Why I like dummy.file with Exchange

Dummy.file to me is an empty file with and allocated size on disk. With Exchange I create one on each LUN hosting mailbox databases or logs. Simple to create and just one line to your build document/script.

> fsutil.exe file createnew c:\dummy.file 20971520

Should a LUN fill up rapidly resulting in a dismounted database I can delete dummy.file and mount the database. I can then take action to reduce the database size or manually truncate logs. Coupled with Opalis you could delete dummy.file based on a SCOM disk alert, start online mailbox moves and send notifications without having to touch the server. Opalis could even raise a PO for more storage. :-)

Obviously LUNs should be sized correctly in the first place, but in large dynamic infrastructures this last resort can prove useful and give some breathing space.

You can also modify the Exchange database size limit using the registry, http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb232092.aspx. this approach works, but isn’t a simply to restore service as deleting a file.

I hope you find this as useful as I have other the years.

Daniel Noakes

Lync Web Scheduler

I’ve been working with the Lync Web Scheduler as an alternative to the Outlook add-in to schedule Lync meetings online for the past few days. Functionality includes:

  • Scheduling a new online Lync meeting.
  • Listing all existing Lync Server 2010 meetings that the user has organized.
  • Viewing and modifying details of an existing meeting.
  • Deleting an existing meeting.
  • Sending an email invitation to meeting participants by using a configured SMTP mail server.
  • Joining an existing conference.

Download it here, http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=b7d8f948-fa64-4c51-8b54-2223954d1fa4. Installation is straight forward and getting started is simply a matter of browsing to https://lyncpoolfqdn/scheduler.


Its only available in English (US flavour) at the moment and can’t handle reoccurring meetings.

Daniel Noakes

Exchange 2010 SP1 PS trial/licence bug?

When running Get-ExchangeServer for Exchange 2010 SP1 the following results are returned listed as “..Exchange2007..”.

IsExchange2007TrialEdition        : True
IsExpiredExchange2007TrialEdition : False

I’m pretty sure this is not intentional, and to be honest really makes no difference to me. Just seems that they could drop the “2007” bit and never worry about updating for future releases.

Daniel Noakes

Clean up after installing Service Pack 1 on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2

All credit to Mark Parris (@markparris) for this one, http://markparris.co.uk/2011/04/12/clean-up-after-installing-service-pack-1-on-windows-7-and-windows-server-2008-r2/. I thought it was really useful (for me in the future) so wanted to post here.

“After installing Service Pack 1 on Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2, by default you have the ability to uninstall the Service Pack and rollback to the previous state. If you are confident that you do not need to rollback the service pack at a later date. The installation can be made final by running DISM /online /cleanup-Image /spsuperseded on average this has reclaimed for me over 2GB per server, not that much space these days but if you have for some reason VM’s running like this, these 2GB’s can add up to a lot of space.”

DISM has some great features including upgrading Windows Standard to Enterprise, its all covered here http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744256(WS.10).aspx.

Daniel Noakes

Windows 7 SP1 RSAT available now

The Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 (SP1) has been release to the web. Hooray, I’ve felt really stuck without these for the past few weeks.

Get the files from here, http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=7d2f6ad7-656b-4313-a005-4e344e43997d&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3a+MicrosoftDownloadCenter+$Microsoft+Download+Center$

Daniel Noakes

BES 5 SP3 MR1– already available

Just 2 days after releasing BES 5 SP3 for Exchange, now BES 5 SP3 MR1 has hit the web. Just a couple of updates which I have copied and pasted below.

Release notes: http://docs.blackberry.com/en/admin/deliverables/26577/BlackBerry_Enterprise_Server_for_Microsoft_Exchange-Maintenance_Release_Notes--1561918-0404053903-001-5.0.3-US.pdf

Software download: https://swdownloads.blackberry.com/Downloads

What's new

The BlackBerry® Enterprise Trait Tool includes a new trait named ExchangeEnablePropertyPromotion. This trait specifies if and how the BlackBerry Messaging Agent promotes MAPI properties. The possible values are:

  • 0 – Disabled
  • 1 - The BlackBerry Messaging Agent promotes MAPI properties on all folder reloads, if required.
  • 2 - The BlackBerry Messaging Agent promotes MAPI properties on all folder reloads, if required, except for the first folder reload. On the first folder reload the BlackBerry Messaging Agent does not promote MAPI properties.

Example: To disable the promotion of MAPI properties for the BlackBerry Domain, type traittool -global -trait ExchangeEnablePropertyPromotion -set 0.

Example: To disable the promotion of MAPI properties for a BlackBerry® Enterprise Server instance, type traittool -server <server_name> -trait ExchangeEnablePropertyPromotion -set 0.

For information about using the BlackBerry Enterprise Trait Tool, see the BlackBerry Enterprise Server Administration Guide.

Fixed issues

BlackBerry Administration Service
If one BlackBerry® Administration Service instance sent a reconciliation task to a second instance, and the connection between the instances dropped before the second instance could notify the first that the reconciliation was complete, reconciliation stopped on all BlackBerry Administration Service instances. The first BlackBerry Administration Service instance then wrote the following error to its log file: “org.jboss.remoting.CannotConnectException: Can not get connection to server. Problem establishing socket connection for InvokerLocator [sslsocket:”. The BlackBerry Administration Service checks for unprocessed reconciliation events every 24 hours and restarts them at that time. For more information, contact RIM Support. (DT 1159175)

BlackBerry Messaging Agent
In some circumstances email messages were not delivered promptly because of high disk I/O on Microsoft® Exchange 2010 mailbox servers. (DT 1141515)

Happy patching.

Daniel Noakes

Lync Server 2010 Visio Stencil: What is your favourite shape?

In February Microsoft published the Lync Server 2010 Visio Stencil, which I have been using to produce designs for our hosted solution.

My favourite shape has to be Microphone, it just looks a bit funny to me and I’m sure not many people have free standing devices like this. What is your favourite shape?

Microphone - Lync Server 2010 Visio Stencil

You can download the Lync Server 2010 Visio Stencil here, http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=65b5a396-2c87-445d-be23-d324727d19cb.

Daniel Noakes

BES 5.0.3 & BES Express 5.0.2 MR5 released

BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5 Service Pack 3 has been released to the web, read the release notes here http://docs.blackberry.com/en/admin/deliverables/25750/BlackBerry_Enterprise_Server_for_Microsoft_Exchange-Release_Notes--1398168-0311101250-001-5.0.3-US.pdf.

BlackBerry Enterprise Server  Express 5 Service Pack 2 Maintenance Release 5 has also been released to the web, read the release notes here http://docs.blackberry.com/en/admin/deliverables/25750/BlackBerry_Enterprise_Server_for_Microsoft_Exchange-Release_Notes--1398168-0311101250-001-5.0.3-US.pdf.

Both are available to download here, http://swdownloads.blackberry.com/Downloads/.

Updated: I forgot to add SP3 adds OCS 2007 R2 and Lync 2010 support which I blogged about last week http://blog.exchangegeek.com/2011/03/lync-ocs-r2-support-in-bes-5-sp3.html.

Daniel Noakes