CPU usage is high when you use RPC over HTTP protocol in Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2

Consider the following scenario that takes Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 as an example:

  • The Mailbox server role is enabled in Exchange Server 2013.
  • Exchange mailboxes use extended MAPI to communicate with the Exchange Server.
  • The extended MAPI uses Microsoft RPC over HTTP (remote procedure call over HTTP) protocol.
  • Many clients (such as mobile devices) are dropping connections to the Exchange Server.

In this scenario, the CPU usage on the Exchange server may reach 100 percent.\

Hotfix: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/hotfix/kbhotfix?kbnum=3041832&kbln=en-US

Important update for Azure Active Directory Connect – Version 1.1.553.0

Microsoft released Azure Active Directory Connect version 1.1.553.0 on June 26, 2017. More importantly, they published an important security advisory one day later.

Microsoft Security Advisory 4033453 – Vulnerability in Azure AD Connect Could Allow Elevation of Privilege explains,

The [ADD Connect version 1.1.553.0] update addresses a vulnerability that could allow elevation of privilege if Azure AD Connect Password writeback is misconfigured during enablement. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could reset passwords and gain unauthorized access to arbitrary on-premises AD privileged user accounts. The issue is addressed in the latest version (1.1.553.0) of Azure AD Connect by not allowing arbitrary password reset to on-premises AD privileged user accounts.

Microsoft highly recommends all customers update to version 1.1.553.0 or later to mitigate this vulnerability, even if you don’t use the optional password writeback feature. If you are unable to update immediately, the article above describes mitigation steps you can consider.

  • If the AD DS account is a member of one or more on-premises AD privileged groups, consider removing the AD DS account from the groups.
  • If an on-premises AD administrator has previously created Control Access Rights on the adminSDHolder object for the AD DS account which permits Reset Password operation, consider removing it.
  • It may not always be possible to remove existing permissions granted to the AD DS account (for example, the AD DS account relies on the group membership for permissions required for other features such as Password synchronization or Exchange hybrid writeback). Consider creating a DENY ACE on the adminSDHolder object which disallows the AD DS account with Reset Password permission using Windows DSACLS tool.

Expta

EXCHANGE 2013 CU17 AND EXCHANGE 2016 CU6

On June 27, 2017 Microsoft has released its quarterly updates for Exchange 2013 and Exchange 2016. The current version is now at Exchange 2013 CU17 (15.0.1320.4) and Exchange 2016 CU6(15.1.1034.26) . But this time there are some interesting things I’d like to point out.

A couple of days before the release of Exchange 2016 CU6 (15.1.1034.26)
Microsoft blogged about Sent Items Behavior Control and Original Folder Item Recovery. With the Sent Items Behavior Control, a message that’s sent using the Send As or Send on behalf of permission is not only stored in the mailbox of the user that actually sent the message, but a copy is also stored in the delegator mailbox sent items. This was already possible for shared mailboxes, but now it’s also possible for regular mailboxes (like manager/assistant scenarios).

The Original Folder Item Recovery feature is I guess on of the most requested features. In the past (before Exchange 2010) when items were restored after they were deleted, they were restored to their original location. With the Dumpster 2.0 that was introduced with Exchange 2010 this was no longer possible, and items were restored to the deleted items folder. In this case the items had to be moved manually to their original location. With the introduction of the Original Folder Item Recovery the restore of deleted items again takes place in the original folder.

Unfortunately, both Sent Items Behavior Control and Original Folder Item Recovery are only available in Exchange 2016 CU6 (and NOT in Exchange 2013 CU17).

When it comes to security TLS 1.2 is a hot topic. Microsoft is aware of this and working hard towards an Exchange environment that only uses TLS 1.2 (so that TLS 1.1 and TLS 1.0 can be disabled). We are not yet at that stage. Exchange 2016 CU6 does have improved support for TLS 1.2, but Microsoft is not encouraging customers to move to a TLS 1.2 environment only.

