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Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Advanced Administration

Microsoft'sExchangeServerproductsplayakeyroleinelectronicmessaging, includingemail. Thischapterisahigh-levelprimeronExchangeServer—basedemail administrationandgoodadministrationpractices,anditpreparesyoutoputExchange Serverintothepropercontext. Anexperiencedemailadministratormaywantto proceedtomoretechnicalchapters.

However,ifyouarenewtothejoborneeda refresher,ormaybeyoujustwanttoputemailservicesbackintoperspective,this chapterisforyou! EvenexperiencedExchangeServeradministratorsmaywant toreviewthissectiontobetterunderstandhowtheirusersandrequirementsare evolving. Billionsofemailsaresenteveryday morethanbillionworldwide,accordingto researchfirmTheRadicatiGroup.

That'salotofemailmessages,onalotofservers— manyofthemExchangeservers. Archiveimportantattachments,textmessages,andmanyothertypesof information. Performrecordsmanagementandenablelong-termstorageofimportant informationorinformationthatmustbearchived. Enablenear-timecommunicationofsalesandsupportinformationwithvendors andcustomers. Thesearejustafewofthetypesofthingsthatanemailsystemmayprovidetotheend usereitherviatheclientinterfaceorasaresultofsomefunctionrunningonthe server. HowMessagingServersWork Atthecoreofanymessagingsystem,youwillfindacommonsetofbasicfunctions.

Thesefunctionsmaybeimplementedindifferentwaysdependingonthevendoror eventheversionoftheproduct. ExchangeServerhasevolveddramaticallyoverthe past20years,anditscurrentarchitectureisalmostnothinglikeExchangeServer4. Commoncomponentsofmostmessagingsystemsincludethefollowing: Amessagetransportsystemthatmovesmessagesfromoneplacetoanother. Amessagestoragesystemthatstoresmessagesuntilausercanreadorretrieve them. Adirectoryservicethatallowsausertolookupinformationaboutthemail system'susers,suchasauser'semailaddress. Aclientaccessinterfaceontheserverthatallowstheclientstogettotheirstored messages.

Theclientprogramthatallowsuserstoreadtheirmail,sendmail,andaccessthe directory. ThismayincludeOutlook,Outlookontheweb,andamobiledevicesuch asaWindowsphone,aniPhone,oranAndroiddevice. Workingintandemwithreal-timeinteractivetechnologies,electronicmessaging systemshavealreadyproducedasetofimaginativebusiness,entertainment,and educationalapplicationswithhighpayoffpotential.

Allofthisaction,ofcourse, acceleratesthedemandforelectronicmessagingcapabilitiesandservices. Mostorganizationsthatdeployanemailsystemusuallydeployadditionalcomponents fromtheiremailsoftwarevendororthirdpartiesthatextendthecapabilitiesofthe emailsystemorproviderequiredservices. Theseincludethefollowing: Integrationwithexistingphonesystemsorenterprisevoicedeploymentstopull voicemessagesintothemailbox Message-hygienesystemsthathelpreducethelikelihoodofamaliciousor inappropriatemessagebeingdeliveredtoauser Backupandrecovery,disasterrecovery,andbusinesscontinuitysolutions Messagearchivalsoftwaretoallowforthelong-termretentionandindexingof emaildata Electronicformsroutingsoftwarethatmayintegratewithaccounting,orderentry, orotherline-of-businessapplications Mailgatewaystoallowdifferingmobiledevices,suchasBlackBerrydevices,to accessthemailserver,alongwithnativeaccessthroughExchangeActiveSync Emailsecuritysystemsthatimprovethesecurityofemaildataeitherwhilebeing transferredorwhilesittingintheuser'smailbox AlinkloadbalancertobalancetheloadbetweenmultipleInternet-facingservers orinternalservers WhatIsExchangeServer?

Initssimplestform,ExchangeServerprovidestheunderlyinginfrastructure necessarytorunamessagingsystem. ExchangeServerprovidesthedatabasetostore emaildata,thetransportinfrastructuretomovetheemaildatafromoneplaceto another,andtheaccesspointstoaccessemaildataviaanumberofdifferentclients. Userscan sharesomeorallofthisinformationintheirownmailboxwithotherusersonthe messagesystemandstarttocollaborate. Publicfolderslooklikeregularmailfoldersinyourmailbox,exceptthattheyareinan areawheretheycanbesharedbyalluserswithintheorganization. Afoldercanhave specializedformsassociatedwithittoallowthesharingofcontacts,calendarentries, orevenotherspecializedforms.

Further,eachpublicfoldercanbesecuredsothat onlycertainuserscanviewormodifydatainthatfolder.


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TheUnifiedMessagingfeaturesinExchangeServerfurtherextendthefunctions ofExchangeServerinyourorganizationbyallowingyourExchangeServer infrastructuretoalsoactasyourvoicemailsystemanddirectvoicemailsandmissedcallnotificationsautomaticallytotheuser'smailbox. WhileintegratedvoicemailsolutionsarenothingnewforExchangeServercustomers, Microsoftisnowprovidingthesecapabilitiesoutoftheboxratherthanrelyingon third-partyproducts.

