Exchange and the Default Domain Controllers GPO

Exchange and the Default Domain Controllers GPO | E-Mail | Chicago IT | Equilibrium | EQInc.comI recently ran across an issue with an Exchange 2010 server that was configured for a hybrid Office 365 setup. The on-premises Exchange 2010 server had the majority of mailboxes migrated to Office 365 and was serving primarily as an onsite SMTP relay and CAS server. 

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Office 365 vs. Google Apps

Office 365 vs. Google Apps | E-Mail | Chicago IT | Equilibrium | EQInc.comGoing to the cloud is not a matter of if, but when. Email is the big thing; email is one of the major draws in getting companies to look at online solutions. There are two primary vendors providing robust email services online, Microsoft and Google.

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10 Decision Points & Considerations for Cloud Migrations

10 Decision Points & Considerations for Cloud Migrations | Chicago IT | Equilibrium | EQInc.comIn today's IT landscape we hear the term Cloud in most conversations, almost every vendor slick and the majority of advertisements. It is a term that is usually positioned to portray a sense of ease and simplicity for Cloud migrations. While there are many advantages to moving data to the Cloud, the decision to do so should be carefully considered and highly scrutinized.

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ShareFile and the Chicago Construction Industry

Equilibrium recently deployed ShareFile Enterprise at a Chicago-based mid-market company in the construction industry. This blog post describes how the hype and promise surrounding ShareFile has come true for this company. This is a strong example of benefits available in the construction industry with similar benefits in most every other industry.

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Azure AD Directory Sync Primer

Microsoft Azure is making progress catching up to its competitors. While Office 365 is clearly a leader in cloud service offering Microsoft has many products in this space. One central theme centers around how to provision users for these services and simplify management. AD FS (Active Directory Federation Service) has been around since Windows 2003 R2 yet has remained a complex service to build into an organization.

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EMC VNXe 3200 - Massive Value for Chicagoland SMBs

The EMC VNXe 3200 was released in April 2014 is providing massive value to SMBs in Chicagoland and beyond. Its predecessor is the VNXe 3300 (yes, the newer edition actually has a lower model number). It has many of the same features available in its big brother, the VNX 5200, with a reduced price point. 

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M&A Deals up 24 Percent by Leveraging IT Leaders

M&A deals are up 24 percent in the U.S. in 2014 according to CIO.com. There is no doubt that within this surge of activity, business leaders and private equity firms in Chicago are leveraging IT leaders to understand risks and highlight opportunities for synergy. IT leaders, such as those with the skill set of a CIO, have a trained eye to catch key details that a CEO or CFO might naturally miss.

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Windstream - Open Mike Night with Mike Ditka and Mike Singletary

Equilibrium attended “Open Mike Night”, an event hosted by our partner Windstream, to announce the grand opening of their new Chicago data center. Mike Ditka and Mike Singletary spoke at this event and took pictures with the guests. In my opinion, Windstream’s brand new Chicago data center is an unbelievable new facility.

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Office 365 Client Compatibility

I’m writing this post to help clear up any confusion that might revolve around questions of Office 365 client compatibility (between Office 365, web browsers, legacy versions of Microsoft Office, and the Windows OS). The theme that runs across Microsoft's recommendations for Office 365 is "stay current, or pretty close."

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VSAN vs. Traditional Storage

The VMWare VSAN is getting a lot of hype and is an exciting technology. It allows a datacenter to leverage local storage in ESXi hosts without needing a traditional shared storage device such as an EMC or NetApp SAN (among many other vendors).

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Using Multi-NIC vMotion is a No Brainer

Multi-NIC vMotion was released 3+ years ago in August 2011 included with vSphere 5.0. Even through it has been available for a long time, I wanted to write a post to highlight how useful a feature it is (especially for 1-Gig networks) and show how simple it is to setup (it’s a no-brainer).

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HP Gen9 Servers are Ready for the SDDC

The HP Gen9 rackmount, tower and blade servers allow customers to take their hypervisor compute density to the next level. HP Gen9 servers have been generally available since September 8, 2014. Along with many other vendors like VMware and Cisco, HP is marketing of their new Gen9 server by leveraging the SDDC movement, hype and jargon (Software Defined Data Center).

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Published Applications Throwdown: VMware Horizon 6 vs. Citrix XenApp 7.5

It looks like with the new VMware Horizon 6 announcement offering, VMware is working with Microsoft to offer features tightly integrated with Microsoft Remote Desktop Services. This will allow VMware Horizon 6 to offer published application delivery. While VMware’s offering has a lot of work to do with features that make XenApp still the superior product, VMware could quickly become a tough competitor in a space that Citrix has dominated in. 

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Veeam v8 and NetApp Snapshots

Veeam announced on Monday, 4/7/14, that they are releasing storage snapshot functionality for NetApp. Veeam expects to release this feature in the second half of 2014 with Backup and Replication v8. This is a major announcement as this feature can provide the best of both worlds for SMBs.

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Windows 8.1 Update - What System Admins need to know

About 6 months after Windows 8.1 has been generally available Microsoft is ready to release an update. The release, affectionately known as just Windows 8.1 Update, will be released as part of the upcoming Patch Tuesday on April 8th. For system administrators there are few details that are good to know.

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Windows XP End of Life - End of an Era

Windows XP is by far the most resilient Microsoft OS to date. Released in October of 2001 and improved with each service pack… Remember SP2 and the built-in firewall set on by default. Revolutionary. I write this and it sounds silly but those were big changes for Microsoft.

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