Category: Uncategorized

Installing Exchange Server 2010 in Typical Configuration

As some of you may know, Tony Brown and I have recently re-launched my user group MMMUG. As part of that launch I wrote a new article for the site.

The article discusses the decisions to be taken when installing Exchange Server 2010 in a single server environment and shows in detail the steps taken to do so. I show how to install the typical Exchange roles; Mailbox, Hub Transport and Client Access roles, as I will provide a later article detailing the installation of the Unified Messaging role.

The article covers only the install of Exchange to the point where the server is operational in its default configuration. Both patching and basic configuration steps will be covered in later articles.

The article can be found on the new MMMUG site here:

Changes to Microsoft OCS Public Internet Connectivity (PIC)

Microsoft have given a few warnings recently about changes who restrict PIC traffic via IP address lockdown. Here is the final update as the changes happen tomorrow!

This is the one week reminder that the scheduled additional IP Address is on track for implementation on Friday, March 26, 2010.  For organizations restricting this traffic to specific IP addresses the updated list in the KB below MUST be in place by March 26, 2010 or PIC connectivity to MSN WILL fail.

897567    Known issues that occur with public instant messaging and Communications Server;EN-US;897567

Barring an unforeseen issues, this is the final notification on this change.


Microsoft Communications Server 14


Yes that’s right it has finally launched! And note the new name…..that’s going to screw up the #OCS tag on twitter!

So what’s going on then?

Today at VoiceCon in Orlando Gurdeep Singh Pall, Corporate Vice President, Unified Communications Group, Microsoft Corporation announced the next version of the Microsoft Real Time communications platform.

You can watch the keynote here:

So what’s so exciting?

On a personal note it’s great to be able to talk publicly about a product which as an MVP we have seen a fair bit about over the last few months, in particular in February at the MVP Summit. It’s fair to say at the time, the overwhelming opinion was that CS14 was pretty darn good, so it’s great we can now go into a little more detail:

One of the things which really hit me was that Gurdeep mentioned a couple of times that over a total solution CS14 would be around 50% less expensive than a tradition IPPBX system, food for thought indeed. Apparently there was a session later in the day where details were discussed so it would be interesting to see more about that especially when talking about the SME space.

Diving into features, presence is extended to incorporate more detailed location awareness. When outside the corporate network a user is able to specify a location manually, whilst within the network, it is possible to have the location mapped to the building area automatically.

This then ties nicely into another key feature (well for the US market at least) E.911 support. This is the capability of a phone system to notify emergency services of a calls location. IP telephony creates challenges for this in that an IPPBX could be centralised with all calls going out of a central trunk. This way a third party (911 Enable and Intrada) can be notified of the location info via additional signalling info and will then ensure that emergency services are targeted to the correct location.

The next new feature shown really highlights the overall UC platform MSFT can provide when CS14 and Exchange 2010 are put together. In the new Communicator client, you get a type of visual voicemail so you see exactly who has left a message directly in the client. Taking things further there is still a link to view the voicemail in Outlook where you can use the great functions such as text preview and presence awareness.

Something which people will already be familiar with is the new contact card featuring photos and a square presence icon. The key thing is that this is the same across the whole platform, Office, SharePoint, Outlook etc and can be easily added to your apps too!

Again on the theme of a whole UC platform, is another of the key features in the new client. This time it is a window into SharePoint, making use of the indexing and searching facilities to locate key information about peoples’ skills. It allows you to allow you to search on keywords to find all people who have relevant interests expertise and then gradually narrow that down to the people/person you want all the time based on presence! What’s really cool is that SharePoint is clever enough to do a phonetic based search to get around poor spelling!

The last big piece discussed was one of the main features that enterprises expect, Call Admission Control (CAC). This promises to be one of those features which removes a blocker from corporate deployments where network managers are really concerned that although the OCS RTAudio and RTVideo codecs are adaptable, they never the less can still overwhelm a network link given enough calls.

So the CAC functions, enable CS14 to sample the available bandwidth and make decisions based on both type of traffic (voice and video) and number of sessions. It would seem that on various conditions (slow machines, poor camera, low bandwidth etc, a number of decisions can be taken, to either lower video quality (or stop it totally), or to reroute the call over another link.

