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Archive for December, 2009


    This is a great question I get asked alot from ex-students, current students taking Ex 2007 training or random people on the street. Ok, maybe that last part was a bit stretching it. I am not quite IT famous yet! Seriously though, a common question being asked in the community is what is the best way to move my existing Exchange environment to 2010 and NOT mess it up?! I honestly believe this is best tackled in a two or three pronged attack. “Measure twice, cut once” right?

  • IF possible (i know IT budgets and free time are tight) take formal training. This allows you to get your hands dirty in the environment in a lab environment AND have the added benefit of having a certified instructor there to bounce questions off of. CBT’s are nice and cheap, but a MOC (MS official Curriculum) course is best due to the interaction and feedback capabilities! MSLearning (Please follow @MSLearning on twitter) has some great courses coming out early in 2010! Most noteably is course numbers 10150A: Ex 2010 BETA Ignite and the upcoming FIVE day class 10135A: Ex 2010 Configuring, Managing and Troubleshooting. This departure from the rushed three day classes that we saw in 2007 should be a nice change. Mail me – if you need to find local training in your area! Looking for a way to get your hands on it for free for short periods of time? Use the TechNet virutal labs! OR MSDN Virtual Labs There are TONS of different areas to try out (small 30-90 sessions only) See SS below of TechNet Labs to see the range of topics covered.



  • Research, research, oh… and more research. KNOW what your doing before you do it. There is not a better resource out there than the TechNet forums and learning centers. You can access the Exchange Server library HERE. Another good general site that I think a lot of people just glance over is the Exchange server main page. I’ve highlighted some of the best parts of this page below.. The Resource, video and webcast sections rock! Click the image to go there!

                    Exchange Server Home Page!

This is a great starting point. Now since this post is Transition specific, let’s get some more targeted links shall we? Since you cannot do an actual “Transition” from Exchange 2000 to 2010, I’ve only included links here to paths from 2003 and 2007. The following direct links are great places for their Official roadmap from 2003 or 2007 to 2010. Click the images below for your path!

Exchange 2003 roadmap

Exchange 2007 roadmap

  • One more thing I cannot stress enough, Test, test and test again. If you have ANY way to virtualize your environment and test out your process, do so. There are a ton of virtualization products out there these days. I personally recommend Hyper-V. It’s now in version 2.0 with Server 2008 R2 that was release Oct. 22nd. If you’re looking for a way to convert your existing physical infrastructure to a virtual one for this testing, make sure you use Disk2VHD by master Russinovich himself! If you don’t have a system already set up with this and are looking to test it out for FREE, check out the Hyper-V Server 2008 R2. Click the image for site for more info

                                                                        Hyper-V Server!

Download Hyper-V server HERE!

    This was taken from Microsoft "Born to learn" site.. Born to Learn

Now that Windows 7 has been released you may be interested in understanding what Microsoft Certifications are available, and how you can update your certification.

Jim Clark, Sr. Certification Manager for Microsoft Learning is here to answer some of the common questions.

Stephen: Are there any new certifications for Windows 7?

Jim: Yes, in addition to new versions of the Enterprise Desktop Support Technician Pro credential and the core configuring TS exam we have created a new credential with Windows 7 that is focused on the Enterprise Desktop Administrator.

Stephen: What is the difference between this new Enterprise Desktop Administrator (EDA) credential and the Enterprise Desktop Support Technician (EDST)?

Jim: Good question. The primary difference is that the EDST is focused on reacting to customer issues as a helpdesk or technical support responder?, but the EDA roles is focused on proactive desktop tasks that include designing, deploying, and managing. The EDA role is part of a design team that is looking into the future to determine what the desktop infrastructure will need to maintain, grow, or gain efficiency. This could be by upgrading or deploying a new OS, or modifying an existing deployment.

The simple answer is to look at these two credentials the same way we look at the Windows Server 2008 credentials:

  • Windows Server 2008, Server Administrator – Operations focused, responsible for today, tomorrow, and next week
  • Windows Server 2008, Enterprise Administrator – Engineering focused, responsible for next month, next year and beyond
  • Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician – Operations focused, responsible for today, tomorrow, and next week
  • Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Administrator – Engineering focused, responsible for next month, next year and beyond

Stephen: So those are the two Pro credentials for Windows 7, are there also new Technology Specialists (TS) exams for Windows 7?

Jim: Yes, there is one new TS exam that will support both the Enterprise Desktop Administrator (EDA), and the Enterprise Desktop Support Technician (EDST) credentials. That exam is 70-680: TS: Windows 7, Configuring. This exam is the backbone of our credentials and it validates all of the common how-to tasks associated with Windows 7. It is a requirement for both the EDA and EDST credentials.

Stephen: Will any of these new exams also count towards the Windows Server 2008 credentials?

