Archive for the ‘Info’ Category

Hey Folks,

yesterday, the Exchange Team announced that  SP1 for EXCHANGE 2013 was released:

Exchange Server 2013 Service Pack 1 (SP1) is now available for download! Please make sure to read the release notesbefore installing SP1. The final build number for Exchange Server 2013 SP1 is 15.00.0847.032.

SP1 has already been deployed to thousands of production mailboxes in customer environments via the Exchange Server Technology Adoption Program (TAP). In addition to including fixes, SP1 provides enhancements to improve the Exchange 2013 experience. These include enhancements in security and compliance, architecture and administration, and user experiences. These key enhancements are introduced below.

Note: Some of the documentation referenced may not be fully available at the time of publishing of this post.

Security and Compliance

SP1 provides enhancements improving security and compliance capabilities in Exchange Server 2013. This includes improvements in the Data Loss Prevention (DLP) feature and the return of S/MIME encryption for Outlook Web App users.

  • DLP Policy Tips in Outlook Web App – DLP Policy Tips are now enabled for Outlook Web App (OWA) and OWA for Devices. These are the same Policy Tips available in Outlook 2013. DLP Policy Tips appear when a user attempts to send a message containing sensitive data that matches a DLP policy. Learn more about DLP Policy Tips.
  • DLP Document Fingerprinting – DLP policies already allow you to detect sensitive information such as financial or personal data. DLP Document Fingerprinting expands this capability to detect forms used in your organization. For example, you can create a document fingerprint based on your organization’s patent request form to identify when users are sending that form, and then use DLP actions to properly control dissemination of the content. Learn more about DLP Document Fingerprinting.
  • DLP sensitive information types for new regions – SP1 provides an expanded set of standard DLP sensitive information types covering an increased set of regions. SP1 adds region support for Poland, Finland and Taiwan. Learn more about the DLP sensitive information types available.
  • S/MIME support for OWA – SP1 also reintroduces the S/MIME feature in OWA, enabling OWA users to send and receive signed and encrypted email. Signed messages allow the recipient to verify that the message came from the specified sender and contains the only the content from the sender. This capability is supported when using OWA with Internet Explorer 9 or later. Learn more about S/MIME in Exchange 2013.

Architecture & Administration

These improvements help Exchange meet our customer requirements and stay in step with the latest platforms.

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 support – Exchange 2013 SP1 adds Windows Server 2012 R2 as a supported operating system and Active Directory environment for both domain and forest functional levels. For the complete configuration support information refer to the Exchange Server Supportability Matrix. This matrix includes details regarding Windows Server 2012 R2 support information about earlier versions of Exchange.
  • Exchange Admin Center Cmdlet Logging – The Exchange 2010 Management Console includes PowerShell cmdlet logging functionality. Listening to your feedback, we’re happy to announce that this functionality is now included in the Exchange Admin Center (EAC). The logging feature enables you to capture and review the recent (up to 500) commands executed in the EAC user interface while the logging window is open. Logging is invoked from the EAC help menu and continues logging while the logging window remains open.

