Author: chinthakaru

Covering How to Backup Exchange 2007 Databases using Exchange 2007 SP2 New VSS plug-in

Introduction

There are many frustrated admins regarding backing up exchange 2007 on windows 2008 with windows server backup.Microsoft has been released VSS plug-in with exchange server 2007 SP2 as a solution for this problem.I will show you how to backup and restore to Original location and alternative location using VSS-plug-in in this multi part article. In the first article contain how to backup and restore to original location.

My lab contains 3 storage groups and those storage groups located in three disk sets. Please see below screens.

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Storage Groups and Databases.

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Volume List

Backing Up Exchange 2007 SP2 on Windows 2008 SP2

 

Installing Windows 2008 Backup Components

First you need to install Windows 2008 backup feature on Exchange 2007 SP2 installed server. You can use “ServerManagerCMD” or Server Manager MMC snap. It’s shown in figure1.

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Figure1: Installing Backup features.

In next windows click Install and then click close to exit from the setup window.

Now Windows 2008 Backup feature has been installed and lets run it by Start > Administrative tools and selecting “Windows Server Backup” as shown in Figure 2.

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Figure 2: Windows Server Backup

Select backup “Backup Once” in the Action Pane as shown in figure 3.and figure 4.

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Figure 3

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Figure 4: Selecting “Backup Once” in the Windows Server Backup Console

Then appears the “Backup Option” window, Click Next.Select Different options.See figure 5.

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Figure 5: Backup Option

Then appears the “Select Backup Configuration” window. Select Custom because we don’t need to backup full system of the server as shown in figure 6.

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Figure 6: Selecting Custom and click next

Now appears “Select backup items” window. Clear the “Enable system recovery” check box and select Volumes you want to backup. Then click Next as shown in figure 7.

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Figure 7:Selecting Volumes

Now appears “Specify destination type” window. In here you can select either “Local drivers” or “Remote Shared Folder”. In this article I’ll use the local drivers. See figure 8.

select Dest

Figure 8:Specify destination type

Now appears “Select backup destination” window. Also You can see other information such as backup size, free space on the storage etc.Select different volume where not installed exchange databases As shown in figure 9.

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Figure 9:Select backup destination

Now appears “Specify Advance option” window. Select VSS full backup option because it will truncate the logs after backup. If you chose VSS copy backup logs will not truncated. See figure 10.

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Figure 10: Selecting Advance option

Now appears “Confirmation” page. On confirmation page can see summary of the backup job. Click on the Backup button in order to begin backup. See figure 11.

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Figure 11: Confirmation Page

Now appears “Backup Progress” window. In this windows can see running consistency check for databases and creating a shadow copy of volumes. See figure 12 and figure 13.

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Figure 12: creating a shadow copy of volumes

After consistency check has been completed backup operation will begin on each volume.see figure 13.

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Figure 13: Backup in Progress.

After backup finished click on the Close button to exit as shown figure 14.

 

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Figure14: Backup Completed

Now you can check the backed up files on the storage. You will notice all backup files saved as VHD file and associated with XML files. See figure 15.

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Figure 15: Backup files saved as VHD files.

Check log files location to verify whether logs are truncated or not. In this article Logs are truncated successfully. See figure 16.

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Figure 16: Logs has truncated in SG01.

Now you must check last full backup date on the MDB01 database. See figure 17.

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Figure 17: Last full backup date.

 

Restore Databases to Original Location 

In the first part of this article we has discussed how to backup Exchange 2007 Sp2 on windows server 2008 using new VSS plug-in.now is time to consider how to restore the backup took using Windows server backup feature.

There are two options available to restore backup to exchange server. One is restore backup to original location and thereby overwrite the original database. Other option is restore database to alternative location.

Click Recover in the Action pane as shown in figure 18 and 19.

