Exchange 2010

UDP support returning to Exchange 2010

When Microsoft released Exchange 2010 they removed support for UDP notificiations and in the process made the Exchange mail server experience less than perfect for the millions of people who still use Outlook 2003. I wrote a blog post about this that has been a real hit, so I can tell people everywhere were desperate for a fix.

Good news, Microsoft will be bring support for UDP back with Exchange 2010 Service Pack 1 Rollup 3!

Full details here: support.microsoft.com/kb/2009942

Thank you Microsoft, about time!

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Exchange 2010 with Outlook 2003 issues

Here are a couple of interesting things to be aware of when implementing Exchange 2010 with Outlook 2003 clients. Note that the issues described here do not occur with Outlook 2007 or 2010.

Service Pack:

Make sure Outlook 2003 has Office 2003 Service Pack 3 applied. If you don’t it will not work.

Enable Encyption:

Encryption must be enabled in the Outlook profile.

Under the Outlook Profile, choose “more settings” and then choose the Security tab. Make sure “Enable encryption between Outlook and the Exchange Server” is ticked.

Outlook 2003 in Online Mode

An issue exists where Outlook 2003 clients are slow when configured in Online mode. Users will notice things like moving items between folders and deleting items are slow (the item doesn’t move immediately). Cached mode resolves this issue or alternatively you can follow these steps. Note that this fix does not completely resolve the issue, but it does improve performance of Outlook 2003 online mode a lot.

On the server with the Client Access Role

  • Install Exchange 2010 Update Rollup 1 and restart the server.
  • Now make the following registry change.
  • HKLM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeRPC\ParametersSystem
  • Create a DWORD called  “Maximum Polling Frequency”  (without quotes)
  • Make the value 10000

Note that this change is dynamic and clients will need to close and open Outlook again for the change to take affect.

Another things you can do to reduce the user impact include:

  • turning off the preview pane.
  • advising users to open the message and delete the open message, rather than deleting from the Inbox.

Send/Receive errors

I haven’t found a full solution to this problem, but it appears that users with cached mode on Outlook 2003 can get corruption in OST file or Outlook profile. To resolve this issue I have tried to deleting to OST file and creating a new Outlook profile. This works about 75% of the time.

An interesting side-effect of this issue is the Offline Address Book doesn’t download updates. I’ll post more details once I have the answer!

Microsoft Support Article

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Exchange 2010 and Symantec BackupExec 2010

2010 is well and truely here and I haven’t updated my blog for a while, so here goes…One of the more interesting things I have been working on lately is Exchange 2010. Released towards the end of 2009, this version has many improvements over Exchange 2007 and I have been dying to roll it out to clients.

One of the biggest issues that has prevented many people putting Exchange 2010 into production until now has been backup. Many of my clients use Symantec BackupExec which until last week didn’t support Exchange 2010. Upgrading BackupExec from 12.5 to 2010 is required before Exchange 2010 can be backed up. Microsoft’s Data Protection Manager (DPM 2010) supports Exchange 2010 but is still in beta and being a bit conservative when it comes to client networks, I generally wait for products to go RTM before deploying.

The other Symantec product on my radar is Symantec Mail Security, the current version doesn’t support Exchange 2010, however version 6.5 due out before the end of February 2010.

I should know in the next week or so if this really is “bliss”. My Experience with Symantec recently could best be described as buggy. I hope they have learnt some lessons from the BackupExec and Endpoint Security issues of 2008/2009 and the quality of BackupExec 2010 and Mail Security 6.5 is good!

Update: 27 Feb 2010

BackupExec 2010 is now up and running in production. Only one minor issue with the mailbox of the BackupExec service account causing errors after it was moved to Exchange 2010 (with Exchange 2003 still in the backup). Simple work around, was to create a new service account and mailbox on Exchange 2003 and move that mailbox last.

Exchange 2010 sneak peek

The internet is currently buzzing with snippets of information about Exchange 2010 which we can expect to see towards the end of the year (no official dates yet). Exchange is the foundation of Microsoft’s messaging and unified communications product suite and 2010 promises to be a significant jump in functionality.  While the full list of features is yet to be confirmed, here is a quick overview of some of the new features we are likely to see:

Under the hood

Exchange 2010 includes improved database with lower disk I/O requirements allowing the use of lower cost disk. The database is more robust and builds on the replication capabilities already found in Exchange 2007. Exchange 2007 with Service Pack 2 (due out in the next few months) can work in a mixed environment.

eDiscovery

Exchange 2010 introduces email archiving and cross mailbox search capabilities to assist with compliance with legal requirements around eDiscovery. Search capabilities can be delegated outside of the IT department to more appropriate locations such as Human Resources.

Federation

Federation will allow users to view “free/busy” Calendar information across organisations, a great tool for people who regularly schedule meetings with partner businesses.

Administration

Common administration tasks can be delegated to end users including the ability to create and update distribution lists. Email tracking tools can also be used allow users to check if a message has been delivered or is delayed somewhere.

Cloud services

Exchange 2010 will be available both as onsite and cloud based solutions. One of the most interesting capabilities is the ability to split the infrastructure between the two solutions e.g. replicating data from onsite to the cloud as a DR solution.

Client improvements

Outlook 2010 is still in development but we can be assured that it will be required to leverage some of Exchange 2010’s functionality. Improvements to the web client will include presence for those who have OCS and improved support for Safari and Firefox web browsers. Windows Mobile clients will also receive improvements.

Voice to Text

One of the more useful features is the ability of Exchange 2010 to convert incoming voicemail messages to text. You will be able to read your voice mail, great for mobile users.

Exchange 2010 is an extremely important part of Microsoft’s next wave of server products and sets a clear path for Microsoft’s strategy on Cloud based services and unified messaging.

Exchange 2010 Homepage