ExchangeServertightenstheintegrationofcollaborativetoolsinitsintegration withSkypeforBusinessServer,theSkypeforBusinessclient,andtheSkypefor Businessmobileclient. WithExchangeServer,SkypeforBusiness,Outlook,andtheSkypefor Businessclient,usersenjoyfullUnifiedMessagingwithsoftware-basedtelephony fromtheircomputer,includingthevoicemailandmissed-callnotificationprovidedby ExchangeServerandOutlook.

Furthermore,SkypeforBusinesscanlogchatand instant-messageconversationlogstoafolderintheuser'smailbox. ExchangeServer furtherpushesthisintegration,embeddingbasicinstantmessaging IM and presencecapabilitiesintotheOutlookonthewebpremiumexperience. Thecapabilitiesoftheclientcanbeextendedwiththird-partytoolsandforms-routing softwaresothatelectronicformscanberoutedthroughemailtousers'desktops.

AboutMessagingServices Electronicmessagingisfarmorethanemail. Together,ExchangeServerandits clientsperformavarietyofmessaging-basedfunctions. Thesefunctionsincludeemail, unifiedmessaging,messagerouting,scheduling,andsupportforseveraltypesof customapplications. ManyModesofAccess Foryears,theonlywaytoaccessyouremailsystemwastouseaWindows,Mac,or Unix-basedclientandaccesstheemailsystemdirectly. ExchangeServerdoesn'tofferany radicallynewmodesofmailboxaccessasExchangeServerdid,butitdoes provideongoingsupportandrefinementofexistingExchangeServer technologies,suchasExchangeWebServices,thatcanprovideadditionalmechanisms foraccessingdatainmailboxesandamoveawayfromRPCinclientconnectivityin favorofOutlookonthewebandmobiledevices.

Outlookontheweb formerlyOutlookWebAccess hasevolvedquicklyand,in ExchangeServer,bearsalmostnoresemblancetotheoriginalversionfoundin ExchangeServer5. It expandsthepreviousoptionconfigurationexperienceoftheExchangeControlPanel ECP ,whichgivesusersamuchgreaterdegreeofcontrolovertheirmailboxes, contacts,andgroupmemberships. UsingECP,enduserscancreateandjoindistributiongroups wherepermissionshave beenassigned ,tracktheirownmessagesthroughouttheorganization,andperform otherfunctionsthatinExchangeandearlierversionsrequiredhelp-deskorIT professionalintervention.

AnothersignificantfeatureofOutlookonthewebisthe abilitytousetheweb-basedinterfacewhenworkingofflineandcompletely disconnectedfromthenetwork. ManyvendorshavelicensedEAS toprovidetheirmobiledeviceswithahigh-performance,full-featuredpushmobile synchronizationexperiencethatextendsbeyondmobilephonesandintotablet devices. Withallofthesemechanismsforretrievingandsendingemail,itisnotunusualfor userstoaccesstheirmailboxesusingmorethanonedevice.

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Insomecases,wehave seenasingleuseraccessinghermailboxfromherdesktopcomputer,hertabletdevice usingOutlookAnywhere,andherWindowsPhonedevice. Inmediumandlargeorganizations,thefactthatusersareaccessingtheirmailboxes frommorethanonedeviceormechanismwillaffectnotonlyhardwaresizingbut also,potentially,yourlicensingcosts. HowMessagingServicesAreUsed Certainly,emailisakeyfeatureofanymessagingsystem,andtheOutlookCalendaris farbetterthanpreviousversionsofMicrosoft'sappointmentandmeeting-scheduling software. OutlooktogetherwithExchangeServerintroducesevenmore synergy. Thosecomingfrom olderversionsofExchangeServerwillimmediatelynoticeacleaner,less-cluttered interfaceandnewfunctionalitiessuchasOfflineUsage.

Thereallyexcitingapplicationsarenotthosethatusesimple emailorschedulingbutthosethatarebasedontheroutingcapabilitiesofmessaging systems. Theseapplicationsbringpeopleandcomputerstogetherforimproved collaboration. TheUniversalInbox Emailsystemsareconvergingwiththeirvoicemailandenterprisevoice-solution cousins. Forthepast 20years,third-partyvendorshaveincludedemailintegrationtoolsforvoicemail, networkfaxingsolutions,andthird-partyintegration.

However,formost organizations,integratedvoicemailremainstheexceptionratherthantherule. ExchangeServerintroducedintegratedvoice,whichExchangeServer continuestoimprove. OrganizationswithIP-basedtelephonesystemsortelephonesystemswithanIP gatewaycaneasilyintegrateauser'svoicemailwiththeExchangeServeruser's mailbox. TheExchangeServerUnifiedMessagingfeatureshandletheinteraction betweenanorganization'stelephonesystemandExchangeServermailboxes.

Inbound voicemailistransferredintotheuser'smailboxasacross-platform-friendlyMP3file attachment;thismessageincludesanOutlookorOutlookonthewebformthatallows theusertoplaythemessage. Aswell,thevoicemailtextcanbetranscribedintothe bodyoftheemailmessageforquickreadingbytheuserduringmeetingsorrapid glancingattheInbox. BecausethedefaultformatisMP3inExchangeServer it wasaWindowsMediafileinExchangeServer,usingacustomcodec ,thisfile canbeeasilyplayedonmobiledevicesfromanymanufacturer,allowingeasyon-thegoaccesstovoicemail.

