Tag Archives: exchange

exchange stuff may 2016

Hi all – it is traditional to start this with “it’s been a while”…

Contents:

Rollups and cumulative updates

Useful and interesting links

Blog articles

Interesting kb articles

Hot news…

FREE exchange 2016 online training course provided by Microsoft on edX, complete with exams and hands on labs (but no videos- it’s all reading, by the look). There are three pretty cheap ones there as well as the initial infrastructure course. It looks like about 20 hours of free stuff (they reckon…). Given the lack of 2016 material on MVA at the moment (all MVA exchange stuff), it’ll have to do, I guess. Give it a go. It’s free.


Rollups

First up – We appear to be falling behind a bit with our rollup rollouts, so it is likely there will be a new Exchange Stabilisation project shortly. For the avoidance of doubt, I’ll restate the Microsoft support policies:

Exchange 2013/2016 – you are supported by Microsoft on the latest and next latest CU only.

Exchange 2010 – if you are on service pack 3 you are in extended support until November 2020

Exchange 2007 – if you are on service pack 3 you are in extended support until November 2017

Exchange 2003 – you are unsupported. No, really.

With 2007/2010, while you may be supported on sp3 rollup1, it is my experience that unless the problem is a simple configuration issue you will be asked to update to the latest rollup as part of the troubleshooting process. They hate analysing old code.

the latest rollups were released March 15th, and are here:


Useful and interesting links

As part of an investigation last week, I came across a highly useful article that references loadbalancer settings for exchange 2013 – they are the same as for 2010, but it’s nice to have that stated explicitly – it also suggests a great list of other useful and exciting things to do to stave off ever having to log a support call. I know I sent it out earlier, but it bears repeating.

Our colleague Mark Bodley has hunted out a number of extremely useful links:

Database corruption and dirty shutdown decigeons* tree on Exchange server pro. There’s a picture. It’s great. print it out and stick it over your desk.

He emailed a reminder of how to upgrade the CU on Exchange 2013 and 2016, along with some extremely useful links to scripts written by our friend and colleague, Michael Van Hybrid (yes, he’s on the GAL!):

  Not sure if you are aware that the recommend steps for installing CU updates on E2013/2016 are a bit different to what we may have gotten used to with Exchange 2010 – assuming that your local hostile SDM ever agreed to an update!!

There’s an article on the steps required for Exchange 2013 SP2 2016 at http://exchangeserverpro.com/installing-cumulative-updates-on-exchange-server-2016/ with 2013 being quite similar. Confusingly though Exchange continues to ship with the StartDAGServerMaintenance.ps1 scripts, these appear really to be for 2010 and should not be used on 2013 or later.

Michael van Horenbeeck has written 2 scripts for starting and stopping maintenance mode on Exchange 2013 and as they support a multi-role deployment they should work for 2016. Certainly looking at the above article, the steps for 2016 are the same as for an E2013 Multi-role server.

The scripts are at :-

· Stop-ExchanegServerMaintenanceMode.ps1 : https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/scriptcenter/Exchange-Server-2013-77a71eb2

· Start-ExchanegServerMaintenanceMode.ps1 : https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/scriptcenter/Exchange-Server-2013-ff6c942f

The exchange 2010 search troubleshooting guide – invaluable. Note this is for exchange search, not instant search – outlook uses exchange search in online mode, and instant search in cached mode – instant search is based on windows search, and searches the .ost file, not the server. Shall I bore you with exchange store search…? No? ok. Be aware that exchange 2013 has a different search engine again – Microsoft search foundation. try this article.

Understanding the Outlook Connection Status window. Recently (slightly) updated.

How to troubleshoot free/busy issues in a hybrid deployment of on-premises Exchange Server and Exchange Online in Office 365

The latest guided walkthroughs for Office servers – lync, exchange online, office 365 etc – are here. Some of them are brand shiny and new, others are a little long in the tooth. PF repl for 2003? Wow.


Blog articles

Rhoderick Milne explains why Network Location Profiles are giving you neckache – I’ve come across this myself, it stops Exchange working properly, and is tricky to spot.

