Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Story Behind the Name: Office 365

What's in a name?

Office 365 brings together Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Lync Online as well as Microsoft Office desktop software and Web apps. There's a lot of power under this particular hood and it's delivered through the cloud. Was it possible to find a single unifying name that all at once would 1) Heighten expectations of the existing productivity brands at Microsoft; and 2) embody the deeper relationship we can hold with our customers as a result of the cloud delivery model?

So what about Office 365?

The 365 extension embodies the idea that the cloud connects us more closely to our customers than ever before. The brand promise extends from productivity as we know it today to a promise to help more people collaborate, communicate and get work done from anywhere, 24/7, 365 days a year.

This means keeping the service up-to-date with the very latest in productivity innovations. It means investing billions of dollars and tens of thousands of people to work on cloud services.

If you boil it down, it comes to:

Office = rich, familiar, trusted gold standard of productivity

365 = available to everyone, when and where you need it

Microsoft approach to cloud productivity applications means that we can deliver the best of everything we know about productivity to our customers in an always-up-to-date cloud service every single day of the year.


Important KB Articles of the Month Dec 2011

Exchange Server 2010

Error message when an Exchange Server 2007 user or an Exchange Server 2010 user tries to log on to OWA
Random hexadecimal string is added to the end of an SMTP address in an Exchange Server 2003, 2007, or 2010 environment
Items that are deleted or moved still appear in the original folder when you use Office Outlook in online mode to access an Exchange Server 2010 mailbox
Error message when you run the Set-FederatedOrganizationIdentifier cmdlet to configure Exchange federation: "InvalidUri: Passed URI is not valid"
Outlook connects to an old Exchange server after you move a mailbox from an Exchange Server 2007 server to an Exchange Server 2010 server
"Cannot open your default e-mail folder" error when users try to open their mailboxes in Outlook after migration to Exchange 2010
An Exchange Server 2010 database store grows unexpectedly large

Exchange Server 2007

Error message when an Exchange Server 2007 user or an Exchange Server 2010 user tries to log on to OWA
Random hexadecimal string is added to the end of an SMTP address in an Exchange Server 2003, 2007, or 2010 environment
OWA clients for Exchange Server 2007 on Windows Server 2003 cannot view or send S/MIME messages that use Windows Server 2008 certification authority
Outlook connects to an old Exchange server after you move a mailbox from an Exchange Server 2007 server to an Exchange Server 2010 server
"HTTP 400 Bad Request" error when you connect to an Exchange Server 2007 mailbox by using Outlook Web App

Exchange 2003

You cannot connect to Outlook Mobile Access on a server that is running Exchange Server 2003
How to redirect an HTTP connection to HTTPS for Outlook Web Access clients and how to redirect the Default Web Site to point to the Exchange virtual directory

Exchange 2010 Pre-Deployment Analyzer

The Exchange 2010 Pre-Deployment Analyzer is a free download from Microsoft, and is based in part on the Exchange Best Practices Analyzer. Some of the tests the Pre-Deployment Analyzer runs are the same as those run during the prerequisite checks the Exchange installer runs, but the approach of this tool is different in several notable ways.

First, the Exchange Pre-Deployment Analyzer is targeted towards users who are evaluating their overall environment. The checks that run during the initial steps of an Exchange installation are more focused on the actual server on to which you are trying to install Exchange. The tool checks your Active Directory forest and domains, and analyzes any existing Exchange 2003 or 2007 servers you are running to ensure that they are at the correct patch level to support the introduction of Exchange 2010 into the organization. If problems are found they are reported as either Critical, or Warning. Critical issues are those that will stop your Exchange 2010 deployment in its tracks, and must be addressed before proceeding. Warnings are those things that may cause issues or reduce performance, but are not show stoppers.

The checks that are run can be found in the XML file, and include the following:

Reporting on the forest structure, including trees, domains, sites, admin groups, routing groups, Exchange 5.5 servers, Exchange 2000 servers, Exchange 2003 servers, total mailboxes, domain controllers, and how many Active Directory domain/sites have Exchange servers installed.

