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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Anyone used or using MS Live@Edu ? in Technical; Hi folks Just interested to make contact with anyone using the MS Live@Edu service for staff/students. Thinking about using this ...
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    UKDarkstar's Avatar
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    Anyone used or using MS Live@Edu ?

    Hi folks

    Just interested to make contact with anyone using the MS Live@Edu service for staff/students.

    Thinking about using this just for those staff and students using our Moodle based VLE (HNC/HND students) and looking at any potential pitfalls.

    Thanks

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    jamesbmarshall's Avatar
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    Hi!

    This thread might shed some light on your question: live@edu

    You might also want to check out this site for Moodle-related stuff: Microsoft Education Labs


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    UKDarkstar (11th September 2010)

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    There are several of us on here that use it (including me), I'm happy to answer any specific questions

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    UKDarkstar (11th September 2010)

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    Yes please. I really, really ought to get my head around this and I will read that long MS UK implementation guide I just found.. eventually.. but a few potentially simple feature questions about the e-mail side:

    a) Skimming some MS FAQ somewhere it blathers on about Students, Staff and Alumni and there's stuff about whether various categories do or don't get (sanitised) tips and advertisements etc. What is that all about then? If you put a bunch of Students on it what do they get? If you put a bunch of Staff on it what do they get?

    b) Does delegation work i.e. so person A can be given rights to read mail for and send-on-behalf of person B *without* having to logoff and log on as person B?

    c) Can you point normal Outlook at it?

    d) Can you point Active Syncing gadgets at it?

    e) Does it have deleted item/mailbox retention? If so for how long and can you make it longer?

    f) Is it possible to restrict the domains students can send to? If so would that be all students or could you restrict particular [year] groups of students?

    g) Suppose I might have already hit some, but given that it's free what *realistic* missing features would make someone discount Live@Edu and get a local Exchange instead? [Ignore the obvious account provisioning, password syncing and anything really arcane that hardly anyone uses on Exchange.]

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    jamesbmarshall's Avatar
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    I'll try and answer your questions as best I can!

    a) Skimming some MS FAQ somewhere it blathers on about Students, Staff and Alumni and there's stuff about whether various categories do or don't get (sanitised) tips and advertisements etc. What is that all about then? If you put a bunch of Students on it what do they get? If you put a bunch of Staff on it what do they get?

    Live@edu is provided no cost with no advertising for users. You can host staff, students and alumni on the system (you can also use different domains: staff.youruni.ac.uk, students.youruni.ac.uk, alumni.youruni.ac.uk, for example).

    Alumni, applicants/trial users and other non-student users of Live@edu will see banner advertisements for third-party products. Microsoft will ensure that third-party advertisements are family-safe and follow their creative acceptance policy.

    You get a whole lot of cool stuff as part of the Live@edu offering. (10GB mailbox and 25GB SkyDrive is pretty awesome for a start!)

    b) Does delegation work i.e. so person A can be given rights to read mail for and send-on-behalf of person B *without* having to logoff and log on as person B?

    I believe at least some of this is possible to set up using PowerShell.

    c) Can you point normal Outlook at it?

    Live@edu is device-agnostic; you can connect your laptop, desktop, and mobile phone to the service; Microsoft Outlook is supported as a desktop client.

    d) Can you point Active Syncing gadgets at it?

    As above.

    e) Does it have deleted item/mailbox retention? If so for how long and can you make it longer?

    Not sure of this.

    f) Is it possible to restrict the domains students can send to? If so would that be all students or could you restrict particular [year] groups of students?

    Live@edu has a "closed campus" option. The closed campus policy blocks any external e-mail traffic, except for the external domains or internal groups that have been specified as exceptions. Groups within the organisation can be configured to bypass this policy.

    g) Suppose I might have already hit some, but given that it's free what *realistic* missing features would make someone discount Live@Edu and get a local Exchange instead? [Ignore the obvious account provisioning, password syncing and anything really arcane that hardly anyone uses on Exchange.]

