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Exchange Server 2013 Preview has arrived :) Exchange 2003 guys time to Migrate to Exchange 2010



Few days back new family member (Release Preview) of Microsoft Exchange has been arrived with fantastic architectural changes and new features. This is just a preview and some features may not be in RTM 😉 .

Some of Key changes in Exchange 2013 Release Preview

  1. Coexistence with Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010 is supported and Exchange 2003 is not supported. So who is still dealing with Exchange 2003 now time to migrate to exchange 2010.
  2. Windows 2008 R2 Operating system and Windows 8 will support as a Operating System.
  3. Exchange 2013 preview use new Exchange Administration Center. That has a single unified Management console that allows to manage On-premises /online or Hybrid deployments. We cannot see Exchange management Console anymore and we don’t want to wait time to load management Console.
  4. Reduced number of server roles. So we won’t be able to see HUB Transport server role as a separate server role. We can see only Client Access Server Role and Mailbox Server role. But still we can use Exchange 2010 Edge Transport Server role for Exchange 2013. See Mail flow diagram – Figure 1
  5. RPC is not longer a required protocol for Exchange 2013. Exchange 2013 use RPC over HTTPS for Outlook Connectivity.
  6. Exchange 2013 has introduced Data loss prevention . So you can protect sensitive data by Transport rules.
  7. Exchange 2013 improved the auditing functionality so we can import and export the Administrator audit log and the audit log records whenever a mailbox accessed by someone.
  8. With a new design We cannot see the separate Public folder database. Public folder uses Existing DAG functionality for high availability purpose. Replication method also change to single-master replication model form Multi-master replication model.
  9. Site Mailbox is there , So user can search document and emails by one client. This can integrate with SharePoint Server.
  10. Outlook WebApp has restructure. The Outlook WebApp user interface is improved and optimized for tablets and smart phones. Also user collaboration has improved. Hence users can merge contacts with social network such as Linkedin .




Figure 1

Finally, You can download Preview bits and help files:



CHM Help:

Update Rollup 4 for Exchange Server 2010 (KB982639)

The Rollup 4 for Exchange Server 2010, Service Pack 1 has just been released today 22/06/2011.


Update Rollup 4 for Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 1 resolves issues that were found in Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 1 since the software was released. This update rollup is highly recommended for all Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 1 customers.

You can download it from below location.

Update Rollup 4 for Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack1

Configuring Exchange 2010 Database Availability Groups

Exchange 2010 RTM has been released a few weeks back. Exchange 2010 came with some cool new features compared to previous versions and also some major differences in the field of High Availability. All High availability scenarios which came with previous Exchange server versions have been removed in this version.

Exchange server 2010 doesn’t have LCR, CCR or SCR high availability options, instead it has DAG (Database Availability Group) . You can achieve your high availability goal with DAG adding minimum 2 database copies and up to 16 database copies. DAG uses Continues replication technology that was first introduced with Exchange 2007 and DAG is essentially a combination of CCR and SCR that was available in Exchange 2007. You can find more information of DAG here.

Best practices of Database Availability Group

  1. Need to run two network adaptors on DAG nodes to support Windows Clustering.
  2. Be aware of choosing server hardware for DAG nodes. Because exchange DAG node should have the ability to manage load of replica of other master copies.
  3. Should be plan proper IP address schema for current and future requirements.
  4. Running NLB and DAG on same node isn’t support by Microsoft.
  5. Must disable Power Management setting on both BIOS and windows configurations.
  6. Test failover and failback before migrating users to DAG databases.
  7. Need to monitor DAG health periodically.
  8. Make Sure Database names are unique.
  9. Periodically move the master database among other DAG nodes to verify DAG is working properly.

In this article I’ll show you how to configure DAG using Exchange management Shell. Here I’ll use two DAG member servers, one  Hub transport, client access server and one domain controller.

