Category Archives: 3Sharp

Leaving 3Sharp

3Sharp has been a fantastic place to work; for the last six and half years, my co-workers and I have walked the road together. One of the realities of growth, though, is that you often reach the fork in the road where you have to move down different paths. Working with Paul, Tim, Missy, Kevin, […]

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OneNote 2010 Keeps Your Brains In Your Head

Some months back, those of you who follow me on Twitter (@devinganger) may have a noticed a series of teaser Tweets about a project I was working on that involved zombies. Yes, that’s right, zombies. The RAHR-BRAINS-RAHR shambling undead kind, not the “mystery objects in Active Directory” kind. Well, now you can see what I […]

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Why Aren’t My Exchange Certificates Validating?

Updated 10/13: Updated the link to the blog article on configuring Squid for Exchange per the request of the author Owen Campbell. Thank you, Owen, for letting me know the location had changed! By now you should be aware that Microsoft strongly recommends that you publish Exchange 2010/2007 client access servers (and Exchange 2003/2000 front-end […]

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Some Thoughts on FBA (part 2)

As promised, here’s part 2 of my FBA discussion, in which we’ll talk about the interaction of ISA’s forms-based authentication (FBA) feature with Exchange 2010. (See part 1 here.) Offloading FBA to ISA As I discussed in part 1, ISA Server includes the option of performing FBA pre-authentication as part of the web listener. You […]

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Stolen Thunder: Outlook for the Mac

I was going to write up a quick post about the release of Entourage for EWS (allowing it to work in native Exchange 2007, and, more importantly, Exchange 2010 environments) and the announcement that Office 2010 for the Mac would have Outlook, not Entourage, but Paul beat me to it, including my whole take on […]

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EAS: King of Sync?

Seven months or so ago, IBM surprised a bunch of people by announcing that they were licensing Microsoft’s Exchange ActiveSync protocol (EAS) for use with a future version of Lotus Notes. I’m sure there were a few folks who saw it coming, but I cheerfully admit that I was not one of them. After about […]

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Comparing PowerShell Switch Parameters with Boolean Parameters

If you’ve ever take a look at the help output (or TechNet documentation) for PowerShell cmdlets, you see that they list several pieces of information about each of the various parameters the cmdlet can use: The parameter name Whether it is a required or optional parameter The .NET variable type the parameter expects A description […]

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Some Thoughts on FBA (part 1)

It’s funny how topics tend to come in clumps. Take the current example: forms-based authentication (FBA) in Exchange. An FBA Overview FBA was introduced in Exchange Server 2003 as a new authentication method for Outlook Web Access. It requires OWA to be published using SSL – which was not yet common practice at that point […]

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You, too, can Master Exchange

One of the biggest criticisms I’ve seen of the MCM program, even when it first was announced, was the cost – at a list price of $18,500 for the actual MCM program, discounting the travel, lodging, food, and opportunity cost of lost revenue, a lot of people are firmly convinced that the program is way […]

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Fixing interoperability problems between OCS 2007 R2 Public Internet Connectivity and AOL IM

One of the cool things you can do with OCS is connect your internal organization to various public IM clouds (MSN/Windows Live, Yahoo!, and AOL) using the Public Internet Connectivity, or PIC, feature. As you might imagine, though, PIC involves lots of fiddly bits that all have to work just right in order for there […]

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ExMon released (no joke!)