Verifying that the Schema Master is Windows 2003 SP1 or later.

Identifying Active Directory domains that are not in native mode.

Identifying Active Directory sites that do not have a global catalog server running Windows 2003 SP1 or later.

Verifying that there are no Active Directory Connector servers.

Identifying all SMTP site links.

Verifying that the Exchange organization is in native mode.

Identifying any non-standard proxy address generators.

Identifying any ambiguously defined email addresses in your recipient policies.

Identifying any non-MAPI public folder hierarchies in use.

Identifying Routing Groups that span Active Directory sites.

Identifying any Active Directory sites that span Routing Groups.

Identifying any Routing Group Connectors that have specialized settings.

Identifying any SMTP Connectors that support non-SMTP address spaces.

Identifying any SMTP Connectors that use inline domain.

Identifying any X.400 Connectors in the topology.

Identifying any EDK-based Connectors in the topology (excluding Notes).

Verifying that any servers running Exchange 2003 have SP2 or later.

Verifying that any servers running Exchange 2007 have SP2 or later.

Identifying any SMTP virtual servers that are not using port 25 for incoming/outgoing.

Verifying that all Exchange 2003 servers have SuppressStateChanges set.

Identifying any Exchange 2003 servers that have active NNTP newsfeeds.

Identifying any Exchange 2003 servers that use the Event Scripting service.

Identifying any Exchange 2003 servers that have the ExIFS (a.k.a. M:) drive enabled.

Identifying any parts of Active Directory that have Access Control Entry inheritance disabled.

That’s quite a list. Sure, you could check all of these manually, but would you really want to? Anything that the Pre-Deployment Analyzer finds that could cause you problems is brought to your attention in the final report, which lets you quickly identify things you need to change, upgrade, or decommission before proceeding with your first Exchange 2010 server installation.

The Exchange Pre-Deployment analyzer runs on any current server or workstation operating system, requires the .Net Framework 2.0, and should be run by an Enterprise admin who is also a member of the Exchange Organization Administrators groups to get a full analysis of everything involved.

Exchange 2010 Service Pack 2 - What's New

Exchange Server 2010 has released SP2, It is not such a major update as SP1, but there are small numbers of new features that have been added to the product. There are around five hundred Exchange Server 2010 SP1 Update Rollup fixes that have been included in to SP2. But there is a lot of great stuff inside SP2 that should appeal to you.

Hybrid Configuration Wizard

Exchange Server 2010 introduces the Hybrid Configuration Wizard, which provide you an Exchange 2010 on-premises environment can be integrated with Office 365. This is called rich coexistence. It provides the seamless look and feel of a single Exchange organization and offer administrator the ability to extend the feature-rich experience and administrative control of an on-premises organization to the cloud.

Using the Hybrid Configuration Wizard you can:

1. Share free/busy information between on-premises Exchange 2010 organization and Office 356.

2. Move mailboxes between on premises Exchange 2010 and Office 365, preserving the outlook profile and the OST file.

3. You can use Message tracking between on-premises HUB transport server and Office 365 for mail flow and troubleshooting.

4. You can use Mail tips for mailboxes located both in Office 365 and in the on-premises Exchange 2010 environment.

5. Use online Archiving where online archiving is located in Office 365.

6. Use OWA redirection between Office 365 and the on-premises Exchange 2010 implementation.

To setup a ‘rich coexistence scenario’ with Office 365 a number of server need to be installed:

• A Directory Synchronization Server {DirSync} that sync the local AD with the Office 365 directory. This way one address List is created where mailboxes can exist both on-premises and the O365.

• An Active Directory Federation Services 2.0 {ADFS} server that can provide the true single sign-on solution. Using ADFS it is possible to logon to the local AD domain and at the same time logon to the O365 mailbox using the local credentials.

• The Exchange 2010 server itself that is used together with O365.

Mini OWA

In Exchange 2003 a special version of the webmail was available for WAP enabled mobile device. Using a WAP-enabled mobile device was possible for users to access their mailbox using a character-based interface. This was called OMA but this feature was removed from Exchange 2007. It has now turned as OWA mini in Exchange 2010 SP2. The mini OWA provides users with the following basic functionality:

• Access to e-mail, calendar, contact, tasks and global address list.

