Exchange Server 2013 Architecture Poster Available

As a visual person it is great to see how all of the Exchange Server 2013 components work together on this architecture poster.

Exchange 2013 Architecture Diagram

This poster was available to attendees last week at TechEd 2013. If you didn’t pick one up or weren’t at TechEd you can download the poster here.

11. June 2013 by Joel Stidley
Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Working with Hyper-V Key Value Pairs

In Windows Server versions prior to Windows Server 2012, there were few Windows PowerShell cmdlets available for configuration of Hyper-V or working with Virtual Machines without System Center. This apparent gap in features prompted a number of people to build Windows PowerShell wrappers to expose Hyper-V management features in Windows PowerShell. One example was the PowerShell Management Library for Hyper-V and many other enterprising scripts were posted in the Script Center. With Windows Server 2012, Hyper-V has native Windows PowerShell support, so many of these scripts are mostly unneeded.

There is at least one situation that still requires WMI to manage in Windows Server 2012. For example, when you need to read and write key value pairs to the host or virtual machine. When would you need to do this? Perhaps if you are working with deploying new virtual machines, making changes to new virtual machines, or otherwise communicating with virtual machines that you do not have access to over the network, the use of Key Value Pairs (KVP) can provide information to the virtual machine and from the virtual machine to the hypervisor.

To jumpstart a project I am working on that leverages the PowerShell Deployment toolkit I needed to work with KVP. After a lot of searching I was unable to find an updated set of scripts that worked for Windows Server 2012, however I did find a lot of great resources such as TaylorB’s Blog article: Customizing the Key Value Pair (KVP) Integration Component. More about the project in the future, however for now I have posted my quick and dirty Windows PowerShell script module that allows you to Add, Change, and Remove Key Value pairs on Windows Server 2012 for Windows-based VMs. As part of my project I will be making adding functionality and fixing issues, I will keep you updated.

How to use the HyperVKVP Windows PowerShell Script Module:

  1. Download the latest version of the module HyperVKVP.
  2. Extract HypervKVP.zip to your computer
  3. Verify that the execution policy will allow scripts to run. If needed, run Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned from an elevated Windows PowerShell prompt and unblock the extracted HypervKVP.psm1 file.
  4. Import the HypervKVP.psm1 module by running Import-Module .\HypervKVP.psm1
  5. Start using one of the new functions: Add-CustomKVP, Set-CustomKVP, and Remove-CustomKVP

 

30. May 2013 by Joel Stidley
Categories: PowerShell, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Management Pack updated

If you are using System Center for management you will want to check out the updated Exchange Server 2010 management pack. The latest iteration was posted August 31, 2012.

You can find it here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=692

 

04. September 2012 by Joel Stidley
Categories: Exchange Server 2010, System Center | Leave a comment

Are you going to MEC?

You might have heard that MEC is back! The old skool Exchange administrators will no doubt reflect on what MEC used to be, and the newer Exchange administrators may have not heard of MEC.

What is MEC? It is the Microsoft Exchange Conference, a conference sponsored by Microsoft and dedicated to Microsoft Exchange Server. The last MEC was 10 years ago in Anaheim, California. Since then the hardcore Exchange administrators have had to rely on content from TechEd or from Exchange Connections. Now Microsoft has taken charge and brought back MEC to drive quality content to the community. For 2012 MEC will be held in Orlando, FL from September 24 to 26th.

Just think, 10 years ago:

  • Were working with Windows 2000 (SP2 has just been released)
  • Were deploying Exchange Server 2000
  • Just saw the initial release of SharePoint based on Exchange had just come out.
  • Sybari was a separate company (not purchased by Microsoft until 2005)
  • We had an “M:” drive!
  • We had 100 MB mailboxes
  • Gmail didn’t exist (not until 2004)
  • When you heard someone say “the cloud” they were outside and looking up at the sky.

A lot has changed and yet email hasn’t become that much easier. Don’t you think it is time for another MEC?

Why should you go to MEC? Because that where you will learn about cool things like:

  • Exchange Server 2013 Architecture
  • Security and Protection in the new Exchange
  • Configuring built-in Anti-Malware/Anti-Spam protection
  • Setting up Data Loss Prevention policies
  • Compliance, eDiscovery and Archiving in the new Exchange
  • Exchange Server 2013 Manage Availability and Monitoring
  • Unified Messaging in Exchange Server 2013
  • Exchange Server 2013 Deployment and Exchange Server 2010 Coexistence
  • Moving to the cloud with Exchange Online and Office365

I was at the last MEC and met some great people that share my passion for Exchange Server. I still keep in contact with many of them, ten years later. A truly valuable experience that I’d love to repeat.

Do you want to go but need a discount? Send me an email!

 

 

 

 

Let me know if you are going

Are you going to MEC 2012?

