Exchange Administrator’s toolkit

There are lots of tools for Exchange Server available, you can find most of them at the Exchange Server Wiki (some of the tools listed are for previous versions of Exchange).

Here is a short selection from the vast collection available:

Tune and optimize performance of your Office 365 connection

Microsoft has published a new course on Office 365 Performance Management at the Microsoft Virtual Academy, which contains 11 modules across planning and troubleshooting areas including:

  1. Office 365 Performance Management Course Introduction
  2. Office 365 Datacenters and Network
  3. Planning for Office 365 Internet Capacity – Exchange Online
  4. Planning for Office 365 Internet Capacity – Lync Online
  5. Planning for Office 365 Internet Capacity – SharePoint Online
  6. The Baselining Model for Internet Capacity Planning
  7. Best Practices & Real Customer Projects Planning Internet Capacity
  8. Planning for Office 365 Firewalls Whitelisting
  9. Performance Troubleshooting Process and Tools Used
  10. Performance Troubleshooting Tests
  11. Troubleshooting SharePoint Online Customizations

Exchange Tools

Here I’ll share some free tools that can help simplify Microsoft Exchange deployment, troubleshooting, and administration. Some of the tools are simple—but still convenient—whereas others provide some powerful functionality.

There are some tools you can use during deployment to ease the process and reduce issues in the future, tools you can use for troubleshooting to reduce down-times, and tools you can use during day-to-day administration to monitor server health and perform tasks.

Microsoft Exchange Server Deployment Assistant

Microsoft’s Exchange Server Deployment Assistant is an online tool that produces a custom step-by-step checklist you can utilize during a server installation or upgrade. It first asks you questions about your current and desired deployment environment, such as the deployment type (on-premise, cloud, or hybrid), migration questions, desired features/functionality, and other miscellaneous caveats that impact the installation or upgrade.

Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer

Microsoft’s Remote Connectivity Analyzer is a website with many tools to help test and troubleshoot connectively of Exchange servers, Outlook, Lync, OCS, Office 365, and POP, IMAP, and STMP email. Plus it offers downloadable Connectivity Analyzer Tools for local testing and a message header analyzer.

PFDAVAdmin and ExFolders
These are tools that enable you to perform tasks on Exchange public folders and mailboxes, such as checking or changing permissions. It can also connect to mailboxes, check the contents, and generate reports. PFDAVAdmin is for Exchange 2000, 2003, and 2007 and ExFolders is the updated version for Exchange 2007 and 2010 SP1 and later.

Jetstress

The Jetstress tool simulates disk I/O load on your server, allowing you to specify the amount of simulated Exchange users and profiles. This can help you verify the performance and stability of your server before installing Exchange and putting it into production-use.

Exchange Server Role Requirements Calculators

These are calculator tools that give sizing recommendations for your particular Exchange server roles for both client access and mailbox. The 2010 version is focused on mailbox calculations while the 2013 version includes recommendations on sizing Client Access servers too.

Exchange Environment Report

This Exchange Environment Report tool is from Steve Goodman and is a PowerShell script that generates an automatic overview of your Exchange environment. It supports Exchange 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013 servers and database availability groups. It reports the number of and details about the servers, mailboxes, roles, and versions. It also gives you useful status on the Database Availability Groups (DAG) and non-DAG databases.

Exchange Reports

Exchange Reports offers reports on overall information about your Exchange Environment, supporting Exchange 2010 & Exchange 2013. You can keep an eye on configuration changes and status with Group Reports, Single Group Information, Mailbox Report, Single Mailbox Information, Message Tracking, and Environment Report.

The program doesn’t require any installation, but requires .Net 4.0, Powershell 2.0, and Remote Powershell access to the Exchange Server. Reports can be saved in history and also exported to Excel.

Microsoft Exchange Server MAPI Editor (MFCMAPI)

Microsoft’s Microsoft Exchange Server MAPI Editor (MFCMAPI) tool provides access to MAPI stores, useful when troubleshooting Exchange and Outlook issues, which can serve as a replacement to the old Microsoft Exchange Server Information Store Viewer. You can open and navigate through the message stores that are exposed through MAPI.

Free Exchange Monitor

The Free Exchange Monitor from SolarWinds supports Microsoft Exchange Server 2000 and 2003. It keeps tabs on the Exchange server stats, services, mail queue sizes, and host server health. In addition to notifying you of outages it can be useful in troubleshooting Exchange server problems and even help with pro-active monitoring, for instance detecting growing mail queues that can indicate bigger issues like transport failures, Internet connection failures, and virus activity.

Free Exchange Monitoring

This is another monitoring application, but from ManageEngine and supports Exchange Server 2003, 2007, 2010, and 2013. It gives stats on server health and Exchange services. It also provides details on the client access server, transport, Active Sync counters, and delivery aspects. You can generate real-time performance reports to be downloaded or emailed in PDF format.

