Evan Dodds - Microsoft Exchange Server Blog

Exchange, Exchange administration stuff, and other assorted ramblings

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  • Blog Post: The MTA and Exchange 2003 clusters with > 4 nodes

    This is a bit of a specific topic, as it only affects people who are trying to use the MTA in their cluster (for mail delivery back to 5.5 in mixed-mode, or to foreign systems not connected with SMTP, etc) * AND * have >4 nodes in their cluster. There’s a new KB out that will help you with some...
  • Blog Post: Windows 2003 SP1 - cluster features

    Better late than never, here is a partial list of the cool new things in Windows 2003 SP1 clustering (yeah yeah, I know Windows 2003 SP1 has been out for quite a while now… just shows you how far behind I am in my blog posting ) Quorum replication algorithm redone so it’s more robust. Cluster...
  • Blog Post: Exchange clustering and firewalls

    Rod posts today about the strange (and sometimes frustrating) behavior where outbound SMTP connections from an Exchange cluster originate from the host IP address rather than from the virtualized IP resource associated with the Exchange Virtual Server. Great post and this is a common question on the...
  • Blog Post: Multi-site Data Replication for Exchange Server 2003

    A newly released “flash” with a collection of information about Multi-site Data Replication and Exchange: Introduction The Exchange Product Group has received numerous queries regarding deploying Exchange in a Multi-site/data replication environment. In order to respond to those queries, we...
  • Blog Post: Cluster hotfix for Exchange 2000

    KB article came out the other day on this sort of obscure scenario, but interesting to know about in any case: KB.896617 : “ The Exchange Information Store service stops responding when the Exchange Information Store service is shutting down or the Exchange Cluster server is performing a failover process...
  • Blog Post: Upgrading to E2k3 SP2 cluster

    There are a couple of important things I wanted to point out about the upgrade to E2k3 Sp2 on a cluster: Same process as the upgrade to E2k3 Sp1 Fixes broken virtual directories and other upgrade snafus IMF still not supported for use on cluster Ok, more detail on these three, as I’m sure...
  • Blog Post: Clustering Q+A from Russ

    Russ Kaufmann has posted a useful set of common Exchange clustering questions/answers over at his blog.
  • Blog Post: I installed the roll-up, why does it still say I'm running SP3?!

    Ok, so that title sort of says it all. You’ll find that installing a roll-up hotfix onto an Exchange 2000 or 2003 server may not update the display in the Exchange System Manager to reflect the new version. So what’s really going on? For example, an Exchange 2000 SP3 server is going to display...
  • Blog Post: Exchange Cluster stops Non-Exchange IIS Websites

    Ever notice how when you move an Exchange Virtual Server from one node to another in an Exchange cluster, any other IIS websites you have created on the Exchange cluster are stopped during the move and not restarted? The easiest way to experience this is to start up the “Default Website”...
  • Blog Post: KB.867624 replaced

    Looking for KB.867624? It’s been replaced and retired (and removed)... I had previously blogged about the “ Upgrading to E2k3 SP2 on a cluster ” process, and in that posting I had referenced the KB.867624 article about how to upgrade to E2k3 SP1 (pointing out that the process is...
  • Blog Post: Paul Robichaux on Geoclustering

    Paul Robichaux commented on Geoclustering in last week's edition of the Exchange and Outlook Update. He points out that it can be quite expensive, but that it can also be a very good (and this is key: Supported/Tested) way to span your Exchange servers across multiple sites to prepare for disaster avoidance...
  • Blog Post: Virtual Server Host Clustering Step-by-Step

    A Step-by-step guide for using MSCS clusters to host Virtual Server guests was just released: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=09cc042b-154f-4eba-a548-89282d6eb1b3&displaylang=en Here’s the overview: Overview This document provides an introduction to the methods and...
  • Blog Post: KB.921181 and "File Share Witness"