The PFE Exchange 2013 tips and tweaks post (also Mr Milne). The 2010 article was a standard. You need to read this if you look after 2013, or are about to. CSAs should read it also…

Anyone looking at moving from 2007 to 2013 should review the links from this 2013 upgrade workshop.

My friend Ingo has an update to his activesync user script here: Get-ActiveExchangeUsers 2.0

Released: March 2016 Quarterly Exchange Updates on the official “you had me at EHLO…” blog.

Deferred Lagged Copy playdown in Exchange 2016

Messing around with how powershell proxying works causes headaches. Read this to make sure you are aware of how cu11/cu12 will affect you.

Exmon is finally available for Exchange 2013 and 2016


Interesting KB articles

Outlook

May 3, 2016, update for Outlook 2016 (KB3115101)

Office 2016 Applications crash or cannot start

Lync 2013 (Skype for Business) or Outlook 2013 Crash after installing the april 2016 upates

Performance problems when you try to access folders in a secondary mailbox in Outlook –I know at least one account is struggling with this.

Exchange

“The remote server returned an Error 404” or "HTTP request has exceeded the allotted timeout" error when you move a mailbox from on-premises Exchange Server to Exchange Online

Intermittent "500" error occurs for EWS requests in an Exchange Server 2013/2007 coexistence scenario

"Cannot display the folder properties" or "could not be updated" error when Exchange hybrid deployment users open a room calendar in Outlook

Can’t open a shared folder in Outlook on the web in Exchange Server

Users in your Exchange 2013-based hybrid deployment experience mail issues after April 15, 2016

Incorrect output when you run the Get-CASMailbox cmdlet to view the HasActiveSyncDevicePartnership attribute

"Cannot display the folder properties" or "could not be updated" error when Exchange hybrid deployment users open a room calendar in Outlook

"Nullable object must have a value" error when you run the Hybrid Configuration wizard

"Execution of the Get-WebServicesVirtualDirectory cmdlet has thrown an exception" error when you run the Hybrid Configuration wizard

Exchange Online users cannot access free/busy information of users in a non-Internet-facing Active Directory site

"The user isn’t assigned to any management roles" error when you run the Hybrid Configuration wizard

"Secure Mail Certificate on server is not bound to the SMTP Service" error when you run the Hybrid Configuration wizard

"The SMTP address template is invalid" error when you run the Hybrid Configuration wizard

"The length of the property is too long. The maximum length is 64" error message when you run the Hybrid Configuration wizard

"RequiredTls flag should be set to true if TlsCertificateName is specified" error when you run the Hybrid Configuration wizard

"The remote server returned an error: (403) Forbidden" error when you try to move mailboxes from on-premises Exchange Server to Exchange Online

"The term ‘Get-HybridMailflowDatacenterIPs’ is not recognized" error when you run the Hybrid Configuration wizard

On-premises users in an Exchange hybrid deployment can see availability but not capacity or description information of a resource when they schedule a meeting

Can’t reserve a resource for a meeting after the resource mailbox is migrated to Exchange Online

"An error occurred while working on your domain" when you try to verify your domain in Office 365 in an Exchange hybrid deployment

Users in a hybrid deployment can’t access a shared mailbox that was created in Exchange Online

Out-of-office replies and voting options in email messages between on-premises users and Exchange Online users do not appear correctly in a hybrid deployment

Slow mail delivery in an Exchange environment that has transport rules configured – I’m particularly keen that you understand this article – I’ve been asked a few times lately about transport rules, so anyone thinking of implementing them needs to understand that they can have a performance impact.

Outlook Anywhere users prompted for credentials when they try to connect to Exchange Server 2013 or Exchange Server 2016

Information about the Calendar Checking Tool for Outlook (CalCheck)

Feedback is of course welcome.

 


Roderick, by John Sladek. Probably my favouritest book about robots ever.

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exchange,windows and the terrifying leap second.

This leap second thing…

Baffling.

We had one in 2012. and in 2008.