Oneestimatethatisfrequentlyusedforthesizeofavoicemailmessageisaround 5KBpersecondofmessage. InboundvoicemailincreasesthedemandsonyourExchangeserverfromthe perspectiveofrequireddiskspaceandpossibleadditionalserverhardware. Asan administrator,youneedtoconsiderthis. JusttheFax,Ma'am InExchangeServer,theUnifiedMessagingfeaturesincludedtheout-of-theboxcapabilitytocaptureincomingfacsimile fax messages. Thereweresome limitations,butitprovidedgoodbasicfunctionality. Foroutboundfaxcapability, organizationshadtodeploysomeothersolution,typicallyathird-partyfax package.

Whentalkingwiththeproductgroup,it'snothardtofigureoutwhy;theinboundonlyfaxfunctionalitywasn'tenoughforthecustomerswhoneededfax integration. ExchangeServerneededtoeitheraddoutgoingfaxcapabilityandbeef upitsfeatureset andloseotherdesiredfunctionality ordroptheexisting functionalitybecausethemajorityofExchangeServercustomersneededa third-partyproductanyway. Althoughit'salwaysdisappointingtoloseafeature, mostoftheorganizationswe'vetalkedtodidn'tuseittobeginwith.

Wethinkthat Microsoftdefinitelymadetherightcall,ifyou'llpardonthepun. ArchitectureandCoreFunctionalityOverview UnderstandingabitabouthowExchangeServerworksfromanarchitectural perspectivewillhelpmakeyouabetteradministrator. Generically,youcouldsayitisalmostlikeSQL Server,butthisistechnicallynottrue. Further,the databasehasbeenhighlytunedtostorehierarchicaldata,suchasmailboxes,folders, messages,andattachments.

Withoutgoingintoalotoftechno-babbleonthedatabasearchitecture,itisimportant thatyouunderstandthebasicsofwhatthedatabaseisdoing. Instep1,anOutlookclientsendsdatatotheExchangeserver theInformationStore service ;theInformationStoreserviceplacesthisdatainmemoryandthen immediatelywritesthedataouttothetransactionlogfilesassociatedwiththat database. Eachtransactionlogfileisexactly1MBin size,sowhenthetransactionlogisfilledup,itisrenamedtothenextsequential number.

Forexample,anoldtransactionlogfilemightbenamedlikethis: e Weoftengetquestionsaboutthelogicofthetransactionlogs,and howtheyreservespaceonthedisk,whethertheyareemptyorfull. Aneasywayto lookatitistocomparealogfiletoacartonofmilk. Whenyouhaveacartonofmilk,it alwaystakesupthesamespaceinyourfridge,emptyorfull. Thesameistrueofthe logfiles. Emptylogfiles currentlogfileandreservedlogfiles areempty,orpartially full;therenamed,old,logfilesarefull.

However,theytakeupthesameamountof spaceonthedisk. Thedata,suchasnewemailmessagesthatentertheorganization,isretainedinRAM forsomeperiodoftime maybeaslittleas5secondsormaybeeven60secondsor more beforeitisflushedtothedatabasefile. Theactualperiodthatdataisretainedin memorywilldependonhowmuchcachememoryisavailable,whattypesof operationsarehappeninginthedata,andhowbusytheserveris. Theimportant operation,though,istomakesurethatassoonasthedataissenttotheExchange server,itisimmediatelyflushedtothetransactionlogfiles. Iftheservercrashes beforethedataiswrittentothedatabasefile,thedatabaseengine thestoreprocess willautomaticallyreadthetransactionlogfilesoncetheserverisbroughtbackupand comparethemtothedatathat'sstoredinthecorrespondingmailboxdatabases.

Any inconsistencyisresolvedbyreplayingthemissingdataoperationsfromthe transactionlogsbackintothedatabase,assumingthattheentiretransactionis present;ifit'snot,theoperationsarenotwritten andyoucanbeconfidentthatthe operationwasn'tcompletedatthetimethecrashhappened. Thishelpsensurethat theintegrityofthemailboxdatabaseispreservedandthathalf-completeddata operationsaren'twrittenbackintothedatabaseandallowedtocorruptgooddata. The transactionlogsarenotpurgedoffthelogdiskuntilafullbackupisrun;therefore, everytransactionthatoccurredtoadatabase newdata,modifications,moves, deletes isstoredinthelogs.

Ifyourestorethelastgoodbackuptotheserver, ExchangeServercanreplayandrebuildallthemissingtransactionsbackintothe database—providedyouhaveallthetransactionssincethelastfullbackup. InearlyversionsofExchangeServer,youhadtwoseparatemailstoreobjects:the storagegroup,whichwasalogicalcontainerthatheldanassociatedsetoftransaction logs,andthemailboxdatabase,asetoffilesthatheldtheactualpermanentcopiesof usermailboxes. Youoftenhadmultiplemailboxdatabasesperstoragegroup,meaning thatonesetoftransactionlogscontainedinterwoventransactiondataformultiple databases whichcouldhavedetrimentaleffectsonperformance,space,andbackups.

