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Archive for March, 2010


A fully awesome article here from Jeff Guillet, An Exchange MVP based out of CA. He is also the author of the Unleashed series of books covering Exchange / Server 2008 and Hyper-V. You can find his entire blog here … http://www.expta.com/

you can also follow him on twitter via @expta

If your Exchange 2007 or Exchange 2010 environment includes more that one CAS server, it’s sometimes helpful to know which one a client is connecting to.  Environments with more that one CAS usually use some form of hardware or software load balancing, making it difficult to troubleshoot OWA issues.
A relatively easy way to do this is to brand each CAS server’s OWA logon page with the server name.  This way, end-users are able to provide the server name if they run into problems.
For Exchange 2007, navigate to C:Program FilesMicrosoftExchange ServerClientAccessowaauth folder and open the logon.aspx file using Notepad.
Add either of the two edits shown in the screenshot below:

Adding the server name as highlighted above in red will visibly add the server name to the logon screen, as shown below:

Adding the server name as highlighted above in blue will add the server name "invisibly" below the logon screen.  To view the server name, click anywhere on the screen and press CTRL-A to select all.  You can then see the server name, as shown below:

For Exchange 2010, navigate to the C:Program FilesMicrosoftExchange ServerV14ClientAccessOwaauth folder and open the logon.aspx file using Notepad.
Add the server name, as shown in the screenshot below:

This will add the server name to the logon screen, as shown below:

Important Note: These edits are overwritten anytime an Exchange Server update is applied to the CAS servers.  This is because every update includes a complete reinstallation of the Exchange binaries, and the logon.aspx file you edited will be overwritten.

Typically, the logon.aspx page rarely changes, so you can usually make a copy of it after you’ve made your edits and copy it back after the update.  However, there are no guarantees that the file will not be changed by an update.  If so, you will need to re-edit the logon.aspx file.

The Windows 7 Application Compatibility List for IT Professionals is a Microsoft Office Excel-based spreadsheet listing software applications which have met Windows 7 Logo Program testing requirements for compatibility with 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7, and have thereby earned the right to display the Windows 7 Logo Program logo with the application. These products are identified with the compatibility status “Compatible – Windows 7 Logo.”
Additionally, this list includes applications with the following compatibility statuses: “Compatible,” “Free Update Required,” “Paid Update Required,” “Future Compatibility,” and “Not Compatible.” These statuses are based upon the software publishers’ statements of compatibility. These products have not met the Windows 7 Logo Program testing requirements. For an explanation of the various compatibility statuses, please see the Release Notes for the Windows 7 Application Compatibility List.

For the latest collection of compatible applications and hardware devices, please visit the Windows 7 Compatibility Center. You can also leave feedback on compatibility and suggest new products to get added in future reports.

Download details Windows 7 Application Compatibility List for IT Professionals

 

Information found on … BINK – Watching Microsoft Like a Hawk!

 

I knew there wasn’t enough raw customization capabilities in Exchange 2007 transport rules to fill in the needed fields like the senders name and what not. The revamped rule set in Ex 2010 can now do just that! See below for steps. Big thanks go to Howto-Outlook.com’s post on this !

The most notable regarding signatures is that HTML code is now supported and that you can also use user information that has been stored in Active Directory to construct the signature dynamically.

  1. Open the Exchange Management Console.
  2. In  Organization Configuration select Hub Transport and then select the Transport Rules tab.
  3. In the Actions Pane click New Transport Rule…
  4. Name your rule and optionally add a Comment. For instance;
    Name: Corporate signature
    Comment: This transport rule adds a standardized signature and disclaimer text to all outgoing emails.
  5. Press Next.
  6. On the Conditions screen select the following 2 conditions;
    • from users that are inside or outside the organization
    • sent to users that are inside or outside the organization, or partners
  7. In the bottom pane, modify the conditions so that they read;
    • from users that are Inside the organization
    • and sent to users that are Outside the organization
  8. Press Next.
  9. In the Actions screen select the action;
    • append disclaimer text and fall back to action if unable to apply.
  10. In the bottom pane you can modify the conditions to your preference.
    • Click on disclaimer text to insert your default disclaimer text and add variables to include user information (see below for an overview of variables which you can use).
      Note that the disclaimer text allows you to use HTML code (including in-line CSS). This will allow you for instance to set different font size and colors for the signature and disclaimer part, add a horizontal line, hyperlink text or include a logo.
    • You can use up to 5000 characters
    • When a Plain Text message is sent, the HTML tags are automatically stripped off.
  11. Once done, press Next.
  12. You can set any exception as you see fit. You can continue without any exceptions as well.
  13. Press Next.
  14. On the Create Rule screen you’ll see the PowerShell command that will be executed when clicking the New button.
  15. After pressing the New button the wizard has been completed and a summary is shown. Assuming it completed successfully, your Transport Rule has been created and is active now. Clicking Finish will close the New Transport Rule dialog.

