Tag Archives: structure

Intune APIs in Microsoft Graph – Now generally available

With tens of thousands of enterprise mobility customers, we see a great diversity in how organizations structure their IT resources. Some choose to manage their mobility solutions internally while others choose to work with a managed service provider to manage on their behalf. Regardless of the structure, our goal is to enable IT to easily design processes and workflows that increase user satisfaction and drive security and IT effectiveness.

In 2017, we unified Intune, Azure Active Directory, and Azure Information Protection admin experiences in the Azure portal (portal.azure.com) while also enabling the public preview of Intune APIs in Microsoft Graph. Today, we are taking another important step forward in our ability to offer customers more choice and capability by making Intune APIs in Microsoft Graph generally available. This opens a new set of possibilities for our customers and partners to automate and integrate their workloads to reduce deployment times and improve the overall efficiency of device management.

Intune APIs in Microsoft Graph enable IT professionals, partners, and developers to programmatically access data and controls that are available through the Azure portal. One of our partners, Crayon (based in Norway), is using Intune APIs to automate tasks with unattended authentication:

Jan Egil Ring, Lead Architect at Crayon: “The Intune API in Microsoft Graph enable users to access the same information that is available through the Azure Portal – for both reporting and operational purposes. It is an invaluable asset in our toolbelt for automating business processes such as user on- and offboarding in our customer`s tenants. Intune APIs, combined with Azure Automation, help us keep inventory tidy, giving operations updated and relevant information.”

Intune APIs now join a growing family of other Microsoft cloud services that are accessible through Microsoft Graph, including Office 365 and Azure AD. This means that you can use Microsoft Graph to connect to data that drives productivity – mail, calendar, contacts, documents, directory, devices, and more. It serves as a single interface where Microsoft cloud services can be reached through a set of REST APIs.

The scenarios that Microsoft Graph enables are expansive. To give you a better idea of what is possible with Intune APIs in Microsoft Graph, let’s look at some of the core use cases that we have already seen being utilized by our partners and customers.

Automation

Microsoft Graph allows you to connect different Microsoft cloud services and automate workflows and processes between them. It is accessible through several platforms and tools, including REST- based API endpoints and most popular programming and automation platforms (.NET, JS, iOS, Android, PowerShell). Resources (user, group, device, application, file, etc) and policies can be queried through this API, and formerly difficult or complex questions can be addressed via straightforward queries.

For example, one of our partners, PowerON Platforms (based in the UK), is using Intune APIs in Microsoft Graph to deliver their solutions to their customers faster and more consistently. PowerOn Platforms has created baseline deployment templates to increase the speed at which they are able to deploy solutions to customers. These templates are based on unique customer types and requirements and vastly accelerate the process that normally would take two to three days to complete and compresses it down to 15 seconds. Their ability to get customers up and running is now faster than ever before.

Steve Beaumont, Technical Director at PowerON Platforms: “PowerON has developed new and innovative methods to increase the speed of our Microsoft Intune delivery and achieve consistent outputs for customers. By leveraging the power of Microsoft Graph and new Intune capabilities, PowerON’s new tooling enhances the value of Intune.”

Integration

Intune APIs in Microsoft Graph can also provide detailed user, device, and application information to other IT asset management systems. You could build custom experiences which call Microsoft Graph to configure Intune controls and policies and unify workflows across multiple services.

For example, Kloud (based in Australia) leverages Microsoft Graph to integrate Intune device management and support activities into existing central management portals. This increases Kloud’s ability to centrally manage an integrated solution for their clients, making them much more effective as an integrated solution provider.

Tom Bromby, Managing Consultant at Kloud: “Microsoft Graph allows us to automate large, complex configuration tasks on the Intune platform, saving time and reducing the risk of human error. We can store our tenant configuration in source control, which greatly streamlines the change management process, and allows for easy audit and reporting of what is deployed in the environment, what devices are enrolled and what users are consuming the service”

Analytics

Having the right data at your fingertips is a must for busy IT teams managing diverse mobile environments. You can access Intune APIs in Microsoft Graph with PowerBI and other analytics services to create custom dashboards and reports based on Intune, Azure AD, and Office 365 data – allowing you to monitor your environment and view the status of devices and apps across several dimensions, including device compliance, device configuration, app inventory, and deployment status. With Intune Data Warehouse, you can now access historical data for up to 90 days.