However,storagegroups wereremovedinExchangeServer;eachmailboxdatabasenowhasitsown integralsetoftransactionlogfiles. Infact,mailboxdatabases—whichwereonce tightlycoupledwithspecificservers—canhavecopiesonmultipleserversinthe organization,evenspreadacrossmultiplesites. Thisfunctionalitywasintroducedby movingthemailboxdatabasesfromtheServerhierarchytotheOrganization hierarchy,essentiallyrenderingthemasharedobjectthatcanbecomeactiveonany serverintheorganization.

Thedatabaseavailabilitygroupcontainerisnowavailable tocontainserversthatparticipateinthereplicationofmailboxdatabaseswitheach other. ExchangeandActiveDirectory WecouldeasilywritetwoorthreechaptersonhowExchangeServerinteractswith ActiveDirectory,butthebasicswillhavetodofornow. ExchangeServerrelieson ActiveDirectoryforinformationaboutitsownconfiguration,userauthentication,and email-specificpropertiesformail-enabledobjectssuchasusers,contacts,groups,and publicfolders. Theconfiguration partitionisreplicatedtoalldomaincontrollersintheentireActiveDirectoryforest.

NotethatyoucanhaveonlyasingleExchangeorganizationperActiveDirectory forest. Someofthosefunctionsinclude: MailboxComponentsFormailboxoperations,ExchangeServermustquery ActiveDirectorytoauthenticateusers,enumeratepermissionsonmailboxes,look upindividualmailboxlimits,anddeterminewhichmailboxesareonaparticular server. Theyalsorequireaccesstoglobalcatalogserverstolookupemail addressinginformation,distributionlistmembershipinformation,andotherdata relatedtomessagerouting.

ControllingMailboxGrowth AsusershavebecomemoresavvyandcompetentatusingOutlookandthefeaturesof ExchangeServer,andemailmessagesthemselveshavebecomemorecomplex,the needforemailstoragehasgrown. AtTechEd,Exchange Servergurusweretossingabouttheideathatinthefutureadefaultmailboxlimit wouldbecloserto2GBasusersstartincorporatingUnifiedMessagingfeatures. Currentdiscussionsnowlookforwardtoandassumeunlimited-sizedmailboxes withinthenextfewyears. Weallseeuserswithmailboxsizesinthegigabyterange,butisyourorganization preparedforatypicaluserwithanunlimitedmailboxsize?

Certainly,theneedformorediskstoragewillbethefirstfactorthatorganizations needtoconsider. However,diskstorageisreasonablycheap,andmanylarger organizationsthataresupportingthousandsofmailboxusersonasingleMailbox serveralreadyhavemorediskspacethantheycanpracticallyuse. WhileearlyversionsofExchangeServerwereprimarilyperformance-bound— meaningthattheywouldrequiremoredriveperformancebeforetheyrequiredmore diskcapacity—versionssinceExchangeServerhavesolidlypushedthattobeing capacity-bound.

Withtheperformancecharacteristicsandcapacitiesofmodern drives,itbecomesfeasibletoeconomicallyprovisionExchangeServerstoragein supportoflargemailboxes. Formostadministratorswithlargeamountsofmailstorage,theprimaryconcernthey faceistheabilitytoquicklyandefficientlyrestoredataintheeventofafailure. These administratorsareoftenfacedwithservice-levelagreementsthatbindthemto maximumrestorationtimes. Ineventhemostoptimalcircumstances,aGB mailboxdatabasewilltakesometimetorestorefrombackupmedia.

However,these issueshavelargelybeenmitigatedbytheuseofdatabaseavailabilitygroups DAGs , whichensureconstantcopiesofmailboxdatabasesthatresideonotherservers, essentiallyprovidingaconstantlivebackupofmailboxdatabasesonotherservers, andinotherdatacenters. MicrosoftrecommendsthatyoudonotallowanExchangeServermailboxdatabaseto growlargerthanGBunlessyouareimplementingcontinuous-replication technologiesinExchangeServer Ifyouusedatabaseavailabilitygroupsto replicatedatabasestomultipleservers,themaximumdatabasesizerecommendation goesup wayup to2TB.

However,themaximumsupporteddatabasesizeisactually 64TB. Ifyourequiremorethanthemaximumrecommenddatabasestorage, ExchangeServerStandardEditionallowsyoutohaveupto5mailboxdatabases andExchangeServerEnterpriseEditionallowsyoutohaveupto Thesolutioninthepastwastorestraintheusercommunitybypreventingthemfrom keepingallofthemaildatathattheymightrequireonthemailserver. Thiswasdone byimposinglowmailboxlimits,implementingmessage-archivalrequirements, keepingdeleteditemsforonlyafewdays,andkeepingdeletedmailboxesforonlya fewdays.