Supported variables
You can use the following variables in your disclaimer text. When using them, place them between %% characters.
Example: %%DisplayName%%

UserLogonName
DisplayName
FirstName
Initials
LastName
PhoneNumber
OtherPhoneNumber
HomePhoneNumber
OtherHomePhoneNumber
PagerNumber
MobileNumber
FaxNumber
OtherFaxNumber
Email
Street
POBox
City
State
ZipCode
Country
Title
Department
Manager
Office
Company
Notes
CustomAttribute1 – CustomAttribute15

Disclaimer template text in Exchange 2010
Disclaimer template text with HTML and variables in Exchange 2010

 

Luke from this week’s class inquired if it’s any different process in Ex 2010 in forcing the OAB to be updated instead of waiting till 4am the next day! Sure is Luke, here it is straight from TechNet!

Applies to: Exchange Server 2010 Topic Last Modified: 2009-10-01

You can use the EMC or the Shell to update an offline address book (OAB). After you create an OAB or modify OAB settings, the changes aren’t available to users until the OAB generation (OABGen) process has completed.

For information about how to create OABs, see Create an Offline Address Book.

Looking for other management tasks related to OABs? Check out Managing Offline Address Books.

  Use the EMC to update an offline address book

You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform this procedure. To see what permissions you need, see the "Offline address books" entry in the Mailbox Permissions topic.

  1. In the console tree, navigate to Organization Configuration > Mailbox.
  2. In the result pane, click the Offline Address Book tab, and then click the OAB that you want to update.
  3. In the action pane, click Update.
  4. A warning appears. Click Yes to update the OAB.

  Use the Shell to update an offline address book

You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform this procedure. To see what permissions you need, see the "Offline address books" entry in the Mailbox Permissions topic.

To update an OAB, use the following syntax.

Update-OfflineAddressBook -Identity <OfflineAddressBookIdParameter>

This example updates the OAB named My OAB.

Update-OfflineAddressBook -Identity "My OAB"

For detailed syntax and parameter information, see Update-OfflineAddressBook.

Use the Update-OfflineAddressBook cmdlet to update the offline address books (OABs) used by Microsoft Outlook clients.

  Syntax


Update-OfflineAddressBook -Identity <OfflineAddressBookIdParameter> [-Confirm [<SwitchParameter>]] [-DomainController <Fqdn>] [-WhatIf [<SwitchParameter>]]

  Parameters

Parameter
Identity

Required

Microsoft.Exchange.Configuration.Tasks.OfflineAddressBookIdParameter

The Identity parameter specifies the GUID, distinguished name (DN), or OAB name that represents a specific OAB. You can also include the path by using the format ServerOfflineAddressBookName.

You can omit the parameter label Identity so that only the OAB name or GUID is supplied.

Confirm

Optional

System.Management.Automation.SwitchParameter

The Confirm switch can be used to suppress the confirmation prompt that appears by default when this cmdlet is run. To suppress the confirmation prompt, use the syntax -Confirm:$False. You must include a colon ( : ) in the syntax.

DomainController

Optional

Microsoft.Exchange.Data.Fqdn

The DomainController parameter specifies the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the domain controller that writes this configuration change to Active Directory.

WhatIf

Optional

System.Management.Automation.SwitchParameter

The WhatIf switch instructs the command to simulate the actions that it would take on the object. By using the WhatIf switch, you can view what changes would occur without having to apply any of those changes. You don’t have to specify a value with the WhatIf switch.

 

A new feature in Exchange 2010 called “Shadow Redundancy” can seem a bit confusing on it’s mechanisms and purposes. One might say, didn’t we already have the Transport Dumpster ?

The transport dumpster is designed to help protect against data loss by maintaining a queue of all recent e-mail messages sent to users whose mailboxes were protected by CCR or LCR. When a lossy failure occurred in either of these environments, the bulk of the data that would have ordinarily been lost as a result of the failure is automatically recovered by the transport dumpster.

The transport dumpster is used for replicated mailbox databases only. It doesn’t protect messages sent to public folders, nor does it protect messages sent to recipients on mailbox databases that aren’t replicated. The transport dumpster queue for a specific mailbox database is located on all Hub Transport servers in the Active Directory sites containing the DAG.

Below are some scenarios where the next evolution of the Transport Dumpster , Shadow Redundancy can fill voids that Transport Dumpster cannot fill. The content below was taken from this TechNet document Shadow Redundancy Mail Flow Scenarios

The shadow redundancy feature in Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 provides redundancy for messages for the entire time they’re in transit. The general message flow is explained in Understanding Shadow Redundancy. This topic explains in detail what happens for each specific message flow scenario that can involve Exchange.

  Mail Flow Scenarios

The following figure shows each possible redundancy scenario in an Exchange organization and how message redundancy is achieved in each scenario. The shaded area shows where shadow redundancy is in effect. Exchange 2010 shadow redundancy prevents data loss while messages are in transit within the shaded area.

