Jorge's Quest For Knowledge!

All About Identity And Security On-Premises And In The Cloud – It's Just Like An Addiction, The More You Have, The More You Want To Have!

Archive for the ‘IT News’ Category

(2014-03-19) Top 6 (Independent) Microsoft Active Directory Integration Experts To Follow Now

Posted by Jorge on 2014-03-19


The guys from OneLogin have written a blog post about the 6 independent Microsoft AD Integration Experts to follow.

active-directory-experts

Figure 1: Independent Microsoft AD Experts

In any particular order:

  • Brian Desmond
  • Sean Deuby
  • Joe Richards
  • Mark Parris
  • John Policelli
  • et moi (Jorge de Almeida Pinto)

For more details see the following blog post: Top 6 (Independent) Microsoft Active Directory Integration Experts to Follow Now

So how can you follow me?:

Cheers,
Jorge
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Posted in Day-To-Day Stuff, IT News, MVP | Leave a Comment »

(2013-12-17) Important Changes To The Forefront Product Line

Posted by Jorge on 2013-12-17


MSFT has announced changes to the Forefront Product Line. In summary:

  • UAG – THE END! Is the Web Application Proxy in W2K12R2 a simple replacement in some way?
  • FIM -  New major version in 2015

More details below.

SOURCE: Important Changes to the Forefront Product Line

<QUOTE SOURCE=”Important Changes to the Forefront Product Line”>

Today, Microsoft is announcing important changes to the roadmaps of Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) and Forefront Unified Access Gateway (UAG):

  • We plan to ship another major release of FIM in the first half of calendar year 2015

  • Microsoft will not deliver any future full version releases of Forefront UAG and the product will be removed from price lists on July 1, 2014.

Microsoft remains committed to delivering the identity and access capabilities offered in FIM (identity and access management).  Some Forefront UAG scenarios (secure application publishing and remote access) are addressed with new capabilities available in Windows Server 2012 R2 today.

Forefront Identity Manager

The next full release of FIM will be delivered as part of Microsoft’s identity and access management product roadmap, which includes both on-premises investments and those we are making in Windows Azure Active Directory and related cloud services.

The investment areas for this next major release of FIM will include:

  • Hybrid scenarios with Windows Azure AD

  • User & Access Management

  • Audit & Compliance

We will share more details on specific features and functionality as we get closer to the release date.

Forefront Unified Access Gateway

Based on product strategy, customer feedback, and prevailing market dynamics, Microsoft has made the decision not to deliver any further full version releases of Forefront UAG.

Microsoft customers continue to have access to select remote access and secure application publishing capabilities through Windows Server 2012 R2.  Windows Server is not a complete replacement for all UAG scenarios, but it does provide:

  • DirectAccess deployment and policy management.  This capability has been part of Windows Server 2012 since its initial release in September 2012.

  • Basic secure application publishing via the new Web Application Proxy service in the Remote Access role of Windows Server 2012 R2.  This new service allows customers to securely publish access to resources through a reverse proxy and includes integration with Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) for conditional access policy and multi-factor authentication capabilities.

Customers will be granted a Windows Server 2012 Standard server license for each UAG server license with active Software Assurance to allow them to make the transition.  For customers who wish to continue using Forefront UAG, Microsoft will provide maintenance and support through the standard Microsoft support lifecycle.  Mainstream support will continue through April 14, 2015, and extended support will continue through April 14, 2020.  Customers with active Software Assurance on UAG as of Dec. 1, 2013 may also add new UAG server instances, users, and devices without any requirement to order additional licenses.

If you have any questions about these changes, please contact your Microsoft or partner sales representative.

</QUOTE SOURCE=”Important Changes to the Forefront Product Line”>

Cheers,
Jorge
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Posted in IT News | 1 Comment »

(2013-09-02) MCM, MCSM And MCA Programs Being Cancelled/Retired

Posted by Jorge on 2013-09-02


About two weeks or so ago I enrolled, registered and paid for the MCSM (Microsoft Certified Solutions Master) for Directory Services rotation during the month of October in Seattle. After years of experience and being an MVP for Directory Services I thought this would be my next step and goal. I was really looking forward to attend this deep dive training. Passed Saturday morning, while having a cup of coffee and reading my e-mail, I opened the e-mail I had received during the night from MSFT about the MCSM training program. That’s when I read the sad news about Microsoft cancelling/retiring the MCM/MCSM/MCA programs as of 1 October 2013. WHAT!? That sucks! I just registered and paid for this a few days ago and everything was accepted. Made hotel reservations and flight reservations. Ready to go in October! Just a few days after getting everything ready and with just one month to go they cancelled everything!?!?!?!?! How the hell can you accept a registration and say “Welcome to the program” and then a few days later cancel everything and say “sorry for any inconvenience this may cause”? Are you nuts!? If you look below, they already knew about this for months, but were still accepting registrations and payment. How ridiculous is this? Thanks for refunding the training fees. Who’s going to refund the other costs?