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  • ADFS for OWA – Also new for Outlook Web App in SP1 is claims-based authentication for organizations using Active Directory Federation Services. Learn more about the scenario.
  • Edge Transport server role – SP1 also reintroduces the Edge Transport server role. If you have deployed Exchange 2013 with a supported legacy Exchange Edge Transport role, you don’t need to upgrade. That configuration is still supported. But we do recommend that future deployments use the Exchange 2013 Edge Transport role. Learn more about Edge Transport in Exchange 2013.
  • New communication method for Exchange and Outlook – SP1 introduces a new communication method for Exchange Server and Microsoft Outlook called MAPI over HTTP(MAPI/HTTP). This communication method simplifies connectivity troubleshooting and improves the user connection experience with resuming from hibernate or switching networks. MAPI/HTTP is disabled by default, allowing you to decide when to enable it for your organization. MAPI/HTTP can be used in place of RPC/HTTP (Outlook Anywhere) for your Outlook 2013 SP1 clients while Outlook 2013 RTM and older clients continue to use RPC/HTTP. Learn more about deploying MAPI/HTTP.
  • DAGs without Cluster Administrative Access PointsWindows Server 2012 R2 introduces failover clusters that can operate without an administrative access point: no IP addresses or IP address resource, no network name resource, and no cluster name object. SP1 enables you to create a DAG without an administrative access point on Windows Server 2012 R2 from EAC or PowerShell. This is an optional DAG configuration for SP1 and requires Windows Server 2012 R2. DAGs with administrative access points continue to be supported. Learn more about creating a DAG without an administrative access point here and here.
  • SSL offloading – SP1 now supports SSL offloading, allowing you to terminate incoming SSL connections in front of your CAS servers and move the SSL workload (encryption & decryption tasks) to a load balancer device. Learn how to configure SSL offloading in Exchange 2013.

User Experience

We know the user experience is crucial to running a great messaging platform. SP1 provides continued enhancements to help your users work smarter.

  • Enhanced text editor for OWA – OWA now uses the same rich text editor as SharePoint, thereby improving the user experience, and enabling several new formatting and composition capabilities that you expect from modern Web application – more pasting options, rich previews to linked content, and the ability to create and modify tables.

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  • Apps for Office in Compose – Mail apps are now available for use during the creation of new mail messages. This allows developers to build and users to leverage apps that can help them while they are composing mails. The compose apps leverage the Apps for Office platform and can be added via the existing Office store or corporate catalogs. Learn more about Apps for Office.

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Upgrading to SP1/Deploying SP1

As with all cumulative updates (CUs), SP1 is a full build of Exchange, and the deployment of SP1 is just like the deployment of a cumulative update.

Active Directory Preparation

Prior to or concurrent with upgrading or deploying SP1 onto a server, you must update Active Directory. These are the required actions to perform prior to installing SP1 on a server.

1. Exchange 2013 SP1 includes schema changes. Therefore, you will need to execute the following command to apply the schema changes.

setup.exe /PrepareSchema /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

2. Exchange 2013 SP1 includes enterprise Active Directory changes (e.g., RBAC roles have been updated to support new cmdlets and/or properties). Therefore, you will need to execute the following command.

setup.exe /PrepareAD /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

Server Deployment

Once the above preparatory steps are completed, you can install SP1 on your servers. Of course, as always, if you don’t separately perform the above steps, they will be performed by Setup when you install your first Exchange 2013 SP1 server. If this is your first Exchange 2013 server deployment, you will need to deploy both Client Access Server and Mailbox Server roles in your organization.

If you already deployed Exchange 2013 RTM code and want to upgrade to SP1, you will run the following command from a command line.

setup.exe /m:upgrade /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

Alternatively you can start the installation through the GUI installer.

Hybrid deployments and EOA

Customers in hybrid deployments where Exchange is deployed on-premises and in the cloud, or who are using Exchange Online Archiving (EOA) with their on-premises Exchange deployment are required to maintain currency on Cumulative Update/Service Pack releases.

Looking Ahead

Our next update for Exchange 2013 will be released as Exchange 2013 Cumulative Update 5. This CU release will continue the Exchange Server 2013 release process.

If you want to learn more about Exchange Server 2013 SP1 and have the opportunity to ask questions to the Exchange team in person, come join us at the Microsoft Exchange Conference.

(Source: http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2014/02/25/exchange-server-2013-service-pack-1-available.aspx )

Cheers,

Chris

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Hi,

Exchange 2013 CU2  was released yesterday. Until now, no further release notes are available.

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=39609

I’ll Keep you up to date.

UPDATE:

Changes in Exchange 2013 RTM CU2

In addition to bug fixes, Exchange 2013 RTM CU2 introduces enhancements in the following areas.

