May 1, 2009

EDGE Transport Server 2010

In the previous article we covered a typical installation of exchange .

Today we will cover Edge server installation and will show you how to configure the exchange organization to send and receive from the internet.

Exchange 2010 Edge prerequisites:

To install the Windows Server 2008 operating system prerequisites for Edge Transport servers
1. Install Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.
2. Install Windows Remote Management ( WinRM ) 2.0 Community Technology Preview 3 (CTP3).
3. Install Windows PowerShell V2 CTP3.
4. Install the update for the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) in Windows Server 2008. See Microsoft Knowledge Base article 951725 An update that extends the mechanism for displaying snap-in context Help topics is available for the MMC in Windows Server 2008.
5. Install Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS), which was previously known as Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM), by running the following command:

ServerManagerCmd -i ADLDS

    To know how to install the prerequisites watch this vedio.

    Configuring the DNS Suffix for EDGE server:

    Before you install the Edge Transport server role, you must configure a DNS suffix for the server name other wise the installation will fail.

    See how to do this in this vedio.

    Installation :

    Before starting the installation you need to add static entry in the hosts file of the edge server for the hub servers FQDN name so it can contact them (the hosts file is stored in the \%Systemroot%\System32\Drivers\Etc folder)also it's recommended to add a static A record for Edge server in the internal DNS.

    Also make sure if you have fire wall to open the ports 25/TCP,50636/TCP from internal network to the EDGE and the port 25 from the EDGE to the internet.

    After installing the prerequisites and making sure the servers can connect to each others you are ready for the installation.

    see the installation step by step in this video .


    The main EDGE server configuration is the EDGE subscription process which associates the Edge to the Exchange organization and enable it to communicate with the internal network to get the configuration and recipients data.

    After the Edge subscription done ,the EdgeSync service which runs on the HUB server replicates recipient and configuration data from Active Directory to the Active Directory Lightweight Directory Service instance on the Edge Server.

    See the how you can do this process in details in this vedio.

    Now you just need MX record pointing to your EDGE and SPF,PTR record and you are ready to go.

    See you in the next article.

    Alaa Elmahdy

    Read the full article here!

    Apr 19, 2009

    Exchange 2010

    Today we will introduce this exclusive article about exchange server 2010 new features, installation and some new configurations.

    The current version is a beta version which is free for download from here.
    Most of the tech net library still not written but we will cover all the written until now “summarized”.
    Microsoft introduces 3 road maps for making the documentation navigation and studying easier you can find these road maps in these three links:

    Server Role Documentation Roadmap

    Feature-Based Documentation Roadmap

    Exchange Management Console Roadmap

    It's not yet released but you can find it when it's released in this link.

    So what's new in Exchange 2010?

    Exchange 2010 was evolved for portability and cost reduction and any where use.
    OWA was developed heavily to cover all the defects were in 2007 Version of OWA and introduce the new changes requested by the users themselves. The important new features of OWA are:

    • Favorites in the Navigation Pane
    • Search folders
    • Message filtering
    • The ability to set categories in the message list
    • Options in the Web management interface for Outlook Web Access
    • A side-by-side view for calendars
    • Multi-client language support
    • The ability to attach messages to messages
    • Expanded right-click capabilities
    • Integration with Office Communicator, including presence, chat, and a contact list
    • Conversation view
    • The ability to send and receive text (SMS) messages from Outlook Web Access
    • Outlook Web Access mailbox policies
    • Creation of public distribution groups

    There is one limitation need to be changed to be managed from the administrator which is the location of the user created distribution groups which is location of the creation. This Groups always thrown in the users organization unit ,as an administrator this will not be fine to me what if I need to change the location to be somewhere else in the directory like for example below the organization unit of the department in a dedicated organization unit for the department distribution groups.

    The high availability is now integrated to the core architecture of the exchange 2010 without using the clustering technology or technically using some of it but as transparent as you can work on the product without managing the cluster any more from the failover administration tools so, no need to be a cluster professional to install high availability solution anymore.

    Two types of the 2007 high availability ways are depreciated in 2010 which are LCR and SCC.

    The rest two types (SCR and CCR) are merged into one technology called DAG "Database Availability Group”.

    Let’s dive into the Storage structure to know how Microsoft did this?

