Archive for the ‘Exchange 2007’ Category

Pacific Northwest UC Doers User Group Meeting – 4/29

March 27, 2009
Wednesday April 29, 2009 from 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Microsoft Campus
Building 41 – Townsend Room
(Corner of 156th Ave. NE and NE 31st St.)
Redmond, Washington

The Pacific Northwest UC Doers group is still going strong!! Fourth Quarter in a row and we are going to move to the Microsoft Campus for a little while. We have had the last few over at the gracious McKinstry offices (Thanks you so much, we hope to return to your offices soon!!).

This meeting will be held on the heals of the INTERACT 2009 conference so there will be loads of great people to meet and things to talk about. More info to come soon!

If you have something to discuss, have a presentation you’d like to give, or have things you’d like to see on this quarter or a future quarter’s agenda – drop me a note and let me know! I could talk all day, but I’m sure the rest of you have more interesting things to talk about!

Please rsvp via email to info@ucdoers.org or on Upcoming

ok, now time to grab the kids and head to Oahu – see you all in a week :)

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Moving POP3 email to Exchange Online

November 25, 2008

The guys over at the Microsoft Online Services blog recently released a PDF guide for migrating from a POP3 environment to an Exchange Online environment. After reading through the pdf, I found that the basic overview did well to cover the steps necessary to migrate (handy in fact considering I was in the process of planning a migration for a customer)… 

Given that Exchange Online has just barely been available to customers, it is impressive that there is really this much guidance already. There is a Solution Accelerator for planning your move to Microsoft Online, the IPD guide (Exchange Online – Evaluating Software-plus-Services) I talked about earlier, and various blogs and websites like MSExchange.org discussing the ease of use, the Microsoft Exchange Online Forums, among others

The cost thing is something to consider, my friends over at Ferris Research have commented on the expense, and I am working on a calulator to compare the full costs of MS Exchange Online vs. the other possible solutions (Exchange on-premise, another hosted service, etc) that I should have completed shortly and will be happy to share.

Microsoft Online – Summary

November 13, 2008

Microsoft Online is definitely a good addition to the Microsoft suite of offerings. The administrative interface and AD-sync options allow customers to engage with the solution easily and for those smaller organizations really take the leap to shared uniform messaging without the bother of an internal shared network. With that as a starting point, organizations can grow into a dedicated offering where mailbox sizes and customization is at offered and will cater to much more complex customers. My earlier reviews of the sign-up process, setting up a new domain space, Accepting inbound email on Exchange Online, Creating Users, Accessing email, and service requests are all a place to get more information.

One area that is skipped in most of the Microsoft offered planning excersises is how to grow from Exchange Online Standard -> Exchange Online Dedicated -> Exchange Server On-Premise (or Exchange Server On-Premise – remotely managed). The roadmaps seem to skip this and the marketing material seems to focus on migrating the other way for smaller customers.

Microsoft’s roadmap is fairly clear, Directions on Microsoft has reposted this graphic on their site…

 

Getting access to the system is reasonably straight forward. Microsoft announced with the initial announcement at their partner conference a number of customers who are moving toward the system, so it will be interesting to see how their enterprise level feedback does or doesn’t change the user login/authentication experience.

My friends over at Ferris Research think the Microsoft Online may be too expensive, what do you think? For the services that are being offered? Is Microsoft’s $15/month too much? The Google Apps offering is much cheaper and with Cemaphore’s Mailshadow offering or Zimbra’s new Hosted offering which is starting with a .edu target audience, there is going to continue to be a lot of competition in the space….. That said, the full suite (Exchange + Sharepoint + OCS) is compelling.

Ryan over at MS seems to have more time than I to put together screen shots and post them to his blog. If you want to see more of the technical details, I recommend going over to his blog, Microsoft Online Technical Discussions & Information and checking it out. The team has also put together a blog, titled Microsoft Online Services. This blog has more details on all of the goings on and answers questions that everyone seems to be having… yes there is activesync (so you can connect your iPhone), yes you can connect with Entourageyes there are two offerings – dedicated & Standard…. btw, my day job is helping you decide which is right for you, so don’t hesitate to email me to help you with this decision :)

You don’t need to take my word for it though…. Have a read through the IPD guide. I had a few friends help write it and did the peer review on it (similar to the peer review I did for EHS), but more formal I guess.