    This really does depend on your definition of "realistic". Live@edu is pretty fully featured for the most part. Granted, there are features that having an on-premises Exchange server can offer but with that you've also got to consider the local management of the server (backing up, anti-virus, etc) and the fact that the mailbox offering is likely to be a LOT less than 10GB.

    If you're thinking of deploying why not set up a test domain to have a hands-on play with the features? The University of Aberdeen recently deployed Live@edu, you can read more about it here - perhaps it will help?

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    PiqueABoo (14th September 2010), UKDarkstar (14th September 2010)

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    I'm more concerned about the DNS record change that's required. The deployment doc seems to list specific US registrars but not for .co.uk domains. My situation is that I have no control over the domain as this is done by another company. We will want to use the service only on our VLE subdomain as we will restrict which staff and students can use it.

    I will have to go through another IT bod here who will then communiate DNS changes out to the third party company (already on nearly 2 weks just to get a subdomain setup !).

    What are the changes needed as I see it talks about having to verify the domain etc. ?

    Oh, and no AD/LDAP here etc
    Last edited by UKDarkstar; 14th September 2010 at 11:44 AM.

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    As long as you can make changes to the DNS records relating to the domain you should be fine.

    Verifying domain ownership is relatively simple; IIRC you can add a TXT entry using the information provided to you by the Live@edu setup wizard and once it detects the entry you should be fine.


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    UKDarkstar (15th September 2010)

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    They require a CNAME addition to be made and obviously an MX record change when you are ready to route mail through it.

    Very simple, as resellers of the commercial version I have to say it's one of the most painless cloud based conversions I have had to deal with.

    I was sceptical at first however it all seems a bit of a no brainer now.

    The commercial version, microsoftonline.com gives full exchange services for as little as £3.50 pm for a 25GB mailbox no hardware needed, no backup headaches, AV and Spam all taken care of.
    We have stopped selling SBS altogether now, entry level businesses, an ML330 with 2008 Foundation Edition + Microsoft Online Subscription job done.

    You could probably tie in a cloud based storage service and drop the server completely......

    Oh! but now without any kit to service Im redundant....... I never thought of that one, maybe it's not such a good idea after all!

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    UKDarkstar (15th September 2010)

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    We are using live@edu.. Feel free to get in contact if you need any help about deploying it, especially with ILM etc.

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    non-student users of Live@edu will see banner advertisements for third-party products
    Staff = non-student so they get them then?
    Banner advert = web i/f. Presumably ads won't be patched onto the end of e-mails so if they use Outlook they won't notice?

    The closed campus policy blocks any external e-mail traffic, except for the external domains or internal groups that have been specified as exceptions. Groups within the organisation can be configured to bypass this policy.
    Interesting so in principle you could have:

    -Staff and older student can send anywhere
    -Younger students restricted to say "sch.uk". Would the latter match "fred@any.thing.sch.uk" or only "fred@sch.uk"?

    Microsoft Outlook is supported as a desktop client.
    Definitely not Outlook 2003 on the one I've got my hands on (not sure if this is a regular test account or not). IMAP4 doesn't count, as in why would you bother to run Outlook for a severely cut down mailbox feature set?

    This really does depend on your definition of "realistic".
    I was trying to avoid hearing about really arcane/specialist requirements that just aren't useful to most of us. Let's put it another way - why do some organisations apparently choose to put students on Live@Edu, but staff on a different mail system? I've seen a few state they do that (but not why), and of course there's the "Shared Address Space" scenarios to make it easy to do that with a single mail domain used by both.

    --
    AV and Spam all taken care of.
    Which is a very, very significant plus.

    Oh! but now without any kit to service Im redundant
    I'm trying to do myself out of a very occasional job commissioning Exchanges. That doesn't bother me because although they tend to just work, the support for the management side of things (with folk who needed me to set it up) can be <diplomacymode>somewhat frustrating</diplomacymode>.

