Ignite 2015: Call for Topics

ignite ButtonIn October, I reported on the new ‘mother of all Microsoft events’, Microsoft Ignite. This event is going to take place from May 4-8, 2015 in Chicago, US.

Contrary to how the agenda used to be determined for events like TechEd or the Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC), Microsoft is now asking for your help by scoring contents and topics. By completing a short, anonymous Call for Topics survey here, you can let those in charge of assigning session slots know what you would like to see at Ignite.

If you have any questions on Ignite, Microsoft is also having some Twitter sessions for specific products. More on this in the original Call for Topics post here. The Exchange session takes place at Tuesday, December 2nd 9 am (Pacific Time) and use hashtag #ignitejam to participate.

So, if you went to MEC and would like to see a fair share of Exchange or Office 365 should you visit Ignite, be sure to complete the Call for Topics survey and plug your favorite product or platform.

Exchange 2013 Server Role Requirements Calculator 6.6

Ex2013 LogoNote: Shortly after publishing, a minor update was made in to fix circular referencing in the sheet.

Next to an updated Exchange 2010 Server Role Requirements calculator, the Exchange team published an update for the Exchange 2013 Server Role Requirements Calculator as well. The new version number is 6.5.

This new version includes a nice new feature, courtesey of Excel, which will plot mailbox usage using the provided input. You can find this chart on the Mailbox Space Modeling tab.


Changes since version 6.5:

  • Fixed circular logic issue with initial mailbox size calculation

Changes since version 6.3:

  • New: The calculator now includes mailbox space modeling graphs that extrapolates (for each mailbox tier) the projected amount of time it will take to consume the mailbox quota.
  • Fixed “Number of Exchange Data Volumes per Server” to support more than 50 volumes.
  • Optimized memory sizing for FAST which reduces memory requirements for small mailbox server designs.
  • Added the ability to specify multiple AutoReseed volumes per DAG server to calculator and scripts.
  • Fixed 3 database/volume layout scenario involving 100 copies/server.
  • Fixed rounding error in calculating number of databases/volume in “2 Volumes / Backup Set”
  • Log isolation is now a calculated property to align with best practices guidance.
  • Changed “Disk” to “Vol” in left column of Distribution tab to align with scenarios that do not involve JBOD configurations.
  • Added additional processor core options.
  • Fixed JBOD storage design results table to accurately account for Restore Disk capacity being set to “–” and for differences between PDC and SDC Restore Disk capacity settings.
  • Fixed Backup Requirements worksheet to expose Weekly Full backups correctly.
  • Various comment changes/corrections.

You can download the calculator here. For more information, please consult the list of changes here or Read Me here.

Exchange 2010 Server Role Requirements Calculator 20.9

Exchange 2010 LogoAlmost 1,5 year after, the Exchange Team released an update for the Exchange 2010 Server Role Requirements Calculator. The updated version is 20.9 and contains minor bug fixes over the previous version.

Fixes since version 20.8:

  • Additional fixes on CAS/HT CPU calculations formulas
  • Disabled Distribution tab for Active/Active Single DAG model
  • Added Distribution tab warning that only one of the two DAGs is shown
  • Fixed RAID disk calculation for A/A scenario and lagged copies

You can download the calculator here. For more information please consult list of changes here or view usage instructions here.

The UC Architects Podcast Ep44

iTunes-Podcast-logo[1]Episode 44 of The UC Architects podcast is now available,which was recorded at the Norwegian Lync Day. This episode is hosted by Pat Richard, who joined by Ståle Hansen, Tom Arbuthnot and Steve Goodman. Special guests are Lasse Nordvik WedøAdam GentJohan Delimon, Tommy Clarke, and Martin Lidholm. Editing was done by Andrew Price.

Some of the topics discussed in this episode are:

  • Configuring QoS for Lync IP Phones
  • New version of Lync SDN interface
  • Lync Call Concurrency Calculator
  • Never be late for a meeting again
  • MS14-055 Broke My Edge Server
  • Norwegian Lync Day recap
  • Session recap: Lync Backup and Restore by Lasse Nordvik Wedø
  • Session recap: Lync Hybrid and Skype by Tommy Clarke
  • Session recap: Lync Mobile sign in process and media flow by Tom Arbuthnot
  • Session recap: SIP and media in Lync explained by Johan Delimon
  • Session recap: Lync voice explained by Adam Gent
  • Lessons learned about holding a conference by Ståle Hansen
  • Session recap: 5 Elements That Ensure a Successful Lync Deployment by Martin Lidholm
  • TechEd Europe events

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.

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.

Aaand we named it .. Microsoft Ignite!

Today Microsoft revealed the name of the event temporarily known as MUTEE, or Microsoft’s Unified Technology Event for Enterprises:

Microsoft Ignite 2015 Full

The Microsoft Ignite event, which replaces Microsoft Exchange Conference, LyncConf, Microsoft Management Summit, SharePoint Conference and TechEd North America, will be held from May 4-8, 2015 in Chicago at McCormick Place. On the Exchange Team blog, former  Microsoft Exchange Conference attendees are told this will be their ‘go to’ event for 2015 (apart from independent conferences, such as Exchange Connections 2015).

The Microsoft Ignite 2015 site is already up and you can even register, in case you are worried this event with a potential of 20k attendees will soon be sold out. Microsoft is asking potential attendees to provide input through a YamJam. For those unenlightened, a YamJam is a virtual event on Microsoft’s Enterprise Social platform called Yammer, meaning you have to register on the hosting Yammer network first.

The announcement on the Office blog has some additional information here, including information on Convergence and //Build 2015.

PS: It is likely that the adoption of this name has consequences for the events formerly known as Ignite, e.g. Office 365 Ignite. Those events were technical training to get IT Pros up to speed on new products. The faith of those training sessions has not been disclosed.

Exchange MVPs around the World – Oct, 2014

In april, I did a heat map of all the Exchange MVPs in the world. After several months, it’s time to update this map to reflect the latest changes in the Exchange MVP population.

Exchange MVPs October 2014Here is the list of countries with changes in number of Exchange MVPs compared to April: Argentina (0->1), Bermuda (1->0), Canada (6->5), China (12->13), France (3->5), Lithuania (0->1), Mexico (0->2), Russia (5->6), Singapore (1->0), Sweden (3->4), Taiwan (1->0), Thailand (1->0) and Turkey (1->2).

If there are any inaccuracies, please report them in the comments below.

2014 Microsoft MVP Award

I am happy to announce I got re-awarded the Microsoft MVP Award for Exchange Server for 2014:

mvpMVP awards are given to individuals by Microsoft in recognition of their contributions to the technical community, such as this blog, forums or our very own The UC Architects podcast.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my readers, followers, fellow MVPs and of course the Microsoft employees that have encouraged, helped and supported me over years.

My MVP profile can be found here.

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.

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!