Monday, July 21, 2014

So long, little MEC v2, we hardly knew ye

To the excitement of many, two years ago Microsoft resurrected the Microsoft Exchange Conference.   To many in the Exchange server community, this represented a renewed focus on Microsoft's part towards providing top-notch information to the Exchange community.  Though I found the timing to be a bit suspect (after all, MEC had been gone for 10 years), it was a welcome resurrection even though, at the time, I was the speaker chair for the Penton Media Exchange Connections Conference.

Alas, nothing lasts forever and apparently MEC v2 is already being canned in favor of a bigger, better, more stupendous TechEd.  The new event, now called Unified Microsoft Commercial Technology Event, will roll TechEd, MEC, the SharePoint, and the Lync conference.

I am disappointed in this latest devolution of Microsoft's conferencing strategy.  Unfortunately, large conferences tend to have to their sessions dumbed down a bit to a lower common denominator.  Smaller conferences, like MEC or Connections, does allow for more detailed and specialized sessions.  And, it does allow for more interaction with the presenters and vendor subject matter experts.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Change Auditor installation broke Exchange 2010 scripting

Last week, we finally got around to starting our Change Auditor for Exchange installation.  We had tested this pretty thoroughly in the lab, but had not yet put it in to production.  So, we picked an unused public folder server in our Disaster Recovery site.

We did not realize that the first Change Auditor for Exchange agent that gets installed also enables a global setting that enables the Scripting Agent.  Once enabled, admin scripts and SCOM scripts could no longer run.  And, we use a lot of scripts for admin tasks.

If we had gone ahead and completed the Change Auditor agent installation on all servers, the problem would have been resolved.  But, since something was "broke" we halted the installation until we could figure out what had happened.

As a work around, we changed the ScriptingAgentConfig.XML file (see the above link) and disabled it on all other E2K10 servers.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Mailbox storage: If you really don't like your users... give them what they ask for...

Mailbox storage is always been a sore spot with me.  Regardless of how often you remind users to manage their mailbox, they want to hold on to almost everything.   But, I get this... I often refer back to email conversations that I had 2 or 3 years ago.  Email is an extension of my brain/memory.

In my user community, we have users that regularly receive 1.0GB of email per month.  PPTs, PDFs, documents, spreadsheets, images, audio, newsfeeds, you name it, they get it.  And, they keep it.

Years ago, our users complained loudly that they did not like having mailbox storage limits.  Management heard their screams and told us to raise the storage limits so we adopted Enterprise Vault and essentially give our users a "bottomless mailbox."   Vault comes through and archives anything older than 30 days. 

Normally, they don't let me anywhere near end users because I don't have a filter.... but over the past 2 years I have spoken to a lot of our user community.  And, they have resoundingly said "we hate Enterprise Vault" and "give us a larger mailbox and then just let *us* decide when we delete something or if we keep it."

So, our newest email platform now provides each user with a 2GB mailbox and a 10GB personal archive.  Within 6 months, some of our users had already exceeded these limits and more exceed them every day. 

And, you guessed it...  they want a way for "the vault to archive their older stuff".