During my client interactions, a couple of recurring confusions continue to plague the decision making process to move to Office 365. I wanted to take a moment to document them for other to get some fast answers.
1. Directory Synchronization is Required for Single Sign-On with Office 365.
The two main components of SSO with Office 365 are Directory Synchronization and Active Directory Federation Services 2.0 (ADFS 2.0). They are both necessary for a client to log on to Office 365 using their current Active Directory credentials. The key road block for some clients is that Directory Synchronization synchronizes the entire directory; all users, all groups. Yes, there are ways around this; no, they are not supported by Microsoft. Additionally, Directory Synchronization is limited to a single AD Forest at this time. Future functionality may provide solutions to these two concerns, but they are facts that have to be communicated today.
2. Lync Federation is Not the Same as Active Directory Federation Services.
Lync Federation is the ability to IM other companies that also use Lync Online or Lync on-premises, as well as see Presence and limited status information (depending on the configuration settings). This is not SSO.
3. Exchange Federation is (also) Not the Same as Active Directory Federation Services.
Exchange Federation allows Exchange Online and Exchange 2010 environments to share Calendaring information, depending on configuration settings. This is not the same as SSO.
3. Lync On-Premise and Lync Online Cannot Share the Same SIP Domain
At this time, Lync On-Premise and Lync Online cannot share the same SIP domain. In order to have coexistence between the two within a single organization, two separate SIP domains and Lync Federation between those domains needs to be configured. This will likely change in the future.
4. ADFS 1.0 is Not Used for Office 365
ADFS 1.0 is the version available in Windows Server 2008 within the Roles configuration settings. This will not work for Office 365 federation configuration. ADFS 2.0 is a separate download that will need to be installed.
Hopefully these points will help clear up any confusion during your planning process and allow you to focus on the other hurdles that come along with any migration effort.
What other deployment confusion have you seen in the field? I’m always ready to learn from someone else’s hard work…