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Entries for 'Greg Coward'

article March 07, 2014 by Greg Coward
Yep, it’s another blog post on TMG replacement.  However, until now we’ve neglected the last piece of the TMG replacement puzzle, (forward web proxy).  In addition to remote access and application publishing, a large number or organizations have relied on Forefront Threat Management Gateway so secure their outbound web traffic.  A typical TMG web proxy array, (shown below),  resides in the DMZ and utilizes various features such as URL and content filtering to control outbound...
Over my past several blog posts, I’ve talked about federating our on-premise environments with Office 365.  Now, that we have that handled, (it’s handled right?) let’s talk about another lesser known piece of the puzzle; hybrid SharePoint environments.  With federation and SSO between on-premise applications and Office 365 provided by the BIG-IP and APM, (Access Policy Manager) users can move seamlessly between their on-premise SharePoint and SharePoint online as if they were one integrated appl...
articleus March 22, 2013 by Greg Coward
“Everybody’s going to the cloud! Everybody’s going to the Cloud!” Well…alright….not exactly. While organizations of varying sizes are utilizing cloud resources with increasing frequency, the majority have definitely not gone “all-in”. Still, with the increasing popularity of cloud-based services like Office 365 and Windows Azure, the pace of adoption appears to be picking up and many adopters are starting to move their services up to the cloud. In a few of my previous posts, we talked about how...
articlemicrosoftindustryus March 21, 2013 by Greg Coward
The BIG-IP with APM has now become SAML, (claims) aware! “SAML” not “self-aware”. No need to start worrying about Skynet and Arnold Schwarzenegger kicking in your door, (except for you Sarah Connor). This is a good thing! If you need to federate your organization with Office 365, this is a very good thing. With the release of ver. 11.3, BIG-IP with APM, (Access Policy Manager) now includes full SAML support on the box. What does that mean? Well, ...
Okay, okay, I drank the Kool-aid.  I’m a big fan of Access Policy Manager, (APM) and, full disclosure, an F5 employee.  With that said, being a “Windows guy” and coming from a background of working with Threat Management Gateway, (TMG) I have historically been skeptical with regards to the ease at which one can deploy an application, (MS Exchange for example) behind the F5 Big-IP as opposed to TMG.  After all, the Big-IP is a “network device” and can be complex with many knobs to turn and levers...
I’m bouncing around in the friendly skies, (turbulence sucks!) on my way back from the Microsoft Exchange conference and one question keeps rolling around in my head; how important is pre-authentication?  Granted, it may not be a very compelling topic to most but with the recent announcement of TMG’s end-of-life, it’s at least relevant.  Along with other remote access / pre-authentication solutions, including F5’s Access Policy Manager, (APM) many organizations from SMBs to large enterprises h...
Why stop at 3 when you can go to 4? Over the past few posts on this ever-expanding topic, we’ve discussed using ADFS to provide single sign-on access to Office 365. But what about single sign-out? A customer turned me onto Tristan Watkins’ blog post that discusses the challenges of single sign-out for browser-based, (WS-Federation) applications when fronting ADFS with a reverse-proxy. It’s a great blog post and covers the topic quite well so I won’t bother re-hashing it ...
When it comes to upgrades, implementations, migrations, etc., you can plan for months. You can test, test, and then test some more. You can cross every “i” and dot every “t”. But at the end of the day, it all comes down to the end-user experience.  Making the transition from one platform to another is as seamless as possible for your users is crucial.  When it comes to migrating from Exchange 2003/2007 to Exchange 2010, The Big-IP platform with Access Policy Man...
Okay, so I never mentioned a part 3. But, the topic is just too much fun to let go. Besides, we have one more important section to cover. First, let’s recap parts one and two. In part one we discussed load balancing the ADFS and ADFS proxy farms providing for a highly-available and scalable deployment. Part two focused on utilizing the Access Policy Manager, (APM) module as a replacement for the ADFS proxy layer. This not only creates a more secure and flexible solution but simplifies the...
So let’s talk Application Delivery Controllers, (ADC).  In part one of this series we deployed both an internal ADFS farm as well as a perimeter ADFS proxy farm using the Big-IP’s exceptional load balancing capabilities to provide HA and scalability.  But there’s much more the Big-IP can provide to the application delivery experience.  Here in part 2 we’ll utilize the Access Policy Manager, (APM) module as a replacement for the ADFS Proxy layer.  To illustrate this approach, we’ll address one of...
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