Upgrade to CU8 Fails on Receive Connector misconfiguration

During an upgrade of an Exchange 2013 SP1 multi-role server to Exchange 2013 CU8 the upgrade crashed, apparant on a strange Receive Connector configuration since the following error message was raised:
The values that you specified for the Bindings and RemoteIPRanges parameters conflict with the settings on Receive connector ” SERVER1\Relay Connector SERVER1″. Receive connectors assigned to different Transport roles on a single server must listen on unique local IP address & port bindings.

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Manage Azure Active Directory in the Azure Portal

Office 365 is just one part of the Microsoft Online Services and you can use the Microsoft Online Portal to manage your Office 365 environment as you’ve seen in my previous blog posts.

Microsoft Azure is another part of the Microsoft Online Services. In Microsoft Azure you can use all kinds of services, servers, virtual machines and… Azure Active Directory.

The portal for Windows Azure can be found on http://manage.windowsazure.com, but when you try to logon using your tenant admin account (the one you’re using for Office 365 as well) you’ll get a warning that no subscriptions are found. This makes sense because there’s only an Office 365 subscription to this account.

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Remove Million Log Files from Exchange Server

Customer is running Exchange 2010 with NetBackup for backup. At some point the backup stalled and the Exchange server (passive node) froze. Only hard reboot turned the node back to life.

After lots of troubleshooting it turned out that there were several million (small) log files located in C:\Program Files\Veritas\NetBackup\online_util\ which caused the backup to freeze.

The problem is… how do you remove so many files from a (local) hard disk? A command prompt or Windows Explorer is generally speaking not a good idea, but you can do this with PowerShell.

First load the file into an array with this command:

$Logfiles = [System.IO.Directory]::GetFiles("C:\Program Files\VERITAS\NetBackup\online_util\_fi_cntl", "*.*")

It took approx. 3 minutes to load all files in the $Logfiles array.

To remove the first 100,000 files and determin the time needed the following commands was used:

a=get-date;$Logfiles[0..99999]|%{[System.IO.file]::delete($_)};
$b=get-date

This took only 61 seconds. Disk activity never came over 15%

As a side note: The admins also tried it using a command prompt and a standard del command, this took approx. 53 minutes to remove 100,000 files.

A second batch with 2,000,000 logfiles took 1500 seconds (15 minutes) to remove. Disk activity however kept raising during this 15 minutes up to 100%. To prevent too many issues with (disk) performance customer decided to remove the logfiles in batches of 500,000 items until all logfiles are removed.

Special thanks to Kees de Groot (Big-IT.nl and ex2013.com)

Enable File History in Windows 8.1

This blog post is more a ‘note to self’, but for my work I write a lot of documents and a proper backup of my documents is key for me. The last thing I want to happen is a crash of my hard disk and lose valuable data. So, at home I have a Synology NAS (with 5 disks in RAID-5) and I want to store backups on this device.

To configure File History (which let you create backups) open Control Panel, select System and Security and select File History. File History is disabled by default:

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Implementing Directory Synchronization

In an earlier blog I explained the differences between Cloud Identities, Linked Identities and Federated Identities. The source of authority (i.e. where the accounts are managed) for Cloud Identities is Microsoft Online and for Linked and Federated Identities the source of authority is your on-premises Active Directory. To get these accounts in Azure Active Directory (Office 365) you have to setup a directory synchronization between Active Directory and Azure Active Directory.

There are two options when setting up Directory Synchronization between your on-premises Active Directory and Windows Azure Active Directory:

  • DirSync as a tool that can be downloaded from the Microsoft Online Portal. This is the ‘original’ DirSync tool which can be installed on a Domain Controller or on a dedicated DirSync server. This tool will be decommissioned somewhere in the (near) future.
  • Microsoft Azure Active Directory (WAAD) Sync Services, the new DirSync tool that can be downloaded from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=44225. This tool has the option to synchronize a multi-forest topology with one tenant in Office 365.

I strongly recommend using the latest version which is the WAAD Sync Services. WAAD Sync Services was released somewhere September 2014, but a new version (Windows Azure Active Directory Connect) is in public preview (April 2015) and will be released soon.

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