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Random Musings on Exchange and Virtualization

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  • Blog Post: Exchange and AntiVirus Exclusions – Still A Critical Conversation

    In a previous post we saw the Microsoft requirements for the exclusions that must be added to file system AV on Exchange servers. In a recent CritSit, basically an uber urgent support request where the customer is down or as good as down, I also got to examine some of the other causes for file system...
  • Blog Post: Outlook Unable To Connect To Exchange –Default Gateway Not Found

    When doing some recent customer work for Exchange 2013, I ran into an annoying issue in one of my labs. Outlook 2013 refused to connect to Exchange 2013. A witch hunt then ensued to ensure that all of my Outlook Anywhere, Autodiscover and authentication settings were correct. Well it turns out that they...
  • Blog Post: Exchange PowerShell Filtering Examples

    When writing Exchange PowerShell scripts it is very useful to target specific machines to either query or set their properties. Thus the ability to generate a query that effectively targets the correct machines is a very good thing to know! The reason I'm posting this is that I see a lot of people...
  • Blog Post: Exchange 2007 And 2013 Outlook Anywhere Co-Existence

    Since we are still in the early stages of the year, and Exchange 2013 SP1 is now available, we will see lots of migrations to Exchange 2013. Exchange 2013 can be deployed into an existing Exchange organisation where Exchange 2007 SP3 RU10 + and/or Exchange 2010 SP3 exists. Let's look at an issue...
  • Blog Post: Exchange Upgrades–The Point Of No Return

    When designing an upgrade strategy from an older version of Exchange to a newer one, a question that needs to be addressed is do we need to introduce a version of Exchange that may not currently be present? This may be when upgrading from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010. If that organisation does not...
  • Blog Post: ExMon – A Tool For Every Exchange Administrator

    Since it was first introduced the Exchange User Monitor (ExMon) tool is one of those outstanding Swiss army knife tools that are embedded in the Exchange administrator’s toolbox.  ExMon will allow administrators to see in almost real-time what the user activity on the server is, and how this impacts...
  • Blog Post: Exchange 2007 SP3 RU6 Released

      Exchange sustained engineering has released Exchange 2007 SP3 RU6 to the Microsoft download centre as update 2608656.    The description of the update can be located here and the update is located here .   I’ll leave you you to peruse the changes, but there are a couple in particular...
  • Blog Post: Offline Defrag And DAG Databases, Oh My!

    Even though some of the very old KBs, which now refer to unsupported products, state that taking databases offline to run periodic offline defragmentation with ESEUTIL is not recommended some folks in the field still want to do this. Previously when there was only a single copy of a database, running...
  • Blog Post: Exchange 2007 Component Architecture Poster

    These are oldies but goodies.  Posting links as requested. Update : I Created a Deep Zoom of the posters so that it is easy to scroll around in a browser or mobile device.  Click the toggle  button at the bottom right hand corner to enter full screen mode.   Exchange 2007 Component...
  • Blog Post: Exchange Autodiscover & Lync

    Via this blog we have discussed the fundamentals of Exchange Autodiscover , and also issues around the Set-AutodiscoverVirtualDirectory cmdlet.  At this point the message should be out there with regards to how Outlook functions internally and externally to locate Autodiscover and the difference...
  • Blog Post: Exchange 2007 SP3 RU11 Released

    Exchange sustained engineering has released Exchange 2007 SP3 RU11 to the Microsoft download centre as update 2873746 .    Just like with Exchange 2007 SP3 RU10 , which was released on Patch Tuesday, SP3 RU11 is the same.  And to increase the déjà vu , the security vulnerabilities are...
  • Blog Post: Exchange and AntiVirus Exclusions – A Critical Conversation

    Scanning Exchange databases with file system antivirus is a recipe for disaster.  This really should not come as a surprise for admins running Exchange services within the enterprise, since this has been the field requirement for a long time.  The documentation provided by Microsoft is very...
  • Blog Post: DNS or SRV Record For DNS Based Exchange Autodiscover