SCR Failover Using /RecoverCMS Fails with RU3 Installed

November 6, 2008

Recently I was at a customer site who is using CCR & SCR for the replication strategy. The configuration has been going great and we have all the users routed through the Client Access Servers for OWA & Activesync.

With all this success, we were anxious to get started on our SCR testing. The client was a little worried about how SCR failovers would happen and of course nervous about losing data. Not to worry, we’ve done these failovers with a reasonable amount of success for a few years now….

Well halfway through the failover, we have the databases restored and try to take over the cluster…. and Boom!!! A Big annoying error pops up stating:

You must perform disaster recovery using the same version of Exchange as the last installed version. The current installed version is ‘8.1.240.6’; the last version installed is ‘8.1.291.2’

Alright fine… we can get through this. A quick google search and…. nothing :(

The problem is briefly mentioned in the some Exchange Blog Comments, an experts-exchange post, and some MSExchange.org forums. The problem of trying to move the CMS from the production cluster to the SCR standby cluster. Scott Schnoll mentioned a few months ago (July 2008 in a comment that this was a known issue)…. but no good details on the fix or the status. So I called Microsoft to get the details on the issue.

This problem comes up when actually running the command:

Setup.com /RecoverCMS /CMSName:<ClusterName> /CMSIPAddress:<IPAddress>

The tech on the phone informs us that this is a well known issue and is not going to be fixed until SP2 for Exchange 2007. This means RU4 & RU5 won’t contain the fix. The workaround is simple and hopefully won’t cause problems. The steps are as follows:

First we need to fix the version number of the machine account in Active Directory. To do this, we need to open up ADSI Edit from any computer in the domain and connect to the configuration naming context of the nearest DC to the Exchange Server.

Once there, browse to Services, Microsoft Exchange, <organizationname>, Administrative Groups, Exchange Administrative Group (FYDIBOHF23SPDLT), Servers, <ClusterName>

Now, Right+Click on the ClusterName, and open the properties.

When the properties box comes up, scroll down to find the attribute ‘serialNumber’, highlight the serialnumber and click the remove button. Then edit the text ,replacing “Version 8.1 (Build 30240.6)” with “Version 8.1 (Build 30291.2)”

If you are editing versions past RU3, the versions may be different; however, they will be called out in the error message when you run the /recovercms command. Essentially, the fix is to replace the serialnumber in ADSIEdit with the last build number called out in the error message (provided the serialnumber in ADSIEdit is in fact the first number called out in the error.
Once the updates are complete, don’t forget to click the add button and save the changes before closing out of ADSI Edit.

Hope this Helps!!

Exchange 2007 CAS Installation Error

October 30, 2008

Recently I was at a customer site helping to get Exchange 2007 up in their lab environment. This customer in particular has a lot of projects going and just didn’t have time to implement all of them on their own (I’m seeing a lot more of this these days). The customer had gone through and done some Exchange 2007 work previously in the lab, but due to the incoming projects didn’t have time to finish it up. Due to this they ripped out what they had and left a somewhat semi-installed Exchange 2007 server in their Exchange 2003 org.

I know this scenario is fairly common. But the interesting thing I ran into was after I manually removed the remnants of the Exchange 2007 server they had left in the domain. I proceeded to install what would now be the first Exchange 2007 SP1 server, the CAS server and ran into an error right away….

The nominated Exchange server for offline address book ‘Default Offline Address’ has been deleted. Nominate a valid server and restart setup

This was a bit interesting and threw me off for a bit. After digging around a little I didn’t see any reference to what this meant. Upon investigation of the Exchange 2003 environment I found that the default offline address book in ESM was pointed to an entry with the format of “DC\GUID”, kind of odd…. so I simply re-pointed the address book to one of the Exchange servers that I knew was valid…. and voila :)

Hope this helps!!