    KB out yesterday ( KB.921181 ) covers the introduction and details about the new “File Share Witness” quorum model. This is an improvement to the original MNS design that allows a read/write file share to serve as the “voter” for quorum status, eliminating the need for a third...
  • Blog Post: MSDTC and Exchange Clusters - documentation updated

    The Exchange 2003 Deployment Guide has just been updated (at this link ) to reflect the best practice recommendations for MSDTC that were revealed in this posting (also here on the EHLO blog ). Also, the related articles KB.312316 (“Setup does not install Exchange on a cluster if the MSDTC resource...
  • Blog Post: "Access Denied" creating an Exchange 2003 System Attendant resource

    KB.906906 talks about another problem you may run into while creating a system attendant resource for Exchange 2003 cluster, relating to Remote Registry access/permissions. This is really just pulling out the “Symptom #4” part of KB.329229 as its own KB article, but it’s still worth pointing out in...
  • Blog Post: Antivirus getting in the way of IsAlive checks

    I wrote a long time ago about the IsAlive behavior in Exchange 200x clusters , but one interesting scenario was brought to my attention recently. Remember that the IsAlive check for the SMTP resource requires the cluster node actively running the SMTP resource to be able to connect into port 25 on...
  • Blog Post: Clustered Exchange Nodes as AD domain controllers

    I blogged about KB.898364 briefly when it was created , but over this past weekend there was a flurry of newsgroup posts about putting clustered Exchange onto cluster nodes that are also domain controllers. Several responses referenced KB.281662 (how to cluster AD domain controllers), which didn’t very...
  • Blog Post: Couple of Interesting KBs

    Here are a couple of interesting KBs that have come out or been updated recently: KB.884863 ( http://support.microsoft.com/kb/884863 ) – “Update to Exchange 2000 Server adds application event logging for deletion of public folders” An additional feature that is related to public...
  • Blog Post: Large Exchange 2003 clusters and disabling the MTA

    Big revision recently to KB.810489 . This is the KB that talks about the MTA function and how it can or can’t be disabled in various scenarios. The core change is that if you’ve got super-large Exchange clusters (>4 nodes) in a native-mode administrative group (and do don’t have MTA-dependent foreign...
  • Blog Post: MSDTC and Exchange clusters - redux

    Still catching up on my queue of blog posts, I think that all of the documentation around MSDTC and Exchange clusters has now been updated (see earlier posts for details). Here’s what I’ve got: KB.301600 has been updated to detail Exchange 2003 not requiring a dedicated group for MSDTC and that...
  • Blog Post: Exploit for MSDTC bug in MS05-051

    Techweb reports that there’s an exploit out for the MSDTC security fix in MS05–051 . So, if you’re running an Exchange cluster on Windows 2000 server, you’ll want to get this patch applied ASAP! See the security bulletin for more details, and for info on the status of other Windows versions.
  • Blog Post: More Exchange 2003 SP1 Cluster Upgrade solutions

    In addition to the “Trouble upgrading your cluster to Exchange 2003 SP1?” steps posted to the blog a few weeks ago, here's another error I've seen posted on the newsgroups recently and a few common solutions: The network path was not found. Facility: Win32 ID no : c0070035 Microsoft Exchange...
  • Blog Post: Cluster upgrades

    Carol has posted the text of an upcoming KB article that details a newly-supported method for upgrading clusters from W2k/E2k to W2k3/E2k3 (evict and reload method, essentially) over at the Exchange Team blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/exchange/archive/2004/05/07/127968.aspx
  • Blog Post: MSDTC and Exchange clusters

    Over the years, the best practice recommendations on where to place the MS Distributed Transaction Coordinator (MSDTC) resource in Exchange cluster has bounced between two differing views. One camp thought it was unadvisable to place this resource in the cluster group occupied by the quorum resource...
  • Blog Post: Host Headers and Exchange Clusters

    Here's another topic that seems to come up on a fairly regular basis: how and when to use host-headers with Exchange HTTP protocol virtual servers. Host headers are a great invention: they let you bind an IIS protocol virtual server directly to the unique combination of IP address, TCP port, and the...