Exclaimer Outlook Photos

Exclaimer Outlook Photos can help you import staff photos into the Active Directory so they’ll show up in the Outlook People Pane, SharePoint profile, and on Microsoft Lync. It can auto-match pictures from a batch to names or other data in Active Directory, and even automatically crop and center the photos as well.

Certificate Manager for Exchange 2007

Exchange 2007 enables SSL within IIS by default, but creating and managing SSL certificates via PowerShell commands can be confusing. However, the Certificate Manager for Exchange 2007 from U-BTech eases the process with a GUI.

You can generate an Exchange 2007 Certificate Signing Request and process the Certificate Authority and enable certificates for Exchange 2007 Services (POP, IMAP, SMTP, IIS, UM). Plus you can include additional subject names in a single certificate. It supports import and exporting as well.

Exchange PST Capture

Exchange PST Capture from Microsoft will search your network for PST files and then import those files to mailboxes in your organization. It supports both on-premises Exchange Server 2010 and 2013 and Exchange Online. This tool can help, for instance, during the initial deployment of an Exchange Server, to move local Outlook data files into the Exchange Server.

LINK

Exchange Server 2013 Service Pack 1 Coming in Early 2014

Today on the Office blog Exchange Team announced that service pack 1 for the 2013 set of products including Office, SharePoint and Exchange will be released early next year. We know our Exchange customers have been looking for confirmation of the release but also have a desire for an early look at what’s coming with Exchange Server 2013 Service Pack 1 (SP1). So let’s have a first look a few things you can expect to see in SP1. But wait… we haven’t released CU3 – well, news about CU3 is imminent – stay tuned for more information about CU3 coming very soon.

In this post we are highlighting a few of the notable improvements to be included in SP1. This isn’t an all-inclusive list, so stay tuned for additional details as we approach release.

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Support First answering one the most common questions since the release of Windows Server 2012 R2. Exchange 2013 SP1 will add Windows Server 2012 R2 as a supported operating system for Exchange Server 2013 with SP1. Let your planning begin.
  • S/MIME support for OWA Support for S/MIME in OWA will be brought back in SP1. With SP1 customers will have S/MIME support across Outlook, Exchange ActiveSync clients, and OWA.
  • Edge Transport Server Role The Edge Transport server role for Exchange Server 2013 will be available with SP1.
  • Fixes and Improvements Of course, SP1 will include fixes and improvements in areas you’ve helped us identity. SP1 is the first service pack issued in the new Exchange Server cumulative update release model – thus SP1 is essentially CU4. The installation of SP1 will follow the same process as the prior Exchange 2013 CU releases. SP1 will include all fixes included in previously released cumulative updates for Exchange 2013.

SP1 will require customers to update their Active Directory schema – customers should assume this requirement for all Exchange Server 2013 updates. Plan for this required update to quickly take advantage SP1 updates. Active Directory Schema updates for Exchange are additive and always backwards compatible with previous releases and versions.

MAP Toolkit 8.0 Beta released

The MAP Toolkit team announced that MAP Toolkit 8.0 beta is available. MAP Toolkit 8.0 beta has rich feature set to plan and prepare your environment to adopt next wave of Microsoft products and cloud services. The MAP Toolkit has readiness assessments that range from desktop to cloud — Windows 8 to Windows Azure.

The MAP Toolkit 8.0 Beta program is open for general testing today and you need to register to download and try MAP Toolkit 8.0 beta in your environment as you prepare your IT infrastructure to evaluate and deploy the latest Microsoft products and cloud services.

MAP Toolkit 8.0 Beta is available for download here

MAP Toolkit 8.0 has completely revamped modern user interface, which provides easy and clear access to assessment scenarios supported in MAP Toolkit and assessment summaries and results. If you have used a prior version of the MAP Toolkit, you will find MAP Toolkit 8.0 much easier and simpler to navigate, find and run assessment scenarios you are interested and review the assessment results.

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Following are some of the key assessment scenarios in the MAP Toolkit 8.0:

Windows Server 2012 Readiness

MAP 8.0 Beta assesses the readiness of your IT infrastructure for deploying Windows Server 2012. This assessment includes detailed and actionable recommendations indicating which machines meet Windows Server 2012 system requirements and which may need hardware updates. A comprehensive inventory of servers, operating systems, workloads, devices, and server roles is included to help in your planning efforts.

Windows 8 Readiness Assessment

MAP 8.0 Beta assesses the readiness of your IT environment for a Windows 8 deployment. This assessment evaluates your existing hardware against the recommended system requirements for Windows 8. It provides recommendations detailing which machines meet the requirements and which may need hardware upgrades.