However,asUnifiedMessagingdataarrivesinauser'smailboxandusershave additionalmechanismsforaccessingthedatastoredintheirmailbox,keepingmail dataaroundlongerisademandandarequirementforyourusercommunity. The ExchangeServerarchivemailboxfeaturealsodrivestheneedformorestorage, asmessagearchivalmovesawayfromthePSTfilesandbackintoExchangeServerin theformofarchivemailboxes. Thosearchivemailboxescanbesegregatedtoa dedicatedmailboxdatabaseandbesettoadifferentbackupscheduleandtheirown setofmanagementpractices. Outlookallowsuserstocreatealocaldatabase,namedPersonalFolder,in whichuserscancreatefoldersandarchiveemail.

Althoughthisseemslikeagood featureonthesurface,thereareafewdownsides: Oncedataisinauser'sPSTfile,you,astheserveradministrator,havelostcontrol ofit. Ifyoueverhadtofindallcopiesofacertainmessage,perhapsforalawsuit, youwouldbeoutofluck. PSTscanbecomeamanagementandsecuritynightmare asdataissuddenlydistributedalloveryournetwork. ThedatainPSTfilestakeupmorespacethanthecorrespondingdataonthe server. ThedefaultlocationforaPSTisthelocalportionoftheuser'sprofile;thismeansit isstoredonthelocalharddiskoftheircomputerandisnotbackedup.

PSTsare notdesignedforaccessoveranetworkconnection;they'remeanttobeonthelocal harddrive,whichwastesspace,aswellascomplicatesthebackupand managementscenarios. StartingwithExchangeServer,PersonalArchivesstoredontheservercanbe populatedfromPSTfiles,thereforeofferingatruealternativetothosepeskylocal files. EmailArchiving Sometimes,managingamailserverseemslikeaconstantracebetweenITandusers tokeepusersfromlettingtheirmailboxrunoutofspace. Usersarepackratsand generallywanttokeepeverything.

Ifthereisabusinessreasonforthemtodoso,you shouldlookatwaystoexpandyouravailablestoragetoaccommodatethem. However,asdatabasesbecomelargerandlarger,theExchangeserverwillbemore difficulttomanage. Youmightstartrequiringhundredsandhundredsofgigabytes or eventerabytes ofstorageforemaildatabases. Worsestill,performingbackupsand datarecoverytakelonger. Also,largemailboxescouldbemovedtoanOfficesubscription,inahybrid coexistencemodel.

Forthoseorganizationsthatarenotoptingtoheadouttothecloudordonotchoose Officeastheiremailsolution,thisiswhereemailarchivingbecomesuseful. The lasttimewecounted,severaldozencompanieswereinthebusinessofsupplying emailarchivingtoolsandservices. Archivingproductsallhavealotoffunctionsin common,includingtheabilitytokeepdatalongterminemailarchival,toallowthe userstosearchfortheirowndata,andtoallowauthorizeduserstosearchtheentire archive.

Ifyoulookathowemailisarchived,archivesystemsgenerallycomeinoneofthree flavors: Systemsthatdependonjournalingtoautomaticallyforwardeveryemailsentor receivedbyspecifiedusersontothearchivesystem. Systemsthatmovedatatothearchivebycopyingthelogfilesfromtheproduction Mailboxserversandthenreplayingthelogsintothearchive. Thisiscalledlog shipping. Eachofthesemethodshasitsadvantagesanddisadvantageswithrespecttousing storage,providingacompletearchive,anddealingwithperformanceoverhead.

Intheprevioussection,wediscussedbrieflythearchivemailboxasanalternativeto themanagementofPSTfiles. However,itsabilitygoesbeyondthemanualmoveof emailmessagestoadedicatedlocationontheserver. Foranyuserwhorequiresemail archival,aPersonalArchivecanbecreatedforthatuser. Asemailagespastacertain point,themailismovedfromtheactivemailboxtothearchivemailboxbyusing ArchivePolicies. Theusercanstillaccessandsearchthearchivemailboxfrom OutlookontheweborOutlook,though. TheemaildataremainsontheExchange serverand,therefore,doesnotrequireanadditionalemailarchivalinfrastructure. Weoftenareaskedifthisinformationcanbemadeavailableoffline;keepinmind thatitcannot.

This isbydesign,andwe'rekindofgladthatitworksthisway,becausewearecontinuously tryingtoreducetheemailfootprintontheclientcomputers.

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OSTfilesgetverylarge, veryfast,andcancauseplentyofheadachesaswell. NotethatwithOutlookand Outlook,youcanadjusthowmanydays,weeks,months,oryearstosyncoffline. Everythird-partyarchivalvendorisgoingtotellyouhowtheirproductisbestand giveyoulongtechnicalreasonswhytheirapproachissomuchbetterthanthe competition's. Ifcontentdoesn'trunacrossSMTP,itwon't getjournaledand,therefore,won'tgetarchived. Journalingisgreatfor capturingmessagingandcalendaringtrafficthatinvolvesmultiplepartiesor externalentities,butitwon'tcapturewhathappenstomessagesandother mailboxdataoncethey'reinthemailbox.