Dd351091.note(en-us,EXCHG.140).gifNote:

Client Access servers are omitted from the figure for simplicity.

Shadow redundancy mail flow scenarios
Shadow redundancy mail flow scenarios

As can be seen from the preceding figure, all mail flow paths possible in an Exchange organization fit into one of the following scenarios:

A. MAPI/Windows Mobile Client Submission

B. Mail Flow from Mailbox Server to Hub Transport Server

C. Message Delivery from Hub Transport Server to Mailbox Server

D. Mail Flow Between Exchange 2010 Transport Servers

E. Mail Flow from Exchange 2010 Transport Servers to Mail Servers That Don’t Support Shadow Redundancy

F. Mail Flow from Mail Servers That Don’t Support Shadow Redundancy to Exchange 2010 Transport Servers

The following sections explain what happens for each mail flow scenario.

  A. MAPI/Windows Mobile Client Submission

Message submissions from MAPI or Windows Mobile clients aren’t redundant. After the message is successfully stored on the Mailbox server, Exchange high availability features can take effect and help prevent data loss. This scenario provides a complete picture of message flow, from beginning to end.

Return to the list of mail flow scenarios

  B. Mail Flow from Mailbox Server to Hub Transport Server

The following actions take place when an Exchange 2010 Mailbox server submits messages to an Exchange 2010 Hub Transport server.

Dd351091.note(en-us,EXCHG.140).gifImportant:

Exchange 2010 Mailbox servers can’t communicate with transport servers running previous versions of Exchange. Therefore, this topic only discusses mail flow from an Exchange 2010 Mailbox server to an Exchange 2010 Hub Transport server.

  1. The mail submission service notifies the Hub Transport server that there is a new message.
  2. The Hub Transport server picks up the message from the Outbox of the mailbox submitting the message and stores it in its database.
  3. If the message has recipients on Mailbox servers that are in the same Active Directory site, the Hub Transport server delivers the message to the destination mailboxes, following the steps listed in scenario C. For all other recipients, the Hub Transport server delivers the message to the next hop.
  4. After delivery to the next hop is complete, the Hub Transport server notifies the Mailbox server that it has finished processing the message and assumed ownership of the message. After this notification, the message is deleted from the Outbox.
  5. If none of the other hops for the message support shadow redundancy, the Hub Transport server deletes the message. Otherwise, it converts the message to a shadow message by storing it in the shadow queues for the hops to which it delivered the message.

Return to the list of mail flow scenarios

  C. Message Delivery from Hub Transport Server to Mailbox Server

The following actions take place when an Exchange 2010 Hub Transport server delivers messages to an Exchange 2010 Mailbox server.

Dd351091.note(en-us,EXCHG.140).gifImportant:

Exchange 2010 Hub Transport servers can’t communicate with Mailbox servers running previous versions of Exchange. Therefore, this topic only discusses mail flow from an Exchange 2010 Hub Transport server to an Exchange 2010 Mailbox server.

  1. The Hub Transport server delivers the message to the destination mailboxes.
  2. After the message is delivered to all the destination mailboxes, the Hub Transport server adds the message to the transport dumpster.
  3. The Hub Transport server queues discard notifications to the hop from which it has received the message. These discard notifications are created when the hop queries the Hub Transport server.
  4. The previous hop deletes the corresponding shadow message.

Return to the list of mail flow scenarios

  D. Mail Flow between Exchange 2010 Transport Servers

The mail flow process is identical for all message exchanges between transport servers running Exchange 2010, whether it’s between two Hub Transport servers or between a Hub Transport server and an Edge Transport server. The following actions take place when a message is transferred from one Exchange 2010 transport server to another. For clarity purposes, assume that the server that’s sending the message is called Hub01 and the server that’s receiving the message is called Edge01.

  1. Hub01 establishes an SMTP connection to Edge01.
  2. Edge01 advertises shadow redundancy support.
  3. Hub01 requests shadow redundancy in the SMTP session by issuing an XSHADOW command. The process is similar to establishing Transport Layer Security (TLS) on an SMTP session.
  4. For each message that Hub01 needs to send to Edge01:
    1. Hub01 transmits the message to Edge01.
    2. Edge01 marks the message as shadowed by Hub01.
    3. Hub01 marks Edge01 as the primary server and adds it to its shadow queue for Edge01.
    4. Hub01 prepares discard notifications for the message to be sent to the hop from which it received the message.
  5. Hub01 queries Edge01 for discard status of messages it has previously submitted to Edge01.
  6. Edge01 sends all discard notifications that it has prepared for Hub01. These could be for messages that are sent in the same SMTP session or for those that were sent during previous SMTP sessions.
  7. Hub01 deletes all shadow messages for which Edge01 has sent a discard notification.

