SLOWUG - Exchange Server 2007 Security

March 6, 2008 at 1:57 PM2102

Yesterday, I was presenting at SloWUG event about Exchange Server 2007 Security.

Presentation with all recorded demos is now available for download.

SloWUG - Exchange Server 2007 Security Presentation

Voice Ignite II - Paris

March 6, 2008 at 1:49 PM2102

OCS2007Last week I was attending Voice Ignite II in Paris. The training has been extended from 2 days (Ignite I) to 5 days consisting of presentations, labs and make it real. Overall experience was great!

 

Cheers to everyone I met there (Rok, Jose, Vincent, Thomas Lee,...)!

Here are some pictures from Paris:

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Posted in: Microsoft | Unified Communications

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How to extend the Windows Server 2008 evaluation period

February 13, 2008 at 12:13 PM2102

You probably already know that you do not need to activate Windows Server 2008 for 60-days evaluation period. In most cases 60-days default evaluation period will be just fine. It is possible to reset 60-day evaluation period up to three times for total evaluation period by up to 240 days. Cool right? ;-)

Article ID: 948472 How to extend the Windows Server 2008 evaluation period

Posted in: Windows | Microsoft | Windows Server 2008

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Windows Server 2008 RTM and Vista SP1 RTM

February 5, 2008 at 4:07 PM2102

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Great news everybody! Microsoft released Windows Server 2008 RTM and Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) RTM on Monday (February 4th)!

Awesome job! Congratulations to everyone participating and contributing to development,...!

 

Source:

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Upgrading Exchange 2007 to SP1 (Part 3)

February 1, 2008 at 3:50 PM2102
e2k7-logo_small

Welcome to the third part of Upgrading Exchange Server 2007 to Service Pack 1 (SP1).

In previous parts we looked into necessary procedures for preparing Active Directory and upgrading HUB/CAS roles (or single Exchange Server with HUB, CAS and Mailbox role installed) to Service Pack 1.

In this part we will go trough necessary steps for successful upgrade of Exchange 2007 Single Copy Cluster to Service Pack 1.

Important!

Prior installing SP1 read carefully section with prerequisites (install necessary components and updates on Windows Server, upgrade antivirus software for Exchange Server) from my previous post Upgrading Exchange 2007 to SP1 (Part 1)!

Installing Service Pack 1

Upgrading Single Copy Cluster (SCC) to SP1 is different from upgrading non-clustered Mailbox Role to SP1 in many ways. Notice that in Part 1 and Part 2 we were using both GUI and unattended mode but only option for cluster upgrade is using unattended mode.

e2k7sp1_scc_no-gui

Required permissions

What are the minimal permissions you need for successful upgrade? Exchange Server Administrator membership and Local Administrator on servers is required.

Demo infrastructure

For the demo purposes we will use only two-node cluster setup. Active node named E2K7-NODE1, passive node named E2K7-NODE2 and exchange cluster named E2K7-MBX.

E2K7_SCC_Demo 
Setup for demo upgrade to SP1

Upgrade steps for Passive Node (E2K7-NODE2)
  • Move all Cluster Groups to active node (E2K7-NODE1).
  • Set Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) service to Manual or Automatic and start it. This service is disabled by default. During upgrade procedure this allows setup to add firewall exceptions for Exchange Server services. You can stop and disable this service after upgrade!

    It also works if you leave Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing disabled but no firewall exceptions for Exchange Server services are created during setup. I recommend that you start Windows Firewall/ICS service during setup and than stop/disable it if you are not using Windows Firewall service!
  • Stop any services that have open handles to performance counters (for example: Performance Logs and Alerts, MOM agents,...) - performance counters are changed during upgrade procedure.
  • Stop, and then restart the Remote Registry service.
  • From command prompt run setup.com /m:upgrade from folder with SP1 setup files.

     E2K7_SCC_Upgrade1
  • After successful upgrade reboot Passive Node (E2K7-NODE2).
  • Log on to server after reboot and open Exchange Management Shell.
  • Use the Stop-ClusteredMailboxServer cmdlet to stop the clustered mailbox server.

    Stop-ClusteredMailboxServer E2K7-MBX -StopReason "SP1 Upgrade."

    E2K7_SCC_Upgrade2
  • Use Move-ClusteredMailboxServer cmdlet to move the clustered mailbox server (CMS) from Active Node (E2K7-NODE1) to Passive Node (E2K7-NODE2). You must run this from Passive Node (E2K7-NODE2).

    Move-ClusteredMailboxServer E2K7-MBX -TargetMachine E2K7-NODE2 -MoveComment "SP1 Upgrade."
  • From command prompt run setup.com /upgradecms from folder with SP1 setup files.

    E2K7_SCC_Upgrade3
    Notice that I actually executed this command from Exchange Management Shell ;-)
Upgrade steps for Active Node (E2K7-NODE1)
  • Set Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) service to Manual or Automatic and start it. This service is disabled by default. During upgrade procedure this allows setup to add firewall exceptions for Exchange Server services. You can stop and disable this service after upgrade!
  • Stop any services that have open handles to performance counters (for example: Performance Logs and Alerts, MOM agents,...) - performance counters are changed during upgrade procedure.
  • Move Windows Cluster "Cluster Group" to Passive Node

    Cluster group "cluster group" /move

    E2K7_SCC_Upgrade4 
  • Stop, and then restart the Remote Registry service.
  • From command prompt run setup.com /m:upgrade from folder with SP1 setup files.
  • Reboot node after successful upgrade.
  • You can disable Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) now.