Jim: Yes, the 70-680 TS: Windows 7, Configuring exam will count towards the Desktop requirement for the Enterprise Administrator Windows Server 2008 credential.

Stephen: How about people with the Vista EDST credential or even people with the XP DST credential, will they have a way to upgrade their credential to Windows 7?

Jim: Yes, we are creating an exam so that either XP DST’s or Vista EDST’s can take this one exam and become MCTS: Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Support Technician certified. This upgrade exam will be out in early 2010.

Stephen: So what would you suggest is the first step to become Windows 7 certified?

Jim: If you are new to Windows client certification, or are not currently certified as either an XP DST or Vista EDST, then I recommend you take the 70-680: TS: Windows 7, Configuring exam. This exam is required for both of the Pro credentials and can be used for the desktop requirement for the Enterprise Administrator credential, so it’s the best place to start.

Stephen: Are there any other Windows 7 exams beyond the ones you’ve mentioned?

Jim: Yes, we also have an exam that is geared towards OEM Preinstallation specialists. This exam 70-683: TS: Windows 7, Preinstalling for OEMs is designed to validate skills of OEM vendors that preinstall Windows 7 on desktops and laptops for corporate or retail sales.

Stephen: Are any of the exams live now?

Jim: Yes, all of the exams (except the upgrade exam) are live now. Anyone can register to take an exam at

Stephen: Where can I learn more about Windows 7 certification?

Jim: Best place to start is the Windows Client Certification portal. This page will link you to all the Exam Preparation Guides for the Windows 7 exams.  If you decide you would like training before you take the exams then here Windows – Training Portal is the place to start or to get the latest information around the world of training and certification, check out the Born To Learn Blog.

NOTE: Until Dec 31st enjoy 15 to 25 percent off select Microsoft Certification exams. Click here for details

      A past student of mine, Mike K. posed a great question to me today. " I had a request today to add a DHCP scope option #156 which has a string of ftp server= I went to the scope options dialog box and only saw this go as high as 121! Where / how can I set this?
      GREAT question Mike! After some digging the answer had revealed itself. He was right this is NOT a place you can just randomly add a custom scope option. This can only be done at the server level. Now this is where it varies slightly from WS2k3 to 2k8. In Server 2003, you can right click the server object in the DHCP MMC and select "Set Pre-defined options" or on 2k8 server, right click on IPv4 and choose the same. From here on it’s identicall (nearly)
      So from here he was able to click on the Add.. button and add it as the new code and proper value type of string.
     Some of the best "Admin only" style features in exchange 2010 are the ones the community has been asking for some time now. Ex 2010 allows us, via a web console, not the cludgy "export-mailbox" commandlet to do discovery in our mail organizations. As solid as Export-mailbox with the PST switch was, it had alot of pre-req’s there to just use it! Then to make matters worse, it was SLOOOOOW. This new tool is much more efficient and easier to use. Now you may not be able to just use it right out of the box, or you may want to delegate this right to another person possibly in the legal department. The following article from shows us how..
       Looking for more info on Exchange 2010? Here is the Exchange 2010 landing page in TechNet
       More specifically here is some great low level detail on how Database Availability Groups (DAG) work in ex2010.. They completely trashed all the old high availability solutions we had in 2007. No more CCR, SCR, LCR etc…
      There are quite a few changes in R2 when it shipped and became generally available on Oct 22nd with Windows 7! Below is a link to a master list in TechNet where you can find some really good info!
       Some of my Favorites are the new Hyper-V 2.0, Powershell 2.0, and the AD changes (AD aministration center anyone?) !
   There is alot of confusion when people see an IPv6 address for the first time. "Why in all that is holy are there alpha characters and what is up with the :’s?" Well the new format is in Hexadecimal not Binary. So we went from base 2 to base 16. From 0′s or 1′s to 0-9 and then A-F! This new 128 bit address space can be rather daunting. I like to think of it in a friendlier way. Now the following is MY interpretation of the addressing and take that with a grain of salt as it may NOT be entirely accurate :-)
    Think of the new address space like a phone number, an international one. v6 addresses are the same. It’s hierarchal in structure. If you want to dial a number in the UK, you dial +044 first. So now in the planet  you know where your calling. Think of the IPv6 address prefix (first 4 positions) to be the equivalent. Just by looking at the first portion of the address you can tell the TYPE of address it is. This is where the similarities fade. You won’t be able to tell WHERE in the world an IPv6 address is, but you can immediately tell what kind it is. We see this same process in IPv4 when looking at things like APIPA addresses (169.254.x.x) and Private non-routable addresses (192.168.x.x, 172.16.x.x, etc..)
     Now that this is as clear as mud. Let’s look at some prefixes and get you on the straight and narrow!

