MMMUG September 2010 – Exchange virtualisation


Tony and I have another MMMUG event setup in a couple of weeks as per the below:

Hot on the heels of the August event we now have the September event booked. The subject of the event is Exchange Virtualisation, it’ll be held on Thursday 30th September and EMC will be presenting for half of the session.

Since there wasn’t really time for a Q/A session in the last meeting – we’ll making up for it in this one with half of the time dedicated to a roundtable discussion.

The meeting will be held at one of EMC’s London offices (near Southwark tube station) – there are spaces for 30 people and food and drink will be provided.

Meeting Agenda:

6:00pm – Registration & Welcome

6:30pm – EMC – Virtualising Exchange 2010

             · Introduction and Welcome
             · Why Virtualising Exchange
             · EMC Testing and Validation
             · Backup and Recovery
             · Compliance
             · DR options in a virtual world
             · Q&A

7:30pm – Refreshments

8:00pm  -  Roundtable discussion

9:00pm  -  Meeting ends

Meeting Location: EMC Consulting, Room 3.3, Notcutt House, 36 Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 9EU.


To sign up see the link here


Hope to see you there.



MMMUG August Event – Exchange Backup and SCDPM 2010

We’re on a roll! The August MMMUG event is being hosted by Tony Brown. and is being held in London on the 18th August 2010.

The subject of the meeting is Exchange backup and recovery and we have Microsoft’s Anthony Tyler talking about System Centre Data Protection Manager’s take on backing up exchange and Kroll Ontrack’s offering for recovery.

Kroll Ontrack is now celebrating its 25th Anniversary as a global leader in the provision of data management solutions, specialising in data recovery, restoration, erasure and investigative products and services (

Ontrack PowerControls software for Microsoft Exchange empowers users to search, recover, extract, restore and migrate Microsoft Exchange data (

Faced with increasing hardware and administration costs together with tighter budgets, organisations are seeking more cost-effective and efficient solutions to manage ad-hoc and routine Microsoft Exchange data requests. The core functionality of Ontrack PowerControls enables System Administrators to search, recover and restore entire .edb, .pst files and granular level items, whilst retaining data integrity.

Kroll Ontrack is pleased to be demonstrating the core functionality, features and application of this invaluable Microsoft Exchange administration tool.


18:00pm – 18:30pm Arrival
18:30pm – 19:30pm Ontrack PowerControls

  • Company & Product overview
  • Single item restore / recovery
  • Intuitive searching
  • Additional functionality
  • Existing customers
  • Live demo
  • Extraction of Microsoft Exchange data from backup
  • Browsing single / multiple .edb & .pst files, to single item level
  • Searching across multiple .edb’s
  • Compliance, investigations and legal requirements
  • Restoration of data
  • Reporting
  • Hands-on demo
  • Q & A

19:30pm – 20:00pm Refreshments
20:00pm – 20:45pm Microsoft DPM

  • Why build DPM?
  • Introducing DPM
  • Demo – Protecting Data
  • How Does DPM work?
  • Demo – Rapid & Reliable Recovery
  • Protected Platforms

20:45pm – 21:00pm Discussions & Questions on Exchange backup / recovery.

The event will be held at Kroll Ontrack’s flagship offices overlooking HMS Belfast and London Bridge:

  • Kroll Ontrack Limited
  • Tower Place East
  • London EC3R 5BS
  • United Kingdom

To Sign Up use the link below:

Set Outlook Web App (OWA) Logon Format with PowerShell script

I’ve been working with PowerShell recently as you can see from my recent blog posts on setting Exchange 2010 virtual directory settings and on redirecting the OWA URL from http to https.

Below is a script I put together to set the logon format for OWA. Basically it prompts the user about the various types of format available and then goes and builds the relevant commands to configure any Client Access servers in the environment. It should work against Exchange 2007 and 2010 although I’ve only tested Exchange 2010.


Write-host "This script will let you set the logon format for OWA virtual directories on Exchange 2010."
Write-host ""

#Set Variables
[string]$ConfirmPrompt = "Set this Value? (Y/N)"
[string]$WarningForeground = "white"
[string]$WarningBackground = "red"

#Build Array of OWA virtual directories and then run through for the user

[array]$OWAVDir = Get-OwaVirtualDirectory

#Prompt user about how they want login to occur and then get selection
Write-host "How do you want users to log into OWA?"

