Tag Archives: #iammec

010 GEEKS WITH A BLOG PODCAST – Apple Updates and Microsoft Ignite. #MSEXCHANGE #IAMMEC #PODCAST #TECH

Join us for a discussion around the new Apple updates, Microsoft Ignite and new Exchange news!

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Show notes:

  1. Apple Product Updates – 1:31 – http://www.theverge.com/2014/10/16/6989443/apple-ipad-mac-event-8-most-important-things
  2. Ignite – 14:50 – http://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2014/10/16/introducing-microsoft-ignite-lineup-top-conferences-2015/
  3. Microsoft Shuts down Public folders – 17:17 – http://m.windowsitpro.com/blog/microsoft-turns-last-public-folder-their-internal-exchange-deployment
  4. Surface Pro 3 firmware update for pen – 31:58 – http://winsupersite.com/surface/surface-pro-3-gains-pen-improvements-latest-firmware-update
  5. Evolving EOP – 34:14 – http://blogs.office.com/2014/10/15/evolving-exchange-online-protection-eop-protect-tomorrows-threats/
  6. Russian Time Zone Update – 36:10 – http://support2.microsoft.com/kb/3004235
  7. New JetStress Release – 37:45 – http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36849
  8. Windows 10  and 1 million downloads – 38:45 – http://adinermie.wordpress.com/2014/10/01/windows-server-technical-preview-newremoved-windows-server-roles-and-features/

009 GEEKS WITH A BLOG PODCAST – Shell Shock, Windows 10 & iPhone 6. #MSEXCHANGE #IAMMEC #PODCAST #TECH

Join us for a discussion around the new Shell Shock vulnerability, Windows 10 preview, iPhone 6, iOS8, Exchange CU6 release and more!

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Show notes:

  1. Shell Shock – 2:58 – http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/25/what-is-the-shellshock/?ncid=rss_truncated
  2. BendGate – 10:30 – http://www.forbes.com/sites/jvchamary/2014/09/30/iphone-6-bendgate-science/
  3. iPhone 6 and Apple Pay – 17:26 – http://www.valuewalk.com/2014/09/apple-inc-iphone-6-smugglers-china/
  4. Windows 10 – 22:03 – http://blogs.windows.com/bloggingwindows/2014/09/30/announcing-windows-10/
  5. Microsoft Exchange 2013 CU6 Released! – 28:21 – http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2014/08/26/released-cumulative-update-6-for-exchange-server-2013.aspx
  6. Problems with Microsoft Exchange 2013 CU6 – 30:58 –
    1. http://support2.microsoft.com/kb/2997355/en-us
    2. KB:2997209 – Exchange Server 2013 databases unexpectedly fail over in a co-existence environment with Exchange Server 2007
    3. KB:2997847 – You cannot route ActiveSync traffic to Exchange 2007 mailboxes after you upgrade to Exchange 2013 CU6
    4. http://exchangeserverpro.com/unable-move-mailboxes-exchange-server-2013-database-excluded-provisioning/
  7. Registry Entry to Control MAPI over HTTP – 35:53 – https://support2.microsoft.com/kb/2937684?wa=wsignin1.0
  8. Block AutoDiscover – 36:48 – http://blogs.technet.com/b/mspfe/archive/2013/05/01/so-you-want-to-block-exchange-2010-autodiscover-why-would-anyone-do-that.aspx
  9. Microsoft Round 2 of layoffs  – 40:37 – http://windowsitpro.com/blog/microsoft-layoffs-impact-exchange-technical-writers-where-now-documentation
  10. iOS 8 Issues – 45:21

008 GEEKS WITH A BLOG PODCAST – TechEd (and MEC) are Already Missed. #MSEXCHANGE #IAMMEC #PODCAST #TECH #SURFACE3

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Show notes:

