Exchange

Veeam Captain Slow

Posted by robd on February 08, 2013
Veeam / No Comments

So one more Veeam issue for you!

Had a problem where the backups to SAN where SLOW, I mean really slow….a 1TB server was taking 12 hours to complete and killing the servers performance!

So after talking with Veeam they checked out our logs and mentioned when we switched vCenters and reregistered our VM’s it seemed to have changed the ID (oldChangeId and curChangeId differed) meaning change block tracking or CBT was set to false (IsChangeTrackingAllowed: FALSE) and so tracking of what blocks had changed wouldn’t work and so meaning our backups crawled!!

To fix this we had to whats laid out here: http://www.veeam.com/KB1113

Which cleared up our issues.

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Exchange 2013 – Gotcha?

Posted by robd on January 18, 2013
exchange / 1 Comment

I recently read a brilliant blog by Michael B. Smith which you can read here which talks about the flaws of Exchange 2013, all his options are absolutely valid and justified but here’s my take on some of them:

OWA

  • Help -> About is gone – MEH
  • It’s very slow. – Easily improved
  • No S/MIME support – Thank god
  • No Public Folder support, either for legacy public folders or modern public folders. – Who uses PFs anymore
  • No distribution list moderation – Will miss this
  • No way to move the reading pane – Odd
  • Built-in spell-check is gone. IE 10 provides spell-check natively, but earlier versions of IE do not. A third-party add-in or an alternate browser is required. – THIS IS STUPID

Client Connectivity

  • No BES support – No one seems to like BES anymore
  • Outlook 2003 is no longer supported. – GOOD
  • Direct MAPI access to the Exchange server is no longer supported.  RPC/HTTP (Outlook Anywhere) is required. – This will be annoying
  • Outlook now reports that the server is it connected to is <<guid>>@<<active-directory-domain>>. This is intentional, if misguided. – Agreed

Installation and Architecture

  • Cannot uninstall individual roles from a server, must uninstall all of Exchange – This is BALLS
  • Install is painfully slow – I didnt find this
  • The Hub Transport role is gone. There is now a Front End Transport service on CAS servers and Mailbox Transport services on Mailbox servers. – I don’t mind this as I never had a separate HT server for any installation
  • The Unified Messaging role is gone. There is a now a Unified Messaging Call Router service on CAS servers and a Unified Messaging service on Mailbox servers. – Never installed it, UT is way too expensive!
  • Documentation is minimal at best – This will change with time but agree it annoying
  • Cannot be installed along with Exchange 2007 or Exchange 2010 – Really, that ridiculous!
  • Exchange 2013 Edge server is not available – Interesting!
  • Forefront Protection for Exchange is gone – Fail, I like Forefront

Exchange Management

  • The Exchange Management Console is gone as is the Exchange Control Panel. They are mainly replaced by the Exchange Administration Center (EAC); which is completely web based. – I appreciate this is different but makes life easier in the long run.
  • If you are attempting to use EAC with IE 10, you need KB2761465 (released on December 11, 2012). – Silly!
  • The Exchange Best Practices analyzer is no more. – Urgh, this was always really useful when looking at new sites setups!
  • The Exchange Mail Flow Troubleshooter is no more. – Shame, liked this.
  • The Exchange Performance Troubleshooter is no more. – Shame, liked this.
  • The Exchange Routing Log Viewer is no more. – Never used it personally
  • Antispam cannot be managed from the Exchange Administration Center; it must be managed using PowerShell in the Exchange Management Shell – Thats annoying and I like powershell
  • System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) version required for backups of Exchange 2013 is SC DPM 2012 SP1 – for now maybe

 

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Exchange 2010 with Apple iOS 6

Posted by robd on January 15, 2013
exchange 2010 / 1 Comment

Since Apple update iOS to version 6 earlier this year I’ve had nothing but problems with calendar being mismatched between Apple devices and Outlook and users claiming mail has completely disappeared off the planet!!