.NET Framework and Exchange server continues to be a difficult scenario. This is understandable, Exchange is just a consumer of Windows and .NET so the Exchange Product Group does not have much influence on the .NET (and Windows) Product Group.

Exchange 2016 CU6 does NOT support.NET Framework 4.7 at this moment, and you should NOT install .NET Framework on a server running Exchange 2016. Not before and not after the installation of Exchange 2016 CU6. This is also true for Exchange Server 2013 CU17. More information regarding .NET Framework and Exchange server can be found here: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/exchange/2017/06/13/net-framework-4-7-and-exchange-server/.

The .NET Framework 4.6.2 is supported by Exchange 2016 CU3 and higher and Exchange 2013 CU15 and higher. For a complete overview of which scenarios are supported, navigate to the Exchange Server Supportability Matrix on https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff728623(v=exchg.150).aspx.

KB articles that describe the fixes, features and information in each release are available as follows:

Version

Build

KB Article

Download

UMLP

Schema Changes

Exchange 2016 CU6

15.1.1034.26

KB4012108

Download

UMLP

Yes

Exchange 2013 CU17

15.0.1320.4

KB4012114

Download

UMLP

No

Source: jaapwesselius

New MVA learning paths for IT pros

Learn about the new paths for IT pros:

  • PowerShell: Beginner. Step up your IT pro game with foundational knowledge of PowerShell. Learn to use the command line to solve an issue, automate your infrastructure, and more.
  • PowerShell: Advanced. Go beyond the basics with scripting, reusable tools, and cmdlets—all taught by the architect and inventor of PowerShell, Jeffrey Snover.
  • Security for IT Pros. Beef up your security know-how with practical tips and tricks from the Microsoft security team.
  • DevOps for IT Pros. Your devs need you! Learn more about application performance and support monitoring with Microsoft Azure.
  • Introduction to Windows Server 2012 R2. Command this leading-edge server with tutorials on installation, roles, Microsoft Active Directory, storage, performance management, and maintenance.
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Security and Identity. Build upon your security knowledge with Windows Server 2016 fundamentals, like Active Directory, basic PKI, and BYOD concepts.
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Compute. Discover everything you need to know about virtualization and storage with courses on IP address management, server networking, Microsoft Hyper-V, and more.

Windows ADK 1703 and Windows 10 Creators Update 1703

Introduction

Microsoft have released both Windows 10 version 1703 and ADK 1703 last week, one is on MSDN the other on Microsoft’s download site.

Download the media

Two Know Issues:
OSD – App-V tools are missing in ADK 1703 when being installed on Windows Server 2016 (sometimes)

OS Deployment – Installing ADK 1703 on Windows Server 2016 could fail

Exchange Edge role on Windows Server 2016 is not Recommend

Exchange Team announcing an update to our support policy for Windows Server 2016 and Exchange Server 2016. At this time we do not recommend customers install the Exchange Edge role on Windows Server 2016. We also do not recommend customers enable antispam agents on the Exchange Mailbox role on Windows Server 2016 as outlined in Enable antispam functionality on Mailbox servers.

Why are we making this change?

In our post Deprecating support for SmartScreen in Outlook and Exchange, Microsoft announced we will no longer publish content filter updates for Exchange Server. We believe that Exchange customers will receive a better experience using Exchange Online Protection (EOP) for content filtering. We are also making this recommendation due to a conflict with the SmartScreen Filters shipped for Windows, Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer browsers. Customers running Exchange Server 2016 on Windows Server 2016 without KB4013429 installed will encounter an Exchange uninstall failure when decommissioning a server. The failure is caused by a collision between the content filters shipped by Exchange and Windows which have conflicting configuration information in the Windows registry. This collision also impacts customers who install KB4013429 on a functional Exchange Server. After the KB is applied, the Exchange Transport Service will crash on startup if the content filter agent is enabled on the Exchange Server. The Edge role enables the filter by default and does not have a supported method to permanently remove the content filter agent. The new behavior introduced by KB4013429, combined with our product direction to discontinue filter updates, is causing us to deprecate this functionality in Exchange Server 2016 more quickly if Windows Server 2016 is in use.