If you’re tempted to think this is an April Fool’s Day joke, no worries – this is the real deal. Yesterday, Microsoft published the Exchange 2007-aware version of Exchange Server User Monitor (ExMon) for download. “ExMon?” you ask. “What’s that?” I’m happy to explain! ExMon is a tool that gives you a real-time look inside […]

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Two CCR White Papers from Missy

This actually happened last week, but I’ve been remiss in getting it posted (sorry, Missy!) Missy recently completed two Exchange 2007 whitepapers, both centered around the CCR story. The first one, High Availability Choices for Exchange Server 2007: Continuous Cluster Replication or Single Copy Clustering, provides a thorough overview of the questions and issues to […]

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Haz Firewall, Want Cheezburger

Although Window Server 2008 offers an impressive built-in firewall, in some cases we Exchange administrators don’t want to have to deal with it. Maybe you are building a demo to show a customer, or a lab environment to reproduce an issue. Maybe you just want to get Exchange installed now and will loop back to […]

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Off-topic: trying to refurbish a Mac mini

Full details on my home blog.

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A long-overdue status update

So, you haven’t seen a lot of me on the blog lately. The sad part is that I have three or four blog posts in various states of completion, I just seem to have very little time these days to work on it. I think part of it is that ever since my MCM Exchange […]

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Outlook Performance Goodness

Microsoft has recently released a pair of Outlook 2007 updates (okay, technically, they’re updates for Outlook 2007 with SP1 applied) that you might want to look at installing sooner rather than later. These two updates are together being billed as the “February cumulative update” at KB 968009, which has some interesting verbiage about how many […]

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GetSharp lives!

If you’ve only interacted with 3Sharp through me, Paul, Missy, and Tim, then you’ve missed a whole key aspect of the talent we’ve got here at 3Sharp. Our group (Infrastructure Solution Group or ISG, formerly known as the Platform Group) is just a small part of what goes on around here. GetSharp is 3Sharp’s personal […]

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What happens in Vegas gets blogged

Update (11/15/08 1240PST): Fixed the URLs in the links to point to the actual decks. Sorry! Time this year has flown! Hard to believe that I’ve just finished up my last conference for the year — Exchange Connections Fall at the fabulous Mandalay Bay resort and conference center in Las Vegas. This was my second […]

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Masters update: short form

I have gotten a lot of email from people who wished me well and wanted to find out the status of my recent Masters rotation. I’m working on a bigger write-up, but here’s the short form: It was intense. I had a ton of fun, I learned more than I thought I could, and I […]

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…does this mean I’ll get an apprentice?

For the next three weeks, I’ll be squirreled away in a hidden location, having my brains surgically removed and replaced with a quantum-computing device filled with Exchange knowledge. Good times! Seriously, though, I’ll be off to the October rotation of the three-week Microsoft Certified Master: Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 program. The Master certification is a […]

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Some nifty Windows Mobile tools

One of the projects I’ve been working on recently involves managing Windows Mobile devices; Tim and I have gotten to spend a bit of time playing with some very cool software. However, we both noticed that Windows Mobile makes some tasks unnecessarily complicated, such as verifying basic network connectivity. For example, can you tell me […]

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A little GPO study aid

I’ve been in study mode a lot lately, as I’ve been preparing for an upcoming class I’ll be going to. In the process, I’ve had to loop around and pick up several MCP exams I’d not gotten. Today, I’m studying Active Directory. I knew that you could push applications out to computers via GPO, and […]

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OCS follows Exchange into 64-bit-only land

You may have missed this interesting blog post this morning amidst all the political kerfuffle, so let me sum up: the next version of OCS will only support x64 platforms. This isn’t the big deal it would have been for OCS 2007. A lot of the initial FUD around the 64-bit-only move in Exchange 2007 […]

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The OCS Edge Server: how many NICs do I need?

