About Michel de Rooij

I'm is a Microsoft Exchange Server MVP and publisher of EighTwOne. I was originally a developer so hence my PowerShell affection. Connect with me on Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+ or just use the Contact Form.

The UC Architects Podcast Ep43

iTunes-Podcast-logo[1]Episode 43 of The UC Architects podcast is now available, which is hosted by Pat Richard. Pat is joined by Steve Goodman, Johan Veldhuis, Serkan Varoglu, and yours truly. Editing was done by Andrew Price.

Some of the topics discussed in this episode are:

  • Unable moving mailboxes to Exchange 2013 DB excluded from provisioning
  • Protecting against Rogue Administrators
  • Combine Office 365 tenants after a merger or acquisition
  • Hybrid,EAC,Ex2007 & In-Place Hold issues in Ex2013 CU6 & OWA bug
  • Certain pages or windows don’t appear in Outlook Web App or in the Exchange admin center when using Google Chrome
  • Using PowerShell Background Jobs can help you speed up Exchange Tasks
  • Script: Invoke-snomControl PowerShell GUI
  • Microsoft Removes September’s Lync Vulnerability Update Due to Problems
  • Lync Room System Cumulative Update (Sep2014)
  • Lync Phone Edition (LPE) Log Viewer
  • September 2014 update for Lync 2013 client
  • Script:PolycomVVX FTP Provisioning Server Creation Script
  • SecureOfficeWebApps Farm with “FarmOU” Setting
  • High CPU after Publishing Lync Topology
  • Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 14.4.4 update
  • Lync Mobile update–Gallery View on iPad and participant management on both iPad and iPhone
  • IT/Dev Connections (wrap-up)
  • TechEd Australia
  • Norwegian Lync Day
  • UC Birmingham User Group

More information on the podcast including references and a link to download the podcast here or you can subscribe to the podcasts using iTunes, Zune or use the RSS feed.

About
The UC Architects is a bi-weekly community podcast by people with a passion for Unified Communications; our main focus is on Exchange, Lync or related subjects.

IT/Dev Connections 2014 Wrap-Up

Connections 2014 JerseyNote: For those that attended Jaap and my session on Thursday, PowerShell Tips & Tricks for Exchange, and are looking for the scripts used in the demonstrations, they are available here.

Today I returned from one of the largest, independent conference on Microsoft technologies, as it is not sponsored by Microsoft. Sessions were spread over a 3 day period on popular topics as SharePoint, SQL, developer and Windows, as well as out beloved Exchange. In addition, the conference offered pre and post-conference workshops. The conference was held in the city of Las Vegas, a place which I hadn’t seen after I left it around 1996 when leaving something called Comdex.  The estimated total of attendees was 1,400, of which around 100-200 attended Exchange sessions since people were free to switch between tracks.

With this being my first Exchange Connections, I must confess the community feeling and depth of contents were well-above expectation. Exchange sessions were not only presented by independent Exchange MVP’s and MCSM’s, but there were also sessions hosted by Tim McMichael and Wes Blalock of Microsoft. Greg Taylor, Exchange PM CXP, was also present, but unfortunately didn’t host any session.

The Exchange track was kicked off by an plenary session for those interested in everything Exchange or related topics such as Office 365. I am still waiting for the formal feedback and ratings on the PowerShell Tips & Tricks for Exchange session with Jaap I did on Thursday, but unofficial feedback was overall good which I am happy with since this was my first presentation in front of an international audience and I am somewhat self-critical. The week was closed with a Exchange panel session, wrapping up the week and answering audience questions. It was also when the winners were announced of the trivia contest offered by sponsor ENow. Prizes included an Xbox One and $500 in cash.

When connecting with the community, you get a sense on the current opinion on the product and future plans. It was learned that the majority of the attendees are still running Exchange on-premises and a vast majority still runs Exchange 2007 or Exchange 2010. There were quite a few comments on product quality, mainly referring to the recent issues with Exchange 2013 Cumulative Updates resulting in Hybrid Configuration Wizard issues, issues with Exchange 2013/Exchange 2007 co-existence deployments, or more recently issues experienced when using Chrome with the Exchange Administrative Center.

