Category: Messaging

Microsoft Tech Summit 2016-2017 is right here

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By , February 19, 2017 10:26 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you ready for another exciting event with fresh content?
MS Tech Summit is  a TWO DAY  free technical event.

Am I attending – Yes I’m attending the D.C. event
Why Am I attending – If you remember Microsoft iGnite had very first event like this in D.C. 4-5 years ago and then later it became the only event (combined TechEd, MEC etc) for IT Pro and Dev.

Are there any Microsoft Exchange Related Topics? Yes there are a number interesting labs

 

Why Attend? still not sure

Well it has
Keynote from Julia White
Ask the experts
Technical Session

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over  all this event has everything for everyone who is practicing either SharePoint, Exchange, Office 365, Lync or Skype for Business.  I’m expecting this event to have fresh content developed from last years’s iGnite and Now.  See there!

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/techsummit/washington-dc.aspx

 

Notes From Microsoft iGnite 2016 #msignite

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By , October 7, 2016 1:21 AM

Running from Hall A to Hall C and then back to Hall A I needed up walking/running approximately 4 miles (6 km) per day, yeah it was good cardio J

I went there to learn more about on-premises Exchange Server 2016 and Hybrid configuration with Office 365 BUT was not quite impressed though you search the sessions you will find approx. 57 sessions on EXCHANGE but most of the are just Office 365 features and product marketing. It looks like iGnite email related (messaging) content were focused to a specific customer market or in other words they ignored the large enterprise customer running complex exchange environment.

I’d also mention that there were some sessions which I liked most and one of them was just specific to Office 365 but it is related to on-premises stuff (Below is the list of sessions I liked most or in other word 5/5 on the score card).

Challenge cloud encryption myths and learn about Office 365 BYOK plans
Yes, now you can bring your own keys.  Very information session from Jaclynn.

Migrate to Exchange Online via Exchange Hybrid
2nd session of the day for Hybrid.  Tons of information, must watch Tim and Mike did an awesome job.  And yes don’t forget to run the RCW on-premises.

Meet twin sons of different mothers (MVPs and Exchange engineers). It was a very interactive session carried out by Tony Redmond with folks from Product Team (Karim Battish and Jeff Mealiffe) and Exchange MVP (Andrew Higginbotham and Jeff Guillet). The room was full of on-premises Exchange Enthusiast.

The Ultimate Field Guide to Office 365 Groups. Microsoft gave a lot of information at Ignite about future developments for Office 365 Groups. This session provided a counterweight in that it focused on how groups are used in the field. This session was carried out by Tony Redmond and Bejamin Niaulin.

Unplug with the experts on Exchange Server and Exchange Online
Another interactive session. Discussion on on-premises, Modern-Auth, ADFS and Hybrid

 

So to conclude that overall it was a busy event, specially with running from one hall to another (wish they plan it better next year). Other than attending these breakout sessions I got most of questions answered by meeting the product team at the booth, I spent HOURS with them.

 

Exchange 2016 Cumulative Update 1 Installation

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By , April 28, 2016 8:05 AM

Cumulative Update 1 for Exchange 2016 has been out since 03/15 but I didn’t get a chance to write about it. Below you will find some step how to roll it out in your environment. Of course it has a number of fixes and  that’s the reason you need to update you server. The server patching process is different on a single exchange server 2016 and in a environment where you have more than one server and running DAG and CAS behind the load balancer. For a HA environment , you will need to plan accordingly.

This is one of the example when you run this cmdlet on Exchange 2016 prior to CU 1
Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 10.35.30 PM

Below is the screen capture of Exchange 2016 RTM version (before CU 1)

 

Here is the installation process
Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 10.23.54 AM Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 10.22.44 AMScreen Shot 2016-04-22 at 10.22.07 AM Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 10.21.29 AM Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 5.16.37 PM

 

Here is the Server build of Exchange 2016 CU 1 with a new schema

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 9.21.56 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 9.22.09 PM

List of issues fixed by CU 1

Here is the list of all issues fixed in this Cumulative Update CU 1

Updated OWA S/MIME control
New distribution package for Exchange Server 2016 update
Change to Mailbox Anchoring for Remote PowerShell
Additional languages for Outlook on the Web
.Net 4.6.1 Support
Slow installations on Windows Server 2012 R2
Support for Standalone Hybrid Configuration Wizard in Exchange Server 2010

.Net 4.6.1 Support

Make sure you are not running this version of DotNet Framework. This version is nut supported yet.

