Friday, December 17, 2004

Here is a pretty ugly bug with Exchange 2003/sp1 and the entourage client
that you need to be aware of if your running this environment.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Thanks to Steve Antonio (MS Exchange EE group) for pointing out two great
papers on exchange permissions. This seems to be one of the most difficult topics
for exchange administrators and it's good to see some deeper level docs covering
this area.

There are two permissions papers now.
Working With Active Directory Permissions in Exchange Server 2003
Working with Store Permissions is Exchange 2000 Server and Exchange Server 2003

Monday, December 06, 2004

Monday, November 15, 2004

MS just released a rollup of all the fixes since E2k3 sp1. Always test before rolling
out to production servers!

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Here is an interesting article (thanks about how MS combats
spam for their internal mail system.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

LexisNexis just announced support for data lookup via blackberry devices. If your
a lawyer this could be a key feature for the portable device you choose.

Monday, October 25, 2004

In case you aren't already, you should head over to this site for assistance with
setting up an SPF record for Sender-ID lookups. The more of these we get published
the better as AOL is already using them and MS will start checking inbound mail for
hotmail and msn next month.
Looks like MS may be coming around on the patent issue with Sender-ID and
making it more palatable to the open source crowd. Good to see progress is being
made here.
PalmOne just released a new treo, dubbed the 650 that now has support
for Exchange 2003 active sync. Looks to be a nice upgrade although I still
think the keyboard on the BB devices is much better.
It looks like we may not see a release of exchange next year from MS, especially
since they are already back pedaling from their previous announcement of Edge services.
This is really a sorely needed niche of Microsoft's and I hope there is more going on
with this than meets the eye.;1389055547;fp;16;fpid;0

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

MS just released a nice set of reports for use with exchange. The price is right
and you can get alot of useful info with these.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

MS just released the exchange best practices analyzer.... take my word for it... you
want to get this tool. It will analyze your entire exchange setup and tell you what is
configured wrong or may not be configured in the best possible manner. The data
alone would be invaluable in a DR situation. Run now and get it.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Here's some more comments from eWeek on the Sender-ID/IETF issue:,1759,1644655,00.asp

According to the guys over at, the Sender-ID spec has been shot down
by the IETF due to patent issues and will not become a part of the standard (barring any
last minute changes by MS). Hopefully things will change but right now it doesn't look

Sunday, September 12, 2004

MS just released two hotfixes for a new vulnerability found in Exchange 2003
when running on certain versions of W2k and W2K3. See the details for more


    Tuesday, September 07, 2004

    According to, MS is negotiating with OSI on a possible open
    source license for SenderID. The information is based on an interview with newsforge's Larry Rosen. Hopefully this will bring resolution to this one sticking point with SenderID and the open
    source community.
    Not mail related but MS just released a nifty little tool that will give
    you a ton of info about the ports being used on a particular computer. It
    even goes in to showing what processes are utilizing that port (XP and W2k3
    I'm starting to see alot more vendors license the Blackberry connect software
    for use in their handsets. Hopefully this trend will continue.
    Looks like support for the SenderID spec is wavering from some of the
    open source pundits. I can see both sides of this story but we really
    need to push that stuff aside and get this roled out asap.

    Tuesday, August 17, 2004

    Over at the exchange team blog they just posted some additional info on the latest post-sp3
    rollup for exchange 2000 that was released today. Good stuff!
    MS just released the latest rollup for exchange 2000. Grab it here:

    Friday, August 13, 2004

    Just posted over on the exchange team blog.... an xbox theme for OWA 2003.
    I think I'm going to hold out for the nightrider theme.

    Tuesday, August 10, 2004

    Tumbleweed just released version 6.0 of MMS (now called EMF) that supports
    both SPF and Caller-ID lookups. It's nice to see vendors jumping on this quicker than
    MS plans to. Do we really have to wait another year before we see this in exchange?

    MS has released a new patch for a vulnerability found in exchange 5.5:

    This one is listed as 'moderate' and is aimed at the OWA component.

