Tuesday, November 25, 2008

System Mailbox in exchange server 2003:

This article gives you the functionality of the built in system mailbox that present in the mailbox store. Every private information store in Exchange Server 2003, has 3 system mailbox by default.

The following are the three different system mailboxes are:

•System Attendant Mailbox
•SMTP Mailbox

System Mailbox {GUID}:

•Contains two parts to each System mailbox – the mailbox itself with its content in the corresponding information store and an associated directory object located in MESO (Microsoft Exchange System Object) folder in AD.
•GUID is related to the objectGUID i.e., to the system mailbox. The objectGUID of the mailbox store with which the system mailbox is associated.
•Whenever we mount the store, it checks for the availability of the systemmailbox{GUID}. If not it looks in the MESO directory for the same.
•Each MDB has its own GUID associated with a particular instance of SystemMailbox{guid}.
•Faulty functioning SystemMailbox{guid} then, there’s a very good chance EXOLEDB event sinks will not function.
•It will occupy some reasonable amt of space for storing the schema definitions.

System Attendant Mailbox:

•Each Exchange 200x server has one (and hopefully only one) System Attendant mailbox
•The System Attendant Mailbox contains the folder SpecialPrivateFolderForFreeBusyStorage, for Free/Busy information for Microsoft Outlook and CDO Applications (Collaboration Data Objects) which will be temporarily stored in MSExchangeFBPublish.
•The System Attendant Mailbox will also be used to send and receive Exchange monitoring messages for the Link Monitoring Service. You can find this function in the Exchange System Manager under Tools – Monitoring and Status.
•System Attendant mailbox is also required to be available during mailbox moves. For instance, if you have the mailbox store containing the System Attendant mailbox dismounted during a mailbox move, the move will fail.
•There are two parts to make up the complete System Attendant mailbox: a directory object and a mailbox object.
•Faulty system attendant mailbox, results in OWA-generated Free/Busy information not getting updated and also mailbox moves fail.

SMTP Mailbox

•The SMTP mailbox will be generated when the private information store is created and mounted.
•SMTP (servername-{guid}) mailbox is used by the mail transport of Exchange 200x as a temporary holding place for various messages as they pass through the system. In other words, every private mailbox store contains an SMTP mailbox to store temporary messages.
•For eg, The folders MTS-IN and MTS-OUT are used by Exchange Deployment Kit (EDK) connectors to transfer messages between the MTA (Microsoft Exchange Transport Agent) and the Exchange Server information store (store.exe). They are also used for X400 connectors, Exchange site connectors, and fax connectors.
•Faulty SMTP mailbox, results in failure in delivery into the store

Logging into system mailbox:

Logging into the system mailbox is not recommended, but still we can open the mailbox using the MFCMAPI.

Please revert if you have any questions.




Microsoft Exchange System Attendant:

This article explains the characteristic features of the Microsoft exchange system attendant services. The Microsoft Exchange System Attendant service is primarily a collection of subcomponents that work together to proxy Active Directory requests and to regulate internal Exchange Server functions.

1.It is exchange related services. It is critical for exchange server’s performance and many exchange related services will not work.
2.You cannot mount the database unless the exchange system attendant service is running.
3.It facilitates AD communications to enforce the retention policies and mailbox quotas.
4.Main executable file is the MAD.EXE, located in Program Files\Exchsrvr\Bin folder and most of the subcomponents exist as .DLL files.

The following are the components of the System Attendant services.

DSACCESS Component:

1.DSACCESS.dll is used to prevent exchange server from flooding your exchange server with excessive requests.
2. In detail, When exchange server component such as exchange store or SMTP Transport engine needs to get the receipient information from AD, the query is routed through the DSACCESS component. Generally it acts as a proxy for these AD request. The recent request are stored in the cache to avoid the repetitive queries.

DSProxy Component:

1.DSProxy.dll acts as a proxy for AD queries coming from outlook clients.
2.In detail, when client running outlook 2000 or later, refers the GC for processing the AD query (such as a request to retrieve the GAL) in direct. Whereas the client older the outlook client 2000, will acts as a true proxy for communicating the GC, so DSProxy performs he operation on behalf of the client.
3.DSACCESS performs differently, DSACCESS proxies AD request coming from the other exchange component.

RUS – Recipeint Update Service:

1.Abv_dg.DLL is the core file for the RUS.
2.It is used for applying recipient policies to mail-enabled user objects.

Mailbox Manager Component:

The Mailbox Manager's job is to enforce policies that help to control the size of an information store, including mailbox quotas and message retention policies.

Server Monitor Component:

1.It is primarily used to keep exchange server’s link state information up to date.
2.The link state information is used to calculate the optimal path to various destinations within the exchange organization. Metrics like costs, availability and hop counts are taken into account.
3.It is responsible for monitoring server resources using WMI Windows Management Instrumentation.
4.It is also responsible for managing message tracking logs (if the message tracking is enabled).

Offline Address Book Generator:

1.The idea behind OAB generator (OABgen.dll) is for mobile users to access the address book, even is the users are offline.
2.So the offline users rely on the OAB instead of GAL.
3.The OABgen.dll file is stored in an Exchange public folder subfolder called Offline Address Book. This folder contains two subfolder: OAB Version2 and OAB Version 3a.

Free/busy Component:

1.The free/busy (madfb.dll) component is responsible for publishing the free busy information.
2.In detail, free busy information of other attendee is required for scheduling meeting. So the source user needs the free busy data of the target attendee’s calendar. Since user don’t generally have access to other user’s mailbox. Like OAB, the free/busy(madfb.dll) component is stored in a subfolder of the system public folder named SCHEDULE + FREE BUSY.
3.When a user creates an appointment or meeting, the exchange store sends the corresponding free/busy information to the exchange system attendant mailbox. The madfb.dll extracts the free busy data from the message and publishes it in the SCHEDULE + FREE BUSY folder.

Metabase Update Service:

1.Metabase Update Service (ds2mb.dll) is closely related to the IIS.
2.IIS metabase is the core file for IIS. Given that, exchange is dependent on IIS, exchange is also dependent on the IIS metabase.
3.IIS metabase exists in the form of an XML file named Metabase.xml, also stores as binary file called Metabase.bin (located in System root\system32\inetsrv) and the corresponding schema file called MBSchema.xml.
4.Some Exchange configuration information related to SMTP Virtual servers, the HTTP configuration of OWA and few others are stored in AD, but are needed by IIS. This is where the Metabase Update Service comes into play. This service replicates protocol related exchange server configuration information from the AD to the IIS metabase.

Hope the above is informative. Please ping me if you have any questions.




Finding the mailboxes homed in particular mailbox store:

This article explains the different type of methods to find the mailbox homed in particular mailbox store. In simple words, the methods used for querying the mailbox based on the mailbox store information.
When you try to delete a mailbox store from a server that is running Exchange 2000 or Exchange 2003, you may receive the following error message:
“One or more users currently use this mailbox store. These users must be moved to a different mailbox store or be mail disabled before deleting this store.
ID no: c1034a7f
Exchange System Manager”.

In that, we need to find the mailboxes that are homed in that particular mailbox store. The following are the different types of method to find that respective mailboxes.

Method 1: Use the LDP tool (Ldp.exe) to browse for mailboxes that are on a mailbox store

You can use the LDP tool to find all the accounts that have mailboxes on a particular mailbox store. This tool is included with the Microsoft Windows 2000 Support Tools package.