IPv6 Prefixes

The prefix is the part of the address that indicates the bits that have fixed values or are the bits of the subnet prefix. <– defiinition from Microsoft’s IPv6 document you can download HERE

There are three types of IPv6 addresses:

1.   Unicast

A unicast address identifies a single interface within the scope of the type of unicast address. With the appropriate unicast routing topology, packets addressed to a unicast address are delivered to a single interface.

2.   Multicast

A multicast address identifies multiple interfaces. With the appropriate multicast routing topology, packets addressed to a multicast address are delivered to all interfaces that are identified by the address. A multicast address is used for one-to-many communication, with delivery to multiple interfaces.

3.   Anycast

An anycast address identifies multiple interfaces. With the appropriate routing topology, packets addressed to an anycast address are delivered to a single interface, the nearest interface that is identified by the address
    Now looking at these types they just happen to be listed in the order of being most common to least common in an infrastructure. We will examine the Unicast addresses here as it’s the most commonly used.

  • Global Unicast Addresses

    Global unicast addresses are equivalent to public IPv4 addresses. They are globally routable and reachable on the IPv6 portion of the InternetThe address prefix for currently assigned global addresses is 2000::/3

  • Local-Use Unicast Addresses

    There are two types of local-use unicast addresses:

    1.  Link-local addresses are used between on-link neighbors and for Neighbor Discovery processes. Similar to APIPA addressing in IPv4. Link-local addresses always begin with FE80. With the 64-bit interface identifier, the prefix for link-local addresses is always FE80::/64

    2.  Site-local addresses are used between nodes communicating with other nodes in the same site.Site-local addresses are equivalent to the IPv4 private address space (,, and For example, private intranets that do not have a direct, routed connection to the IPv6 Internet can use site-local addresses without conflicting with global unicast addresses. The first 10-bits are always fixed for site-local addresses (FEC0::/10). These are also re-useable within an organization. Since this can get confusing, Unique-local addresses can be used.

Site-local addresses provide a private addressing alternative to using global addresses for intranet traffic. However, because the site-local address prefix can be used to address multiple sites within an organization, a site-local address prefix address can be duplicated. The ambiguity of site-local addresses in an organization adds complexity and difficulty for applications, routers, and network managers. The first 7 bits have the fixed binary value of 1111110. All unique local addresses have the address prefix FC00::/7
Just to round out the remaining types while I type this…
An IPv6 address is easy to classify as multicast because it always begins with “FF”

Anycast IPv6 Addresses

An anycast address is assigned to multiple interfaces. Packets addressed to an anycast address are forwarded by the routing infrastructure to the nearest interface to which the anycast address is assigned. At present, anycast addresses are only used as destination addresses and are only assigned to routers.




   I love it when an app is Win 7 taskbar aware and can utilize it’s power.. case in point Itunes working on a Win 7 64-bit ultimate machine

   Here we see the thumbnail preview has added controls for song navigation!


   Win 7 making every bit of your interface functional!

   yes that’s tweetdeck 0.32 running – Follow me @csolarz

   and also, that is Powershell 2.0 ISE running as well :-)

      Another awesome question from a student asking "when does the NAP client refresh or resend a Statement of Health (SOH) back to the NAP Policy Server (NPS)?"
Assuming that the WSHA and WSHV are both enabled, this will depend almost entirely upon the NAP enforcement method chosen.


For 802.1x (P)EAP-based NAP, the SOH/SOHR will be exchanged with every (re)authentication, if the backend RADIUS is an NPS/NAP Server.  For VPN enforcement, similar schedule.

For DHCP based NAP, the SOH/SOHR will be exchanged with every address acquisition and renewal (if the DHCP Server is NAP-enabled).

For IPSec based NAP, this is mostly controlled by the lifetime of the HRA-issued certificate.

In all scenarios, the SHA has the ability to notify the NAP Agent when something changes, and the NAP Agent will typically initiate a new set of transactions over the enforced mediums as necessary.

After every 4 hour, as SOH expired in 4 hour.

Every time client machine start.

if you refresh your GPO setting on your client machine.

if you make some chenges in security setting.

if you stop and start the NAP service.
if you forcefully delete the SOH certificate from your machine and would like to access the network again..

Implementation of some SHAs trigger SoH notification when waking up from Sleep/Hibernate.

The network enforcement (e.g., DHCP, IPSec, or 802.1x) requires the client to re-evaluate it’s health.  In the IPSec case, it would be the certificate expiration.

      Greg asked another great question earlier this week "Can I use WMI Software filtering for GPO filtering?"
      Sure can greg, here is the Document I found to confirm it. Now to just learn WMI Scripting right? Here is a Good starting point for WMI and you should also follow @ScriptingGuys on twitter