Office 2013 and Office 365 Readiness Assessments

MAP 8.0 Beta assesses readiness for Office 2013 and provides an in-depth assessment of client desktops for upgrading or migration. It also offers support for Office 365 features such as web apps, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, or full Office 365 client support.

Windows Azure Virtual Machines Migration Recommendation

MAP 8.0 Beta performs a comprehensive assessment of Windows Server and Linux machines to determine if a migration to Windows Azure Virtual Machines is possible. The toolkit then offers suggested changes to prepare the machines for migration. Key features help you reduce the operating costs of hosting on-premise servers as well as estimating the required size and monthly network and storage usage required to migrate on-premise Windows and Linux servers to Windows Azure Virtual Machines using the data from the environment.

Software usage assessment for Lync

MAP 8.0 Beta’s Lync Enterprise and Usage Tracking feature counts the number of Lync Enterprise/Plus users as well as device activities for determining the number of required client access licenses (CAL). For Lync 2010, MAP provides a server inventory and software usage by device and user for Lync Standard features. MAP’s updated Software Usage Tracking feature provides consistent software usage reports for key Microsoft products including Windows Server, SQL Server, System Center, Forefront Endpoint Protection (FEP), and Lync.

Starting today, beta program will be open for six weeks and will end on Dec 14th, 2012. You can participate in beta by downloading and running MAP Toolkit 8.0 beta in your environment.

MAP Toolkit 8.0 Beta is available for download here

The RTM versions of Exchange 2013, Lync 2013 and Office 2013 are now available on MSDN and Technet

Exchange 2013, Lync 2013 and Office 2013 RTM is now available for download on MSDN/Technet!!! Whoot!!!!!! Open-mouthed smile Open-mouthed smile Open-mouthed smile

MSDN Links:
Lync Server 2013 (x64) – DVD (English)
Exchange Server 2013 (x64) – DVD (Multilanguage)
Office Web Apps 2013 (x64) – DVD (English)
Office Professional Plus 2013 (x64) – DVD (English)
Office Professional Plus 2013 (x86) – DVD (English)
SharePoint Server 2013 (x64) – DVD (English)
Visio Professional 2013 (x64) – (English)
Visio Professional 2013 (x86) – (English)
Project Professional 2013 (x64) – (English)
Project Professional 2013 (x86) – (English)

Windows Anti-Virus Exclusion List

 

One place on the web where you can find an updated list of ALL the AV exclusions you might want to configure for Windows Server.

Enterprise Configuration Recommendations:

Windows:

  • KB822158 Virus scanning recommendations for Enterprise computers that are running currently supported versions of Windows

Windows / Active Directory:

Cluster:

Forefront: Considerations when using antivirus software on FF Edge Products

FRS:

SQL:

IIS:

DHCP:

SCOM / MOM:

Config Manager 2007:

Hyper-V:

Exchange:

SharePoint:

SMS:

ISA:

Windows Update:

SBS:

MED-V

System Center:

Data Protection Manager:

App-V

Source: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/953.aspx

Data Protection Manager 2010 error ID 30140 Details: Internal error code: 0x80990D11

I get the following error in DPM Management console on a SQL2000 server that is protected with DPM 2010

Affected area:           

Occurred since:          8/20/2011 4:01:13 AM

Description:    Recovery point creation jobs for SQL Server 2000 database ?????? on ???? have been failing. The number of failed recovery point creation jobs = 3.

If the datasource protected is SharePoint, then click on the Error Details to view the list of databases for which recovery point creation failed. (ID 3114)

DPM tried to do a SQL log backup, either as part of a backup job or a recovery to latest point in time job. The SQL log backup job has detected a discontinuity in the SQL log chain for  SQL Server 2000 database ???? since the last backup. All incremental backup jobs will fail until an express full backup runs. (ID 30140 Details: Internal error code: 0x80990D11)

More information

Recommended action:           If you see this failure as part of a backup job, then in the Protection task area, select the SQL Server database and click Create recovery point. Choose express full backup. Alternately, you can wait for the next scheduled express full backup to run.

If this failure occurs as part of a recovery job, then try to recover from another point in time.

Review the Application Event Viewer logs on the computer running SQL Server for more details.

Ensure that this database is not already protected by another backup application.

Create a recovery point…

Resolution:     To dismiss the alert, click below

Inactivate alert

Solution:

DPM tried to do a SQL log backup, either as part of a backup job or a recovery to latest point in time job. The SQL log backup job has detected a discontinuity in the SQL log chain for SQL Server 2005 database database <name database> since the last backup. All incremental backup jobs will fail until an express full backup runs. (ID 30140 Details: Internal error code: 0x80990D11)

Resolution: It seemed that the problem was that there were also backups performed straight from the SQL Management Studio. Stopping these backups resolved the issue. See also http://support.microsoft.com/kb/970642

Free eBook: Microsoft Office 365: Connect and Collaborate Virtually Anywhere, Anytime

Microsoft released Microsoft Office 365: Connect and Collaborate Virtually Anywhere, Anytime (ISBN 9780735656949), by Katherine Murray, as a free eBook.