Step 1 – Creating  new DAG

Create new database availability group using Exchange management shell. Run CMDlet  given below in the exchange management shell. This Cmdlet contains file share witness server name, DAG IP address for MAPI network and DAG name. (See figure 1)

New-DatabaseAvailabilityGroup -Name E14-DAG -WitnessServer EX10-CAHT -WitnessDirectory “c:\FSW” -DatabaseAvailabilityGroupIPAddresses –Verbose


Figure 1 – Creating new DAG

Step 2 – Add first node to the DAG

At this point  DAG has been created, but DAG has no DAG members yet. So we should run cmdlet given below to add EX10-MB01 server to DAG. (See figure 2).

Add-DatabaseAvailabilityGroupServer -Identity E14-DAG -MailboxServer EX10-MB01 -Verbose


Figure 2 – Adding first node to the DAG.

Step 3 – Add second node to the DAG.

Add-DatabaseAvailabilityGroupServer -Identity E14-DAG -MailboxServer EX10-MB02 -Verbose


Figure 3 – Adding second node to the DAG.

Step 4 – Verify DAG through the Exchange Management Shell

Now we have finished creating DAG and adding members to that . Now we can see some new information via EMS made by the DAG.

Use Get-DatabaseAvailabilityGroup Cmdlet to verify DAG installation. Run this CMDlet in EMS. (See figure 4).

Get-DatabaseAvailabilityGroup -Identity E14-DAG –Status


Figure 4: Display operational Servers  

We can see E14-DAG has been added to the Exchange and EX10-MB01 and EX10-MB01 have been added to the DAG as members.

Run Get-DatabaseAvailabilityGroupNetwork Cmdlet to see available Network settings for the DAG. Run the CMdlet given below  in EMS. (See figure 5).

Get-DatabaseAvailabilityGroupNetwork -Identity E14-DAG


Figure 5: Display available Network Settings for the DAG.

At this point we have created the DAG.  Now we should add the Database copies to the DAG. Run CMDlet given below to replicate MB01 with EX10-MB02 and replicate MB02 with EX10-MB01 servers. See figure 6.

Add-MailboxDatabaseCopy -Identity MB01 -MailboxServer EX10-MB02


Figure 6: Adding MB01 database to EX10-MB02

Add-MailboxDatabaseCopy -Identity MB02 -MailboxServer EX10-MB01


Figure 7 : Adding MB02 database to EX10-MB01

At this point we have configured the DAG successfully. Now we should verify if whether  the DAG is configured or not . 

Run Get-MailboxDatabaseCopyStatus to monitor the overall health check of database copies. (See figure 8).


Figure 8: Check overall health status of the DAG

We can see information of database copies by running the below CMDLets. Run below CMDlet to see MB01’s Database copy information. See highlighted area. (See figure 9).


Figure 9: See MB01 database copy information.

Run Test-ReplicationHealth CMDlet to check replication status of DAG. (See figure 10).


Figure 10 : Test replication health of DAG.

In this article I have guided you in deploying Database Availability Group, Which is the coolest feature out of many in the new Exchange 2010. I’ll show you how to test failover scenarios in a future article.

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


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.


Storage Groups and Databases.


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.


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.


Figure 2: Windows Server Backup

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


Figure 3


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Figure 12: creating a shadow copy of volumes

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


Figure 13: Backup in Progress.

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



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.


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.


Figure 16: Logs has truncated in SG01.

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


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 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.


Figure 18


Figure 19

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


Figure 20:Selecting Server

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


Figure 21: Selecting backup date

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


Figure 22: Selecting Recovery Type

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


Figure 23:select application

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


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.


Figure 25:Recovery Options

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


Figure 26: Recovery Confirmation page.

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


Figure 27: Recovery Progress window.

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


Figure 27: Done the Restore operation successfully.

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


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.

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.


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.


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



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.


 6. Click New to start procedure.


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.


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


 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.


  • 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.


3. In the appearing confirmation dialog box Click Yes


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



  • 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.


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


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


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.

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

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