Tony Redmond's Exchange Unwashed Blog

Oct 1, 2015

Exchange 2016 debuts to delight on-premises customers

After what seems to have been a much calmer Technology Adoption Program (beta tests), Exchange 2016 passed all the required quality benchmarks to reach Release-to-Manufacturing (RTM) status on September 29. Of course, RTM is an archaic term dating back to the time when software was ceremoniously handed over by development to the folks who created copies of the distribution kit on floppy disks, then CDs, and latterly DVDs for delivery to customers....More
Sep 30, 2015

Office 365 Groups, transport rules, and network tweaks

It’s been a busy week for many reasons, so I have a few things to report in quick succession....More
Sep 29, 2015

Growing Office 365 numbers make Microsoft's SLA calculation less valuable 2

I recently read a report about Office 365 that contained the following statement: “Despite the rhetoric about stability, reliability, and high availability with cloud services, Office 365 still suffers from periodic downtime. Whether it is due to a patch that hasn’t been fully tested, an overlooked configuration requirement, a component failure, or a networking issue, Office 365 does not provide 100% service availability.”...More
Sep 24, 2015

New APIs make Office 365 monitoring easier

Anyone who has worked with Exchange for any length of time will be aware that Microsoft doesn’t boast an impressive record when it comes to delivering APIs that are both powerful and easy to use. MAPI, the godfather of Exchange APIs, is powerful but only those forced to work with it for a number of years might be coerced into calling it easy to use. Exchange Web Services (EWS), which is used for the Outlook for Mac client, is easier to use, but only if you’re Glen Scales and enjoy figuring out its mysteries....More
Sep 22, 2015

Outlook (Office 365) Groups app appears for mobile devices

At the Ignite conference last May, Microsoft promised to release a mobile app for Office 365 Groups on the Windows Phone, iOS, and Android platforms. Four and a half months later and following a demonstration of the app by Satya Nadella at last week’s SalesForce conference (Groups appear around the 18:00 mark), Microsoft has released the first version....More
Sep 17, 2015

All the Exchange news from IT/DEV Connections 2015

I’m on the way back home after the 2015 IT/DEV Connections conference, which took place this week in the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas. Thankfully, everything seemed to run smoothly and the Enterprise Collaboration track functioned without too many problems. We had to do one quick room switch and Surface Pro 3 and other PCs posed some “interesting” AV challenges to get output to the projectors. HDMI seemed to be a particular problem and the AV team was not impressed that many speakers ran Windows 10 build 10532. Apparently VGA remains the lingua franca for AV guys....More
Sep 15, 2015

Updates lay the foundation for the launch of Exchange 2016 3

Because it’s been a while since Microsoft shipped Exchange 2013 CU9, today’s release of Exchange 2013 CU10 came as no surprise. After all, we have all become accustomed to the quarterly cadence of updates that are required to keep Exchange 2013 servers fully supportable, largely because the last few updates have been easily deployable and high quality....More
Sep 15, 2015

Office 2016 - great for Office 365 but not so good for on-premises customers 1

Microsoft will formally release the new Office 2016 suite of desktop applications on September 22. It is natural to ask whether any compelling reason exists to upgrade when a new release of Office appears. After using beta versions of Office 2016 in production for the last four months, my view is that the new software is solid. I certainly haven’t had problems with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or Outlook....More
Sep 14, 2015

Moving back to Windows Phone 8.1

Last Friday, I gave up on Windows 10 Mobile (build 10512). The new version of the O/S, which is still very much in beta, had been running on my Lumia 1020 for the last month and had become increasingly unstable. Frequent reboots were necessary to restore normal service and performance was so slow at times that I wondered whether Windows 10 Mobile was wading through treacle. Battery life was another issue and the phone behaved like one of those warming bricks used by climbers and hill walkers to keep their digits toasty. I was an unhappy camper....More
Sep 10, 2015

The acceleration of cloud email

As I have noted here before, many reports are generated or sponsored by companies who seek to create a reason why their products should be bought. There’s nothing wrong in making people aware of a need, as long as the need is real and based on hard data, and the information contained in these reports often pose questions that are overlooked by those who are assessing options for their IT strategy. My view is that you read reports that come along and extract whatever seems valuable to you without swallowing everything, hook, line, and sinker....More
Sep 8, 2015

Do other options exist if you don't like Office Delve?