Connections 2014 VegasI had a blast at Connections, despite a minor inconvenience as my luggage was delayed. There were lots of opportunities to meet up at the conference, receptions, many dinners and the excellent Scheduled Maintenance party. Outside of these formal events, people were also actively looking each other up to exchange musings over a pint. Having experienced my inaugural Exchange Connections this year, I must say I am really looking forward to next year’s event to stay in contact with the community, and catch up with my MVP and MCSM friends. The MVP Summit is next up on the agenda, so I won’t have to miss most of my MVP friends for long.

I was also very pleased with my Huawei E5372, a so-called MiFi device which functions as a mobile WiFi access point, routing traffic to a mobile data provider at a fraction of the roaming mobile data costs. In the end, the amount of mobile data used after this week was rather low, which mainly can be attributed to the excellent WiFi facilities in Aria, the conference hotel.

One final shout out to ENow for the personalized NFL jersey. People attempted pronouncing my last name, and most came up with “The Rouge” which is close enough for me.

Finally, here are some of the other Exchange Connections wrap-ups:

Austrian MVPs Martina Grom (Office 365) and Toni Pohl (Client Development) analysed Twitter data related to IT/Dev Connections 2014, and came up with some nice statistics where they present here. It seems I was a Top 10 Tweeter.

Ready for IT/Dev Connections 2014

imageIt’s almost time to head off to IT/Dev Connections. This year, the conference will take place from September 15-19 in the Aria Resort in Las Vegas, USA. IT/Dev connections is a widely recognized independent, multi-disciplinary conference with tracks for Development, Exchange, SharePoint, SQL Server and Windows related topics.

For the Exchange track, I will be co-hosting a session with long-time Exchange MVP and compatriot Jaap Wesselius, on PowerShell Tips & Tricks for Exchange. In 60 minutes we will show and demonstrate some Exchange-related PowerShell tricks, which are immediately usable in the daily life of Exchange admins.

PowerShell Tips and Tricks for Exchange
When: 9/18/2014, 1:00 PM- 2:15 PM
Room: Bluethorn 1/2

Note that Jaap also has a session earlier that day, Autodiscover – What’s the deal, which starts at 9:00 in Bluethorn 1/2 as well.

Other Exchange MVP fellows as well as members of the Product Group are lined up to provide some great content. Information on the sessions in the Exchange track can be found here. It appears you can still register for the event here, use SOCIAL14 for a $200 discount.

When you are attending IT/Dev Connections, do not hesitate to come up and say hi. 

I hope to see you there!

Ex2013 CU6 & Ex2007 coexistence issue for EAS

Ex2013 LogoA short notice on an issue when you have deployed Exchange 2013 Cumulative Update 6 in coexistence in an Exchange 2007 environment. Exchange fellow Tony Redmond did a write-up on the issue here.

The issue prevents ActiveSync users whose mailbox reside on Exchange 2007 to authenticate properly when their requests are being proxied from Exchange 2013 CU6 to Exchange 2007. It has been identified in KB2997847. Alternatively, you direct Exchange 2007 EAS traffic directly to Exchange 2007 CAS servers when they are internet-facing and published.

Be advised that a previous known issue in this deployment scenario with delegates and dismounting stores has been identified in KB2997209.

Both articles provide links to request these hotfixes.

Another Exchange fellow, Jason Sherry, is keeping track of resolved and open Exchange 2013 CU6 issues here.

Exchange2013-KB2997355-FixIt-v2

Ex2013 LogoAs mentioned earlier, when you have deployed Exchange Server 2013 Cumulative Update 6 in a Hybrid deployment, several Office 365-related mailbox functions will not show up in the Exchange Admin Center (EAC). The issue was identified by Microsoft in KB2997355 and a fix was published.