I may be wrong, but I don’t recall the world ending. I’d look out the window and check, but I’m in Stevenage, so that might not be as informative as I’d hope.

Clocks get moved about all the time in exchange; just have a look on virtualised systems for this event:

Information

########

Microsoft-Windows-Kernel-General

1

None

The system time has changed to ‎2015‎-‎01‎-‎19T14:31:54.447000000Z from ‎2015‎-‎01‎-‎19T14:31:51.850000000Z.

Look! That exchange server *went back in time* to 3 seconds before. It is Dr Who’s mail server. So long as it isn’t enough to break Kerberos, it’ll be fine. (1 second forward won’t break kerb.)

We’ve seen shifts of six and seven minutes on some of our customers, and that causes issues, especially in DAGs; just one of the reasons I really really hate virtualised exchange servers.

Anyway, here are some links on it:

What’s all this about the Leap Second, and how does it affect the Microsoft Windows OS and other products?

How the Windows Time service treats a leap second

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leap_second

 

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Support Learnings of Exchange

A happy New Year to you all – may it be peaceful and prosperous. To help you on your way, I urge you to read this article from Ross Smith IV on the EHLO blog:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2015/01/08/concerning-trends-discovered-during-several-critical-escalations.aspx

now you may read this and, if you’ve read my outpourings over the last few years, remark on the similarity… all I can say is “this is because I’m not lying to you”.

So what does Ross call out?

Software patching. He recommends you be on the latest patch, or the next oldest. I also recommend you leave it a week or so after release before contemplating investigating it, so that you are aware of all the issues that are introduced in the latest patch.

Change control. The article points out the necessity of implementing change control for ALL changes, including the simple ones; on the distaff, change control should not be an excuse for inaction. If your change control process is so sclerotic nothing ever happens, that is just as bad. Possibly worse…

 Complexity. Complexity is the enemy. It leads to unpredictable failure, and “grey areas” where everyone just shrugs their shoulders and says “not my problem, boss.” There is a conflict between solution architects, who relish devising clever solutions to complicated problems, and operations, who want to run solutions as cheaply as possible, and therefore prefer the simple. With a move to shared services, it is imperative* that we consider reducing complexity in everything we do.

Ignoring recommendations. Respect my authoritah! Not because I know more about it than you do, but because I’m speaking to people who do. People like Devin Ganger.

 Deployment practices. You didn’t fill in the role requirements calculator, did you? Or maybe you did, but made up all the input? your users get 4 mails a day. Yes they do. Uhuh. Perhaps you followed the advice from a vendor to turn off background database maintenance while running jetstress? There’s a reason they don’t write that stuff down, you know. Time spent here saves a geometric amount of time (and money) later on. You can’t repair bad design. By the way, there is no law against running through the role requirements calculator every now and then. I’ve checked. It’s a very interesting exercise.

 Historical data, AKA baselining, AKA capacity planning, call it what you want. If I had a pound for every customer that was surprised when they ran out of resource, I’d have 13 pounds. I’ve run webex sessions ion how to do this in the past – if you’d like me to run one again, let me know.

*you should now have at least a line in this week’s game of “captain kirk buzzword bingo”.

Unable to hide a mailbox from the GAL? Reset RBAC roles.

ever get the feeling you’re being ignored? my customer did. They were unable to hide users from the GAL. We had a look to see what happened when they ran the PowerShell cmdlet:

Set-mailbox -identity -hiddenfromaddresslistsEnabled $true

Everything completed with no errors, but… the user is still there. let’s try that again, using the –v switch… this is on a test mailbox, in my lab.

[PS] C:\Windows\system32>Set-Mailbox caroline1 -hiddenfromaddresslistsenabled $true –v

VERBOSE: [07:16:52.353 GMT] Set-Mailbox : [Microsoft Cmdlet Extension Agent] Read Address List for organization “” from
domain controller Exch2k10loner.exch2k10.local.

VERBOSE: [07:16:52.650 GMT] Set-Mailbox : [Microsoft Cmdlet Extension Agent] Found Address List “\barry”.

