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Cloud Services Thread, Office 365 in Technical; I wonder if you could answer something I was wondering with Office 365.... We're just one school in a trust. ...
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    Theblacksheep's Avatar
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    Office 365

    I wonder if you could answer something I was wondering with Office 365....

    We're just one school in a trust. Our head wants one domain for multiple schools but understands this might be some way off with the financial backing that would be needed to do this any time soon (properly). One of the main features required is email, which brought me round to thinking about office 365.

    Can a single 'online' domain be linked to multiple school domains? or would we have to create adfs or a domain that sits above the multiple schools?

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    Michael's Avatar
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    Alternatively just import all users with a CSV.

    You can add multiple domains @school1.com @school2.com under the same Office 365 account. You can then set up aliases so user1@school1.com would be their real address, with an alias user1@school2.com.

    You can also share calendars between the two Office 365 domains too.

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    Theblacksheep (22nd May 2013)

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    Theblacksheep's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting Michael, do admins have any control over the student mailboxes or storage areas? how about access to staff areas incase of emergency??

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    Michael's Avatar
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    You're welcome - an admin can reset a password and Office 365 auto generates a random password. The user's then forced to change this password at next Office 365 logon.

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    Theblacksheep (22nd May 2013)

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    Theblacksheep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    You're welcome - an admin can reset a password and Office 365 auto generates a random password. The user's then forced to change this password at next Office 365 logon.
    I take it from that you're not ADFSing and you use separate accounts?

    Any info available on how long it is guaranteed to be supported for free?

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    jamesbmarshall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theblacksheep View Post
    Any info available on how long it is guaranteed to be supported for free?
    While I'm in no position to guarantee anything, what I can say is that Microsoft has been offering this (well, Live@edu and now this) since about 2005 in various forms for free and I don't see that changing any time soon.

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    Theblacksheep (22nd May 2013)

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    Michael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theblacksheep View Post
    I take it from that you're not ADFSing and you use separate accounts?

    Any info available on how long it is guaranteed to be supported for free?
    Correct, I don't use ADFS. If you're wondering why, it's because your school servers and infrastructure become the weakest link in the chain. If your server(s) go offline or your internet goes down for example, no one can login to Office 365. Microsoft as you can imagine have many server farms and many internet connections. Something most schools simply cannot afford.

    As for Office 365 being free - Microsoft are in competition with Google and other companies using cloud web services, so it's in everyone's interest to remain competitive.

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    Theblacksheep (23rd May 2013)

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    EduTech's Avatar
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    You have a few options when you deploy Office 365 into your organization and soon you will be having another option to the list which will hopefully be of some use to those of you who have concerns about ADFS and the fact the weakest link on the deployment does then become those servers in your On Premise Organization. Not much can be said about such becoming available at present as no official information has been published but it will involve some form of Sync which allows you to manage the accounts from your On Premise Active Directory so that the same Username/Credentials are used but it won't be seamless login without ADFS but most just want the former! ;-) you hopefully can read between the lines.

    If you want a seamless login experience then you need to deploy AD FS in to your organization and ensure that it's deployed with HA/DR taken into account in order to ensure that the service is guaranteed to be online.

    If you don't mind about seamless login experience, and you just wanted to be able to manage your user accounts on-premise then you can deploy Directory Sync which will mirror your user accounts etc. and then at some point in the near future an addition to Dirsync will be made available for the password field ;-)

    If you don't mind have 2 separate accounts / credentials then you simply just import your users from a CSV and you manage your Online Services using Office 365 Portal User Management.

    Regards,
    James.

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    Theblacksheep (23rd May 2013)

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    Thanks for taking your time to respond, certainly is interesting. I have a feeling they would like SSO and seamless integration.

    The concern will be getting hooked and getting stung down the line. It would be difficult to match the services internally with several thousand users, the cost would be astronomical, which they may have some reservations about.

    Thanks again

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    Theblacksheep's Avatar
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    OK, OK, final question....

    If you have multiple schools domains in an overall domain, can you have admins to each schools domain or group? and overall admins? How much control of admin accounts can you have?

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    Michael's Avatar
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    Here are the type of admin accounts you can have.

    Typically you as a technician/network manager should have Global rights, with an ICT Co having Password rights.

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    Theblacksheep (24th May 2013)

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