This is the official mail that I received:

Dear Candidate,

We are contacting you to let you know we are making a change to the Microsoft Certified Master, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master, and Microsoft Certified Architect certifications. As technology changes so do Microsoft certifications and as such, we are continuing to evolve the Microsoft certification program. Microsoft will no longer offer Masters and Architect level training rotations and will be retiring the Masters level certification exams as of October 1, 2013. The IT industry is changing rapidly and we will continue to evaluate the certification and training needs of the industry to determine if there’s a different certification needed for the pinnacle of our program.

You are receiving this mail because you have registered for an upcoming Microsoft Certified Solutions Master training rotation that is being cancelled. You will be receiving a refund of the training fees you paid.

If you have paid with a credit card, the refund will automatically be credited to that credit card. If you paid via other means (eg. check, money order, etc.), please contact our Advanced Certifications team at XXX to provide them with the necessary information to issue a refund.

We thank you for your commitment to Microsoft technologies and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

No more MCSM, crap!

Basically, the general opinion is that people are quite disappointed in MSFT for cancelling/retiring these programs. I’m one of those people. I hope there will be some kind of replacement in the area of Directory Services.

So, what’s next? Killing the MVP Program?

Other blogs talking about this:

If you want to vote against Microsoft retiring the MCM, MCSM And MCA Programs, go to the following link: Please don’t get rid of the MCM and MCA programs

The following is an “explanation” from the person at Microsoft that made the decision to retire these programs:

Posted by Tim Sneath on 8/31/2013 at 1:32 PM

Thank you for the passion and feedback. We’re reading your comments and take them seriously, and as the person ultimately responsible for the decision to retire the Masters program in its current form, I wanted to provide a little additional context.
Firstly, you should know that while I’ve been accused of many things in my career, I’m not a "bean counter". I come from the community myself; I co-authored a book on SQL Server development, I have been certified myself for nearly twenty years, I’ve architected and implemented several large Microsoft technology deployments, my major was in computer science. I’m a developer first, a manager second.
Deciding to retire exams for the Masters program was a painful decision – one we did not make lightly or without many months of deliberation.
You are the vanguard of the community. You have the most advanced skills and have demonstrated it through a grueling and intensive program. The certification is a clear marker of experience, knowledge and practical skills. In short, having the Masters credential is a huge accomplishment and nobody can take that away from the community. And of course, we’re not removing the credential itself, even though it’s true that we’re closing the program to new entrants at this time.
The truth is, for as successful as the program is for those who are in it, it reaches only a tiny proportion of the overall community. Only a few hundred people have attained the certification in the last few years, far fewer than we would have hoped. We wanted to create a certification that many would aspire to and that would be the ultimate peak of the Microsoft Certified program, but with only ~0.08% of all MCSE-certified individuals being in the program across all programs, it just hasn’t gained the traction we hoped for.
Sure, it loses us money (and not a small amount), but that’s not the point. We simply think we could do much more for the broader community at this level – that we could create something for many more to aspire to. We want it to be an elite community, certainly. But some of the non-technical barriers to entry run the risk of making it elitist for non-technical reasons. Having a program that costs candidates nearly $20,000 creates a non-technical barrier to entry. Having a program that is English-only and only offered in the USA creates a non-technical barrier to entry. Across all products, the Masters program certifies just a couple of hundred people each year, and yet the costs of running this program make it impossible to scale out any further. And many of the certifications currently offered are outdated – for example, SQL Server 2008 – yet we just can’t afford to fully update them.
That’s why we’re taking a pause from offering this program, and looking to see if there’s a better way to create a pinnacle, WITHOUT losing the technical rigor. We have some plans already, but it’s a little too early to share them at this stage. Over the next couple of months, we’d like to talk to many of you to help us evaluate our certifications and build something that will endure and be sustainable for many years to come.
We hate having to do this – causing upset amongst our most treasured community is far from ideal. But sometimes in order to build, you have to create space for new foundations. I personally have the highest respect for this community. I joined the learning team because I wanted to grow the impact and credibility of our certification programs. I know this decision hurts. Perhaps you think it is wrong-headed, but I wanted to at least explain some of the rationale. It comes from the desire to further invest in the IT Pro community, rather than the converse. It comes from the desire to align our programs with market demand, and to scale them in such a way that the market demand itself grows. It comes from the desire to be able to offer more benefits, not fewer. And over time I hope we’ll be able to demonstrate the positive sides of the changes we are going through as we plan a bright future for our certifications.
Thank you for listening… we appreciate you more than you know.
Tim Sneath
tims@microsoft.com

Cheers,
Jorge
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Posted in IT News, MCP/MCT, Microsoft | 3 Comments »

(2012-04-17) Microsoft Announces The Windows 8 Editions

Posted by Jorge on 2012-04-17


On the “Blogging Windows” blog, Microsoft announces the different Windows 8 Editions for the client.