Return to the list of mail flow scenarios

  E. Mail Flow from Exchange 2010 Transport Servers to Mail Servers That Don’t Support Shadow Redundancy

Neither Exchange Server 2007 transport servers nor Exchange Server 2003 bridgehead servers support shadow redundancy. Therefore, if you have a coexistence scenario with previous versions of Exchange, Exchange 2010 redundancy features can guarantee message delivery only until the legacy Exchange hop, and not all the way to its destination. The same applies to the scenario where Exchange 2010 Edge Transport servers send messages to non-Exchange mail servers.

The following actions take place when an Exchange 2010 Hub Transport server sends a message to an Exchange transport server running a previous version of Exchange, or an Exchange 2010 Edge Transport server sends a message to a non-Exchange mail server. For clarity, assume that an Exchange 2010 Hub Transport server called Hub01 is sending a message to an older Exchange transport server called Legacy01.

  1. Hub01 establishes an SMTP connection to Legacy01.
  2. Legacy01 doesn’t advertise shadow redundancy support.
  3. Because Legacy01 didn’t advertise shadow redundancy, Hub01 doesn’t initiate shadow redundancy on the SMTP session.
  4. Hub01 delivers the message to Legacy01.
  5. Hub01 deletes the message.
  6. Hub01 prepares discard notifications for the hop from which it received the message.

Return to the list of mail flow scenarios

  F. Mail Flow from Mail Servers That Don’t Support Shadow Redundancy to Exchange 2010 Transport Servers

There are four entry points to an Exchange organization where a mail server that doesn’t support shadow redundancy may establish an SMTP connection to an Exchange 2010 transport server and send messages.

  • An Exchange 2010 Unified Messaging (UM) server connecting to an Exchange 2010 Hub Transport server.
  • An Exchange transport server that’s running Exchange 2007 or Exchange 2003 connecting to an Exchange 2010 Hub Transport server.
  • A non-Exchange mail server on the Internet connecting to an Exchange 2010 Edge Transport server.
  • A non-Exchange mail server in the organization, such as a UNIX server, or an SMTP client that’s submitting messages to an Exchange 2010 Hub Transport server.

In this scenario, Exchange 2010 achieves shadow redundancy using a feature called delayed acknowledgement. When an Exchange 2010 transport server receives a message from a mail server that doesn’t support shadow redundancy, it delays sending an acknowledgement to the sending mail server until it has confirmed that the message has been successfully delivered to its destination. For more information about delayed acknowledgement, see Understanding Shadow Redundancy.

To illustrate this scenario, assume that an Exchange 2010 Edge Transport server called Edge01 is receiving a message from a non-Exchange mail server on the Internet called Internet01. In this example, the following actions take place:

  1. Internet01 establishes an SMTP connection to Edge01.
  2. Edge01 advertises shadow redundancy support.
  3. Because Internet01 doesn’t support shadow redundancy, it simply sends the message to Edge01.
  4. Edge01 marks the message as a delayed acknowledgement message.
  5. Edge01 delivers the message to the next hops using the steps outlined in scenario D.
  6. Edge01 queries the next hops for the discard status of the message.
  7. After Edge01 receives discard notifications from all of the next hops, it sends the acknowledgement to Internet01.
  8. Edge01 deletes the message from its database.

    Dd351091.note(en-us,EXCHG.140).gifNote:

    If Edge01 can’t verify successful delivery of the message to all of the next hops within 30 seconds, it will time out and send an acknowledgement to Internet01. This time-out value is controlled by the value of the MaxAcknowledgementDelay attribute of the Receive connector.

Allow me to preface this with that it’s a Partial solution for the above question. AND it only works with Exchange 2007. Why? On a cmdlet level there’s no –TemplateInstance parameter in Exchange Server 2010 (it was present in Exchange Server 2007 but removed for the next version for some reason).

the online help confirms this (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa997663.aspx)

It becomes a two stage process. First using Powershell2.0 and the AD module you will create a new user from an existing user or template account. Then if you want to then enable-mailbox the user you’ve just created from a template mailbox you can do that in a second step. let’s cover this in stages.. First the new user object creation. Needs to be done in Powershell 2.0 as we’ll be using the New-ADUser Cmdlet.

First rev up a Powershell 2.0 prompt while logged in as a domain admin. Ensure the Active Directory module is loaded via the Import-Module ActiveDirectory.

First we’ll need to set a variable to store the user object’s name that we’ll reference

$userInstance = Get-ADUser -Identity “saraDavis”

Now we’ll create the new user account from the variable..

New-ADUser -SAMAccountName “ellenAdams” -Instance $userInstance -DisplayName “EllenAdams” -

Note the above syntax is the bare minimum, I would use more to set other attributes. like this..

New-ADUser -SAMAccountName “ellenAdams” -Instance $userInstance -DisplayName “EllenAdams” –UserPrincipalName Eadams@contoso.com –FirstName Ellen –LastName Adams -Path ‘CN=Users,DC=Contoso,DC=com’

Now that the new user object is created, let’s rev up EMS and create a mailbox for the new user from a designated template.

