To start of my day when I was commuting to work, I read on FaceBook through my friend (Chee Yong Poh, Microsoft Technical Evangelist) re-shared a post on The Verge that Microsoft has decided to provide UNLIMITED space on OneDrive – read the article here.
How would this change affect you? Well, when I was dwelling whether to archive my media that I will no longer require access to it on a regular basis to put it into the cloud so that it will not hurt the almost-filled NAS further. I was deciding between Amazon Glacier, DropBox and OneDrive but I tried Glacier at first because it is something pretty cool while OneDrive and DropBox has been in my daily life already. From my previous article titled “Is there something missing in #OneDrive ?” where I talks about something related as it shows that I am uploading all the media files to OneDrive.
So where is the value proposition of Amazon Glacier? Where would you see the value in OneDrive over Amazon Glacier? Well, in terms of space consumed and amount paid or you will be paying. Let’s see.
Do not forget that Amazon Glacier charges you to bring the data out from the cloud back to any devices you are trying to retrieve from while Microsoft OneDrive, it is the same as DropBox or Box storage where it does not implicitly charge you for data transfer. (Of course, you can’t complain much if the retrieval takes forever! *evil grins*)
Do you have more than 1TB of data to store to the Cloud right now? – Yes, go to Microsoft OneDrive now!
Do you require your data to be used by other cloud services in Amazon? – Yes, stick to Amazon Glacier, there are nice API that can do retrieval from the vault.
Do you need Office suite of products? – Yes, go to Microsoft OneDrive now!
Has this come across to you that storage is getting cheaper and cheaper and Microsoft is well aligning its strategy to Cloud-First, Mobile-First?
Do you know that you can sign up to enjoy the unlimited storage first? Hit on to https://preview.onedrive.com/ now!
As we know that in Office 365, users do not get the fully-polished feature rich Central Administration or Exchange Administration Center like your on-premises setup. Therefore, there are certain tasks that will be missing from the features that Microsoft have provided to you as a Office 365 subscriber.
However, worry not! Microsoft is kind to allow you to perform certain tasks using PowerShell. Let’s get things underway!
You will need the following installed before you can even start querying from Office 365 or rather Office 365.
- .NET Framework 3.5.1 (If you do not have it, you can either activate it via your Windows Features or download it and install here)
- Microsoft Online Services Sign-In Assistant (Download here)
- Office 365 Cmdlets (Download here)
- Start Windows PowerShell Session
- Import the MSOnline module by entering
- Input your credential and store in the variable $MyCred – Notice that the popup will appear as shown below. Just key in your user credential that you used to enter Office 365 Administration Portal
- Create a new PowerShell Session by keying the following as shown. Just take note of the generic URL used here. From time-to-time, Microsoft may change the URL, however that will depends on Microsoft. (Variables are underlined)
$MySession = New-PSSession –ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange –ConnectionUri https://ps.outlook.com/powershell – Credential $MyCred –Authentication Basic –AllowRedirection
- Establish the Session – Notice that I am hit with an error, however that is a generic error alerting me that my PowerShell Session Execution Policy is set to restricted.
- I simple just set the Execution Policy to “RemoteSigned” via the command.
- Re-run the “Import-PSSession” line of code.
- Establish the connection/session with Office 365 / MS Online by using the following command. If there is no error flag out, then it means that you have successfully connected to MS Online.
Connect-MsolService –Credential $MyCred
- First step towards testing, I list the Mailboxes that I have… *OK, this is my test account, therefore only one pathetic account there.*
- Listing all the Cmdlets that is available to Office 365 / MSOnline for the Microsoft Exchange component.
From the above, we can see that there are pretty a lot of commands that we can execute against Office 365 and therefore it somehow still justify for someone to Administrate your Office 365 subscription. It does not means that once you move to Microsoft Cloud, your support team can be axed and solely depends on Microsoft Technical Support.
Please delete that thoughts until you try out the Technical Support from Office 365 before making such decision!
Just my 2 cents.
One of the feature that will entice organization who have chose to use Office 365 to support their intranet usage is Site Mailbox for Team.
Read the official note from Microsoft on the description of Site Mailbox – here. So I am going to walk through how I enable “Site Mailbox” on my Office 365 account.
- As a Site Collection Administrator, go to “Site Settings” as shown.
- Under [Site Actions], select [Manage site features]
- Find the feature [Site Mailbox] and click “Activate” to activate the feature for usage.
- Notice that the highlighted portion will appear at the Team Site left navigation area. Click on the “Mailbox” and activate the “Site Mailbox”.
- This message is soothing, at least to my eyes…
- Site Mailbox created successfully! Hurray!
- Usually, I don’t really follow the 30 minutes as shown but still it is shown as “up to”. However, I waited for around 15 minutes and I hit into the “Site Mailbox” again then I am hit with the configuration. Notice that the mailbox name is shown in the URL address – “[email protected]” >> According to Microsoft site, it will create a mailbox according to the Site Collection name.
- Once I hit “Submit Query”, another nice friendly message.
- Tada! Site Mailbox created!
- Trying to do a test from my main mailbox ([email protected]), I can search for the mailbox as shown.
- A more detail of the “Site Mailbox”
- You can now send email from the “Site Mailbox” as long as you have the “Contributor” access rights. Accessing the “Site Mailbox” will then open a new tab which is the Outlook Web App (OWA).
Advantage of using Site Mailbox
A very concrete life example of using Site Mailbox is that within a Operation Team that provide Support Services to internal users or external clients can use Site Mailbox as a centralize mailbox within SharePoint so that all the information is being shared across team members.
In the traditional way of using Microsoft Exchange Shared Mailbox, that would require each and every user to add that mailbox into their Microsoft Outlook as one of the Shared Mailbox that somehow tie to the main account (this could be the primary mailbox).
So in order to secure all the information within the organization, the organization can now just issue “Site Mailbox” to the Support staffs so that they can use it for the day-to-day operation usage.
Want to know more?
Read the following articles:
Overview: Use a site mailbox to collaborate with your team
Use a site mailbox to coordinate team email