Powershell-Tastic!

On the back of some of the work i’ve done implementing Exchange 2007 recently, here are some vaguely useful powershell scripts!..

Change All mailbox Database settings
Having to apply new limits to databases etc can be a bit painful through the GUI. use this script to apply mailbox limits etc
80mb warning limit
100mb send prevention
35 day deleted item retendion
35day deleted mailbox retention

Get-MailboxDatabase -Server set-mailboxdatabase -IssueWarningQuota 80MB -ProhibitSendQuota 100MB -Prohibit SendReceiveQuota unlimited -DeletedItemRetention 35.00:00:00 -MailboxRetention 35.00:00:00 -RetainDeletedItemsUntilBackup:$true

Testing a server

These built in commands test the functionality of Exchange 2007, SCOM uses these for part of the manegement pack i think!

test-systemhealth
is a wrapper for ExBPA through the command shell, a good first point for call for testing

test-mapiconnectivity
tests MAPI access to all mailbox databases on the server

test-owaconnectivity
tests OWA access to a Client Acces Server, either run on a CAS server or specify in the syntax, you may also need to run new-testcasconnectivityuser.ps1 script to create the test account i.e
get-mailboxserver new-testcasconnectivityuser.ps1

test-mailflow
tests mailflow to and from a system mailbox on the server specified

test-servicehealth
A fast way to check the status of Exchange related services

Public Folder replication
There are a number of “builtin” scripts with Exchange 2007 that live in the \scripts folder in the exchange root
some useful ones

AddReplicaToPFRecursive.ps1
adds a server to a list of public folders and to its subfolders, I had some problems with this one, initially getting to to add a whole IPM_SUBTREE seemed a bit impossible. The script requires a top level folder parameter, but wouldn’t accept the root. which is a pain in organisations where they create all folders under the root. You can add folders explicitly, but this is painful if there are a lot!
if you specify “\” as the top level folder it appears to work…
Its a way of saving some effort, but I did find folders where replicas hadn’t been added and no errors reported so I added them manually…

get-publicfolderstatistics
get the list of public folders replicated to the server and theirs stats, useful to see if the list is approximately what it should be!

Public Folders in Exchange 14…

Looks like Ms has done a slight u-turn over public folders,
ever since I’ve known they have been planning to “remove” or “de-emphasise” public folders in the next version of Exchange, they attempted this in Exchange 2007, but demand (and development timescales) meant they reintroduced a lot of the management tools via SP1.
Now via a statement made in passing it looks like they are still planning support!

Public Folders and E14 – The Next Version of Exchange
Just like a certain segment of the blogosphere is concerned about Windows versions and gets excited every time a notice about “Windows 7” (the succeeding product to Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008) comes out of Redmond, I follow, instead the segment that gets excited about E14 – the next release of Exchange Server.
At this point, I would say that we probably know less about E14 than we do about Windows 7!
One of the MAJOR issues that came out of E12 (Exchange Server 2007) was that Microsoft chose to de-emphasize Public Folders. What this means is that they said they would support public folders for E12, but would not guarantee that they would be supported in releases after E12, nor would additional feature content be added to Public Folders.
Microsoft’s stated direction for public folders is the SharePoint product suite. Which, while it does a GREAT job at some things (document libraries come to mind) does poorly at other things (threaded conversations) and does not do some things at all (replication of content to many sites).
Well, in a conversation today it came out that Microsoft will support public folders in E14. Many of us were shocked, surprised, and very happy! The Microsofties in the conversation were surprised that we were surprised – they said that they had told us this ‘way back in 2006! They pointed to
this blog post by Scott Schnoll from June of 2006.
Well, now we know! I’m sure we’ll hear more about this Real Soon Now ™. 🙂

Risk free Linux

Thanks to Mark Blake for bringing this to my attention:

The latest beta version of Ubuntu 8.04 has a new version of Wubi an application that allows you to install Ubuntu under Windows as a disk image to which you can boot, no partitioning needed.

How Safe is VMware’s Hypervisor?

VMware researcher Oded Horovitz got an earful when he told a group of security buffs his company’s virtualization software was theoretically impenetrable. Speaking at the CanSecWest conference in Vancouver, his hour-long presentation, titled Virtually Secure, included a slide titled “VM Escape” that carried the following bullet point:

“Though impossible by design, the hypervisor can still have implementation vulnerabilities.”

It was more than some attendees could bear.

To learn more and to read the entire article please refer to the rest of the article at its source: How safe is VMware’s hypervisor?

VMware Certified Design Expert

The VMware Certified Design Engineer certification will be available later this year. The certification involved taking several courses and exams, including:

  • Courses
    Install and Configure
    DSA
    Design course (currently under development)
  • Exam
    VCP on VI3
    Enterprise Exam (currently in private beta)
    Design Exam (currently under development)

Once all of this has been completed the candidate must present a defensible design to a panel of VMware Solution Architects for consideration. As you may guess, this is a certification specifically targeted for VMware partners that will be assisting VMware in design and deployment and is only intended for a relatively small audience. That being said, the Enterprise Exam, which has a number of live lab style questions, should be available to the public in the next few months and may become part of a mid-line certification between VCP on VI3 and VCDX. That is also under consideration.

Virtually everything is POSHable