ENow Exchange & Office 365 Solutions Engine Blog (ESE)

Exchange Group Management Script

Posted by Adam Fowler on Dec 10, 2014 2:04:00 PM

Email Group management is often a time consuming process. Exchange has two types of distribution groups, each with their pros and cons, and both out of the box may not be ideal for your organisation. 

The normal Distribution List has been around for a long time. It's a group that has a list of members, however has adds, moves and changes that are normally manual. This can either be a time consuming process for people to manage each time when members of lists change, and leaves along with room for human error...

Dynamic Distribution Groups are the other type, that the automation covered by using rules, known as filters. The group will check these filters at the time of an email being sent to the group. This means that if someone's department changes, there is no need to make a change to the dynamic distribution group, and therefore causes much less of an administration burden.

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Topics: Exchange 2010, Exchange, Exchange Management Tools, exchange tools, Exchange Tips

Exchange Cannot Send Mail to Some Domains

Posted by Lasse Pettersson on Dec 11, 2013 1:47:00 PM

Have you encountered an instance where Exchange cannot deliver mail to a destination on the Internet? This is becoming more and more common. You may question why this is happening in the first place and why it’s becoming more common.

The answer lies in how Exchange does DNS queries. Exchange was designed to run on a corporate network where you have full control on how DNS is setup and configured. Basically, Exchange believes that DNS will always respond with a correct answer. But when Exchange sends mail to the Internet, DNS queries and answers might not always be what you expect. This is especially true when more and more organizations start using IPv6.

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Topics: Exchange 2010, Exchange 2013, Powershell, Exchange Server, Exchange Tips, Exchange 2010 Connectors

Getting Started with Exchange 2010 Relay Connectors

Posted by Theresa Miller on Dec 4, 2013 12:10:00 PM

So, you have server-side applications that are internal to your environment and require a mechanism in order to send email, but the system itself cannot use a mailbox account due to application limitations.  What do you do?  In this case you will likely setup relay connectors on your Exchange servers.  Before you set these up however, there is one key question to ask. 

Will I allow my users to relay internally, externally, or both? 

The reality is that the answer to the question comes down to your organizational security policies, so work with your security team before implementing anything.  An example of when you might need relayed mail to leave your organization would be if they would need to go to pagers that are not setup within Active Directory/Exchange.  If this is the case then an external relay may be required.  Once your decisions are made, then the rest is up to you.   

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Topics: Exchange Management Console, Exchange 2010 Relay Connectors, Hub Transport Servers, Exchange 2010, Exchange Server, Exchange Tips

Using PowerShell to Report on Exchange Server Disk Space

Posted by Phoummala Schmitt on Nov 6, 2013 1:38:00 PM

Disk space is vital to the health of an Exchange Server. Without disk you don’t have email. Exchange is dependent on having disk because every time an email is sent it’s written to disk, without it you’re S.O.L.

When exchange databases run out of disk space the databases will dismount. Dismounted databases are usually not a good thing because that means email is down for the users in that database. Systems with low disk space can also impact overall performance of the server. Any of these events happening to an exchange server is not good. We all know that when email is slightest bit slow or down, the users will react like the zombies are attacking and the sky is falling.

Keep the zombies away…

If you are using tools such as Mailscape, System Center Operations Manager, or Spotlight, monitoring Exchange disk space can be pretty easy. If your budget does not allow for third party software, however, you are left to monitor their servers manually. Manually monitoring anything can be a pain and not practicable for some shops due to the size of their environment. This is especially true if you’re running an environment with multiple Exchange 2010 DAG nodes, with replicating databases across many mount point paths.

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Topics: Mailscape, Powershell, Exchange Reporting Tools, Exchange Management Tools, Exchange Server, Exchange Tips, Exchange Monitoring Tools, Disk Space

Keeping Exchange Healthy: Exchange Performance Counters

Posted by Phoummala Schmitt on Oct 2, 2013 5:29:00 AM

As Exchange administrators we all dread the ticket that comes in that says “My Email is slow”. Exchange is such a complex system with so many moving parts internally as well as externally, which requires you to look at all possibilities with these sorts of tickets.

If an Exchange administrator suspects a performance issue (after ruling out network or client related issues), one of the first things to do is review the Exchange Performance counters. Exchange Performance counters can be reviewed using SCOM and for those not using SCOM, Performance monitor can be used as well. Using Exchange Performance counters can help determine if you’re having disks, CPU or even network latency issues. If you’re using SCOM to monitor Exchange performance, it’s pretty easy to pull up SCOM and run some reports however when you are not, it can be challenging to remember which counters to even start with.