All in all today’s demo has only scratched the surface of the product, I for one am really looking forward to the first beta drop when we can get hands on with WC14.



Welcome to my new blog!


It’s taken a long while but over the last few months I have had the great fortune to meet Tony Brown, who has offered to help me get my (or should that now be our??) user group MMMUG up and running again. As part of that offer he has worked really hard to put together a new website for MMMUG, and finally also helped me to get my blog moved away from Community Server to here, on WordPress!

This is something I have been wanting to do for a while now and I believe that it will give me much more flexibility as a platform to link into other media types, like Twitter, LinkedIn, FaceBook and the like.

My aim for this new blog is to establish a site under my own name, which regularly comments and explains the current issues/developments in the Unified Communications space, and no doubt also has a sprinkling of posts about what I am up to, including my favourite hobbies, badminton and photography.

There is still a bunch of development work to do but given that today was the launch of Microsoft Communications Server 14, I thought now was a good time for my first couple of posts!

Looking forward to writing here, and of course also for the new MMMUG site and hope that people find my posts useful.



Minasi Conference 2010

Minasi Conference
May 2nd May 5th

Virginia Beach, VA, USA


Its been a while since I last posted (I seem to say that every time at the moment!)

Anyhow, I wanted to let people know about the 5th annual Minasi Conference which is being held in Virginia Beach, VA, USA.

The conference runs from Sunday May 2nd until Wednesday May 5th and has some of the worlds top speakers.

The Minasi conference is unlike any other tech conference you?ve attended before due to its intimacy, favourable student:lecturer ratio, variety of topics and quality of instructors. The conference is organized and staffed by volunteers from Mark Minasi?s forum and includes well known veteran lecturers like Mark Minasi, Rhonda Layfield, Todd Lammle, Roger Grimes, Microsoft MVP’s and author?s such as Aidan Finn, Nathan Winters and Eric Rux and forum members who just want to share what they’re doing.

The conference has enjoyed some prestigious special guest lecturers and this year is no exception. The chance to rub elbows and ask questions in such a small environment is found only at the Minasi conference. Previous years special guests have included:

-Cisco Guru and all around nice guy, Todd Lammle
-All things Security (now featuring the Cloud), Steve Riley
-Group Policy Experts Jeremy Moskowitz and Darren Mar-Elia
-Super Scripter, Don Jones
-Internet Fixer, Roger Grimes

We invite you to join us both online and in person.

Take a look at the website for loads more info and to register ?

Pre-Conference Event

For the 2010 Conference we are pleased to offer our first Pre-Conference session.

The aim is to provide a 4 hour event at a small additional cost which will cover a topic that is closely related to the main conference but just slightly different!

In this case Todd Lammle will lead the session on the morning of Sunday 2nd May from 08:30 until 12:30.

The topic is Configuring Basic Cisco and Router Configurations

All students would need is their own laptop and we will provide a free copy of Todd?s latest book as well as very slick router and switch simulator that you get to keep.

We are currently working to flesh out the details of this session and will update with a full agenda shortly.

This pre-con session will cost $85 which includes the Book, The Simulator, a light breakfast, Lunch and of course the 4 hours tuition!

For more information check conference website in the Pre-Conference section.

I look forward to seeing you in Virginia!



MMMUG November 2009 Event – OCS and Exchange Product Group Speakers

It has been a while since my last post about MMMUG, but on the plus side I do have what I think will be a great event lined up!
Given that TechEd is coming up in Berlin in early November, Russ Kirk from the UC User Group and I have managed to hook up with the OCS and Exchange Product Groups to get a couple of TechEd Speakers to stop off in London and speak at this event.
The Messaging and UC user groups come together for a special pre-TechEd event on Friday 6th November in London at Microsoft Cardinal Place. The event starts at 6pm and runs until 9pm.
Two members of the products groups in Redmond have offered to present to us on their way to Berlin.
Astrid McClean is a Senior Technical Product Manager in the Exchange group. With the recent launch of Exchange 2010 Astrid will be speaking about management, new administration capabilities and self-service with a focus on roles based access control (RBAC).
Following Astrid we have Yancey Smith who is a Director of Product Management within the OCS group. Yancey will be presenting two slots for us. The first session will providing an overview of OCS 2007 R2, exposing some of the features you may not realise are there and potential for the product within your organisation.
Following a break for food, we will start a closed-doors non-disclosure agreement session where you can share with Yancey your wish list and frustrations with OCS and there will be a discussion with his thoughts on how these may be addressed.
The NDA to be signed will be available on the evening. If you need to review a copy in advance please email either me.
We look forward to seeing you all there, and having a pint or two afterwards!
To sign up please use the link below:
Note: The email confirming your attendance from Event Brite will ask you to print the ticket and bring it with you. You don’t need to, we’ll have a list on the night and will check you off against that.