To use the LDP tool to find all the accounts that have mailboxes on a particular mailbox store, follow these steps:
1.Start Ldp.exe.
2.Click Connection, and then click Connect.
3.Enter the name of a domain controller, and then click OK.We recommend that you enter a domain controller in the root domain of the forest.
4.Click Connection, and then click Bind.
5.Enter the user name, the password, and the domain name of an administrative account, and then click OK.
6.On the View menu, click Search.
7.Click to select the "DC=domainname,DC=local" by Base DN check box.
8.Click the Filter box, and then type the following text:
msExchHomeServerName=Exchange virtual server name
9.Click Subtree, and then click Run.
10.Identify the users who have mailboxes on this store. Then, use the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in to move the mailboxes to a different store or to delete the mailboxes.

Method 2: Use the LDP tool to search for mailboxes that are on a mailbox store

1.Start Ldp.exe.
2.Click Connection, and then click Connect.
3.Enter the name of a domain controller, and then click OK.
4.Click Connection, and then click Bind.
5.Enter the user name, the password, and the domain name of an administrative account, and then click OK.
6.On the View menu, click Tree.
7.Make sure that the Base DN box is blank, and then click OK.If the Base DN box is not blank, clear its contents, and then click OK.
8.Right-click the container that you want to search, such as the CN=Users container, and then click OK.
9.Click the Filter box, and then type the following:
(&(objectCategory=person)(objectClass=user)(msExchHomeServerName=/o=ORGANIZATION NAME/ou=ADMINISTRATIVE GROUP NAME/cn=Configuration/cn=Servers/cn=SERVER-NAME-TO-REMOVE))
10.Click Subtree, and then click Run.
11.When you have identified which users have mailboxes on this store, you can use Active Directory Users and Computers either to move the mailboxes to a different store or to delete the user's mailbox.

Method 3: Use Active Directory Users and Computers to browse for mailboxes that are on a mailbox store

1.Start Active Directory Users and Computers on a computer that has Exchange System Manager installed on it.
2.In Active Directory Users and Computers, click View, click to select the Advanced Features check box, and then click OK.
3.Click View, and then click Choose Columns.
4.In the Modify Columns box, click Exchange Mailbox Store in the Hidden Columns list, click Add, and then click OK to add the Exchange Mailbox Store to the Displayed Columns list.An Exchange Mailbox Store column appears in Active Directory Users and Computers that shows the mailbox store that a user has a mailbox on.
5.When you have identified which users have mailboxes on this store, you can use Active Directory Users and Computers either to move the mailboxes to a different store or to delete the user's mailbox.

Method 4: Use Active Directory Users and Computers to search for mailboxes that are on a mailbox store

1.Start Active Directory Users and Computers.
2.Right-click the domain that you want, and then click Find.
3.Click the Advanced tab, click Field, point to User, and then click Exchange Home Server.
4.In the Condition list, click Ends with, type the name of your Exchange computer, and then click Find Now.
5.If you are prompted to add the current criteria to your search, click Yes.
6.When you have identified which users have mailboxes on this store, you can use Active Directory Users and Computers either to move the mailboxes to a different store or to delete the user's mailbox.
The mailbox search results appear in the lower pane.

Method 5: Use the LDIFDE tool (Ldifde.exe) to create an export file that contains the mailboxes that are on a mailbox store

1.At a command prompt, type an LDIFDE command that is similar to the following. Then press ENTER.
ldifde -d "DC=ROOT,DC=COM" -f c:\output.txt -r "(&(objectCategory=person)(objectClass=user)(msExchHomeServerName=/o=ORGANIZATION NAME/ou=ADMINISTRATIVE GROUP NAME/cn=Configuration/cn=Servers/cn=SERVER-NAME-TO-REMOVE))"
2.Quit the command prompt.
3.Start Notepad or some other text editor, and then load the Output.txt file that you created in step 1 to view the mailboxes that are on the mailbox store.
4.When you have identified which users have mailboxes on this store, you can use Active Directory Users and Computers either to move the mailboxes to a different store or to delete the user's mailbox.




Sunday, July 13, 2008

Outlook Web Access – OWA in Exchange 2007:

In this article, we are going to discuss all the new features that are available in the exchange 2007 OWA and also related configuration. The OWA is handy for many users in accessing their email when compared to the outlook client when they are out of their organization, probably when they are travelling different places. They will be able to access their email with ease even though they don’t have the laptop.

Key new OWA features:

1.Web ready documents allow opening office docs.
2.Email headers view.
3.Customizable toolbars.
4.Out of Office configuration.
5.Deleted Item recovery.
6.Instant language options.
7.Cleaner Calendar reminders.
8.Multiple calendars and drag gable appointments.
9.Mobile device configuration options.
10.Change password interface.
11.Open other’s mailbox within OWA.

Light vs. Premium Client

Light Version:
1.For non-IE browsers.
2.For slow connections.
3.For older systems.
4.Most secure/best for kiosks
5.Contains basic access to all resource types.

Full Version:
1.More feature-rich.
2.Deeper interaction with mailbox content.
3.Drag and drop.
4.Access to file servers and SharePoint.




Sunday, July 6, 2008

Address List:

In this article, we are going to discuss about the functions of the address list in exchange server 2007 version. In simple words, address list contains the classified details of the contact address (user’s email address, mail contacts, public folder email address, distribution email address, etc). The address lists are built to make lookups more useable than the basic Global Address List. The Global Address list contains all the address in the exchange directory (in short contains all mail enabled objects), and by default this is available in all email clients. This pre-canned address book will suffice for small-midsized businesses. The custom address list can be created as per your company needs.

Global Address List:

1. A list from the AD with all mail-enabled containers in it.
2. By default, it is provided to every user within Outlook and OWA.
3. Additional GALs can be created for hosting environments that need isolation.

Offline Address Book:

1. Allow users to get AD info while offline.
2. It is available to both internal and external users.
3. Are distributed via web-site and via Public folder.

Dynamic Distribution Group:

1. Groups can be built based on AD properties like Department, State or Company.
2. Dynamic security group is not feasible; one dynamic distribution group is possible. For example, Suppose I need to create a group on the basis of company name and city location (custom attribute1). The above can be done by creating the dynamic distribution group. Any new addition which matches the above condition will be automatically added to the distribution group, that’s the reason why it s called as Dynamic.
3. Especially useful for location-specific communications.
4. Can’t be used as security groups.
5. Create them in the Group sub-node of the Recipient node.
6. Non-wizard filtering criteria can be used if you use the New-DynamicDistributionGroup cmdlet.
#New-DynamicDistributionGroup –Name “Groupname” –Alias “ABC_Company” –IncludedRecipeints “MailboxUsers,MailContacts” – OrganizationalUnit “Domain.com/Users” –ConditionalCompany “Domain”

Best Practice:

1.Address List:

a. Don’t create any unless you really need them, and then keep it simple.
b. Make list names clearly descriptive of contents.

2.Global Address List:

a. Stick with the default one if at all possible.
b. Create new ones only for client based isolation.

3.Dynamic Distribution List:

a. Make use of this group.
b. Don’t forget about the value of the non-wizard Dynamic lists.

Hope the above is informative.

Please feel free to contact me for any questions.


91-98414 99143.

Public folder in the exchange server 2007:

In Simple words, the Public folder is just like a general forum which is used for posting mails, documents and other common information. Actually, usage of public folder has been overcome by SharePoint portal services. Exchange server 2007 is de-emphasized i.e., there is no change or improvement in the public folder architecture in the 2007 version. Microsoft no more support public folders. This article explains the working of the public folders in the exchange 2007 server.

Public folder function:

  1. Public folder data is kept in the public folder database.
  2. Multiple replicas of a public folder can be maintained on separate servers.
  3. Any sort of folder data can be kept in a public folder.
  4. Public folders can be given their own email address.
  5. You can configure Send-as permission on a public folder.