To download your free PDF eBook, click here or click on the picture. Updates to this eBook, as well as additional eBook formats, will become available in the future, so check this blog for updates.

Introduction

Let’s hear it for freedom. Freedom from your desk. Freedom from those ­boring managers’ meetings. Freedom to work anywhere, with anyone, anytime, on almost any device. Sounds good, right?

Office 365 is Microsoft’s smart and simple answer to cloud computing. Using the various programs in Office 365, you can do all the tasks you’re used to doing in your favorite Office applications—write documents, create presentations, check email, manage your calendar, crunch numbers, and more—and then share what you create in real time on a team site, design and publish a website, and even create and host live online meetings while you’re traveling on the train, sitting in a coffee shop, or dialing in on your phone.

This book shows you how you can use cloud computing—and ­specifically, ­Office 365—to get more done, collaborate more easily, and work more ­flexibly than you ever have before. From the necessary how-tos about ­creating and administering your Office 365 account and working with the various Office 365 programs to sharing files with your team, creating a team site, using Office Web Apps, and holding online meetings, you’ll discover how easy it is to work online and off, accessing and sharing your files whenever you need to. After you learn about each of the core programs, you can try strategies for building successful teams, and get some good ideas on practical ways you can put all this cloud power to work.

Who This Book Is For

Microsoft Office 365: Connect and Collaborate Virtually Anywhere, Anytime is all about cloud solutions for small businesses, focusing on the core software services (Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Office Web Apps, and Microsoft Lync), and demonstrating ways you can create, manage, and lead teams effectively using the communications and collaborative online tools.

A Quick Roadmap

Microsoft Office 365: Connect and Collaborate Virtually Anywhere, Anytime is organized in three parts to help you learn about different aspects of setting up and ­working with Office 365.

Part I, “Finding Your Place in the Cloud,” takes a look at the way people are working in the cloud today and introduces you to Office 365. Chapter 1 looks closely at teams, both inside and outside the office environment, and it takes a look at the way Office 365 offers a greener choice for small businesses. Chapter 2 shows you how to create an Office 365 account and set up a profile, and it gives you a big-picture tour of Office 365 so that you can begin planning just what you want to do with the tools. Chapter 3 is for the team manager or person who will be managing the Office 365 site; you’ll learn how to ­customize the site, add mobile devices, and set up and manage Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SharePoint, and Microsoft Lync online.

Part II, “Teamwork in the Cloud,” is your guide to setting up, organizing, ­managing, and helping your team be successful using Office 365. ­Chapter 4 spotlights all the team features you can use to get everybody on the same page, calendar-wise; you’ll also find out how to share files, hold online ­meetings, instant message each other, and broadcast presentations. Chapter 5 walks you through creating, editing, and sharing a team site. Chapter 6 shows you how to create document libraries, share files with team members, and manage the files in SharePoint Online. You’ll also find out about working with file versions, tracking file changes, and comparing and merging files. Chapter 7 shows you how to create and use workflows to keep your team moving in the right direction, and Chapter 8 introduces all things Web App by shining a light on the capabilities of the various tools and showing you how to work with files online, coauthor documents, edit worksheets, broadcast presentations, and share notebooks. Chapter 9 rounds out this part of Office 365 by focusing on mobile technologies: find out how to use the various Office Mobile applications to review, edit, and share the files you develop with your team.

Part III, “Connecting in Real Time,” shows you how to use the ­communication and instant-messaging options in Office 365 to stay in touch with your team in real time. In Chapter 10, “Email and Organize with Office 365,” you learn how to use Outlook Web App to import and manage contacts, set email preferences, organize mail ­folders, work with your calendars and tasks, and more. Chapter 11, “Talking it Over with Microsoft Lync,” shows you how to connect in real time to other online users through instant ­messaging, voice calls, and online chats. You’ll learn how to manage transcripts, invite others to the ­conversation, and host web meetings. Chapter 12, “Designing Your ­Public Website,” shows you how to use the web tools in Office 365 to create a ­website to ­showcase your products and services and give your customers a sense of who you are and what you offer. Chapter 13, “Integrating Office 365,” presents a set of examples that show how you and your team can use the ­various tools in Office 365 together to create and share business projects.

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Microsoft Office 365 Jump Start

The Microsoft Office 365 Jumpstart series provides an excellent perspective of the overall value Office 365 provides to modern organizations in terms of productivity, access, familiarity, security, control and reliability.