In previous coverage of Office Delve and the functionality that it brings to Office 365 tenants, including how email attachments are surfaced, I could be criticized that I ignored other technology that can deliver the same kind of dissolution of information silos within companies....More
Sep 3, 2015

Father of PowerShell promoted to Microsoft Technical Fellow 3

The news that Jeffrey Snover has been promoted to Technical Fellow, the top of Microsoft’s technical career path, is very welcome. Apart from being a really nice guy with a sometimes doubtful taste in ties, Jeffrey goes out of his way to answer questions on Twitter (@Jsnover)....More
Sep 1, 2015

Basic features in Exchange Online undermine case for third-party backups

We all know about the reports issued by companies that seek to create the need for their product. Various deficiencies are identified that just happen to be filled by the product in question and all is well in the world for those fortunate and erudite customers who seize the opportunity to purchase and deploy the product. This happens all the time with software as marketeers appear to be particularly taken with reports....More
Aug 27, 2015

ESEUTIL - even more evil for DAGs

All of the comments I included in my post “ESEUTIL – the evil utility” apply to both standalone servers and those who are members of a Database Availability Group (DAG). I bet you wouldn’t be surprised if I told you that there’s even more to consider when you contemplate running ESEUTIL against a database that has copies within a DAG....More
Aug 25, 2015

SharePoint’s interesting hybrid cloud search service

Microsoft announced the availability of SharePoint 2016 Preview yesterday. As expected, This Office server is a tad behind its counterparts in the race to the Office 16 Wave launch expected in October and is on course for a Q2 2016 release. You can’t update this preview version to RTM, so it’s very much a kick-the-tires to see what it does kind of release, which is perfectly fine....More
Aug 20, 2015

Removing on-hold items from Exchange and SharePoint: unsupported but doable

The usual reason for placing a mailbox on hold is to retain its contents for some legal or regulatory purpose. However, the situation might arise when it is necessary to remove some items from a mailbox that is on hold. For instance, someone might successfully sue your company to demand the removal of all information pertaining to them or some particular activity. If ordered to permanently remove the material, there is little you can do but comply....More
Aug 19, 2015

Windows 10 Build 10525, PowerShell, and Office 365 7

I’ve been a happy member of the Windows 10 Insider program since the program started and have been quite content to install new builds onto my PCs as Microsoft releases them to the “Fast Ring”. With the notable exceptions of some issues with builds close to RTM that have now been resolved, everything has gone much better than I anticipated....More
Aug 18, 2015

New report slams Office 365 compliance features unfairly 2

Compliance is a pretty big deal for many companies, especially those who operate in regulated industries. Almost every jurisdiction mandates that companies preserve certain records related to their business dealings. Given the widespread use of Exchange and SharePoint for communications, it should come as no surprise that Microsoft has invested heavily in building compliance features to support their use in business operations....More
Aug 13, 2015

Frenetic pace of change continues in Office 365 3

Much as I like Microsoft technology, I sometimes wonder what particular brand of Kool-Aid is distributed to their spokespeople. What, for example, moved them to believe that hyping up the fact that over the past year, Microsoft “released over 450 updates to Office 365” would be an inspiring message to the customers who have to cope with such a  volume of change?...More
Aug 11, 2015

Office 365 numbers growing but report identifies some bad user habits in SharePoint and OneDrive

As someone who frequently writes about Office 365, I receive many communications from PR representatives of various companies who would like to advance the name of their company and increase awareness of their activities. Many of those communications relate to Office 365 and what the company is doing to help manage/control/assist/facilitate the transition to the cloud. It’s part of the publicity game and sometimes interesting information is provided....More
What's Tony Redmond's Exchange Unwashed Blog?

On-premises and cloud-based Microsoft Exchange Server and all the associated technology that runs alongside Microsoft's enterprise messaging server.


Tony Redmond

Tony Redmond is a senior contributing editor for Windows IT Pro. His latest books are Office 365 for Exchange Professionals (eBook, May 2015) and Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Inside Out: Mailbox...
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