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Figure 18

19

Figure 19

Then appears “Recover Wizard”. Please make sure to select “This server (Server Name")” and click next as show in figure 20

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Figure 20:Selecting Server

Then appears “Select backup Date” screen. Select date you want to restore the data of exchange server. See figure 21

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Figure 21: Selecting backup date

Then appears “Select Recovery Type” window. Select application as shown in figure 22.

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Figure 22: Selecting Recovery Type

Then appears “Select Application” Window. Select Exchange as shown in figure 23.

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Figure 23:select application

Click details button, then we can see storage groups that we have backed up. See figure 24

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Figure 24: Details of Storage groups associate with this snapshot.

Click ok and click next.

Then appears “Specify recovery options” Window. Select “Recover to original location”. See figure 25.

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Figure 25:Recovery Options

Then appears the “Confirmation” page. Click “Recover” to begin recovery process. See figure 26.

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Figure 26: Recovery Confirmation page.

Then appears the “Recovery Progress” window. See figure 27.

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Figure 27: Recovery Progress window.

After finish recovery operation you can click on the Close button. See figure 27.

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Figure 27: Done the Restore operation successfully.

See restored database location. You will be see transaction logs restored. See figure 29.

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Figure 29:Log files

In this article we covered how to backup and restore to original location using Exchange 2007 SP2 VSS plug-in feature. In the next article I’ll suppose to show you how to restore backup to alternative location.

Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 SP2 has been Released

Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 2 (SP2) has been designed specifically to help meet the challenges of any business and the needs of all the different groups with a stake in the messaging system. Exchange Server 2007 SP2 is a mission-critical communications tool that enables employees to be more productive and access their information anywhere and anytime while providing a messaging system that enables rich, efficient access to e-mail, calendar items, voice mail, and contacts. For the administrator, Exchange Server 2007 SP2 provides advanced protection options against e-mail security threats, such as spam and viruses, as well as the tools to help manage internal compliance and high availability needs.

Resources

Download Exchange 2007 SP2

What’s New in Exchange Server 2007 SP2

System Requirements

Release Notes

Configuring and Managing Mailbox Database in Exchange server 2010-Part 1

On 18th of August Exchange 2010 RC released by Microsoft after releasing the Exchange 2010 beta 1 four months ago. I thought now’s the time to write a couple of articles regarding Exchange 2010 Mailbox management.

  • Create a new Mailbox Database-Using EMC

  1. In the Exchange management Console navigate to Organization Configuration > Mailbox. There you can see the difference with Exchange 2007. In Exchange 2010 you must create a Mailbox database in the Organization Configuration section.
  2. In the action pane, click New Mailbox Database.

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3. Then you can see the Introduction page. Then you must add a name for the database. You can type maximum 64 characters and must exclude : =\ / ” , ;. characters.

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4. Then Select Server name on which server you want to create the database. In my lab I selected E14-Srv01.

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5. Click next. Then appears the set paths screen to set database path and log file path. I don’t have many partitions on the test server but technically you must place the database and log files in different disks sets.

Set database path and log files path. Then select Mount the database checkbox to mount database automatically after creation.

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 6. Click New to start procedure.

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7. Then you can see powershell cmdlet EMC used to create mailbox database same as Exchange 2007. Also you will see whether database has been created successfully or has failed.

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8. Click finish to complete Mailbox database creation task.then new database appears on the Database Management tab.

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 9. Click Finish to complete Mailbox database creation task. Then new database appears on the Database Management tab.

  • Mount and Dismount the Database-Using EMC 

1. In the Exchange Management Console navigate to Organization Configuration > Mailbox

2. In the result pane select apocopate Database (In this article select members Database).then select Dismount database or Mount Database on action pane.

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  • Remove Mailbox Database-Using EMC

1. In the Exchange management Console navigate to Organization Configuration > Mailbox

2. In the result pane select apocopate Database (In this article select members Database).then click Remove on Action pane.

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3. In the appearing confirmation dialog box Click Yes

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 4. Then appears a completion message box. Click Ok. You must remove database files manually after clicking yes.

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  • Configure maintenance schedule for a database-Using EMC 

Exchange 2010 doesn’t do anymore online defrag and uses background checksumming .