Journalingcanalsoplacean additionalloadontheHubTransportservers,dependingontheamountand typeofmessagingtrafficyourusersgenerate. Crawlingcancapturechangesonlyatcertainintervals;itcan'tcaptureevery singlechange,eventhoughitovercomesmanyofthelimitationsofjournaling. Forexample,ifoneusersendsamessagetoanotherinviolationofpolicyand bothhard-deletetheircopyofthemessagebeforethenextcrawlinterval,that messagewon'tbedetectedandarchived.

Themoreoftenyouschedulethe crawl,themoreofaperformanceimpactyourMailboxserverswillsuffer. Logshippingisthebestofalloptions;itcaptureseverytransactionand change,allowingyoutocapturetheentirehistoryofeachobjectwhile offloadingtheperformancehitfromyourExchangeservers. However,the ExchangeServerproductteamdoesnotliketheconceptoflogshippingand triestodiscourageitsuse—mainlybecausetherearevendorswhotrytoinject databackintoExchangeServerbymodifyinglogs. This,needlesstosay, resultsinmailboxdatathatwon'tbesupportedbyMicrosoft. PublicFolders Theend-userexperienceforpublicfoldershasnotchangedinExchangeServer, thoughthearchitecturehaschangedinrecentyears—mainlythestorageofthepublic folders,whichisnowinamailboxdatabase,insteadofthepublicfolderdatabase.

Filescanbedraggedfrom file-accessinterfaces,suchasFileExplorer,anddroppedintopublicfolders. The wholeconceptofpublicfoldershasmanyorganizationsinaquandaryastheytryto figureoutthebestplaceforthesecollaborativeapplications. Althoughthewholeconceptofpublicfolders isperceivedasbeingdeemphasizedsinceExchangeServer,Microsoftcontinues tosupportpublicfolders,andmanyorganizationswillcontinuetofinduseful applicationsforpublicfoldersfortheforeseeablefuture.

Akeychangeinpublic-folderstorageoccursinExchangeServer,onethatfinally breakstheparadigmofdedicatedpublicfolderdatabasesandpublicfolderreplication. Youcansetupsortingrulesforapublicfoldersothatitemsinthefolderare organizedbyarangeofattributes,suchasthenameofthesenderorcreatorofthe itemorthedatethattheitemwasplacedinthefolder. Itemsinapublicfoldercanbe sortedbyconversationthreads.

Youcanuse publicfolderstoreplacemanyofthemaddeningpaper-basedprocessesthataboundin everyorganization. Youcansenda linktoafolderinamessage. Whensomeonenavigatestothefolderanddouble-clicks afile,thefileopens. Everyonewhoreceivesthemessageworkswiththesamelinked attachment,soeveryonereadsandcanmodifythesamefile. Aswithdocument routing,applicationssuchasMicrosoftWordcankeeptrackofeachperson'schanges toandcommentsonfilecontents. Ofcourse,youruserswillhavetolearntolivewith thefactthatonlyonepersoncaneditanapplicationfileatatime.

Mostmodernenduserapplicationswarntheuserwhensomeoneelseisusingthefileandifsoallowthe usertoopenaread-onlycopyofthefile,whichofcoursecan'tbeedited. ThingsEveryEmailAdministratorShouldKnow Theinformationinthissectionissomethingthatweoftenfindevenourownemail administratorsandhelp-deskpersonnelunawareof. Sometimesthemostimportant skillanytechnologyadministratorhasisnotaspecificknowledgeofsomethingbut genericknowledgethattheycanusetoquicklyfindtherightanswer. ADayintheLifeoftheEmailAdministrator Weknowandworkwithalotofemailadministrators,andwecanhonestlysaythatno twopeoplehavethesamesetoftasksrequiredofthem.

YourCEO,directorof informationtechnology,orevenyoursupervisorisgoingtoaskyoutopullrabbitsout ofyourhat,sodon'texpecteverydaytobethesameasthelastone. Andinvestin somerabbits.

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Keepupwithyourtechnologyandsupportingproductssothatyoucan bereadywithanswersorattheveryleastintelligentresponsestoquestions. DailyAdministrativeTasks So,whataresometypicaltasksthatyoumayperformaspartofyourdutiesasan emailadministrator? Thesetaskswilldependonthesizeofyourorganization,the numberofadministratorsyouhaverunningyourExchangeServerorganization,and howadministrativetasksaredividedup.

RecipientManagementTasksThesearecertainlythebiggestday-to-daytasks thatmostExchangeServeradministratorsinmediumandlargeorganizationswill experience. Keepingyourusersinformedanddeliveringgoodcustomerservicearealmostas importantasdeliveringtheITserviceitself. Keepingusersinformedoffullorpartial serviceoutagessuchasmobileoriPhonesupportorwebconnectivitymaynotscore anyimmediatepoints,butusersappreciatehonest,forthrightinformation. Remember howyoufeltthelasttimeyouwerewaitingforanairplanetoarrivethatkeptonbeing delayedanddelayed,andalltheairlinecoulddowasbeevasive?

Forexample,youmayneedtogetouttoyourusersthemessagethatyouwillbe havingdowntimeontheweekend. Postingsonyourcompanyintranetoreventhe bulletinboardinthecafeteriaoronthewalloftheelevatoraregoodwaystokeep yourusersinformed. PreparingReports MaybewehavejustworkedinlargeITenvironmentsfortoolongnow,butitseemsto usthatinformationtechnologyismoreandmoreaboutreportsandmetrics.