However, the script to fix the issue looks for the XAML file in the default Program Files folder, using the default Exchange installation folder. Better is to check the actual Exchange installation folder, which can easily be accomplished in Exchange Management Shell using the $exinstall environment variable, or by reading the folder from the registry.

To help those installing Exchange in a non-default installation folder, and I know there are quite a few of you out there, who are hesitant to correcting the installation path in the provided FixIt script, I have create an alternative version of the Exchange2013-KB2997355-FixIt script. This version will read the installation path from the registry. Not disturbing but changed as well is correcting the XAML file in one go, unlike the official script which performs 3 consecutive read/modify/write actions on the same file.

You can download the Exchange2013-KB2997355-FixIt-v2.ps1 script here.

 

Exchange-Processor Query Tool: PowerShell Edition

powershellAnyone sizing for Exchange Server 2013 or even still Exchange Server 2010, using the Server Role Requirements Calculator, has to determine processor requirements at some point. This is accomplished by looking up the SPECint_rate2006 score of the planned processor configuration and matching that against the calculated number of required megacycles by the calculator. To account for fail-over situations, additional overhead needs to be added to the number of megacycles. The process as part of the overall sizing has been explained in detail by Jeff Mealiffe here.

The Exchange consultants’ Swiss army knife when determining SPECint rates is the Exchange Processor Query Tool, an Excel sheet designed by Scott Alexander from Microsoft, which allows you to easily look up and determine the SPECint_rate2006 value by inputting a processor model. While still useful, the tool has been out there since 2011. Also, it would be nice sometimes to see which systems are eligible for a certain sizing specification, rather than validating if the planned processor configuration meets the sizing requirements.

So, I wrote a PowerShell script which can query the SPECint rates for you. Because the rating scores are returned as objects, you can perform additional tasks using PowerShell functionality, such as:

  • Use additional criteria, such as vendor, min/max number of cores, etc.
  • Calculate the average SPECint2006 Rate Value for a certain CPU/cores configuration.
  • You can use the SPECint value calculated by the Server Role Requirements Calculator  to find hardware configurations which meet the required total megacycles requirements, optionally including a required overhead percentage.
  • You can select if you are sizing for Exchange Server 2010 or Exchange Server 2013.

Requirements
The script requires PowerShell and internet access to query the SPECint database.

Usage
The script is called Exchange-PQT.ps1, in honor of the Processor Query Tool (PQT).  The syntax is as follows:

Exchange-PQT.ps1 [-CPU <String>] [-Vendor <String>] [-System <String>] [-Overhead <Int32>] [-MinMegaCycles <Int32>] [-Type <String>] [-MinCores <Int32>] [-MaxCores <Int32>] [-MinChips <Int32>] [-MaxChips <Int32>] [<CommonParameters>]

The information returned and which you can use for post-processing is: Vendor, System, CPU (processor description), Cores, Chips (number of CPU’s), CoresPerChip (number of Cores per CPU), Speed, Result, Baseline, MCyclesPerCore (megacycles per core), MCyclesTotal (total megacycles), OS and Published. Note that megacycles calculations are based on the selected Exchange version, by default this is Exchange Server 2013.

A quick walk-through on the parameters:

  • CPU, Vendor or System can be used for partial matching on the respective attribute.
  • Type specifies what calculation to perform. Possible values are 2010 for Exchange Server 2010 and 2013 for Exchange Server 2013. Default value is 2013.
  • MinCores/MaxCores can be used to only return information for systems with this minimum or maximum number of cores. Note that you can not use MinCores and MaxCores at the same time.
  • MinChips/MaxChips can be used to only return information for systems with this minimum or maximum number of CPU’s. Note that you can not use MinChips and MaxChpis at the same time.
  • MinMegaCycles can be used to specify a treshold for the total megacycles value for returned items, using the specified Type for calculations.
  • Overhead can optionally be used to take into account a certain percentage for megacycles overhead. Default is 0 (0%).