Read more by clicking on the following link: Announcing the Windows 8 Editions

Cheers,
Jorge
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Posted in IT News, Windows Client | Leave a Comment »

(2011-09-23) Microsoft Acquires Certain Assets From bHold (Dutch Company)

Posted by Jorge on 2011-09-23


Read more HERE.

Cheers,
Jorge
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* This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties and confers no rights!
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(2011-09-06) Dutch Root Certificate Authority Being Marked As Untrusted By Microsoft

Posted by Jorge on 2011-09-06


As you may know, a Dutch root certificate authority was hacked a week or so ago. Because of that, it’s root certificate should be marked as untrusted to make sure every issued certificate by that cert authority becomes untrusted to prevent spoofing. Today, Microsoft released an updated fix which marks the root certificate as untrusted. This can see below. More information here.

image

By targeting “MS-KBQ2607712_Microsoft Security Advisory: Fraudulent digital certificates could allow spoofing” you can download the fix manually for every Windows version still supported (WXP and higher). You can also get the fix through Windows Update.

Make sure to install the hotfix to prevent spoofing!

Cheers,
Jorge
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* This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties and confers no rights!
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Posted in Active Directory Certificate Services (ADCS), IT News, Windows Client, Windows Server | Leave a Comment »

(2011-03-18) RSA Servers Hacked And SecurID Data Stolen

Posted by Jorge on 2011-03-18


It appears the RSA servers have been hacked and SecurID Data was stolen.

Read more here and here.

Cheers,
Jorge
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* This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties and confers no rights!
* Always evaluate/test yourself before using/implementing this!
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(2010-11-27) Microsoft Windows’ 25th Anniversary – Happy Anniversary!

Posted by Jorge on 2010-11-27


A good morning to you all. It’s quite early on Saturday as we speak. I couldn’t sleep anymore so I decided to do something useful. Get up, get coffee and blog. The advantage? No screaming kids running around! 🙂 I already wanted to blog this post about a week earlier, but I did not because the blog server was not available for a day or two. After that I had forgotten about this until I remember it today, about a week later.

BETTER LATE THEN NEVER!!!

Exactly a week ago on November 20th 2010, Microsoft celebrated their 25th anniversary of Windows. Now think about it. What’s the latest and greatest being available at the moment? For the client that’s Windows 7 available in the 32 bit and 64 bit architecture and for the server that’s Windows Server 2008 R2 in the 64 bit architecture only.

On November 20th 1985 Microsoft released Windows 1.0 which was a 16 bit operating system. In that time, this was a state of the art operating system. Nowadays it would be nothing as most likely any wrist watch runs better stuff! 🙂

On YouTube there are numerous videos of Steve Ballmer selling the product (Windows 1.0) on TV. It really cracked me up! Although Steve now is 25 years older, I think one thing has never changed about Steve, and that’s how energetic he can be about something.

Check the video out, you can see it here.

Happy Anniversary!

Cheers,
Jorge
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(2010-03-24) End of Support For Windows 2000, Windows XP SP2 And Windows Vista RTM

Posted by Jorge on 2010-03-24


I received the following message from Microsoft asking to spread the word…

As you may be aware, there are a number of Microsoft Windows versions which will go out of support during the coming year. We want to help customers avoid the risk of running unsupported products in their environment.

Windows 2000 Professional and Windows 2000 Server are approaching 10 years since their launch and both products will go out of support on July 13, 2010.

Windows XP was launched back in 2001. While support for the product will continue, Service Pack 2 will go out of support on July 13, 2010. From that date onwards, Microsoft will no longer support or provide free security updates for Windows XP SP2. Please install the free Service Pack 3 for Windows XP to have the most secure and supported Windows XP platform.

Finally, Windows Vista with no Service Packs installed will end support on April 13 2010. Please install the free Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista to have the most secure and supported Windows Vista platform.

For more information:

http://blogs.technet.com/lifecycle/archive/2010/02/24/end-of-support-for-windows-xp-sp2-and-windows-vista-with-no-service-packs-installed.aspx

Resources:

Service Pack 3 for Windows XP:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=68C48DAD-BC34-40BE-8D85-6BB4F56F5110&displaylang=en

Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-vista/default.aspx

Cheers,
Jorge
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* This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties and confers no rights!
* Always evaluate/test yourself before using/implementing this!
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https://jorgequestforknowledge.wordpress.com/disclaimer/
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Posted in IT News, Windows Client, Windows Server | Leave a Comment »

(2010-03-02) Forefront Identity Manager 2010 Has RTMed!

Posted by Jorge on 2010-03-02


Forefront Identity Manager 2010, ILM 2007 FP1’s successor, has RTMed! Finally! J

Get the evaluation version here.

 

Cheers,
Jorge
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* This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties and confers no rights!
* Always evaluate/test yourself before using/implementing this!
* DISCLAIMER:
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Posted in Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) Certificate Management, Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) Portal, Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) Sync, IT News | Leave a Comment »

 
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