Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Decommision Exchange 2010 and Arbitration Mailboxes

Arbitration mailboxes are where messages awaiting moderator approval are stored, the OAB is generated, and various other administrative tasks. You can not uninstall 2010 while these are still on the database.

When you try to remove the first DB in Exchange 2010, there are a few arbitration mailboxes that will prevent database deletion. You have the choice of moving, removing, or mail-disable these mailboxes. Since you cannot see these in the Exchange Management Console, you need to launch Exchange Management Shell (EMS)

Get-Mailbox -Arbitration

This will list the arbitration mailboxes. To narrow it down to a specific database, you can edit this to:

Get-Mailbox -Arbitration -Database DB1

Once you have your get- command returning the correct list of mailboxes, it's time to move, disable or remove them. Disabling the last arbitration mailbox is not allowed, so I recommend moving them as the first preference here.

Move: Get-Mailbox -Arbitration -Database db1 | New-MoveRequest -TargetDatabase db2

Disable: Get-Mailbox -Arbitration -Database db1 | Disable-Mailbox -Arbitration

Remove: Get-Mailbox -Arbitration -Database db1 | Remove-Mailbox -Arbitration -RemoveLastArbitrationMailboxAllowed

Once you have these taken care of you should be good to go. if something breaks when you remove these Exchange will recreate them automatically if you rerun

setup.exe /preparead

from the installation media.

Hope this helps someone!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Removing a Server 2003 DC

In preparation for Exchange 2016 I had to remove a 2003 DC from my environment because Exchange 2016 requires a forest functional level of 2008.

There are guides available on how to decommission a Domain Controller so I won't go into that. I just want to touch on a small little error I received and how to fix it.

During my dcpromo portion of the decom I ran into a NETLOGON error. This is due to the machine you're trying to decom is still pointing to itself for DNS. To fix this simply go into your NIC settings and change the DNS to point to the new DC.

Sometimes things are easy I guess!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

This One is a Little Embarrassing

I recently migrated my public folders from 2007 then to 2010 and just now to 2013. There are some good guides out there on how to do this so I am not going to get into it.



What I will talk about is more of a lesson you should learn than anything technical. That lesson is be aware of the experience you are building for your end users. 

As SMEs (not me, you guys) we can sometimes forget all the little pitfalls that can trap end users. Well just now I played the part of Pitfall Harry.

The issue was public folders were not showing up in Outlook but could be accessed from OWA.

I spent hours going over my configs trying to figure out what the problem was. Some of you are already laughing at me. I can hear it across space/time. The issue turned out to be user error. Because I was not familiar enough with the Outlook client itself I never realized that there was a button to view public folders. I thought they would just show up automagically. 

Once you actually choose to view public folders they will actually show up

Moral of the story, stop and think about what you're doing an think about the end user experience. Also don't be a moron like me.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Exchange 2013 and Hybrid Connection Wizard

Using the Hybrid Connection Wizard that is built into Exchange Online and migrating mailboxes to the cloud has been a pretty painless experience so far in my non production lab environments. 

I did run into a little piece of info today though that helped me understand how the hybrid setup works a little better. 

Exchange Online uses what is called the MRS Proxy Endpoint that resides in the EWS virtual directory. You need to make sure that this has the correct internal and external URL (You should really make sure every virtual directory has the correct internal/external url before trying to migrate a mailbox), and make sure that Enable MRS Proxy endpoint is checked.

It also will query autodiscover to find the value of your outlook anywhere URL and use that to locate the server that has the MRS Proxy Endpoint.

Make sure you can walk before you try to run or you might meet these issues at full speed.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Exchange 2003, 2007, and 2010 coexistence

Having 3 exchange versions in the same environment can be tricky. Below I have taken a couple screenshots of the way that my virtual directories were set up to proxy from 2010 to 2007.


This was the big one that gave me the most issues





Outlook Anywhere (RPC/HTTP)