Few notes:

  • MinCores/MaxCores and MinChips/MaxChips are mutually exclusive, because we can not specify both in the query against the SPECint database. However, you can use additional filtering on objects returned in the pipeline to distill information, e.g.
    Exchange-PQT.ps1 –MaxCores 32 –MaxChips 8 | Where { $_.Cores –ge 4 –and $_.Chips –ge 2}. 

    Do note that usage of these parameters is recommended when possibe, as it will minimize the result set from SPECint.

  • Make sure you set Type to 2010 when sizing for Exchange 2010.

Examples

Lookup the specifications of the server used by Jeff in his sizing example (Hewlett-Packard DL380p Gen8 server with Intel Xeon E5-2630 processors @2.30GHz). You will notice 25,481 is slightly off from Jeff’s 25,479, which is due to Jeff rounding numbers:

.\Exchange-PQT.ps1 -System 'DL380p Gen8'  -CPU 2630 | select System,MCycle*

Search all specs for systems from Dell containing x5470 processors and return megacycle information for Exchange 2010 calculations:

.\Exchange-PQT.ps1 -CPU x5470 -Vendor 'Dell Inc.' -Type 2010 | Select System,*cycle*

image

Calculate average SPECint 2006 rate values for  hex-core x5450 systems:

.\Exchange-PQT.ps1 -CPU x5470 | Where { $_.Cores -eq 8 } | Measure -Average Result

Search all specs for Dell systems using x5670 CPUs, with a minimum total of 16,000 megacycles and 20% megacycle overhead:

.\Exchange-PQT.ps1 –Vendor Dell -CPU x5670  -MinMegaCycles 16000 -Overhead 20 

image

Download
You can download the script from the TechNet Gallery page.

Feedback
Feedback is welcomed through the comments. If you got scripting suggestions or questions, do not hesitate using the contact form.

Revision History
See TechNet Gallery page.

Hybrid EAC, Ex2007 & In-Place Hold issues in Ex2013 CU6

Ex2013 LogoLast update September 2nd, 2014: Microsoft has released a ‘fix’ to correct the EAC issue. It is available through KB2997355. Be advised that the fix uses the default Program Files folder. If you have installed Exchange in a different location, I suggest using Exchange2013-KB2997355-FixIt-v2. Also added information on a serious In-Place Hold issue to this post.

Just a few days after the release of Exchange 2013 Cumulative Update 6, some issues have been identified which could pose issues for organizations utilizing Exchange 2013 Hybrid deployments, or organizations using Exchange 2013 in co-existence with Exchange 2007.

First, Exchange MVP fellow Jeff Guillet discovered that, when you have deployed Exchange 2013 CU6 on-premises in a Hybrid scenario, several Office 365-related mailbox functions will not show up in the Exchange Admin Center (EAC), e.g.

  • Create mailboxes in Exchange Online.
  • Move mailboxes to Exchange Online.
  • Create In-Place Archive mailboxes.

Of course, this functionality remains available when using Exchange Management Shell (EMS), or alternatively use the Office 365 Portal where possible. The severity of this issue therefor depends on how your operations procedures make use of these functions in EAC. This issue has been confirmed in KB2997355, which contains a fix but I suggest using my adjusted version available here, which will use the actual Exchange installation folder instead of assuming Exchange is installed using the default installation path.

The second issue was reported by another Exchange MVP, Ratish Nair. When using Exchange 2013 in co-existence with Exchange 2007, access to delegated mailboxes may cause Exchange 2013 databases to fail-over (or dismounts when you have single copies of databases) due to Microsoft.Exchange.Worker.Store crashing. This only happens when the user’s mailbox is on hosted on Exchange 2007 and the delegate mailbox is on Exchange 2013 CU6. This issue has been confirmed in KB2997209 which contains a link to request the related hotfix.

On a more serious note, Exchange MVP Tony Redmond reported that a serious flaw has been discovered in OWA, which allows delegates to bypass In-Place Hold and remove entire folders from a mailbox without a trace. This applies to Exchange Server 2013 as well as Office 365. Meanwhile, Microsoft has acknowledged the issue in KB2996477. Suggested workarounds are to put delegate mailboxes on In-Place Hold as well or to disable OWA access for those delegates.