    Friday, July 23, 2004

    Just got back from vacation and it looks like MS is getting serious about getting
    the Sender-ID stuff in place.,aid,117026,00.asp

    Thursday, July 01, 2004

    According to Bink, one of the speakers at Tech-Ed EU said that the
    next version of exchange may support log shipping. This would a nice
    option to have when clustering is not an option (due to money, complexity,etc.)
  • Log Shipping in Exchange
  • Tuesday, June 22, 2004

    Over at the exchange blog, Neil has a great post on troubleshooting
    recipient policies. Check it out....
  • Recipient Policies
  • Monday, June 14, 2004

    Jeremy has a great post on the details of online maintenance
    for exchange. A must read for exchange admins.
  • Exchange Online Maintenance
  • Looks like HP is going to be offering Sendmail as an email solution
    running on their proliant servers. It's not that surprising to see HP
    make this move since they have been doing alot more 'open source' type
    stuff but it will be interesting to see if internally things change
    as far as their mail platform. Should they decide to run Sendmail instead
    of Exchange, that would be a huge blow to Microsoft (condidering HP is
    one of the largest supporters of Exchange - including providing a large
    portion of the technical support for Microsoft).
  • HP to offer Sendmail
  • Tuesday, June 08, 2004

    Here's a good post from the Exchange team blog about what is required
    to get the ESM components installed on various workstations.
  • ESM Requirements
  • The monthly security bulletin from MS was released today. Nothing
    relaated to exchange but some other useful stuff.
  • Security Bulletin
  • Wednesday, June 02, 2004

    Microsoft has re-released the post-sp3 rollup for exchange 2000
    that was released last month due to a memory leak. Here's the
    headsup from the exchange team blog:
  • Rollup re-released
  • Tuesday, May 25, 2004

    Microsoft also released updated tools in their all-in-one
    package for exchange 2003. One new tool (Badmail Deletion and Archiving)
    has been a highly requested feature. Previoulsy, most people (like me)
    just used a batch file ran by AT to delete the contents of this folder.
  • Exchange 2003 Tools
  • Microsoft just released sp1 for Exchange 2003 and the Intelligent
    Message Filter for Exchange 2003:

  • Exchange 2003 sp1

  • Exchange 2003 IMF

  • Just a word of caution here.... sp1 cannot be removed once it's installed. Please make a full backup before and after installation. I think this is a poor decision on Microsoft's part to not include a remove option. Hopefully it will not be needed. ;-)

    Friday, May 21, 2004

    Looks like Microsoft may be working with the SPF group to merge
    both SPF and Caller-ID specs. This would be a huge boon for the
    industry and shows that the 'new' Microsoft is alive and well. Here's
    a thread outlining the first steps:
  • Caller-ID and SPF Merge

  • Thursday, May 20, 2004

    There is now a project under way at SourceForge for the creation of
    an event sink for exchange to do SPF lookups (Sender Permitted From). This
    is similar to Microsoft's 'Caller-ID' fuctionality and is currently being
    tested by AOL and others.
  • SPF Event Sink for Exchange
  • According to a survey done by Commtouch, 71% of all spam servers are
    located in China. Apparently cheap labor is not the only thing plentiful
    over there. Major ISP's need to step in here and start filtering some
    of this stuff as the trend is getting worse every month.
  • 71% of all spam server in China
  • Microsoft today announced they are submitting their Caller-ID technology to the
    IETF for consideration as in industry standard. I really hope this thing gets legs and gets accepted quickly and then adopted quickly by the major ISP's. We are all drowing in spam and this could take a big chunk out of the equation.
  • Caller-ID
  • Symantec announced yesterday they are buying Anti-spam vendor Brightmail
    for a boatload of cash. IMO, Brightmail has the best anti-spam software
    in the market so this is a real score for Symantec.
  • Brightmail Sale
  • Tuesday, May 11, 2004

    Sybari just released an updated build of Antigen (7.5, SR3, Build 1314)
    that has support for Exchange 2003 sp1 using ESE mode. Hopefully we will see sp1 released at Tech-ed in two weeks.
    Novell announced today that they will offer the evolution exchange connector for free starting May 14th. This allows a linux desktop running evolution to connect to an Exchange 2000 or 2003 server with a limited subset of the fuctionality of Outlook. I still think Outlook is a much better client for exchange but if your forced to use a linux desktop at least now you can use evolution (with the connector) at no additional cost. Previously each desktop using the connector had to have an exchange connector license from Ximian (in addition to a CAL for Exchange).

