Archive for February, 2011



     Want to remotely execute Exchange Specific Cmdlets without having to install the exchange 2010 management console? Maybe you have a BPOS or Office 365 account you want to administrate? Then these steps are for you.

      When you connect to a remote Exchange 2010 server using a user name and password you specify, you direct the remote Shell to connect to the remote server using those credentials when it authenticates the session. The credentials can be different from your current user name and password. This is called explicit authentication. This procedure can be used even if there are no Exchange 2010 management tools installed.

  1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Windows PowerShell, and then click Windows PowerShell or Windows PowerShell ISE.

    Dd297932.note(en-us,EXCHG.141).gifNote:

    Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE) is the new Windows PowerShell graphical console and can be used instead of the traditional text-based PowerShell console.

  2. Enter your network credentials and store them in a variable by running the following command.
    $UserCredential = Get-Credential
  3. In the dialog box that opens, type the user name and password of the administrator account that has access to administer the Exchange 2010 server you want to connect to, and then click OK.
  4. Open the connection to Exchange 2010 by running the following command.
  5. $Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri http://<FQDN of Exchange 2010 server>/PowerShell/ -Authentication Kerberos -Credential $UserCredential
  6. Import the server-side PowerShell session into your client-side session by running the following command.
    Import-PSSession $Session

After you perform this procedure, you can run Exchange cmdlets in the remote Shell.

Taken from Connect Remote Exchange Management Shell to an Exchange Server

An alternative if you DO have the EMC and EMS installed – how can we connect to the remote exchange server?

User the following syntax from within the EMS

Connect-ExchangeServer –ServerFqdn Van-ex2.contoso.com

Now you will have connections to the first server you were on *the local one* or one that was automatically selected for you, AND the new one you created. Use this cmdlet to confirm what you are and aren’t connected to

Get-PSSession

Now you can break your first connection if desired..

Remove-PSSession –id <ID# found from previous step>

Happy remoting!


As a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) you would never expect me to post a blog review on a product that could somewhat compete with my company’s business. Now my company doesn’t produce any streamed or Computer Based Training (CBT) so this technically isn’t a conflict of interest.

I realize that people learn in different ways. People have very different lives. So some people would just rather have a relaxed video to talk them through a process or technology and can pick it up easily. Others require interaction with a Instructor Led Training (ILT) session. A lot of people can’t carve out the time away from work for a full blown ILT classroom environment. A lot of times your company can’t afford a full ILT class either. They have the desire to learn but can only afford a 30 minute span here or 2 hours a few times a week. If this is the case (and it is for a lot of people out there) then CBT learning is definitely for you.

Now it’s very rare that I endorse products on here. I try to shy away from such things as they could be taken the wrong way or can be misconstrued. So when I do, you know I do so because I really believe in the product or service.

Now that the *disclaimer* is out of the way let’s get to the goods. Maybe goods isn’t a correct word to describe the product were about to talk about, GREAT is a better word. I had the pleasure of reviewing a product from our friends over at Train Signal, (Follow them on Twitter – @TrainSignal). I have personally met some of the Train Signal team in person and they are a real pleasure to work with.

I have heard some pretty bad things about other CBT’s and was a bit hesitant at first. Within the first hour I was completely sold. The particular products I have been review is part of their Exchange 2010 series. In particular the Exchange 2010 MCITP and the soon to be released Exchange 2010 backup and recovery packages. I enjoyed the choice of formats. All of train signal’s products are available in a DVD or streaming option. I chose the DVD for one as I like to use my Windows Phone 7/zune device for podcasts in long car rides and the train commutes. The additional files and free transcenders for those of you which are certification hungry is a HUGE bonus. You are really getting a lot of content here for your buck.

Let’s talk about the instructor for both of these series for a bit. One of the biggest things that any online / remote instructor has to tackle is connecting with the audience. This is harder to convey things like body language and looks and glances are unavailable. Your style of delivery and tone / pitch of your voice really becomes truly make or break. Our instructor on these series is the soon to be famous J. Peter Bruzzese.  (Follow him on Twitter – @JPBruzzese) J.P is a Microsoft MVP for Exchange, Triple-MCSE, MCT, MCSA, MCITP: Messaging, CNA, CCNA, CIW Master, and CIW Certified Instructor! He is definitely well versed in IT! As a fellow instructor I tend to be a little more critical than the normal student. I also like to consider myself a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in Active Directory and Exchange. So when I started going through J.P.’s courses I was very refreshed in his great delivery, style and technical acumen. No one ever knows everything about technology, but he has to be close. I’ve been teaching Exchange for years and I was able to pick up a few things! He uses great real world analogies and doesn’t completely swim in the Microsoft Kool-aid. He regularly references technologies that aren’t always MS focused or delivered, to give you a sense it’s not a sales pitch.

