Day tree is just over and the halftime of the Ignite 2018 is already reached. Walking around the convention centre I hear more and more people who are coughing around and walking slower and slower. This do not surprise me really because inside the air conditioners are cooling the temperature down, so we need to wear jackets, and outside we are having daily around 36 degree. So, people are getting out of the Building for a smoke or to change the area, because the temperature difference is that high they start sweating, then they get back into the convention centre and TADAA, the get sick.

So much to do, so little time

This day on Ignite in Orlando I start with the Session: Turbo charge your Exchange on-premises and hybrid environment, this session was made by Steve Goodman whom I had the pleasure to meet yesterday at the Ignite.

Steve was talking about charging Exchange Servers, how to install them and about what we have to look for.

One of the main points was about design principles for Exchange. Here he spoke about how the design has to look like for a high availability. There were a lot of basic stuff, but I still like, how Steve is committing the know-how to the people. If we talk about availability it is very important to keep all simple, that means, we need to try to reduce the complexity and simplify our solution. Of course, we also need to build our environment redundant and the used components should by itself too.

Another point is to design the environment for functionality as well. Exchange is today not just an E-Mail services anymore, no, it is a part of a productivity suite! However, another point to think about functionality is to reduce (or remove) 3rd party tools for archives and journaling. If we have a look at Exchange online depends on the E-Plan, users are having now 50GB or 100GB Mailboxes. So, what is working in Exchange online, also works for on-premise, that means we can start using Large Mailboxes instead of 3rd party archives. This is even better for the users, because they have all their data on the same place. Journaling can be used by Exchange itself or by using Office 365 / Exchange online.

By talking about Office 365 it is also worth to think about a hybrid integration, that means to figure out if there is a need for MS Teams integration, conditional Access or Outlook Mobile.


To start with preferred Architecture, there are tree levels to think about:

         Preferred Architecture – Which is structured.

         Best Practices – Which is recommended.

         Custom – Which we need to support.


Steve was also presenting about Namespace designing, Data centre designing, Server designing and about DAG designing. However, I will later come back to these themes and write a dedicated article about it. So sorry for the cliff-hanger here.


A clone needed

Yesterday evening there was a Party organized by HPE. Some people I have met during the Ignite went there, I for myself have decided not to go there, there are so many cool sessions here around and after my bad experience yesterday about the hangout area it is hard to decide, which of them to visit. This is now the moment, I wish I would have an own clone that I can split myself to see more sessions at the same time. I guess if I would go to the party yesterday, It, would be even worse for me today.

However, maybe I will give the hangout area another chance, or I will need after the Ignite another week time to re watch all the sessions I didn’t managed…


Session two

The 2nd session for today was about Hybrid Exchange: Making it easier and faster to move to the cloud. This session was made by Jeff Kizner, Principle PM Manager for Exchange by Microsoft. If we take a look, how the session is called, it makes clear, it is about making the handling of a hybrid environment easier. However, Jeff started his session with showing some stories from the daily business which we all know are working with Exchange hybrid. Many problems we are having today, are about handling the different types of policies. Here Jeff spoke about the retention policy, retention policy tags, OWA Mailbox policy and active sync Mailbox policies.

Here Jeff made great announcement! Microsoft will be releasing an Agent (HCW) for managing organization configuration transfers in the version 2.

However, till today the handling of the following policies were possible:

–         Retention policy

–         Retention policy tags

–         OWA Mailbox policy

–         Mobile device Mailbox policy

–         Active Sync Mailbox policy


New we will also be able to copy the following things as well:

–         DLP policy

–         Organization Config

–         Active Sync Device Access Rules

–         Active Sync Org. Settings

–         Maleware Filter Policy

–         Address Lists


So that is a bulk of new opportunities which really makes the Exchange admin daily work easier.


Also configuring the hybrid, itself will be in the future way much easier. Here is the Goal:

  1. Singup for Exchange online
  2. Run the HCW
  3. Move Mailboxes


Hybrid Publishing

To establish a hybrid Exchange environment, customers must publish their on-premises environments. This includes, but is not limited to, adding external DNS entries, updating certificates, and allowing inbound network connections through your firewall. Over time, Microsoft learned of two consistent problems here, (1) this is hard for some customers. The number of support cases are asking for help in these areas tells them that. And (2) some customers, really their security wonks, do not want to publish their on-premises environments to the internet.


Microsoft Hybrid Agent

Today, Microsoft has introduced the world to the Hybrid Agent. Put simply, the goal of the Hybrid Agent is to fix those customer problems. Now, when running the Hybrid Configuration Wizard (HCW) you are presented with the option to use Exchange Modern Hybrid

This will install an agent, built on the same technology as Azure Application Proxy, this will publish your Exchange on-premises environment to EXO without requiring any of the change’s customers have struggled with.

V1 of the Hybrid Agent will support the core scenarios of mailbox moves and free/busy for your hybrid deployment and is in private preview now. Microsoft has focused on getting to public preview and GA as quick as possible. In the meantime, Microsoft is also working on additional scenarios they can support with the Hybrid Agent.


My third session

Third session I have chosen for today is a short one, an easy going one, but also a good one! The session was called: Three PowerShell reports every Office 365 admin needs to know, presented from the Microsoft MVP Vlad Catrinescu.

Vlad was presenting us three PowerSHell scripts about creating reports for Sharepoint online, Office 365 Groups usage and Profile completeness Report. However, it makes no sense to explain much about this session here in this article. He showed three scripts and explained to the crowd, how these scripts are basically working out.

Of course, I will show you his coordinates here, where you can get the scripts and check it out, how they are working.

Vlad has five channels how he and his content can be reached:

Twiter:           @vladcatrinescu

LinkedIn: vladcatrinescu


Pluralsight: vlad-catrinescu

GitHub: vladcatrinescu/Ignite-2018


Have fun…



My today`s last session

The last one for today was the session about Control and protect your data through privileged access management capabilities in Microsoft 365 from Abhishek Kumar and Caroline Shin.

This session was about controlling access to customer data in an important part of a strong data protection strategy. They showed us the new privileged access management capabilities in Office 365 and further enhancements Microsoft is delivering to provide broader privileged access management across Microsoft 365.




Like I have written in the beginning of this article, the Ignite has past the halftime already. The crowd and the general convention mood is very good. People are networking having fun, playing Ping-Pong, and some are hunting swags. In one hand it is difficult to explain the atmosphere here, in the other hand I think the photo below explains it quite good. 😊










I for my side have started writing this article at this time, after some 30, 40 minutes I have decided to take an ice-cream as well and I went to play one, two rounds of Fifa 19 at the X-Box lounge.

After I have lost two games I went back to my people and later to a steakhouse and afterword’s back to the hotel to finish this article.

However, I am already looking forward for the day tomorrow with many expected highlights from the technical point of view… And of course, the Ignite Universal Studio Party. 😊