Onedrive for Business Design Specification

Having worked on this document for quite some time I felt the need to publish it just about now. I see alot of attention on the Onedrive for business client as it has matured greatly over the past year and many national and international companies are looking towards what this solution can offer. The below design outlines a lot of these considerations, including network latency, legislation, features and of course a large collection of valuable links when considering the implementation of Onedrive for Business.
I will update document as my work brings me further into this area. Until then I hope you will enjoy this piece of work and benefit as much from it as I have.

Onedrive for Business Design Specification (located on Google drive)

Microsoft Cloud solution – Security, Auditing, Traceability and how do they react to data breach

You might have an interest in Microsoft cloud hosting security, auditing and / or data protection, just like me. I’ve collected a few good links, that should get you started.

First of, a little on how they react if breaches will happen, because they will at some point in some way. Major or minor…
How Would Microsoft Respond to a Data Breach of the Azure services?

Secondly, this white paper examines how Microsoft investigates, manages, and responds to security incidents within Azure.
Microsoft Azure Security Response in the Cloud

So how do they protect their physical data centers as well as your data and which certifications do they comply to?
Security, Audits, and Certifications

A little on their politics for how they manage and regard your data.
With Microsoft, you are the owner of your customer data.

And lastly a more wide perspective article.
5 questions every executive should be asking their security team

EICAR Standard Anti-Virus Test File

Recently a customer was testing antivirus scanning software, both on trafic and on servers/clients. This had to be tested on several environments, including production and really didnt want to use a real infected file. The following showed up, didn’t know about it, chances are there are others that doesnt know about this.

“The EICAR Standard Anti-Virus Test File or EICAR test file is a computer file that was developed by the European Institute for Computer Antivirus Research (EICAR) and Computer Antivirus Research Organization (CARO), to test the response of computer antivirus (AV) programs. Instead of using real malware, which could do real damage, this test file allows people to test anti-virus software without having to use a real computer virus.

Anti-virus programmers set the EICAR string as a verified virus, similar to other identified signatures. A compliant virus scanner, when detecting the file, will respond in exactly the same manner as if it found a harmful virus. Not all virus scanners are compliant, and may not detect the file even when they are correctly configured.

The use of the EICAR test string can be more versatile than straightforward detection: a file containing the EICAR test string can be compressed or archived, and then the antivirus software can be run to see whether it can detect the test string in the compressed file.”

EICAR test file – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Steps to use it:
Create a .txt file on your drive, open your AV scanner software and create an exclusion on this file and location. Update the contents of the file with the referenced. Scanner software will not quarentine it with that name and location, however anywhere you move it, it should be detected and removed.

Recover Windows service account passwords

Ever encountered the situation where you don’t know the password of one or more services running on your windows server? – Well I have, lots of time. Lack of documentation, lost people, lost passwords, typos you name it, I’ve seen it. By chance, I stumpled upon a few articles describing a seamless easy way to retrieve all these passwords and of course asked my good friend Mads Hjort Larsen to concoct a user friendly version of this script and so he did!

Now while this is a nice way to pull out lost service account passwords. It will also serve as a grand reminder about DO NOT use Domain Administrator accounts as service accounts. DO NOT use personal accounts for services. The passwords are really THAT easy to retrieve.
Dont trust me? – try it for your self, I dare you 🙂

Configure Azure Application Proxy application for CRM Internet Facing Deployment

The task was to configure an existing CRM IFD, with an existing ADFS / Azure Application Proxy infrastructure.

CRM IFD deployment was already working and implemented for internal access. What was missing was the external access through Azure Application Proxy.
Following this guide:
With the following configuration will get you there:

Note that once you have the CRM Internet facing deployment done, no changes are required on CRM or ADFS. The below is only the Azure Application Proxy configuration required for CRM internet facing deployment.

Logon to and create a new Application under Active Directory.
Important configuration is:
– External URL: You can use the same URL as internally, however make sure that CNAME record is created as well as certificate is uploaded. This is referred to as custom domain.
– Preauthentication Method: Passthrough
– Translate URL in headers: No

You need to add required CRM IFD service url’s:
organisation, authentication and/or discovery service as seperate applications.


SharePoint Online – Performance – Basic Troubleshooting

Classic case: Customer reports in “SharePoint Online performance is slow. [period]”
Account Manager, Product Manager, Project Manager comes running 4 weeks after due date, customer wont accept the solution with the given performance. Ok…. Lets gather the tools for first steps:

Toolbox includes at this point
– PSping utility from PSTools(PSTools )
– Tracert utility from Microsoft (TraceRT )
– Browser Development Tools (F12 for Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome)

First step
Compare performance from your location with the client location using the Browser development tools. Are they the same?
If yes, problem usually lies in the configuration of SharePoint Online. Start testing from your location and don’t bother asking customer for client computer, remote login, network information.
If no, problem usually lies from customer client machine and SharePoint Online server. Start testing from customer client machine at their location. Ask them for information regarding their network configuration. Do they have proxy? Are they running old router/switch between?

When you have determined the location of your challenge, proceed to second step.

Second step
Second step of troubleshooting SharePoint Online performance is to measure ping time to the tenant as well as traceroute in order to locate route and geolocation of the tenant.
I use the following to complete that, either run it myself or ask the client to run it from their location.
psping.exe -n 20 > PsPingResult.txt
timeout 30 /nobreak
tracert > TracertResult.txt
timeout 30 /nobreak

From that I derive the following:
1: For optimal performance, ping time is between 30-50ms stable.
2: Number of Route hops between 12-15.
3: Use to get most likely geolocation of tenant from returned public IP.

Psping.exe is part of SysInternals PSTools package.

Lastly again back to developer tools.
Collect performance report and look for errors in the console. Look for external http requests, certificate validation errors, script errors.

What the numbers show you
A: Ping times of more than 50MS or route hops more than 12-15 would lead me to look at the network with possible causes being:
Linespeed, old or outdated network equipment, tenant geolocation, proxy filtering, non-optimal routing.

B: Usually there are little or no problems in the direct network measurement and it will come down to the browser Development Tools. Note the difference between DOM loaded and Fully rendered. Client really dont care about DOM download, as they are only interested in the fully rendered page. So what can be causes of slow rendered pages:
Certificate errors, script errors, poor client hardware, proxy filtering, Antivirus, Poor coding.

Certificate Expiry – All Domain Servers – Powershell

This is a most lovely little piece of powershell.
“This script connects to the DC, gets a list of machines with the “OperatingSystem” value set to “*Server*”, if it can succesfully ping the machine(s), it will return a list of certificates that expire after the date specified and compile a CSV file of the results.”

Do check it out and give probs to the man producing the most awesome powershell and now finally with his own blog 🙂

Certificate Expiry