Exchange and .NET Framework 4.7

Ex2013 Logo A quick heads-up on that .NET Framework 4.7 has recently been released and will be made available through Windows Update channels. The current versions of Exchange Server are not supported with this version of the .NET Framework, and you should not install or update to this version.

Similar to the situation with .NET Framework 4.61 around a year ago, you can prevent  (accidental) upgrades of the .NET Framework by creating the following registry key on your Exchange servers:

HKLM:\Software\Microsoft\NET Framework Setup\NDP\WU\BlockNetFramework47 = 1 (REG_DWORD)

To report on the currently installed .NET Framework version on one or more computers, you can use this PowerShell script, Get-DotNetVersion.ps1. It will not only report the .NET Framework version information, but also if those registry entries to block .NET Framework 4.6.1 or .NET Framework 4.7 upgrades are present.

[PS] C:\> .\get-DotNetVersion.ps1 -ComputerName ex1,ex2 | ft -a

Computer Release NetFramework Net461Block Net47Block
-------- ------- ------------ ----------- ----------
ex1      461268  4.7          False       True
ex2      461268  4.7          False       False

The related article by the Exchange Team on this topic contains steps on how to recover the situation, in case you did upgrade. Of course, with all the dependencies on the .NET Framework by Exchange Server, you may prefer migrating contents to a new Exchange servers with a supported .NET Framework, and decommission servers where you had to remove the unsupported .NET Framework from.

More information can be found in KB4024204.

PS: The updated Unattended Exchange 2013 & 2016 Installation script will now also set the .NET Framework 4.7 blockade registry key.

Exchange Updates – December 2016

Ex2013 LogoToday, the Exchange Team released the December updates for Exchange Server 2013 and 2016, as well as Exchange Server 2010 and 2007.

Changes introduced in Exchange Server 2016 CU4 are an updated OWA composition window, and on Windows Server 2016, KB3206632 needs to be present before CU4 can be deployed. This KB fixes – among other things – the problem with DAG members experiencing crashing IIS application pools. Be advised that the KB3206632 update for Windows Server 2016 is a whopping 1 GB. You can download this update here.

The biggest change for Exchange Server 2013 is support for .NET 4.6.2. Be advised organizations running Exchange 2016 or 20103 on .NET 4.6.1 should start testing with and planning to deploy .NET 4.6.2, as the March updates will require .NET 4.6.2, which is currently still optional.

Both Cumulative Updates introduce an important fix for indexing of Public Folder when they were in the process of being migrated. To ensure proper indexing, it is recommended to move public folder mailboxes to a different database so they will get indexed properly.

The Cumulative Updates also include DST changes, which is also contained in the latest Rollups published for Exchange 2010 and 2007.

For a list of fixes in these updates, see below.

Exchange 2016 CU4 15.1.669.32 KB3177106 Download UMLP
Exchange 2013 CU15 15.0.1263.5 KB3197044 Download UMLP
Exchange 2010 SP3 Rollup 16 14.3.339.0 KB3184730 Download
Exchange 2007 SP3 Rollup 22 8.3.502.0 KB3184712 Download
  • KB 3202691 Public folders indexing doesn’t work correctly after you apply latest cumulative updates for Exchange Server
  • KB 3201358 Set-Mailbox and New-Mailbox cmdlets prevent the use of the -Office parameter in Exchange Server 2016
  • KB 3202998 FIX: MSExchangeOWAAppPool application pool consumes memory when it recycles and is marked as unresponsive by Health Manager
  • KB 3208840 Messages for the health mailboxes are stuck in queue on Exchange Server 2016
  • KB 3186620 Mailbox search from Exchange Management Shell fails with invalid sort value in Exchange Server 2016
  • KB 3199270 You can’t restore items to original folders from Recoverable Items folder in Exchange Server 2016
  • KB 3199353 You can’t select the receive connector role when you create a new receive connector in Exchange Server 2016
  • KB 3193138 Update to apply MessageCopyForSentAsEnabled to any type of mailbox in Exchange Server 2016
  • KB 3201350 IMAP “unread” read notifications aren’t suppressed in Exchange Server 2016
  • KB 3209036 FIX: “Logs will not be generated until the problem is corrected” is logged in an Exchange Server 2016 environment
  • KB 3212580 Editing virtual directory URLs by using EAC clears all forms of authentication in Exchange Server 2016