VERBOSE: [07:16:52.665 GMT] Set-Mailbox : [Microsoft Cmdlet Extension Agent] Remove Address List “\barry” to
AddressListMemberShip of the recipient.

VERBOSE: [07:16:53.991 GMT] Set-Mailbox : The properties changed on the object ‘caroline test’ (CN=caroline
test,CN=Users,DC=exch2k10,DC=local) are: “{ AddressListMembership[showInAddressBook]={ ‘\All Mailboxes(VLV)’, ‘\All
Recipients(VLV)’ }, HiddenFromAddressListsValue[msExchHideFromAddressLists]=$True,
ReadOnlyAddressListMembership[showInAddressBook]={ ‘\All Mailboxes(VLV)’, ‘\All Recipients(VLV)’ },
HiddenFromAddressListsEnabled[msExchHideFromAddressLists, msExchRecipientTypeDetails]=$True }”.
VERBOSE: [07:16:54.007 GMT] Set-Mailbox : Saving object “exch2k10.local/Users/caroline test” of type “ADUser” and state
“Changed”.

I’ve cut a lot out of there, but the lines we are interested in are highlighted. The address lists the user belongs to are found, and then removed from the AddressListMemberShip attribute of the recipient in AD.

When we look at the verbose output from the live system, we see that although the address lists are found, they are never removed from the AddressListMemberShip attribute:

[PS] C:\Windows\system32>Set-mailbox -identity brianbloke@customer.co.uk -hiddenfromaddresslistsEnabled $true –v

VERBOSE: [10:23:44.220 GMT] Set-Mailbox : [Microsoft Cmdlet Extension Agent] Read Address List for organization “” from
domain controller customerLDC01.customer.co.uk.

VERBOSE: [10:23:44.236 GMT] Set-Mailbox : [Microsoft Cmdlet Extension Agent] Found Address List “\All Rooms”.

VERBOSE: [10:23:44.408 GMT] Set-Mailbox : The properties changed on the object ‘Brian bloke’ (CN=Brian
bloke,OU=some town,OU=someUsers,DC=customer,DC=co,DC=uk) are: “{
ExchangeUserAccountControl[msExchUserAccountControl]=’AccountDisabled’, AddressListMembership[showInAddressBook]={  },
PoliciesIncluded[msExchPoliciesIncluded]={  }, ReadOnlyAddressListMembership[showInAddressBook]={  },
ReadOnlyPoliciesIncluded[msExchPoliciesIncluded]={  } }”.

the last output shows that the cmdlet isn’t even trying to remove stuff.  this is pretty strange, but i recalled Bhargav’s RBAC sessions from the MCM course – specifically, how to reset everything… let’s make sure that the accounts have the correct role assignments and can do the things they should.

    1. Launch the Exchange Management Shell (EMS)
    2. Run “Add-PsSnapin Microsoft*” to load the snap-ins that you need to install RBAC
    3. Run the “Install-CannedRBACRoles” cmdlet to install the out-of-the-box RBAC roles that you’d expect to be defined for Exchange 2010 SP1.
    4. Run the “Install-CannedRBACRoleAssignments” cmdlet to install the out-of-the-box role assignments (that obviously depend on the roles that you’ve just installed).
    5. Close EMS
    6. Restart EMS to create a new session. During session initialization, Exchange will reload the roles and role assignments that are available to the user, so you should be able to retry the failed operation to see whether the reinstallation of the RBAC roles and role assignments has fixed the problem.
    so, my customer ran through that, restarted the EMS and hey presto! accounts are disappearing from the GAL all over the place. Cheers Bhargav!

intersting things i see on the internet, 1st July.

I know, it’s been longer than I intended. I’ve been a little busy, dontcherknow? Speaking of which, a massive shoutout to my colleague Phil Christie who has been doing awesome work (and an awful lot of it) for the last couple of weeks for one of our big retail customers. Cheers Phil.