Obviously, every recipient object is different, so you might be wondering why you should even bother using a template. Well, even though each recipient object has unique properties, there are also aspects of the object that are going to be the same for other objects. For example, every employee in your building is probably going to have the same mailing address.

If you are still questioning the usefulness of a recipient template, then you should keep in mind that you aren’t limited to only creating one template. You can create as many different templates as you need. For example, you could create a separate template for each department.

Creating a Template

Creating a new template is really easy to do. You can create a template based on any type of recipient other than a public folder. Most often though, you would probably create templates to help you to create mailboxes. With that in mind, you must begin the process by creating a template mailbox. To do so, just set the mailbox up in the same way that you want mailboxes that are based on it to be set up. Fill in any Active Directory properties that you want to be populated in clone mailboxes, and leave out any optional information that is going to be different for each recipient.

After you have created a template mailbox, you have to designate it as a template.  For that you will have to use the Exchange Management Shell. Simply enter the following command:

$Template = Get-Mailbox <”template name”>

For example, in my own organization, I created a mailbox named Template. Therefore, the command looks like this:

$Template = Get-Mailbox “Template”

You can see what the command looks like in Figure A.

using_templates_to_create_exchange_recipient_objects_part_1-1

Click here to find out more!

Figure A

This is what the $Template command looks like.

Now that you have created a template, you can create a mailbox based on that template. The procedure for doing so is almost identical to the technique that you would use to create a new mailbox through the Exchange Management Shell. The difference is that you have to reference a template instance. I will talk more about template instances in Part 2, but for now our template instance is named Template$. To create a new mailbox based on the template instance, use this command:

New-Mailbox –Name <”Name”> -UserPrincipalName <”User principal name”> -Database <”Server namemailbox database”> -OrganizationalUnit <”OU”> -TemplateInstance $Template

For example, if you wanted to create a mailbox for a user named User3, the command might look like this:

New-Mailbox –Name ”User3” -UserPrincipalName ”User3” -Database ”Server1Mailbox Database” -OrganizationalUnit ”OU” -TemplateInstance $Template

Some Additional Recommendations

As you can see, creating a mailbox based on a template isn’t difficult. If you are going to use templates though, there are a couple of recommendations that I would make. For starters, I would recommend that you hide your templates from the address book. That way, users won’t see the template on the Global Address List.

Another recommendation that I would make would be to adopt a naming convention for your template recipients. For example, you might use the same first few characters for the name of each one. (TEMP1, Temp2, etc.) The reason for this is that all of the templates will be grouped together when you view the recipients through the Exchange Management Console. It also makes it easy to create a filter that displays only template recipients.

Conclusion

Hopefully, you can see how creating a template up front can save time in creating recipient objects later on. We aren’t done yet though. In the next part of this series, I will show you how you can use a template to create multiple recipients simultaneously.

 

UPDATES – 7/9/2012

It was brought to my attention by a coworker that I had incorrectly tagged this as Exchange 2010 when in fact it only works in Exchange 2007. I’ve updated the tags and added the disclaimer and reasoning at the top of this post. Thank for the catch John! Not the first or last time i’ll be wrong!

 

Working through a great 10135 Exchange 2010 class this week in Chicago. Have had some great questions! Home bound Mike from VA was super interested in the CAS role and how it works. Mike, I give you the mother load for CAS info!

A good primer can be found here..

Understanding Client Access

Now since the CAS role is responsible for handling all mailbox access requests it’s job just got even more important. It is responsible for more that just OWA kids! It provides Availability service, OAB, Outlook Web App (OWA), Exchange Control Panel (ECP), Exchange Active Sync (EAS) as well as the Exchange Web Services (EWS) for 3rd party app mail integration and more! My CAS role is tired just from looking at this list.

From a Client perspective let’s look at this from the very beginning. How do i connect to my mailbox? Since 2007 exchange we’ve had the benefit of easy soft auto configuration thanks to the Autodiscover service! let’s dive a bit deeper with some great info I located on TechNet and Exchange 2010 library.. Understanding the Autodiscover Service

Overview of the Autodiscover Service

The Autodiscover service makes it easier to configure Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2010 and some mobile phones. You can’t use the Autodiscover service with earlier versions of Outlook, including Outlook 2003. In earlier versions of Microsoft Exchange (Exchange 2003 SP2 or earlier) and Outlook (Outlook 2003 or earlier), you had to configure all user profiles manually to access Exchange. Extra work was required to manage these profiles if changes occurred to the messaging environment. Otherwise, the Outlook clients would stop functioning correctly.