Exchange 2013 CU15 fixes:

  • KB 3198092 Update optimizes how HTML tags in an email message are evaluated in an Exchange Server 2013 environment
  • KB 3189547 FIX: Event ID 4999 for a System.FormatException error is logged in an Exchange Server 2013 environment
  • KB 3198046 FIX: The UM mailbox policy is not honored when UM call answering rules setting is set to False in an Exchange Server 2013 environment
  • KB 3195995 FIX: Event ID 4999 with MSExchangerepl.exe crash in Exchange Server 2013
  • KB 3208886 Send As permission of a linked mailbox is granted to a user in the wrong forest in Exchange Server 2013
  • KB 3188315 Messages are stuck in outbox when additional mailboxes are configured in Outlook on Exchange Server 2013
  • KB 3202691 Public folders indexing doesn’t work correctly after you apply latest cumulative updates for Exchange Server
  • KB 3203039 PostalAddressIndex property isn’t returning the correct value in Exchange Server 2013
  • KB 3198043 Shadow OAB downloads don’t complete in Exchange Server 2013
  • KB 3208885 Microsoft.Exchange.Store.Worker.exe process crashes after mailbox is disabled in Exchange Server 2013
  • KB 3201966 MSExchangeOWAAppPool application pool consumes excessive memory on restart in Exchange Server 2013
  • KB 3209041 FIX: An ActiveSync device becomes unresponsive until the sync process is complete in an Exchange Server environment
  • KB 3209013 FIX: The LegacyDN of a user is displayed incorrectly in the From field in the Sent Items folder on an ActiveSync device
  • KB 3209018 FIX: Results exported through the eDiscovery PST Export Tool never finishes in an Exchange Server environment
  • KB 3199519 Inconsistent search results when email body contains both English and non-English characters in Exchange Server 2013
  • KB 3211326 “ConversionFailedException” error when emails are sent on the hour in Exchange Server 2013

Notes:

  • Exchange 2016 CU4 doesn’t incldue schema changes compared to CU4, however, Exchange 2016 CU4 as well as Exchange 2013 CU15 may introduce RBAC changes in your environment. Where applicable, use setup /PrepareSchema to update the schema or /PrepareAD to apply RBAC changes, before deploying or updating Exchange servers. To verify this step has been performed, consult the Exchange schema overview.
  • When upgrading your Exchange 2013 or 2016 installation, don’t forget to put the server in maintenance mode when required. Do note that upgrading, before installing the Exchange binaries, setup will put the server in server-wide offline-mode.
  • Using Windows Management Framework (WMF)/PowerShell version 5 on anything earlier than Windows Server 2016 is not supported. Don’t install WMF5 on your Exchange servers running on Windows Server 2012 R2 or earlier.
  • When using Exchange hybrid deployments or Exchange Online Archiving (EOA), you are allowed to stay at least one version behind (n-1).
  • 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.
  • Cumulative Updates can be installed directly, i.e. no need to install RTM prior to installing Cumulative Updates.
  • Once installed, you can’t uninstall a Cumulative Update nor any of the installed Exchange server roles.
  • The order of upgrading servers with Cumulative Updates is irrelevant.

Caution: As for any update, I recommend to thoroughly test updates in a test environment prior to implementing them in production. When you lack such facilities, hold out a few days and monitor the comments on the original publication or TechNet forum for any issues.

Exchange Server Role Requirements Calculator 8.3

Exchange 2010 Mailbox Role Sizing Calculator 16.4The Exchange team published an update for the Exchange Server Role Requirements Calculator, the tool to aid you in properly sizing your Exchange Server 2013 or Exchange Server 2016 deployment.

