Exchange 2010 SP1 Hosting & Control Panel

In an earlier article I explained a bit about the hosting features that are available in Exchange Server 2010 SP1. This hoster edition (I’ll abbreviate this to HEX2010SP1) is primarily targeted towards hosting companies, you need for example an SPLA license agreement to resell this.

Note: if you need really to address this functionality inside an enterprise organization, then you have to stick with Exchange 2007. Or you have to wait for Exchange 2010 SP2 which will likely contain this functionality in a form of Address Book Policies.

Continue reading Exchange 2010 SP1 Hosting & Control Panel

New-ReceiveConnector fails

When creating a new Receive Connector on Exchange Server 2007 SP3 (Update Rollup 2) the creation failed with a non-retriabele error and a “the requested attribute does not exist” error:

Active Directory operation failed on DC02.labs.local. This error is not retriable. Additional information: The parameter is incorrect.
Active directory response: 00000057: LdapErr: DSID-0C090C3E, comment: Error in attribute conversion operation, data 0, v1db1
The requested attribute does not exist.
Exchange Management Shell command attempted:
new-ReceiveConnector -Name ‘Relay X2007SP3’ -Usage ‘Custom’ -Bindings ‘10.0.0.217:25’ -RemoteIPRanges ‘10.0.0.213-255.255.255.255’ -Server ‘X2007SP3’

According to this article on the Microsoft Exchange Team site more people are facing this issue (scroll through the comments). It looks like something specific to UR1 and UR2 for Exchange Server 2007 SP3: http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2010/09/09/456198.aspx

Microsoft is aware of this issue and it is currently being investigated. It looks like the schema upgrade during SP3 is not performed properly sometimes, resulting in an incorrect schema for Service Pack 3. Unfortunately the setup application of SP3 continues, resulting in these kind of errors.

That being said, you can solve it by running the Exchange 2007 SP3 schema upgrade again:

Setup.com /PrepareSchema

After this creation of a new Receive Connector is successful.

When this issue is fully investigated by Microsoft and a solution is available an official Microsoft knowledgebase article will be available as well.

Change SMTP Header Information

Every message that is sent (over the Internet) has header information. This header contains all kinds of information regarding the message, where it comes from, sent to, time, message identifier etc. All mail servers use this information to process the messages.

But when you take a closer look you’ll see information in the header of a message about your internal network. For example, I’ve sent a message from my Hub Transport Server, throught my Edge Transport Server to an external recipient and this is what I seen in the header information: Continue reading Change SMTP Header Information

Custom Address List for Equipment Mailboxes

In Exchange 2010 there are multiple default address lists available, like All Users, All Groups, All Contacts, and there’s an All Rooms Address list for all Room Resource Mailboxes:

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When opening the All Rooms address list, you can see it uses a custom filter to get all the room mailboxes from the Exchange organization: Continue reading Custom Address List for Equipment Mailboxes

LUN Design and Hardware VSS

This posting is written by Michel de Rooij, thanks for posting it here as well…

I had a question why you need to design seperate LUNs for Exchange database and log files when using a hardware based Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) backup solution, as mentioned in this TechNet article: Understanding Exchange 2010 LUN architecture

To deploy a LUN architecture that only uses a single LUN per database, you must have a database availability group (DAG) that has two or more copies, and not be using a hardware-based Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) solution.”

The reason for this requirement is that hardware VSS solutions operate at the hardware level, i.e. the complete LUN. Therefor, if you put the Exchange database and log files on a single LUN, it will always create a snapshot of the whole LUN. This restricts your recovery options, since you can by definition only restore that complete LUN, overwriting log files created after taking the snapshot. So, changes (log files) made after the snapshot are lost and you have no point-in-time recovery options.

For example, with the database and log files on a single LUN, suppose you create a full backup on Saturday 6:00. Then, disaster strikes on Monday. By definition, you can now only restore the database and log files as they were on Saturday 6:00; log files which were created after Saturday 6:00 are lost.

With the database and log files on separate LUNs, you can restore the database LUN, which leaves the LUN with the log files intact. Then, after restoring the database, you can start replaying log files.

So, keep this in mind when planning your Exchange LUNs in conjunction with the backup solution to be used. Note that the Mailbox Role Calculator supports this decision by letting you specify Hardware or Software VSS Backup/Restore as the Backup Methodology to be used.

If you’re interested in more background information on how VSS works, I suggest you check out this TechNet article: Volume Shadow Copy Service

Microsoft UC Specialist