Cluster Administrative Access Point and Database Availability Group

One of the new features in Windows Server 2012 R2 to decrease complexity is the so called Active Directory detached cluster. This is a regular Failover Cluster, but without a computer account in Active Directory. So, when deploying the Failover Cluster there’s no need to pre-create the Computer Name Object (CNO) anymore, but please note that the individual Cluster nodes still need to be a member of the Active Directory domain though.

Since the CNO is no longer available in an Active Directory detached cluster, the Cluster Administrative Access Point (CAAP) is not available either and in turn this cluster AAP was used by the Failover Cluster Management to access and manage the cluster. Since the cluster AAP is no longer available this is also referred to as an AAP-less, cluster AAP-less or CAAP-less cluster.

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How to change the Postmaster address in Exchange 2013

While testing mail flow I noticed that when an NDR was sent out by my Exchange 2013 the default postmaster account was used, with the default domain, i.e. postmaster@contoso.local (I use a .local TLD on my Active Directory domain) instead of a regular and routable SMTP domain.

To change this you can open the Exchange Admin Center, navigate to Mail Flow | Receive Connectors and click the more options (the three dots) and select Organization Transport Settings as shown in the following figure.

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Call to action: Exchange 2007 and Windows 2003 support

Just a quick heads-up on support for Exchange 2007. Mainstream support for Exchange 2007 ended on April 10, 2012 and Extended Support will end on April 11, 2017. Rollup updates might be made available for another 2 years but you at this moment you should be planning to upgrade your platform.

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Disabled Outlook Anywhere causing free/busy issues

I am always amazed by the amount of customers running Exchange 2007 or Exchange 2010 and NOT using Autodiscover. Their response is always “we don’t need it” and “we configure the Outlook profile manually”. In Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010 you can get away with this (you cannot with Exchange 2013 and Autodiscover is mandatory) but when you want to implement a hybrid scenario with Exchange online you really need Autodiscover since Exchange Online uses Autodiscover to find relevant information regarding your on-premises Exchange environment.

Recently a customer with Exchange 2010 wanted to build a hybrid environment with Exchange Online, and one of my first findings was the lack of Autodiscover. So, after configuring their Exchange environment and creating the necessary DNS records Autodiscover was working properly as shown in the following picture:

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