Kevin Remde's IT Pro Weblog

  • TechEd 2005 is fast approaching!

    I am the biggest fan of TechEd you’re gonna find.  From 1994 on I only have missed two (‘96 and ‘97)… and this year I am planning on attending and hopefully speak there also.

    Here’s the official blurb about it:

    Tech·Ed 2005

    Tech·Ed 2005 is coming to Orlando, Florida on June 5–10. Take a look at last year’s Tech·Ed Conference Highlights page to get an idea of the scope of this comprehensive technical training event, and register early—this is the show no IT pro should miss. Register now and save $300.

    Been there before?  Care to share your own TechEd highlights?  Hit the feedback link below.

    For my part, I remember:

    • Full-blown Indoor Mardi Gras parade in ‘94.
    • Audience really pissing off the Neville Bros as they were performing, by throwing those padded seat cushions around during the show and up onto the stage…
    • Sitting in the Access 2.0 Launch event (Kevin Nelon on stage), as some guy next to me pulls out his laptop and I see a beta of the Windows 95 interface for the very first time.
    • Smashmouth in ‘03

    and so on.

    (Of course.. it’s not all about parties… really… seriously… )

    See you there!

    -Kevin

  • My Brother Carl the Musician

    Okay – here’s a completely non-technical blog entry…

    My brother Carl is the bass guitarist in a Brazillian band out in San Francisco: Bat Makumba.  In fact, several months ago they won a California Music Award for their first CD, “Outstanding Latin Alternative Album”.

    Carl recently released a CD of his own solo work, “Explanation Point”, which was reviewed on Monday by the San Francisco Examiner

    Carl’s record company is Riggadig Records.  Go there and buy his CD!   Or at least check out some of the track samples…

     

     

  • Sweet MS Office Professional Edition 2003 Offer

    This just in…

    Or so the headline reads.  Click for details.

    Office Logo[1]

    What’s interesting about this offer is that it’s a Win/Win/Win kind of a deal.  Yes.. that’s three (3) wins:

    • Of course it’s obviously a win for Microsoft, because we’re selling product; AND we’re promoting our partners.
    • It’s a win for the purchaser, because of the partner services they are rewarded with.
    • And it’s a win for our partners, who are able to shine doing what they do best; hopefully resulting in new or better relationships with customers.

    I’d like to meet the person who lined up this deal.  Very good!  I hope it will help get some people “off the fence” and finally purchasing Office.

    Kevin

    PS– As always, feel free to comment by clicking on the feedback link below.

  • Exchange Migration Question - "Can I leave my users as NT Domain accounts?" (Part 2)

    Part 2 = Let’s see if we can remove the old Exchange 5.5 Server now!

    (If you haven’t read it already, Part 1 is posted here.)

    So… after the mailbox move, I used the PFMigrate tool to move system folders and public folders.  Since my demo environment didn’t have any public folders, this was an easy process.  I did, however, want to make sure that any system folders were duplicated by using the command:

    "pfmigrate.wsf /S:lon-dcexc55–01 /T:lon-dcexc-01 /A /N:ALL /F:c:\ExchLogs\pfmigrate.log /SF"

    where /S and /T are the source and target, /A means “add a replica”, and /N:ALL means work on ALL of them.  /F specifies where to put the resulting log file and what to call it.  /SF means operate on System Files.

    Once I did that, I also used PFMigrate to Delete (/D) the folder replicas from the source server (lon-dcexc55–01).

    “Go ahead!  Delete the old server already!”

    Okay… now I stopped Exchange Services on the 5.5 server, opened the 5.5 Administrator on the new server, and deleted the old server from the org.

    “Were you still connecting to the new mailbox?”

    Yep. In fact, I tested sending emails not only to myself, but also to the distribution lists that had been transferred.  All was good!

    “What about upgrading your Exchange 2003 to “native” mode?

    Not at first.  But after I deleted the Site Replication Service (under Tools \ Site Replication Services), I now was able to raise the Exchange functional level to native mode.  And yes, things were still working.

    “What about the ADC?  Can you remove the Connection Agreements and uninstall the ADC now?”

    I found that after removing the Site Replication Service, the configuration CA was removed automatically.  I deleted the other two, and things still worked fine on my client.

     

    So… basically I’ve proven that if necessary, you can continue use NT User accounts even after installing an Exchange 2003 server into your organization and removing the old one.