I’m also going to call out the summer meeting of the Microsoft Unified Communications User Group London, on Thursday July 31st near Liverpool street… I’m hoping to get along, so maybe see you there.

 

There are some really interesting links below, especially if you are interested in certification, so please have a good look…

 

Exchange Design:

 Public folder limits look set to increase in Exchange 2013 CU6 from 10,000 to 100,000.

Boris Lokhvitsky has written a good article digging into the theory of availability, and how site resiliency impacts it. it’s the companion to the “DAG, beyond the “A”” piece that appeared on the EHLO blog a few years ago. warning: may contain traces of algebra.

What’s the chances of Exchange 2013 ever being supported on Azure? Slim, according to Tony Redmond. Good. He also expands on Microsoft’s virtualisation advice for exchange, here.

My MCM buddy Justin Harris has written a good article thoroughly exploring the impact of CU5 on the offline address book.

Last email I suggested you read a paper on WAP and ARR, the new anti-piracy features of exchange, the recommended way of doing preauth now TMG is deprecated. If reading sounds like quite a lot of work, actually, then Georg Hinterhofer has done a wizzbang video for you, here. It’s about an hour. Me hearties.

 

Exchange Troubleshooting:

Image

Experfwiz has been updated, and now includes Exchange 2013 support… so now you need to play the video above. Dance, also. The only downside is it contains final confirmation that exmon don’t work with exchange 2013, despite this kb article implying that it can. Hohum.

Don’t use /setup /PAD with exchange 2013 cu5, apparently it causes problems – use setup /prepareAD instead. Seriously.

Ron He suggests an unusual reason why mails may not be flowing. Sooo much easier than using netmon or wireshark. For those who can’t be bothered to read the article, it’s because they’d set an external DNS server address, which had stopped responding. Even when it does respond, this is generally a bad idea, as external DNS lookups take an awful lot longer than internal ones… carefully check the powershell cmdlet there… the default 2010 settings are:

Image

See? The externaladapter is $true, but the ExternalDNSServers value is $null… (also the cmdlet is get-TransportServer in 2010, and get-TransportServICE in 2013…)

Calcheck integration in the OffCAT tool has been overhauled and improved. If you don’t know what CalCheck or OffCAT are, you’ve probably not been reading these mails. CalCheck is the outlook calendar checking tool, OffCAT is the Office Configuration Analyzer Tool – the client equivalent of the ExBPA.

Tony Redmond points out there is a new parameter in the set-mailboxdatabase cmdlet for exchange 2013 – AutoDAGExcludeFromMoitoring, whih allows you to exclude a database in a DAG from triggering 4113 events if there is only one copy – good for test databases, migration databases and whatever, where you KNOW there is only one copy, and don’t want to be repeatedly nudged, except… it doesn’t work. It’ll be fixed in CU6, Scott Schnoll says…

This doesn’t affect me (cos we don’t use IBM storage, ever), but there is no reason to suppose that other storage manufacturers don’t do something equally stoopid. IBM improve their drive sector size capability and break block mode replication in a DAG.

Blank pages after you sign into the Exchange 2013 EAC? Here’s the workaround for this known issue.

Unexpected error occurred when a user run New-MailboxSearch in Exchange Server 2013

 

 

Exchange General:

Joe Davies has published a very exciting new test lab guide that covers Exchange 2013 on isolated subnets, public cloud and Azure. Can’t wait to have a go at this. there’s also one on setting up directory sync in a hybrid environment.

If you’re at all interested in writing apps for Exchange 2013 and OWA then you’ll probably enjoy the videos and links in  this article on the office blog. It certainly seems that programming for exchange has come a long way since the days of CDO. With years of study and hard work, I might be able to do a “hello world”, now.

If doing similar for Office365 floats your boat, then there’s a good post from Zapier on the exchange dev blog. I’m an enthusiastic  zapier user, so this gets me coming and going.

Tony Redmond has an interesting update on MAPI over HTTP and it’s takeup, here.

There are some updated guided walkthroughs available, here.