The Autodiscover service uses a user’s e-mail address and password to automatically configure a user’s profile. Using the e-mail address, the Autodiscover service provides the following information to the client:

  • The user’s display name
  • Separate connection settings for internal and external connectivity
  • The location of the user’s Mailbox server
  • The URLs for various Outlook features that govern functionality such as free/busy information, Unified Messaging, and the offline address book
  • Outlook Anywhere server settings

When a user’s Exchange information is changed, Outlook automatically reconfigures the user’s profile using the Autodiscover service. For example, if a user’s mailbox is moved or the client can’t connect to the user’s mailbox or to available Exchange features, Outlook will contact the Autodiscover service and automatically update the user’s profile to include the information that’s required to connect to the mailbox and Exchange features.

Return to top

  How the Autodiscover Service Works

When you install the Client Access server role on a computer running Exchange 2010, a default virtual directory named Autodiscover is created under the default Web site in Internet Information Services (IIS). This virtual directory handles Autodiscover service requests from Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2010 clients and supported mobile phones under the following circumstances:

  • When a new user account is configured or updated
  • When an Outlook client periodically checks for changes to the Exchange Web Services URLs
  • When underlying network connection changes occur in your Exchange messaging environment

Additionally, a new Active Directory object named the service connection point (SCP) is created on the server where you install the Client Access server role.

The SCP object contains the authoritative list of Autodiscover service URLs for the forest. You can use the Set-ClientAccessServer cmdlet to update the SCP object. For more information, see Set-ClientAccessServer.

Bb124251.note(en-us,EXCHG.140).gifImportant:

Before you run the Set-ClientAccessServer cmdlet, make sure the Authenticated Users account on the Client Access server has Read permissions for the SCP object. If users don’t have the correct permissions, they can’t search for and read items.

For more information about SCP objects, see Publishing with Service Connection Points.

The following figure shows how a client connects to a Client Access server the first time from inside the internal network.

The Autodiscover service process for internal access
Autodiscover functional process

For external access, or using DNS, the client locates the Autodiscover service on the Internet by using the primary SMTP domain address from the user’s e-mail address.

Bb124251.note(en-us,EXCHG.140).gifNote:

You must provide a host service (SRV) resource record in DNS for Outlook clients to discover the Autodiscover service using DNS. For more information, see your Windows documentation for configuring DNS and also see the White Paper: Exchange 2007 Autodiscover Service.

Depending on whether you’ve configured the Autodiscover service on a separate site, the Autodiscover service URL will be either https://<smtp-address-domain>/autodiscover/autodiscover.xml or https://autodiscover.<smtp-address-domain>/autodiscover/autodiscover.xml, where ://<smtp-address-domain> is the primary SMTP domain address. For example, if the user’s e-mail address is tony@contoso.com, the primary SMTP domain address is contoso.com. The following figure shows a simple topology with a client connecting from the Internet.

The Autodiscover service process for external access
Connecting to the Autodiscover service from the In

When the client connects to Active Directory, the client looks for the SCP object created during Setup. In deployments that include multiple Client Access servers, an Autodiscover SCP object is created for each Client Access server. The SCP object contains the ServiceBindingInfo attribute with the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the Client Access server in the form https://CAS01/autodiscover/autodiscover.xml, where CAS01 is the FQDN for the Client Access server. Using the user credentials, the Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2010 client authenticates to Active Directory and searches for the Autodiscover SCP objects. After the client obtains and enumerates the instances of the Autodiscover service, the client connects to the first Client Access server in the enumerated list and obtains the profile information in the form of XML data that’s needed to connect to the user’s mailbox and available Exchange features.

Return to top

  Deployment Options for the Autodiscover Service

The Autodiscover service must be deployed and configured correctly for Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 clients to automatically connect to Exchange features such as the offline address book, the Availability service, and Unified Messaging (UM). Deploying the Autodiscover service is only one step in making sure your Microsoft Exchange services, such as the Availability service, can be accessed by Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2010 clients. For more information, see Configure Exchange Services for the Autodiscover Service.

  Configuring Autodiscover for Cross-Forest Moves

The Autodiscover service can provide user profile information to connecting Outlook clients for mailboxes that have been moved from one Microsoft Exchange forest to another. For this to happen, you must configure a mail-enabled user in both the original forest where the user’s mailbox resided and in the target forest using the New-MailUser cmdlet. In the source forest, you should use the ExternalEmailAddress parameter in the cmdlet to specify the new e-mail address of the mailbox in the target forest. For more information, see New-MailUser.

When you configure a mail-enabled user, the Autodiscover service in the original forest will redirect the authenticating user to the new e-mail address in the target forest. The connecting Outlook client will then be redirected to the Client Access server in the target forest where the mailbox has been moved. For more information, see Understanding Move Requests.

 

This was taken from an incredible document i stumbled upon at TechNet…

Understanding Database Availability Groups

A database availability group (DAG) is the base component of the high availability and site resilience framework built into Microsoft Exchange Server 2010. A DAG is a group of up to 16 Mailbox servers that host a set of databases and provide automatic database-level recovery from failures that affect individual servers or databases.