The new version number is 8.3, and it contains two major enhancements compared to version 7.9:

  • Added ability for the calculator to automatically determine the number of Mailbox servers and DAGs that need to be deployed to meet the chosen input requirements
  • Added Read from Passive support for Exchange 2016 deployments which results in decreased bandwidth utilization for HA copies

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

Exchange Updates – September 2016

Ex2013 LogoNote: There are issues with Exchange 2013 CU14 and Exchange 2016 CU3 with regards to failing Content Indexing. Fellow MVP Jaap Wesselius blogged about this here. For now, recommendation is to not upgrade to CU14, until further notice. Also, there are acknowledged issues when running Exchange 2016 CU3 on Windows Server 2016. Don’t deploy Exchange 2016 CU3 on that OS until further notice.

Today, the Exchange Team released the september updates for Exchange Server 2013 and Exchange Server 2016.

The biggest changes are for Exchange Server 2016:

  • Exchange Server 2016 CU3 or later support on Windows Server 2016, which is expected to be released at Ignite next week. Windows Server 2016 Domain Controllers are supported; requirement is just Forest Functional Level at Windows Server 2008 R2 or later. Note that it is also announced Exchange Server 2013 will not be supported (as in: now, and in the future). Performance-wise, it is recommended to exclude Exchange setup and log folders, as well as the noderunner processes in Windows Defender.
  • Finally, Exchange Server 2016 CU3 introduces the long-awaited Read from Passive feature. This means, indexes will be generated using (local) passive databases copies, and no longer require coordination with the server holding the active database copy. The result is lower bandwidth requirements, and – compared to Exchange Server 2013 – faster fail-overs. Be advised this feature does not apply to lagged copies.
  • An update for the Mailbox Server Role Calculator(s) for Exchange 2016 is available now (v8.3), incorporating Read from Passive changes. This allows organizations to not only size their deployment, but also predict the positive effect on bandwidth usage for current environments as well by using numbers. You can download the calculator here.

For a list of fixes in these updates, see below.

Exchange 2016 Cumulative Update 3 15.1.544.27 KB3152589 Download UMLP
Exchange 2013 Cumulative Update 14 15.0.1236.3 KB3177670 Download UMLP

  • KB 3154387 The DFS health set is listed as “Unhealthy” in an Exchange Server 2016 environment
  • KB 3175080 Cannot log on to OWA when FIPS is enabled in an Exchange Server 2016 environment
  • KB 3176377 Links to access Exchange items in SharePoint eDiscovery search result fail with an HTTP error 500 in Exchange Server
  • KB 3161916 Data loss may occur during public folder migration to Exchange 2013, Exchange 2016, or Exchange Online
  • KB 3176540 OWA error reporting responds with a HTTP error 500 in OwaSerializationException
  • KB 3190887 Upgrading Exchange Server causes the server to go offline unexpectedly
  • KB 3191075 You can’t install Cumulative Update 2 for Exchange Server 2016 on a Russian version operating system

  • KB 3132513 “The Delegates settings were not saved correctly” when you try to add a user to Exchange Server 2013 from Microsoft Outlook
  • KB 3172017 “NotFound Export failed with error type: ‘NotFound'” error occurs when you perform an eDiscovery search in Exchange Server 2013
  • KB 3176377 Links to access Exchange items in SharePoint eDiscovery search result fail with an HTTP error 500 in Exchange Server
  • KB 3176540 OWA error reporting responds with a HTTP error 500 in OwaSerializationException
  • KB 3176873 Can’t create a new profile or connect to Exchange Server 2013 when an organization contains many address lists
  • KB 3061079 RPC Client Access service crashes and Event 4999 is logged in Exchange Server 2013
  • KB 3134918 An IRM-protected message sent to an external contact isn’t returned in a search or discovery results when journaling is implemented in an Exchange Server 2013 environment
  • KB 3190887 Upgrading Exchange Server causes the server to go offline unexpectedly

These Cumulative Updates for Exchange Server 2016 and 2013 include the security update released last week, MS16-108. The Cumulative Updates for Exchange Server 2016 and 2013 also include DST changes.