For the latest information on Exchange Server and product announcements please see What’s New in Exchange Server 2016 and Exchange Server 2016 Release Notes. You can also find updated information on Exchange Server 2013 in What’s New in Exchange Server 2013Release Notes and product documentation available on TechNet.

Now if you run Test-ExchangeSearch , you will get this cmdlet working

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 9.15.16 PM

Now you have successfully installed the CU 1

Cheers:)

 

Are you still behind on Cumulative Update 11 For Exchange 2013

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By , April 13, 2016 8:10 AM

This is not very common these days but still some organizations are other three months behind or six months behind the Exchange 2013 Cumulative Updates. or you may have setup a new Exchange 2013 you may want to bring it up to the updated CU.

So if you are even no onto the CU11 , below are the some important (depending on the scenario) updates it covers, not all are very important but some of them are very critical .

Here is the list of important updates in my opinion I’d consider upgrading to CU11.

To get the full list of al the update here is the TechNet url

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3099522

 

Setup your Exchange lab in less than $50 bucks

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By , March 30, 2016 10:19 AM

This tutorial will guide you on having a full Exchange environment in the cloud following best practices, Basically to setup your Exchange lab in less than $50 bucks – Prior to this lab I had setup a lab at my home running tons of memory and disk storage but getting a live production like lab is not easy to setup where you want to setup the #OWA and #ActiveSync and test these services externally.

Taking advantage of the fact that there are high competition between cloud service providers, After long evaluation and personal testing I picked the cloud provider that will meet all the requirements. So I decided to go with #VPSIE (vpsie). In this post I will not be doing too much technical stuff but I’m going to put the screen capture and how does it look like once you register. Signup-Link — I liked this one not only because of the best pricing  but also they offer Windows server on all their packages with  #SSD (by default in their all offering). For any version of #Exchange #server SSD makes a huge difference.

You many not need to setup a live lab like this for #DAG but for other service yes it does help a lot.

It also gives you the console level access directly from the browser without installing any Java or add-ons which is neat for troubleshooting as well as their live support. Let’ s start by looking at the lab at my domain name in this case is https://mail.O365SME.COM

owa

 

Package selection would be minimal required for this lab environment – Spike package would be sufficient for our lab.

VPsie1

LAB Servers

In this lab I’ve setup only one AD Server and One Exchange 2010 SP3 – You can see the RAM and and the Disk allowed to each.

To protect Active Directory I have set it up on private network while it can only communicate with Exchange over private link – It’s a very bad idea to have AD on public Internet that is definitely not recommended  for any production use.

OS Selection:

I selected Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard edition for this lab – It comes already activated so

pic3

This is the actual look of my account configured for this lab.

VPsie3

 

It took 2 minutes to spin up each of the Windows servers – After Spinning up – I logged in to console to configure AD as the DNS and do basic configurations that we will get to in details.

Console Access – Coolest Feature 

This feature I must mention here which I’ve not seen using #azure (I am not compare with #azure but wish if they offered that feature). Many time it happens what if the server is not accessible  over remote desktop?    I’ve ran into the situation where I lost access to the RDP and I had de-allocate and re-allocate the machine. Reboot the machine a number of times to made it work. Console Feature , let’s you login to the console just like logging in via KVM. It just simply work on the web browser (safari, firefox and IE). Even if you have to change the port for the RDP you can make the changes via console access and RDP on that port.

Another good and important feature is Private IP (I’ll talk about more details later). So even if you have a private ip on you VM you can still access it via console access, you don’t really need a public ip to access that machine.