A DAG is a boundary for mailbox database replication, database and server switchovers, and failovers, and for an internal component called Active Manager. Active Manager is an Exchange 2010 component which manages switchovers and failovers that runs on every server in a DAG. For more information about Active Manager, see Understanding Active Manager.

Any server in a DAG can host a copy of a mailbox database from any other server in the DAG. When a server is added to a DAG, it works with the other servers in the DAG to provide automatic recovery from failures that affect mailbox databases, such as a disk failure or server failure.

Contents

Database Availability Group Lifecycle

Using a Database Availability Group for High Availability

Using a Database Availability Group for Site Resilience

  Database Availability Group Lifecycle

DAGs leverage a feature of Exchange 2010 known as incremental deployment, which is the ability to deploy service and data availability for all Mailbox servers and databases after Exchange is installed. After you’ve deployed Exchange 2010, you can create a DAG, add Mailbox servers to the DAG, and then replicate mailbox databases between the DAG members.

A DAG is created by using the New-DatabaseAvailabilityGroup cmdlet. A DAG is initially created as an empty object in Active Directory. This directory object is used to store relevant information about the DAG, such as server membership information. When an administrator adds the first server to a DAG, a failover cluster is automatically created for the DAG. In addition, the infrastructure that monitors the servers for network or server failures is initiated. The failover cluster heartbeat mechanism and cluster database are then used to track and manage information about the DAG that can change quickly, such as database mount status, replication status, and last mounted location.

During creation, the DAG is given a unique name, and either assigned one or more static IP addresses or configured to use Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). You can specify a single IP address or a comma-separated list of IP addresses by using the DatabaseAvailabilityGroupIPAddresses parameter.

Consider a DAG that will have three servers; two servers (EX1 and EX2) are on the same subnet (10.0.0.0) and the third server (EX3) is on a different subnet (192.168.0.0). The administrator runs the following commands:

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New-DatabaseAvailabilityGroup -Name DAG1 -DatabaseAvailabilityGroupIPAddresses 10.0.0.5,192.168.0.5
Add-DatabaseAvailabilityGroupServer -Identity DAG1 -MailboxServer EX1
Add-DatabaseAvailabilityGroupServer -Identity DAG1 -MailboxServer EX2
Add-DatabaseAvailabilityGroupServer -Identity DAG1 -MailboxServer EX3

Dd979799.note(en-us,EXCHG.140).gifNote:

Configuring the DatabaseAvailabilityGroupIPAddresses parameter with a value of 0.0.0.0 configures the DAG (cluster) to use DHCP for its IP addresses or IP address resources.

The cluster for DAG1 is created when EX1 is added to the DAG. During cluster creation, the Add-DatabaseAvailabilityGroupServer cmdlet retrieves the IP addresses configured for the DAG and ignores the ones don’t match any of the subnets found on EX1. In this example, the cluster for DAG1 is created with an IP address of 10.0.0.5, and 192.168.0.5 is ignored.

Then, EX2 is added. Again, the Add-DatabaseAvailabilityGroupServer cmdlet retrieves the IP addresses configured for the DAG. There are no changes to the cluster’s IP addresses because EX2 is on the same subnet as EX1.

Then, EX3 is added. Again, the Add-DatabaseAvailabilityGroupServer cmdlet retrieves the IP addresses configured for the DAG. Because a subnet matching 192.168.0.5 is present on EX3, the 192.168.0.5 address is added as an IP address resource in the cluster group. In addition, an OR dependency for the Network Name resource for each IP address resource is automatically configured. The 192.168.0.5 address will be used by the cluster when the cluster group moves to EX3.

Windows Failover Clustering registers the IP addresses for the cluster in Domain Name System (DNS) when the Network Name resource is brought online. In addition, a cluster network object (CNO) is created in Active Directory. The name, IP addresses and CNO for the cluster are used only internally by the system to secure the DAG and for internal communication purposes. Administrators and end users don’t need to interface with or connect to the DAG name or IP address for any reason.

In addition to a name and one or more IP addresses, the DAG is also configured to use a witness server and a witness directory. The witness server and witness directory are either automatically specified by the system, or they can be manually specified by the administrator.

By default, a DAG is designed to use the built-in continuous replication feature to replicate mailbox databases between servers in the DAG. If you’re using third-party data replication that supports the Third Party Replication API in Exchange 2010, you must create the DAG in third-party replication mode by using the New-DatabaseAvailabilityGroup cmdlet with the ThirdPartyReplication parameter. After this mode is enabled, it can’t be disabled.

After the DAG has been created, Mailbox servers can be added to the DAG. When the first server is added to the DAG, a cluster is formed for use by the DAG. DAGs make limited use of Windows Failover Clustering technology, namely the cluster heartbeat, cluster networks, and the cluster database (for storing data that changes or can change quickly, such as database state changes from active to passive or vice versa, or from mounted to dismounted and vice versa). As each subsequent server is added to the DAG, it’s joined to the underlying cluster (and the cluster’s quorum model is automatically adjusted by the system, as needed), and the server is added to the DAG object in Active Directory.