    NOTE: The question you should all be thinking after completing this is..

    “What happens when you want to create a new NT user account?”

    Well… I tried that, too.  The User Manager asked me what Exchange Server I wanted to connect to for mailbox creation, and I told it the name of the new server – but it failed after that with a communications error.  I leave it as an exercise for you (or some feedback to this posting if you know the answer) as to what would allow this to work – whether it’s leaving the ADC up and configured, keeping the Site Replication Service in place and leaving your Exchange running in Mixed mode.

    Fun stuff!  Hope that helps!

    -Kevin

    Any comments or questions?  Please click the “feedback” link immediately below.

  • Exchange Migration Question - "Can I leave my users as NT Domain accounts?" (Part 1)

    During our TechNet Briefing in Chicago last week, a gentleman asked me a very interesting question, which he also sent as a followup email:

    “As I stated what I would like to do is take an existing nt 4.0 domain (which can not be upgraded because of legacy apps, citrix XP). Create a two way trust between a new Windows 2003 AD domain and install Exchange 2003 on the new domain.
    Then I would run Exchange 2003 in mixed mode from now until the money becomes available to upgrade the citrix clients.
    What I want to do is use the new domain exclusively for email right now for my NT 4.0 users.
    This should work or am I way off base?
    Is this not just a restructure upgrade approach with a long time frame. I should not even have to move any users off of the NT 4.0 domain because of the two way trust, correct?”

    I took this question as a challenge to try it out myself.  So.. taking the VPCs I used for our Exchange Migration session TNT1–100, but I also created a workstation and user who used Outlook to connect to his Exchange 5.5–hosted mailbox, so I could verify that later, even after moving his mailbox to the 2003 server, he could still log in with his NT account.  (I really didn’t logically see a reason why this wouldn’t work, due to the trusts established and the ADC Connection Agreements configured properly.)

    Also, I found the following text within the Deployment Tools concerning “Exchange 5.5 Coexistence”:


    Active Directory and Windows NT 4.0 Accounts
    Before you install Exchange 2003, you should already have Active Directory deployed within your organization, but it is not necessary to upgrade all of your Windows NT 4.0 domains or user accounts to Windows 2000 Server or Windows Server 2003. Even if your accounts are contained in Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 domains or external forests, you can move mailboxes associated with these accounts to Exchange 2003. During the deployment process, Active Directory Connector creates placeholder accounts in Active Directory for Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 accounts. Each placeholder account associates the mailbox with the Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 account so that the user can access his or her Exchange 2003 mailbox.
    —-

    So…After making sure my workstation and user (Aaron) were NT-domain joined and Outlook was up and running, I walked through the deployment tools on the new Exchange-server-to-be; prepping the environment with the two-way trusts, administrative rights, Forest and Domain Prep, the ADC installation and configuration, and the Exchange 2003 installation (including the upgrade to SP1).  Notice that one step I left out was the use of the ADMT (Active Directory Migration Tool) to create the users as new Active Directory domain users.  We’re still going to use our NT account here.

    Now I was ready for the mailbox move.  Unlike the case where I was migrating users, I didn’t have any new AD accounts to run Exchange Tasks against in the Active Directory Users and Computers tool, I tried to use the System Manager to move the mailboxes.  I could use this to move the one mailbox that actually had data in it (my test user Aaron), but in our demo environment, the rest of the defined mailboxes had never been connected to - so they hadn't actually been created yet.

    "But.. didn't the ADC create dummy accounts for you in Active Directory?"

    Yes!  It created a "Recipients" container and populated it with disabled user accounts.  (It even duplicated and populated Distribution Lists that existed on the old Exchange Server, too!)  I selected these, performed "Exchange Tasks" on them in order to do the Move Mailbox wizard.  And this worked just fine for moving all of my NT users mailboxes over to the new server.

    Because Aaron's mailbox was moved within the same “site” (as far as my Outlook profile was concerned), the he was able to re-open Outlook and the profile was automagically tweaked to point to the mailbox now on the new server.

    “So.. that’s it?  It just works?”

    Basically, yeah!  But… I’m not done yet.  I wonder what happens if I now remove the old Exchange Server…

    We’ll save that for Part 2.

    -Kevin

    PS – Feel free to comment or question further by clicking on the “Feedback” Link immediately below this post.