  • Per-server database support
  • OWA Redirection
  • High Availability
  • Managed Availability
  • Cmdlet Help
  • OWA Search Improvements
  • Malware Filter Rules

Per-Server Database Support

As mentioned previously, Exchange 2013 RTM CU2 increases the per-server database support from 50 databases to 100 databases in the Enterprise Edition of the product. Please note that this architectural change may not provide any additional scalability as CPU may be a bottleneck, thereby limiting the number of mailboxes you can deploy per-server.

As promised, the Exchange 2013 Server Role Requirements Calculator has been updated for this architectural change.

OWA Redirection

Depending on your deployment model, Exchange 2013 RTM CU1 supported the following redirection or proxy scenarios:

  1. In environments where Exchange 2013 and Exchange 2010 coexist, Exchange 2013 CAS proxies OWA requests to Exchange 2010 CAS for Exchange 2010 mailboxes.
  2. In environments where Exchange 2013 and Exchange 2007 coexist, Exchange 2013 CAS redirects the request to the Exchange 2007 CAS infrastructure’s ExternalURL. While this redirection is silent, it is not a single sign-on event.
  3. In native Exchange 2013 environments:
    1. Exchange 2013 CAS proxies the OWA request directly to the Exchange 2013 Mailbox server when in a single site.
    2. Exchange 2013 CAS proxies the OWA request directly to the Exchange 2013 Mailbox server when the Mailbox server exists in a different site and the CAS infrastructure in the target site has no ExternalURL defined.
    3. Exchange 2013 CAS proxies the OWA request directly to the Exchange 2013 Mailbox server when the Mailbox server exists in a different site and the CAS infrastructure in the target site has an ExternalURL that matches the source site’s ExternalURL.
    4. Exchange 2013 CAS redirects the OWA request to the CAS infrastructure in the target site when the target site’s ExternalURL does not match the source site’s ExternalURL. While this redirection is silent, it is not a single sign-on event.

Exchange 2013 RTM CU2 changes this behavior by providing a single sign-on experience when Forms-Based Authentication (FBA) is used on the source and destination OWA virtual directories by issuing back to the web browser a hidden FBA form with the fields populated. This hidden form contains the same information as what the user had originally submitted to the source CAS FBA page (username, password, public/private selector) as well as, a redirect to the target Exchange specific path and query string. As soon as this form is loaded it is immediately submitted to the target URL. The result is the user is automatically authenticated and can access the mailbox data.

Many of you may be familiar with this functionality in Exchange 2010 SP2. However, there are differences in the Exchange 2013 RTM CU2 implementation:

  1. Silent redirection is the default behavior in Exchange 2013, meaning that if FBA is enabled on source and target OWA virtual directories, the redirection will also be a single sign-on event.
  2. You can disable silent redirection on the source CAS via the web.config file located at <ExchangeSetupDir>\FrontEnd\HttpProxy\owa by adding the following line in the <appSettings>section:<add key=”DisableSSORedirects” value=”true” />

High Availability

Exchange 2013 RTM CU2 introduces a new service, the DAG Management Service. The DAG Management service contains non-critical code that used to reside in the Replication service. This change does not introduce any additional complexities in event reporting, either – events are written into the Application event log with the source of MSExchangeRepl and crimson channel.

Managed Availability

In addition to improvements in various probes and monitors, there have been changes to the responder throttling framework. Prior to Exchange 2013 RTM CU2, many responders were only throttled per-server (e.g., RestartService). Now, these responders are throttled per group. For example, originally RestartService was throttled based on the number of occurrences that occurred on a server; in Exchange 2013 RTM CU2, RestartService can execute every 60 minutes DAG-wide, with a maximum of 4 restarts per day DAG-wide.