After Mailbox servers have been added to a DAG, you can configure a variety of DAG properties, such as whether to use network encryption or network compression for database replication within the DAG. You can also configure DAG networks and create additional DAG networks, as needed.

After you’ve added members to a DAG and configured the DAG, the active mailbox databases on each server can be replicated to the other DAG members. After you’ve created mailbox database copies, you can monitor the health and status of the copies using a variety of built-in monitoring tools. In addition, you can perform database and server switchovers, as needed.

For more information about creating DAGs, managing DAG membership, configuring DAG properties, creating and monitoring mailbox database copies, and performing switchovers, see Managing High Availability and Site Resilience.

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  Using a Database Availability Group for High Availability

To illustrate how a DAG can provide high availability for your mailbox databases, consider the following example, which uses a DAG with five members. This DAG is illustrated in the following figure.

Database availability group
Database Availability Group

In the preceding figure, the green databases are active mailbox database copies and the blue databases are passive mailbox database copies. In this example, the database copies aren’t mirrored across each server, but rather spread across multiple servers. This ensures that no two servers in the DAG have the same set of database copies, thereby providing the DAG with greater resilience to failures, including failures that occur while other components are down as a result of regular maintenance.

Consider the following scenario, using the preceding example DAG, which illustrates resilience to multiple database and server failures.

Initially, all databases and servers are healthy. An administrator needs to install some operating system updates on EX2. The administrator performs a server switchover, which activates the copy of DB4 on another Mailbox server. A server switchover is a task that an administrator performs to move all active mailbox database copies from their current server to one or more other Mailbox servers in the DAG in preparation for a scheduled outage for the current server. The administrator can perform a server switchover quickly by running the following command in the Exchange Management Shell.

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Move-ActiveMailboxDatabase -Server EX2

In this example, there is only one active mailbox database on EX2 (DB4), so only one active mailbox database copy is moved. In this case, by omitting the ActivateOnServer parameter in the preceding command, the administrator chose to have the system select the best possible new active copy, and the system chose the copy on EX5, as shown in the following figure.

Database availability group with a server offline for maintenance

Database Availability Group with a Server Offline

While the administrator is performing maintenance on EX2, EX3 experiences a catastrophic hardware failure, and goes offline. Prior to going offline, EX3 hosted the active copy of DB2. To recover from the failure, the system automatically activates the copy of DB2 that’s hosted on EX1 within 30 seconds. This is illustrated in the following figure.

Database availability group with a server offline for maintenance and a failed server

DAG with a server offline and a failed server

After the scheduled maintenance has completed for EX2, the administrator brings the server back online. As soon as EX2 is up, the other members of the DAG are notified, and the copies of DB1, DB4, and DB5 that are hosted on EX2 are automatically resynchronized with the active copy of each database. This is illustrated in the following figure.

Database availability group with a restored server resynchronizing its database copies

DAG with restored server resynchronizing databases

After the failed hardware component in EX3 was replaced with a new component, EX3 is brought back online. As with EX2, after EX3 is up, the other members of the DAG are notified, and the copies of DB2, DB3, and DB4 that are hosted on EX3 are automatically resynchronized with the active copy of each database. This is illustrated in the following figure.

Database availability group with a repaired server resynchronizing its database copies

DAG with Member Resynchronizing Database Copies

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  Using a Database Availability Group for Site Resilience

In addition to providing high availability within a data center, a DAG can also be extended to one or more other data centers in a configuration that provides site resilience for one or multiple data centers. In the preceding example figures, the DAG is located in a single data center and single Active Directory site. Incremental deployment can be used to extend this DAG to a second data center (and a second Active Directory site) by deploying a Mailbox server and the necessary supporting resources (namely, one or more Active Directory servers, and one or more Hub Transport and Client Access servers), and then adding the Mailbox server to the DAG, as illustrated below.

Database availability group extended across two active directory sites

DAG extended across two Active Directory sites

In this example, a passive copy of each active database in the Redmond data center is configured on EX6 in the Dublin data center.

 

our friends over at the MS Exchange team blog released an update to the their calc – Get it while it’s hot!

Mailbox role requirements calc!

Giving your users the ability to store more e-mail has many advantages. Large mailboxes keep e-mail on the Exchange Server instead of allowing it to be scattered in Outlook Data Files (.PST files). That helps reduce the risk of data loss, improve regulatory compliance, and increase productivity among both workers and IT staff. The main barrier to implementing large mailboxes is the perceived cost and complexity of storing large amounts of e-mail data. Microsoft® Exchange Server 2010 is specifically designed to overcome these barriers. This paper discusses how Exchange 2010 enables you to give users large mailboxes without breaking your budget.

 

Exchange 2010 Large Mailbox Vision Whitepaper