Public folder Creation:

In the EMC, go to toolbox PFMC – Public folder management console.

#New-Publicfolder –name TESTPUBLICFOLDER –path ‘\’ –server ‘servername’

Assigning PF Permission and PF Email address:

1.Setting Permission can be done from Outlook or the EMS.

2.There are two ways to give admin permission via EMS:

a.Add-PublicFolderadministratorPermission - Per-PF.
b.Add-ExchangeAdministrator - General Admin rights, including to PF root.

3.The easiest way is to use Add-PublicFolderClientPermission to assign ownership

#Add-PublicFolderClientPermission –Identity \TESTPUBLICFOLDER –User USERALIASNAME –AccessRights FolderOwner

4.Check permission of the PF using the Outlook or in EMS with

Set perms with Add/Remove/Set-PublicFolderClientPermission

#Get-PublicFolderClientPermission \TESTPUBLICFOLDER list

5.You can use either the EMC or the EMS to mail-enable a public folder.
#Enable-MailPublicFolder \TESTPUBLICFOLDER

6.Check whether a PF is mail-enabled

#Get-PublicFolder list mailenabled

7.Send-As Permission can be done in the console.

Hope the above is informative.

Please feel free to contact me for any questions.




91-98414 99143.

Best Practices for FSMO role placement:

In an Active Directory environment, some of your domain controllers (DCs) must be assigned certain special roles for your network to function properly. These special roles are called flexible single master operations (FSMO) roles, and DCs that hold such roles are called FSMO role holders. If you don't assign these roles properly, bad things can happen, so the focus of this article is on rules for proper placement of FSMO roles on AD-based networks. But before we proceed, please refer my blog session on FSMO roles.

Symptoms of FSMO Problems:

If one or more of your FSMO role holders has problems, bad things can happen. To help you troubleshoot such situations, the table below describes some of the symptoms that can occur when FSMO role holders go missing or don't work properly.


  1. PDC Emulator
    1. Users can't log on - If system clocks become unsynchronized, Kerberos may fail.
    2. Can't change passwords - Password changes need this role holder.
    3. Account lockout not working - Account lockout enforcement needs this role holder.
    4. Can't raise the functional level for a domain - This role holder must be available when the raising the domain functional level.
  2. RID Master
    1. Can't create new users or groups - RID pool has been depleted.
  3. Infrastructure Master
    1. Problems with universal group memberships - Cross-domain object references need this role holder.
  4. Domain Naming Master
    1. Can't add or remove a domain - Changes to the namespace need this role holder.
    2. Can't promote or demote a DC - Changes to the namespace need this role holder.
  5. Schema Master
    1. Can't modify the schema - Changes to the schema need this role holder.
    2. Can't raise the functional level for the forest - This role holder must be available when the raising the forest functional level.

Rules for FSMO Role Placement

Since FSMO roles are crucial for the proper functioning of an AD-based network, it's a good idea to get them right from the planning stage of your deployment. By default, when you install the first DC of your forest root domain, this first DC holds all five FSMO roles. When you install the first DC of any other domain in your forest, that DC will hold all three domain FSMO roles (PDC Emulator, RID Master, and Infrastructure Master). Depending on the complexity of your network, this FSMO role must be placed.

Rule 1: The PDC Emulator and RID Master roles should be on the same machine because the PDC Emulator is a large consumer of RIDs.

Tip: Since the PDC Emulator is the role that does the most work by far of any FSMO role, if the machine holding the PDC Emulator role is heavily utilized then move this role and the RID Master role to a different DC, preferable not a global catalog server (GC) since those are often heavily used also.

Rule 2: The Infrastructure Master should not be placed on a GC.

Tip: Make sure the Infrastructure Master has a GC in the same site as a direct replication partner.

Exception 1: It's OK to put the Infrastructure Master on a GC if your forest has only one domain.

Exception 2: It's OK to put the Infrastructure Master on a GC if every DC in your forest has the GC.

Rule 3: For simpler management, the Schema Master and Domain Naming Master can be on the same machine, which should also be a GC.

Exception: If you've raised your forest functional level to Windows Server 2003, the Domain Naming Master doesn't need to be on a GC, but it should at least be a direct replication partner with a GC in the same site.

Rule 4: Proactively check from time to time to confirm that all FSMO roles are available or write a script to do this automatically.

Tip: If any FSMO role holders at a remote site are unavailable, check first to see if your WAN link is down.

Hope the above is informative.

Please feel free to contact me for any questions.




91-98414 99143.

Exchange 2007 Database

This article explains the architecture of the exchange 2007 database and also about its new feature when compared to the previous versions. As we aware exchange 2003 database uses the .edb (rich text file) and .stm files(streaming file). For more details please refer my blog session. In simple words, the rich text file holds the actual messages, the rich text information and the Message Application programming (MAPI) information. The streaming file holds non-MAPI information like MIME contents. There is no more .stm file, all stored in .edb file.

How Exchange stores data:

Database built on a heavily extended version of JET. The JET Database is an old and simple database type which is used for all mail storage in the exchange 2007. Why Microsoft relying on the JET still?, it’s a bit interesting stuff. Microsoft doesn’t want to change the database from JET to SQL database because already in exchange 2007 has enough changes like 64 bit architecture and many other new improved features. Single Instance Storage (SIS) provides large disk space saving. SIS is nothing but, when you send 1 MB attachment mail for 10 users, actually only one copy (1 MB of file) is stored in the DB. Databases use transaction logs (and memory) to initially store data. The mail flow exist as below

All incoming mails à transaction log à Database

Transaction log is like heart beat of the database. All the message routing is logged in a file before getting into the database (edb file) is called the transaction log. The analogy behind this transaction log is used for the restoring the recent data of the database in times of disaster. After successful backup, the committed logs are removed in order to avoid the disk space accumulation. So the last full backup copy plus the uncommitted transaction log will reproduce the recent copy of the database.

Storage Capacity:

In exchange, the maximum storage limit for a database is restricted to certain level, whereas in exchange 2007, it is unlimited theoretically. Please find the difference b/w the standard and enterprise edition in terms of the storage capacity.

In Standard edition:Storage group – up to 5,Database per SG – up to 5,Database limit – 16 TB.
Enterprise edition: Storage group – up to 50,Database per SG – up to 50,Database limit – 16 TB.

The above are the storage limits of the databases, but there are some size caps. The size caps are nothing but artificial size limit set at the registry level. For example for standard edition, there is artificial 50 GB cap on database sizes (for SP1 = 150 GB). This can be increased as per your wish and need, by just creating some entry in the registry as below.


In the above location just add a new DWORD value “Database Size Limit in GB” and set the decimal value as 200 (in this case increasing the size limit to 200 GB). In addition, the default mailbox size limit is 2 GB (can be changed).

Difference b/w exchange 2007 database and the previous version:

The following the differences between the exchange 2007 database and the exchange database of older version.

  1. The name of the store has been changed to Database.
  2. There is no more .stm file anymore. All data is in the .edb file.
  3. Transaction logs have shrunk from 5 MB to 1 MB.
  4. Transaction log numbering limits have been expanded from a million to 4 billion.
  5. Lost Log Resilience keeps last several log files in memory.

Relationship b/w Storage groups and Database:

  1. Storage groups are virtual containers for databases.
  2. They can hold up to five databases each.
  3. Transaction logs are handled at the storage group level.
  4. LCR – Local Continuous Replication - is a new feature of exchange 2007 will enables us to have a copy of the database in some other location. LCR can be used only if you use single database per storage group.

