Saturday, January 29, 2011

GAL Segmentation in Exchange 2010

GAL Segmentation has not been supported in Exchange 2010.  Just announced on the Exchange Team Blog, GAL Segmentation will now be supported in SP2 for Exchange 2010 which is scheduled in the second half of 2011. 

A few snippets from the above referenced link:

In order to provide transparency in these early stages of development, our intentions for this feature are:

  • This feature is not intended to enable the On-Premises configuration of Exchange 2010 to be used in place of the multi-tenant enabled version of the Exchange 2010.
  • Our intended audiences for this feature are organizations that:
    • Require some form of sub-divided address book or who wish to create several 'virtual' organizations within a single Exchange Organization.
    • Enable users to share some resources between these segmented user populations
    • Seek to control which objects are visible to a user when they open their address book picker.

The way we intend to deliver this feature is by using an "Address Book Policy" assignment model, rather than continuing with the ACL based GAL Segmentation concept we previously provided. This approach is not intended to provide complete tenant isolation as is provided in the Hosting mode available in Exchange 2010 SP1, rather it is intended to allow an administrator to grant access to certain views of the GAL rather than restricting views.

So stay tuned…

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lync January 2011 Updates Released

Come and get it!  The first set of Lync updates have been released to the public.  Here are the details of updates available:

Server Updates (7577.108) – DownloadKB2493736

  • AdminTools.msp
  • OcsCore.msp
  • OCSMCU.msp
  • WebComponents.msp

Phone Edition Updates


Group Chat

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Exchange Mailbox Calculator v14.2 Released

I can’t stress how important this tool is when designing an Exchange infrastructure.  Don’t even think about buying hardware and storage without using it.

The Exchange Team has released an update to the calculator.  You can get it here: Exchange Mailbox Calculator Guide and Download

The Change Log can be found HERE.

Thanks to the Exchange Team for continuing to improve this tool and happy downloading…. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Referencing And Understanding What PowerShell Commands Are Being Used In Exchange 2010

A little background…Exchange 2010 management is built completely on top of PowerShell.  The Exchange Management Console (EMC) is just a fancy GUI to run powershell commands underneath the covers.  While you can get a lot accomplished in the EMC, not all management functions are available in the EMC.

What I want to go over in this post is to learn not only what commands that the GUI is running in the background, but also how to reference past commands that have been executed. 

First let’s focus on the Exchange Management Shell (EMS):

This section is not to tell you how to use the EMS, just some tips to on using the EMS to reference past commands.

  • Keyboard Command: F2 – Enables a pop-up screen with your last command that was run and ask to enter in a character.  Powershell will then create a new command using the last entered command up to the character specified.


  • Keyboard Command: F7 – Enables a pop-up screen with the last 50 commands used in the current session and allows you to select a command to reuse.


  • Keyboard Command: F8 – Moves backward through the command history
  • Keyboard Command: Up/Down – Moves up and down through the history of previous commands

Now let’s focus on what is available in the Exchange Management Console (EMC):

There are three main ways to see what PowerShell commands are being run or have been run.

  • Modifying Properties – When modifying properties in a dialog box, a powershell icon will light up.  When selected you can see exactly what command will be run when you click “apply”.

EXCHPS - prop button - markup

EXCHPS - prop button - opened

  • Performing an action – When performing an action like a mailbox move or creating a connector, the command will be displayed that was used to perform that action.

EXCHPS - new command

  • Viewing the EMS Log – by selecting “View Exchange Management Shell Command Log…” from the EMC View menu, you can view a history of commands that have been run since the session was created.

EXCHPS - menu log

EXCHPS - menu log - open

Hopefully the tips above will help facilitate learning powershell commands for Exchange so reliance on the EMC is not necessary.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Exchange Active Directory Topology Service and Event 2080

I think that it is pretty apparent that Exchange server relies heavily on Active Directory (AD).  In fact, you will not get very far without AD or with an unhealthy AD.  This post will talk about the Exchange Active Directory Topology Service and then examine Event 2080.  This post will not go into every aspect on how Exchange relies on AD.

A Windows service called the Microsoft Exchange Active Directory Topology service is a required service for Exchange to function.  It is probably easy to say that it is the most important Exchange service.

ExchADTopo - services - markup

Most Exchange services cannot function if this service is stopped.  Here is a list of services that depend on the Exchange Active Directory Topology service.

ExchADTopo - depend serv

The Topology Discovery process is set to run every 15 minutes and will generate Event 2080 in the Application Event Log.  If the AD topology changes or if domain controllers become unavailable, Exchange will update its list of usable domain controllers and represent those in Event 2080.

ExchADTopo - event 2080 - mark in

Note that DC’s will be listed in priority and will be classified as either within the same AD site or out of the AD site.  Exchange will always use DC’s within its own site first.  Also note the letters and numbers that are listed after each DC.  Below we will review what each of these letters/numbers mean and what values should be expected.

First let’s define each position.  We will use the details out of the above event:

ExchADTopo - event 2080 - position

Position Flag Use Notes
A Configuration DC Value is either “C” or “-“.  A hyphen means that this server cannot act as a Configuration DC
B Regular DC Value is either “D” or “-“.  A hyphen means that this server cannot act as a regular DC
C Global Catalog Value is either “G” or “-“.  A hyphen means that this server cannot act as a Global Catalog
D Availability Value of “1” indicates that the server is available
E Port Access Bit mask indicating what ports are available for LDAP access:

”0” = server is unusable by ADAccess
”1” = LDAP access for global catalog is possible on port 3268
”2” = server is reachable for DC requests on port 389
”4” = server can act as the configuration DC
”7” = server is available on all necessary ports
F Synchronization Status Bit mask indicating the AD synchronization status as indicated by the “isSynchronized” flag on the rootDSE object:

”1” = global catalog is synchronized
”2” = the DC is synchronized
”4” = the configuration DC is synchronized
”7” = the server is completely synchronized in terms of AD
G Global Catalog “0” = server is a DC
”1” = server is a global catalog server
H PDC flag “0” = server is not the primary DC
”1” = server is the primary DC (PDC)
I SACL rights test “0” = ADAccess does not have necessary permission
“1” = ADAccess has the necessary security permission to read Exchange information from directory
J Critical data “1” = ADAccess located the Exchange server that it is running on in the configuration naming context of the DC
K Netlogon Bit mask indicating success of ADAccess in connecting to Netlogon service running on DC using RPC:

”7” = all attempts were successful
L OS Version “0” = does not meet requirements
”1” = DC runs a version of Windows that is supported by Exchange 2010

This is a great place to start troubleshooting intermittent issues with Exchange since everything relies on a healthy and accessible AD.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Microsoft MVP Award for 2011

What a great way to start the New Year.  I woke up to this lovely email in my inbox:

MVP Notice

I want to thank Microsoft and all of the folks that support me and read by blog.  I look forward to continuing to contribute to the community and hope that the information I provide helps out in some way.

Looking forward to 2011!