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06. August 2012 by Joel Stidley
Categories: Exchange Server 2010, Exchange Server 2013, MEC | Leave a comment

New PowerShell Cmdlets in Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2012 has a ton of new Windows PowerShell cmdlets to accomplish both common and uncommon tasks. There are some quick start guides available here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30002

Here are a few of my favorite cmdlets available for common tasks:

  • Get-NetIPConfiguration – IPConfig. Obtain IP addresses for network adapters.
  • Restart-Computer – shutdown.exe. Can restart local or remote computers.
  • Start-Service – Net Start. Can start a Windows service.
  • Stop-Service – Net Stop. Can stop a Windows service
  • Restart-Service – Net Stop | Net Start. Can restart a Windows service.
  • New-SmbMapping – Net Use. Can map a network path.
  • New-NetFirewallRule – Netsh Advfirewall Add. Can add a new Windows Firewall rule.
  • Get-NetTCPConnection – Netstat. Can retrieve statistics of TCP connections.
  • Get-NetRoute – Route Print. Can display network routing.
  • Install-WindowsFeature – ServerManagerCmd.exe. Can install Windows Roles and Features.
  • Remove-WindowsFeature – ServerManagerCmd.exe. Can uninstall Windows Roles and Features.

What are your favorite new cmdlets?

21. June 2012 by Joel Stidley
Categories: PowerShell | 3 comments

My how your Mailbox has grown!

Over the years we keep more stuff in our mailboxes. As an Exchange administrator, I was very rigid with my mailbox quotas. I kept my own mailbox clean and expected everyone else to do the same so that I could meet my performance and recovery SLAs. Over the years though I have continued to amass more and more junk in my mailbox. This is partly because Exchange and the hardware make this possible, and just the sheer amount of stuff we get in our mailboxes today. I’d love to achieve Inbox Zero, but it rarely happens.

I am doing a little non-scientific poll to see how mailbox sizes have grown over the last 12 years. I will share my results once I have compiled them.

What size mailbox limit did you have in 2000?

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What size mailbox limit did you have in 2006?

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What size mailbox limits do you have today?

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08. June 2012 by Joel Stidley
Categories: Exchange Server 2010, Outlook | 1 comment

Exchange, Unity Connections, and Sender Format Error

Long time no post! Here’s a quick one…

We’ve been testing integration between Exchange 2010, Cisco Unity Connection Server, and Cisco SpeechView. We could see the messages flowing, but were seeing a “sender format error” in the path, so messages weren’t being delivered as expected. It seems that Unity Connection cannot accept the “AUTH=<>” command (Exchange 2010 Hub, by default, uses the extended SMTP feature set, which starts conversations with an EHLO, and includes the AUTH command). If you don’t already have a dedicated send connector set up in Exchange to talk to Unity Connections Server , you’ll need to create one to resolve this. Once you have the send connector configured to talk to Unity, you need to set it so that it will send an HELO instead of EHLO when talking to Unity.

set-sendconnector “Unity” -forceHELO 1

(change the send connector’s name above as appropriate!)

And bazinga! It all works now.

02. May 2012 by Missyk
Categories: Exchange Server 2010 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Updates to the Exercises in Exchange Server 2010 Administration: Real World Skills for MCITP Certification and Beyond

Some news for those of you that purchased Exchange Server 2010 Administration: Real World Skills for MCITP Certification and Beyond! We listened to your feedback and heard there was some confusion with a few of the exercises. Additionally, since we published the book, there have been a changes to how we think things should be done. Since we want you to have the latest and greatest information available, we’ve refreshed some of the exercises in the book.  We have posted these updates for you to use while you read the book.

You can download the latest exercise updates here.

If you are a teacher using this book in your classroom you can download the latest Instructor Support Materials here.

As always, we are keen to hear your feedback and your questions on our book!

Content Update History

  • 1.0 (10/30/11) – Chapter 7 Exercise content refresh and Instructor Support Materials refresh posted
  • 1.1 (11/7/11) – Chapter 2 Exercise content refresh posted
  • 1.2 (11/8/11) – Chapter 3 Exercise content and Instructor Support Materials refresh posted.
  • 1.3b (1/31/12) – Additional lab setup information included, plus information on some exercises in Chapters 4 and 6.
  • 1.3c (3/1/14) – Additional guidance given on lab setup between chapters.

08. November 2011 by Joel Stidley
Categories: Books, Exchange Server 2010 | Leave a comment

Book Review: Microsoft Exchange 2010 PowerShell Cookbook

 

Although there were serveral great books targeted at Exchange 2007 and PowerShell, the market dried up for Exchange 2010.

After writing two other and some training material on Exchange 2010, there wasn’t enough time to update our  PowerShell book, “Professional Windows PowerShell for Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1” . And the other great Exchange 2007 PowerShell book “Exchange Mangement Shell: TFM” from Ilse Van Criekinge was also not updated for Exchange 2010.  So, I was very happy to see that Packt Publishing got a book on the market to fill the void in the market with “Microsoft Exchange 2010 PowerShell Cookbook“.

Serious Exchange administrators need to embrace and understand PowerShell to optimize their administrative tasks. This book covers the basics about PowerShell and also gives a number of recipies that you can use in your own environment. This is a very practical guide and will equip you to start make use of PowerShell in your daily administrative tasks.

If you are serious about getting started with PowerShell specific to Exchange 2010, you will want to take a look at this book.

 

 

02. September 2011 by Joel Stidley
Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Best Practices for Virtualizing Exchange 2010

A large number of companies are now either already virtualizing or looking to leverage virtualization for their Exchange deployment. Up until now there had been little direction from Microsoft on the best way to do this. Today the company released the first version of a best practices guide with the updated understanding that the Unified Messaging role can now be virtualized!

Read the  Best Practices for Virtualizing Exchange Server 2010 with Windows Server® 2008 R2 Hyper V™ guide.

16. May 2011 by Joel Stidley
Categories: Exchange Server 2010, Hyper-V | 6 comments

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