• Access to e-mail subfolders.

• Compose, reply to, and forward e-mail messages.

• Create and edit calendar, contact, and task items.

• Handle meeting requests.

• Set the time zone and automatic reply messages.

Address Book Policies

In Exchange 2007 and earlier it was possible to implement a feature called Address List Segregation. This feature made it possible to use several fully-separated address lists in Exchange by using the Access Control List (ACLs) on the various address lists to achieve this. ACLs are the means by which permission are assigned in a Windows OS. But Exchange 2010 introduces a new technology called the Address Book Service that is running on the Exchange 2010 CAS server. Therefore the ACL based method didn’t work anymore on the Exchange 2010.

Exchange 2010 SP@ introduces the address book policy object which can be assigned to a mailbox user. The ABP determines the global address list, offline address book, room list and address lists that are visible to the mailbox uses that is assigned the policy. Address book policies provide a simpler mechanism to accomplish GAL separation for the on-premises organization that needs to run disparate GALs.

Cross-Site Redirection

In large, Geographical dispersed companies it is likely that several location are used, each hosting their own Exchange 2010 servers {same AD and Exchange Org} and their own Internet connection. With Exchange 2010 SP2, you can enable a silent redirection when a CAS receives a client request that is better serviced by a CAS located in another AD site. This silent redirection can also provide a single sign-on experience when form-based authentication is enabled on each CAS. The only bad thing is that this only work when the CAS is connected directly to the Internet, without a reverse proxy solution.

Multi-Valued Custom Attributes

Exchange 2010 SP2 introduces five new multi-value custom attributes that you can use to store additional information for mail recipient objects. The ExtensionCustomAttribute1 to ExtensionCustomAttribute5 parameters can each hold up to 1,300 values; you can specify multiple values as a command line. The following cmdlets support these new parameters;

• Set-DistributionGroup

• Set-DynamicDistributionGroup

• Set-Mailbox

• Set-MailContact

• Set-MailPublicFolder

• Set-RemoteMailbox

Litigation Hold

In Exchange 2010, you can’t disable o remove a mailbox that has been placed on litigation hold. To bypass this restriction, you must either remove litigation hold from the mailbox, or us the new IgnoreLegalHold switch parameter when removing or disabling the mailbox.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

New in Exchange 2010 Backup and Restore

What’s New in Exchange 2010 Backup and Restore

Exchange 2010 introduces several important changes that might affect your Exchange-compatible backup and restore applications, including the following:

• The maximum number of databases that can be mounted on a single Exchange 2010 server has been increased to from 50 to 100.
• Configuration settings for Exchange server databases are now stored in Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS).
• Database mobility features, including Database Availability Groups (DAGs), provide more flexible and more reliable database replication. For databases in a DAG that has two or more healthy copies, the database consistency checking step can even be skipped.
• Improved internal database integrity checking reduces the likelihood that any database corruption will be included in backup images. This helps reduce the need to take a database offline to perform consistency checking by using the CHKSGFILES API or the ESEUTIL application.

Backup and Restore Technologies and Features Removed from Exchange 2010

The following Exchange 2007 technologies and features are no longer available or supported in Exchange 2010:

• Streaming database backup and restore.
• Storage Groups. Each Exchange store database is managed separately in Exchange 2010.
• The Exchange Recovery Storage Group. This has been replaced by the Exchange Recovery database.
• Single-Copy Clusters (SCC).
• Local Continuous Replication (LCR).

Development Technologies Removed from Exchange 2010

The following technologies were removed from Exchange 2007:

• Exchange providers for Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)
• Collaboration Data Objects for Exchange Management (CDOEXM)
• Collaboration Data Objects for Exchange Workflow (CDOWF)
• Exchange Web Forms
• At Functions

The following technologies were removed from Exchange 2010:

• Exchange OLE DB Provider (ExOLEDB)
• Exchange store Event Sinks
• World Wide Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV)
• CDO 3.0 (CDOEx)
• Item-level permissions
• Exchange Store custom item types

Changes to Backup and Restore in Exchange 2010

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 introduces new technologies and features in many areas, and removes other important storage features. To implement Exchange 2010–compatible backup and restore applications, you may need to adjust your application to accommodate the changes described in this topic.