Now the content itself covers almost every possible reach in the Exchange 2010 landscape. Everything from Backup, recovery, new SP1 features, message management, etc.. The content is in the right size chunks. You don’t have to commit 2-3 hrs for a lesson, nor does the content delivered feel overpowering. So between the right size, J.P.’s delivery I found it to be a perfect fit. The beautiful and best part is that it’s SO on point. If you’re an Exchange 2010 admin who’s been thrown into the mix, you will learn best practices and look for things to optimize in your existing environment. For you cert-mongers out there it’s almost a complete solution for exam readiness. If you are planning a deployment, these series will be able to fully understand all the mechanisms involved to properly plan your upcoming migration to Exchange 2010.

In summary I give Train Signals products in general and especially the Exchange 2010 series a 5 out of 5 stars!


So near the end of January I was lucky enough to escaped the void of the classroom and get back to hands-on work. I was able to act as a consultant for my training firm and go on-site to an old student of mine’s place of business. Our task seemed simple. Migrate a single exchange 2003 server to a mailbox redundant 2010 solution.

Just drop down a few new 2010 boxes and call it a day right? Not so much. Any migration can have hiccups and issues along the way. We had originally chipped out four days to complete the process. Due to some SAN issues we lost our first day and then had to get everything ready in just 3. One box and about 350 mailboxes it should be easy right? We planned for extra time thank goodness. If we originally planned on 3 and now only got 2 we’d be very hard pressed to have that done. We did in fact get the major steps done in 3 days. let’s review all that happened.

For security purposes let’s not give out our clients domain name and such, let’s focus on what we know and what was learned over the 3 days. Here is where we started.

Single domain forest. All DC’s and GC’s were at the Exchange 2010 minimum of 2003 SP1 or higher. Domain functional level was 2003 as was the forest functional level. Permissions on the accounts to be used for installation were in place, so let’s get started. All inbound mail via his MX record was going into his SonicWall and then being placed into his Cisco IronPort device for scrubbing before being delivered to the 2003 Exchange server.

We began with bringing up the OS of the first Exchange 2010 box in a VMWare virtual environment. The OS was to be 2008 R2 Enterprise edition. Why enterprise? Well we planned on using a DAG (Database Availability Group). This HA (High Availability) feature requires the failover clustering component within Server 2008. That was still in standard edition back in the 2003 Server days, but has been removed in 2008 RTM and higher. So now that R2 server is ready and fully patched / updated, let’s get the Exchange pre-req’s on there for the Exchange bits install. To speed things up we used a pre-made script that automates all the installation of required items as they pertain to Exchange role requirements. You too can download it HERE. It was created by Exchange MVP Dejan Foro. You can hit his whole site here – www.exchangemaster.net.

Think your ready for Exchange install time? Not so fast son. There are four KB document fixes that will need to get put on 2008 R2 before anything else is started.

Before you start contemplating putting that Exchange 2010 media in or mounting that ISO. Check your DNS and active directory to ensure it’s solid and stable before continuing. Also make sure that you have your 2003 / AD settings all up to snuff.

  • Ensure your 2003 address policies are not split between authoritative and non-authoritative. This may require you to modify or even rebuild them.
  • Check your Recipient update services in that they are pointing to a valid DC that still exists Smile
  • Ensure any external or manually created trusts are working and verifiable.
  • Is your domain a SLD? (Single label domain – “Consoso”, not “contoso.com” when you have ADUC open).
  • Ensure IPv6 and the windows firewall is enabled. Either of these could kill your install of Exchange.

OK, NOW you can begin your installation of Exchange. I recommend copying the source files locally to a new folder called “C:\source” or something like that. Now download the latest rollup (RU) for the version of Exchange (RTM vs. SP1) and placing it in the \updates folder. This will slipstream the updates during the installation and save you steps later!

Step 1.) Preparation of AD

This went very easy as we had a single domain and all the rights necessary. Wasn’t a fast process but experienced no errors when we ran setup.com with the following switches..

/preparelegacypermissions – this is ONLY needed if you have 2003 exchange. Skip if you have 2007

/PrepareAD – do you know your organization name? you can find it in the ESM.

Step 2.) Install Exchange on your first server. Have a plan here. Don’t just rip off a “typical” install (core 3 roles – CAS/HUB/MBox) if  you’re unsure, use the Exchange Deployment assistant.

We knew we were only going to have 2 servers with all three roles on them. We chose to do the “typical” install. We also set the “External” address for his CAS role to the same thing as his existing 2003 OWA URL (I.E. – “Http://mail.contoso.com”)

Now we have a fully functional Exchange 2010 server with nothing coming into it, and not hosting any mailboxes.

 

This is a great starting post and will continue to cover hiccups we hit in a future post. (ran out of time Smile )