What about other operating systems supported by Exchange Server 2016?

Due to the discontinuance of SmartScreen Filter updates for Exchange server, we encourage all customers to stop relying upon this capability on all supported operating systems. Installing the Exchange Edge role on supported operating systems other than Windows Server 2016 is not changed by today’s announcement. The Edge role will continue to be supported on non-Windows Server 2016 operating systems subject to the operating system lifecycle outlined at https://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle.

Help! My services are already crashing or I want to proactively avoid this

If you used the Install-AntiSpamAgents.ps1 to install content filtering on the Mailbox role:

  1. Find a suitable replacement for your email hygiene needs such as EOP or other 3rd party solution
  2. Run the Uninstall-AntiSpamAgents.ps1 from the \Scripts folder created by Setup during Exchange installation

If you are running the Edge role on Windows Server 2016:

  1. Delay deploying KB4013429 to your Edge role or uninstall the update if required to restore service
  2. Deploy the Edge role on Windows Server 2012 or Windows Servers 2012R2 (Preferred)

Support services is available for customers who may need further assistance

End of DirSync and AAD Sync Support

Last week marks the end of support for the legacy synchronization tools which are used to connect on-premises Active Directory to Office 365 and Azure AD.  Specifically Windows Azure Active Directory Sync (DirSync) and Azure AD Sync are the tools which are transitioning out of support at this time.  Note also that version 1.0  of Azure Active Directory (AAD Connect) is also transitioning of support.  The tools were previously marked as depreciated in April 2016.

The replacement for the older synchronization tools is Azure Active Directory Connect 1.1.  Customers must have this version of AAD Connect deployed. This is the tool which is being actively maintained, and receives updates and fixes.

Azure AD will no longer accept communications from the unsupported tools as of December 31st 2017.

If you do need to upgrade, the relevant documentation is below:

Upgrade from DirSync

Upgrade from Azure AD Sync

Exchange 2016/2013/2010 Updates March 2017

Today, the Exchange Team released the March updates for Exchange Server 2013 and 2016, as well as Exchange Server 2010 and 2007. The latter will receive its last update, as Exchange 2007 will reach end-of-life April 11, 2017.

As announced in December updates, Exchange 2013 CU16 and Exchange 2016 CU5 require .NET 4.6.2. The recommended upgrade paths:

  • If you are still on .NET 4.6.1, you can upgrade to .NET 4.6.2 prior of after installing the latest Cumulative Update.
  • If you are on .NET 4.52, upgrade to Exchange 2016 CU4 or Exchange 2013 CU15 if you are not already on that level, then upgrade to .NET 4.6.2, and finally upgrade to the the latest Cumulative Update.

The Cumulative Updates also include DST changes, which is also contained in the latest Rollups published for Exchange 2010 and 2007.

For a list of fixes in these updates, see below.

Exchange 2016 CU5

15.1.845.34

KB4012106

Download

UMLP

Exchange 2013 CU16

15.0.1293.2

KB4012112

Download

UMLP

Exchange 2010 SP3 Rollup 17

14.3.352.0

KB4011326

Download

 

Exchange 2007 SP3 Rollup 23

8.3.517.0

KB4011325

Download

 

Exchange 2016 CU5 fixes:

  • KB4015665 SyncDelivery logging folders and files are created in wrong location in Exchange Server 2016
  • KB4015664 A category name that has different case-sensitivity than an existing name is not created in Exchange Server 2016
  • KB4015663 “The message content has become corrupted” exception when email contains a UUE-encoded attachment in Exchange Server 2016
  • KB4015662 Deleted inline picture is displayed as attachment after you switch the message to plain text in Exchange Server 2016
  • KB4015213 Email is still sent to Inbox when the sender is deleted from the Trusted Contacts list in Exchange Server 2016
  • KB4013606 Search fails on Exchange Server 2016 or Exchange Server 2013
  • KB4012994 PostalAddressIndex element isn’t returning the correct value in Exchange Server 2016

