Category Archives: Exchange

Updated Exchange Server Role Requirements Calculator

The Exchange Server Role Requirements Calculator which you need for designing a proper Exchange 2013 or Exchange 2016 on-premises environment has been updates, currently the calculator is at version 8.4.

Some new functionality is added to this version:

  • Added support for ReplayLagMaxDelay
  • Added support for SafetyNetHoldTime in CreateDAG.ps1

And seven bug fixes in this version:

  • Improved the DAG auto-calculation results display to highlight deployment configuration in both datacenters
  • Fixed an issue that prevented DAG auto-calculation in single site DAG deployments
  • Fixed a SPECInt2006 validation issue with DAG auto-calculation
  • Fixed a bug with the DAG auto-calculation with Active/Passive deployments
  • Fixed conditional formatting issues with the transaction log table
  • Removed data validation from certain unused cells on the Input tab
  • Fixed bug in calcNumActiveDBsSF formula

The requirements calculator can be downloaded here: https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Exchange-2013-Server-Role-f8a61780

More information:

Exchange 2016 CU4

On Tuesday december 13, 2016 Microsoft has released its quaterly updates:

and Update Rollups:

Looking at Exchange 2016, what does this CU bring us?

There are minor changes to the user interface of Outlook on the Web or Outlook Web App, whatever you may call it. It’s not that dramatically, the formatting controls have been moved to the bottom of the frame containing the editing pane, as can be seen on the following screenshot.

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And finally, there’s support for the .NET Framework 4.6.2. Using .NET Framework 4.6.2 is still optional (but recommended), but the upcoming release in March 2017 (Exchange 2016 CU5) will require the use of .NET Framework 4.6.2.

As you might have noticed, Exchange 2016 CU3 (the previous release) introduced support for Windows Server 2016. This was also announced at the Ignite 2016 in Atlanta. Unfortunately there was a major flaw in Windows 2016 clustering that caused issues with Exchange 2016 in a Database Availability Group configuration. This has now been fixed by the Windows team (KB3206632), and Exchange 2016 again fully supports Windows 2016. The hotfix is mentioned is mandatory, and the setup application does a check for this hotfix.

Exchange 2016 does not introduce any new schema changes, but you may execute setup.exe /prepareAD /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms to make sure any changes in the configuration partition are applied successfully.

As usual, and especially after the latest issues with Exchange 2016 CU3 and Windows 2016 I strongly encourage everybody to thoroughly test Exchange 2016 CU4 (or any other update that’s needed of course) in your lab environment before bringing it into production!

Install Office Online Server 2016

In Exchange 2013 you could use the Office Web Apps server in combination with Exchange server to view attachments online, without having to download these attachments first to the local workstation. Exchange 2016 is the successor of Exchange 2013, Office Online Server (OOS) 2016 is the successor of Office Web Apps 2013.

For an optimal user experience in Outlook on the Web you want an Outlook Online Server to view attachments online. Instead of downloading the attachment to your client workstation (not ideal when working on a non-trusted workstation) you can view it in your browser, and your browser will show something like this:

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So how does this work?

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Exchange 2013 CU14 Content Indexing failed

There have been reports about Exchange 2013 CU14 where Content Indexing failed. I’ve heard about CI failing for some Mailbox databases, Mailbox databases containing Public Folder Mailboxes, but also reports about Exchange 2013 Cu14 servers where CI fails for all Mailbox databases.

In the Event Viewer you can find error messages like:

Watson report about to be sent for process id: 28160, with parameters: E12IIS, c-RTL-AMD64, 15.00.1236.003, M.E.Search.Service, M.E.Data.Directory, M.E.D.D.ScopeSet.GetOrgWideDefaultScopeSet, System.ArgumentNullException, 301, 15.00.1236.000.
ErrorReportingEnabled: False

You can find an extended thread on the Microsoft forums as well: Exchnage 2013 CU 14 Database Indexing failed.

The issue is confirmed by Microsoft and Microsoft is working on a fix for this. At this moment it is unknown whether Microsoft will release an Interim Update (IU) or that it will be made available in CU15.

For now my recommendation would be to NOT INSTALL EXCHANGE 2013 CU14 at all.

Update October 27. If you unfortunately run into this issue after installing Exchange 2013 CU14 there’s no other solution then to install Exchange 2013 CU13 and move all your Mailboxes to this server. I cannot call this a fix or workaround, it’s an ugly fallback scenario.

ps. I’ve heard rumors that this issue also appears in Exchange 2016 CU3 but I cannot confirm if this is the case. If you are planning to deploy Exchange 2016 CU3 I would recommend to thoroughly test CU3 before putting it into production.

ITDev Connections 2016 Las Vegas

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From October 10 until October 13 the annual IT/Dev Connection was held in the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, for the 15th time this year.

IT/Dev Connection is a relatively small tech conference with approx. 1000 ~ 1250 attendees (my guess). Because of this size the event is very accessible, attendees can approach speakers, vendors and sponsors easily without being too crowded. It happens regularly that a speaker is walking through the hallway or having lunch at the venue, and it being approached by attendees, this makes an event like this much fun, both for speakers as well as attendees.

The event has a strong Microsoft technology focus although you can see some other sessions as well like sessions about Docker or Amazon Web Services for example. The good thing about this event is that it is an event about Microsoft technology, not organized by Microsoft and sessions are presented by non-Microsoft employees so you get plenty of real world scenarios instead of the marketing talk you typically get at Ignite. Even better, this year there weren’t even keynote sessions since they contain too much marketing blahblah J

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