For example, Netrix, LLC (based in the US) leverages Microsoft Graph to curate automated solutions to improve end-user experiences and increase reporting accuracy for a more effective device management. These investments increase their efficiency and overall customer satisfaction.

Tom Lilly, Technical Team Lead at Netrix, LLC: “By using Intune APIs in Microsoft Graph, we’ve been able to provide greater insights and automation to our clients. We are able to surface the data they really care about and deliver it to the right people, while keeping administrative costs to a minimum. As an integrator, this also allows Netrix to provide repetitive, manageable solutions, while improving our time to delivery, helping get our customers piloted or deployed quicker.”

We are extremely excited to see how you will use these capabilities to improve your processes and workflows as well as to create custom solutions for your organization and customers. To get started, you can check out the documentation on how to use Intune and Azure Active Directory APIs in Microsoft Graph, watch our Microsoft Ignite presentation on this topic, and leverage sample PowerShell scripts.

Deployment note: Intune APIs in Microsoft Graph are being updated to their GA version today. The worldwide rollout should complete within the next few days.

Please note: Use of a Microsoft online service requires a valid license. Therefore, accessing EMS, Microsoft Intune, or Azure Active Directory Premium features via Microsoft Graph API requires paid licenses of the applicable service and compliance with Microsoft Graph API Terms of Use.

Additional resources:

Looking at the Hyper-V Event Log (January 2018 edition)

Hyper-V has changed over the last few years and so has our event log structure. With that in mind, here is an update of Ben’s original post in 2009 (“Looking at the Hyper-V Event Log”).

This post gives a short overview on the different Windows event log channels that Hyper-V uses. It can be used as a reference to better understand which event channels might be relevant for different purposes.

As a general guidance you should start with the Hyper-V-VMMS and Hyper-V-Worker event channels when analyzing a failure. For migration-related events it makes sense to look at the event logs both on the source and destination node.

Windows Event Viewer showing the Hyper-V-VMMS Admin log

Below are the current event log channels for Hyper-V. Using “Event Viewer” you can find them under “Applications and Services Logs”, “Microsoft”, “Windows”.
If you would like to collect events from these channels and consolidate them into a single file, we’ve published a HyperVLogs PowerShell module to help.

Event Channel Category Description
Hyper-V-Compute Events from the Host Compute Service (HCS) are collected here. The HCS is a low-level management API.
Hyper-V-Config This section is for anything that relates to virtual machine configuration files. If you have a missing or corrupt virtual machine configuration file – there will be entries here that tell you all about it.
Hyper-V-Guest-Drivers Look at this section if you are experiencing issues with VM integration components.
Hyper-V-High-Availability Hyper-V clustering-related events are collected in this section.
Hyper-V-Hypervisor This section is used for hypervisor specific events. You will usually only need to look here if the hypervisor fails to start – then you can get detailed information here.
Hyper-V-StorageVSP Events from the Storage Virtualization Service Provider. Typically you would look at these when you want to debug low-level storage operations for a virtual machine.
Hyper-V-VID These are events form the Virtualization Infrastructure Driver. Look here if you experience issues with memory assignment, e.g. dynamic memory, or changing static memory while the VM is running.
Hyper-V-VMMS Events from the virtual machine management service can be found here. When VMs are not starting properly, or VM migrations fail, this would be a good source to start investigating.
Hyper-V-VmSwitch These channels contain events from the virtual network switches.
Hyper-V-Worker This section contains events from the worker process that is used for the actual running of the virtual machine. You will see events related to startup and shutdown of the VM here.
Hyper-V-Shared-VHDX Events specific to virtual hard disks that can be shared between several virtual machines. If you are using shared VHDs this event channel can provide more detail in case of a failure.
Hyper-V-VMSP The VM security process (VMSP) is used to provide secured virtual devices like the virtual TPM module to the VM.
Hyper-V-VfpExt Events form the Virtual Filtering Platform (VFP) which is part of the Software Defined Networking Stack.
VHDMP Events from operations on virtual hard disk files (e.g. creation, merging) go here.

