MsExchange Blog Spot Telnet25

April 30, 2012

Outlook Connection & CAS ARRAY

Filed under: General — telnet25 @ 9:05 pm

If you are in the process of moving into Exchange 2010 deployment or designing it most likely you have heard CAS ARRAY. I am going to list basic information you may want to pay attention to make sure you are covered up.

1. MAPI Connections in Exchange 2010 is handled by CAS servers , this is what is called “Middle Tier”

2. Outlook clients wants to connect to its mailbox talks to CAS server, CAS server talks to Mailbox Server behalf of Outlook client.

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3. Outlook clients talks to mailbox server directly only for public folder data…

4. RPC Client Access service (MsExchangeRpc) answers the RPC endpoint.

5. CAS ARRAY is single contact point for all client connections with in the AD Site.

6. Create CAS ARRAY even though you have single CAS Server.

 

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The way outlook clients connects to their respected mailboxes have changed and come along way in Exchange 2010 and will continue to evolve on next versions.

In Exchange 2010 , when outlook opens up it checks its configured profile and tries to locate Home server property.(msExchHomeServerName) The home Server property returns the Exchange Server name and DNS lookup provides the IP address of the Home server to outlook client, then Outlook established TCP connection on port 135 to

RPC Endpoint mapper the home server.

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CLIENT ACCESS CAS ARRAY

  • One ARRAY PER AD SITE
  • RPC CAS Array Name , resolvable internally ONLY !!!
  • Array Does not provide any load balancing

If the CAS ARRAY NAME is resolvable from outside , delete the A record if not here is the behavior of outlook client from outside.

Outlook fires up image

First thing it will do, to locate the Home server property specified within the outlook profile and the name resolves in external DNS and Outlook client is handed out External IP, Outlook tries to establish MAPI session on port 135 TCP, since this will fail, outlook will stop working and fall into retry stage, eventually client who is trying to connect will get exhausted and will try HTTPS connection which will let it go trough the firewall and work. This creates significant delay.

So the rule  is simple

Outlook.MyCompany.internal= 10.10.10.100 ( VIP IP ) Internal DNS ONLY !!!!!

Reference:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee332317.aspx

Respectfully,
Oz Casey, Dedeal ( MVP north America)
MCITP (EMA), MCITP (SA)
MCSE 2003, M+, S+, MCDST
Security+, Project +, Server +
http://smtp25.blogspot.com/ (Blog)
http://telnet25.wordpress.com/ (Blog)

April 21, 2012

Move Active Database… DAG Exchange 2010

Filed under: General — telnet25 @ 6:34 pm

When you do maintenance or need to bounce one of the  DAG members, you may want to move Active databases to another server. If you have been using EMC ( GUI) you have noticed it is not efficient and doing repetitive work. Sooner or later you need to switch doing Exchange related task from power shell otherwise , trust me you will run into many problems.

To see your databases

Get-MailboxDatabase

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Move-ActiveMailboxDatabase DB1 -ActivateOnServer R1E1 -MountDialOverride:None -confirm:$false

  • DB1= Replace this with your DB Name
  • R1E1 is the server I will be activating DB1 on
  • confirm:$false  is going to take care of annoying confirm option

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Move-ActiveMailboxDatabase -Server R1E2 -confirm:$false

This will move all databases on R1E2 Server

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Source

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee364750.aspx

Respectfully,
Oz Casey, Dedeal ( MVP north America)
MCITP (EMA), MCITP (SA)
MCSE 2003, M+, S+, MCDST
Security+, Project +, Server +
http://smtp25.blogspot.com/ (Blog)
http://telnet25.wordpress.com/ (Blog)

April 16, 2012

How to set Client Access server array

Filed under: General — telnet25 @ 3:19 am

If you find out you have not set your Client access array and would like to set it up here are quick steps to get the work done. If you are not certain what the CAS array is here is Exchange team Demystifying the CAS Array Object  series part1 and part2

image

Also very nice detailed explanation about the RPC Client access server is here

Exploring Exchange 2010 RPC Client Access service

Exchange 2010 Middle Tier

In order to facilitate this move to the middle tier, two new services were created that run on the Client Access Server role: the RPC Client Access service and the Address Book service.