  1. Surface Pro 3 – Weeks later – 2:35
  2. Phone 8.1 Update 1 released for developer preview –  7:45 –  http://www.wpcentral.com/windows-phone-81-update-1-rolling-out-developer-preview-users
  3. What Happened to TechEd? – 10:15 –  http://blogs.office.com/2014/07/21/microsofts-unified-technology-event-for-enterprises/
  4. OneNote Update – 19:45 –  http://www.geekwire.com/2014/microsoft-launches-onenote-amazons-tablets-phone/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+geekwire+%28GeekWire%29
  5. NFL and the Surface  –  22:20 –  http://www.sfgate.com/technology/article/NFL-players-to-use-tablet-computers-during-games-5665371.php
  6. Secure Exchange – 31:50 –  http://searchexchange.techtarget.com/feature/Five-steps-to-a-more-secure-Exchange-2013
  7. Managing Mailbox Quotas – 35:45 –  http://blogs.dirteam.com/blogs/davestork/archive/2014/08/01/managing-mailbox-quotas-how-i-do-it.aspx
  8. Gather Transaction Logs Easy – 40:30 – http://www.ntexcellence.com/2014/07/how-to-gather-exchange-20102013.html
  9. Active Directory and Azure  – 43:10 –  http://blogs.technet.com/b/ad/archive/2014/08/04/connecting-ad-and-azure-ad-only-4-clicks-with-azure-ad-connect.aspx
  10. Exchange 2013 Hybrid Deployment Updates – 44:40 – http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2014/07/30/important-update-available-for-exchange-server-2013-hybrid-deployments.aspx
  11. PAM and Cluster Core Resources – 46:05 – http://blogs.technet.com/b/timmcmic/archive/2014/08/04/exchange-2010-2013-pam-and-the-cluster-core-resources.aspx

007 GEEKS WITH A BLOG PODCAST – Skinny Jeans, Pink Shirt and a Tool Belt. #MSEXCHANGE #IAMMEC #PODCAST #TECH #SURFACE3

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Show notes:

  1. Microsoft’s Effort’s to Refocus – 2:17
  2. Does the Apple and IBM Deal Matter? – 7:15
  3. Microsoft, Nokia and Android – 23:24
  4. Microsoft Surface 3 July Updates – 27:38
  5. Microsoft Provides Password Tips– 33:30 –
  6. Microsoft Learning Takes on Exchange 2013 SP1 Exam Updates – 39:45 –   http://www.expta.com/2014/07/an-open-letter-to-microsoft-learning.html
  7. Microsoft Top support Solutions – 48:35 – http://blogs.technet.com/b/topsupportsolutions/
  8. Microsoft Increases Public Folder Limits – 51:33
  9. Exchange Server Mailbox Statistics Report Tool – 55:17 – http://exchangequery.com/2014/04/14/exchange-server-mailbox-statistics-report-tool
  10. Clearing Autocomplete Cache – 58:53 – http://eightwone.com/2014/07/17/clearing-autocomplete-and-other-recipient-caches/

How To: Exchange 2013 SP1 and MAPI over HTTP

The list of features available with Exchange 2013 SP1 when combined with Outlook 2013 SP1 is certainly compelling. This specific combination, in particular, introduces a new client connection mechanism using Messaging Application Programming Interface (MAPI) over HTTP. Why the change in the client connection method? The reliability of the existing RPC over HTTP connection method between the Client Access server and Outlook client became problematic within certain network environments. The complexities of load balanced VIP’s along with connected Outlook clients changing networks (LAN to WLAN) proved to tax the performance of the legacy RPC Proxy found within IIS. Enter MAPI over HTTP! This connection method will allow Outlook to dump the aging RPC protocol in favor of an HTTP-based protocol. There are two clear benefits to using the MAPI over HTTP protocol. First, performance gains will be recognized because only TCP connections need to be reestablished after network hiccups not the full range of RPC connections. This allows Outlook clients to recover quickly and reconnect to the users mailbox when changing WLAN networks, connecting to a wireless hotspot (MiFi), or resuming a laptop from a hibernated state. Secondly, MAPI over HTTP allows Exchange to own the user session data and is not solely dependent on the current session (like RPC).

