Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Exchange users needing to choose a "reply to" address

I see this posted in the newsgroups and I'm asked in almost every Exchange class I teach if it is possible for a user to pick which SMTP address they want to when they send a message (when using Outlook). For example, Joe Snuffy wants to send a message from his own mailbox, but have people reply to the Sales alias. You can change the "reply to" address, but the display name will still be Joe Snuffy's.

The choice as to create multiple mailboxes and have the user open each mailbox, then change the "From" field. If you don't need to create multiple mailboxes, I have found a nifty product that runs as an Exchange transport sink. It looks at an address that the user puts in the "reply to" option on the message options, then uses that instead of the user's default reply-to address. I have not tested this yet, but it seems very cool.


When you combine with this with a couple of COM add-ins for Outlook called SmartReply that allows to reply from the same email address as the original message was sent to and an add-in called SmartFrom which allows to use Outlook "From:" field instead of "Have replies sent to:" field to type the desirable sender address or select it from the address book.

Keywords: Resource mailboxes multiple mailboxes reply to address

Monday, June 27, 2005

Slipstreaming Exchange?

Today, in the Exchange and Outlook Update newsletter, Paul Robichaux answered a reader's question about whether or not Exchange 2003 could be integrated with Exchange 2003 Service Pack 1 in such a way that you only have to install the "integrated" package. This is actually a fairly frequent question on the newsgroups and that I am asked personally. I felt it was blog-worthy. :-)

In Windows 2000, Microsoft introduced the 'slipstream' or integrate feature in to service packs which allows you to integrate the service pack in with the baseline operating system. This can speed up installation times.

Unfortunately, Exchange 2003 does not support this feature. You have to install Exchange, then install the service pack. Perhaps in a future service pack. Let Microsoft know what you want at exwish@microsoft.com (Exchange specific suggestions) or mswish@microsoft.com.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Dell 24-inch Wide Aspect Flat Panel - $899!!!!

This is an excellent monitor. One my clients ordered a couple of these when they became available. $899.00 is an awesome price for smaller flat-panels, much less a 24-inch wide screen. Side-by-side, this looks even better than the Samsung 24" (around $1,800) and the Sun 24" (around $3000!). The monitor retails for $1,199 (already a bargain), but this coupon code (4K32?8XWMKS6CH) gets you another 25% off making it $899. Expires on 6/28 at 5:59AM CDT or after 500 uses.

Microsoft releases updated ExBPH (v2.1)

Microsoft has released today an updated version of the Exchange Best Practices Analyzer (ExBPA). Today's release is v2.1. Enhancements include HBA Collection, a new Health/Performance Check scan, improved cluster reports, better screen layout, checksum operations, and over 100 new rules.

For more information, see the You Had Me At EHLO blog.

In the "Now I have seen it all category"

 Archives Images City-HideoutJust when you think you have seen it all. A copy called OOOMS has released their "City Hideout" or Portable Urban Hideout. When the stress of city living gets to be too much, just put this hideout together, jump inside, and close the lid. The box looks just like a street-light control box or other boxes found commonly along streets and sidewalks. It comes complete with vents so you can see out and watch the world go by while you hide and wait for your therapist.

This takes bizzare to a whole new level. :-)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Exchange Disaster Recovery and Availability by Paul Robichaux

Realtimepublishers.com has just released the first chapter to the free ebook The Definitive Guide to Exchange Disaster Recovery and Availability by Paul Robichaux. For those of you that don't know him, Paul Robichaux is one of the best technical writers in the technology industry. Expect future installments of this XOSoft sponsored ebook over the next several months.

E-mail is now considered as critical a technology to businesses as the telephone. Businesses and organizations are now demanding higher and higher availability from their Exchange servers. I have seen many organizations throw a lot of money at improving availability; sometimes this money that goes down the drain. Many of these organizations did not really have a clear goal in mind as to what they wanted to achieve. This book sheds some light on the concepts of Exchange disaster recovery and improving your availability.

I have read the first two chapters (only the first one is available right now) and they are suitable not only for techies, but management as well. So, download this puppy and get reading!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Clusters and SAN disk labels

Today I was working on an Exchange 2003 cluster build and learned a neat new trick. Actually, we were not working on anything related to Exchange, but rather prepping Windows and the SAN drive letters. My buddy Aran Hoffmann creates a text file in the root of each SAN disk and/or mount point that has in its name the drive letter of the disk.

For example, when he creates the G:\ drive, he creates a text file in the root of that disk called G_Drive.txt. If he creates a mount point on the G:\ drive for the LOGS, in the G:\LOGS folder, he creates a file called G_LOGS.txt. This makes it very easy to verify the disks are all assigned the correct drive letters on the other nodes of the cluster! I was surprised how easy this made it once we went to the other nodes of the cluster to start configuring/checking their SAN disks.

Internet offline!

For the past 5 days, my Internet connectivity at home (Time-Warner's Road Runner) has been down. After they admitted they have had problems in my area, they keep insisting that my problem is within my premises. This is in spite of the fact that I went down to their office and got a new cable modem. They can't schedule someone to be at my house until July 2nd. And they can only give me a timeframe of between 8AM and 4PM, nothing more specific. Congratulations Time-Warner, you can convinced me that I don't want you providing my local phone service. But, I'm not bitter...... ;-)

I had no idea how dependent I was on Internet connectivity from home.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Got GMail?

Do you want a GMail mailbox? All the cool geeks are getting them; Just so you don't have to feel the geek peer pressure, I have about 75 unused invites to send. If you want one, send me a message and indicate what e-mail address to which you would like the invite sent. First come, first serve basis. E-mail me at EXCHANGE24SEVEN (at) GMAIL.COM


Friday, June 10, 2005

Installing Exchange 2003 on Windows 2003 SP1

You may have noticed an error that pops up when you run the Exchange 2003 setup program on a Windows 2003 Service Pack 1 server. The message says: Exchange Server 2003 has a known compatibility issue with this version of Windows. For more information, refer to http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=37488. To run the program, click Continue.

You should be able to run setup without incident, just make sure that you apply Exchange 2003 Service Pack 1 as soon as you are finished. The document System Requirements for Exchange Server 2003 covers the necessary requirements for Exchange 2003 on Windows 2003 SP1 (which I have linked to previously).

Someone reported to me that they had a problem running forestprep and domainprep from a member server. If this is the case, run the /forestprep and /domainprep options from a domain controller instead. This seems to address the problem.

I'm back!

I'm back from southeast Asia. No lingering tropical diseases or arrests. I need a vacation now just to recover from my vacation. :-) I'll try to get some pictures posted somewhere, in case anyone is interested. Now I have 100,000 e-mails to go through.