November 2023 Newsletter

What’s New in the Hybrid Data Center?

Windows 2012 R2 Server

Windows Server 2012 R2 has reached end of support on October 10, 2023. The October 2023 security update is the last update available for this version. After this date, devices running this version of Windows Server will no longer receive monthly security updates (unless moved to Azure or updates are paid for separately).

Azure VMware Solution
  • vSphere 8 will begin rolling out at the end of November 2023—make sure your vSphere-integrated solutions are ready! Think backup, replication, and monitoring solutions.
  • Five-Year Reserved Instances are now available. Lock in today’s prices for 5 years!
  • Azure VMware Solution is now available for Azure Gov FedRamp.
  • Nutanix Files version 4.4 release highlights:
    • Multi-Prism Central Support for Smart DR
    • Share-Level Self Service Restore
    • Share Permissions Management
    • Metro Availability for Files
  • AOS 6.5.4 (AHV-20220304.242) – (eGroup | Enabling Technologies recommended version)
    • VvTPM support for AHV VMs
    • Support for Windows 11

Cohesity’s CISO has issued a notice urging that all Cohesity clusters be upgraded to v 6.8.1_u5.

This release includes unique TLS certificates per page, SecureShell to harden Cohesity host Access, TLS 1.3 Ciphers, and higher quality and stability.

Azure Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

How do YOU optimize your Azure native VMs? Check out three simple steps here! 

What’s New in Microsoft?

Entra ID (FKA Azure AD)

Windows Local Administrator Password Solution with Microsoft Entra ID is now Generally Available!

This month, Microsoft will begin automatically protecting customers with Microsoft-managed Conditional Access policies. The following policies will automatically be created and enabled in your and your customer tenants: MFA for admin portals, MFA for per-user MFA users, and MFA for high-risk sign-ins. See Automatic Conditional Access policies in Microsoft Entra streamline identity protection.

  • Classic Teams users will be automatically updated to New Teams after March 31, 2024.
  • Between December and March, a new Teams Compose Experience will roll out. All Teams users will still be able to do everything they have previously done in Teams, but now, accessing these features will be easier and more clear. 
  • Microsoft is revamping the gallery in Teams meetings and calls. The new gallery will be the default view.
  • Microsoft is starting to roll out the preview of the new Teams web client to Edge and Chrome browsers.
  • The Files app on the left side of the Teams desktop client will be updated with the new OneDrive app experience, bringing performance, more views, and new features of OneDrive to classic and new Teams.
  • Teams Phone has a new calling feature. With private line, users have a private second phone number that they can advertise to a select set of callers to call them directly, bypassing delegates or assistants. Inbound calls (only) to the private line will have a unique ringtone.
  • You can soon set up ‘Out of Office’ from the Teams Mobile Application on iOS and Android.
  • Users can preview and play Stream videos directly in Teams Chat and Channel without having to open them in a browser and going to Stream.
  • Teams Admins will be able to chat directly with app publishers to assess whether an app will meet their needs and ask questions regarding data compliance, pricing, and deployment. If an app publisher supports this feature, Admins will discover a chat button in the app card in the manage apps tab of TAC.
  • Teams Admins will soon be able to block internal users from accessing chats when these users join meetings organized on external non-trusted tenants.
  • The latest version of Teams Rooms on Android Update 3 (2023) includes the meeting protection support for End-to-end Encryption for meetings and Sensitivity labels.
  • Surface Hub 3 is now officially joining the Microsoft Teams Rooms family as an all-in-one Teams Rooms board running Teams Rooms on Windows.
  • People can book a room for meetings now or in the future by scanning a QR code on the Teams (Room) scheduling Panel and using the Teams app on Android or iOS phones.
  • A new Teams Premium product usage report will be available within M365 admin center usage reports (showing active users, features, and by paid and trial licenses).
  • The Teams Join Launcher web page will now support the brand logo and brand image uploaded for branded meetings. This is a Teams Premium feature.
  • Support for Teams Shared Device License on Android Mobile is generally available now on Teams mobile version >= 2023143401. Only Calls and Walkie Talkie apps are supported when the Android mobile app is signed into an account with Teams Shared Device license, and they’ll need individual licenses to access other features, including chats and channels.
  • By mid-December, Microsoft is simplifying the creation of Teams and Channels.  Users will now be able to create a Team or Channel from the top “+” button. Having “Create Channel” as an option elevated to the top will promote users to create channels instead of teams, reducing team proliferation. 
OneDrive for Business

Offline mode in OneDrive for Web is coming soon on Windows and macOS devices running the OneDrive sync app. It will allow you to continue working with the OneDrive web app in your browser, OneDrive PWA (Progressive Web App), or Microsoft Teams even when you are offline. This feature will be on by default and will give your users the ability to open, view, rename, move, copy their files, and create new folders when offline.


