Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Some inbound mail stays in Local Delivery queue - EcLocallyDeliverMsg

I stumbled across an interesting problem yesterday in an organization that is migrating from Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2003. Inbound mail all still flows in to their organization via the Internet Mail Service. Some e-mail is delivered to the E2K3 recipients just fine, but some mail stays in the Local Delivery queue. The E2K3 SP2 server is running W2K3 with all publicly available / downloadable fixes.

After cranking up the Exchange Store Driver diagnostics logging up to Maximum, we saw some interesting messages:
Event Type: Warning
Event Source: MSExchangeTransport
Event Category: Exchange Store Driver
Event ID: 327
Description: The following call : EcLocallyDeliverMsg to the store failed. Error code :
-2147024809 (Message-ID xxxx). MDB : xxxx. FID : xxxx

A quick search of the error code (2147024809) yielded a brand new KB article and a hotfix (whew!). See KB 934450 "You experience problems after you apply hotfix 930241 or hotfix 931978 to a server that is running Exchange Server 2003"

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Thanks for the Road Show memories!

Last week, I managed to finish up both the U.S. and the EMEA Exchange 2007 Road Shows for Windows IT Pro magazine. Washington, DC was our last stop for the U.S. road shows and Stockholm was the last stop for the EMEA road shows. Thanks to everyone that attended these events; there were great questions and I met a lot of Exchange administrators. And thanks to everyone for putting up with my almost continual state of jet lag over the last 3 months. Thanks also to the folks at Windows IT Pro for asking me to be involved in this shows.

OpenFiler SAN software

I have been working on an eBook for LeftHand Networks for the past few months. The title is The Shortcut Guide to Exchange Server 2007 Storage Systems and it has been very interesting to work on. The first two chapters are available and it is free to download. In chapter 3 and 4, I had to have a iSCSI SAN running in my lab at home for some screen captures and testing. Unfortunately, I spent most of the last 3 months traveling, so I had to be able to take it with me, too.

Thanks to Juergen Hasslauer from HP for pointing me in the direction of OpenFiler! OpenFiler has a VMWare based machine you can download and this makes an excellent testing and lab environment. While the terminology is a bit different than I am used to dealing with (since I work with LeftHand, NetApp, and EMC SANs mostly), I had more fun than a geek should be allowed to have.

OpenFiler can act as a NAS (for CIFS/SMB and NFS clients) as well as an iSCSI SAN. I had a ton of fun just getting it configured and playing around with different configurations. Many of the features are just as powerful as SANs that you pay tons of money for including snapshot features! If you are looking for a simple (and free) solution for learning iSCSI, SAN, and NAS technology, give it a try.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Exchange 2007 Unified Message forms in Outlook Web Access

In Boston a few weeks ago, someone asked me if you can still play Unified Messaging voice mail messages if you are using Firefox and if so, what does the interface look like. For those of you that have not seen Exchange 2007 Unified Messaging, here is a voice mail message in a mailbox.

Notice the integrated player, the "Play on Phone" option, and the Audio Notes section (where you can make notes about the call). This is all pretty slick stuff. Also note that the message is about 70 seconds long and the size is 83KB in size.

Now let's look at the same message in Firefox. The "Play on Phone, notes, and player options are now gone. However, the attachment still shows up as a WMA file that the user can open and listen to. (Note that I trimmed down this image to save space.)


RBL rejection behavior (in the logs) in Exchange 2007

One of my pet peeves (and apparently many others) is that in E2K3, Exchange rejects connections from RBLs, but only logs this rejection as a 550 error. You cannot tell the difference between one type of 550 rejection and another.

An attendee at the Get Ready event in Stockholm asked me about this behavior in E2K7, but I was not sure if it has changed. I tested this and sure enough, it has been improved. This information is found in the Receive logs (Send and Receive logs are now seperate log files!). The receive log format has been completed changed. When a connection is rejected because it is on an RBL, the line in the Receive log includes the custom message you configured in the RBL configuration.

220 Microsoft ESMTP MAIL Service ready at Sat, 19 May 2007 17:58:17 -1000"
HELO localhost.localdomain
250 Hello []
MAIL FROM: <*,08C963DD6F372639">>*,08C963DD6F372639
;2007-05-20T03:58:17.796Z;1,receiving message
250 2.1.0 Sender OK
550 5.7.1 Your mail system is on the Spamhaus PBL list. Tell your admin to check

Note that the error includes the text 'Your mail system is on the Spamhaus PBL list. Tell your admin to check This was the message that was customized in the RBL configuration.

I'm back!

Through a combination of travel, writing, jet lag, and a new job, I have been neglecting my blog and as thus I am now behind. I just got back from a quick trip to Stockholm and Washington, D.C. and now I am going to get caught up. I have a number of things I had promised I would post.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Mastering Exchange 2007 book available

It's here and available! The new Mastering Exchange Server 2007 book on which I collaborated with Barry Gerber. Devin Ganger, Ben Schorr, and Simon Butler all deserve special mention for helping out with various parts of the book, though. This book is targeted towards "new to product" and "new to version" audiences. It does not have the same technical depth as the 24seven or Advanced Administration books. Get your copy today!


Saturday, May 05, 2007

Cool screen sizing tool

Sizing an application screen to a certain set of dimensions is sometimes very useful. This is especially useful when you are testing web pages and if you are developing presentations that will be shown on a projector that supports a lower resolution than your PC. Of course, you can always change your desktop's screen settings, but I found a really helpful utility called Sizer that attaches a small window sizing screen to the foreground application. Take a look at Sizer.