What you can achieve with this , you don’t have to publish that server on the public ip address. If you were to put an AD server for your Exchange Server then you don’t need a public ip address on that server. You can access that server on the private ip using console access over a browser.

VPsie5

 

The actual console will look like that, Within a browser window – Very neat:)

VPsie4

 

I wanted to keep the cost for this lab at the lower end – So I started with the lower package and then manually added 10GB of SSD storage individually to satisfy exchange minimal storage requirements  :

modify1

 

Exchange is an application that is streamlined by hands-on experience, To actually learn it you need to do it – you could take advantage of their | Free Trial Now |– As we go with more details on the technical part of this setup I need to have some time to put together some topology graph as well as high level architecture overview. 

Plan for Office 365 – the Internet BANDwidth usage part

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By , March 16, 2015 12:45 PM

There are many factors involved in migrating to or co-exist (Hybrid) with O365. Every organization has or can difference experience based on their current messaging setup. Your existing Exchange environment has to be at some standard or meet some criteria before you start moving to Office Email Cloud. For example if you an undamaged (no mailbox quota, unlimited public folder etc) exchange then first you need to do some cleanup before you move to O365 (Hybrid or Cutoover). There are some basic building blocks you need to follow

Estimating Bandwidth Usage

There are many variables to consider when estimating network traffic. Some of these variables are:

  • The Office 365 service offerings that your organization has subscribed to.
  • The number of client computers in use at one time.
  • The type of task each client computer is performing.
  • The performance of your Internet browser software.
  • The capacity of the network connections and network segments associated with each client computer.
  • Your organization’s network topology and the capacity of the various pieces of network hardware.

Network Bandwidth Calculators you can use with Office 365

 There are calculators available to assist you with estimating network bandwidth requirements. These calculators work for on-premises as well as Office 365 deployments. You can use the Exchange client network bandwidth calculator to estimate the bandwidth required for a specific set of Outlook, Outlook Web App, and mobile device users in your Office 365 deployment. With the Lync Server 2010 and 2013 bandwidth calculator, you enter information about users and the Lync Online features you want to deploy, and the calculator helps you determine bandwidth requirements.

Migration Velocity Testing

Testing and validating your Internet bandwidth (download, upload, and latency constraints) are vital to understanding how to achieve high-velocity migration of on-premises mailbox content to the Office 365 and Exchange Online environments. Slow or latent connectivity reduces the number of mailbox migrations that can be completed during a migration window. Be sure to perform the following steps:

  • Test and confirm that your organization’s Internet bandwidth can manage the network impact of Office 365 migrations.
  • Assess internal network bandwidth availability for Office 365 migration events.
  • Make use of available network tools such as:
  • Determine your download, upload, and latency between your on-premises environment and the nearest Microsoft cloud services data center. The following activities can help with this task:
    • Ping outlook.com to determine the IP address of the nearest Microsoft cloud services data center from your location.
    • Consult a third-party IP mapping website (for example, iplocation.net) to determine that data center’s location.
    • Use a speed test website (for example, speedtest.net) to determine the upload, download, and latency statistics between your on-premises environment and the nearest location to the Microsoft cloud services data center.
    • Determine the periods in which the on-premises Exchange system is heavily used (for example, during backups).

 

Strategies to Improve Migration Velocity

To improve migration velocity as well as reduce your organization’s bandwidth constraints, you should consider the following:

  • Reduce mailbox sizes. Smaller mailbox size improves migration velocity.
  • Public Folder Cleanup – make sure cleanup your public to meet the public folder mailbox in O365
  • Use the mailbox move capabilities with an Exchange hybrid deployment. With an Exchange hybrid deployment, offline mail (.OST files) does not require re-download when migrating to Exchange Online. This significantly reduces your download bandwidth requirements.
  • Schedule mailbox moves to occur during periods of low Internet traffic and low on-premises Exchange use. When scheduling moves, understand that migration requests are submitted to the mailbox replication proxy and may not take place immediately.

For more detailed information, see Exchange Online Migration Performance and Best Practices.

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