Guidelines for Best practices:

  1. Try 1:1 model for storage groups and databases.
  2. Isolate DB and transaction logs on separate disk for redundancy purpose.
  3. Leave Circular logging disabled.
  4. Perform regular Full backups.
  5. Check the available disk space for the transaction logs because it increases in faster rate and occupies plenty spaces.
  6. If you have multiple DB’s, set maintenance schedules so they don’t conflict each other.
  7. If it is 1:1 model, make use of LCR-Local Continuous Replication option.
  8. Don’t forget about the artificial size cap.

Hope the above is informative.

Please feel free to contact me for any questions.




91-98414 99143.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Managing File System Inconsistencies and Disk space in UNIX\Solaris:

This article explains how to manage disk space and file system inconsistencies. In general, Unix file system uses a set of tables to keep track of used inodes and available blocks. Inconsistencies will arise, for example, abrupt termination of the operating system. The reason for inconsistencies are listed below

1. Software error in the kernel.

2. Turning off the system without proper shutdown procedure.

3. Defective hardware, such as problem with the disk.

fsck Command:

Used to find the inconsistencies and repair them.


#fsck {option} {device}


-F {fstype} – limit to check the specified file system.
-m – check but do not repair, for checking the status of the file system.

df Command:

Used to monitor disk space usage at file system level, also used to determine the following,

1. The amount of disk space occupied by currently mounted or unmounted file systems.
2. The total amount of the used and available space.
3. The fraction of the file system’s total capacity that has been used.


#df {-F fstype} {option} {file system}

du Command:

Used to get the report on disk usage at the directory and file level, also used to determine the following,

1. Total space allocated to a directory.
2. Total space allocated to a directory subtree.
3. Total space allocated to a non-directory file.


#du {option} {file}

quot Command:

Used to get the report on disk usage by user name, if you want to know how much space is being used by each user on a given file system, can make use of this command.


#quot {option} {filesystem}

Hope this is informative.



91-98414 99143

Managing Hard and Symbolic Links in Solaris/Unix:

This article explains the purpose and usage of hard and symbolic links. A link is a file that points to another file. There are two kinds of link available

1.Hard Link:

a. A Hard Link is a pointer to a file that is indistinguishable from the original file.

b. Any changes made to a file are effective regardless of the name used to refer to the file – the link file or the original file name.

c. The link and the file are on the same file system because both have the same inode number.

d. A hard link can only point to a file, not to a directory.

e. You cannot create a hard link file without having the existing file.

f. The hard link file will consume the same amount of the disk as that of the original file.

g. If you delete the link file, the other will exist and the reverse is also applicable.

Syntax of the Hard Link file:

To create a hard link file,
#ln {source} {Target}

To remove the same file,
#rm {linkfile}

2.Symbolic Link:

a. A Symbolic Link is an indirect pointer to a file and it can span the file systems.

b. A symbolic link can be pointed to either file or directory.

c. You can create a symbolic link without having the existing file.

d. The symbolic link file will have the different inode number.

e. The symbolic link file will just have the details of the pointer information of the original file alone. Hence it won’t consume the same space as that of the original file.

f. It is just like a shortcut in the Windows.

g. If you delete the shortcut link file, the original file will exist. The reverse is obviously not applicable. It is better to clean up the shortcut files i.e, symbolic file before deleting the source file.

Syntax of the Symbolic Link file:

#ln –s {Source} {Target}



91-98414 99143

Directory Hierarchy in Solaris:

This articles the directory hierarchy structure in the Solaris file systems. Just like other OS, Solaris organized into directories and directories organized into a hierarchy called a directory tree. The understanding of the directories in Solaris file system is more important.

1./bin - symbolic link to the /usr/bin directory.

2./dev – Contains logical devices names for the devices.

3./device – device related files controlled by the file system: devfs.

4./lib – Contains shared libraries such as SMF executables.

5./etc – administrative and configuration files.

6./export – Commonly used to hold user home directories.(you can define as per your wish)

7./home – Default mount point for user home directories.

8./mnt – Default mount point used to temporarily mount file systems.

9./sbin – Contains system administration command s and utilities.

10./tmp – Contains temporary files that are deleted when the system is rebooted.

11./usr – UNIX system resources, Holds OS commands and programs.



91-98414 99143

Package administration in the Solaris:

This article helps in administering the package in the Solaris such as adding, removing, upgrading, patching, getting info, etc. As we already know that in Linux we use rpm and yum commands for installing or removing the packages. But in Solaris, the above said commands are non-functional.

1.Installing a Package:

#pkgadd – used for installing the package, the default installation spool directory is /var/spool/pkg.


#pkgadd –a {admin} – indicate to use the installation administration file specified by admin instead of the default file.

#pkgadd –d {device} – the package to be installed must be copied from the device.

2.Checking a Package:

#pkgchk – used to check the accuracy of the installed files


To check the content of an installed package SUNWbash,
#pkgchk –c SUNWbash

To check the file attribute of an installed package SUNWPython,
#pkgchk –a SUNWPython

3. Retrieving information about Packages:

#pkginfo – to retrieve the information about the s/w package installed in the system,


To get information on the list of fully installed package,
#pkginfo –i

To get information on the list of partially installed package,
#pkginfo –p

To get the information on the selective category, can be retrieved by the category value set in the pkginfo for the attribute values.
#pkginfo –c {category value}

4. Removing a Package:

#pkgrm – to remove the completely or partially installed package

To remove the source package by using the admin specified installation file instead of the default file,
#pkgrm –a {admin}

To remove all the files of the package including those shared by other packages.
#pkgrm –A packagename

To remove the package in the non-interactive mode, the default is the interactive mode,
#pkgrm –n SUNWPython

Hope the above information is useful while dealing with some packages.



91-98414 99143

Installation of Solaris 10:

This article explains the step by step procedure for installing the Solaris 10 on the SPARC machine and X86 machines. The installation of Solaris 10 in X86 is somewhat similar to the deployment of the Linux. Installation of Solaris 10 in SPARC machine is bit different.

Hardware Requirements:

Before starting the installation process, all the hardware components must be checked for the hardware compatibility first. Please make sure all the needed drivers available for the X86 machines.

Installation in the X86 Machine:

1.Insert the Solaris 10 CD or DVD into the appropriate drive.

2.Set the Boot priority as required in the BIOS.

3.On the initial, Solaris Booting Systems. Decide whether you need to modify the device settings.
a.Install device driver or install time updates.
b.Disable ACPI – Advanced Configuration and Power Interfaces.
c.Set up a serial console.
d.Reset the default boot device.

4.Select the installation type
a.Solaris Interactive. (Default GUI)
b.Custom Jumpstart.
c.Solaris Interactive Text (Desktop session).
d.Solaris Interactive Text (Console session).

5.Two scenario to proceed
a.If it detects all the devices, then proceed to step 7.
b.If the problem in detecting the keyboard, monitor and mouse, go to step 6.

6. Two ways to go from here
a.Configure the keyboard, Monitor and Mouse as per the instruction on the screen.
b.If you want to do the text installation, press f4 to skip the steps related to the GUI display and will let directly to the step 7.

7.Select the language.

8.Please precede the installation and configure the disk space for the file system. Can use the automatic partitioning or can do the manual partitioning as well. The recommended disk partitioning is /boot (100 MB), /swap (twice the RAM) and / (remaining space).

9.Select the default package list or select the package manually.

10.Answer any additional configuration questions, if you are prompted.

11.After the installing the package, it will automatically reboot.

Installation in the SPARC Machine:

1.Insert the Solaris 10 CD or DVD into the appropriate drive.

2.Set the Boot priority as required in the BIOS.