Exchange 2013 CU16 fixes:

  • KB4013606 Search fails on Exchange Server 2016 or Exchange Server 2013

Notes:

Exchange 2016 CU5 doesn’t include schema changes, however, Exchange 2016 CU5 as well as Exchange 2013 CU16 may introduce RBAC changes in your environment. Where applicable, use setup /PrepareSchema to update the schema or /PrepareAD to apply RBAC changes, before deploying or updating Exchange servers. To verify this step has been performed, consult the Exchange schema overview.

When upgrading your Exchange 2013 or 2016 installation, don’t forget to put the server in maintenance mode when required. Do note that upgrading, before installing the Exchange binaries, setup will put the server in server-wide offline-mode.

Using Windows Management Framework (WMF)/PowerShell version 5 on anything earlier than Windows Server 2016 is not supported. Don’t install WMF5 on your Exchange servers running on Windows Server 2012 R2 or earlier.

When using Exchange hybrid deployments or Exchange Online Archiving (EOA), you are allowed to stay at least one version behind (n-1).

  • If you want to speed up the update process for systems without internet access, you can follow the procedure described here to disable publisher’s certificate revocation checking.
  • Cumulative Updates can be installed directly, i.e. no need to install RTM prior to installing Cumulative Updates.
  • Once installed, you can’t uninstall a Cumulative Update nor any of the installed Exchange server roles.
  • The order of upgrading servers with Cumulative Updates is irrelevant.

Caution: As for any update, I recommend to thoroughly test updates in a test environment prior to implementing them in production. When you lack such facilities, hold out a few days and monitor the comments on the original publication or forums for any issues.

Source

RVTools 3.9.3 vSphere 6.5 Supported

Version Info

Version 3.9.3 (March, 2017)

  • Bug fix: unhandled exception in decrypt function solved

Version 3.9.2 (February, 2017)

  • Migrated RVTools to use .NET Framework version 4
  • Migrated RVTools to use NPOI 2.1.3.1
  • Support for vSphere 6.5
  • Improved logon performance
  • RVTools will no longer write messages to the Windows eventlog
  • All VM related tab pages now have a new column: OS according to the VMware Tools
  • All tab pages now have a new column: VI SDK Server
  • All tab pages column vCenter UUID renamed to VI SDK UUID
  • vInfo tab page: new column VI SDK API version
  • Export to Excel will now use xlsx format
  • Export to Excel all columns are now auto sized
  • Excel worksheet names will use same name as the tab page names
  • Annotations fields can now be excluded! See preference window
  • vPartition tab page new column: Consumed MB
  • vHealth _replica directories are excluded for zombie checks
  • *_sesparse.vmdk files are excluded for zombie checks
  • New tab page with license information
  • New PasswordEncryption application added with which you can encrypt your password
  • RVTools command line interface accepts now encrypted passwords
  • Bug fix: URL Link to online version info issue solved.

http://www.robware.net/rvtools/

Active Directory Synchronization (DirSync) Deprecation 4 April 2017

Active Directory Synchronization (DirSync) Deprecation

Status: Active

Action Required by: April 4, 2017

Details: We will be removing the Windows Azure Active Directory Synchronization feature from Office 365, beginning April 4, 2017. You are receiving this message because our reporting indicates your organization is using Windows Azure Active Directory Synchronization. When this change is implemented, administrators will no longer be able to synchronize their Active Directories. Instead of using Windows Azure Active Directory Synchronization, use Azure Active Directory Connect.

Message Center: MC45036 – We are removing Windows Azure Active Directory Synchronization from Office 365

Posted: April 13, 2016

Additional Information: Upgrade Windows Azure Active Directory Sync (“DirSync”) and Azure Active Directory Sync (“Azure AD Sync”)