    I'm not really sure how Novell is going to make money from this but I'm sure they have lots of really smart people thinking about that. Maybe Microsoft should thank Novell for helping sell Exchange CAL's.
  • Novell Evolution Connector for Exchange
  • Here's a good list of the top 10 problems with databases not
    mounting in exchange and their solutions. Hopefully you will never
    see these issues but if you do it's good to know the next step.
  • Top 10 Database Mounting Issues
  • According to multiple sources inside Microsoft, they plan to release
    the Exchange 2003 IMF (Inteligent Messaging Filter) for free via a web
    download very soon. Previously it was announced that this would only
    be available to those Microsoft customers who were part of their Software
    Assurance program. It's good to see Microsoft took feedback from their
    customers and decided to provide this to everyone at no cost. I'll post
    a link to the download when it's available.
    I've been testing the new Gmail service from Google and so far
    it works fairly well. The UI is fairly intuitive and seems
    responsive. It's still kind of weird to not think about deleting
    any email from a free email service.

    Monday, May 03, 2004

    Adam has a link on his blog to a new whitepaper from HP on the storage design
    of Microsofts Exchange setup. Great detail on the EVA side and what's to come
    with VSS (we are just begining to test it as well).
  • Adam's Mindspace
  • Robert Scoble's brother, Alexander, had a good post on his blog about fire suppression
    systems in data centers. We just recently went through this with the building of one of our new data centers and ended up going with FM-200 with a pre-actuated water backup. The saphire stuff sounds interesting, may be something to look at for our next data center.
  • Alexander Scoble - Fire suppression
  • Friday, April 30, 2004

    Here's a link to an upcoming webcast on Exchange 2003 sp1. The presenter, Evan Dodds, is a great
    speaker and always gives a great presentation. Thanks to for the heads up.
  • Exchange 2003 sp1 webcast
  • Sunday, April 25, 2004

    Google just opened up for testing their new gmail service if you are an active blogger on
  • Slashdot news on Gmail
  • Thursday, April 22, 2004

    I was just alerted that exploit code has been released that uses vulnerabilities found in MS04-011:

    Microsoft is aware of code available on the Internet that seeks
    to exploit vulnerabilities addressed as part of our April 13th security updates. We are investigating the situation to help protect our customers. Specifically, the reports detail exploit code that attempts to use the IIS PCT/SSL vulnerability on servers running Internet Information Services with the Secure Socket Layer authentication enabled. This vulnerability is addressed by bulletin MS04-011. Customers who have deployed MS04-011 are not at risk from this exploit code.

    Microsoft considers these reports credible and serious and continues to urge all customers to immediately install the MS4-011 update as well as the other critical updates provided on April 13th. Customers who are still evaluating and testing MS04-011 should immediately implement the workaround steps detailed for the PCT/SSL vulnerability detailed in the MS04-011. In addition, Microsoft has published a knowledge base article KB187498 at;en-us;187498 which provides additional details on SSL and how to disable PCT without applying MS04-011.

    We expect to see additional exploits and proof-of-concept code targeting the April 2004 security bulletin release in coming days and weeks, potentially including worm or virus examples.

    Just a heads up..... patch soon!