3.Start the Solaris installation program by booting through CD / DVD
a.For GUI installation, type the below command in the ok prompt
Ok boot cdrom
b.For Text installer in a desktop session, type the below command in the ok prompt
Ok boot cdrom –text
c.For Text installer in a console session, type the below command in the ok prompt
Ok boot cdrom –nowin

4.Select the language.

5.Answer the system configuration questions such as hostname, IP address and others.

6.Select the reboot option at the end of installation and specify the media you are using to install.

7.Please precede the installation and configure the disk space for the file system. Can use the automatic partitioning or can do the manual partitioning as well. The recommended disk partitioning is /boot (100 MB), /swap (twice the RAM) and / (remaining space).

8.Select the default package list or select the package manually.

9.Answer any additional configuration questions, if you are prompted.

Please revert if you have any issue while deploying the package.



91-98414 99143

Monday, June 9, 2008

Evolution/History of UNIX:

This article gives information on the history and evolution of the UNIX. UNIX was the first operating system; it also has been a trail blazer in the field of operating systems. Other OS like windows, Linux and others have adopted the features first proposed by and implemented in UNIX. UNIX is not an operating system that was built by one company with a wonderful marketing department.

UNIX, pronounced as yoo-niks, is not the name of one operating system; it refers to a family of operating systems.

Brief History of UNIX:

1. The roots lie in Comprehensive time sharing system CTSS developed by Corbato at MIT in the early 1960s.
2. In 1969, emergence of UNIX at the AT & T Bell labs.
3. After several hits, first BSD Berkeley Software Distribution version released in 1978.
4. In 1982, Sun Microsystems released first UNIX workstation based on the BSD flavor of UNIX.
5. Finally in the year, SPARC station1 introduced.

UNIX Flavors:

UNIX is the oldest OS that pioneered several OS concepts used by other OS such as Microsoft DOS and Microsoft Windows. Originally, Bell Lab distributed UNIX along with the source code so that, anybody could modify and customize the OS to meet specific needs. The following are the different flavors of UNIX with Vendor and Chip architecture.

1. Solaris – Sun Microsystems – SPARC, X86
2. HP-UX – Hewlett Packard – IA 64 and HP PA-RISC
3. Irix- Silicon Graphics – MIPS
4. AIX – IBM – PowerPC
5. UNIXWare – SCO/Caldera – Xeon, Pentium, X86
6. Linux – Freeware – Alpha, SPARC, PowerPC and Intel

Characteristics of UNIX:

1. UNIX is built from small components; each component does one job and does it well.
2. Support for virtually all n/w protocols.
3. Many flavors of UNIX.
4. Wide variety of s/w available for UNIX.
5. Open standard and open source.
6. Multitasking and multiprocessing.

The underlying philosophy of UNIX may be classified as independence, interconnection and innovation.

Hope the above information is useful.



91-98414 99143

Saturday, June 7, 2008

SMTP Connectors in Exchange server 2007:

This article explains the working of SMTP Connectors and new SMTP topology in the exchange server 2007 when compared to the previous versions. Simple Mail Transfer Protocol is a protocol used for sending messages between different servers. Because most email systems that are connected to the internet uses SMTP as a messaging standard. In exchange server 2003, SMTP relies on the service provided by the Windows OS, whereas in exchange 2007 has its own built in SMTP with interesting new features.

SMTP Connectors:

In exchange, the SMTP connectors are the logical representations of connections between a source and destination server. In previous version of exchange, SMTP connector is used for both incoming and outgoing message flow, i.e. two way communications for message flow. But in exchange server 2007, the concept of the SMTP Connector is classified into two types Send Connector and Receive Connector. Each of these types of connector represents a one way communication.

Receive Connectors:

1. Acts as an incoming point for SMTP traffic.
2. Actively listens for all incoming connections.
3. The parameters like Number of active connections allowed, Maximum incoming message size and Maximum recipients per message can be set in the Receive Connector.

Send Connectors:

1. Used for relaying outgoing SMTP communications.
2. It is not scoped to single server or single point, the end message is addressed to remote destination and reaches the appropriate Connector.

Hope the above is informative.



Information Rights Management:

Introduced in Microsoft Office 2003 products, Information Rights Management (IRM) helps organizations protect digital information from unauthorized use. By integrating with a Windows Server 2003 technology called Microsoft Windows Rights Management Services (RMS), IRM enables workers to define how a recipient can use the information contained in a Microsoft Office document. Users can define exactly who can open, modify, print, forward, or take other actions with protected documents. In addition, users can specify an expiration date, after which the document cannot be viewed or acted upon.

To create IRM-protected documents and email messages, the sending user must be using the Professional or Enterprise version of Office 2007. Users of Office Standard 2007 can still read and use IRM-protected documents, but cannot create them or apply policies to email messages. The exchange server 2003 must have the windows Rights Management Services (RMS) to be installed, so that the end users will be able to protect their mail with the information rights management services.



Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Exchange Power Shell - EMS:

This article explains the features of the exchange management shell EMS. Unlike the previous version of the exchange, the exchange server 2007 has this new feature of accomplishing all the exchange related activity in the command shell. The PowerShell uses the cmdlets as a core technology. A cmdlet is a lightweight command that is used in the PowerShell and Exchange Management Shell environments. Within that environment, the PowerShell command interpreter (PS.exe) executes these cmdlets within the context of automation scripts. The .NET framework is the core package which executes the PowerShell. Nearly 350 exchange related cmdlets are available in the EMS. The EMS works in the back end of the exchange management console.

Uses of EMS:

1. EMS main usage is to perform the administrative functions such as Mailbox management, setting limits for users, Moving mailbox b/w servers, configuring the exchange related parameters, etc.
2. EMS also helps in generating the reports such as recipient details, messaging routing traffic, message size distributions, etc.

General Syntax of the PowerShell Commands:

#Verb-Noun format. The PowerShell commands are auto-tab complete.
Eg., Move-Mailbox, Get-Mailbox, etc.
The commands in the PowerShell can be chained using the pipe option.

Interpreting the PowerShell Commands:

In order to move the mailbox to other server,
In General, Move the Mailbox of the user Stephen to the Mailbox Store2. This can be put syntactically
#Move-Mailbox “Mcgrorty, Stephen” –Targetdatabase “Mailbox Store 2”

Help Option in the EMS:

1. #Get-Help command
2. #Get-Help Set-Mailbox –Parameter *quota*
3. #Get-Help -Role *Mailbox*
Eg, Get-mailboxpermission,Get-mailboxdatabase,etc.
4. #Get-Help -Role *Mailbox* | fl name, synopsis
5. #Get-Help -Component *Recipient*
Eg, Get-mailbox,get-mailboxstatistics,etc.
6. #Get-Help -Functionality *Server*
Eg, Get-mailboxserver,Get-sendconnector,etc.

Pipeline Option:

To move all mailbox in the server1 to the server2
#Get-Mailbox –server server1 | Move-Mailbox –targetdatabase “server2\Mailbox Store1”

To set the maximum send size attribute for the recipient “Andreo Nel”
#Get-Mailbox | where-object { $_.name –like “And*” } | Set-Mailbox –MaxSendSize 10mb

WhatIf and Confirm Option:

To move the mailbox with the name “sandy” to the server2. The –WhatIf parameter informs the administrator what action the script would take and the –Confirm parameter prompts for confirmation before taking action.

#Get-Mailbox | where-object { $_.name –like “sandy*” } | Move-Mailbox –targetdatabase “Server2\Mailbox Store1” –WhatIf

Sample Output:

What if: Performing operation “move-Mailbox” on Target “Move mailbox for:Administrator (Administrator@companyabc.com) to Database: Mailbox Database 2,09014bc6-f977-4961-b4eb-8829fb13e5d6. The operation can take a long time and the mailbox will be inaccessible until the move is complete”.