Autodiscover

To provide backwards compatibility, Exchange 2013 SP1 servers are able to respond to AutoDiscover requests for MAPI over HTTP or RPC over HTTP requests.

The method by which MAPI over HTTP clients actually receive Exchange URL’s does not change. Outlook clients will have to inform Exchange though of the connection protocols that they can support. Configured MAPI over HTTP clients will send Exchange an AutoDiscover request using a specific x-header (x-MapiHttpCapability). An Exchange 2013 SP1 server will then validate AutoDiscover requests that include an x-MapiHttpCapability header. This is to ensure that the header value is greater than zero and that the server itself supports the mapiHttp protocol. If this works and the x-MapiHttpCapability headers are valid, the server provides the MAPI over HTTP URL’s. If this does not work then Exchange will present the RPC over HTTP URL’s. Backwards compatibility makes life easy!

Caveats

As with most new software features there are significant caveats and a supported configuration that must be met in order to utilize MAPI over HTTP.

  1. First, your Client Access and Mailbox environment must be running Exchange 2013 SP1 with .NET Framework 4.5.1.
  2. Secondly, your mail clients need to be running Outlook 2013 SP1.
  3. Next, you need to ensure that the performance of your Client Access Servers is in line with the new sizing guidance from the product group. The CPU requirements for Client Access Servers configured to support MAPI over HTTP has increased by 50% over traditional RPC over HTTP sizing guidance.
  4. Lastly, MAPI over HTTP clients’ can/will have connectivity issues to public folders that reside on legacy Exchange servers (2007/2010). MAPI over HTTP configured clients’ will need to access 2013 modern public folders. If you are not using legacy public folders this does not apply to you (lucky!).

How to Configure MAPI over HTTP

 Let’s first verify what the standard Outlook 2013 SP1 connection status looks like. In the screenshot below you will see a standard RPC over HTTP connection. Notice the protocol column is showing RPC/HTTP.

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 9.11.29 AM

Next we need to take a look at what our InternalUrl is set to on our Client Access Servers.

Get-MapiVirtualDirectory | ft server,internalurl

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 10.28.54 AM

Since the InternalUrl is set to a FQDN that is not on our certificate, we need to change the InternalUrl to https://mail.contoso.local/mapi.

Set-MapiVirtualDirectory -Identity “srv3\mapi (Default Web Site)” -InternalUrl https://mail.contoso.local/mapi -IISAuthenticationMethods Negotiate

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 10.30.53 AM

Alternatively you can set the InternalUrl on all servers this way:

Get-MapiVirtualDirectory | Set-MapiVirtualDirectory -InternalUrl https://mail.contoso.local/mapi

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 10.31.13 AM

Next, we need to enable MAPI over HTTP at the organization level. First lets verify that MAPI over HTTP is not enabled.

Get-OrganizationConfig | FL *mapi*

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 10.34.05 AM

We see that MapiHttpEnabled is set to false within our organization.

In order to enable MAPI over HTTP we issue the following command.

Set-OrganizationConfig -MapiHttpEnabled $true

After setting this parameter we can then verify the change.

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 10.39.18 AM

After several minutes any user connected with Outlook 2013 SP1 will receive a prompt that Outlook will need to be restarted. A fix to suppress this client-side alert is in the mix for an upcoming CU release this summer.

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 11.54.20 AM

After restarting Outlook 2013 SP1 you will see a standard MAPI over HTTP connection. Notice the protocol column is showing HTTP.

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 12.15.12 PM

Additionally, the AutoDiscover log for this Outlook session generated by Test E-mail AutoConfiguration will display the new MAPI over HTTP Autodiscover provider listed.

