Archives April 2010

Hosted Pilot for Microsoft Unified Communications – Setup


As promised here is more info about the new hosted pilot for UC from Microsoft.

On clicking the register link, some basic info is required, but all relatively simple stuff, like number of PCs, company name and phone number.

Having filled the form your account is created and then you are prompted to add other users. At this point I created one for my wife too!

Next you are redirected to the resources page –

The relevant section is towards the bottom of the page and gives a link to a Silverlight based app which shows various mini videos outlining key features and functionality.


This information is actually pretty good! It is a reasonably clear and easy guide to the key elements of Unified Communications according to Microsoft!

So having got this far, the next step is to get the Microsoft Office Communicator client installed on a few machines, for this purpose the confirmation/information mail points you to the evaluation version of MOC here –

Once MOC is installed update it with the latest MOC patch as shown in my blog post here:

Once MOC is fully installed and patched fire it up from the Start menu and login using the credentials provided:

One thing to note is that when I first opened MOC it was set to the default log in name and wouldn’t let me change it! So to do so I clicked the drop down menu in the top left of the sign in window next to the MOC icon and selected Connect / Change Sign-in Address

I then entered the correct address as shown:


At this point, clicking OK takes you back to the sign in window:


Now that the sign-in address is correct click Sign In

Enter the details as instructed using the sip/email address for the username and then click Sign In again.


At this point you will be signed in and can start using OCS!

Have fun!!

In a while I will post again detailing some of the features which are, and more importantly are not available in the online pilot.

Updating Microsoft Office Communicator – April 2010 patch

Recently there have been a bunch of new updates for Office Communications Server 2007 R2 and it’s accompanying client Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2.

I will post later with screenshots of the server updates but for now here is the location and process to update MOC.

First download the patch from the link below:

You will notice that much more information is available from the following location –

For example from the above KB article we can see that there are many bug fixes included.

To install the update once simply double click the .msp file that you have downloaded and follow the steps below:

Click Next


Accept the license terms and click Next


If prompted accept (Click Yes) to the UAC request

Click Finish


All in all it’s really that simple!

Minasi Conference 2010 – spreading the word!


As you know a over the last few months I have been organising the Minasi Conference 2010. Well we are pretty close now, and it’s nice to see that the MVP Blog has picked up on the conference and added it’s weight to the publicity.

Well we are now only two weeks away and there are still a few places left so if you need any more encouragement take a look at the links below!

As for the last couple of years here are some links to people publicising the conference:

Aidan Finn:
Why should you go to the Minasi Conference?!

Mark Minasi:

Joe McGlynn:

Nathan Winters:

Ultan Kinahan:

Susan Bradley:
Want to know what Mark Minasi takes in his coffee? – THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF THE SBS "DIVA":

Don Jones:
Check out a Great, Small, NON-Profit Conference

Nick Whittome:
Minasi Conference – Bigger and Better

Brett Johnson

A link focused on the pre-con at the Cisco Academy Facebook page

Paul Thurrott giving us a plug:

From RichNRockville

It would be nice to see you there!



My UK TechDays Presentation – Exchange 2010 IPC


As promised here is the first of my posts following up my presentation at UK TechDays 2010.

The topic of the talk was Exchange 2010 Information Protection and Compliance.

The whole day went very well and I believe, it was a full house at approx. 380 people. Even at the end of my slot, the last of the day, there were still well over half the audience left!

Key questions that were raised after my session were around the use of Transport rules and the flexibility they offer, the use of MailTips as a user prompt based on message content and what the future holds for Exchange Hosted Services archive.

Over the next couple of weeks I will be posting further articles on setup of the demo labs for my presentation and will try and address the above questions too!

For now, here are my slides:

Hosted Pilot for Microsoft Unified Communications

Whilst at Dimension Data there has long been a point of discussion about how we could offer a hosted pilot for the various Microsoft UC end user features. We were hoping to setup a multi tenant OCS and Exchange 2010 system by doing some segmentation work on the Address Book system and by using FaceTime IMAuditor to ensure that only people on the same trial from the same company could communicate.

However, it would now appear that Microsoft have gone and done it for us and the rest of the industry.

Here is the information from Microsoft

You and your colleagues are invited to experience first-hand how Microsoft’s Unified Communications solution can help you harness the power of software to streamline communications between people anytime, anywhere, free for 60-days.
Register for the Unified Communications Virtual Experience today at
The Virtual Experience allows you to test drive the end user capabilities delivered by Exchange Server 2010 and Office Communications Server 2007 R2 for 60-days, you will discover how you can:

Connect with the right person, right now from within familiar, easy-to-use Microsoft Office applications—with one click

Bring people together quickly and easily—anytime, anywhere

Break down communication silos—whether people are down the hall, across continents, or constantly on the road

So my plan is to try and trial this at home and then let you know all about the process.

Stay tuned for more!

Tip about setting up Static IPv6 address for Domain Controllers

This is a slightly random/out of context blog post as it’s not really related to Exchange or OCS, however for those setting up lab systems or actually, any network where a domain controller is being built this might be of use.

I have never really looked into the correct settings for IPv6 on a DC and have therefore often have warnings about not having a Static IPv6 address.

Well whilst rooting around the TechNet site trying to work out how to setup an AD RMS install, I found a step by step guide to setting up a lab –

One snippet that caught my attention was how IP addresses should be configured on a Server 2008 (or 2008 R2) domain controller.