#Get-Mailbox | where-object { $_.name –like “sandy*” } | Move-Mailbox –targetdatabase “Server2\Mailbox Store1” –Confirm

Sample Output:

Are you sure you want to perform this action? Performing operation “move-Mailbox” on Target “Move mailbox for: Administrator (Administrator@companyabc.com) to Database: Mailbox Database 1,09014bc6-f977-4961-b4eb-8829fb13e5d6. The operation can take a long time and the mailbox will be inaccessible until the move is complete”. [Y] Yes [A] Yes to All [N] No [L] No to All [S] Suspend [?] Help (default is “Y”):

Some Important and Useful PowerShell Commands In exchange server 2007:

1. To create a new mail database in the first storage group on server2.
#New-MailboxDatabase –StorageGroup “SERVER2\First Storage Group” –name “Mailbox Store2”

2. To mount the above database,
#Mount-database “SERVER2\First Storage Group\Mailbox Store2”

3. To test the connectivity of the recipient mailbox and also to check the latency.
#Test-MapiConnectivity testuser@company.com

4. To get the list of mailbox with the maximum mailbox size,
#Get-wmiobject -class Exchange_Mailbox -Namespace ROOT\MicrosoftExchangev2 -ComputerName SERVER1 | select-object MailboxDisplayName,TotalItems,Size | sort -descending “Size” | select-object -first 25

5. The above can also be viewed in the HTML format and also can be directed to some file. This makes it portable.
#Get-wmiobject -class Exchange_Mailbox -Namespace ROOT\MicrosoftExchangev2 -ComputerName SERVER1 | select-object MailboxDisplayName,TotalItems,Size | sort -descending “Size” | select-object -first 25 | ConvertTo-html -title “Top 25 Largest Mailboxes on SERVER1” > “D:\Stats\25 Largest Mailboxes.html”

6. To get the events in the application log with the source starting with the word “Exchange” ,
#get-eventlog Application | where {$_.Source -ilike “Exchange*”} | export-csv c:\events.csv

7. To get the information of particular user mailbox
# Get-Mailbox –Identity "Rudi Kutz"
#Get-Mailbox "Rudi Kutz"
#Get-Mailbox rudi.kutz@philips.com

8. To get the list of exchange servers in the organization,
#Get-ExchangeServer -Domain loguinfo.com
#Get-ExchangeServer –Status

9. To get the mailbox database details,
# Get-MailboxDatabase -Server Server
#Get-MailboxDatabase -StorageGroup StorageGroup

10. To set the quota limit parameter for particular database,
# Set-MailboxDatabase -Identity MailboxDatabase -IssueWarningQuota 500MB

11. To set the user’s mailbox properties like external Email Email address value,
# Set-MailUser -Identity user2 -ExternalEmailAddress test@external.com

12. To get all the records which matching the namespace “logu”, it check in all the possible recipients like user mailbox, contacts, etc.
# Get-Recipient -Anr "logu"

13. To Enable/Disable the user,
# Disable-MailUser -Identity user2
# Enable-Mailbox -Identity company\user1 -Database MailboxDatabase

14. To get the mailbox statistics of the database,
# Get-MailboxStatistics -Database MailboxDatabase
#Get-MailboxStatistics -Server Server

15. To give full access permission for the user1 on the mailbox user2,
#Add-MailboxPermission user2 -User user1 -AccessRights FullAccess

16. The same case if it is a linked mailbox (external mail account which has mailbox in this server),
#Add-MailboxPermission user2 -user CODE1\user1 -AccessRights:FullAccess,ExternalAccount

Likewise there are large number of useful commands in the EMS. Hope the above is informative.

91-98414 99143

Integrating Exchange server 2007 in a Non-Windows Environment:

This article explains the basic understanding of the MIIS application and the integration feature of exchange with Non-windows email systems like UNIX, Novell, Lotus Notes and LDAP directory. In most enterprises today, each individual application or system has its own user database or directory to track who is permitted to use that resource. Each has its own definition of the user’s “identity” (for example name, title, ID numbers, roles, membership in groups). Microsoft invented a tool to facilitate the administration of these multiple repositories. The product is called Microsoft Identity Integration Server.The use of MIIS 2003 for Exchange 2007 is particularly useful because it can synchronize Information between the AD forest that contains Exchange and the other messaging systems in use within the organization.

Understanding MIIS 2003:

MIIS is a system that manages and coordinates identity information from multiple data sources in an organization, enabling you to combine that information into a single logical view that represents all of the identity information for a given user or resource. MIIS enables a company to synchronize identity information across a wide variety of heterogeneous directory and non-directory identity stores. This enables customers to automate the process of updating identity information across heterogeneous platforms while maintaining the integrity and ownership of that data across the enterprise. Password management capabilities enable end users or help desk staff to easily reset passwords across multiple systems from one easy-to-use web interface. End users and help desk staff no longer have to use multiple tools to change their passwords across multiple systems.

91-98414 99143

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Checking the committed transaction logs in Exchange Server:

This article explains how to check the committed transaction logs in exchange server. The disk space management is more important, since the transaction logs get accumulated in faster phase. Sometimes, the committed logs may not be recycled after taking the backups. The committed transaction logs are no need any more in such cases, just only occupies some disk space. Here we are going to check how to find the committed transaction logs using the eseutil.

Checkpoint File:

In Exchange, there will be a checkpoint file for each storage group and one for the directory. The checkpoint file is a file of special note which plays a big role in keeping your exchange server database in order. The checkpoint file (edb.chk) tracks which entries in the transaction log files have already been recorded in the database, and thus which ones will need to be replayed during a restoration situation. The checkpoint file thus speeds up recovery by telling the ESE-Extensible Search Engine exactly which log file entries need to be replayed and which do not-thus preventing extra writing during the restoration process. So what is ESE, here we go, The Extensible Storage Engine (ESE) is a low-level database engine that is used internally by Windows for all sorts of things like Microsoft Exchange message store, Active Directory database, Microsoft Updates, Local Security Policy, etc.

When you try to identify the last committed log file for a storage group, note that the storage group prefix applies to the checkpoint file and to all of the log files. For example, the default first storage group's checkpoint file name is E00.chk, and its log files are E00xxxxxx.log (where xxxxx is the hexadecimal sequence number of the log file).

To check the status/details of the checkpoint file
eseutil /mk “the full path to the checkpoint file”

For example,
eseutil /mk "C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\MDBDATA\E00.chk"

Sample Output:

Microsoft(R) Exchange Server(TM) Database Utilities
Version 6.0
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation 1991-2000. All Rights Reserved.
Initiating FILE DUMP mode...
Checkpoint file: C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\MDBDATA\E00.chk
LastFullBackupCheckpoint: (0x0,0,0)
Checkpoint: (0x6A,1119,3D)
FullBackup: (0x0,0,0)
FullBackup time: 00/00/1900 00:00:00
IncBackup: (0x0,0,0)
IncBackup time: 00/00/1900 00:00:00
Signature: Create time:09/24/2001 17:10:26 Rand:522553071 Computer:
Env (CircLog,Session,Opentbl,VerPage,Cursors,LogBufs,LogFile,Buffers)
( off, 202, 30300, 1365, 10100, 128, 10240, 97940)
Operation completed successfully in 1.192 seconds.

In the above sample output, please find the checkpoint details (marked in bold red),
Checkpoint: (0x6A,1119,3D) – it means 0x6A = E000006A.log is the last committed log file, the logs sequentially above this value is committed to the database already.