The UC Architects Podcast Ep42

iTunes-Podcast-logo[1]Episode 42 of The UC Architects podcast is now available, which is hosted by Pat Richard, who is joined by John A. Cook, Tom Arbuthnot and yours truly. Editing was done by Andrew Price.

Some of the topics discussed in this episode are:

  • Tool: PelNet v2.0
  • Managed Availability Probes
  • Skype for Desktop Settings – Set-SkypeClientPreferences withPowerShell
  • New firmware for LPE devices
  • Desktop sharing update
  • New Tool: Lync Common Area Phone Management (GUI)
  • Lync SDN For Dummies
  • Lync Anonymous Response Group Limitations and Field Notes
  • Practical use of Call Quality Methodology
  • New Tool: Event Zero Broadcast IM tool
  • Lync Server 2013 Cumulative Update (flex fabric update)
  • Static route for Edge server internal interfaces
  • UC Architects @ Connections speakers and Scheduled Maintenance party
  • Norwegian Lync Day
  • TechEd Europe 2014
  • Northern UC User Group

More information on the podcast including references and a link to download the podcast here or you can subscribe to the podcasts using iTunes, Zune or use the RSS feed.

About
The UC Architects is a bi-weekly community podcast by people with a passion for Unified Communications; our main focus is on Exchange, Lync or related subjects.

Exchange 2013 Cumulative Update 6

Note: There are some known issues with CU6 RTM concerning Hybrid environments and when used in co-existence with Exhange 2007. Please check this post for updates.

Today, Cumulative Update 6 for Exchange Server 2013 was released by the Exchange Team (KB2936880). This update raises Exchange 2013 version number to 15.0.995.29.

This Cumulative Update increases the Public Folder for Exchange On-Premises to 100,000. It also fixes the ‘Hybrid Configuration Wizard ‘Subtask Checkprereqs Execution Failed’ issue I blogged about here (2988229).

This Cumulative Update contains the following fixes:

  • 2983512 RPC Client Access service crashes on an on-premises Mailbox server in an Exchange Server 2013 hybrid environment
  • 2983426 AutodiscoverSelfTestProbe fails when external URL is not set for EWS virtual directory in Exchange Server 2013
  • 2983423 AutodiscoverSelfTestProbe fails when external URL is not set for ECP virtual directory in Exchange Server 2013
  • 2983422 The ServerWideOffline component is set to Inactive after Exchange Server 2013 prerequisite check fails
  • 2983207 “532 5.3.2″ NDR when you send an email message to a hidden mailbox in an Exchange Server 2013 environment
  • 2983066 Removed Default or Anonymous permission for Outlook folders cannot be restored in an Exchange Server 2013 environment
  • 2982769 “Topology service cannot find the OWA service” when you perform an eDiscovery search in Exchange Server 2013
  • 2982763 Mail-enabled public folder accepts email messages from unauthorized users in an Exchange Server 2013 environment
  • 2982762 OAB generation arbitration mailbox can be removed or disabled in an Exchange Server 2013 environment
  • 2982760 The Enter key submits duplicate sign-in forms to Outlook Web App in an Exchange Server 2013 environment
  • 2982759 You cannot access the archive mailbox of a delegated user after enabling MAPI over HTTP
  • 2982017 Incorrect voice mail message duration in an Exchange Server 2013 environment
  • 2981835 You cannot add attachments, delete or move many email messages in bulk in Outlook Web App
  • 2981466 MAPI/CDO client cannot connect to Exchange Server 2013
  • 2977279 You cannot disable journaling for protected voice mail in an Exchange Server 2013 environment
  • 2975599 Exchange Server 2010 public folder replication fails in an Exchange Server 2013 environment
  • 2975003 Calendar item body disappears in Outlook online mode in an Exchange Server 2013 environment
  • 2974339 OAB generation fails if FIPS is used in an Exchange Server 2013 environment
  • 2971270 Blank page after you sign in to Exchange Server 2013 EAC (formerly ECP)
  • 2970040 Folder Assistant rule does not work correctly in an Exchange Server 2013 environment
  • 2965689 EAS device cannot sync free/busy status if an item is created by EWS in an Exchange Server 2013 environment
  • 2963590 Message routing latency if IPv6 is enabled in Exchange Server 2013
  • 2961715 “Something went wrong” error in Outlook Web App may show an incorrect date
  • 2958434 Users cannot access mailboxes in OWA or EAS when mailbox database is removed