1. In the Exchange management Console navigate to Organization Configuration > Mailbox

2. On the result pane select appropriate mailbox Database. Then click properties on the action pane.

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3. Then appears the screen of appropriate Mailbox Database. click maintenance tab.

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4. Then you can see maintenance schedule list under maintenance schedule. Use customize button to set the custom maintenance schedule.

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5. Click Ok to save your changes.

I will show you how to do some basic tasks on Exchange mailbox database and configuring database parameters in next articles.

Exchange 2010 RC has been released

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 RC helps you achieve new levels of reliability and performance by delivering features that simplify your administration, protect your communications, and delight your users by meeting their demands for greater business mobility. And when you download the latest software, you’re automatically registered to access valuable product resources assembled in one convenient location.

Please review the Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 system requirements before you proceed. Actual requirements and product functionality may vary based on your system configuration.

Resource

Download now

 Virtual Hard Drive

Online Trial

Configuring and managing the Pickup Directory-Part 2

In this article i suppose bring down how to configure pickup directory. Ok lets began.

By default pickup directory exits on every exchange 2007 computer that has installed Edge transport and hub transport installed. You cannot configure Pickup directory using Exchange management console and you have to use Exchange management shell.

Permissions you need to configure Pickup Directory

Configuring pickup Directory the account must have delegated the fallowing

  • Exchange Server Administrator role and local Administrators group for the target server 

Note: – if you performing this procedure in edge transport server role, account must have a member of Local administrators group.

Configuring Pickup directory location 

By default pickup directory located at C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\TransportRoles\Pickup. the Directory must be a local to the exchange 2007 computer.

Also pickup directory must have fallowing permissions.

· Administrator: Full Control

· System: Full Control

· Network Service: Read, Write, and Delete Subfolders and Files 

You can use below command to change location of pickup directory.

Set-TransportServer <Identity> -PickupDirectoryPath <LocalFilePath>

In my case I want to change my Pickup directory location to C:\Pickup from default location. So i run below command on EMS.

Set-TransportServer Exchange01 -PickupDirectoryPath "C:\Pickup”

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  Now we can check location of pickup directory, Run fallowing command in EMS.

Get-TransportServer -Identity "E2k7-srv01" | Fl *PickupDirectoryPath*

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Configuring maximum size for message headers that are accepted by pickup directory. 

By default maximum size of message header is 64 KB. Messages that contain headers that are larger than the specified maximum value are rejected by the Exchange 2007 server. Keep in mind when you add to value to maximum size use fallowing Units.

  • B (bytes)
  • KB (kilobytes)
  • MB (megabytes)
  • GB (gigabytes)

To configure maximum message header of pickup directory run fallowing command in EMS.

Set-TransportServer <Identity> -PickupDirectoryMaxHeaderSize <HeaderSize>

In here I configure it to 100 Kb. I run fallowing command in EMS.

Set-TransportServer E2k7-srv01 -PickupDirectoryMaxHeaderSize 100KB

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Now we can check maximum size message of message header, Run fallowing command in EMS.

 Get-TransportServer -Identity "E2k7-srv01" | Fl *PickupDirectoryMaxHeaderSize*

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 Configuring the Maximum Number of Recipients for Messages That Are Accepted by the Pickup Directory

By default, the maximum number of recipients in a message that can be processed by the Pickup directory is 100. Messages that contain more recipients than the specified maximum value are rejected by the Exchange 2007 server.

You can add values 1 to 10000 for Maximum Number of Recipients for Messages.

Run the following command to set maximum number of recipients for messages.

Set-TransportServer <Identity> -PickupDirectoryMaxRecipientsPerMessage <NumberOfRecipients>

For example configure it to 200 recipients for messages.

Set-TransportServer E2k7-srv01 -PickupDirectoryMaxRecipientsPerMessage 200

Now we can check Maximum Number of Recipients for Messages, Run fallowing command in EMS.

