Sunday, August 24, 2008

Exchange 2007 and memory usage

I'm still digesting these articles, but they are certainly worthy of passing along. Microsoft Support Escalation Engineer Mike Lagase has posted 2 articles that are definitely worth your time. Mike's article on the Exchange Team Blog: Understanding Exchange 2007 Memory Usage and its use of the Paging File goes in to a lot of detail about how Exchange Server 2007 allocates memory and why it requires the page file. Mike has another article on his own blog called Excessive paging on Exchange 2007 servers when working sets are trimmed which provides an even deeper look in to E2K7 memory usage. Thanks Mike!


Friday, August 22, 2008

Antivirus XP 2008 scam-ware spreading

Over the past couple of weeks, I have seen a lot of discussions in the Internet newsgroups and forums asking about Antivirus XP 2008 or Antivirus 2009, though I believe this is also called other things. It is being labeled "malware" though I prefer to call it 'scam-ware' because you get it by clicking on a pop-up which then announces that your computer is infected with viruses or spyware. Another trick from these scammers is that they give you a pop-up telling you that you have an unlicensed version of Antivirus XP 2008 on your computer and that you now have become infected, and then asks you to pay for it so that you can continue to get the protection.

Scared users then ask it to clean up the spyware at which point it then asks you to pay up to $49 and then it pretends to scan your hard disk and "clean" it. Of course, the software does nothing. While no one reading my blog is probably going to fall for this scam, please warn your friends and families about this threat.

I did have a friend's computer that was infected with this little jewel and I had to run both Spybot AND STOPzilla to get it cleaned up completely. For the more technically inclined, I just read The Essentials Series: Modern Malware Threats and Countermeasures from Realtimepublishers and it was provided a good explanation of some modern threats, terminology, and technology behind modern spyware.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

eXclaimer's AD Pictures utility

This past summer, my company released new versions of Directory Update, Directory Search, and Directory Manager that allow you to update not only textual information in the Active Directory (or view it in the case of Directory Search), but also the ability to upload pictures in to the Active Directory. By default, we read the picture, re-size it based on the admin's size specifications in the XML file, and the upload it in to the user's jpegPhoto attribute. Yes, this DOES get uploaded in to your Active Directory database and replicated to all of the domain controllers in the forest. Depending on the original size and quality, we see each photo taking up between 10KB and 50KB per user.

During our testing, I stumbled across a great utility to do this from the eXclaimer folks; these are the people that make the e-mail message signature software. The software is called AD Pictures and it is quite cool. It allows you to import and export pictures from users as well as perform bulk operations. While this kinda competes with your product, it is a very cool solution if all you need to do is upload photos.

Windows 2008 read only domain controllers and Exchange

I was reading some interesting threads recently on the use of Windows Server 2008 read-only domain controllers. Basically, Exchange does NOT make use of these even as global catalog servers (I hope that the Exchange team will address this for E2K7). So, every physical site that you have Exchange Server 2007, you should have read/write domain controllers.

Also, Exchange 2000 CANNOT detect what a "read only" domain controller actually is. So it will pick a read-only domain controller and then not be able to write to it. I did not get a confirmation tht E2K3 is this way also, but I'm guessing that it is.

So, read-only domain controllers are a good idea, but an idea that has not quite matured for Exchange.