Notes:

  • There are some additional changes in the way Public Folders operate. Consult this article from the Exchange team for details on these changes.
  • When using Exchange hybrid deployments or Exchange Online Archiving (EOA), you are required to keep up to date.
  • Be advised of OAB architectural changes introduced with CU5 which are documented here. If you are affected, it is recommended to update CAS servers prior to Mailbox servers.
  • If you have installed the Interim Update to fix Hybrid Configuration Wizard, you can install the Cumulative Update over it – there is no need to uninstall the IU prior to installing CU6.

This Cumulative Update includes schema and AD changes, so make sure you run PrepareSchema / PrepareAD. After updating, the schema version will be 15303.

Note that Cumulative Updates can be installed directly, i.e. no need to install RTM or Service Packs prior to installing Cumulative Updates. Note that once installed, you can’t uninstall a Cumulative Update nor any of the installed Exchange server roles. The order of upgrading servers is irrelevant, unlike with previous generations of Exchange.

Finally, and I can’t emphasize this enough: For any Hotfix, Rollup, Service Pack or Cumulative Update, I’d recommend to thoroughly test this in a test and acceptance environment first, prior to implementing it in production. When you lack such facilities, hold out a week or two and monitor the comments on the release article or TechNet forum for any issues.

You can download Exchange 2013 Cumulative Update 6 here; UM Language Packs can be found here. More details about these changes, preparing Active Directory or installing this Cumulative Update can be found in the original announcement.

Exchange 2010 SP3 Rollup 7

Exchange 2010 LogoToday the Exchange Team released Rollup 7 for Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 3 (KB2961522). This update raises Exchange 2010 version number to 14.3.210.2.

This Rollup includes the following fixes:

  • 2983261 “HTTP 400 – Bad Request” error when you open a shared mailbox in Outlook Web App in an Exchange Server 2010 environment
  • 2982873 Outlook Web App logon times out in an Exchange Server 2010 environment
  • 2980300 Event 4999 is logged when the World Wide Web publishing service crashes after you install Exchange Server 2010 SP3
  • 2979253 Email messages that contain invalid control characters cannot be retrieved by an EWS-based application
  • 2978645 S/MIME option disappears when you use Outlook Web App in Internet Explorer 11 in an Exchange Server 2010 environment
  • 2977410 Email attachments are not visible in Outlook or other MAPI clients in an Exchange Server 2010 environment
  • 2976887 eDiscovery search fails if an on-premises Exchange Server 2010 mailbox has an Exchange Online archive mailbox
  • 2976322 Assistant stops processing new requests when Events in Queue value exceeds 500 in Exchange Server 2010
  • 2975988 S/MIME certificates with EKU Any Purpose (2.5.29.37.0) are not included in OAB in Exchange Server 2010
  • 2966923 Domain controller is overloaded after you change Active Directory configurations in Exchange Server 2010

Notes:

  • If you want to speed up the update process for systems without internet access, you can follow the procedure described here to disable publisher’s certificate revocation checking.
  • If you got a DAG and want to properly update the DAG members, check the instructions here.
  • Rollups are cumulative per service pack level, i.e. they contain fixes released in earlier update Rollups for the same product level (RTM, SP). This means you don’t need to install previous Rollups during a fresh installation but can start with the latest Rollup package.

As with any Hotfix, Rollup or Service Pack, I’d recommend to thoroughly test this rollup in a test and acceptance environment first, prior to implementing it in production.

You can download Exchange 2010 SP3 Rollup 7 here.