A few months ago I published a link to Richard Schwendiman’s Ex2013 mailflow schema diagram. Well Sam Drey (SammyKrosoft) has published an addendum breaking out the receive connectors and their properties and default configs here.

Rhoderick Milne has a great post about the Exchange Scripting Agent here. There’s also a lot of other good stuff on his blog this month, well worth a read.

 

Core General:

Ed Wilson has written a blog article on the powershell blog about the future of powershell – this is a really interesting article with a lot of good links in it and well worth a read. I’d like to call out one link in particular though: the books on powershell.org. There are some crackers in there, and the DSC one is of particular interest. Unfortunately it’s on a onedrive share, so you’ll probably have to get it at home and bring it in. sigh.

Windows FLAV recommendations have been updated. (File level antivirus. Really?)

Microsoft press have 40% off selected books and ebooks at the American Microsoft bookshop – watch out for those shipping fees.

There’s some trouble brewing with MSL recertification – a post from Larry Kaye on the Microsoft Learning blog suggests that if you let one of your certifications lapse, you will NEVER be able to recertify…  this is going to have interesting ramifications for partners who rely on their staff having certain certs. I predict this will run and run… make sure you read the comments also.

SilverseekKB may be of interest to you all – how to find the latest available version of a set of binaries.

Ashley McGlone has some good general powershell links here. May be something of interest to you. Also a picture of a huge troll under a bridge.

Packt are offering all ebooks and videos for $10 until the end of the week. that’s a good price, right there.

 

 

Office 365:

Paul Robichaux has a problem with mailbox level backup in office 365it’s not there.

The latest version of the dirsync tool has a feature to help us prevent the accidental deletion of accounts, by requiring confirmation to delete accounts over a certain threshold. We’ve been here before I think. While it may prevent accidental accidental deletion, it won’t prevent deliberate accidental deletion (do you want to delete these objects? Yes. Are you sure you want to delete these objects? Yes. Last chance now…? just delete them already! … … … … … I didn’t want to do that, did i?). as an example, I never ever delete. I always shift delete, like an idiot. I bet that makes the team who came up with the recycle bin feel just great.

Microsoft are clearly worried about hordes of angry sysadmins storming down 156th avenue, as they’ve started a series entitled “office 365 for IT Professionals”. A direct quote: “Ultimately, Office 365 allows you to focus on your users, and that’s what we want to help you do. We want you to stop worrying—worrying about all that deployment stuff and maintenance and patch management, worrying about whether you have enough capacity or load-bearing structural capacity, and worrying about building to support another server or whether there’s too much humidity in your data center.” Well I, for one, am thoroughly reassured. “focus on my users”. ugh. Would you like fries with that?

A good post on the office 365 blog explaining how they’re making service updates more visible.

A very short video from perry and vivek on the topic of data access. If it wasn’t who it was, I probably wouldn’t have included it. who has access to your data in office 365?

What’s new and news roundup for may. I may have got those confused, there. it may be the what’s roundup and new news.

OWA for Android is available, but only for Office365. The on-premise customers will have to wait.

They’ve started a series of developer podcasts for office 365, which may be of interest, here.

Henrik Walther has collected a lot of good EOP links, here.

 

Lync:

The legendary techy at the legendary techy blog has attended a Lync Depth Support Engineer course at Wokingham, which he appears to have enjoyed very much. It looks a bit like a mini MCM – given that MCM is not available anymore, it may be about the best thing out there at the moment, and it’s also significantly cheaper. There’s also information his blog about the inaugural UC Birmingham User Group meeting on the 13th of August. Steve Goodman and Michael van Hybrid are speaking. Should be good.

How long does a meeting last if I log out? Richard Brynteson does a conferencing activation and deactivation deepdive here.

 

And finally, microsoft’s smart home of the future, from the past. Dig that cassiopeia.

 

 

 

 

interesting things i see on the internet – 27/01/2014

first of all, you should all be planning your SP3 upgrades, if you haven’t started already. MSExchange.org are starting a new series this week on this very topic, so as well as reading my earlier blog post on this, you should read their article as well.