Configure TCP/IP properties so that the domain controller has a IPv4 static IP address of and a IPv6 static IP address of FEC0:0:0:1::

I also found these steps which seems to suggest disabling IPv6 which I know from various posts has the potential to cause issues as Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 expect to use it for internal communications.

To configure TCP/IP properties

  1. Log on to the domain controller with an Administrator account.
  2. Click Start, click Control Panel, click Network and Internet, click Network and Sharing Center, click Manage Network Connections (or Change adaptor settings on Server 2008 R2), right-click Local Area Connection, and then click Properties.
  3. On the Networking tab, click Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4), and then click Properties.
  4. Click the Use the following IP address option. In the IP address box, type In the Subnet mask box, type, and then click OK.
  5. On the Networking tab, clear the Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) check box, and then click OK.
  6. Click OK to close the Local Area Connection Properties dialog box.

So I did a bit of reading around and asked a few colleagues and came up with a few nuggets.

In IPv4 we mostly use private subnets (, and for internal networks. In IPv6, the equivalent type of address is a Unique Local Address (ULA or link local) for use in the local network. This is an absolutely massive range of addresses which it is basically impossible to use up!

However, the key thing is that Windows Server 2008 R2 only considers Global Unicast IPv6 as an equivalent for “static” IPv4 addresses. Unique Local Addresses (FC00::/7) are not “static” IP addresses.

So what we need to do is assign a Global Unicast address to the server to stop us being prompted that a Static IP in not set.

I also found a bunch of resources which might help get people started in IPv6

Chapter 3 of the TCP/IP Fundamentals for Windows– IP Addressing:

Wikipedia – For a load more info about IPv6 see here:

You can use this calculator to get the correct IPv6 addresses for your needs:

This is a TechNet magazine article:

And finally this work by Joe Davies comes highly recommended from my friend and Directory Services MVP Laura E. Hunter


And at the end of this what conclusion did I come to?

Basically at the moment unless you need to use IPv6 in your network (which I acknowledge that many US Public organisations do) don’t worry about it! You will get an occasional message but essentially IPv6 is clever enough to sort itself out in the majority of cases!

Happy reading!



Exchange 2010 SP1 announced!

At this stage another short post!

But as soon as bits are available I will get something longer up here.

Microsoft have again improved Exchange with the announcement of SP1.

As regular readers will know I’ve been working on Information Protection and Compliance with Exchange 2010 recently for a presentation at UK TechDays next week. Well there are loads of changes in those areas!

As is so often the case with the Exchange product group Microsoft have really listened to feedback and implemented things like being able to split the user archive off into a separate database. You can also import mail directly into Exchange with server side admin lead tools rather than relying on users to move mail into their archive. I personally will be interested to see whether you can import directly to the archive!

Another nice addition is being able to create Retention tags, (and hopefully policies) directly in the GUI rather than only through PowerShell.

One of the biggest deals for many is that the Personal archive can be used from Outlook 2007 which will remove a massive blocker for deployment as companies are often much slower to upgrade their Office suite than their mail system.

Alongside all the above there are numerous improvements to OWA to speed up use and move it even closer to being a very capable replacement for Outlook in many situations.

For more info see the announcement on the Exchange team blog.



Thanks Microsoft; I have been renewed as an Exchange Server MVP for 2010

Just a quick post to say thanks to the MVP program and Exchange product groups for renewing my MVP award for a fourth year running.

I was a little bit worried this year that I hadn’t done so much as during previous years but having re-launched the MMMUG (Exchange User Group) I’m pleased to be on the program again as it truly is a great experience and a useful resource.

Thanks Microsoft!

I’m Presenting on Exchange 2010 Protection and Compliance at Microsoft UK TechDays 2010


Given by the lack of posts over the weekend you might think I was taking it easy having a nice Easter weekend!

Well no! I was working somewhat manically with Exchange 2010 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Active Directory Rights Management.

I spent the best part of 3 days working to build the demos I will need for my slot at TechDays UK which is being held next week starting April 12th in various locations around London.

For more info the basic home page is here:

I think it is pretty much booked up but the good news is that the sessions will be videoed and available for streaming after the event.

My slot covers all things Information Protection and Compliance in Exchange 2010 so I will be covering Personal Archive, Retention policies, Legal hold and Multi-Mailbox Search and also Info Rights Management, Transport Rules, Moderation and MailTips.

For more about my slot see the link here and look at Tuesday!



Exchange 2010 IRM Journal Decryption Documentation error


I’ve been playing around with AD RMS and Exchange 2010 integration and believe  have come across a documentation error.

First a quick summary of the feature from the help file:

Enabling journal report decryption allows the Journaling agent to attach a decrypted copy of a rights-protected message to the journal report. Before you enable journal report decryption, you must add the Federated Delivery mailbox to the super users group configured on your Active Directory Rights Management Services (AD RMS) server.

In the follow doc which describes how to configure (enable/disable) journal report decryption:

The command to enable journal report decryption is wrong:

It currently reads:

Set-IRMConfiguration -JournalReportEncryptionEnabled $true

I believe it should read

Set-IRMConfiguration -JournalReportDecryptionEnabled:$true

Microsoft have logged the bug so hopefully there will be an updated copy soon!