Office 365 Service Accounts

A quick short blog post, which is really just a direction to some Microsoft content. Office 365 users will be familiar with the need for an account to use as a “service account” for DirSync, Azure AD Sync or other 3rd Party Sync/Integration Services. Now, how frustrating is it when this stops working because the account password expires – stopping your services working.

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SIMS in a MultiPlatform world…efficiency, productivity and cost savings for Schools

BETT is now over for another year, the hustle and bustle of a busy ExCel Arena are already just a memory as everyone settles back to their normal work routines.

Now many will have been expecting my first article “post-show” to have been about the launch of the Teacher App. Well…that is coming soon – but first, the new “multi-platform” access to SIMS. There are lots of links between the story of the App and the story of the platform that I’m going to explore here.

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Agora – the “new breed” of SIMS

Agora, launched a little over a year ago, is the Capita SIMS online payment solution for Schools – enabling parents to pay for school meals, trips, activities, uniforms and more. SIMS Agora allows Schools to provide a safe and secure method to make payments in a convenient way – always having access to what they have paid for whenever and wherever they like.

What really sets Agora apart from other the rest of the SIMS ecosystem is that it is the first “as a service” solution from Capita. There is no “product” in the traditional sense to buy – no “disks”, no installation or consultancy charges and no pesky system requirements.#

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System Centre Configuration Manager 2012 R2 – Post Upgrade

Back to an old topic for me…my love of all things System Centre Configuration Manager (SCCM). I first started working with this product back in the heady SMS days, and have now installed a fair few implementations of the various newer versions of SCCM. My most recent work has actually – for once – been on my own native system! I know…get me!

Originally installed as a 2007 system back in 2011; it has been “migrated” to 2012, then through the Service Packs of that version until most recently the upgrade (thank you Microsoft for listening after the pain of 2007 to 2012) to 2012 R2.

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Playing with HyperV Clusters

Some of you may have read from my previous Microsoft School Blog posts that I run a HyperV Clustered network. This consists of 3 HyperV Hosts, running Server 2008 R2 (considering when to upgrade to 2012)… with the VHD server data files located on a SAN.

This allows me to use the Failover Clustering feature to manage the resilience of the network.

This week; I came across an odd problem.

I was getting ready to do some maintenance across the system – and running a backup across the Hosts of each of the VMs located on them. As part of this process I wanted to move the owner of a Cluster Shared Volume (CSV) disk first. Cluster Shared Volumes are the bit of power that allows you to seemlessly present the same pool of storage with all the VHDs on to all the servers simulataneously. This make the live migration work – yes, thats the feature in VMware land called VMotion – that you pay for!

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