    ---

    So what kind of reliability are we looking at? Have there been any unplanned outages say in the last year and how long?

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PiqueABoo View Post
    ./.. why do some organisations apparently choose to put students on Live@Edu, but staff on a different mail system? ...
    For us, it was as simple as the staff already having exchange, and the students had nothing.

    We gave the students Live@edu, so they could have mailbox + webapps + skydrive

    We set the staff up in live@edu so they could use their current email address etc to login to live@edu and share the skydrive and webapps function (they dont have a live@edu mailbox, they continue to use local exchange)

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    box_l's Avatar
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    Hi,

    As a test for one of my primaries, I have the DNS record setup and the next move appears to be the MX record. The thing is, the already have an internal exchange server and this is really only being set up to provide remote access for e-mail.
    If the LEA (DNS, MX record provider) change the MX to point to the Live@edu, mail will no longer get to the exchange box.

    Can someone please enlighten me as to the best way to set things up so mail gets to both the internal and live mailboxes and all mail comes from the same sender.
    e.g. s.one@school.sch.uk
    not s.one@live.edu.co.uk

    I have read the documentation that comes with this but cannot quite get it.

    Regards,

    BoX

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    For us, it was as simple as the staff already having exchange, and the students had nothing.
    Alas, that seems to be a common story.

    Can't really explain it but it strikes me as an odd area... lots and lots of references out there but very few are useful, and even fewer of those are technically interesting e.g. some cool, cunning and helpful thing you might do with an arcane Cmdlet or two. That codeplex link points to projects with relatively small download figures. You wrote that remarkably posh doc on ILM etc. didn't you? Did you pause to wonder why there weren't lots of guides like that kicking around out there already? Or that the only reasonably comprehensive L@E implementation guide appears to be the MS UK one which only appeared at the start of the year? How long is it that Live@du been going now?

    Perhaps the message is that cloud computing will be cloudy: a bit dull, grey and opaque. Suspect some of it is because of the MS "partner" thing (I have never tripped up over that word so often and I once sorted that status out for an employer), and it seems a lot people are firing and forgetting: I bet almost everyone with a local Exchange knows what retention time they have for their user's deleted mail, but no answer yet for my question about that for users set up on Live@edu?

    this is really only being set up to provide remote access for e-mail.
    Will that LEA not allow/configure incoming HTTPS access to OWA on the Exchange server? The one here will.

    Keep it simple. Having an Exchange to begin with, never mind Exchange and Live@Edu doing shared address space seems like serious overkill for a Primary.
    Last edited by PiqueABoo; 15th September 2010 at 11:07 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by box_l View Post
    Hi,

    As a test for one of my primaries, I have the DNS record setup and the next move appears to be the MX record. The thing is, the already have an internal exchange server and this is really only being set up to provide remote access for e-mail.
    If the LEA (DNS, MX record provider) change the MX to point to the Live@edu, mail will no longer get to the exchange box.

    Can someone please enlighten me as to the best way to set things up so mail gets to both the internal and live mailboxes and all mail comes from the same sender.
    e.g. s.one@school.sch.uk
    not s.one@live.edu.co.uk

    I have read the documentation that comes with this but cannot quite get it.

    Regards,

    BoX
    You need a sub domain @students.school.sch.uk The documentation mentions this?

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    box_l's Avatar
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    @PiqueABoo

    Will that LEA not allow/configure incoming HTTPS access to OWA on the Exchange server? The one here will
    Absolutely they will, no problems at all. However there are not enough IP addresses allocated to the LEA for all the schools to have one each!?

    So I was looking for another solution. And I always want to keep it simple, but I am paid to do as requested.


    @NewOrder

    You need a sub domain @students.school.sch.uk
    I shall re-read. Thanks.

    BoX

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