Notes:

  • Exchange 2016 CU3 includes schema changes (version 15326, reference), and Exchange 2016 CU3 as well as Exchange 2013 CU14 may introduce RBAC changes in your environment. Where applicable, make sure you run /PrepareSchema to update the schema or /PrepareAD to apply RBAC changes, before deploying or updating Exchange servers. To verify this step has been performed, consult the Exchange schema overview.
  • When upgrading your Exchange 2013 or 2016 installation, don’t forget to put the server in maintenance mode when required. Do note that upgrading, before installing the Exchange binaries, setup will put the server in server-wide offline-mode.
  • Using Windows Management Framework (WMF)/PowerShell version 5 on anything earlier than Windows Server 2016 is not supported. Don’t install WMF5 on your Exchange servers running on Windows Server 2012 R2 or earlier.
  • When using Exchange hybrid deployments or Exchange Online Archiving (EOA), you are required to stay current.
  • 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.
  • Cumulative Updates can be installed directly, i.e. no need to install RTM prior to installing Cumulative Updates.
  • Once installed, you can’t uninstall a Cumulative Update nor any of the installed Exchange server roles.
  • The order of upgrading servers with Cumulative Updates is irrelevant.

Caution: As for any update, I recommend to thoroughly test updates in a test environment prior to implementing them in production. When you lack such facilities, hold out a few days and monitor the comments on the original publication or TechNet forum for any issues.

Exchange Server Role Requirements Calculator 7.9

Exchange 2010 Mailbox Role Sizing Calculator 16.4The Exchange team published an update for the Exchange Server Role Requirements Calculator, the tool to aid you in properly sizing your Exchange Server 2013 or Exchange Server 2016 deployment. The new version number is 7.9, and it contains mainly bug fixes.

Functionality changes and bug fixes since version 7.8:

  • Added support for 1.8TB disk capacity
  • Added color formatting for when memory exceeds the maximum recommended value
  • Fixed calcNumDBCopyInSDC formula to take into account proper number of lagged copies
  • Fixed calcActDBPDCWorst formula to take into account non-HA deployments
  • Fixed an issue where ReplayLagManager calculated field did not take into account the user disabling JBOD
  • Fixed version mismatch and added Add-PartitionAccessPath in Diskpart.ps1 script
  • Fixed issue with export CreateDAG.ps1 script where it defined Alternate Witness in single datacenter deployments
  • Fixed diskpart.ps1 script to sleep 10s after creating partition but prior to formatting to minimize error condition
  • Fixed RetainDeletedItemsUntilBackup to be set to $false for NDP deployments

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

Exchange 2016 & Office Online Server

pptxiconUpdate (May 9th): Office Online Server is now also available through MSDN here.

Update (May 4th): Office Online Server became available today. OOS is available on VLSC, language packs are on MSDN as well (perhaps a clue OOS will be available later on MSDN as well). Document modification option comes with additional licensing requirements, consult the release article for more information.

On April 26th, I gave a session on Exchange 2016 and Office Online Server – or OOS. Creating the session contents proved to hold some challenges. After agreeing on the session around the January timeframe, when OOS was still in Technical Preview, OOS got pulled a few weeks ago without notice. It was expected it would become Generally Available (GA) shortly after the release of SharePoint 2016, but that didn’t happen. To make matters more interesting, OOS was moved to Volume Licensing Service Center only, where its predecessor was freely available on the Microsoft download center. Currently, the status of OOS is that it is GA, and available on the VLSC site. The session and demo were based on the Technical Preview.

Back to the event, which was hosted by the always friendly and hospitable people from the Belgian E-Communications Community. At the office of Microsoft in Zaventem, Belgium, sessions were presented by 8 Microsoft MVP’s, Microsoft and sponsors, divided in 2 tracks: one Exchange-oriented track, and one track with Skype for Business related topics. Around a total of 60 people turned up in person for the event, and sessions were also  streamed live through Skype Meeting Broadcast. Excellent usage of available technology.

image
(picture by Michael van Horenbeeck)

After the opening keynote, Tony Redmond kicked off talking about Office 365 Groups, followed by fellow countryman Dave Stork talking about using Tools to deploy and manage Exchange. After the break, it was time for my session on Exchange 2016 and Office Online Server. Unfortunately, in the category 1st world problems, lack of an HDMI connector – required for presenting as well as streaming – on my laptop prevented me from doing the demo, and the remaining time was filled by a improvised Ask the Experts session on Exchange and Office 365, in which I was joined by the other Dutch MVP’s present. After that, Michael van Horenbeeck talked in his session about Advanced Identity & Authentication scenarios for Office 365. Jaap Wesselius closed the Exchange track with a session on the Do’s and Don’ts when using Exchange 2010 for Hybrid deployments.