Urggghh is my initial answer…..Now I try and tell users I really don’t think its Exchange as we patch like crazy and other devices such as Android and Microsoft work like a charm… But some fan boys don’t care what I have to say and blame me or MS anyhow!

The truth as far as I know it is its down to Apples adaptation of Active Sync that as far as I can tell must work totally different and seems to have been a bit of a after thought to the Apple product line.  Just for a info a quick and temporary solution is to remove the Exchange account from the iOS device and re-add it!

Interestingly MS don’t want ownership of these issues:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2012/10/23/ios6-devices-erroneously-take-ownership-of-meetings.aspx

Quote:

Tell users not to take action on calendars on iOS We’re not seeing this particular issue if users don’t take action on their calendar items (for example, accept, delete or change meetings).

Block iOS 6 devices Exchange server comes with the Allow/Block/Quarantine functionality that enables admins to block any device or user.

Also here’s a list of some issues:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2563324

Anyhow, to try and get a hold on the situation and find out all the iOS devices connecting to the Exchange environment (so I know whos going to moan at me at some point) I found a brilliant power-shell script by Steve Goodman, here:

http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Exporting-iOS-6-and-3d4ac87b

 

The Script:

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When Exchange 2010 Breaks

Posted by robd on January 11, 2013
ESX, exchange 2010, powershell, WAN / No Comments

Part 1

So recently a client had some WAN issues where the WAN kept dropping packets on the primary link, meaning some network traffic would work fine and other network traffic would fall off the face of the planet!!

 

Unfortunately the system affected the most was Exchange 2010!!  The site had Exchange 2010 DAG set-up between two sites.  One on Site A and another on another site B with the File share witness on Site A.  So because some traffic was flowing nicely and some wasn’t some of the cluster services were up and some went down meaning the DAG got in a pickle!

 

Site B ended up taking ownership of the DAG and wouldn’t let go because he file share witness wasn’t available.  So as people could still get mail, I patiently waited for the WAN to be fixed (in the end someone pulled the primary link which forced the secondary to take over and everything became hunky dory).

 

So now the WAN was back and happy but still the cluster service wouldn’t appear, so after digging the arp entries were missing (no idea why), so ended up creating another IP for the cluster service….Done.  It’s up, time to reseed!

 

Update: Well shit me, MS know about this:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2743761

 

Well anyway I wish the reseed was that easy! During the issues, the mail store was un-mounted and now it won’t mount!! Booo, so another admin decided to run eseutil and recover the DB which worked but then decided to seed the wrong way meaning site B now has an old mail store with no mail from that day!!  BUGGER!

 

Part 2

 

So I need to rerun all the mail and then import and luckily all the missing mail logs are still on Site B!

I know what you’re thinking:

 

Restore the EDM file from a backup,

Rerun the Logs via ESEUTIL,

Mount the recovery DB,

Merge users,

Bam.

 

Well the business was very panicky now and didn’t want anyone touching anything on Exchange till things settled down, fair enough a day’s worth of mail is missing at the moment so people are touchy.

 

So I decide to make use of the most excellent Veeam feature SureBackup, which will allow me to restore the entire exchange live setup including a DC in lab environment without touching the live environment!!  Brilliant!

 

So I set it up, add a host, some storage, make sure I have a good backup of Exchange and it runs, great!!  Be careful though as it uses snap shots heavily so every change adds to a delta file meaning storage gets eaten!!  So here I am with the live environment in a lab environment, there some issues as I cant restore site B, so I have to remove the DAG and the other site which I do via ADSI edit (quick and easy but dangerous)!

 

So I copy over the recovered DB I restored with file level restore on veeam (copied by creating a HD in ESX and mounting it on veeam and copying file to it then mounting in my lab),

Create a recovery DB:

 

Checked the logs:

 

Replayed:

 

(May of run ESEUTIL /p too, cant remember)

 

Mounted!

 

Emails are all there but in the disconnected items section, reconnect to a test db and GREAT the emails are there!!

 

So connect all the mailboxes (manually unfortunately), then export them to pst (to my mounted HD):

 

Un-mounted the HD, added the HD to the live environment and imported the PSTS:

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