There are a lot of people out there who want to try to get around Microsoft’s recommended configuration for the OCS Edge Server roles. For whatever reason, they don’t like the thought of have two network interfaces, one on a publicly routable IP network, the other on the private network. I’ve talked in the past […]

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First Look at Microsoft Online Services: the Sign-In tool

Continuing from my previous post on MOS… I didn’t really mention this in the previous post, but MOS is designed to provide a hosted alternative to the server-side applications. One of the goals is to continue working with existing native clients and client access methods, so (for example) you can access your Exchange Online mailbox […]

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First look at Microsoft Online Services: adding domains

I’m at an airlift here in Redmond for the new Microsoft Online Services (MOS), Microsoft’s hosted services platform. Right now, MOS offers a combination of hosted Exchange (OWA, Outlook, and even EAS!), hosted SharePoint, and Live Meeting. We’ve just gone through an overview of the service, and it looks cool — enough so that I’m now […]

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DPM 2007 Rollup packages now available

While I was away on vacation last week, Microsoft finally released the DPM 2007 Rollup packages to Microsoft Downloads. (I blame Jason Buffington; I’m sure he waited until I was out of office.) There are  both x86 and x64 packages; both require you to download three separate files. In addition to various bug fixes, this […]

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Hyper-V in the hizzouse!

Everyone’s being so coy in the Windows blogosphere today. “As you may have heard…” Heck with that; this is wicked cool. Hyper-V has Released To Manufacturing … and is already available for download. As the link explains, it’ll start coming down the Windows Update pipe July 8th. If you don’t want your Windows Server 2008 […]

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These are not the solutions you’re looking for

As IT professionals, we are more than often prone to fall to the perils of magical thinking. (I’m sure this is a side-effect of being human, which is a pesky and bothersome condition I will have to do something about one of these days.) Magical thinking in this context is when we have not internalized […]

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masteringdpm.com back online

Things got hairy enough last week that I forgot to post, but my hosting provider got the problem sorted out and the website is back online.

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masteringdpm.com temporarily down

If you’ve tried to get to masteringdpm.com in the past couple of days, you may have gotten a cryptic error message instead of a site with DPM goodness. I’m working with my hosting provider to get it put back up ASAP and will post again once it’s back up.

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Tech-Talk: Making Backups Cool with DPM

While I was at the Tech-Ed NA IT Pro conference last week, Jason Buffington and I took the chance to invade the Tech-Ed Online fishbowl studio and record a quick Tech-Talk on using DPM. You can now view it online on the Tech-Ed IT Pro page and the Library page, or stream it directly. Now […]

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Welcome, Mike Rand!

Just a quick shout-out to fellow 3Sharpie Mike Rand, who just posted his first post to the 3Sharp blog site last week. Mike’s a super-smart developer here with mad SharePoint skills; I can’t imagine why he hasn’t blogged sooner than this, but I hope to see him posting more frequently! He’s also pretty good at […]

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Updated Exchange Developer Roadmap

To reinforce yesterday’s post about Exchange Web Services (EWS), I wanted to draw your attention to the Exchange Developer Roadmap posted on May 22 2008 on the Exchange API-spotting blog. There shouldn’t really be any surprises here, but there were a couple of items I wanted to highlight. First: Given this commitment to Web services […]

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A .NET add-on for working with Exchange Web Services

I just got word that Independentsoft has come out with a beta version of an EWS client API for the .NET Framework and .NET Compact Framework. I’ve not looked at it yet, but I’m particularly hopeful about having a good way to work with EWS from Windows Mobile devices. Exchange Web Services (EWS), introduced in […]

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3Sharp, Podcasting, and You

The talented people at 3Sharp are one of the best reasons to work here. Our Platforms Group is just one piece of the pie here; we’ve got some top-tier development talent who can make SharePoint stand up and dance. Those guys down the hall have been working hard on a little surprise they like to […]

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All purchases should be this easy

If you haven’t seen me in person recently, you may not realize I’m a heretic. Yes, that’s right — I use an Apple 15″ MacBook Pro with Vista as my laptop. It took some jiggling to get it all working — an upgrade to Leopard (OS X 10.5) for the final release of BootCamp, an […]

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Revised guidance on protecting Exchange with DPM 2007

Just a quick note to let you  all know that the Protecting Exchange Server with DPM 2007 white paper is available for download from Microsoft. This is the same white paper I worked on for them last year, but freshly revised to include more guidance around mailbox-level recovery. I’ll be giving a talk around this […]

