Exchange Center

ENow Software's Exchange blog built by Microsoft MVPs for IT/Sys Admins.

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Dominik Hoefling MVP

Dominik is a Microsoft MVP primarily specializing in Microsoft Exchange, Exchange Online and Office 365. Dominik currently works for a German consulting company, AtWork. At atwork, Dominik focuses on designing and building message infrastructures and cloud technologies. Dominik has worked in IT since 2004, primarily with Exchange Server but also has experience with Windows Server, Active Directory, Azure, Office 365, Unified Messaging and various third party products. You can follow Dominik via twitter (@DominikHoefling) or his blog www.dominikhoefling.com.

Exchange Monitoring

[Exchange Monitoring]: Introduction to Managed Availability (Part 3)

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Dominik Hoefling MVP

Local Monitoring & Overrides

Now that you’ve finished Part I & Part II of my three part Managed Availability blog series, I will now provide some information about local .xml monitoring files and overrides of Managed Availability.

Local Managed Availability .xml monitoring files

Some HealthSets, such as the FEP HealthSet are local .xml files. Because FEP is the Forefront Endpoint Protection service, some of you may want to disable this HealthSet on the servers, because there is no use for it.
Browse to %ExchangeInstallationPath%\Microsoft\Exchange\V15\Bin\Monitoring\Config, search for FEPActiveMonitoringContext.xml and open the file with an editor, such as Notepad. Change line 12 by replacing Enabled = True to Enabled = False. Restart the Microsoft Exchange Health Management service on the server where you modified the .xml file.

Overrides

With overrides, you can change the Managed Availability exchange monitoring thresholds and define you own settings when Managed Availability in case of errors should take action.

There are two kinds of overrides:

Local overrides: are used to customize a component on a specific server or on components which aren’t globally available. For example, if you are running multiple datacenters and would like to change only server components on a specific location for individual monitoring. Local overrides are managed with the *-SetMonitoringOverride set of cmdlets. They are stored in the registry under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ExchangeServer\v15\ActiveMonitoring\Overrides\ and are automatically updated every 10 minutes. The Microsoft Exchange Health Management service reads the changes in the registry path above.


Global overrides: are used to customize a component for a whole Exchange organization. They are managed with the *-GlobalMonitoringOverride set of cmdlets. Global overrides are stored in Active Directory:

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Exchange Monitoring

[Exchange Monitoring] Introduction to Managed Availability (Part 1)

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Dominik Hoefling MVP

An Exchange Administrator's Task?

Microsoft introduced a new built-in exchange monitoring system called Managed Availability in Exchange 2013, which automatically takes recovery actions for unhealthy services within the Exchange organization.

Microsoft has been operating a cloud version of Exchange since 2007 and have put all their knowledge into Managed Availability monitoring. Managed Availability is a cloud trained system based on an end user’s experience with recovery oriented computing.

Managed Availability doesn’t mean you don’t have to monitor your on-premises or hybrid Exchange environment in fact, it’s just the opposite. The long and complex exchange monitoring PowerShell cmdlet’s  (which we will look at in more detail later) are not the best and most effective method to do so.

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Centralized Mail Transport in Multi-Forest Exchange Environments

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Dominik Hoefling MVP
Outbound messages to the Internet are routed from the Exchange Online organization through your on-premises organization. With the exception being messages sent to other recipients in the same Exchange Online organization, all messages sent from recipients in the Exchange Online organization are sent through the on-premises organization. This enables you to apply compliance rules to these messages and any other processes or requirements, like digital sign emails at your smtp gateway, or that must be applied to all of your recipients, regardless of whether they're located in the Exchange Online organization or the on-premises organization.

Source:

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Windows Server settings pop up window

Exchange 2013 on Windows Server 2012: Multi IP addresses, a single NIC

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Dominik Hoefling MVP

Many people want to use multiple IP addresses on a single NIC interface with Exchange 2013 and Windows Server 2012. There are several reasons for this multi-homed IP configuration, such as various receive connectors for diverse applications (fax, SharePoint, gateways, etc.), or for an additional IIS website, amongst other things.

The behavior that changed since Windows Server 2008 is that the source IP address on a NIC will always be the lowest numerical IP address. The challenge for every Exchange administrator is to configure the correct firewall settings for the appropriate IP address. Lets make an example:

You install the the first Exchange 2013 server in your environment with the „primary“ IP address of 10.35.3.200. Afterwards you decide to add an additional IP address to your MAPI network adapter, such as for a further receive connector. The secondary IP address would be 10.35.3.100. No you have two issues:

  • The server registered two DNS names for the same server
  • The server is now sending all outbound traffic from 10.35.3.100, because 100 is lower than 200.

Let's go a bit deeper and explain the “weak host model“ and the “strong host model“ for multi-homed servers and how they choose the source IP address selection.

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