RecoveryAction Enabled Per Server Per Group
Minutes Between Actions Max Allowed Per Hour Max Allowed Per Day Minutes Between Actions Max Allowed Per Day
ForceReboot True 720 N/A 1 600 4
SystemFailover True 60 N/A 1 60 4
RestartService True 60   N/A 1 60 4
ResetIISPool True 60 N/A 1 60 4
DatabaseFailover True 120 N/A 1 120 4
ComponentOffline True 60 N/A 1 60 4
ComponentOnline True 5 12 288 5 Large
MoveClusterGroup True 240 N/A 1 480 3
ResumeCatalog True 5 4 8 5 12
WatsonDump True 480 N/A 1 720 4

Cmdlet Help

Exchange 2013 RTM CU2 introduces the capability for administrators to get updates to Exchange Management Shell cmdlets without needing to deploy a new service pack or cumulative update. Administrators can launch the Exchange Management Shell and run the Update-ExchangeHelp cmdlet to update their local Shell help.

OWA Search Improvements

Previously searching for keywords within OWA did not give indications of the location of the keyword in the search result set. Exchange 2013 RTM CU2 improves OWA’s search results highlighting in three ways:

  1. Conversation items are auto-expanded that have hits in them.
  2. Whenever you search for a term and select a conversation from the result list, OWA will move the scroll position of the reading pane so that the first item part with that search term is in view.
  3. Hit navigation within a conversation – you can jump between search hits quickly using a control built into the reading pane.

Malware Filter Rules

Exchange 2013 RTM CU2 introduces the –MalwareFilterRule cmdlets. You can use the –MalwareFilterRule cmdlets to apply custom malware filter policies to specific users, groups, or domains in your organization. Custom policies always take precedence over the default company-wide policy, but you can change the priority (that is, the running order) of your custom policies.

(Source: http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2013/07/09/released-exchange-server-2013-rtm-cumulative-update-2.aspx )

Cheers,

Chris

Originally, we stated we would deliver Exchange 2013 RTM Cumulative Update 1 (CU1) by the end of this quarter.  Unfortunately, we are not going to meet that goal. We know that many of you will be disappointed as a result of this statement. We understand your pain, however, the decision to delay is due to an issue we found in our final test pass coupled with feedback from members within our Technology Adoption Program community.

Specifically, we found an issue with Exchange 2010 coexistence. The issue actually had an easy workaround, but we made a decision; instead of burdening you with a configuration change on all of your Exchange 2010 Client Access servers, we decided to take a code change in Exchange 2013 and solve the problem so that you will not have to make any additional configuration changes. Given that the goal of CU1 is to enable coexistence with legacy versions of Exchange, we felt this was the right decision; after all, we want to ensure that your upgrade to Exchange 2013 and your coexistence period goes as smooth as possible.

As previously mentioned, Exchange 2013’s update strategy is different from previous releases; we are uncoupling security updates and reducing the number of updates we release. In addition to those changes, we will continue to evaluate issues as they are identified during development (even during the final test pass) and if we determine that the vast majority of on-premises customers are affected, we will do everything we can to mitigate the issue prior to release, even if that means delaying the release.

We regret the impact that this delay has on our customers, and as always, we continue to identify ways to better serve your needs through our regular servicing releases. The release date for Exchange 2013 RTM CU1 is currently planned for April 2nd. We will let you know if that date changes, as well as, post an announcement when the download is live.
 

Recently I got an error while installing a second node in a SQL 2005 Cluster.

I installed from the customers’ installation eOpen ressources (with two CDs) and everything looked O.K.
While the installer tried to cleanup installation an misleading error occured.

“Can’t access cluster ressource”

I searched in many newsgroups, forums etc. but none of the answers matches my problem.
I asked my colleague Stefan L. and he remembered he had a similar problem.

The setup can’t handle the two Folders (CD1 and CD2) so you manually have to copy the files from CD1 into the CD2 folder. It’s important to do this in this direction because CD2 setup.exe would launch only the client setup.

Cheers,

Chris

Earlier last year, we announced that Exchange 2010 Service Pack 3 would be coming in the first half of 2013. Later, we updated the timeframe to Q1 2013. Today, we’re pleased to announce the availability of Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 3, which is ready to download.