Please note: some of these only contain analytic/debug logs that need to be enabled separately and not all channels exist on Windows client. To enable the analytic/debug logs, you can use the HyperVLogs PowerShell module.

Alles Gute,

Lars

Citrix Summit 2018: Partners to see simplified program

Citrix plans to collapse five partner incentive programs into a single structure that the company said will simplify the way channel companies apply for incentives.

The unified incentive program, dubbed Citrix Ultimate Rewards, was announced at this week’s Citrix Summit 2018 and will go live Feb. 10. Paul Fecteau, managing director of partner programs and operations at Citrix, said the move marks a “simplification of our partner program structure and the process involved.”

Prior to the restructuring, Citrix operated five program elements: Citrix Advisor Rewards (CAR), CAR Plus, CAR Bonus, Opportunity Registration and Net New Partner-Sourced (NNPS). Fecteau said the components, which have rolled out over the course of 18 years, have all served a purpose in Citrix’s partnering initiative, but added a level of complexity. Partners have to apply separately to each of the five programs, for example.

With the new system, partners can register a deal without having to apply for the individual incentives. Instead, partners provide information on the customers, and the systems’ built-in intelligence determines the discount elements for which a Citrix partner qualifies, according to Fecteau.

“They can register deals … without having to understand the intricacies,” he said.

Citrix joins Cisco and Microsoft as vendors that have moved to streamline their channel programs in recent months. At its 2017 Partner Summit, Cisco discussed the retooling of channel programs targeting its resale partners. The networking vendor said it is taking steps to simplify its specialization portfolio and deal registration efforts. And at its annual channel meetup in July 2017, Microsoft unveiled measures the company said will simplify partner engagement and go-to-market approaches.

Citrix turnaround timeline

Discount and rebate programs

They can register deals … without having to understand the intricacies.
Paul Fecteaumanaging director of partner programs and operations at Citrix

As part of the Citrix Ultimate Rewards revamp revealed at Citrix Summit 2018, partner incentives have been recast as two discount programs, Spark and Drive, and one rebate program, called Accelerate. Accelerate provides a quarterly aggregated rebate. Spark, which Fecteau said is akin to NNPS, rewards partners for identifying and registering new selling opportunities that Citrix didn’t already know about, Fecteau explained.

Drive, meanwhile, is similar to CAR in that it offers rewards to partners that pursue value-selling activities that result in a sale. Value-selling activities include delivering a solution design, scheduling a customer demo or proof of concept, and providing an implementation schedule.

David Henshall, CEO, CitrixDavid Henshall

Beyond program simplification, the Citrix partner program changes also aim to accelerate partners’ profit in the cloud, while still rewarding them for on-premises business, Fecteau said. In 2018, partners will earn rebates based on selling Citrix Cloud services and product sales growth.

Fecteau said the cloud-related rebate is the first time Citrix has established a rebate specifically for cloud sales. But any combination of cloud sales expansion and on-premises product revenue growth will earn partners a rebate, he added.

Also at Citrix Summit 2018

Partners attending at Citrix Summit 2018 will hear keynoters, including Citrix President and CEO David Henshall, talk about the company’s overall strategy.

Conference sessions are organized around a handful of tracks, including sales, technical, marketing and Citrix service provider.

The Citrix partner conference, held in Anaheim, Calif., concludes Jan. 9.

