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Exchange 2007 FAQ

       List of frequently asked questions I have encountered about Exchange 2007:

 

      1)      Is there a list of commands that you can only do in the shell?

      Yes, although this is going to change somewhat when SP1 is released, the bulk will remain the same.  SP1 will add new features to the GUI that didn’t make it to RTM. Check David Elfassy’s blog for his list.

 

      2)      Is there an equivalent of the permissions tab in all screens like in ESM 2003?

      No, but there is adsiedit of course, but I would really look into the cmdlets such as add-mailboxpermission or add-ADpermission to accomplish what you want.

 

      3)      Is there now only one GAL supported?

      No, more than one GAL is possible, but not through the GUI. You must do it from the shell using add-addresslist cmdlet. Permissions can also be set with set-addresslist cmdlet.  Users will get the GAL in Outlook that they have 1) permission to see; 2) you are a member of; 3) the largest (in that order), but you will only ever see one GAL.

 

 

      4)      How many results can you get when doing a multi-mailbox search?

      Can’t find out a definite answer to this yet, but can’t see why there would be a limit. Don’t forget, this information can be piped out in various ways to view too. Consider refining the search to minimise results too.

 

 

      5)      Which version of Microsoft Sharepoint Server is required for the features such as file and workspace publishing?

      Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0, or Microsoft Office Sharepoint 2007 will do what you need here.  Incidentally, MOS 2007 will let you use the external indexing feature to index a mailbox database too so the content is accessible via Sharepoint.

 

      6)      Is there a hunt group equivalent for DL’s? eg can you round robin the recipients of a group alternately?

      Basically, after quite some research, I can’t find an easy way for this.  There may be 3rd party solutions to this, or perhaps consider using Microsoft CRM instead to achieve this in a different way. Let me know if you are aware of a 3rd party app for this.

 

      7)      Can you format disclaimers in multiple ways, e.g. company name in large font, and then the small print in a small font?

      Yes, but the only way to achieve this is to create multiple transport rules with the same conditions etc, which each have different font/formatting, as the formatting you apply in each rule is for all text within the disclaimer.  Hence in this way, you may actually have multiple disclaimers from the administrator’s perspective, but the end users will see it all as one, with no break.

 

 

      8)      Can you set disclaimers to be processed on an edge?

      No.  Disclaimers can only be set in transport rules on Hub servers. Hubs must process this before the message goes any further.

 

      9)      Out of office reply – can it be formatted?

      Yes, but Outlook / OWA users would format and set the text themselves.

   

      10)   Where do you set the maximum message size limit?

OK, this is not as straightforward as you might be hoping for!
There are actually 5 places to set this setting depending on who/where this needs to apply.  For instance, you can set this on a users’ mailbox settings.  But it can also be set for the organisation as a whole with the Set-TransportConfig cmdlet for incoming or outgoing messages. Eg set-transportconfig –maxreceivesize 20MB.

Set a maximum message size for incoming or outgoing messages (conn) – Set-ReceiveConnector e.g. Set-Sendconnector  -maxmessagesize 20MB.

Also there is the Global Setting (through ADSIEdit.msc) and at the Mailbox Database level. 

11)   When backing up a CCR cluster, how do you backup the passive node?

In a CCR cluster, typically one node is active, and one passive. The best practice here is to backup the passive node.  This has the advantage that the data is identical anyway, but is not being accessed by users. Hence performance is not reduced for the user population.

 

12)   If you have run setup /prepareAD, do you need to run setup /preeparedomain if there is only one domain?

      No.

 

 

12)   If log shipping only occurs when a 1MB transaction log is completed/renamed, and you have a disaster with uncommitted/unshipped transactions, what about the data you have missed copying onto a CCR/SCR?

This is a very interesting point!  With log shipping, the log is only copied out when it is filled, and a new one is created.  Therefore a propensity exists where there may be data yet uncommitted when a disaster occurs.  E.g. up to 1MB of data not seen on the CCR/SCR copy before the disaster occurred.  This is taken care of courtesy of the Transport Dumpster feature on a Hub server.  Transport Dumpster is a cache of recent messages that can be backfilled in a soft recovery sense, when the database is mounted.  The default size for this is 1.5 times the max message size, per storage group, and a default of 7 days is the time a message will stay in there for.  A dumpster exists for each storage group on the mailbox server.  You can alter this with the set-transportconfig cmdlet.

13)   How do I get a Hub Server to perform anti-spam filtering?

There is a pre-configured powershell script that you can run. From the Exchange Management Shell, run install-antispamagents.ps1.  This will need to be run one time per server that you want to have the agents running on.  It does not enable agents on all hub servers.  Running this once puts the tab into the console too for you to administer the settings from there, or you can use the shell.

14)   How can I improve performance on a CAS server?

Nice easy one this!  IIS uses the %temp% path set in the environment variables to do its rendering work etc for features such as OWA, so moving this to a fast drive away from the OS can have a positive effect on performance.  Reboot to have the change take effect.

15)   How can I get a more detailed view of a message pathway/results of message filtering rather than use message tracking?

Yes. There’s a feature called ‘pipeline tracing’ that does what you want here. It shows the pathway a message took, shows spam filtering tags that have been applied and so on.

Steps to configure it:

1) set-transportserver -pipelinetracingsenderaddress alias@domain.com

2) settransportserver -pipelinetracingpath "c:test"

3) set-transportserver <servername> -pipelinetracingenabled $true

Once you’ve set it up, view the message and header information from the files in the directory you configured.  Be aware, the entire message is visible here, so use with caution.

 

16)   What is safe sender list aggregation, and what do I need to do about it?

Outlook users can build their own list of safe senders.  The anti-spam agents can use this information to further assist the filtering of mail. However, Exchange does not by default aggregate these lists, so an administrator must manually (or better still schedule a script) run the update-safelist cmdlet.  I would run this as a daily script to ensure the list is pretty much up to date.

 

 

 

 

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