The Microsoft Exchange Replication service does not appear to be running.

Last week we had a major outage in our Exchange 2010 environment (28 multi-role servers in 2 DAGs). The provisioning system (based on Quest software) did some unexpected things after a restore of the provisioning database, resulting in (lots of) security groups in Active Directory being deleted. We were relatively lucky since the default groups (Domain Admins, Enterprise Admins etc.) were not deleted, but all Exchange Security Groups (in OU=Microsoft Exchange Security Group) were deleted.

These Exchange Security Groups can be recreated using the /PrepareAD and /PrepareDomain commands.

All seems to be running fine, but when executing PowerShell commands against a remote server (i.e. not the server being logged on to) would result in error message. For example, it was not possible to move an active Mailbox database from server1 to server2 in a DAG using the Move-ActiveMailboxDatabase command. When executing this command it would return the following error:

The Microsoft Exchange Replication service does not appear to be running on “computername”. Make sure the server is operating, and that the services can be queried remotely.


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Exchange 2013 Recreate Arbitration Mailboxes

While testing with Exchange 2013 CU9 in our lab environment we utterly destroyed the DAG and after recreating the DAG and the Mailbox databases we found that the Arbitration Mailboxes were in a corrupt state. The accompanying user accounts were still available in Active Directory, but mandatory properties were incorrect. This was clearly visible when running a Get-Mailbox –Arbitration command:


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Deploy Exchange 2016

Exchange 2016 is the latest version of Exchange, and it’s not very different compared to Exchange 2013. When it comes to requirements, there are some differences though:

  • Domain Controllers need to be at Windows 2008 level;
  • Domain Functional Level (DFL) and Forest Functional level need to be at Windows 2008 level;
  • The Exchange servers themselves need to be running Windows 2012 or Windows 2012 R2. At the time of release Windows Server 10 is not supported.

There’s also something like Simplified Architecture. This is the Exchange 2013 Preferred Architecture, enforced on Exchange 2016. This means that there will be only one Exchange 2016 server role on the internal network, the Exchange 2016 Mailbox server. This is the same as the old Exchange 2013 multi-role server, but at this moment there’s no choice left. You have to install the Exchange 2016 Mailbox server, and you cannot opt to install a dedicated Client Access server anymore.

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Exchange 2016 – What’s new?

Now that Microsoft has Exchange Server 2016 it’s time to have a closer look at what’s new in the product. It might not be a surprise that it looks a lot like Exchange Online. Not surprisingly since Microsoft is developing Exchange for the cloud, and Exchange on-premises is just a spin-off of Exchange Online, released on a quarterly basis.

It might be blunt to say, but Exchange 2016 is nothing more than Exchange 2013 Service Pack 2, if you look at the version numbering with PowerShell (Get-ExchangeServer | Select Name,AdminDisplayVersion) you’ll see that it’s actually a minor upgrade from 15.0 (Exchange 2013) to 15.1 (Exchange 2016).

The question can be raised why a new version? It’s all about the support lifecycle, and get rid of support for Exchange Server 2007. Customers need a new version, from a support point of view or from a license point of view (software assurance).

But, back to Exchange 2016… it is a new version, and with a new version also new features are introduced and other features are deprecated or removed.
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