    The previous version of exchange provide the availability on server level which made any failover transfer all the storage groups to the other server even if one database only is corrupted which causing down time for all users not only the users having mailboxes in the defected database. This limitation was removed in Exchange 14 by removing the storage group and reengineering the availability concept to be on the database level which is in fact coping the database to another server using the same copy and replay log technology used in the 2007 version with some modifications.

    These changes removed the need to have a clustered mailbox server which enables the administrator to install all the roles (Mailbox server, Hub server and CAS Server) into one server and then duplicate it to have the high availability by enabling the DAG on the databases or server level. But this behavior didn't remove the need to install the windows cluster feature on the members of the DAG, why?

    The DAG is a cluster in the background and it’s using the majority node set when the number of DAG servers is odd and using node and file share witness when the number of DAG servers is even.

    Only two servers for high available full installation lead the exchange 2010 to be awaited from a new class of businesses which is small and medium businesses.

    A lot of administration tasks added to the exchange 2010 EMC like OWA policy, sending mail to the users from the EMC and Bulk management of the users in the EMC and the whole DAG management .

    If you want to see all the new features ,use this link

    what will we cover in this article?

    After you finish this article you will know how to install Exchange Mailbox-CAS-HUB server , configure DAG between 2 servers with these roles installed.

    What will not be covered in this article ?

    This article will not cover the Edge transport server role either any unified communication topics.

    Lab setup:

    1 server will act as Domain Controller
    2 servers will act as Exchange servers

    Hardware Prerequisites:

    The recommended hardware setup for the typical installation is 4 GB Ram and Dual processor but it will work with 2 GB Ram. But you can't measure the performance of Exchange 2010 until you have the recommended ram in your box.

    Software Prerequisites:

    Initially you need windows server 2008 64bit for the best testing lab (not RTM or R2 to test with out issues).

    Operating system prerequisites:

    These prerequisites are (NET-Framework, RSAT-ADDS ,Web-Server ,Web-Basic-Auth ,Web-Windows-Auth ,Web-Metabase ,Web-Net-Ext ,Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console ,WAS-Process-Model ,RSAT-Web-Server ,Web-ISAPI-Ext ,Web-Digest-Auth ,Web-Dyn-Compression ,NET-HTTP-Activation ,RPC-over-HTTP-proxy) for a typical installation.

    The prerequisites of the typical installation can be installed using the built in XML file which can save a lot of your time .

    You can find These xml file in the scripts folder under the root of your exchange installation path named Exchange-Typical.xml.

    To install the prerequisites using the xml file use the following command:

    ServerManagerCmd -ip Exchange-Typical.XML

    Otherwise you can bind all of them separated by space after the command (ServerManagerCmd –i) like this

    ServerManagerCmd -i RSAT-ADDS Web-Server Web-Metabase Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console Web-ISAPI-Ext NET-HTTP-Activation Web-Basic-Auth Web-Digest-Auth Web-Windows-Auth Web-Dyn-Compression RPC-over-HTTP-proxy Web-Net-Ext -Restart

    Other software prerequisites:

    You will need to install the following if it is not exist in your box.

    Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5
    Windows Remote Management (WinRM) 2.0 CTP 3
    Windows PowerShell 2.0 CTP 3
    Update from KB 951725
    Update from KB 950888
    Update from KB 951116
    Update from KB 952664
    Update from KB 953290
    Update from KB 958178
    Update from KB 958178

    Make sure your computer is updated and all the previous hot fixes are installed

    To get fully updated information about the hardware and software requirement use this link

    Note: in the mentioned article you will see this paragraph in the Global catalog requirement:
    In every Active Directory site where you plan to install Exchange 2010, you must have at least one global catalog server that is the latest 32-bit edition of the Windows Server 2003 Standard or Enterprise.

    There is a good discussion about it in this link

    Installing Exchange 2010:

    The following steps will guide you through the installation:

    After you extract the exe file you got from Microsoft web site ,Go to the folder which you used for extraction and then double click the setup.msi.

    If you did all the prerequisites you should have something similar to this screen

    Click install Microsoft Exchange to start the installation wizard which will copy the necessary files to the temp directory and then starts the installation

    Click next

    Choose continue setup without languge files (English is enough for now)

    Click Next

    Accept the terms and license agreement and click Next to Proceed with setup

    Choose your option for Error reporting and click Next To continue

    Choose Typical Installation and installation path which you need to remember it for later use.

