, or automatic processes by saving a copy of the original item
  • Preserve items indefinitely or for a specific duration
  • Keep holds transparent from the user by not having to suspend MRM
  • Use In-Place eDiscovery to search mailbox items, including items placed on hold

Additionally, you can use In-Place Hold to:

  • Search and hold items matching specified criteria
  • Place a user on multiple In-Place Holds for different cases or investigations

How does Litigation Hold work?

In the normal deleted item workflow, a mailbox item is moved to the Deletions subfolder in the Recoverable Items folder when a user permanently deletes it (Shift + Delete) or deletes it from the Deleted Items folder. A deletion policy (which is a retention tag configured with a Delete retention action) also moves items to the Deletions subfolder when the retention period expires. When a user purges an item in the Recoverable Items folder or when the deleted item retention period expires for an item, it's moved to the Purges subfolder in the Recoverable Items folder and marked for permanent deletion. It will be purged from Exchange the next time the mailbox is processed by the Managed Folder Assistant (MFA).

When a mailbox is placed on Litigation Hold, items in the Purges subfolder are preserved for the hold duration specified by the Litigation Hold. The hold duration is calculated from the original date an item was received or created, and defines how long items in the Purges subfolder are held. When the hold duration expires for an item in the Purges subfolder, the item is marked for permanent deletion and will be purged from Exchange the next time the mailbox is processed by the MFA. If an indefinite hold is placed on a mailbox, items will never be purged from the Purges subfolder.

The following illustration shows the subfolders in the Recoverable Items folders and the hold workflow process.

Archiving in Office 365

See this technet article for additional information, or you can view the general sales site from Microsoft here.

Contact Interlink today for help in defining your needs, which licensing options would be the best fit, and actually getting the service configured correctly to ensure the right data is being kept and deleted.  

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