Tag Archives: Exchange 2010

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 Setup.com /PrepareAD and Setup.com /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 CU10

Microsoft silently released Exchange 2013 CU10 on September 15th 2015, right on track with their quarterly cadence, and as expected. There are no new features in this Cumulative Update, but besides a lot of hotfixes there’s also a change to RBAC which require changes to the Configuration Partition in Active Directory.

So, no changes to the Active Directory Schema, but you have to run Setup.exe /PrepareAD /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms before you start the actual setup. Please note that you have to do this, even if you run the GUI version of setup. If you omit this step the changes won’t be applied to Active Directory. As a result, the RBAC changes might not be available after your upgrade. A similar issue happened with CU9 as written down in this blog post MessageCopyForSentAsEnabled and MessageCopyForSendOnBehalfEnabled not available in CU9.

Before installing Exchange 2013 CU10 in your production environment I recommend testing it thoroughly in a lab environment. The last couple of CU’s have been pretty successful without too many issues, but there might be specific issues in your own organization that Microsoft is unaware of.

When upgrading DAG members please remember you disable all the Exchange server components as explained in my blog about deploying Exchange 2013 CU9.

You can download CU10 here, and the CU10 Language packs here. A complete list of issues resolved can be found in Knowledge Base Article KB3078678.

At the same time Microsoft released released Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 3 Update Rollup 11 (KB3078674).

When Exchange 2016 is released in the (near) future, you will need Exchange 2013 CU10 or Exchange Server 2010 SP3 Update Rollup 11 for coexistence. This will be hardcoded in the product, so if you’re planning to deploy Exchange 2016 in the future you have to install these version.

Also, when you’re running an Exchange 2013 Hybrid scenario with Office 365 you have to use the latest version, so in this case Exchange 2013 CU10 is mandatory.

Creating an Exchange 2013 Hybrid environment

Updated: November 11, 2015

In a series of blog posts we will create an Exchange hybrid environment, where the on-premises environment consists of Exchange 2013 multi-role servers. Creating such an environment consists of several steps:

  • Implementing Directory Synchronization.
  • Running the Hybrid Configuration Wizard.
  • Creating Migration Endpoints.
  • Moving Mailboxes to Exchange Online.

Current Infrastructure

The current infrastructure consists of two Exchange 2013 multi-role servers and two Exchange 2013 Edge Transport servers, all of which are fully patched and running the latest version of Exchange 2013 (i.e. Exchange 2013 CU8). An Office Web Apps 2013 servers is also involved for rendering attachments in Outlook Web App.

A Kemp LM3600 LoadMaster is used for distributing incoming client requests from the Internet across both servers. SMTP is directed to two Exchange 2013 Edge Transport servers, which are subscribed to the internal Exchange 2013 servers, as shown in Figure 1.

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Figure 1. The starting point when creating a new Hybrid environment.

In Office 365 we have are using a tenant called ExchangeLabsNL, for Exchange Online the tenant name is not important, but for SharePoint Online it is important. The corresponding SharePoint Online environment is accessible via Exchangelabs.nl.sharepoint.com, so the tenant name is important after all.

Note. The tenant name cannot be changed later on, so don’t choose any silly names for your tenant. One day you will regret this.

Directory Synchronization Server

In our on-premises environment we are going to install a dedicated Directory Synchronization server. This is not really a hard requirement since DirSync can be installed on a Domain Controller as well. Personally I prefer to use a dedicated DirSync server and keep all Domain Controllers identical.

Exchange Hybrid Server

There’s a lot of confusion about the Exchange Hybrid server when creating an Exchange Hybrid environment and to be honest, it took quite some time for me as well to get rid of the confusion.

A true hybrid server does not exist, but in Microsoft terminology, the hybrid server is the Exchange server where the Hybrid Configuration Wizard (or HCW) is run to configure a Hybrid Configuration. And the Hybrid Configuration is nothing more than some information written in Active Directory so it can be easily found and used by all Exchange servers in the organization. In Figure 1, the hybrid server can be either server EXCH01 or server EXCH02.

An additional Exchange 2013 server can be added as a hybrid server. You can even use a dedicated FQDN like hybrid.contoso.com for this to separate SMTP and migration traffic from/to Office 365 form regular client traffic accessing the normal Exchange servers EXCH01 and EXCH02.

Free/busy information in this scenario for example is not using the dedicated hybrid server, since it is not possible to designate this kind of traffic to dedicated servers. When users in Exchange Online are creating new meetings with users in Exchange on-premises, the free/busy information is found using the normal Exchange EWS virtual directory. This information in turn is found using normal Autodiscover requests.

So, before you start building your Exchange Hybrid environment you have to make absolutely sure your starting point is working flawlessly, internally and externally. If you run into issues with AutoDiscover, free/busy, out-of-office or Certificate errors you have to fix these first before continuing with the hybrid configuration. One great tool to test your existing environment is the Remote Connectivity Analyzer (www.testexchangeconnectivity.com) and of course your own Outlook clients Glimlach 

Note. If you are running Exchange 2010 you can also use the existing Exchange 2010 servers to create a hybrid environment without adding Exchange 2013 servers (although you have to be absolutely sure about this, Exchange 2010 is no longer in mainstream support). If you want to use Exchange 2013 in your existing Exchange 2010 environment you have to start a coexistence project first. When this is fully functioning (without error of course) you can continue with the DirSync and hybrid configuration.

When all is running fine you can continue with implementing the DirSync solution, as outlined in the following blogpost: https://jaapwesselius.com/2015/05/13/implementing-directory-synchronization/

Exchange Server 2013 CU7

On Tuesday December 9, 2014 Microsoft released Exchange Server 2013 Cumulative Update 7 and the UM Language Packs for Cumulative Update 7, 105 days after the release of the previous CU6 update. This release is a little overdue because of a last minute issue that was found moments before the original release date of CU7. As long as it improves the quality of the release this shouldn’t be a problem though.

CU7 contains fixes for issues reported by customers, including the Russian Time Zone issue and fixes for issues identified in MS14-075. Updates for MS14-075 are also available for Exchange Server 2013 Service Pack 1 and Exchange Server 2013 Cumulative Update 6. Because of the Microsoft (N-1) support policy this hotfix won’t be available for CU5.

Continue reading Exchange Server 2013 CU7

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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