    Write your organization name

    Choose if you have outlook 2003 clients or not because if you have the setup will automatically create a public folder Database which will provide the access to OAB for outlook 2003 clients otherwise they will not be able to connect to Exchange.

    Select your choice for customer experience program and then click Next to proceed with the prerequisites check

    If your prerequisites are fine you will get same like this screen otherwise it will give you an error attached with link for the fix.

    If your installation goes right way you will see this screen

    From the previous screen you can show the log file which will be like this

    Now you have finished the installation phase.

    Discover Exchange 2010:

    The first look is very similar to Exchange 2007 GUI Except the orange icon

    Navigate to the new Community and feedback Tab to see the new forum threads and give your feedback to Microsoft.

    Navigate to organization configuration and then Mailbox

    Here is the change was talking about ,the data base had been moved to organization configuration part and it's on the server configuration also for read only.

    Navigate to client access to see the new OWA Mailbox policies

    If you want to see the new features of organization federation navigate to the organization configuration

    Now choose any recipient mailbox and open its properties to see the new calendar management

    Click right any recipient mailbox then have a look to the right click menu

    WoW you can now send email to recipients from within the EMC but tack care of this trick ,you need outlook client installed on the machine you will send from ,if no outlook client installed you will get the following error message

    Will discover more and more in the upcoming articles.

    Setting up the second server:

    Now you know how to install Exchange server 2010 so, just follow the whole steps again until you get the second Exchange server installed.

    You may note the following error while installing

    This is because you didn't create any send connector yet , you can find full details about it in this article

    after the installation you may noted already that the automatically created databases have a strange name ,if you would like to change it to a familiar name just follow these steps

    from the organization configuration navigate to mailbox then right click the database you want to rename then choose properties

    From the properties window just change the name to be as you like

    Now you have your second server installed.

    Creating Database availability Group:

    Right click the mailbox role in the organization configuration and choose New Database Availability Group

    Do you remember the file share witness we talked about in the beginning of this article ,here is where you can do it's configuration which will be used by exchange to create it when an even number of servers exist in the DAG. If odd number exists the file share witness will disappear.

    As you know the best practice is to place this folder in the HUB transport server but in our case I'll put it in the DC.

    Click next to proceed with DAG creation

    Now you have DAG in place.

    If you want to edit your DAG information right click it and choose properties then edit from this window

    Note: only DAG creation is supported from the EMC in this release but adding the servers must be accomplished using the local power shell.

    You can find a good discussion about dag creation here.

    ok, let's test it practically and see what will we get.

    Click right the DAG and choose Manage Database Availability Group Membership…

    Click Browse and add both servers

    When you click next you will get this

    Yes, we forgot to install the failover cluster feature. Creating the DAG doesn't require cluster failover feature to be installed but adding the server will not proceed until you install it.
    Let's install it,

    Open the server manager and navigate to features then choose add feature

    Choose failover clustering

    When it finish you will see the this banner

    Now go back and try to add the servers from the EMC .

    Opps you may get this error,

    Now lets do it from the local powershell ,To do this just use this shell command

    Add-DatabaseAvailabilityGroupServer –Identity 'YourDAGName' –Mailboxserver 'ServerName'

    Here are the result you should see during the process

    Check your dag to make sure the servers are listed in the member servers column .

    Or just click right it then choose properties to see the member server in a list view

    Also they must be operational

    Now we have two servers which is even number so, check if the file share witness created automatically or not .if it's created it will appear like this one

    And will contain two files

    Ok, one more check .. we said that the DAG is creating the cluster and let you manage it from inside the EMC so

    how about the cluster networks?

    The cluster networks are now called DAG Networks and I should be created for you automatically but if it's not or you need to modify it you can use the EMC to add or remove or edit networks same like in the old days in the cluster but easier.

    Now it's time to add the databases to the availability group we just created ..To do so, navigate to the databases from the organization level mailbox role then right click it and choose Add Mailbox Database Copy.

    The exchange will show you which servers are hosting the database you are trying to add to the DAG and if you click browse you will only get the servers not currently hosting it.

    We have only two mailbox servers so, just choose the other one and click add

    Once it's added another copy of the database must appear to you like that

    You had the database added to the DAG. Repeat these steps to add the other database to the Other DAG member server

    Now you have a complete High available solution.

    you can find another article about installation of Exchange 2010 on here by Scott Schnoll's.

    See you in the next article.

    Read the full article here!