[string]$type = Read-host "You have three options, EmailAddress (UPN), Domain\username or username. Please enter one of (Email / Domain / Username)"

Write-host ""

#Create function for calling later which will do the setting of properties

function ConfigureVirtualDirectory
#Get the current AD domain FQDN for use as the default domain if Username format is chosen.

$ADdomain = [System.DirectoryServices.ActiveDirectory.Domain]::GetCurrentDomain()

    if ($type -eq "Email")    {
        Write-host "You have opted to use the email address. Please make sure users UPN in active directory matches their email address" -foregroundcolor $WarningForeground -backgroundcolor $WarningBackground
        Foreach ($value in $OWAVDir) {
            Set-OwaVirtualDirectory -Identity $value -LogonFormat PrincipalName }
    if ($type -eq "Domain")    {
        Foreach ($value in $OWAVDir) {
            Set-OwaVirtualDirectory -Identity $value -LogonFormat FullDomain }
    if ($type -eq "Username")    {
        Foreach ($value in $OWAVDir) {
            Set-OwaVirtualDirectory -Identity $value -LogonFormat UserName -DefaultDomain $ADdomain }

#Tell user what is about to happen for each server and then give choice to execute

Write-host “Looking at Server: ” $OWAVDir[0].server
    Write-host “Current Logon Format: ” $OWAVDir[0].logonformat
    Write-host “New Logon Format Type:     ” $Type
   [string]$set = Read-host $ConfirmPrompt
    Write-host “”

    if ($set -eq "Y")    {
    }    else    {
        Write-host "Nothing has been changed, script quit" -foregroundcolor $WarningForeground -backgroundcolor $WarningBackground


Recovery of data from Exchange 5.5

I had a question recently from a friend at Microsoft about a client who had got into a bit of a pickle!

They needed to restore and email from a mailbox which was 5 years old, long since deleted and on Exchange 5.5.

They did have a backup from the month end, but no idea whether the mail actually was still available or whether it was deleted before month end.

I did a little research and with the help of a couple of other Exchange MVPs Paul Robichaux and Kevin Ball I think I have a solution! We will of course not find out until I get some feedback from my friend.


So my thoughts were as follows:

One option to get this back (if it exists) would be to use Ontrack PowerControls. I’ve not done it for a while, but essentially, the idea is you recover the full database from tape and then Ontrack can open it and extract the relevant email. Of course the full tool is not free although there is a free version which might just have enough to do what is needed or at least to help you understand if the email is actually available!


The other option could be interesting! I’m not 100% sure but I believe that if you have Exchange 2003 (possibly later but not sure) you could create a database and then dismount and delete the files. Then put the recovered database (.edb file) in the same location and name it the same as the dummy database file you just deleted. At this point mounting the database should prompt Exchange to upgrade the structure of the DB to Exchange 2003 and allow you to see the mailboxes within. You would then need to create a user account and link the relevant mailbox to that account. (Thanks to Paul for the tip here)


So with a bit of luck and possibly some purchasing of tools, assuming the mail wasn’t deleted before the month end back, it should be possible to get it back!


Having posted something similar on Twitter I received feedback saying the recovery via Exchange 2003 won’t work! So I tested it!! – Yup I actually installed NTT4 and Exchange 5.5.

What I have found so far is that Exchange 2003, will create an STM file but then won’t mount the database. I believe that this is probably due to the fact that they are different organisations as I didn’t carry out a migration to Exchange 2003 instead just installing separate Orgs. I will update later with more progress!



Virtualizing Exchange


Not much insight here I know, but I was researching this topic for a friend today and thought the collection of links might at least be useful!

Microsoft Virtualization: Best Choice for Exchange Server

Should You Virtualize Exchange 2007 SP1?

Exchange 2010 System Requirements

Microsoft Support Policies and Recommendations for Exchange Servers in Hardware Virtualization Environments

TechNet Webcast – Microsoft Virtualisation Best Practices for Exchange Server (Level 300)



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!