Exchange design:

Here are some nice test lab guides/posters on cross product solutions with exchange, lync and sharepoint, and here’s a brief (very brief) article on setting up an exchange 2013 lab from Steve Goodman.

Exchange troubleshooting:

I’ve seen a wonderful script for troubleshooting unexpected database growth. This script will snapshot a database and compare it to previous snapshots, and then tell which mailbox is growing, by how much and how many items. Like using exmon, but about a million time easier. I heartily recommend that everyone has a good play with this, so that when you come to use it in anger (and you probably will), you know exactly what you’re doing with it.

This looks like it may save some of you some pain in the near future; the right way to create additional receive connectors in Exchange 2013.

An old post, but an interesting one – do you have sleepy NICs? A common cause of databases moving around unexpectedly in a DAG. We’ve got a couple of customers experiencing this, and we’ve checked that this isn’t the case, but it would be great if people would check again. This is one for the best practices document, i think.

The Romanian exchange support engineers have suddenly become active on their blog, after years of very occasional posting. There’s a couple of pretty detailed posts covering some interesting troubleshooting issues up there at the moment. The mailflow troubleshooting guide is good, if brief.

Rhoderick Milne has a great post on mailbox quarantine that’s got some great hands on advice on configuration, which may explain to you why some users cannot reach their mailboxes.

Exchange general:

Here’s an interesting article on the new restrictions on upgrading the database schema in Exchange 2013. Note that’s the DATABASE SCHEMA, not the DIRECTORY SCHEMA. In exchange 2010 the database schema of each dag member upgraded as soon as the service pack/rollup was applied, making it tricky to then move databases around until all the nodes were on the correct version. In 2013 the schema won’t update until all members of the dag are at the correct software level to support the updated version. Why is this good? Because it means we are less likely to get in a situation where nodes get stuck on the wrong version and are unable to support an active database. It does happen. Twice, in my experience – 2007 was particularly prone to it.

As usual Tony Redmond has a batch of interesting posts;  how exchange 2013 measures and monitors server healthten predictions for exchange in 2014, calcualting client access licenses, service packs and cumulative updates, and the reappearance of powershell command logging. yay. There’s a lot of other posts there, all of which are great. You should read them.

Here’s a great way to start reporting message flow statistics – how many messages are generated, NDRs and so on, using the ExLogAnalyzer.

The Redmond Interoperability Plugfest 2013 has a video on MAPIHttp, the replacement for RPC over HTTP which i mentioned in the last mail. There’s also one on exchange 2013 protocols and one on outlook 2013 protocols. They’re not long, which is probably just as well. Soo… sleeepy…

Msexchange.org are starting a new series on monitoring exchange 2013 with scom 2012. Given that we are sooo up on monitoring exchange 2010 with SCOM 2007 r2, we should probably start reading this now, yes?

They’ve also got a new series on transport high availability in exchange 2013, which looks like it may be useful  – shadow redundancy and safety are in there, somewhere.

Here’s a really nice script for automating exchange mailbox audit logging. Remember to keep an eye on your disk space. What does the mailbox audit log contain? Who accessed a mailbox, what was deleted, if mail was sent using a “send as” permission and lots more. Of course you want to keep this information.

Tony Redmond (again?) has published an article on managing activesync partnerships for multiple devices on his personal blog.

Core general:

Perfmon incorrectly calculates disk latency in windows server 2008. If we don’t apply this hotfix, then we can’t trust what perfmon is telling us; given that disk latency is a major cause of poor user experience, you really need to get this installed.

MS have published a complete and updated list on microsoft product virtualization – what is supported and what is not, here.

there is a new MATS tool released for analysing the storage stack on windows 2012 and 2008. What’s MATS?

It’s not great, yet, but it’s highly promising – the solutions node in technet. How-to guides for all things, eventually. In the meantime, single sign on federation in hybrid environments…

Office 365:

Ali Larter demonstrates how office 365 stops her from trashing banks, cop cars, hotel rooms and so on. Save the cheerleader an that.