Weare frequentlyaskedtoprovidereports,statistics,andinformationonusage—not necessarilyinformationonperformance howwellthesystemperformedforthe users butothertypesofmetrics. The mailboxstatisticscanbegeneratedusingtheExchangeManagementShell,butmany ofthesewillactuallyrequireanadditionalreportingproduct,suchasSystemCenter R2. Somethingthatyoucandotoprepareforareportingrequirementistoensurethat youarekeepingtwotofourweeks'worthofmessage-trackingandprotocollogs. Managementmay actuallybeholdingyoutoaspecificservice-levelagreement SLA thatrequiresyouto providesomanyhoursofuptimepermonthortoprovideemailservicesduring certainhours.

Unscheduleddowntimeisanythingthathappensduringyourstated hoursofoperationthatkeepsusersfromaccessingtheiremail. Evenasmallorganizationcanprovideverygoodavailabilityforitsmailservices,and withoutlargeinvestmentsinhardware. Goodavailabilitybeginswiththefollowing: Serverhardwareshouldalwaysbefromareputablevendorandlistedinthe MicrosoftServerCatalog.

Serverhardwareshouldbeinstalledusingthevendorrecommendedprocedures andupdatedregularly. Problemswithserversarefrequentlycausedbyoutdated firmwareanddevicedrivers. Oncetheserverisinproduction,itshouldnotbeusedasatestbedforother software. Keepanidenticallyconfiguredserverthatusesthesamehardwarefor testingupdates. Ingeneral,the industryformulaforprovidingbetteravailabilityforanysystemistospendmore moneytopurchaseredundantserversandbuildfailoverclusters. Butoftenbetter trainingforITpersonnelandasimpleinvestmentinsystemdocumentation,aswellas systempoliciesandprocedures,canimproveavailability—andforlessmoney.

Threemonthsintotheoperationofthe newsystem,anuntrainedoperatoraccidentallybroughtdowna15,mailbox databaseavailabilitygroup DAG simplybecausehehadbeenaskedtodoatask hehadneverdonebeforeandtheorganizationdidnothavedocumentationon howtoproceed. Sokeepinmindthatdocumentation,training,andproceduresare veryimportantinimprovinguptime. Eventhebiggestmailboxserversinlargedatabaseavailabilitygroupsneedsome scheduleddowntime. Evenifitisscheduledintheweehoursofthemorning, undoubtedlysomeone,somewhere,somehowwillneedaccesswhenyouareworking onthesystem.

Thankfully,theDAGsolutionforhighavailabilityensuresthatusers maynevernoticethescheduledserverdowntime,sincemailboxservicescanbe switchedovertoanothermemberserverintheDAG. Thatbeingsaid,whenyouare drivingyourcarwithnosparetireinthetrunk,youaremorevulnerabletoaflattire. ThesameistrueoftheDAG,becausewhenamemberserverisofflinefor maintenance,theDAGlosesapotentialmailboxserverthatiscapableoftakingover intheeventofserverfailure. Whenyourscheduleddowntimewillaffectcomponentsthatcanimpactserver availabilityforyourusers,thatdowntimeshouldbewellcommunicated. Also,you shoulddocumentyourscheduleddowntimeaspartofyouroperationalplansandlet yourusercommunityknowabouttheseplans.

Thespecifictimewindowfor maintenanceshouldalwaysbethesame;forsomeorganizations,thismightbe pmtopmonThursdayoncepermonth,whereasotherorganizationsmight scheduledowntimefrompmSaturdayuntilameverySunday. Thenumber-onereasonfordowntimeistoapplyupdatesandfixestotheoperating systemortotheapplicationsrunningontheserver.

Microsoftreleasesmonthly securityupdatesfortheoperatingsystemandapplicationsifvulnerabilitiesare discovered. Everyfewmonths,MicrosoftreleasesupdatesforExchangeServer thatfixbugsorthatmayevenaddslightfunctionality. NewforExchangeServer, Microsoftusesaquarterlyupdatereleasecycle. Eachquarter,acumulativeupdate CU isreleasedforExchangeServer YoucaninstalltheCUinyour environmenttoupdateitwiththelatestupdatesandfixes,andyoudonotneedto installpreviousCUsbeforeyouinstallthelatestCU. Microsoft'supdatesareusuallydownloadedtoyourserversshortlyaftertheyare released.

Whicheveryouchoose,itisimportantthatyoumakesurethatthemachine isaserverandnotaworkstation. Forexample,makesuretheautomaticupdates componentofWindowsServerisconfiguredcorrectly. Thisisanimportant settingbecauseifyouchoosetheInstallUpdatesAutomatically Recommended option,theserverwillautomaticallyapplyanyupdatewithinadayorsoof downloadingit.

Instead,you wanttheservertodownloadtheupdatesandnotifyyouviatheupdatesiconinthe systemtray. Youcantheninvestigatetheupdatesandscheduleappropriatedowntime toapplythemmanually. FindingAnswers Thistopicdeservesspecialattention. OneofourjobsisworkinginTier3supportfora largeorganization.

