Azure Gets Longer Passwords

shutterstock_1137101603-compressorAnnouncement by Microsoft that they had removed the 16-character limit for passwords in Azure Active Directory had been coming for a while. It takes time for Microsoft to deploy such a fundamental change across all the places in their cloud systems where passwords can be changed. The first leaks that something was happening came in late April when people noticed that the user interface in components like the Azure AD portal and Office 365 Admin Center offered administrators the chance to set 256-character passwords.

The new password limit is also mentioned in the Microsoft 365 User Management blog for April 2019 (posted on 7 May). You can’t say that Microsoft didn’t give us hints that this was coming. Continue reading

Enable backup for Azure Stack & Running a backup


Enable the Infrastructure Backup Service through the administration portal so that Azure Stack can generate backups. You can use these backups to restore your environment using cloud recovery in the event of a catastrophic failure. The purpose of cloud recovery is to ensure that your operators and users can log back into the portal after recovery is complete. Users will have their subscriptions restored including role-based access permissions and roles, original plans, offers, and previously defined compute, storage, and network quotas.

However, the Infrastructure Backup Service does not backup IaaS VMs, network configurations, and storage resources such as storage accounts, blobs, tables, and so on, so users logging in after cloud recovery completes will not see any of their previously existing resources. Platform as a Service (PaaS) resources and data are also not backed up by the service. Continue reading

One-click replication for Azure Virtual Machines with Azure Site Recovery

Microsoft have announced that Azure Site Recovery (ASR) is now built into the virtual machine experience so that you can setup replication in one click for your Azure virtual machines. Combined with ASR’s one-click failover capabilities, its simpler than ever before to setup replication and test a disaster recovery scenario.

Using the one-click replication feature, now in public preview, is very simple. Just browse to your VM, select Disaster recovery, select the target region of your choice, review the settings and click Enable replication. That’s it – disaster recovery for your VM is configured. The target resource group, availability set, virtual network and storage accounts are auto-created based on your source VM configuration. You also have the flexibility to pick custom target settings. You can refer to the animation below for the flow.


If you have applications running on Azure IaaS virtual machines, your applications still have to meet compliance requirements. While the Azure platform already has built-in protection for localized hardware failures, you still need to safeguard your applications from major incidents. This includes catastrophic events such as hurricanes and earthquakes, or software glitches causing application downtime. Using Azure Site Recovery, you can have peace of mind knowing your business-critical applications running on Azure VMs are covered and without the expense of secondary infrastructure. Disaster recovery between Azure regions is available in all Azure regions where ASR is available.

Five more reasons why you should download the Azure mobile app

You may have already heard about the Azure mobile app at the Build conference back in May 2017. The app lets you stay connected with Azure even when you are on the go.
Over the last few months, Microsoft have been working closely with customers to improve the Azure mobile app. Below are five more reasons why the Azure app is a must-have.

1. Monitoring resources

The Azure mobile app allows you to quickly check your resources status at a glance. Drill in, and see more details like metrics, Activity Log, properties and execute actions.

1 Resource list Continue reading

Microsoft Cloud Services Useful Links

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Role Based Access Control: A Configuration Manager Favourite, Now in Intune

Role Based Access Control (RBAC) has been a favourite feature of the System Center Configuration Manager community since its introduction, and now it’s available in Intune. RBAC in Intune enables you to easily define who can perform various Intune tasks within your organization, and who those tasks apply to. RBAC gives you greater flexibility and control while ensuring your IT administrators have the necessary permissions to perform their job.

Integration with Azure AD Directory Roles for high level access control

The new Intune admin experience on Azure delivers deeper levels of integration with Azure Active Directory, which includes Azure AD Groups as well as integration with Azure AD Directory Roles. This integration provides the underpinnings of Intune’s RBAC capabilities and our overall permissions management story. RBAC for Intune starts by leveraging four Azure AD Directory Roles that define high level administrative access to Intune workstreams and tasks:

  • Global Administrator / Company Administrator: users in this role have access to all administrative features in Azure AD, including conditional access. They can also manage all of Intune.
  • User Administrator: users in this role can manage users and groups but cannot manage all of Intune.
  • Intune Service Administrator: users in this role can manage all of Intune, including management of users and devices, as well group creation and management. This role does not allow for management of Azure AD’s Conditional Access settings.
  • Conditional Access Administrator: users in this role can manage Azure AD’s Conditional Access policies, but not all of Intune.

Continue reading

Implement password synchronization with Azure AD Connect sync

What is password synchronization

The probability that you’re blocked from getting your work done due to a forgotten password is related to the number of different passwords you need to remember. The more passwords you need to remember, the higher the probability to forget one. Questions and calls about password resets and other password-related issues demand the most helpdesk resources.

Password synchronization is a feature used to synchronize user passwords from an on-premises Active Directory instance to a cloud-based Azure AD instance. Use this feature to sign in to Azure AD services like Office 365, Microsoft Intune, CRM Online, and Azure Active Directory Domain Services (Azure AD DS). You sign in to the service by using the same password you use to sign in to your on-premises Active Directory instance. Continue reading

Azure AD Automated Expiration for Office 365 Groups is now in Public Preview

One of the coolest collaboration features in Office 365 is Office 365 groups. Employees can create these groups on the fly and use them to collaborate with their co-workers on projects, sharing team documents, emails and calendars. These groups are easy and fast to create and judging by their usage telemetry, they are VERY popular.

However as the number of Office 365 groups increases, it can create a bit of a mess, for instance when a project is completed but the group is still hanging around. To help address that issue, Microsoft just turned on the public preview of Office 365 groups expiration! Continue reading

Step-By-Step: Intro to Managing Azure AD via PowerShell

As IT Professionals know, time is never on our side.  Hence the reason PowerShell is so important.  It provides a quicker way of completing tasks and can even provide some automation if harnessed correctly.  This Step-By-Step will detail how to get started in harnessing PowerShell to manage an Azure Active Directory instance and detail day to day operation related commands to get you started.

In order to use PowerShell with Azure AD, first we need to install Azure Active Directory Module in local computer. there is two version of Azure active directory PowerShell module. One was made for the Public Preview and the latest one released after announces Azure AD GA. You can download module from

It is highly recommended to replace it with the new version should you have already installed an older version.

Once installed let’s check its status. Continue reading

How to Use Azure Active Directory Conditional Access to Enforce Multi-Factor Authentication for Unmanaged Devices

Microsoft provides some different options for securing Office 365 and Azure applications with multi-factor authentication (MFA). For your end users you can choose from:

MFA for Office 365, which provides basic MFA functionality for Office 365 applications only.
Azure MFA, which provides more advanced functionality, including the option to configure trusted IPs.
The trusted IP feature is attractive because it allows you to define IP address ranges, such as those of your corporate network, from which you will “trust” the logins and not prompt for MFA codes. This is useful for decreasing the annoyance factor of MFA for your end users, but doesn’t solve the problem for all types of organizations. For example, a staff of roaming sales people will frequently be accessing their applications from outside the corporate network, which will cause them to be repeatedly prompted for MFA codes. Yes there are some apps where you can “remember” the device and avoid repeated prompts, but not all apps provide that. App passwords, which are separate passwords for a user that bypass MFA, are also not practical in all cases as they become difficult to manage over time. Continue reading