The links above lead to the session recordings; a complete session overview including links to the recordings for the Skype for Business related sessions can be found here. My slidedeck – with caps of the demo – can be downloaded here. A page with links to all the slidedecks and recordings can be found here.

Exchange Updates – March 2016

Ex2013 LogoToday, the Exchange Team released one big wave of Exchange updates for Exchange 2016 down to Exchange 2007.

Changes in contained in these updates:

  • Exchange 2016 CU1 is an uncompressed ISO file. If bandwidth is scarce where you will be deploying, be sure to download this 6GB file upfront.
  • Mailbox Anchoring, introduced with the previous CU for Exchange 2013 and Exchange 2016, is reverted.
  • Exchange 2010 supports stand-alone Exchange 2010 Hybrid wizard.
  • All updates will introduce updated OWA/Ootw S/MIME control.

For a list of fixes in these updates, see below.

Exchange 2016 Cumulative Update 1 15.1.396.30 KB3134844 Download UML
Exchange 2013 Cumulative Update 12 15.0.178.4 KB3108023 Download UML
Exchange 2010 Service Pack 3 Rollup 13 14.3.294.0 KB3141339 Download
Exchange 2007 Service Pack 3 Rollup 19 8.3.459.0 KB3141352 Download

Exchange 2016 CU1 fixes:

  • KB 3139730 Edge Transport service crashes when you view the properties of a poison message in Exchange Server 2016
  • KB 3135689 A custom SAP ODI URI is removed by ActiveSync from an email message in an Exchange Server environment
  • KB 3135688 Preserves the web.config file for Outlook Web App when you apply a cumulative update in Exchange Server 2016
  • KB 3135601 Cyrillic characters are displayed as question marks when you run the “Export-PublicFolderStatistics.ps1” script in an Exchange Server 2016 environment
  • KB 3124242 Mailbox quota is not validated during migration to Exchange Server 2013 or Exchange Server 2016

Exchange 2013 CU12 fixes:

  • KB 3143710 “Failed Search or Export” error occurs when an eDiscovery search in the Exchange Admin Center finishes
  • KB 3138644 Messages are stuck in the Submission queue until NDRs are returned or the server is restarted
  • KB 3137585 OAuth authentication fails in a proxy scenario between Exchange Server 2013 hybrid on-premises and Office 365
  • KB 3137581 An eDiscovery search of all mailboxes or some Distribution Groups fails when you use the Exchange Administration Center
  • KB 3137390 “DeviceId cannot contain hyphens” warning occurs when you use the Exchange Management Shell or the Exchange Administration Center to remove the associations in Exchange Server
  • KB 3137384 Error occurs when you remove an ActiveSync device in the Exchange Management Shell or from the Exchange Administration Center
  • KB 3137383 CafeLocalProbe fails if the Health Mailbox UPN doesn’t match its Active Directory domain name
  • KB 3137380 Both read receipts and Non-read receipts are generated when an email is read through IMAP or POP in Exchange Server 2013
  • KB 3137377 MSExchange FrontEnd Transport service crashes when email messages are processed that contain a null “X-OriginatorOrg” message header
  • KB 3136694 Calendar items are not synced correctly when you use Exchange ActiveSync on a mobile device
  • KB 3136404 Searching by Furigana in Outlook’s address book is unsuccessful in an Exchange Server 2013 environment
  • KB 3135689 A custom SAP ODI URI is removed by ActiveSync from an email message in an Exchange Server environment
  • KB 3135334 Cannot set Title in Exchange Admin Center (ECP) if it contains more than 64 characters
  • KB 3135269 Event ID 4999 with MSExchangerepl.exe and MSExchangeDagMgmt.exe crash in Exchange Server 2013 environment
  • KB 3135018 Cannot remove devices when the DeviceType property includes a forward slash
  • KB 3134952 EdgeTransport.exe crashes when you view details of messages in the poison message queue
  • KB 3134918 An IRM-protected message sent to an external contact isn’t returned in a search or discovery results when journaling is implemented in an Exchange Server 2013 environment
  • KB 3134894 The “Search-Mailbox” cmdlet together with the “Attachment” property keyword lists all items that contain the query string of “attachment”
  • KB 3128706 HttpProxy overloads a downlevel Client Access Server in an Exchange Server 2013 co-existence environment
  • KB 3124248 Managed Availability responders fail because of invalid WindowsService names in an Exchange Server 2013 environment
  • KB 3124242 Mailbox quota is not validated during migration to Exchange Server 2013 or Exchange Server 2016
  • KB 3124064 Event ID 1009 is logged and no Health Manager alerts on failed content indexes during migration in Exchange Server 2013
  • KB 3118902 Resource Booking Assistant doesn’t update the subject of a recurring meeting in Exchange Server 2013
  • KB 3109539 Exchange Management Shell doesn’t return the correct number of Exchange Server 2013 Enterprise CALs license
  • KB 3108415 Logon for POP3 client disconnects randomly in an Exchange Server 2013 environment
  • KB 3106236 The “Export-PublicFolderStatistics.ps1” cmdlet exports Russian (Cyrillic) characters as question marks
  • KB 3098561 “Error executing child request for /owa/auth/errorFE.aspx” when you browse to /ECP in Exchange Server 2013