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 12.17.47 PM

Administration and Troubleshooting

It is noteworthy that Microsoft has provided several different methods to troubleshoot MAPI over HTTP.

First, a URL has been provided that displays basic connectivity diagnostics. The page displays the Client Access and Mailbox server that we have connected to, Exchange version, and vdir path. This page can be accessed using the following URL.

https://mail.contoso.local/mapi/emsmdb

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 10.50.35 AM

Secondly, we have three different log locations that can be reviewed. The MAPI over HTTP logs can be found here:

%ExchangeInstallPath%Logging\MAPI Address Book Service\

%ExchangeInstallPath%Logging\MAPI Client Access\

%ExchangeInstallPath%Logging\HttpProxy\Mapi\

Lastly, we can use the Test-OutlookConnectivity cmdlet to verify that MAPI over HTTP is working on our server SRV3 by way of the Microsoft Exchange Health Manager service.

Test-OutlookConnectivity -RunFromServerId srv3 -ProbeIdentity OutlookMapiHttpSelfTestProbe

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 11.29.11 AM 

Conclusion

The addition of an HTTP-based protocol for the myriads of mobile Outlook users will be a welcome change! The layers between the end user and the Exchange server has been simplified, thus providing the ability for users to switch from a work WLAN to their personal hotspot (and back again!) with minimal disruption to the Outlook session. Deploying MAPI over HTTP within a large enterprise will definitely be challenging given the significant caveats and supported configurations that must be met. I’m sure over time the enterprises’ that have already invested in Exchange 2013 will address these caveats and reap the rewards of MAPI over HTTP.

Simplicity is magical when it works!

005 Geeks With A Blog Podcast – TechEd Preview with Paul Robichaux. #MSExchange #iammec #podcast #tech

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Show notes:

TechEd sessions presented by Paul Robichaux – 2.10

Thoughts on premium clients released for non-Microsoft platforms – 5.50

Is Lync on-premise following in the footsteps of Exchange? – 10.00

How will Lync Online get around the lack of enterprise voice? – 14.34

Market opportunities and Regulatory concerns with Enterprise Voice – 17.18

The process and challenges of writing Exchange 2013 Inside Out: Clients, Connectivity, and UM – 19.38

Discussion of the Microsoft Exchange Preferred Architecture blog post – 30.56

Managed Availability Discussion – 43.54

What is the future of Exchange – 50.48

Paul’s upcoming sessions – 59.18

Did You Know: MAPI over HTTP and .NET: #MSExchange #iammec

Do all the great additions of Exchange 2013 SP1 have you thinking about turning on MAPI over HTTP? If so, are you running .NET Framework 4.5.1? The release notes for this framework mention that performance and reliability improvements are provided. New performance features such as ASP.NET app suspension and multi-core JIT improvements are now available; for instance, ASP.NET app suspension allows IIS 8.5 and Windows 2012 R2 to suspend sites based on request timeout values, thus freeing up CPU and memory on the server. When a suspended site is requested, the site is then loaded up into memory allowing for accelerated performance.

The Exchange Team echoes the performance improvements of .NET Framework 4.5.1 for 2013 SP1 customers in their latest blog post. Specifically, if MAPI over HTTP is going to be used within your messaging environment, then it is “critical” to install .NET Framework 4.5.1. The reason stated in this blog post is that the framework contains “important fixes that impact both performance and scalability of MAPI over HTTP at the CAS layer.”

 

Remember the Migration!

Now that Exchange 2013 SP1 (15.00.0847.032) has been released, those that work as consultants will start to see a spike in billable hours. The reason being is that our enterprise customers will now seek to begin migration projects. While the validity of that best practice has fallen by the wayside many years ago, I still experience many customers standing their ground about not executing a large-scale migration project until SP1 of the product has been released. Certain habits are difficult to break no matter how hard we challenge that line of reasoning during the pre sales process. Just to highlight the diligence around patching a messaging infrastructure, I’m sure all those that have installed 2013 SP1 have also installed the required post SP1 fixes.

