Monday, July 17, 2017

Starting a business (or setting up the IT department)

Back to the lab....

I signed up for a Microsoft Office 365 E3 account for my fictional company NOS Corp. There is a try it free for 30 days option requiring no credit cad info or anything so the E3 level is perfect to get started with. I'll have a full Microsoft stack it appears and I have to tell you the setup was so painlessly easy.

We all like things to be simple, right? I do. I may be crazy, but I like things to work straight out of the box. I know when I worked on beta projects at Microsoft we obsessed on the "OOBE" - the Out Of the Box Experience. That was many years ago and my experiences with Lync since made me think Microsoft might have left the OOBE out of enterprise installs. Courses and labs with deep powershell really don't make me feel like this is easy. So I was a little afraid that an o365 setup might be unnecessarily hard.

Getting started with Office 365 has been incredibly simple.

I was surprised at exactly how simple it was. Type my name and a couple other details into a series of about 3 screens and it's all done. I didn't even need a domain (yet)!. I've checked and email works. I can sign into Skype and send messages. All of this is with the Microsoft supplied default, so now I need to really connect my domain.

Connecting O365 and my Domain

I have to manually update DNS records. they offer a way to do it automatically, but i really don't want to move my DNS host to another provider, I'd like to maintain it at Google. Manually updating DNS records was fairly simple because Microsoft gave me all the records I needed to update and they even had handy copy buttons for each.  

One little spot is that problematic is the SRV record they told me to update. Google Domains offers you Name, Type, TTL, and Data fields, but an SRV record needs a few more fields so when the O365 told me to enter Service, Protocol, Port, Weight, Priority, TTL and Target I didn't know what to do. The O365 Domain Setup had a help link that thankfully worked out perfect, telling me to paste in the "Priority Weight Port Target" into that Data field ensuring there is a space between each value

After setting up the domain connection and verifying in O365, my resource records look like this:
I highlighted the SRV records mostly because that was the one area of the O365 setup that I needed help on.


Here is where I forgot something important. Since I had been using Google Domains to forward to my normal gmail address, I deleted that function in the Synthetic Records when I added all of the Resource Records. any email to the are now going to O365, but there are no aliases setup so my test email was returned undeliverable. This was a simple fix though: just add as an alias to my profile, check again and boom it worked!

Next, i can send and receive Skype messages, and in this case it's to and from my work Skype account. This shows that Microsoft federation is working. I attempted a video call and it started normal but reverted to an audio call telling me that my testing account did not accept the video request.  

I will have to clean that up later since it's time to work!

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