    For users and devices that need to use DNS to locate their Exchange Autodiscover endpoint, should I use a SRV record?  The above is a fairly common question, and it almost warrants the consultant’s answer.   CAS Namespaces As discussed by Ross Smith IV in his introduction to Exchange 2013 CAS...
  • Blog Post: Exchange 2007 SP3 RU10 Released

    Exchange sustained engineering has released Exchange 2007 SP3 RU10 to the Microsoft download centre as update 2788321 . For the astute of you out there, you will notice that this is on the second Tuesday of February which makes it Patch Tuesday . It also happens to be Shrove Tuesday as well by...
  • Blog Post: RSS Feed For Recently Updated Exchange Articles

    This could be a handy dandy addition to your RSS feed so you can keep track of the updated articles relating to Exchange.     The RSS feed contains a list of the recent KBs for a given version of Exchange, this is the Exchange 2010 feed for example:       Exchange 2007 feed...
  • Blog Post: Exchange 2007 & 2010 Least Cost Routing

    Exchange 2007 & 2010 use a different message routing design than Exchange 2003.  This is an important aspect to understand when transitioning from Exchange 2003 upwards due to the change in behaviour.   TechNet has articles that discuses these concepts : Exchange 2010 http://technet...
  • Blog Post: Exchange And Hyper-V Replica Support

    After seeing several posts and some folks discussing whether or not Exchange supports the Hyper-V Replica feature I thought it would be prudent to address the following: Does Exchange Support Hyper-V Replica? Does Hyper-V Support Exchange? How Do I use Exchange and Hyper-V Replica?   What Is Hyper...
  • Blog Post: How To Check Exchange Rollup Version

    Back with the first few releases of Exchange, product updates were made available via service packs.  This continued into the Exchange 2000 and Exchange 2003 days.  It seems like an eternity ago, and dinosaurs were still roaming the Earth, when Exchange 2003 SP2 was released in October of 2005...
  • Blog Post: Exchange Support For Windows Server 2012 R2

    Previously Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 were released to the TechNet subscriber download centre . Prior to Windows Server 2012 R2 being tested and validated by the Exchange Product Group, we had asked to pause deployments of 2012 R2 DCs into environments where Exchange was installed. Exchange...
  • Blog Post: Exchange & The Autodiscover Web Service

    In the Exchange 2003 world and below, those administrators looking to automate and control the behaviour of MAPI profiles on user’s desktops quickly became familiar with tools like: ORK (Office Resource Kit) .PRF Files .OPS files (from the Office Profile wizard) PROFGEN PRFPATCH ExProfRe   For a...
  • Blog Post: How To Check Database White Space In Exchange

    From time to time we need to see how our Exchange databases are doing so that they are being managed proactively.  One aspect is tracking size and the utilization of each database.  At the simplest level we want to ensure that the database and transaction log LUNs do not run out of disk space...
  • Blog Post: Outlook Fails To Download OAB

      This is an article written by Frank Plawetzki , a Senior PFE from Deutschland, and originally published on Opsvault .      Throughout the last weeks I have seen two different issues that prevented Outlook clients from downloading the OAB (Offline Address Book) . One affected public...
  • Blog Post: Busting The Set-AutodiscoverVirtualDirectory Myth

    This is one of those long overdue posts (and yes there are certainly many more where it came from in my drafts folder) regarding some of the incorrect instructions about setting up Autodiscover which can be found on the Internet. What am I wibbling about? Well repeatedly over the last 5 years or...
  • Blog Post: Solving Additional Issues With Exchange OAB Download

    Frank Plawetzki posted a great article on issues that can affect how clients retrieve their Offline Address Book (OAB). This has also been the source of some recent work for myself, though with slightly different root causes. The issues that I have encountered were due to: Invalid SSL Certificate OAB...
  • Blog Post: CAS Namespace Planning

    CAS Namespace planning is frequently an issue with Exchange deployments.  Why?  For the simple reason that it is either totally skipped or glossed over. Any Exchange design worth its salt must have careful attention applied to the CAS role.  While it is possible to drop in the HUB role...