Exchange Storage Groups Removed

Exchange 2010 no longer includes the concept of storage groups. In earlier versions of Exchange, one or more Exchange store databases can be grouped into a storage group, which can then be managed as a unit. However, storage groups complicate many high-availability scenarios, and make single-database restores more complex.

Exchange 2010–compatible backup and restore applications that work with the Windows Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) no longer provide storage group identifiers in the VSS backup component paths.

Recovery Storage Group Replaced with Recovery Database

Because storage groups were removed from Exchange Server 2010, the recovery storage group no longer exists. Instead, if your application needs to restore, recover, and mount an Exchange database to a different location or server, it will use a recovery database. The recovery database is not tied to any original server or database. Each Exchange 2010 server can have no more than one mounted recovery database. There can be multiple recovery databases, but only one can be mounted at a time.

Streaming Backups Not Supported

Exchange 2010 does not support streaming-style backups. In versions of Exchange earlier than Exchange 2010, backup applications use the ESEBCLI2 interface to perform streaming backups.
Number of Databases per Server Increased

In Exchange 2007, each server can mount 50 databases configured in up to 50 storage groups. In Exchange 2010, each Exchange server can connect to a maximum of 100 Exchange databases, and storage groups do not exist. Although each Exchange server can have a maximum of 100 databases mounted at one time, that limit does not apply to the total number of database objects that are stored in Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS). Each Exchange organization can have any number of database objects in AD DS.

For backup and restore applications, the maximum of 100 mounted databases for an Exchange organization includes up to one mounted recovery database. There is no distinction between normal and recovery databases in this maximum number.

Database Mobility and Availability Groups Added

Exchange 2010 servers can be configured to perform even more flexible database replication than Exchange 2007 servers. Each Exchange 2010 database can be replicated to up to 16 Exchange servers, which can be geographically distributed to improve availability and resilience. The group of servers that replicate an Exchange database is called a Database Availability Group (DAG).

Exchange 2010 DAGs can also improve the reliability and performance of backup applications. Backing up a replicated, inactive copy of the database prevents the active Master database from being affected during the VSS snapshot.

Because all the servers in a DAG have copies of the database log files, applications can restore and recover databases by using backup components taken from different servers. When restoring a DAG database from backups, all active and passive copies must be restored using the same data.

Storage Configuration in Active Directory Changed

The arrangement of organization-level Exchange server and storage configuration information, which is stored in AD DS, has changed.

In versions of Exchange earlier than Exchange 2010, database and storage group configuration data is stored as children of the server object.

Because Exchange 2010 databases are no longer tied to a particular server, database configuration information is stored at the same hierarchy level as the Exchange server configuration objects. Similarly, DAG configuration is stored at the same level as the organization’s Exchange server configuration objects. Both forward links and back links exist between the database copies, the DAG they are a part of, and servers that participate in the DAG.

Storage Configuration Commands Changed

To accommodate the many storage architecture changes in Exchange 2010, the Windows PowerShell commands for setting and retrieving storage configuration have changed significantly.

CHKSGFILES DLL Now 64-bit only

Exchange 2010 is only available in 64-bit implementation. 32-bit implementations of the server are not available. Similarly, the CHKSGFILES DLL is available only as a 64-bit unmanaged DLL.

Single Copy Clustering Is Not Available

Exchange 2010 does not include support for Single Copy Clustering (SCC). If your Exchange 2007–compatible backup and restore application relies on SCC, you will need to modify the application to be compatible with Exchange 2010.

Log File Size Standardized

Exchange database log files are now each 1 MB in size. In earlier versions of Exchange, log files varied in size.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Exchange 2010 SP2 Released

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 helps you achieve new levels of reliability and performance by delivering features that help to simplify your administration, protect your communications, and delight your customers by meeting their demands for greater business mobility.

Download Here