Notes:

  • Exchange 2016 CU1 includes schema changes, and Exchange 2013 CU12 may introduce RBAC changes in your environment. When applicable, make sure you run PrepareSchema /PrepareAD before deploying. To verify this step has been performed, consult the Exchange schema overview.
  • If you have deployed KB3097966 on your Exchange server running on Windows Server 2012 R2, you may want to manually recompile the .NET assemblies before upgrading Exchange to significantly speed up the process. To accomplish this, run the following on every Exchange server on Windows Server 2012 R2:
    “%windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319\ngen.exe update”
    Don’t get upset by the messy output and any error messages; if the result of this command shown in the output is ‘0’ you’re good to go.
  • Be advised .NET Framework 4.6.1 is still not supported; make sure you don’t install this .NET update on your Exchange servers.
  • The Windows Management Framework (WMF)/ PowerShell version 5 is not supported. Don’t install this on your Exchange servers.
  • When using Exchange hybrid deployments or Exchange Online Archiving (EOA), you are required to stay current.
  • 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.
  • Cumulative Updates can be installed directly, i.e. no need to install RTM prior to installing Cumulative Updates.
  • Once installed, you can’t uninstall a Cumulative Update nor any of the installed Exchange server roles.
  • The order of upgrading servers with Cumulative Updates is irrelevant.
  • Rollups are cumulative per service pack level, meaning you can apply the latest Rollup for Service Pack X to a Service Pack X installation.

Finally, as always 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 original article or TechNet forum for any issues.

 

Exchange Server Role Requirements Calculator 7.8

Exchange 2010 Mailbox Role Sizing Calculator 16.4The Exchange team today published an update for the Exchange 2013 Server Role Requirements Calculator as well. The new version number is 7.8. This version incorporates sizing for Exchange 2016 as well and includes support for ReFS (default for Exchange 2016). The version number is also dropped from the calculator.

More or less complementary to the calculator is the updated sizing guidance for Exchange 2016, which was also published today here. No big changes here, apart from multi-role only option and a slight increase in CPU requirements to cover for unforeseen circumstances as the team is still learning from real-world behavior. This makes sense, looking at the speed in which the calculator was released compared to the one for Exchange 2013. Kudos to the Exchange team!

New and enhanced functionality since version 7.6:

  • Added support for Exchange 2016
  • Included CPU utilization guidance changes for Exchange 2016
  • Diskpart.ps1 and CreateDAG.ps1 now support ReFS
  • Moved DataMoveReplicationConstraint setting from CreateMBDatabases.ps1 to CreateMBDatabaseCopies.ps1
  • Revised all of the Distribution dialog controls to load their defaults from variables rather than use hard-coded values
  • The DAG name from the Input tab now flows through as the default on the Export DAG dialog
  • Updated Distribution tab dialog controls to persist the global catalog value during a session
  • Added conditional formatting for ReplayLagTime and SafetyNetThreshold
  • Removed 2013 from the name of the calculator