The RPC Client Access service handles all data connections for mailboxes and the Address Book Service handles all data connections for access to Active Directory. One notable exception is public folders. For public folder connections, clients connect to the RPC Client Access service on the Mailbox role, and not the Information Store.

How Does it work ?

  • Outlook client checks its configured settings and finds out  where to connect to get the user mail from ( This case it is  CAS ARRAY = outlook.smtp35.org=10.10.10.150
  • The DNS Server the client is talking too,  has A record matches the RPC Client Access Server outlook.smtp25.org=10.10.10.150
  • Each Database has attribute called RPCclientAccessServer which is equal to CAS ARRAY name. ( this is where the magic happens……)

so in this case as fallows.

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Outlook clients start talking to CAS servers and CAS Servers will talk to MBX Servers behalf of outlook ( MAPI ) clients. Now if you pay attention you can see the beauty of this design and its benefits.

Example one: You do not have any HLB in your environment what are your supported options after configuring CAS ARRAY ?

Option 1, you have created CAR ARRAY called outlook.yourCompany.local and assigned this to unique IP Address some thing like this

Outlook.YourCompany.Local = 10.10.10.100

Now you have two CAS Servers

CAS1=10.10.10.100
CAS2=10.10.10.101

Now here is how I can configure CAS ARRAY and have all RPC Connections to go to CAS1 Server.

Outlook.YourCompany.Local = 10.10.10.100
CAS1=10.10.10.100

Option 2,

Outlook.YourCompany.Local = 10.10.10.100  ( A Record in DNS)
Outlook.YourCompany.Local = 10.10.10.101  ( A Record in DNS)

As you can see half of the RPC connections go to CAS1 other Half will go to CAS2.

Of course there are problems with these configurations such as if CAS1 goes down, what happens to outlook client connected to CAS1 ? until these clients go back to their configured DNS and query Outlook.YourCompany.Local they wont get connected.

Option 3,  would be getting HLB ( Hardware load Balancer) and make more intelligent application base load balancing on the CAS Servers.

To create the Client Access server array……

New-ClientAccessArray -fqdn <FQDN_of_array> -site <SiteName>

To tag the existing databases

Set-MailboxDatabase <MailboxDatabaseName> –RpcClientAccessServer <Casarray>

To set for multiple databases:

Get-MailboxDatabase | Set-MailboxDatabase –RpcClientAccessServer CAS-Array.YourConpany.com

 

Respectfully,
Oz Casey, Dedeal ( MVP north America)
MCITP (EMA), MCITP (SA)
MCSE 2003, M+, S+, MCDST
Security+, Project +, Server +
http://smtp25.blogspot.com/ (Blog)
http://telnet25.wordpress.com/ (Blog)

April 13, 2012

Useful Outlook Switches you need to know

Filed under: General — telnet25 @ 7:29 pm

Over years we ran into many weirdo outlook end user problems. These problems varies , the most common approach to some of these problems are to use basic outlook switches which I like to post it one more time and hoping this can provide a sample guide for you.

You should remember basic troubleshooting steps

  • Does this problems global ? if effecting others users ? or single user
  • run the switches listed below
  • Can you open problems users outlook profile from another pc to eliminate the PC specific issues
  • Can you produce same problems via OWA instead of Outlook?
  • Antivirus software, firewall issues on the local PC ?
  • Third party adds on on the problem PC ?
  • Did you create additional profile on the problem PC and see if issue existed ?

Did you run outlook switches , the most common ones…….

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  • Outlook /CleanFreeeBusy
  • Outlook /ResetFolders
  • Outlook /CleanViews
  • outlook //CleanReminders

Did you try Outlook Configuration Analyzer

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/CleanFreeBusy  

Cleans and regenerates free/busy information.

this one clean all kinds of weird calendaring issue

/CleanViews

Restores default views.