Hope the above information will helps you in checking the committed logs and also in managing the disk space management.

91-98414 99143

Friday, May 30, 2008

Understanding DSProxy, DSReferral, DSAccess and the Categorizer:

This article explains the features and natures of the important topology in Exchange environment called DSPROXY, DSACCESS and Categorizer. We already aware that both AD and Exchange are highly integrated, the relationship b/w AD and exchange is more complex and often misunderstood. Exchange server uses two services – Dsproxy and Dsaccess – to access the GC Global Catalog. We already know what is Global Catalog?, if not please keep in mind that Global Catalog is a database which contains the partial replicas of the directories of other domains and contains subsets of the AD attributes of all the objects in the forest( for e.g., attributes like email address). Dsproxy is an exchange specific service, whereas Dsaccess is a Windows service in turn used by the exchange server.


1. In general, Outlook 2000 clients and above can access the GC directly, but the old outlook client doesn’t.
2. To address the above lack of access, exchange server provides a proxy service called Dsproxy, acts as an intermediary b/w client and the GC.
3. Dsproxy works as a facilitator to allow outlook clients to access information within the AD through the Name Service Provider Interface (NSPI).


1. Since the dsproxy helps outlook client to reach the GC directly. Dsreferral also enhance or work to facilitate dsproxy.
2. Dsreferaal is used especially when exchange server not running on GC server. In such cases, DS Referral has the capability to update the Outlook 2000 client's MAPI profile with an appropriate GC server.


1. In general, the exchange server shares the GC functionality with the other AD services, It is important to reduce the impact of exchange server queries on GC. Dsaccess become solution for this.
2. Dsaccess implement a cache that stores recently accessed information for a configurable length of time. This cache reduces the number of direct query on GC drastically.

Role of the Categorizer:

The SMTP Categorizer is a component of Exchange that is used to submit mail messages to the proper destination. When a mail message is sent, the Categorizer queries the DSAccess component to locate an Active Directory server list, which is then directly queried for information that can be used to deliver the message. Problems with the Categorizer are often the cause of DNS or AD lookup issues. When troubleshooting mail-flow problems, please use message tracking in Exchange Server 2007 to find the course of a message. If the message stops at the Categorizer, it is often wise to start troubleshooting the issue from a directory access perspective.

Hope the above the information is short and informative.



91-98414 99143

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Installing/Deploying Exchange server 2007:

This article briefs about the prerequisite and installation procedure for the exchange server 2007. In the latest version of exchange server, the Microsoft has taken big step in improving the installation process.

Hardware requirements:

1. X64 Hardware Processor.
2. Min 1 GB RAM and Rec 2 GB RAM
3. 1.2 GB disk space for exchange core installation.
4. Must be a NTFS partition.

Server OS Installation:

Install the windows server 2003 server (Std or Ent Edition), latest services packs(SP1 is must), patches and needed hot fixes.

Active Directory:

Implementation of proper AD is more important since AD is highly integrated with the Microsoft exchange. Mistakes made in the AD will affect the exchange badly.

Considerable AD factors:
1. Global catalog server placement - stores partial copies of data for all other
Domains within a forest. Exchange queries a global catalog to resolve email addresses for
2. users within the organization
3. AD Sites and Services
4. Domain and forest functional levels
5. Flexible Single Master Operations role placement
6. Permissions needed to install Exchange – must be a member of schema Admin and Enterprise admin for installing the exchange server.
7. Bandwidth and latency.

Preinstallation check before deploying Exchange server 2007:

1. Test the status of the AD using netdiag, dcdiag and replication monitor. Alternatively, the Exchange Server 2007 Installation Wizard also conducts a minor health check automatically as a prerequisite task when installing Exchange Server 2007.
2. Raising the Domain functional levels accordingly.

Prerequisite for deploying Exchange server 2007:

1. Install .NET 2.0
2. Install MMC 3.0
3. Install EMS – Exchange Management Shell.
4. Configuring IIS 6.0 – Check Enable network COM+ access, IIS, Common files, WWW services, ASP.NET.
5. Preparation switches
/prepare pl – single shot install
/prepare Schema – for preparing the schema
/prepare AD - for preparing the active directory in the domain level - optional
/prepare Alldomains – for different domains
/prepare Domains “domain name” – for other domains and child domains

Installing the Exchange server 2007:

Click the core setup.exe file, the wizard for installing the exchange server will open, please select the respective roles and other inputs.
Post installation Checks:
1. Review installation logs - C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\logging\SetupLogs.
2. Review event logs in the event viewer.
3. Check and Obtain the latest Exchange critical updates
4. Verify server roles are installed by checking in the Exchange management console or by get-Exchange Server command in the shell.
5. Run Microsoft Exchange Best Practice Analyzer (shortly called as ExBPA tool)

Upgrading from the previous version:

It is not possible to upgrade Exch 2000/2003 to Exch 207 directly because the Exch 2007 uses X64 architecture.
Exch 5.5 (migrated to) - Exch 2000/2003 (transferred to) - Exch 2007.

Hope the above mentioned steps in deploying the exchange server 2007. The Migration from the previous version has lots to be described, probably I will write in another blog.

91-98414 99143

Sunday, May 11, 2008

NDR - Non Delivery Report

Hi Friends,

This article explains how to interpret with NDR and to find the cause of non delivery of the email. Suppose, when you are sending a mail to the recipient called x@microsoft.com, it comes back with some message that the indented mail does not reach that particular recipient, it is called the NDR - Non delivery report. The reason for failure in the mail delivery may be many, though this NDR gives the related information about the cause of the message failure. Having the knowledge on the different NDR will definitely gives hands on support in case of troubleshooting.

Interpreting with the NDR :

In the NDR message first lookout for the three digit

i.e, x.y.z . eg., 5.2.1

The "x" fields give some valuable information on the type of error. When it is "5", we are dealing with the permanent error. When it is "4", the message eventually may or may not pass on. Almost all valid NDR starts with 4 or 5, none other than this numbers. Apart from the first field, it is very difficult to classify the other fields, because each numbers have its own explanation. It also have the brief description about the problem and also have the list of recipient address for whom the mail not delivered.

List of NDR codes and their meanings :