Thethingwerespectthemostabouttheadministratorswho actuallyrunthesystemandhandlethetroubleticketsisthattheydotheirhomework priortocomingtouswithaproblem. Don't dothat! Whenyouareaskedaquestionthatyoudon'tknowtheanswerto,itisokay tosayyoudon'tknowtheanswer—butmakesuretofollowthatupbyindicatingthat youwillfindtheanswer.

Knowingtherightresources wheretogetanswers isjustas importantasthetechnicalknowledgeittakestoimplementtheanswer. Keyplayersin yourorganizationwillrespectyoumuchmorewhentheyknowthatyouarewillingto acceptthelimitationsofyourknowledgeandhavetheappropriateresourcestofind theresolutiontoaproblemortheanswertoaquestion. HelpfulResources ExchangeServerhastobeoneofthemostdocumentedanddiscussedproducts short ofmaybeWindows thatMicrosoftproduces. Thismeansthatmostofthequestions thatwehaveaboutExchangeServercanusuallybeansweredviatherightsearchorby lookingintherightplace.

Themostobviousplacetostartwhenyouhaveaproblemor aquestionistoperformanInternetsearch,butmanyotherresourcesareavailable: ExchangeServerDocumentationThereisaworldoffreeinformationonthe Internet,butlet'sstartrightonthelocalharddiskofyourExchangeServerorany placeyouhaveinstalledtheadmintools. Microsofthasdoneanexcellentjobof providingbetterandbetterdocumentationforExchangeServeroverthepastfew years.

TheExchangeServerdocumentationiscomprehensiveandsoreadable youwillwonderifitisreallyfromMicrosoft. Alinktothedocumentationcanbe foundintheinstallationdirectoryofExchangeServer. EitheroptionwillopenawebbrowserthatnavigatestotheTechNet referencelibraryforExchangeServer. AgoodplacetostartistheMicrosoftforums, alsoknownassocial. Instead,posttheexacterror messageandanyerrorcodesyouareseeing. Also,indicate,atminimum,what versionofthesoftwareyouareusing includingservicepack ,theroleofthe server,andwhatoperatingsystemyouareusing.

Thisisthe bestsiteontheInternetforgettingtheinsidescooponhowExchangeServer works,bestpractices,andthefutureofExchangeServer. Whenchangestotheproductareannounced,orcustomersrequestchangesinthe product,youwillhearfirstfromtheproductgroupengineersaboutthewaythey havechosentodealwiththeissue. Thearticlesare writtenbyExchangeServergurusfromallovertheworldandareusuallyinthe formofeasy-to-readandeasy-to-followtutorials.

Thereisalsoaforumssection whereyoucanpostquestionsorreadotherpeople'squestions. CallingforSupport Ifyoursystemisdownoryouroperationsareseriouslyhinderedandyoudon'thavea cluewhattodonext,itistimetocallinthebigguns. Sure,youshoulddosome Internetsearchestotrytoresolveyourproblem,butInternetnewsgroupsandforums arenottheplacetogetsupportforbusiness-criticalissues.

Whenyoucallandgetasupporttechnicianonthephone,don'tbesurprisedor offendediftheystartatthebeginningandaskyoualotofelementaryquestions. They havetodouble-checkeverythingyouhavedonebeforetheycanlookintomore advancedproblems. Frequently,oneofthesebasicquestionswillhelpyoulocatea problemthatyouwereconvincedwasmorecomplicatedthanitreallywas. Thoughthe beginningofthecallmaybeunderwhelming,thetechnicianwillstaywithyouonthe phoneuntiltheproblemisresolvedorsomekindofanacceptableresolutionisputin place. YouwilldobothyourselfandthePSSengineerabigfavorifyouhaveallofyourducks inarowbeforeyoucall. Dothefollowingbeforeyoucall: Attemptagracefulshutdownandrestartoftheserverinquestion,ifapplicable.

Haveacomplete,documentedhistoryofeverythingyouhavedonetosolvethe problem. Atthefirstsignoftrouble,youshouldstartkeepingachronologicallogof thethingsyoudidtofixtheproblem. Findoutifyouareallowedtoinitiatesupportsessionswithremotesupport personnelthroughatoollikeSkypeforBusinessorWebEx.

Configuring Microsoft Outlook 2003 To Access An Exchange Server - Windows XP

Beatatelephonethatisphysicallyattheserver'sconsole,orbeinaplacewhere youcanaccesstheserverremotelyviatheRemoteDesktopclient. Yoursupport callwillbeverybriefifyoucannotimmediatelybegincheckingthingsforthePSS engineer. Havetheusernamesandpasswordsthatwillprovideyouwiththerightlevelof administrativeaccess. Ifyoudon'thavethose,havesomeonenearbywhocanlog youin. Screencaptures workgreatinthiscase. Weusuallycreateadocument withscreencapturesalongwithnotesofwhatweweredoingwhenwesaweach message. Alittlekindness,patience,and understandingonyourpartwillmostcertainlybereturnedbythePSSengineer.

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