    Wednesday, April 21, 2004

    Heads up for all Antigen users... the latest sp3-rollup for E2k requires a registry
    fix to run. Head on over to Sybari support site for the reg file.
  • Sybari Support
  • For those of you following Microsoft's announcement of it's 'Caller-ID' initiative, Tumblweed
    has announced that they will be supporting this feature in their 6.0 release of their Email
    Firewall product (formerly MMS) which is tentatively schedule for release in July of this year.
    Microsoft plans to support this feature as part of the announced Edge services platform due
    out sometime next year.
  • Tumbleweed Email Firewall
  • Part of the newly released post-sp3 rollup (and also included in E2k3 sp1, soon to be out) is some extra code that allows you to customize quota related messages. This is a long standing request
    by many although in it's current state you will need some coding prowess to get a working piece. Hopefully in the future MS will include this as a feature in the ESM for those of us with no development mojo. Thanks to KC for pushing this thru.
  • Custom Quota Messages
  • Here is a new automated tool released by MS last month that allows you to extract
    the configuration of your entire exchange org. This can be very useful for disaster recovery
    during the rebuild of a particular exchange server.
  • Exchange Dump
  • Here is an updated list of ese error codes, useful for troubleshooting many event
    ID's in exchange that include these errors. Thanks to for the heads up.
  • Exchange 2000 and greater ese error codes
  • Another post-sp3 rollup was released for Exchange 2000 (the third one so far). I haven't heard
    yet if MS is recomending to install this across the board so I would wait until you have an issue
    addressed by this rollup or until they make an announcment (check back here as well).
  • Exchange 2000 post-sp3 rollup (2004)
  • Tuesday, April 20, 2004

    Just released... latest patch for Exchange 2003 store fixes.
  • Exchange 2003 Store Patch
  • Monday, April 12, 2004

    For those of you on the HP EVA platform for your storage needs, they released their VSS solution
    for exchange 2003 a few weeks ago called "FRS for Windows 2003". This is the missing piece for
    snapshots on exchange 2003. Take it for a spin and see how well they did for a 1.0 release.
  • FRS for Windows 2003

  • I was out last week at the Microsoft MVP summit and really enjoyed the time spent
    with the product group. Exchange has a strong future at Microsoft and there will be
    many exciting things coming up in the next few years. It will be interesting to see
    if they are able to 'fix' the spam problem since Bill Gates stated it would be resolved
    in two years. The products/solutions they have to address this issue are well thought
    out but will take the adoption of all the major ISP's to be successful.

    Thanks to Microsoft for putting on this event for the MVP's!

    If your not familiar with the Microsoft MVP program, get more info here:
  • Microsoft MVP Website
  • Thursday, April 01, 2004

    Here is a new white paper released by MS on routing in Exchange 2003.
  • Routing in Exchange 2003
  • Wednesday, March 31, 2004

    For those that need help tracking down/troublshooting an event ID with Exchange or
    any other product for that matter, check out I especially like the comments
    section where other users post information that they have found useful for that specific
    event ID.
  • Wednesday, March 24, 2004

    MS posted a new white paper on performance aspects of outlook and exchange with regards
    to network traffic. It's an exhaustive look (393 pages) at how the different versions of outlook
    perform under various tasks and the impact to network performance. Thanks to Gerod for the
    heads up.

  • Network Performance Whitepaper
  • Friday, March 12, 2004

    MS just announced support for iSCSI and NAS in exchange 2003. Check the list of
    devices to make sure yours is supported before installation.
  • iSCSI support for Exchange
  • Wednesday, March 10, 2004

    MS released an update to a vulnerability released yesterday and changed the
    rating to critical. This affects outlook 2002 aka outlook xp and can allow for remote
    code execution. Patch now if applicable.

  • Updated patch
  • Friday, March 05, 2004

    Here's a good tip on how to get performance figures on outlook 2003/exchange 2003 connectivity. Apparently this was only known internal to MS but this support person will be writing a KB about it.
    Thanks Gerod!
    Gerod Serafin's WebLog

    Monday, March 01, 2004

    This document provides specific detail on creating the necessary TXT record to support the caller-id initiative. With this record in place, external MTA's can lookup your valide outbound mail servers and reject mail not originating from one of them. It's about time we see some effort in preventing domain spoofing.
    Download details: Protecting Domain Names from Spoofing: A Guide for E-Mail Senders

    Tuesday, February 24, 2004

    Microsoft just announced a new initiative that will include email 'caller-ID' type technology that will allow an email server to verify the sender prior to accepting the message. This has the potential to be huge in the fight agains spam and spoofed domains. Hopefully this gets done right (open standards are used) and is accepted across the industry. This is similar to the SPF technology I posted about earlier in the month.
    Q&A: Microsoft's Anti-Spam Technology Roadmap

