May 1, 2007

In this Issue:

  • Perspective: Exchange 2007 Rolls Forward
  • New on the Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP Forum
  • April 2007 Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP Articles in PDF
  • Coming this Month

Perspective: Exchange 2007 Rolls Forward

No sooner has the first round of Exchange Server 2007 migrations begun than the first Exchange 2007 service pack is on the horizon. Last month, Microsoft released Exchange 2007 SP1 Beta 1 to TechNet Plus subscribers and is planning for a final SP1 release the same time as Longhorn Server, in the second half of this year. SP1 is a feature release that adds some key capabilities missing in the original Exchange 2007 RTM. Check out Paul Robichaux’s article “What to Expect from Exchange 2007 SP1,” for a recap of Exchange 2007 SP1’s highlights. Possibly the most welcome of these for Exchange admins is the ability to import and export to a PST through the Move-Mailbox cmdlet. With the timing of the SP1 release, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear of a wave of Exchange 2007 migrations from around September onward.

Your Exchange 2007 Info Source

We’ve started the year with plenty of Exchange 2007 coverage, and I plan to continue that. I’ve seen and heard conversations on blogs, reader feedback, and comments from attendees at last November’s Connections conference expressing the FUD that Exchange folks have about Exchange Management Shell (the Windows PowerShell extension for Exchange 2007). You need information to help you understand and get used to the shell, and Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP will give you plenty of it—starting with the first article in Tony Redmond’s ongoing PowerShell series for Exchange administrators. Every month, we’ll have at least one article that will provide some helpful information about using PowerShell commands to perform Exchange administration tasks. This month, Wes Lazara talks how he used cmdlets in his article, “My Exchange Server 2007 Migration Story,” live on the Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP site May 22. I’ve also started a post on the Windows IT Pro Industry Bytes blog, A Reader’s Exchange 2007 Migration: As It Happens, which Pro VIP subscribers can access, reporting on the progress of reader Christopher Wallick’s Exchange 2007 migration. Christopher has been keeping me updated, and I think you’ll be interested in his detailed reports.

Reader Feedback on Last Month’s Perspective

Last month, I asked whether you thought Exchange administration was getting too complex. I heard back from a few readers on this topic. Blake Whitney, who manages a 2,000-plus-mailbox Exchange organization at a college, says that he’d like to see better ways to automate tasks such as distribution list (DL) membership. “I’m not sure I’d say Exchange management has become too complex, but I would say that managing group membership and account properties should be very easy to do via the Web and/or a Windows application.... Programming mixed with Exchange 2003/2007 is simply not easy to do. Sure in Exchange 2007 you can see the PowerShell code from the tasks you do in the GUI, but finding a way to automate this via a .NET program or Web interface is simply not, well, simple. And I think it should be.” Blake’s comments gave me the idea to add an Exchange Task Automation and Scripting discussion area to the Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP forum, where you can share your questions and solutions (ideas and code) about ways to automate Exchange tasks. Those of you who have already ventured into using Exchange Management Shell, I encourage you to start posting PowerShell scripts or commands you’ve created in this forum.

Another reader, Holly Smith, an eight-year Exchange administrator, says she doesn’t think Exchange administration is getting more complex. “I do think that one challenge that has become increasingly difficult to overcome is the problem of spam,” she says. “We have had to invest a significant amount of time and money just to reduce the UCE influx to an acceptable level, using two different products.” Holly also says that she’s had trouble finding information to help her troubleshoot mobile email-access issues. We’ve got an article in the works on that topic now; look for it in the August-September timeframe.

Stuff You Might Have Missed

Also on the Industry Bytes blog is Tony Redmond’s Exchange 2007 Scorecard, in which he compares various features in Exchange 2007 and Exchange Server 2003 and grades them. The scorecard is part of Windows IT Pro Executive Editor Amy Eisenberg’s report on the April’s Windows and Exchange Connections conference.

Finally, you can vote for your favorite Exchange management product in Windows IT Pro’s Community Choice awards. To vote, you need to be a registered forum member; registration is free (click the blue Register button at the top right of the page.) We’ll publish the Community Choice winners in the August issue of Windows IT Pro.

Have a great month!

Anne Grubb, Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP Editor

New on the Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP Forum

Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP member nate@ppsci.com has a remote Outlook 2003 SP2 client that has intermittent problems retrieving data from the Exchange server over a VPN. Nate says, “His Outlook is set up with a MAPI profile that does not use cached mode. Outlook performs normally at all times except when he is not using the client for several hours. Upon sending the first message, Outlook hangs for several seconds....” Read the rest of the post on the Outlook 2003/Legacy Outlook forum and see whether you can help Nate clear up the problem.

April 2007 Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP Articles in PDF

If you're someone who prefers your newsletters in printed form, check out this .pdf. It contains all the scheduled feature articles posted on the Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP Web site in April. Print and enjoy!

Coming this Month

“High Availability Out of the Box,” by Paul Robichaux
A strong set of new features in Exchange Server 2007 can help you achieve your high-availability goals. You can add redundancy through multiple server roles, and new clustering techniques such as LCR and CCR add automatic replication.

"Troubleshooting DNS Problems in an Exchange Environment," by Sekou Page
Use this systematic approach to identify and resolve DNS connectivity and performance problems that can undermine your Microsoft Exchange Server network.
Coming May 8.

“Getting Ready for Unified Communications,” by Tony Piltzecker
Microsoft Exchange Server plays a key role in Microsoft’s unified communications (UC) strategy, so the more you know about UC, the better. Learn how Live Communications Server 2005’s Exchange and Office integration support a UC solution.
Coming May 15.

“My Exchange Server 2007 Migration Story,” by Wes Lazara
An Exchange professional migrates his company’s Exchange 2003 server to Exchange Server 2007 and learns about Windows PowerShell cmdlets along the way.
Coming May 22.

Share Your Exchange Experiences

As a messaging administrator, meeting technical problems head-on is a regular part of your job. Share your Exchange and Outlook discoveries, comments, solutions to problems, and experiences with messaging-related products with your fellow Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP readers. Email your written solutions to r2r@exchangeprovip.com. Please include your full name and phone number. We edit submissions for style, grammar, and length. If we publish your submission, you'll get $100.