Humor aside, this is a good time to review several salient reminders that were pointed out during the Microsoft Exchange Conference concerning mailbox migrations to 2013.

  • Exchange 2013 has changed the methodology in which a user’s actual mailbox size is reported. Now, a more precise calculation is used which reports back all properties of a user’s mailbox and not a partial set of properties like in the legacy versions. According to Microsoft, the net effect of this change is that legacy Exchange users that are migrated into 2013 will see the “reported” size of their mailbox increase around 30%. It is important to note that the physical size on disk has not increased; rather the logical reporting size of the mailbox has increased. This means that legacy users close to their quota (~75%) will require additional attention prior to migration. Users that are close to their quota within the legacy environment and then are moved to 2013 most likely will exceed their enforced quota. An unanticipated effect may be that the user cannot send or receive new mail after migration. This is of course dependent on what the configured quota restrictions in place are. A simple fix is to increase the quotas by 30% at the database level (or mailbox) on the legacy Exchange system prior to migration. Remember to check the following limits on your legacy Exchange databases: Issue warning at (GB), Prohibit send at (GB), and Prohibit send and receive at (GB). You can verify your configured database limits prior to migration by using the following PowerShell command: Get-MailboxDatabase <database name> | fl *quota*.
  • During migration projects for larger enterprise customers, any production impacting changes will need to be coordinated through a change review board. These changes are then approved through a committee vote and scheduled for a precise start and end time. During an approved change, a conference bridge is setup (with a cast of thousands) where you will need to announce when you are making a change, when the change is completed, and when the change has been tested. Don’t be the consultant that requests the DNS team to make a change to an A record for a namespace cutover only to realize the TTL is set to 86400 seconds (24 hours) while on the bridge. I guarantee that you will never forget that mistake. As part of your steps during a namespace cutover, make sure to verify and document the TTL of all relevant DNS records. If the TTL is set to a longer than desired time, then change the TTL of these DNS records 24 hours prior to the actual scheduled namespace cutover.
  • It is important to review how the Offline Address Book (OAB) within your legacy Exchange environment is configured. Many mailbox databases have a setting of $null for their default OAB. This configuration simply means that the default OAB is used. However, when the first Exchange 2013 Mailbox server is introduced into the environment a new ‘default’ OAB is created. This means the Exchange 2013 will now be responsible for generating and distributing the OAB. This becomes problematic if your environment has a large OAB (some are 100 MB+) with thousands of Outlook clients distributed over many types of networks with varying degrees of available bandwidth. Yes – think about how popular you will be with the network team on Monday morning when 10,000 users open up Outlook and initiate a full OAB download at the same time. Brutal. The easy work around is to configure all legacy Exchange databases with the legacy OAB prior to install Exchange 2013. The following PowerShell command can help: Set-MailboxDatabase –Identity <database name> -OfflineAddressBook “<default OAB Name>.” For a more detailed explanation of this situation read the article written by fellow Microsoft Certified Master (and MVP) Andrew Higginbotham.
  • The timing of when to swing the SMTP endpoint from the legacy Exchange infrastructure to 2013 is often discussed. The best practice for larger migrations is to make this change once 50% of users have been move to 2013.
  • Some scenarios can benefit from installing newly built Exchange 2013 servers into an empty Active Directory Site. This will allow you to configure the 2013 environment fully, while providing a logical separation from internal domain joined clients AutoDiscover SCP requests. The 2013 servers can be moved to the production Active Directory site once you have completed all necessary configuration steps.
  • Don’t forget all the great tools that Microsoft provides us with to help with migrations! We have the:

Hopefully, some of these reminders can help you to avoid being the consultant that has to request an emergency extension to a change control window because you forgot something!

Now where is my Exchange 2013 post SP1 project plan…