Archives July 2006

Site Teething problems

Hi,

Just to let everyone know, that I have had a few server problems this morning which took the site down for an hour or so.

I am investigating the issues and will as promised move the site to a propper hosting company as soon as I can.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Cheers

Nathan


The PowerShell / Monad divide

I thought it might be helpful to add a few comments about what “PowerShell” and “Monad” mean. The technologies are basically the same thing. In time Exchange 2007 will transition from Monad to PowerShell.

Exchange 2007 Beta 2 uses a build of Monad equivalent to Release Candidate 0. In some, as yet undefined,?later build of Exchange 2007?”Monad” will transition to “PowerShell”.

It’s the same basic technology but you need to know which you are running.

Significant differences include the fact that Monad scripts use a .msh file extension and PowerShell scripts use a .ps1 file extension. Also some cmdlets are renamed in PowerShell, for example get-drive becomes get-PSdrive.

What I term “core” PowerShell available for general admin tasks. Core PowerShell is now at Release Candidate 1.

Download Core PowerShell RC1 from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=2B0BBFCD-0797-4083-A817-5E6A054A85C9&displaylang=en?if you are interested. You don’t need it to run Exchange 2007 Beta 2, however.

If you are unsure which version of Monad / PowerShell?you are using type

$host.version

on the command line. If you are?running the Exchange 2007 Beta 2?flavour of Monad the version is 1.0.8553.0. If you are running PowerShell RC1?the version is?1.0.9567.1.


Finding relevant PowerShell commands

When you first start with the Exchange?Management Shell the number of cmdlets available can seem overwhelming.

If, for example, you look for all Exchange cmdlets using

get-excommand

you will see information on 368 cmdlets. You can confirm that using the command:

(get-excommand).count

To add some focus to your search for relevant Exchange commands use wildcards with the get-command cmdlet. For example, to find cmdlets relevant to POP3 configuration type

get-command *pop*

which returns information on any cmdlet whose name includes the character sequence pop. The relevant commands are displayed.

?


Exchange 2007 first hours of use

Following on from my post on installing E2K7 here are some more thoughts on Exchange 2007 after a few hours of use.

1. You no longer use ADUC to perform Exchange tasks like setting up a mailbox.

2. You now get the option to setup various types of mailbox be that: User, Room, Equipment, Linked.

Of those the only one whose function is not totally obvious is the linked mailbox. This appears to be “a mailbox that is accessed by a security principle (user) in a separate trusted forest.”

3. When creating mailboxes through ECM (Exchange Configuration Manager) you can create a user at the same time. Another thing which caught my eye during the create mailbox process is that you can assign an Exchange ActiveSync mailbox policy. This suggests that the security policy element of Exchange 2007 has been greatly extended and is now accessible through the UI. Finally at the end of the user and mailbox creation process you are given a code snipet so that you can run a similar command in the mgmt shell. For me this is a great feature!

4. Now on the user properties in the email addresses tab when you want to add a new address it defaults to SMTP. Much simpler and far fewer clicks than 2003!

5. On the mailbox settings tab also on the user account it is interesting to see the Messaging Records policy section. I didn’t find the properties button immediately, but the feature seems interesting as a way of implementing Mailbox management policies simply.

6. Having setup a new mailbox I then loaded up an XP client and did a few test mails. Having done that to populate the mailboxes I fired up the new OWA. The most interesting thing on first impression is the new Documents tab which has replaced the public folders tab. This seems to give access to sharepoint and other windows file shares which looks very interesting. Looks like I will have to install the Sharepoint 2007 beta 2 and see where that takes me!

7. Finally for this post another OWA feature. You can now open up a message and select the message details button which shows you the message headers!

Well that is all for tonight. No duobt there will be more to follow as we all set out to discover a what is clearly going to be a very polished and feature rich new product!


First Observations about Exchange 2007

Hi,

Well as mentioned in other posts (and all over the Internet!) Exchange 2007 beta 2 is finally with us.

I thought I would take this opportunity to post about my first experiences with the product. All being well, over the next few weeks this will develop into a seriers of posts looking at the new features and components of Exchange 2007.

So here goes, first thing is make sure you download the correct version! In my excitement I went for the 64bit download which of course didn’t run!

Having got past that I setup a small test lab with two machines running 2003 Server R2 Enterprise, fully patched. I then setup the first as a DC and joined the second to it. Finally I made sure they both had net access using a nice little VMWare appliance machine running IPCOP.

Having got all that done I then moved onto installing Exchange. I started the installer which is no longer in the /setup/i386/setup.exe location but is an MSI in the root directory of the extracted files. The installer has five main steps the top two of which were already done:

1. Install .net framework 2.0

2. Install MMC (I assume this is version 3?

3. Install Command Shell

4. Install Exchange

5. Patch Exchange

So I had 1 and 2 already done but I had to install the new Command Shell (formerly Monad, now Powershell). Interestingly the installer actually install Monad RC0 although a newer version branded as Powershell is available.

Anyhow, that done I moved on to install Exchange. I went for the default option to install Mailbox, Transport and Client Access roles and the mgmt tools on the one server. Then prereqs were checked!

Well I failed. First I had to raise the domain functional level to at least Windows 2000 Native and then I needed IIS WWW component installed. I did this and then retried the check. This time it worked and continued. All went well until the Mailbox server install when things bombed out with an error about accessing the IIS metabase. To cut a long story short I guess this was because I didn’t restart setup after installing IIS like I was asked to! Having rebooted I did add/remove programs and selected change on Exchange 2007. I installed the missing role and that is where I am now.

Hopefully after some testing tonight I will have a little more for you!

Cheers

Nathan


Exchange 2007 info

For those of you who haven’t found this site yet, here is the Microsoft area for Exchange 2007.

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/2007/default.mspx

Interestingly, it appeared earlier today that Beta 2 was available for download, although it now seems to have disappeared.

Still looks like it could be with us very soon 🙂

Another thing which is available is the new Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server. Forefront Security for Exchange protects organizations against the latest threats by managing multiple antivirus scan engines at multiple layers throughout the e-mail infrastructure.

I guess therefore that this is simply the next version of Antigen.

One thing to consider is that it requires 2007 to be installed.

Cheers

Nathan


Additional Feeds added to the Aggregated Feed

Hi,

I have just spent a little time updating the list of links on the links page and have also taken the time to ensure that any blogs that are linked to are also pulled into the Aggregated RSS feed.

You should therefore now find much more content on the aggregation page which means you can gather many blog feeds just by pulling down the RSS feed from the Aggregated RSS page:

http://www.mmmug.co.uk/cs/roller/default.aspx

Hope this is useful.

If there are any sites you would like added to the list or the feed then let me know.

Cheers

Nathan


Site Speed

It has been mentioned in the forums that the site speed is sometimes rather slow.

Firstly for me it appears that the load time is slow however, after that things speed up. I believe this is similar to other community server based sites so there may be little that can be done.

On the general speed side of things, the site will be moved to quicker hardware and a faster Internet connection in the next week or so, so if you can bear with me until then that would be great.

If things are very slow at specific times please let me know and I will investigate further.

Thanks

Nathan


The Unified Communications User Group

Hi,

Well I went to the second Unified Communications User Group (MUCUGUK) meeting last night.

The group is run by Arthur Pounder and Russ Kirk and has been going for just a few months. The evening was a great chance to meet up with the organisers of a user group which has a very close subject matter to our own.

I have no doubt that in the next few months we shall arrange some cross over sessions to introduce people to both the Live Communication Server and the new Unified Communications features of Exchange.

The web site for the group can be found here:

http://mucuguk.org/