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Best OS for Office 365 Integration

Posted on 2013-11-20
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Last Modified: 2014-02-12
Hi

I can , if required start with a clean slate so want to get the best solution possible.
I want Office 365 cloud email etc with a  local domain controller.

What is the best solution for this that gives me single synced passwords & rights  for users and no niggles at all anywhere down the line, compared to another OS that people know of.

Server 2012 Standard
Server 2012 Essentials
Server 2012 Foundation
Server 2008 R2
Are any better than others in terms of AD integration?

We are only 12 users but are at IT company so other certficates , inhouse SQL servers and member servers will doubtless happen in due course.

I just want to move my email solution to the MS cloud initially
and see if I like it then expand my solution from there
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Question by:eddiewickens
7 Comments
 
LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:Mohammed Khawaja
ID: 39662469
Minimum requirement is Win2K8-R2 and you will need ADFS.  If you have Win2K12 then I would use Win2K12 as there are many new features and improvements made.  All you need is a DC with ADFS and Office365 will sync your DC for auth.
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Expert Comment

by:Svet Paperov
ID: 39662575
I would go with Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard.

The newest release of 2012 offers many small and important improvements.

Standard edition comes with 2 licences for virtual machines. So, if you planning to have less than 8 virtual servers per physical server, it’s the optimal license configuration: a host with Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V and 2 VMs per Standard license.

Essential edition has many limitations as maximum 25 users, limited features, one VM license, etc.

Foundation edition is distributed OEM only.

You can read all about Windows Server 2012 R2 at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/products/windows-server-2012-r2/default.aspx and you will find the Windows Server 2012 R2 Licensing Datasheet in Buy section of the site.
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Expert Comment

by:Vasil Michev (MVP)
ID: 39663482
What is your existing mail solution? Do you plan to migrate existing mailboxes or start fresh?

Server 2012 comes with lots of goodies, if license is not a problem get a 2012 Standard.

For 12 users AD FS is overkill. Use disrync with password sync instead:

http://blogs.office.com/b/office365tech/archive/2013/07/26/password-hash-sync-simplifies-user-management-for-office-365.aspx
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Author Comment

by:eddiewickens
ID: 39663679
I would not bother migrating mailboxes but will start again
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Expert Comment

by:Vasil Michev (MVP)
ID: 39663732
So the only thing you need then is dirsync. No need to purchase a new server for it, you can run it in VM.
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Accepted Solution

by:
ontech earned 500 total points
ID: 39665993
I would say, No need to have dirsync or adfs for 12 users.
If you have Exchange server on prem you can migrate mailbox using
- Cutover Migration
- Staged Migration

If your email is hosted with third party hosting services. You can migrate mailbox using
- Imap (Only email items will be migrated to Office 365)
calendar and contacts needs to be imported to PST and Exported to individual email account.
- PST migration. Take pst backup of all user and upload the pst file to office 365 user account individually. For 12 user it will take hardly 6 hours.

Rest In Next.

Regards,
Jazz.
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Author Comment

by:eddiewickens
ID: 39668695
Any difference / security improvement issues between using AD or dirsync
Any more complicated likely firewall requirements using one compared to the other?

What I want is
0. email everywhere
1. local shares with some but not all staff having access to these shares - to run eg accounts program for a single location. No remote access
2. cloud shared data for all employees with 99% access from staff based in 1 office
3. same data shared when staff are off site - slower access acceptable
4. occasional sharepoint data for staff access from any pc in the world
5. sharepoint data for limited customer access when offered

It all to run as fast as possible ona 4MB crappy line

 Flexibility is better than a strict desire to not use what in theory we don't actually need

Does AD make any of this easier for staff control/ease other than point 1.
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