    Monday, February 23, 2004

    This may be another attempt at verifying the sender address before a message is accepted. I posted about another proposal trying to do this (SPF records) and how AOL is testing it currently. Since about 75% of our mail is now spam this would go a long way to getting rid of it.
    Internet Magazine - News/Advice/Reviews/ISPs/Hosting

    Saturday, February 21, 2004

    Here's a good doc describing all the changes to come in windows xp sp2 (due out in the next few months). These changes are pretty wide spread and attempt to prevent malicious code from running even if it does get on the box. Hopefully this will allow XP to be more resilient against attacks and require fewer security updates.
    Download details: Changes to Functionality in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2

    Thursday, February 19, 2004

    Here's a good doc on interaciton between E2k and AD. Understanding of the relationship is critical to troubleshooting many exchange problems.
    Download details: Understanding and Troubleshooting Directory Access
    Here is an updated doc on deploying RPC over HTTPS.
    Download details: Exchange 2003 RPC over HTTP Deployment Scenarios

    Wednesday, February 18, 2004

    There a new virus making the rounds rated as medium by NAI and high by most of the EU vendors. Hopefully your all blocking by file type anyways so you don't rely on these dats.
    Network Associates Inc.
    Here's a new document on server consolidation using Exchange 2003. This will probably be the biggest driver in the adoption of exchange 2003 (that and 5.5 sites migrating because of discontinued support.)
    Download details: Server Consolidation Using Exchange Server 2003

    Tuesday, February 17, 2004

    Bink links to a good article on bandwidth analysis of outlook under a citrix environment. | Microsoft Exchange 2003 Bandwidth Analysis

    Sunday, February 15, 2004

    Microsoft just posted the release date for the exchange 2003 add-on for spam filtering. Apparently this will be offered to those customers licensed through Software Assurance (SA).
    Microsoft Exchange Server: Exchange Intelligent Message Filter

    Tuesday, February 10, 2004

    David Lemson (exchange program manager) points to a great document on the inner workings of outlook 2003.
    Essential Outlook 2003 document

    Monday, February 09, 2004

    Nothing to do with Exchange pe se, but this shows what can be done with metadata (ie, WinFS in Longhorn and someday exchange...) integrated in the file system.
    World-Wide Media eXchange: WWMX
    The "Official" blog of the Microsoft Exchange team is now live and should have some great content on a regular basis. Give these guys any feedback you have on exchange and hopefully they can incorporate it in to the next service pack or release.
    You Had Me At EHLO...

    Saturday, February 07, 2004

    Here are some new exchange seminars that were just posted by MS.
    Download details: Microsoft Online Seminars: Microsoft Exchange

    Monday, January 26, 2004

    In honor of Kase's post about adding chive/cream cheese spread to a grilled cheese sandwich I've decided to add my own cooking post (that is totally irrevelant to exchange).

    When making a BLT, spread lipton's french onion dip (the kind you buy in the pack and mix with sour cream) on the sandwich. A place I used to get BLT's from in Kansas made the best BLT I've ever had and this was their secret ingredient.


    KC on Exchange and Outlook

    Friday, January 23, 2004

    Here is a much needed KB article on installing/configuring RPC over HTTP in Exchange 2003. Thanks MS/Nino!
    833401 - How to configure RPC over HTTP in Exchange Server 2003

    Wednesday, January 21, 2004

    Here's a good resource page for a bunch of different admin tasks.
    Microsoft Exchange Server: Mailbox Management in Exchange Server 2003

    Tuesday, January 20, 2004

    AOL announced they will be using SPF records to help with mail forgery/spam. I blogged about this a few months ago and it looks like it is catching on. For more info on SPF records go here:

    Tuesday, January 13, 2004

    A new vulnerability in Exchange 2003 was announced today. It is listed as moderate and does not affect any previous versions of exchange. If your running Exchange 2003 as a FE server, get this patch.
    Microsoft TechNet