/CleanReminders

Cleans and regenerates reminders.

/ResetFolders

Restores missing folders for the default delivery location.

/CleanProfile

Removes invalid profile keys and recreates default registry keys where applicable.

/CleanFinders

Sets Outlook 2003 Search Folders back to the default state (deletes custom Search Folders)

/Cleanpst

Launches Outlook with a clean Personal Folders file (.pst)

/CleanSchedPlus

Starts Outlook and deletes server-based rules. Used only with Exchange server accounts.

/FirstRun

Starts Outlook as if it were run for the first time.

/ImportPrf prffilename

Launches Outlook and opens/imports the defined MAPI profile (*.prf). If Outlook is already open, queues the profile to be imported on the next clean launch.

/ResetFolderNames

Launches Outlook and opens/imports the defined MAPI profile (*.prf). If Outlook is already open, queues the profile to be imported on the next clean launch.

/ResetFolders

Restores missing folders for the default delivery location.

/ResetOutlookBar

Rebuilds the Outlook Bar
/ResetWunderBar Rebuilds the new Outlook Control Bar in Outlook 2003.
/Rpcdiag Opens Outlook and displays the remote procedure call (RPC) connection status dialog

/Sniff

Starts Outlook and forces a detection of new meeting requests in the Inbox, and then adds them to the calendar.

 

Respectfully,
Oz Casey, Dedeal ( MVP north America)
MCITP (EMA), MCITP (SA)
MCSE 2003, M+, S+, MCDST
Security+, Project +, Server +
http://smtp25.blogspot.com/ (Blog)
http://telnet25.wordpress.com/ (Blog)

April 7, 2012

Setup Wizard for update rollup 1 for exchange server 2010 Service pack ( KB2645995) was interrupted

Filed under: General — telnet25 @ 7:56 pm

 

If you are installing RU1 for Exchange 2010 and setup is failing with fallowing error, there is the remedy to resolve the issue.

RU1 install fails with fallowing errors

Setup Wizard for update rollup 1 for exchange server 2010 Service pack ( KB2645995) was interrupted, your system has not been modified. To install this program a later time, run the installation again, to exit the setup, click Finished..

image

Open command prompt on the problem exchange server with admin privileges

Use copy path on the E210 RU1 by holding Shift key down and paste the shortcut in the CMD window.

 

https://skydrive.live.com/embed?cid=1C8A0DB5C88AB3D2&resid=1C8A0DB5C88AB3D2%21869&authkey=AG9Nx6Q8npz5pMM

Respectfully,
Oz Casey, Dedeal ( MVP north America)
MCITP (EMA), MCITP (SA)
MCSE 2003, M+, S+, MCDST
Security+, Project +, Server +
http://smtp25.blogspot.com/ (Blog)
http://telnet25.wordpress.com/ (Blog)

Exchange 2010 SP1 and RU1

Filed under: General — telnet25 @ 7:06 pm

If you are going for upgrading your server to Exchange 2010 SP2 and RU1 you may want to read some of the important notes included into release notes here.

From my experience the execution policy is something you MUST pay attention to it, also schedule more then twice time you would do for these upgrades as they will take long time (-:

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One of the things to watch out is Execution policy, and its side effects , even though the release notes talk about it, some of the admins who have missed to pay attention to this ended up loosing entire exchange server and did have to go for recovery.

To verify the execution policies before you begin the installation, run the following Windows PowerShell cmdlet:

Get-ExecutionPolicy –list

The output should resemble the following:

image

Respectfully,
Oz Casey, Dedeal ( MVP north America)
MCITP (EMA), MCITP (SA)
MCSE 2003, M+, S+, MCDST
Security+, Project +, Server +
http://smtp25.blogspot.com/ (Blog)
http://telnet25.wordpress.com/ (Blog)

 

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