Exchange 2013 Cumulative Update 9 (CU)

Microsoft released the quarterly servicing update to Exchange Server 2013 – CU9 and updated UM Language Packs.

The release includes fixes for customer reported issues, minor product enhancements and previously released security bulletins. A complete list of customer reported issues resolved can be found in Knowledge Base Article KB3049849.

You can read the full blog post at the Exchange Team Blog.

Download Cumulative Update 9 for Exchange Server 2013

Support On-Premises Users Accessing Office 365 Site Mailboxes

Time after time, Microsoft decided to change their company presentation to “mobile first – cloud first”. There are currently many Office 365 features, which are reserved for cloud-only users, such as Delve (Office Graph), Groups, Sway, Yammer, etc. and there are no plans to make them for on-premise customers available. This depends, among other things, on the complex configuration and the customer needs; not all on-premise users will have Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync installed.

In this topic, I will discuss the possibility to connect an Exchange Hybrid deployment with Office 365 to use site mailboxes.

Continue reading “Support On-Premises Users Accessing Office 365 Site Mailboxes”

Exchange 2013 Cumulative Update 8 (CU)

Microsoft released the quarterly servicing update to Exchange Server 2013 – CU8 and updated UM Language Packs. Cumulative Update 8 includes the following new features and improvements:

• Calendar and Contact Modern Public Folders favorites added in Outlook are now accessible in OWA

• Batch Migration of Public Folders to 2013 improves migration throughput and PF migration experience

• The number of supported Public Folders has increased once again for on-premises deployments (O365 limits remain the same)

• Migrating up to 500,000 public folders, a 200% increase from CU7

• Support up to 1,000,000 public folders, a 400% increase from CU7

• Smoother migration for EAS clients to Office 365 with automatic profile redirect upon successful Hybrid migration to Office 365 (EAS client must support HTTP 451 redirect)

You can read the full blog post at the Exchange Team Blog.

Download Cumulative Update 8 for Exchange Server 2013

Exchange 2013 CU6 Hybrid Hotfix KB2997355

Microsoft released a hybrid hotfix KB2997355 for Exchange 2013 CU6 on September 1, 2014.

This fixes Exchange Online tasks using the Exchange Admin Center. For example, you are not able to create Office 365 mailboxes, change mailboxes, or create and enable an archive mailbox. PowerShell cmdlets are not affected and work properly.

Unfortunately, the fix has several issues as well:

1. The script to fix the issue looks for the XAML file in the default Program Files folder, using the default Exchange installation folder. Michel de Rooij published an updated fix here. It checks the installation path of your Exchange environment if it’s in another directory instead of the default.

2. After installation of the Microsoft hotfix KB2997355, some users are wondering why the EAC has a 500 error after login:

The updated file is called “RemoteDomains.XAML” and you can see an error event with id 4 in your application log. The file is located in %Exchange Installation Path%\ClientAccess\ecp\DDI\RemoteDomains.XAML.

Take a look at the line “<Variable DataObjectName=”RemoteDomain” Name=”TargetDeliveryDomain” Type=”{x:Type s:Boolean}” /> and check if this entry is present twice.

Make a backup of the original file, delete the second entry, and restart IIS.

Introduction to Managed Availability: Local Monitoring Files and Overrides Part III

Now that you’ve finished Part I & Part II of my three part Managed Availability blog series, I will now provide some information about local .xml monitoring files and overrides of Managed Availability.

Local Managed Availability .xml monitoring files

Some HealthSets, such as the FEP HealthSet are local .xml files. Because FEP is the Forefront Endpoint Protection service, some of you may want to disable this HealthSet on the servers, because there is no use for it.
Browse to %ExchangeInstallationPath%\Microsoft\Exchange\V15\Bin\Monitoring\Config, search for FEPActiveMonitoringContext.xml and open the file with an editor, such as Notepad.
Change line 12 by replacing Enabled = True to Enabled = False
Restart the Microsoft Exchange Health Management service on the server where you modified the .xml file.

Overrides

With overrides, you can change the Managed Availability monitoring thresholds and define you own settings when Managed Availability in case of errors should take action.
There are two kinds of overrides:

  • Local overrides: are used to customize a component on a specific server or on components which aren’t globally available. For example, if you are running multiple data centers and would like to change only server components on a specific location for individual monitoring. Local overrides are managed with the *-SetMonitoringOverride set of cmdlets. They are stored in the registry under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ExchangeServer\v15\ActiveMonitoring\Overrides\ and are automatically updated every 10 minutes. The Microsoft Exchange Health Management service reads the changes in the registry path above.
  • Global overrides: are used to customize a component for a whole Exchange organization. They are managed with the *-GlobalMonitoringOverride set of cmdlets. Global overrides are stored in Active Directory: Continue reading “Introduction to Managed Availability: Local Monitoring Files and Overrides Part III”

Introduction to Managed Availability: An Exchange Administrator‘s task? Part I

Microsoft introduced a new built-in monitoring system called Managed Availability in Exchange 2013, which automatically takes recovery actions for unhealthy services within the Exchange organization.

Microsoft has been operating a cloud version of Exchange since 2007 and have put all their knowledge into Managed Availability monitoring. Managed Availability is a cloud trained system based on an end user’s experience with recovery oriented computing.

Managed Availability doesn’t mean you don’t have to monitor your on-prem or hybrid Exchange environment in fact, it’s just the opposite. The long and complex PowerShell cmdlet’s used to monitor Exchange (which we will look at in more detail later) are not the best and most effective method to do so.

Continue reading “Introduction to Managed Availability: An Exchange Administrator‘s task? Part I”

Exchange 2013 on Windows Server 2012 with multiple IP addresses on a single NIC

Many people want to use multiple IP addresses on a single NIC interface with Exchange 2013 and Windows Server 2012. There are several reasons for this multi-homed IP configuration, such as various receive connectors for diverse applications (fax, SharePoint, gateways, etc.), or for an additional IIS website, amongst other things.

The behavior that changed since Windows Server 2008 is that the source IP address on a NIC will always be the lowest numerical IP address. The challenge for every Exchange administrator is to configure the correct firewall settings for the appropriate IP address. Lets make an example:

You install the first Exchange 2013 server in your environment with the „primary“ IP address of 10.35.3.200. Afterwards you decide to add an additional IP address to your MAPI network adapter, such as for a further receive connector. The secondary IP address would be 10.35.3.100. No you have two issues:

  • The server registered two DNS names for the same server
  • The server is now sending all outbound traffic from 10.35.3.100, because 100 is lower than 200.

Let’s go a bit deeper and explain the “weak host model“ and the “strong host model“ for multi-homed servers and how they choose the source IP address selection.

Continue reading “Exchange 2013 on Windows Server 2012 with multiple IP addresses on a single NIC”