Tony Redmond's Exchange Unwashed Blog

Jun 3, 2014

The cyborgs are coming or how Microsoft "Clutter" will help you to do a better job of processing email 2

I’m a big fan of machine learning. That is, if it helps users work smarter. A long time ago (1988), I worked on an artificial intelligence project to develop the first set of rules to automatically process messages as they arrived into user inboxes. That work was on VAX/VMS systems running ALL-IN-1 with a LISP program running in the background to interpret new messages as they arrived. The project eventually resulted in U.S. and European patents....More
May 29, 2014

Learning about DLP in SharePoint Online - a most unusual activity for an Exchange person

The fact that Microsoft has posted 469 recordings on their Channel 9 site from the recent TechEd North America event is a wonderful thing. I don’t particularly care for the scale of TechEd and the chance to go back for a conference so soon after MEC (sessions from that event are also online) seemed like overkill, so I didn’t make the journey to Houston....More
May 27, 2014

Exchange 2013 CU5 - the totally unremarkable update (in a good way) 2

Microsoft has just released Exchange 2013 CU5. It seems like this is the first version that is what you'd expect a cumulative update to be. No new features, just improving the fit and finish of the server, fixing some bugs, and polishing Exchange up slightly. What a relief to have an update that works first time and improves the quality of the product....More
May 22, 2014

How new stuff is introduced through Office 365 Change Management

The detail involved in running Office 365 is fascinating, at least for nerds like me. I guess that must be why I enjoyed the “Running Exchange Online” session at MEC so much....More
May 20, 2014

Microsoft pulling back on some MEC commitments and a rather delicious rumour 2

Listening to last week’s edition (#362) of the “Windows Weekly” (featuring Paul Thurrott and Mary-Jo Foley) broadcast, I was intrigued by the rumor that Microsoft will make a trial version of the next major version of on-premises Exchange at TechEd EMEA in Barcelona (October 28-31)....More
May 15, 2014

The case of the apparent log roll

“Log roll” is a technique used in Exchange 2007 CCR/SCR clusters to force replication between cluster members at times when not much activity is occurring on the servers. When servers are busy, log replication happens regularly as transactions fill the 1MB logs and force Exchange to close off the active log, create new logs, and replicate. It’s a virtuous cycle....More
May 13, 2014

If Gmail had a reasonable client (like Outlook) 2

I don’t know who Microsoft invites to attend their regular “Plugfest” events when they discuss protocols and interoperability with Microsoft products, but I hazard a guess that not many invitations wing their way to the Googleplex in Mountain View. This thought came into my mind when I considered why Gmail still struggles to break into many corporate environments....More
May 8, 2014

The irritation of mailbox database pings and event 6002

Continuing a campaign to rid Exchange of annoying and silly details (like the error message discussed recently), my next target is event 6002, which is logged on an ongoing and continuous basis by “MS Exchange Mid-Tier Storage” (whatever that is)....More
May 6, 2014

Why you absolutely cannot upgrade Windows on an Exchange server

In September 2012, just before the RTM version of Exchange 2013 shipped, I wrote about choosing between Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 2012 as the operating system for Exchange 2013 deployments. At that time I concluded that an equal case could be made for either version of Windows, but that it made sense to select the more modern version because it would last for the supported lifetime of Exchange 2013. As we’ve seen with Exchange 2003, that could be a decade or more....More
May 1, 2014

Strong speaker line-up for Exchange Connections 2014

We are very fortunate that a great group of industry experts submitted session proposals for Exchange Connections 2014, which takes place at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas on September 15-19. All the reports I hear indicate that the Aria offers much superior conference facilities to the Mandalay Bay, which has been the home of Connections for a decade and I'm looking forward to seeing what a modern top-of-the-range facility delivers....More
Apr 29, 2014

Exchange 2013 is a resource hog - no surprise there 6

Each time a new version Exchange appears, we have a debate about the escalating hardware requirements. Everyone gets very upset that the new software demands more memory, more CPU, more disk, and possibly more knowledge on the part of those who work with the product. The same cycle of realization, debate, and condemnation (of Microsoft, because their software costs so much money to deploy) has happened since Exchange 4.0 appeared in 1996....More
Apr 24, 2014

Why installing a multirole Exchange 2013 server is the best option 1

Many years ago, Microsoft came down from the mount and proclaimed the goodness of individual server roles....More
Apr 22, 2014

Value simplicity above complexity in Exchange designs, deployments, and operations 2

One of the subtle but persistent topics taken up by many Microsoft speakers at the recent Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC) was the need to eliminate complexity in implementation. Clearly a feeling exists within the denizens of Redmond that customers get their Exchange deployments wrong too often because they insist on over-complicating matters. There’s probably a fair degree of truth here as IT designers, administrators, and consultants do love to engineer complexity into solutions....More
Apr 17, 2014

Best practice evolves as knowledge transfers from Office 365 to on-premises Exchange

 If you attended the recent Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC) in Austin with a focus on some of the high availability sessions, you might have come away with two clear changes to what has been well-accepted best practice up to now. Of course, best practice is never static as it flexes and evolves in light of experience and changes in software and hardware, so it’s hardly surprising that the first Exchange conference in eighteen months might challenge some established ideas....More
Apr 15, 2014

DAG or server: A database's got to be owned somewhere

The bug reported by Paul Cunningham in his article “Exchange Server 2013 Error: An Inconsistency in the Active Directory Was Detected” describes a scenario when an attempt is made to create a new mailbox database only for Exchange to report an inconsistency in Active Directory. The error text indicates that MsExchMasterServerOrAvailabilityGroup property for the new database was invalid....More
Apr 11, 2014

Cherish old Exchange databases to avoid the pesky DatabaseGuidNotFound error

Since Microsoft released Exchange 2013 SP1 on February 25, a number of similar errors have been reported in different forums, all of which have the following characteristics: ·         User mailboxes are moved from Exchange 2007 or Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2013 SP1 databases. ·         The old databases are removed from the organization....More
Apr 10, 2014

Being open about Office 365 operations drives credibility of "the service" 2

I have used Office 365 since its launch in June 2011 and followed its development closely since. After two initial hiccups in August and September 2011, both seemingly rooted in manual intervention, the service has delivered an impressive record of reliability and availability. Despite this, some in the industry are still wary of moving utility applications such as email to the cloud....More
Apr 8, 2014

Office 365 transitions to Microsoft's own Message Encryption Technology

Office 365 customers who use Microsoft's Exchange Hosted Encryption (EHE) service are about to be upgraded to Office 365 Message Encryption. Microsoft is doing a lot of the upgrade work in the background and the switch-over should be pretty painless....More
Apr 3, 2014

Microsoft Exchange Conference 2014 finishes on a high 3

The Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC) in Austin came to its natural end on Wednesday evening when sessions halted at 6PM. Some technical conferences go on a little too long and become an endurance course. I don’t think this happened at MEC because three days seemed to be the right length for attendees to be updated on the latest developments in the world of Exchange....More
Apr 2, 2014

Day 2 of MEC delivers great sessions, great content 1

The second day at the Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC) in Austin was possibly the best day of sessions and content that I have ever experienced at a Microsoft technical conference. That’s not a statement that I make easily, so let me explain my day and why I think it was so good....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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