"The action could not be completed. The bookmark is not valid."

The error message in the title of this post seems to be a common one!

It occurred on a site I was working on a while ago and I thought I would note down the fix that I used.

Simply; I rebooted the GCs (in fact both DCs as they were both GCs and the only DCs/GCs in the network).

For a little more background, I had been installing a new Exchange 2003 organization from scratch for a company migrating from GW. Everything was going well until we tried to connect an Outlook client to a mailbox. The mailbox worked fine using OWA but not Outlook.

I did a little searching and found that after installing Exchange for the first time certain processes do not complete on the GC until they are rebooted. So having done that, everything worked fine.

Now I am not sure that this will fix everyone’s problem with this error message but it is certainly worth a try!



Useful OCS 2007 R2 information

There is lots of info out there about OCS 2007 R2 so I thought I would list a few sites here:

An overview of some of the key features:


An install guide:


Another tips and tricks series about install


On a slightly different subject here is a bunch of info from Joe Calev about how/where OCS stores it?s config information either in SQL, AD or WMI


Further information about all the WMI classes where OCS stores information:

SQL Management Tools not available


Recently I installed SQL 2005 on a machine as part of a new lab setup for OCS 2007 R2.

Strangely the SQL Management Studio was not installed.

This post below explains why and how to fix it.


Essentially, the fix is to open the setup folder and in there is a SqlRun_Tools.msi file. If you run that it should actually install SSMS.



Updates required for Exchange 2003


Although a lot of people have moved on from Exchange 2003, there are still a massive number of mailboxes still on the system.

I thought it would be worth listing the hotfixes needed for Exchange 2003.


1. Install the hot-fixes in the order listed.? Hot-fixes are ordered based on version numbers beginning with the lower versions and ending with the higher versions.

2. It should be noted that not all the fixes are publicly available as some need to be downloaded via MSFT support.

3. Be sure to install the service packs and/or hot-fixes on the Front-End servers before upgrading the back-end servers.

Service Pack

? Service Pack 2 –


Recommended ADC Hot-Fixes:

? None

Recommended Exchange Hot-Fixes:

? (PFD Fix)*

? (ESEUTIL Fix)*

? (IMAP Fix)

? (OWA Fix)*+

? (Management Fix)*

? (OAB Fix)

? (ESM Fix)

? (Categorization Fix)*

? (MS07-026 Fix)*+

? (Front-End Fix)*

? (EAS Fix)*

? (EAS Authentication ESM Fix)

? (OWA Spell Check Fix)

? (ExMIME Fix)

? (CDO Fix)

? (ExCDO Fix)

? (MS08-039 – Store Fix)*

? (Message Filter Fix)*

? (DSProxy Fix)

? (DST Fix)*

Replacements (denoted by *)

? 911828 and 910035 have been replaced by 916160

? 912480, 899023. 919296 have been replaced by 911708

? 910926 and 911829 have been replaced by 924334

? 910272, 912587 have been replaced by 927478

? 909933, 910268, 916803 (MS06-019), 909068, 912442 (MS06-029) have been replaced by 926666

? 930247 has been replaced by 931832

? 931915 has been replaced by 937653

? 941385, 951619 have been replaced by 953747

? 927478 has been replaced by 951639

? 908259 has? been replaced by 946111

? 914148 has been replaced by 926986

? 941169 has been replaced by 935489

? 909989 has been replaced by 937851

? 915863 has been replaced by 932894

? 926666, 931915, 960445? have been replaced by 943068

Notes (denoted by +)

? 924334 contains the same files as 911829

DST 2007 fixes are now available by installing both 931832 and 941169

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