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Topics: Exchange, Exchange Server, Exchange Tips, Exchange Performance Counters

Keeping Exchange Healthy: Tools for Monitoring and Reporting

Posted by Phoummala Schmitt on Oct 2, 2013 5:10:00 AM

Monitoring Exchange Servers can be a lot of work but it is a necessary evil that must be done to ensure that you have a healthy exchange environment. A Healthy Exchange system means less downtime which equals happy users.  Who doesn’t love happy users? 

Typically when administrators start to monitor Exchange it’s because there is a suspected issue and you need to investigate to get to the root cause to fix the problem, STAT or the world seems like it’s going to come end like the movie “2012”. For Exchange admins like me, who don’t have a secret ark being built in the mountains of China, proactive monitoring can be a life saver. If you don’t have the budget to invest in third party monitoring software you can still save the day with some free tools and PowerShell scripts. 

Free Tools 

     Performance monitor using Exchange Performance Counters 

     Exchange Best Practices Analyzer 

     Remote Connectivity Analyzer- https://www.testexchangeconnectivity.com/  

     Mail Flow Troubleshooter - http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2013/09/03/office-365-mail-flow-troubleshooter-now-available.aspx   

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Topics: Powershell, Exchange, Exchange Tips

The Attribute, the Myth, the legacyExchangeDN

Posted by Michel de Rooij on Aug 28, 2013 2:31:00 PM

After some recent Exchange troubleshooting I decided to do a small write-up on an attribute most people working with Exchange know about, the infamous exchangeLegacyDN.

History


In the early days of Exchange, the NT world was flat. Exchange utilized its own hierarchical X.400 directory service and to uniquely identify objects it used an attribute called obj-Dist-Name. It contained a constructed value using elements like organization, containers and the canonical name to construct the entry, e.g. /o=Contoso/ou=EMEA/cn=Recipients/cn=User.

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Topics: Exchange Migration, Office 365, Exchange, Exchange Server, Exchange Tips

Released– Exchange Bulk User Creation Tool v2.0

Posted by Shawn Gundotra on Aug 21, 2013 5:23:00 PM

From my own perspective, while I love the new EAC (Exchange Administrative Center) within Exchange 2013 – there is one thing that really annoys me – and that is the inability to create mailboxes in bulk for accounts that already exist within Active Directory from within the GUI – see below:

 

 

I should point out that it is possible to create mailboxes in bulk from the Exchange Management Shell in Exchange 2013 using the following management shell cmdlet:

Get-User -RecipientTypeDetails User -Filter { UserPrincipalName -ne $Null } | Enable-Mailbox
 
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Topics: Exchange 2013, Powershell, Exchange Server, Exchange Tips

Removing Duplicate Items from a Mailbox

Posted by Michel de Rooij on Aug 7, 2013 8:06:00 AM

For those involved with Exchange migration projects or managing Exchange environments, at some point you probably have experienced a situation where individuals ended up with duplicate items in their mailbox. Duplicate items can be caused by many things, but most common are:

  • Synchronization tools or plug-in. Entries from the mailbox are treated as new entries and as a consequence are added to the mailbox when synchronizing information back to the mailbox, creating duplicates. In the past, I’ve seen this happening with Nokia PC Suite and Google Apps Sync for example;
  • Importing existing data. Accidental import from – for example – a PST file to a mailbox  can lead to duplicate entries.

 

When looking for a solution, you’ll probably encounter MSKB299349, “How to remove duplicate imported items in Outlook”. This article describes a manual procedure to remove duplicates entries from your calendar, contacts, inbox or other folders. Not very helpful and labor intensive.

When continuing your search, you’ll find lots (I mean lots!) of tools and Outlook add-ins, like Vaita’s DIR or MAPILab’s Duplicate Remover. Not all of this software is free (some even require payment per duplicate removal of appointments, contacts or e-mail) and some might not even work (MAPI-based tools may not work against Exchange 2013).

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Topics: Exchange Migration, Powershell, Exchange Server, Exchange Tips

RBL and Exchange 2013

Posted by Lasse Pettersson on Jun 19, 2013 1:07:00 PM

The antispam agent installation process with Exchange 2013 is similar to previous versions of Exchange. When you install antispam agents on Exchange 2013 servers most agents will be installed on the mailbox role but not the Connection filtering agent aka. RBL, DNS Block List etc. 

The powershell script: install-AntispamAgents.ps1 will look for which server role is installed and will not install Connection filtering if the server holds the mailbox role. This is understandable since SMTP connection should come in from the CAS server and then the original sending IP will not be show since CAS do Source-NAT. So the logic would be to install the connection filtering agent on CAS. However the install script will not let you do that either. Connection Filtering will only install on Edge role.

I can only speculate why this is the case. Either Microsoft wants it to be like this or they have found some trouble with the Connection Filtering Agent running on CAS.

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Topics: RBL, Exchange 2013, Exchange Server, Exchange Tips

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