The recipient has exceeded their mailbox limit. It could also be that the delivery directory on the Virtual server has exceeded its limit. (Default 22 MB)
Not enough disk space on the delivery server. Microsoft say this NDR maybe reported as out-of-memory error.
Classic temporary problem, the Administrator has frozen the queue.
Intermittent network connection. The server has not yet responded. Classic temporary problem. If it persists, you will also a 5.4.x status code error.
The server started to deliver the message but then the connection was broken.
Too many hops. Most likely, the message is looping.
Problem with a timeout. Check receiving server connectors.
A DNS problem. Check your smart host setting on the SMTP connector. For example, check correct SMTP format. Also, use square brackets in the IP address [] You can get this same NDR error if you have been deleting routing groups.
Multi-language situation. Your server does not have the correct language code page installed.
SMTP 500 reply code means an unrecognised command. You get this NDR when you make a typing mistake when you manually try to send email via telnet.More likely, a routing group error, no routing connector, or no suitable address space in the connector.(Try adding * in the address space) This status code is a general error message in Exchange 2000. In fact Microsoft introduced a service pack to make sure now get a more specific code.
Problem with email address.
Often seen with contacts. Check the recipient address.
Another problem with the recipient address. Possibly the user was moved to another server in Active Directory. Maybe an Outlook client replied to a message while offline.
SMTP; 550 Host unknown. An error is triggered when the host name can’t be found. For example, when trying to send an email to bob@ nonexistantdomain.com.(Example kindly sent in by Paul T.)
Another problem with contacts. Address field maybe empty. Check the address information.
Two objects have the same address, which confuses the categorizer.
Destination mailbox address invalid.
Problem with homeMDB or msExchHomeServerName - check how many users are affected. Sometimes running RUS (Recipient Update Service) cures this problem. Mailbox may have moved.
Problem with senders mail attribute, check properties sheet in ADUC.
NDR caused by a problem with the large size of the email.
The message is too large. Else it could be a permissions problem. Check the recipient's mailbox.
Sadly, the recipient has exceeded their mailbox limit.
Recipient cannot receive messages this big. Server or connector limit exceeded.
Most likely, a distribution list or group is trying to send an email. Check where the expansion server is situated.
Problem with MTA, maybe someone has been editing the registry to disable the MTA / Store driver.
Mail system full. Possibly a Standard edition of Exchange reached the 16 GB limit.
System not accepting network messages. Look outside Exchange for a connectivity problem.
Remote server has insufficient disk space to hold email. Check SMTP log.
Message too big. Check limits, System Policy, connector, virtual server.
Multiple Virtual Servers are using the same IP address and port. See Microsoft TechNet article: 321721 Sharing SMTP. Email probably looping.
DNS Problem. Check the Smart host, or check your DNS. It means that there is no DNS server that can resolve this email address. Could be Virtual Server SMTP address.
No answer from host. Not Exchange's fault check connections.
Bad connection.
Routing server failure. No available route.
Cannot find the next hop, check the Routing Group Connector. Perhaps you have Exchange servers in different Routing Groups, but no connector.
Tricky looping problem, a contact has the same email address as an Active Directory user. One user is probably using an Alternate Recipient with the same email address as a contact.
Delivery time-out. Message is taking too long to be delivered.
Microsoft advise, check your recipient policy. SMTP address should be cp.com.NOT server.cp.com.
Underlying SMTP 500 error. Our server tried ehlo, the recipient's server did not understand and returned a 550 or 500 error. Set up SMTP logging.
Possibly the disk holding the operating system is full. Or could be a syntax error if you are executing SMTP from a telnet shell.
More than 5,000 recipients. Check the Global Settings, Message Delivery properties.
Wrong protocol version
More than 250 attachments.
Permissions problem. For some reason the sender is not allowed to email this account.Perhaps an anonymous user is trying to send mail to a distribution list.Check SMTP Virtual Server Access Tab. Try checking this box: Allow computers which successfully authenticate to relay.User may have a manually created email address that does not match a System Policy.
Distribution list cannot expand and so is unable to deliver its messages.
Check external IP address of ISA server. Make sure it matches the SMTP publishing rule.
Extra security features not supported. Check delivery server settings
Cryptographic failure. Try a plain message with encryption.
Certificate problem, encryption level maybe to high.
Message integrity problem.

Hence use this when troubleshooting the mail delivery failure.



91-98414 99143

Outlook Command line Switches

Hi friends,

This article gives you the brief explanation on the outlook command line switches. The outlook comes with different command line switched, which in turn used for troubleshooting in case of some errors. The following are the different command line switches available in the outlook.

General Syntax :

Go to Run -->

# Outlook /Switch

Outlook command line switches :

1. Outlook /c messageclass

Creates a new item of the specified message class, works for any valid MAPI form.
For example:
/c ipm.activity creates a Journal entry
/c ipm.appointment creates an appointment
/c ipm.contact creates a contact
/c ipm.note creates an e-mail message
/c ipm.stickynote creates a note
/c ipm.task creates a task

2. Outlook /CleanClientRules

Starts Outlook and deletes client-based rules. For non-Exchange users.

3. Outlook /CleanFinders

Sets Outlook 2003 Search Folders back to the default state (deletes custom Search Folders)

4. Outlook /CleanFreeBusy

Cleans and regenerates free/busy information.

5. Outlook /CleanProfile

Removes invalid profile keys and recreates default registry keys where applicable.

6. Outlook /Cleanpst

Launches Outlook with a clean Personal Folders file (.pst)

7. Outlook /CleanReminders

Cleans and regenerates reminders.

8. Outlook /CleanRules

Starts Outlook and deletes client- and server-based rules.

9. Outlook /CleanSchedPlus

Deletes all Schedule+ data (free/busy, permissions, and .cal file) from the server.

10. Outlook /CleanServerRules

Starts Outlook and deletes server-based rules. Used only with Exchange server accounts.

11. Outlook /CleanViews

Restores default views.

12. Outlook /FirstRun

Starts Outlook as if it were run for the first time.

13. Outlook /ImportPrf prffilename

Launches Outlook and opens/imports the defined MAPI profile (*.prf). If Outlook is already open, queues the profile to be imported on the next clean launch.

14. Outlook /Profile profilename

Loads the specified profile. If your profile name contains a space, enclose the profile name in quotation marks.

15. Outlook /ResetFolderNames

Resets the language of the default folders to the language of the Outlook client.

16. Outlook /ResetFolders

Restores missing folders for the default delivery location.

17. Outlook /ResetOutlookBar

Rebuilds the Outlook Bar.

18. Outlook /ResetWunderBar

Rebuilds the new Outlook Control Bar in Outlook 2003.

19. Outlook /Rpcdiag

Opens Outlook and displays the remote procedure call (RPC) connection status dialog.

20. Outlook /Sniff

Starts Outlook and forces a detection of new meeting requests in the Inbox, and then adds them to the calendar.

Hope the above information is useful and start try using the above appropriate commands when your outlook gives the problem.



91-98414 99143

Friday, May 9, 2008

Exchange server 2007 – server role:

This article explains the server roles in the exchange server 2007. The exchange server 2007 is bit different when compared to the previous version in terms of the architecture. Instead of just having a Mailbox server and a front-end server to host data and provide a connecting point for client systems (in exchange 2003), these server roles provide improvements in security with servers dedicated to antivirus and antispam functions, message routing and policy compliance functions, and voice mail communications. The below are the server role. This five server roles cannot be installed in the same server, since each server plays different role in terms of the functional play. Except Edge Transport role, all other roles can be installed in the same system. The reason for the above is security, the edge transport role must be installed in the separate machine which should be independent of all the exchange stuff, so that it just act like a gateway server.

1. Edge Transport server role :

• Performs spam and virus filtering at the first point for the entry of the message.
• Stores a copy of certain active directory objects such as valid recipient email address. All incoming messages are matched with the ADAM – Active Directory Application Mode.
• Mainly for security protection.

2. Hub Transport role :

• Replaces the former bridgehead server.
• Used for effective and efficient message routing of multiple messages.
• Also acts as policy compliance management server for both incoming and outgoing message.
• Can also act as an Edge Transport role. (Without having the edge transport role also we can have the email system working by having hub transport role)

3. Client access server role :

• Connective point for the client systems like office outlook client, a Windows Mobile handheld device, OWA and Outlook anywhere.
• Just acts like a front end server.
• Provide more flexibility in providing redundancy and recoverability of mailbox access in the event of the single point of the system failure.

4. Mailbox server role :

• Holds the mailbox information i.e. the Exchange database EDB.
• New CCR – cluster continuous replication technology(which replicate the data transaction b/w mailbox server across WAN).

5. Unified Messaging server role :

• Completely new feature in the exchange server 2007 used for voice mail server of the organization.
• Phone system takes the incoming message , stores in the mailbox server and playback from the phone or by accessing the message from the outlook, OWA or Windows Mobile.

Hope the above would clarify the new server role topology in the exchange server 2007.

Please shoot if you have any queastions.