Out-of-the-box document library templates are available that have scenario-relevant structure, metadata, and content types to save time and maintain consistency.


The Loop mobile app now supports Intune app protection policies on both iOS and Android apps.

  • Soon, in addition to existing news notifications, users of Viva Connections will also receive notifications for boosted news on the organization’s news site. This will allow communicators to reach end users more directly with important company news and communications.
  • A refreshed Viva Connections experience is expected to be rolled out by January 2024.
  • With the enhanced Viva Goals integration with Microsoft Planner, users will now be able to filter their tasks by buckets and labels, and integrate directly with specific tasks, for easier portfolio management.
  • With the new “Share an Update” feature, leaders can share updates of their team goals to the members of their organization directly from Viva Goals. Updates are sent to users via email.
Microsoft Mesh

Mesh is now in Public Preview for you to evaluate for your organization’s immersive spaces ideas.

Microsoft 365 Copilot
  • Microsoft 365 Copilot for organizations with 300+ licensed users is Generally Available.
  • Teams Meetings Copilot on Mobile will be made available on November 10th on iOS and Android.
  • Microsoft 365 Copilot for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on the Web requires 3rd-party cookies. Availability of Copilot features in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on the Web is dependent upon a user’s browser settings for third-party cookies. In instances where these cookies are disabled, Microsoft 365 Copilot will not be available.
  • Each Microsoft 365 Copilot license will include an entitlement to 500 items of index quota, which counts towards your organization’s quota for ingesting content from Microsoft Graph connectors. Microsoft Graph connectors allow your organization to index third-party data into Microsoft Graph and Semantic Index.
  • Microsoft 365 Chat will be able to access and reference the public web later this month. Microsoft will be providing an admin toggle to prepare for configuring web content for Microsoft 365 Copilot.
  • You may also want to review the Bing Chat Enterprise adoption content recently released. It’s useful to onboard users to the world of Generative AI, with IT Admin controls and data protections. 
  • Collaborative Loop components are coming to Teams channels! Users can create, share, and edit synchronously and asynchronously on ideas without leaving the context of their conversation, and copy and paste Loop components between channels, chats, Outlook emails, and other supported M365 apps.
  • As the Loop app exits Public Preview, Loop workspaces will start counting towards tenant storage quotas.
Windows 365

Microsoft is introducing two new Cloud PC sizes featuring 16 vCPUs and releasing the capability to send Windows 365 audit logs to Azure Log Analytics.

  • Org Explorer (in Outlook on the Web) helps you visualize and explore your company’s internal structure, work teams, and individual roles.
  • By early December, Dictation Support is coming to the new Outlook.
New App! ClipChamp

Microsoft Clipchamp is launching for Microsoft 365 commercial accounts. Properly licensed Microsoft 365 users (Microsoft 365 E3/E5, Business Standard/ Premium) in your organization will have access to Clipchamp video editing capabilities.

  • Users with access to Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) are now redirected from old protection mechanisms towards the modern sensitivity labeling experience.
  • Coming soon to public preview, Purview Communication Compliance will introduce advanced trainable classifiers that leverage large language models to detect workplace safety scenarios.
  • Microsoft has a long-term retirement plan to move the older features used for records management in SharePoint Online that are not part of the Microsoft Purview Records Management or Purview Data Lifecycle Management.
  • Microsoft is introducing a set of capabilities with general availability in Microsoft Purview to help you strengthen the data security and support compliance management for Microsoft 365 Copilot. Copilot will honor sensitivity labels and content encrypted by Microsoft Purview Information Protection, including sensitivity label inheritance, citation, and honoring Extract usage rights.
  • From the sensitivity menu, owners of Office files protected with a sensitivity label can access the Microsoft Purview compliance portal to view user access attempts and revoke access.
  • To provide greater process flexibility, Microsoft has integrated Purview Records Management with Power Automate. You can ‘Apply a retention label on the item’, ‘Relabel an item at the end of retention’, ‘Delete an item at the end of retention’, and ‘Trigger a new instance of the flow if an item can’t be located’ in Microsoft 365 Compliance connector.
Defender for Office 365
  • Soon, you will be able to block URLs based on their top-level domain using block entries in the Tenant Allow Block List.
  • Soon, customers with Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Plan 2 can create 10,000 block entries and 5,000 allow entries (via admin submissions) in the Tenant Allow Block List for each category (Domains & addresses, Files, and URLs). Customers with Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Plan 1 can create 1,000 block entries and 1,000 allow entries (via admin submissions).
Defender for Identity

Defender for Identity recommendations will be added to Microsoft Secure Score. Scores will be updated accordingly.

Microsoft Groups

All private unlisted groups (also known as “Secret Groups”) will be retired on 11/11/2023.

Need assistance with any of the updates listed above?

Contact our team of experts today to see how these updates may impact your workflow or organization!