Fixes since version 7.6:

  • Fixed inaccuracies with “Number of Exchange Data Volumes per Server” input
  • Fixed calcActDBPDCWorst formula to take into account non-HA deployments
  • Fixed multiple dbs / volume calculation to take into account ReplayLagManager
  • Fixed calcNumDBCopyInSDC formula to take into account proper number of lagged copies
  • Fixed MaxPreferredActive not being displayed for A/A (Single DAG) site resilient solutions
  • Fixed an issue with Fail* buttons on Distribution tab when using some regional settings
  • Fixed an issue with volume path persistence on the Distribution tab Mount Points dialog

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

Exchange 2016 and IM Integration

Ex2013 LogoThose configuring IM integration for OWA and Lync or Skype for Business know the drill of editing the web.config files on your Exchange servers and configuring the certificate thumbprint and Lync/SfB pool? That especially became a nuisance as after each Cumulative Update those settings needed to be reconfigured, for which I wrote a Configure-IMIntegration script.

The Exchange team has obviously listened to feedback from customers and made this setting persistent in Exchange 2016. No longer is it required to dive in those web.config files after installing each CU. Instead, you now configure these settings using the Set-Override cmdlet, which will store the setting in Active Directory.

For example:

New-SettingOverride -Name '<Description>' -Server <Server/Wildcard> -Component OwaServer -Section IMSettings -Parameters @("IMServerName=<Server/Pool FQDN>","IMCertificateThumbprint=<Certificate Thumbprint>") -Reason "<Reason>" -MinVersion "<Minimum Version To Apply To>" -MaxVersion "Maximum Version to Apply To"
Get-ExchangeDiagnosticInfo -Process Microsoft.Exchange.Directory.TopologyService -Component VariantConfiguration -Argument Refresh

For example, to configure the override for all servers with a name starting with EX16, configuring lync.contoso.com as pool FQDN and a specific thumbprint, only for Exchange builds starting at 15.1.225.42 (Exchange 2016 RTM), you could use:

New-SettingOverride -Name 'IM Integration' -Server EX16* -Component OwaServer -Section IMSettings -Parameters @("IMServerName=lync.contoso.com","IMCertificateThumbprint=12345678123412341234567812345678123126789") -Reason "Configure IM" -MinVersion "15.01.0225.42"
Get-ExchangeDiagnosticInfo -Process Microsoft.Exchange.Directory.TopologyService -Component VariantConfiguration -Argument Refresh

Finally, restart the OWA App pool to have OWA reread the new settings:

Restart-WebAppPool MSExchangeOWAApppool

Exchange 2016 goes RTM!

Ex2013 LogoUpdate (4nov2015): You can block creating mixed DAGs using Cmdlet Extension Agents, I blogged about that here.

Today, the Exchange Team reached a milestone for the On-Premises by releasing Exchange Server 2016. The official announcement contains information on new features and enhancements.The version number of Exchange 2016 RTM is 15.1.225.42. After extending it, the schema version should report 15317, and the forest and domain versions after preparing Active Directory should read 16210 and 13236, respectively.

Much of what’s new or requirements for coexistence scenarios were already announced during the release of the Exchange 2016 Preview, a little over 2 months ago. I did a write-up on that here. However, some features didn’t make it for the RTM release. For example, the feature that makes Search Indexer use Passive Database Copies for indexing, instead of copying indexes from the active copy, is to be expected in a later Cumulative Update. Also, the auto-expanding Archive feature, available in the Preview, has not made it in the RTM version.

Also make sure you read the Release Notes, which contain important information on potential issues. For example, Exchange 2016 does not prevent you from adding Exchange 2013 Mailbox servers to an Exchange 2016 Database Availability Group, or vice-versa. This ability is also not blocked by the Exchange Admin Center console. This is totally unsupported (the database structure is different), but more importantly also puts your data at risk. Just don’t.

Some links to get you started:

The first Cumulative Updated is to be expected in Q1’16.

Accompanying the launch, Microsoft also published a number of videos highlighting certain aspects or features. One of them is the ever charming Greg Taylor talking about Exchange Server 2016 – Performance, architecture and compliance updates:

Other videos from the Exchange Team and Office Garage: