I haven’t had time to install it yet (the downloads are still running), but I’m reading through the documentation and release notes and wanted to point out a couple of items. Some of these I already knew (or guessed), some were open questions, and some were just new. In no particular order:
- Support for 32-bit support — Yes, 32-bit support is included, but is not supported on production environments; it’s there for test and training, which often rely on virtual server technology. This implies that it will be this way for the release.
- Support for management on Windows XP/32-bit Windows — “You can install the Exchange Management Tools (which include the Exchange Management console, the Exchange Management Shell, and the Exchange Help file) on a computer with a 32-bit processor running Microsoft Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP.”
- Free Exchange 2007 e-learning — for a limited time, Microsoft Learning is offering free e-learning courses..
- CAS co-exists with other ASP.NET apps — apparently they’re expecting folks to install the CAS role on web servers with other apps, because the release notes tell you how to fix ASP.NET version breakage that might happen (Exchange 2007 uses ASP.NET 2.0).
- Fiddly bits with CAS install order — Read the release notes closely for all the caveats on when you need to install/uninstall the CAS role on a machine. Depending on the install order and which other roles are installed, you amy or may not get the right DLLs registered to handle DAV requests and thus break stuff.
- Incompatiable with the SCW — Not a huge surprise, since Exchange 2007 architecture is so different than Exchange 2003, but still something to be aware of.
- x64 hotfixes and issues — Again, not a huge surprise. In an unrelated project, I’ve seen some weird glitches with Windows Server 2003 x64, so finding out that it has known problems with CDOEX and ExOLEDB is not shocker to me.
- English-only speech recognition — Hey, it’s a beta. They’ve done an damned impressive job of supporting a large variety of other languages (something like 47!! OWA languages), but it’s still a beta and you can’t have everything included.
- No PF management in the EMC — The Exchange Management Console (EMC) is the successor to the ESM. It contains no GUI for PF management; you can use ESM if you still have Excahnge 2003 servers, or you can take the plunge and learn the Monad (ugh, “Powershell”) way of doing things.
- Folder quota issues — This one is so odd, I’m just going to quote it verbatim.
“Exchange 2007 allows a quota to be set on individual managed custom folders as part of the messaging records management feature set. Currently, Exchange 2007 prevents a quota from being set on a managed folder that contains content. If you want to set a quota on a managed custom folder before it is deployed or think that you may do so in the future, you must set a quota at the time that the folder is empty.
You may set this quota to its maximum value (2,097,151 KB) so that it will not interfere with your users’ daily work habits. This quota must remain on the folder for that folder to be eligible to have a quota in the future, or until you install a version of Exchange in which this issue has been resolved. If you remove the quota before the fix for this issue is applied, you will never be able to set a quota on this folder even if you upgrade to a build where this issue has been fixed.”
Managed folders are a huge DCAR feature, so this is an interesting issue and yet another reason why the “don’t install it in production” warning is such a good one. I really hope this is fixed by RTM, as I suspect it will be.
- Multi-domain topology weirdness — Ugh. Good luck using CAS with a multi-domain topology. Specifically, good luck using the Set-CASMailboxPolicy cmdlet. And remember, since the EMC sits on top of the Exchange Management Shell and uses the various cmdlets to do the heavy lifting, this means you can’t do it via the GUI either.
- Lots of other assorted client access issues — read the release notes. Yup, it’s a beta.
- Check your SMTP settings — on servers with the Hub role, you can’t perform anonymous SMTP by default. I bet this one is going to bite a lot of people.
- EdgeSync and new Hub servers — Apparently, once you create an EdgeSync subscription, new Hub servers won’t participate in that subscription. The fix? Remove all the subs and redo them. Ugh. I hope this is fixed come RTM.
- EdgeSync ports hardcoded — Again, I hope this is fixed by RTM. I can’t think of a reason why I’d need to change their default values, but that doesn’t mean that someone out there won’t have a good one.
- CCR/LCR guidance — Lots of guidance here, and since these are new Exchange features, read everything you can about them (including the release notes) before using them. Remember that CCR requires the Microsoft Shared Cluster Services, which means that all of the machines have to be on the same subnet.
- Turn on the transport dumpster for CCR — it’s off by default. See Set-TransportConfig for more details.
- MOM strangeness — Apparently, you have to import the MOM management pack before using it. The release notes contain more info.
- Keep your help files on the local computer — the default security settings prevent the display of .chm files on file shares, so you’ll get “Page not found” errors when you open up help files across network shares.
- Mix and match admin consoles — In short, don’t do it, unless they tell you otherwise (public folders). Bad things can happen. In fact, EMC won’t administer downlevel servers other than documented tasks.
- E-mail message attachments cause NDR — “Currently, messages with e-mail message attachments fail to send with a non-delivery report (NDR). This issue occurs for plain text, RTF, and HTML e-mail messages. There is currently no work around for this issue. This issue will be fixed for RTM.”.
Wow. I can’t believe this one survived into Beta.
- Beta better together — If you’re using Outlook 2007, you need to use Outlook 2007 beta 2, not earlier versions, which are not compatible.
- CheckInvalidRecipients.msh — run this script to find and fix invalid recipient objects.
- Don’t rely on the “Change password at next logon” setting in EMC — although you can create user accounts in EMC, this setting won’t work. It doesn’t say whether it’s a GUI issue or a problem with the underlying cmdlet. I’m going to guess the former, because that’s a pretty big issue with managing users in Monad if it’s the latter.
Wow. It’s a whole new world of Exchange. Even though we still have Active Directory and don’t require the ADC to move from Exchange 2000/2003 to 2007, this is going to be (in my mind) as big of a sea change as the move from 5.5 to 2000 was. I’m looking forward to it. As always, if you have thoughts or questions, send ’em on in and I’ll see if I can’t track down the answers.