Get-TransportServer -Identity "E2k7-srv01" | Fl *PickupDirectoryMaxRecipientsPerMessage

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Configuring the Maximum Rate of Message Processing for the Pickup Directory

By default, the Pickup directory can process messages at a rate of 100 messages per minute. Limiting the rate of message processing helps prevent performance issues that are caused by processing lots of messages in the Pickup directory.

Run fallowing command in EMS.

Set-TransportServer <Identity> -PickupDirectoryMaxMessagesPerMinute <MessagesPerMinute>

For example, to set the maximum rate of message processing by the Pickup directory to 200 messages per minute on an Exchange 2007 computer named E2k7-srv01, run the following command:

Set-TransportServer E2k7-srv01 -PickupDirectoryMaxMessagesPerMinute 200

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  Now we can check Maximum Rate of Message, Run fallowing command in EMS.

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The valid input parameter is 1 to 20000 for PickupDirectoryMaxMessagesPerMinute.Pickup directory scan pickup directory once every 5 second or 12 times per minute for new messages. That interval you cannot configure.

The rate of message processing for both the Pickup directory and Replay directory is specified by the PickupDirectoryMaxMessagesPerMinute parameter.

For more information about Set-TransportServer, fallow this TechNet article

 

Set-TransportServer

Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 has been Released

Windows 7 Remote Server Administration Tools offer to administrators to manage roles and features that are running on Windows 2008 R2 or some features on windows 2008 from a remote computer that is running on Windows 7. It supports for remote management of computers either windows 2008 R2 server core or full installation. This feature comparable windows 2003 administration tools pack or Windows Vista Sp1’s Remote Server Administration Tools.

For more information please click hear

Forefront Server Security and Antigen documentation updated on TechNet

Microsoft Forefront team has been released new August 2009 documentation update for Forefront server Security and Antigen.They have added below mention information on TechNet.

  1. Antigen antispam functionality. The Cloudmark antispam engine was introduced in Antigen Version 9 with Service Pack 2. (See the “Antigen Spam Manager” chapters in the Antigen User Guides, and the “New Features” section in the Antigen Release Notes.)
  2. Scan engine provisioning. (See the file scanner updating chapters in the Forefront Security for Exchange Server (FSE) User Guide, Forefront Security for SharePoint (FSSP) User Guide, Antigen User Guides (Exchange and SMTP Gateways). Also see the “New Features” section in Release Notes.)
  3. Added information about a known issue when upgrading to FSE/FSSP/Antigen service packs. (See the “Important Notes” section in Release Notes.)
  4. Updated steps for applying Exchange and FSE/Antigen service packs or rollups. (See the installation chapter in the User Guides.)
  5. Added details about how to specify queries in a keyword filter list. (See the keyword filter chapter in the User Guides.)
  6. Made several updates to the Forefront Server Security Management Console User Guide, including information about                     
  7.              6.1. System requirements

                 6.2. Templates

                 6.3. Managing servers across forests or domains

                 6.4. Using the FSSMC diagnostic utility

                 6.5. How the “Enable” settings affect different products

  8. Updated Hyper-V virtual documentation for FSE and FSSP based on feedback. (See the installation chapter in the FSE and FSSP User Guides.)
  9. Added information about the FSSP bypass feature. (See the Realtime Scan Job chapter in the FSSP User Guide.)
  10. Set expectations for what CSS can provide for customers using clustering with third-party vendors. (See the FSE and Antigen Cluster Installation Guides.)
  11. Added steps for increasing scanning processes for the FSE realtime and transport scans. Clarified and synced definitions for “process counts” across documentation sets. (See the FSE User Guide.)

For the more Information refer Microsoft Forefront Server Security Blog

Download at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=143540

Ballmer confirms Windows 7 Starter restrictions for netbooks

‘Super-small screen’ and ‘certain processor’ limits aim to boost revenues, says CEO

 

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently confirmed that the company will limit Windows 7 Starter, the edition expected to end up on netbooks, to systems that sport small screens and low-powered processors.

