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Cloud Services Thread, Office 365. Overview? in Technical; Hi folks, I'm looking for an overview of what's required in setting up Office 365, ideally from someone that has ...
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    Gongalong's Avatar
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    Question Office 365. Overview?

    Hi folks,

    I'm looking for an overview of what's required in setting up Office 365, ideally from someone that has been through the process.

    My understanding is that you sign up with MS, install a sync tool on your AD, and redirect your MX record to them.

    Is there more to it than that? (aside from any mailbox migration) Are there things which turned into a can of worms and/or were very problematic?

    Very interested to hear your thoughts.

    TIA

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Are you wanting SSO? Then you will need to setup Active Directory Federated Services.

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    Gongalong (23rd September 2013)

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    I'm looking at this as well... would you install ADFS on an existing DC or a seperate server?

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    Separate server as it needs to be web accessible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    Are you wanting SSO? Then you will need to setup Active Directory Federated Services.
    We might be integrating with RM's Unify (which has its own flavour of SSO, an AD syncing tool), and they talk about refederating it.

    I'm not clear on what (re)federating does, but if we refederate with them does it mean (a) that we wouldn't need ADFS except that (b) we'd need it initially to get the accounts across?

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    Slow down, folks!

    I should get this as a tattoo: keep it as simple as you can, as long as you can.

    To get started you just need to sign up. No need for DirSync, no need for ADFS or anything. You can import users from a CSV file, add your domain, and get started in minutes.

    If you want to automatically provision users from your AD, and have passwords sync'd then you can deploy DirSync + Password Sync, that's the next level of integration.

    If you want full blown single sign-on and are prepared to make your environment highly available, to the outside world (securely, obviously), 24x7 then you can deploy ADFS but I would not start assuming you need it. The beauty is that you can scale up the integration as you need to - start simple, work up from there.

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    Gongalong (23rd September 2013), tech-man (23rd September 2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gongalong View Post
    We might be integrating with RM's Unify (which has its own flavour of SSO, an AD syncing tool), and they talk about refederating it.

    I'm not clear on what (re)federating does, but if we refederate with them does it mean (a) that we wouldn't need ADFS except that (b) we'd need it initially to get the accounts across?
    Their solution does everything. It takes users from AD and creates them in Office365 and manages the authentication using the same credentials as AD.

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    funkyfin2000 (24th September 2013)

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    Michael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WEPHack View Post
    Is it possible to setup Office 365 without the MX record I wonder? That way at least we could test it's working with Unify.
    Yes - you have to confirm ownership of your domain by placing a TXT file in the root of your website (as per instructions from Microsoft).

    You can then create users with the correct domain name/e-mail address, add all aliases, calendars etc... then make the MX change at the last minute.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gongalong View Post
    We might be integrating with RM's Unify (which has its own flavour of SSO, an AD syncing tool), and they talk about refederating it.

    I'm not clear on what (re)federating does, but if we refederate with them does it mean (a) that we wouldn't need ADFS except that (b) we'd need it initially to get the accounts across?
    Edu-IT is right, RM Unify does everything. We are rolling it out to 170 schools and so far so very good! :-)

    RM Unify installs a sync tool on *all* your servers and pushes all your users from your AD upto the cloud. A password sync tool also sits on the server and pushes all password changes up as well.

    Once all your users are in RM Unify it then passes them in to various different (quite a lot now and even more coming) 3rd party services. Office 365 or Google apps is one of the options you can take up.

    All your users are then created in Office 365 and then are managed at your AD end... the benefit being that you have to do very little user setup in O365 and of course in 3rd party apps too! All of your user management comes from your own AD. RM Unify provisions accounts in to all the 3rd party services too.

    They also have a great tool for the Sharepoint element too - Office 365 Site Creator that creates all your sites/pages/subsites etc through a really simple easy wizard. Once used, you can go back in to Site Creator to add certain content. Great tool for schools to use if they don't want the hassle of setting up Sharepoint in it's raw format!

    Take a look here - Discover: RM Unify but it's certainly worth considering against ADFS due the extra benefits it brings in to other 3rd party services (and it's own RM Books service too)

    Any more info needed, just shout - we have a lot of experience!

    Rich
    Last edited by funkyfin2000; 24th September 2013 at 08:37 AM.

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