MS is developing a series of Test Lab Guides on Hybrid solutions – the Office 365 trial subscription guide is discussed here. Is it great? Well no, but it’s just part of the whole hybrid stack of test lab guides – see also the solutions stuff above – if MS manage to pull this off, it’ll be awesome. If they don’t, well, hopefully it will have given you some ideas. Here is the first step on the stack, the windows 2012 configuration test lab for public cloud technologies.

The EHLO blog has some useful, if basic, guided walkthroughs on mailbox and folder sharing scenarios. It’s Nino Bilic – if he thinks it’s worth writing about, it’s probably worth you reading about it.

it’s windows azure jump start week at the Microsoft virtual academy. live video from 8pm til midnight every night from now until Friday. or you can wait a week or so until the recordings get posted.

MS have published a useful collection of KB articles on troubleshooting common Office 365 issues.

and that’s it. my inbox is now clear. time to move to Asana. not.

Exciting things I have seen on the internet November 18 2013

Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2012 R2– ok- it’s a little early for most of us (like, two years too early), but it never hurts to get a jump on these things. This is pretty comprehensive (meaning looooong), and I’d suggest you read it BEFORE you’re up to you’re a**e in alligators.

AV Exclusion Recommendations  here you go – everything. With a cherry on top. There is now NO EXCUSE for a server to be incorrectly set up. This document makes a great Christmas present, by the way. All my family are getting hardcopy.

Dual IPv4/IPv6 name resolution this is very interesting. Really. For those of who think you can ignore it because you’ve got IPv6 disabled – Microsoft recommend  you DO NOT disable IPv6 –  stop being naughty.

Clint Boessen’s 5 minute guide to office 365 migrations. If you’ve only got five minutes, but want to know about office 365 migration… this’ll do it.

There’s a new version of the MBSA out. You know what it stands for, you use it regularly, in fact, I’m shocked you haven’t told me that it was released. I guess it just slipped your mind, yeah?

Last month I told you all about the new on-prem Outlook Connectivity Guided Walkthrough tool – well the Ehlo blog has finally written a post on it. So slow. So very slow.

Here’s a really good post by Andrew S Higginbotham on troubleshooting Transport agents. We’ve got at least one issue like that rumbling along at the moment.

Fixing failed content-indexes from Paul Cunningham

Tony Redmond has once again written a bunch of interesting and useful articles:

In fairness, there’s very rarely a post on his site that isn’t worth reading, for one reason or another.

Exchange 2013 CU2 doesn’t let you have more than 50 databases, despite it claiming otherwise. It’ll be fixed in CU3, apparently. I’ll let you have the list of things that are BROKEN in CU3 when I get it. Sigh.

Talking of CU3, it’s late. I could tell you why, but etc etc. let’s just say something cropped up at the last minute. Again. It’s getting predictable and boring, now.

Rightsizing the page file for Exchange

So while I was away at a jolly last week, Microsoft slipped out some updated page file sizing recommendations. The news was broken here, by Yong Rhee:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/yongrhee/archive/2013/10/23/reading-the-modern-pagefile-sizing-on-64-bit-windows-no-it-s-not-1-5x-the-amount-of-ram.aspx

and the updated guidelines are here:

http://support.microsoft.com/?id=2860880

along with a little more detail to calculate how much you might need here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/889654

BUT! Before you go rushing about to check that all your stuff is correct, you need to stop. Will this make any difference for Exchange? Don’t think so. Exchange uses RAM to move i/o away from the disks by stuffing as much of the database as it can manage into cache. If you have a page file larger than your amount of RAM, you run the risk of paging stuff out to disk, and losing the i/o benefit. The chopping and changing may also cause cache deflation, which is a very bad thing (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh344030(v=exchg.140).aspx).

The recommendations remain the same for exchange; RAM+10MB as a max and min is the correct size for a page file. Anything else is plain wrong.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa996719(v=exchg.150).aspx

for all your other boxes, I suggest you follow this new guidance (unless the application advice is otherwise), but for Exchange best stick to RAM plus 10MB.