Service Pack 3 is a fully slipstreamed version of Exchange 2010. The following new features and capabilities are included within SP3:

  • Coexistence with Exchange 2013:Customers who want to introduce Exchange Server 2013 into their existing Exchange 2010 infrastructure will need the coexistence changes shipping in SP3.NOTE: Exchange 2010 SP3 allows Exchange 2010 servers to coexist with Exchange 2013 CU1, which is also scheduled to be released in Q1 2013. Customers can test and validate this update in a representative lab environment prior to rolling out in their production environments as an important coexistence preparatory step before introducing Exchange Server 2013 CU1.
  • Support for Windows Server 2012: With SP3, you can install and deploy Exchange Server 2010 on computers that are running Windows Server 2012.
  • Support for Internet Explorer 10: With SP3, you can use IE10 to connect to Exchange 2010.
  • Customer Requested Fixes: All fixes contained within update rollups released before SP3 will also be contained within SP3. Details of our regular Exchange 2010 release rhythm can be found in Exchange 2010 Servicing.

In addition to the customer reported issues resolved in previous rollups, this service pack also resolves the issues that are described in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base (KB) articles:

Note: Some of the following KB articles may not be available at the time of publishing this post.

2552121 You cannot synchronize a mailbox by using an Exchange ActiveSync device in an Exchange Server 2010 environment

2729444 Mailboxes are quarantined after you install the Exchange Server 2010 SP2 version of the Exchange Server 2010 Management Pack

2778100 Long delay in receiving email messages by using Outlook in an Exchange Server 2010 environment

2779351 SCOM alert when the Test-PowerShellConnectivity cmdlet is executed in an Exchange Server 2010 organization

2784569 Slow performance when you search a GAL by using an EAS device in an Exchange Server 2010 environment

2796950 Microsoft.Exchange.Monitoring.exe process consumes excessive CPU resources when a SCOM server monitors Exchange Server 2010 Client Access servers

2800133 W3wp.exe process consumes excessive CPU and memory resources on an Exchange Client Access server after you apply Update Rollup 5 version 2 for Exchange Server 2010 SP2

2800346 Outlook freezes and high network load occurs when you apply retention policies to a mailbox in a mixed Exchange Server 2010 SP2 environment

2810617 Can’t install Exchange Server 2010 SP3 when you define a Windows PowerShell script execution policy in Group Policy

2787500 Declined meeting request is added back to your calendar after a delegate opens the request by using Outlook 2010

2797529 Email message delivery is delayed on a Blackberry mobile device after you install Update Rollup 4 for Exchange Server 2010 SP2

2800080 ErrorServerBusy response code when you synchronize an EWS-based application to a mailbox in an Exchange Server 2010 environment

(Source: EHLO Team Blog)

Hi folks,

I wrote less in the past month because I focused on work and Microsoft certification.The certification path was very straight – upgrading skills from MCITP to MCAS Server 2012 followed by the two Server Infrastructure exams 70-413 and 70-414.

MCSA    MCSE

In the next monts I’ll go forward to MCSE Messaging and Communications with Exchange 2013 and Lync 2013 and I’ll keep blogging about infrastructure and messaging topics.

Next week I’ll post some experiences I made with my new Nokia Lumia 920 with Windows Phone 8.

Cheers,

Chris

2012 in review

Posted: January 4, 2013 in Info
Tags: , , , , ,

Hey folks,

I wish all of you a happy new year. Thank you all for visiting my site and supporting me with hints and comments. I look forward to an exciting 2013 with all the new Microsoft products – particulary Exchange 2013.

Cheers, Chris

Here is an extract of the 2012 review:

4.329 films were submitted to the Cannes Film Festival 2012. This Blog had over 17.000  in 2012. If each visitor was a movie, this blog would fill 4 Film Festivals.

Click HERE for the complete review.