Sunday, August 30, 2009

Connections Online goes live!

Do you like conferences, but can't get the funding to travel? The Connections folks have a solution for you in the form of the Connections Online conference. You can pick and choose the sessions you want to attend (they are US$39.95 per session or you can buy a package) and once you purchase the session you can watch it as many times as you want during a specific period of time.

A few examples of the many sessions that are available includes:
  • Active Directory Security Best Practices by Sean Deuby
  • ESX and Hyper-V Comparison by Alan Sugano
  • Eradicating PSTs by Martin Tuip
  • Administrators' Idol: The Coolest Session Ever by Dan Holme
  • Exchange and Certificates by Ilse Van Criekinge
  • Group Policy: The New Hope -- Vista and the GP Preferences by Jeremy Moskowitz
  • Get ready for Exchange 2010 : Why this release is the most important yet! by David Elfassy
  • Exchange Management Shell – Beyond the One Liner by Glen Scales
  • A Close Look Inside the SharePoint Engine by Randy Williams
  • VSS Backup and Exchange by Michael B. Smith
  • SYSVOL Replication Can Wreak Havoc in Your Network by Rhonda Layfield
  • What’s New in Active Directory: Windows Server 2008 R2 by Brian Desmond
  • Pragmatic ASP.NET (Tips, Tricks) And Tools by Steven Smith
  • Clustering in SQL Server by Ronald Yenko
  • All That You Can Learn About LINQ in One Hour by Dino Esposito

Monday, August 24, 2009

Public folders on a CCR cluster

Microsoft has long stated that locating a public folder database on a CCR cluster in an organization where there is more than public folder database is no supported. Bharat Suneja summarizes this nicely in Cluster Continuous Replication and Public Folders. As with many things that Microsoft says are unsupported but that actually works, I took this to be more of a guideline than a hard and fast rule.

In one of my Exchange environments, we have a lot of regional offices with between 1,000 and 3,000 users. In the 1,000 user location, we did not want to invest additional hardware in a dedicated public folder server so we threw the public folder database on the CCR cluster. During testing that we move the clustered mailbox server (CMS) from node to the other, the public folder database moved just fine.

You guessed it, the active node failed a few weeks ago and the public folder database did not remount. We could not get it to mount at all. Period. End of story. Kaput. Dead database. I had a PSS engineer sitting right next to me and he could not rescue it either. Exchange Server 2007 SP1 is apparently hard coded not to allow the database to be recovered, even if you accept a lossy failover.

So, the moral of the story. If you have more than one public folder database in your organization, do NOT put it on a CCR cluster.


Friday, August 07, 2009

Symantec Endpoint Security Fan Club - Not!!!!

Over the past 3 months at work, we have came across a number of performance issues and other weird problems related to Symantec Endpoint Security. We finally made the decision to remove it entirely and go with McAfee. Yes, it was THAT bad.

I had a new issue today with Symantec Endpoint Security running on an IIS Server. Every time I made a change such as enabling ASP.NET or deleting the Default Web Site, when I ran IISRESET, I would look back in IIS Manager and the change would have reverted back to the original setting. I deleted the Default Web Site five times and it kept coming back. (Insanity can clearly be demonstrated by the person who does the same futile thing over and over again but expects a different result.)

Once I stopped all of the Endpoint service, I was able to make the necessary changes to IIS. Unfortunately, that is 2 hours of troubleshooting time that I will NEVER get back.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Ilse van Criekinge rocks!

As many people are aware, I am working on the Mastering Exchange Server 2010 book for Sybex. Ilse Van Criekinge jumped in and helped me out with the Exchange Management Shell chapter by providing an informal technical review as well as some new content with respect to the remote shell and the new PowerShell 2.0 GUI feature. Thanks Ilse! You are much appreciated! And, if you don't have Ilse's Exchange Management Shell book, well... what are you waiting for???!!!!

Monday, August 03, 2009

OWA logon using DoD SmartCard / CAC card

For those of you that work with the US Dept. of Defense CAC cards and OWA, here is an interesting article. OWA CAC Enabled Login


Sunday, August 02, 2009

Windows 7, iTunes, and the iPhone

If you are an iPhone user, be careful about syncing your iPhone from a Windows 7 computer. One of my friends installed Windows 7 RC (release candidate) on his computer (from scratch) and then started using iTunes and syncing his iPhone. His Bluetooth headset stopped working. When he tried to enable bluetooth, the icon would just spin, but it would never enable. He tried resetting the device, turning airplane mode on/off multiple times, and more.

He finally took it in to the Apple Store and they said that Windows 7 was not compatibile with the iPhone should not be used. They had to completely erase the iPhone and reload the firmware. But, once they did, Bluetooth started working. As soon as he took it home and sync'ed it again, Bluetooth stopped working again.

Finally, he had to wipe the device out completely re-install the firmware again. Then, he sync'ed it from a Windows XP computer and Bluetooth has worked ever since.

I'm assuming this is a problem with iTunes that will be fixed as more people report this.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Pat Richard's new blog

My buddy, Pat Richard, has got a new blog. I promised him a link, but I am starting with a "plug". Pat is doing a great job of generating new content, including this article I really like on removing the Internet Newsgroups public folder


Microsoft Virtualization Benefits report

Microsoft has stood up a really useful site - - that can help you estimate your electrical and energy cost savings based on the number of servers that you virtualize. It has a nice interface and actually spits out some useful numbers. It does not really take in to consideration the cost of the virtualization frame (servers, networking, storage), but does provide a userful starting point and some hard numbers to help justify virtualization. Thanks to Doug Fidler for sharing this with me!

Obama and letters from voters

The other day on the news, President Obama was talking about all the letters he was getting that was telling him how much health care costs were cutting in to their paychecks. I wonder if I send him a letter and tell him how much taxes are cutting in to my paycheck, will he do something about that, too.