Control Office 365 costs — or pay the price

Administrators who move to Office 365 need to acclimate themselves to the nuances of the SaaS-based cost structure…

“;
}
});

/**
* remove unnecessary class from ul
*/
$(“#inlineregform”).find( “ul” ).removeClass(“default-list”);

/**
* Replace “errorMessageInput” class with “sign-up-error-msg” class
*/
function renameErrorMsgClass() {
$(“.errorMessageInput”).each(function() {
if ($(this).hasClass(“hidden”)) {
$(this).removeClass(“errorMessageInput hidden”).addClass(“sign-up-error-msg hidden”);
} else {
$(this).removeClass(“errorMessageInput”).addClass(“sign-up-error-msg”);
}
});
}

/**
* when validation function is called, replace “errorMessageInput” with “sign-up-error-msg”
* before return
*/
function validateThis(v, form) {
var validateReturn = urValidation.validate(v, form);
renameErrorMsgClass();
return validateReturn;
}

/**
* DoC pop-up window js – included in moScripts.js which is not included in responsive page
*/
$(“#inlineRegistration”).on(“click”,”a.consentWindow”, function(e) {
window.open(this.href, “Consent”, “width=500,height=600,scrollbars=1”);
e.preventDefault();
});

on Microsoft’s cloud platform — or ignore it at their budget’s peril.

Office 365 is an attractive option for a business with an older Exchange Server platform winding down on its lifecycle. Microsoft offers several different subscriptions that charge a flat rate, but some a la carte services cost extra. With that in mind, admins must also monitor these additional Office 365 costs to ensure they don’t spiral out of control.

Admins can’t predict the overall total cost of ownership over several years without first evaluating several areas. For one, Office 365 offers more services bundled together under different plans. Microsoft considers some of these add-ons that require additional purchases, which adds complexity to Office 365 licensing.

IT decision-makers must evaluate what they need from Office 365, and that includes a careful cost analysis and upfront sizing — this consists of provisioning of cloud services, migration work and third-party services for Office 365 backups. For most IT projects, the business only approves a technology purchase or investment when tangible returns justify the project’s costs. As a result, admins should review all aspects of Office 365 costs, including the areas listed below.

Define the right licenses for the right users

Not every user needs the more advanced services, such as the analytics product Power BI Pro. Put users in categories, then determine the appropriate license for each group.

Identify the Office 365 licenses that each user needs based on their roles and requirements. Map out which plans go to what users to lock in Office 365 costs. Not every user needs the more advanced services, such as the analytics product Power BI Pro. Put users in categories, then determine the appropriate license for each group.

The Office 365 Enterprise E3 plan costs $20 per user per month and includes services such as the on-premises Office suite, Skype calling and Sway presentation app — which is overkill for some workers. Some users don’t need the on-premises Office applications; for those employees, Microsoft offers an Enterprise E1 plan that costs $8 per user per month.

Perform frequent audits

When a business moves to Office 365, the IT team needs to learn how to manage and monitor the platform’s services. Admins should use Office 365’s reports to conduct a quarterly or even monthly review of licensing use.

The Office 365 adoption content pack in Power BI builds customized dashboards that provide insights into application activations and how departments and locations use Office 365. Admins should use this data to find underutilized services to discern if employees can work without some services to reduce costs.

Monitor services with variable costs

[embedded content]

How the adoption content pack helps
admins track service adoption.

Every Office 365 subscription goes for a flat rate, but additional workloads bring extra charges. Advanced features — such as Advanced Threat Protection, Advanced Security Management, Cloud PBX and Power BI — often make Office 365 costs add up.

For example, the public switched telephone network feature in Office 365 Enterprise E5 often brings extra expenses. Workers get a set number of minutes for domestic and international calls, but when users exceed that limit, Microsoft adds additional charges to the monthly bill. Admins must monitor consumption to ensure these variable Office 365 costs don’t get out of hand.

Take advantage of licensing tools

The Office 365 license manager in the admin portal lets administrators assign licenses and see the current consumption of licenses, which makes the assignment process less confusing. Admins well-versed in PowerShell also have the option to allocate licenses via that management tool. Microsoft additionally provides a group option based on the categories created by the IT department.

Next Steps

Prepare well before an Office 365 move

Find tips on the Office 365 migration process

Different rules for Office 365 VDI deployment