During Microsoft’s annual financial analyst day July 30, Ballmer got more specific than other executives in describing the limitations computer makers must abide by if they’re to install Starter on their machines. Starter is the least feature-rich edition of the operating system available worldwide, and will not be sold direct to consumers or businesses. It will be available only to OEMs, or "original equipment manufacturers," such as Acer, ASUS, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Toshiba.

"Our license tells you what a netbook is," said Ballmer at the Microsoft-hosted day with Wall Street analysts. "Our license says it’s got to have a super-small screen, which means it probably has a super-small keyboard, and it has to have a certain processor and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah."

Although other Microsoft executives earlier this year said that the company would place restrictions on the kinds of processors and screen resolutions supported by Starter, Ballmer is the highest computer official yet to spell out Starter’s limitations, if only in the broadest terms.

For Full Story visit Computerworld

Configuring and managing the Pickup Directory – Part 1

This article series contain two articles, in first article I provide Theoretical Basics information of pickup directory, how works and importance of pickup directory. In the second article I’ll describe how to configure pickup directory using Exchange management shell.

By default pickup directory exists in "\Transport Roles\Pickup" of installation directory on every Exchange 2007 computer that has installed Edge role or Hub role. If you formatted .eml file and placed in the pickup directory, pickup directory will submit to delivery. This method used by most Exchange Administrator for mail flow troubleshooting their emails by creating .eml files.

 

How Pickup Directory process messages 

Correctly formatted messages that copied to pickup directory is processed for submission for delivery as fallowing order.

  1. Pickup Directory checked for new email messaged every 5 seconds and you can’t change that time interval.By default pickup directory processed 100 messages and messaged are cannot open left in the directory for next pool.
  2. Limits that are messages in pickup directory checked.By default maximum header size is 64K and maximum recipient limit is 100 recipients.
  3. eml file rename to .tmp file.if .tmp file already exists it is renamed as a <file name><Date time>.tmp.If the file renaming fail, pickup process proceed for next eml file with generated event log.
  4. After the .tmp file converted to the email message, a “Delete on Close” command is issued and tmp file still exists but can’t open file by anyone else.
  5. after submitted the message to delivery ,a “Close” command issued,.tmp file is deleted from pickup directory.If deletion is failed, event error generated in event log.If transport services restated all .emp files are renamed to .eml files and start repressing messages.That could lead to duplicate mail messages transmission.

Requirements for Message Files in the Pickup Directory

 

A message file that is copied to pickup directory must be meet following conditions.

  • The message file must be a simple text file that contain with basic SMTP message format.
  • A message file extension must be a .eml.
  • At least one email address must be exists in from: or sender message header fields. If a single email address exists in the both from or sender filed,email address in the from: filed used as the originator of the message in the message envelop.
  • Only one email address can ever exist in the send filed.The sender filed is not required if email address present in From: filed.
  • Multiple e-mail addresses are allowed in the From: field, but a single e-mail address must also exist in the Sender field. The address in the Sender field is then used as the originator of the message in the message envelope.
  • At least one e-mail address must exist in the To:, Cc:, or Bcc: fields.
  • A blank line must exist between the message header and the message body.

 

Please see below example of text message that uses acceptable message formatting for the pickup directory.

To: chinthaka@msglab.info

From: Devid@msglab.info

Subject: Test message

This is test Message to check mail flow.

 

MIME contain messages are supported in pickup directory.Please see below example that is compatible with pickup directory

To: chinthaka@msglab.info
From: bob@nwtraders.com
Subject: Message subject
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/html; charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
<HTML><BODY>
<TABLE>
<TR><TD>cell 1</TD><TD>cell 2</TD></TR>
<TR><TD>cell 3</TD><TD>cell 4</TD></TR>
</TABLE>
</BODY></HTML>

 

In here I am given you basic Theoretical information of pickup directory. I’ll show how to configure pickup directory in next article called "Configuring and Managing pickup directory-Part 2 ".

Resources

Managing the Pickup Directory

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