Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Updated Exchange 2010 SP2 RU5 Released

The updated version of Exchange 2010 SP2 RU5 (called RU5-v2) is now available for download after the previous version was pulled due to an issue with DAGs.

For a list of the issues fixed in this update see the following KB article: KB2785908

The update is available from here.

Also available today are Exchange 2010 SP1 RU8 and Exchange 2007 SP3 RU9 - which incidentally does not add coexistence support for Exchange 2013 as was previously rumoured.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Skype 4.2 for iOS brings MSN & Hotmail integration

Following on from the 6th November announcement that MSN messenger was end of life and was being merged into Skype version 4.2 of the iOS app is now available which delivers exactly that.

After downloading the update you will need to sign out of Skype, sign back in using your Microsoft account and then choose "Merge". 

If you don't have Skype for iOS you can download it here.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Windows Server 2012 NIC Teaming LACP Test

Windows Server 2012 not only provides native support for NIC teaming but also for switch assisted link aggregation - 802.1ax, LACP.

To test this in a lab environment I have used a Cisco 3550 with 2x WS-G5483 installed and performed these steps on the switch:

conf t
int port-channel 1
int gi 0/1
channel-group 1 mode active
int gi 0/2
channel-group 1 mode active
copy run start

To configure the team using PowerShell (it is possible to do via the GUI too):

Run Get-NetAdapter to find the names of your NICs - in my case they were Ethernet and Ethernet 2 - then run:
 New-NetLbfoTeam -Name "LAN Team" -TeamMembers ethernet,"ethernet 2" -TeamingMode lacp  

The output will show the team status as down so wait a few seconds for the LACP negotiation to complete and run Get-NetLbfoteam.  You can also run Get-NetLbfoTeamNic or Get-NetAdapter to confirm that the LinkSpeed in now 2GB.

Update: It should be noted that you require a properly configured switch to get LACP to work.  If the switch is not configured correctly or it does not support LACP at all you will receive a "LACP negotiation failed" error message

Monday, 19 November 2012

Exchange Database Size and White Space - Part 1

A question that is often asked on the TechNet Forums and elsewhere:

 "I've moved/deleted mailboxes out of a database so why has the size stayed the same?"

The answer is straightforward: the size of an Exchange database file (.EDB) can only be reduced by running an offline defrag - eseutil /d.

However there are a few conditions and caveats which can sometimes make the situation a little more complicated:

  1. Unless you have a critical need for disk space you should not run an offline defrag as it may impact the performance of the database - this process should never be part of normal system maintenance.
  2. You need free disk space equivalent to 110% of the size of the used space in the EDB file. Used space is calculated by subtracting the amount of white space from the size of the database.
  3. The defrag may not reduce the EDB file by the amount you were expecting it to which could be due to a lack of white space in the database.
  4. The database will be offline during the defrag which could take several hours to complete.

In light of those points there must be a better solution - there is!  Create a new database, move all of the mailboxes over to it and then delete the original database.

This option has low user impact for Exchange 2003/2007 mailboxes and the impact reduces to negligible in 2010 and zero in 2013.   Additionally it needs 10% less disk space than a defrag but the whole process does take a bit longer.

There is third even lower impact option which is often overlooked ... just leave it alone.  Unless your database is so large that it has become unsupportable, it would take too long to restore for example, then  the normal operation of Exchange will use up the white space over time.

To summarise, an offline defrag should be the option of last resort and doing nothing is normally the best approach to handling large amounts of white space in a database.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

RU5 for Exchange 2010 SP2 Now Available

The latest update rollup release for Exchange 2010 SP2 is now available for download.

For a list of issues fixed in this release see: KB2719800

Update: This RU has been pulled due to an issue with DAGs.

Update 2: RU5-v2 is now released see this post for more details, or the direct link to the download

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Internet Explorer 10 Preview for Windows 7 - Now Availble

If you would like to test drive the latest edition of Internet Explorer on Windows 7 a preview is now available here.

More details shortly.

Update 09:53 - The site is available but the download links are giving a 404.

Update 16:55 - Now live!

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Enable Password Resets in Exchange 2013 EAC

When you connect to the Exchange 2013 EAC as a member of any RBAC role group, the option for resetting user passwords is missing when you edit the mailbox properties.  This is because the Reset Password role is not assigned to any role group by default - including Organization Management.

Go to Permissions | Select the role group to modify | Click on the pencil | Scroll down to Roles | Click the + | Select Reset Password | Click add, ok, save.  When you reopen the EAC as a member of the role group you have modified the Password Reset fields will be available:

Take a look at these articles on TechNet for more information on RBAC in Exchange 2013.