Congratulations, your Single Copy Cluster is now upgraded to Service Pack 1. During upgrade procedure we changed ownership of Cluster Groups. If you would like to move groups back to previous owner you can use previous mentioned steps or you can use one of new features in Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1 called Manage Clustered Mailbox Server wizard for desired actions.

E2K7_SCC_CMSwiz

 

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Posted in: Exchange | Microsoft | Cluster

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Importance of good backups

January 26, 2008 at 11:04 AM2102

Almost every time I'm discussing with someone (individuals, students,...) about importance of good backups, disaster recovery procedures and of course tested procedures for disaster recovery (make sure that you actually test your backups, disaster recovery procedures on regular basis) I ask a question: "If your location goes down because of natural disaster, fire,..., are you able to rebuild your whole location or infrastructure (in the case of single location) from offsite backups?"

Answers are:

  • Eventually, I guess
  • We don't have offsite backups
  • Probably, we have disaster recovery procedure but we never tested it
  • In some rare cases I actually hear that there are good disaster recovery procedures in place which is actually tested! (offsite backups, procedures for restoring every server, testing DR procedure on regular basis)

I'm really worried about that just to many people don't take backups seriously enough until it's to late. In most cases disaster recovery goes like Dilbert's one.

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As a regular reader of Internet Storm Center I came across a must read link The Tao Of Backup! :)

Posted in: Disaster Recovery

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Exchange 2007 SP1 Install Error on Windows Server 2008 RC1

January 20, 2008 at 12:20 PM2102

This is one "simple" error I come across when installing on Windows Server 2008 RC1.

Process MSEXCHANGEADTOPOLOGYSERVICE.EXE (PID=1976). Topology discovery failed, error 0x80040a02 (DSC_E_NO_SUITABLE_CDC). Look up the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) error code specified in the event description. To do this, use Microsoft Knowledge Base article 218185, "Microsoft LDAP Error Codes." Use the information in that article to learn more about the cause and resolution to this error. Use the Ping or PathPing command-line tools to test network connectivity to local domain controllers.

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In my case solution was really simple. Between the tests I disabled IPv6 support on network card. I enable it back, re-run setup and everything was fine...

Upgrading Exchange 2007 to SP1 (Part 2)

January 4, 2008 at 2:03 PM2102

This is second part of upgrading procedure for Exchange Server 2007 SP1. In first part we looked into necessary steps for getting Windows ready, preparing Active Directory and upgrading Client Access Server (CAS) role  to Exchange Server 2007 SP1.

In this part we will look into upgrading HUB Transport Server role to SP1. Procedure is almost identical than in first part (upgrading CAS to SP1) but purpose of this part is looking into Unattended Setup.

Prior installing SP1 read carefully section with prerequisites (install necessary components and updates on Windows Server, upgrade antivirus software for Exchange Server) from my previous post Upgrading Exchange 2007 to SP1 (Part 1)!

Installing Service Pack 1 in Unattended Mode

It's time for Service Pack installation. ;-)

Run following command from location with extracted Exchange Server 2007 SP1 files:

setup /mode:upgrade

Procedure is the same as in graphical mode. First step is is Prerequisite check.

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Note that I cheated just a little bit. ;-) I had other roles on this server, not just HUB role. When running setup /mode:upgrade you receive the list of roles that will be upgraded. You can use this steps (and steps for preparing Active Directory) for upgrading single server installation.

If no critical errors were found setup continue with Configuring steps (Preparing Setup, Removing Exchange Files, Preparing Files,...). In Unattended Mode you also have a progress bar just like in graphical mode.

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And a final screen after successful Service Pack 1 installation.

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Check Event Viewer and Exchange functionality to verify that everything is working as expected.

In following articles we will dive into cluster (Single Copy Cluster - SCC, Cluster Continuous Replication - CCR) upgrading and some new high availability features in SP1.

Related:

Posted in: Exchange | Microsoft

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Planning, Deploying, and Managing Unified Messaging with Exchange Server 2007

December 28, 2007 at 10:53 AM2102

The purpose of this document is to help you plan, deploy, and manage Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Unified Messaging servers. The information and procedures in this document focus specifically on the Unified Messaging features of an Exchange 2007 computer that has the Unified Messaging server role installed. This document provides information about Unified Messaging features and the tasks you must perform to plan, deploy, manage, and configure them.

This document is a compilation of the Unified Messaging white papers that are available in the Exchange Server Technical Articles section of the Exchange Server 2007 Library. Each white paper is a compilation of Unified Messaging Help topics. This document is provided as a convenience for customers who want to view the topics in print format. The content in this document applies to the original release (RTM) version of Exchange Server 2007. To read the most up-to-date Unified Messaging topics, including information about Exchange 2007 Service Pack 1, visit the Exchange Server 2007 Library.

Download: Planning, Deploying, and Managing Unified Messaging with Exchange Server 2007

Windows Mobile 7 and 8

December 26, 2007 at 12:22 PM2102

We just got the scoop from Microsoft on Windows Mobile 7 and Windows Mobile 8, the two upcoming platforms that will fix what is undeniably broken about the Windows Mobile platform to date.

Continue this aticle on Bink.nu

Posted in: Microsoft | Windows Mobile

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