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Hyper-V RC1 available

This is pretty cool — I didn’t even notice this at first! Hyper-V RC1 is now available for download through the Microsoft Download center or through Windows Update as an optional update. One of the nice changes here is that you now install the Hyper-V Integration Services on Windows 2008 guest machines  the same way […]

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Three random links make a post

…so I’ll throw in a fourth for good measure. Rather than try to write a full-length post about each of these, I’m just going to give you a quick bullet list: Want to get the MAPI client or CDO libraries for Exchange 2007, or for Vista and Windows Server 2008? Wait no more: Microsoft Exchange […]

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One last quick tidbit: Exchange 2007 and Outlook Anywhere scalability whitepaper

A lot of you may have missed this: Microsoft just released a new white paper for Exchange, Outlook Anywhere Scalability with Outlook 2007, Outlook 2003, and Exchange 2007. This paper should give you some detailed guidance goodness on scaling your CAS servers, and also talks about the port exhaustion issues that lead to upper scalability […]

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A certificate roundup

Certificates are one of the biggest issues I keep hearing about with Exchange and OCS, and apparently I’m not the only one. Fellow MVP Michael B. Smith has recently posted two blog articles on certs: how to use SAN certificates with ISA 2006 and other certificate limitations. However, he’s got a couple of points on […]

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Doing UC in the Pacific Northwest

I’ve been sitting on a cool announcement for several days now, and I’m happy that it’s now time to announce it. I’ve been working with a group of people to get a new user group for Unified Communications (UC) put together here in the Pacific Northwest. While all of us are here in the Puget […]

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Post-Conference report

As I typically do, I’m posting links to my slide decks for the presentations I just finished giving. I apologize to the Connections folks; I was supposed to get this done Monday afternoon or Tuesday and got ambushed by a travel-induced migraine. (EXC09) Exchange Protection using Data Protection Manager (EXC10) DCAR with Exchange (EXC11) Upgrading […]

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A DPM roundup

This was a big travel week for me; I got the privilege of speaking about protecting Exchange with DPM 2007 at both Exchange Connections (in Orlando) and Microsoft Management Summit (in Las Vegas). The session had a good response at both shows, and there’s clearly a lot of buzz going around about DPM. I’ve gotten […]

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Greetings from Orlando!

I’m posting from a break between sessions at Exchange Connections in Orlando, FL. I just had a good session on protecting Exchange with DPM — thanks to everyone who attended and gave lots of good feedback. Next up — a session on DCAR with Exchange, and then Exchange 2007 update best practices. The weather is […]

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Setting Exchange 2007 Unified Messaging codecs on a per-user basis? Genius!

I was completely floored to discover, via Paul, that you can control which codec the UM role uses to record voicemails on a per-user basis. This is seriously cool stuff, and if you can’t see why quite yet, let me offer the following scenarios for you: Most common: you have multiple users who have non-Windows […]

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Security and the OCS 2007 A/V Edge role

When people start digging into the specifics of the A/V Edge role in OCS 2007, they usually have a strong and immediate knee-jerk reaction something along the lines of, “No way!” (Mine was, “Oh, heck no!”) This reaction is usually caused by learning one or more of the following deployment requirements: Public IP address. The A/V […]

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Exchange protocol documentation now available

Per the announcement on Tuesday (08 Apr), Microsoft has released a lot of new documentation for various Exchange and Outlook-Exchange protocols. This is some cool stuff — just check out the list of what’s available. However, as the web site warns, it’s preliminary documentation. If you don’t believe them, when you download the files (available […]

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There’s no service like Web service

One of the cool things about Exchange 2007 is the new Web service interface into the store. In theory, having mailboxes and contents exposed via Web services makes it a lot easier for developers and casual dabblers to use Web service-aware tools to interact with Exchange content. Two weeks ago, I wanted to perform a […]

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