Category Archives: Exchange

Windows 2012 R2 and #MSExchange: not so fast

In the past couple of months since Windows Server 2012 R2 has dropped, a few of my customers have asked about rolling out new domain controllers on this version – in part because they’re using it for other services and they want to standardize their new build outs as much as they can. My answer […]

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Finding Differences in Exchange objects (#DoExTip)

Many times, when I’m troubleshooting Exchange issues I need to compare objects (such as user accounts in Active Directory, or mailboxes) to figure out why there is a difference in behavior. Many times, the difference is tiny and hard-to-spot. It may not even be visible through the GUI. To do this, I first dump the […]

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Using Out-GridView (#DoExTip)

My second tip in this series is going to violate the ground rules I laid out for it, because they’re my rules and I want to. This tip isn’t a tool or script. It’s a pointer to an insanely awesome feature of Windows PowerShell that just happens to nicely solve many problems an Exchange administrator […]

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Exchange Environment Report script (#DoExTip)

My inaugural DoExTip is a script I have been rocking out to and enthusiastically recommending to customers for over a year: the fantastic Exchange Environment Report script by UK Exchange MVP Steve Goodman. Apparently Microsoft agrees, because they highlight it in the TechNet Gallery. It’s a simple script: run it and you get a single-page HTML […]

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Introducing DoExTips

At my house, we try to live our life by a well-known saying attributed to French philosopher Voltaire: “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” This is a translation from the second line of his French poem La Bégueule, which itself is quoting a more ancient Italian proverb. It’s a common idea that perfection is […]

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#MSExchange 2010 and .NET 4.0

Oh, Microsoft. By now, one might think that you’d learn not to push updates to systems without testing them thoroughly. One would be wrong. At least this one classifies as a minor annoyance and not outright breakage… Windows Update offers up .NET 4.0 to Windows 2008 R2 systems as an Important update (and has been […]

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Attached To You: Exchange 2010 Storage Essays, part 3

[2100 PST 11/5/2012: Edited to fix some typos and missing words/sentences.] So, um…I knew it was going to take me a while to write this third part of the Exchange 2010 storage saga…but over two years? Damn, guys. I don’t even know what to say, other than to get to it. So, we’ve this lovely […]

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Can You Fix This PF Problem?

Today I got to chat with a colleague who was trying to troubleshoot a weird Exchange public folder replication problem. The environment, which is the middle of an Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2010 migration, uses public folders heavily – many hundreds of top-level public folders with a lot of sub-folders. Many of these public folders […]

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MEC Day 3

Unfortunately, this is the day that Murphy caught up with me, in the form of a migraine. When these hit, the only thing I can do is try to sleep it off. I ended up not hitting the conference center until a bit after noon, just in time to brave lunch. What would a Microsoft […]

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MEC Day 2

Today was another fun-filled and informative day at MEC: The day started off with a keynote by Microsoft Distinguished Engineer Perry Clarke, head of Exchange Software Development. Perry does a blog called Ask Perry which regularly includes a video feature, Geek Out With Perry. The keynote was done in this format. The latter half was […]

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MEC Day 1

After 10 years of absence, the Microsoft Exchange Conference is back. Yes, that’s right, the last time MEC happened was in 2002. How do I know this? I’ve seen a couple of people today who still had their MEC 2002 badges. HOLY CRAP, DUDES. I’m a serious packrat and not even *I* keep my old […]

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TMG? Yeah, you knew me!

Microsoft today officially announced a piece of news that came as very little surprise to anyone who has been paying attention for the last year. On May 25th of 2011, Gartner broke an unsubstantiated claim that they had been told by Microsoft that there would be no future release of Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG). […]

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My Five Favorite Features of Exchange Server 2013 Preview

Exchange Server 2013 Preview was released a few weeks ago to give us a first look at what the future holds in store for Exchange. I got a couple of weeks to dig into it in depth and so here’s my quick impression of the five changes I like the most about Exchange 2013. Client […]

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Beating Verisign certificate woes in Exchange

I’ve seen this problem in several customers over the last two years, and now I’m seeing signs of it in other places. I want to document what I found so that you can avoid the pain we had to go through. The Problem: Verisign certificates cause Exchange publishing problems So here’s the scenario: you’re deploying […]

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Exchange 2010 virtualization storage gotchas

There’s a lot of momentum for Exchange virtualization. At Trace3, we do a lot of work with VMware, so the majority of the customers I work with already have VMware deployed strategically into their production operation model. As a result, we see a lot of Exchange 2010 under VMware. With Exchange 2010 SP1 and lots […]

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Devin’s Load Balancer for Exchange 2010

Overview One of the biggest differences I’m seeing when deploying Exchange 2010 compared to previous versions is that for just about all of my customers, load balancing is becoming a critical part of the process. In Exchange 2003 FE/BE, load balancing was a luxury unheard of for all but the largest organizations with the deepest […]

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Moving to Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 1

Microsoft recently announced that Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Exchange Server 2010 had been released to web, prompting an immediate upgrade rush for all of us Exchange professionals. Most of us maintain at least one home/personal lab environment, the better to pre-break things before setting foot on a customer site. Before you go charging out […]

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Manually creating a DAG FSW for Exchange 2010

I just had a comment from Chris on my Busting the Exchange Trusted Subsystem Myth post that boiled down to asking what you do when you have to create the FSW for an Exchange 2010 DAG manually? In order for this to be true, you have to have the following conditions: You have no other […]

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The Disk’s The Thing! Exchange 2010 Storage Essays, part 2

Greetings, readers! When I first posted From Whence Redundancy? (part 1 of this series of essays on Exchange 2010 storage) I’d intended to follow up with other posts a bit faster than I have been. So much for intentions; let us carry on. In part 1, I began the process of talking about how I […]

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More Exchange blogging with Trace3!

I just wanted to drop a quick note to let you all know that I’ll be cross-posting all of my Exchange related material both here and at the Trace3 blog. The Trace3 blog is a multi-author blog, so you’ll get not only all my Exchange-related content, but you’ll get a variety of other interesting discussions […]

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What Exchange 2010 on Windows Datacenter Means

Exchange Server has historically come in two flavors for many versions – Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition. The main difference this license change made for you was the maximum number of supported mailbox databases as shown in Table 1: Version Standard Edition Enterprise Edition Exchange 2003 1 (75GB max) 20 Exchange 2007 5 50 Exchange […]

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From Whence Redundancy? Exchange 2010 Storage Essays, part 1

Updated 4/13 with improved reseed time data provided by item #4 in the Top 10 Exchange Storage Myths blog post from the Exchange team. Over the next couple of months, I’d like to slowly sketch out some of the thoughts and impressions that I’ve been gathering about Exchange 2010 storage over the last year or […]

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Busting the Exchange Trusted Subsystem Myth

It’s amazing what kind of disruption leaving your job, looking for a new job, and starting to get settled in to a new job can have on your routines. Like blogging. Who knew? At any rate, I’m back with some cool Exchange blogging. I’ve been getting a chance to dive into a “All-Devin, All-Exchange, All […]

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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