Exchange Center

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

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Exchange Monitoring: Disk Space

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ENow Software

Disk space is vital to the health of an Exchange Server. Without disk you don’t have email, thus Exchange monitoring - disk space is vital.  Exchange is dependent on having disk because every time an email is sent it’s written to disk, without it you’re S.O.L.

When exchange databases run out of disk space the databases will dismount. Dismounted databases are usually not a good thing because that means email is down for the users in that database. Systems with low disk space can also impact overall performance of the server. Any of these events happening to an exchange server is not good. We all know that when email is slightest bit slow or down, the users will react like the zombies are attacking and the sky is falling.

Keep the zombies away…

If you are using tools such as ENow Exchange Monitoring, System Center Operations Manager, or Spotlight, monitoring Exchange disk space can be pretty easy. If your budget does not allow for third party software, however, you are left to monitor their servers manually. Manual Exchange monitoring can be a pain and not practicable for some shops due to the size of their environment. This is especially true if you’re running an environment with multiple Exchange 2010 DAG nodes, with replicating databases across many mount point paths.

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Restricting Access to Security and Compliance Center Functionalities

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Vasil Michev MVP

About a year ago, we published an article on how to manage preservation policies in the new Security and Compliance Center in Office 365 via PowerShell. Over the course of the last year, a great number of new features have been added to the SCC, which is now the central place for data governance in Office 365. With some minor exceptions, all of the functionalities exposed in the SCC are very sensitive and controlling access to them is vital. In this article, we will cover some methods to restrict access to the SCC features. By using PowerShell, of course!

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Are You Automating Enough?

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Michael Van Horenbeeck MVP, MCSM

Earlier this week, Tony Redmond wrote about Jeffrey Snover – also known as the godfather of PowerShell – being promoted to Technical Fellow at Microsoft; one of the highest achievable ranks.

Given that Jeffrey is considered to be the founding father of PowerShell, that does not really come as a surprise, as PowerShell has changed the way we work and interact with systems. And this does not only apply to large-scale environments or cloud solutions like Office 365.

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Exchange 2010 Attributes

How to Add an Exchange 2010 Custom Attribute using PowerShell

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Theresa Miller

Every mailbox object in Exchange has a series of fields called custom attributes.  These can be found by right-clicking on a mailbox in the Exchange Management Console, choosing properties and then clicking on the custom attributes button in the bottom right-hand corner of the window.

So you ask, what might I use custom attributes for?  Within Exchange Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) there are some user-based policies which can use a unique custom attribute.  Additionally, if you are going to setup custom Address Lists you may also want to base your list on a unique custom attribute.

Set Custom Attribute for multiple users: So in order to set this up, you will want to put together a similar PowerShell script; however, customize the file path to your environment and then save this as a .ps1 file. This should be run via the Exchange Management Shell.

$data = get-content “c:\pathtotextfile\distros2.txt”
foreach($a in $data)
{
Set-Mailbox -Identity $a -CustomAttribute1 attribvalue
}
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Exchange 2010

Issue With Assigning Exchange 2010 Role-Assignment Policies

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Theresa Miller

Have you ever needed to change your Default Role Assignment Policy in Exchange 2010 through Exchange Management Shell?  An example of when you might want to do this is to prevent users from creating organizationally visible distribution lists through Outlook Web App.  Recently I realized that there may be a problem with the Set-RoleAssignmentPolicy command that can be used to set your users default role assignment policy.  Here is what was experienced.

Set Exchange users to the Default Role Assignment Policy

As you can see by double-clicking on the image below the following powershell command was run and indicated that all users were set with the Default Role Assignment Policy.  

Set-RoleAssignmentPolicy "Default Role Assignment Policy" –IsDefault

Problem

My next step was to remove my unused role assignment policy through Exchange Management Shell. 

Remove-RoleAssignmentPolicy “Policy Name Here”

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How to Tackle Exchange 2010 Backup and Recovery

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Theresa Miller

As an Exchange administrator, backup and recovery of your databases is an important aspect of your environment.  There should be defined and streamlined processes in place for your environment as it relates to this topic.  Why is this important?   You may have an end-user that cannot find that very important message they received a couple of weeks ago or the data may be important for that legal investigation that unexpectedly came up.

What is the best way to approach backup and recovery of Exchange 2010?  Well, there is not a one size fits all for every situation, but there are ways to recover data without doing Brick-level or granular level backups.  Granular level backups can cost more from both a disk and software perspective, so it is important to explore other methods that can just as easily allow you to recover your user’s data.

Deleted Item Retention as a First Line of Defense

With proper Exchange 2010 setup and disk space sizing you can allow your users or Exchange Administrators the ability to simply recover that missing email from Outlook Deleted Item Retention for the mailbox in question.  This method is really the fastest way for a user to get that email message that they didn’t mean to delete.   The user or Exchange administrator can do this right from Outlook by going to Recover Deleted Items, selecting the message and choosing recover. 

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Exchange Cannot Send Mail to Some Domains

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Lasse Pettersson

Have you encountered an instance where Exchange cannot deliver mail to a destination on the Internet? This is becoming more and more common. You may question why this is happening in the first place and why it’s becoming more common.

The answer lies in how Exchange does DNS queries. Exchange was designed to run on a corporate network where you have full control on how DNS is setup and configured. Basically, Exchange believes that DNS will always respond with a correct answer. But when Exchange sends mail to the Internet, DNS queries and answers might not always be what you expect. This is especially true when more and more organizations start using IPv6.

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Computer Configuration

Configuring Anti-Affinity in Failover Clusters

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Michel de Rooij

Many customers nowadays are running a virtualized Exchange environment, utilizing Database Availability Groups, load balanced Client Access Servers and the works. However, I also see environments where it is up to the Hypervisor of choice on the hosting of virtual machines after a (planned) fail-over. This goes for Exchange servers, but also for redundant infrastructure components like Domain Controllers or Lync Front-End servers for example.

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Exchange 2013 Lab Tutorial: Part 7- Setting up DAG Databases and SSL

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Andy Grogan

 

To recap – the previous parts (should you wish to read them, refresh or catch up) can be found below:

Part 1

We established our domain design, covered how to provision the Domain Controller for the LAB in Hyper-V and then how to install Windows Server 2012 on the Domain Controller.

Part 2

We went through the process of installing Active Directory Domain Services on the LAB domain controller using PowerShell.

Part 3

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