Saturday, June 25, 2011

JBOD vs RAID : Storage

On the Introduction of DAG in exchange 2010, the cost involved in the storage disks can have the flexible options. The below blog explains the pros and cons of usage of JBOD vs RAID storage.

Adding to that, the below is the basic difference between the JBOD and RAID Disks.

Hope the above is informative.



Thursday, June 16, 2011

Kaspersky 8 Update Availability – forefront SP2 Rollup

The below are some information for the exchange administrators on up gradation of forefront SP2 rollup3 for getting the Kaspersky engine 8 update.

1. Upgradation is an straight forward process, don’t panic after the up gradation also the engine folder name and in GUI mgt console it shows as kaspersky5 though the engine kaspersky8. As per Microsoft “The Kaspersky engine's names incorporates the version number '5'. Even after installing this hotfix rollup, the engine name for Kaspersky will still be "Kaspersky5" in both logs and within the Forefront Administrator client. This is purely a cosmetic issue and does not affect functionality.” So it’s fine.

2. New Engine updates are quite bigger in size compared to the old engines. So the default scan engine update time needs to be increased in the server through regedit. Also the incremental type of engine download is not available with rollup2, whereas rollup3 does have incremental type engine update

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Forefront Server Security\Exchange Server
•Open Regedit
•Navigate to the following key:
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Forefront Server Security\Exchange Server
•Click New DWORD Value
•Type EngineDownloadTimeout, and then press ENTER
•Right-click the new value and select Modify
•Select Decimal as the base, enter 600 in the Value data box, and then click OK. This setting causes the scan engine download process to time out after 600 seconds (10 minutes, instead of 5 minutes)
•Exit Regedit

3. On cluster make sure has been copied to the shared resource location else the engine update will fail in the clustered mailbox servers. For other roles, the file will be automatically updated in the correct installation folder itself.

As mentioned in the Microsoft site,

To install the hotfix rollup on a SCC cluster, choose one of the following methods:
Method 1
To install this particular hotfix on a SCC cluster, you should perform upgrades on all active nodes first. Setup will prompt you to allow it to take resources offline and bring them back online automatically. Check that all resources are online, and that all Forefront and Exchange services have been started afterwards. You should manually bring resources online / start services, if necessary. Once you have upgraded the active nodes, do not failover. Finally, upgrade each passive node in turn.
Installing on all active nodes first means that Forefront will be able to access the DatabasePath location, where it needs to copy a file to (

Method 2
If you prefer not to upgrade on active nodes, you may perform a “rolling upgrade” where you install on each node only when it is in a passive state. This involves performing a series of failovers, so that each node has a chance to become passive. Once all nodes have been upgraded, you must copy from each active node’s local installation to the shared disk folder for the CMS. Forefront needs this file in the following shared disk location, in order to be able to upgrade the Kaspersky engine to version 8.
Copy from each active node’s local installation (source) to its shared disk folder (target):
Source location: \Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Forefront Security\Exchange Server
Target location: \ForefrontCluster\Engines\
a. There is no need to restart any services or failover the cluster after you have copied to the shared disk folder.
b. If you do not copy to the shared disk folder, Forefront will continue to try to update version 5 of the Kaspersky engine (which will be retired by Microsoft after 31st January 2011).

4. After the up gradation, if the old obsolete engines are still showing, then try renaming the scandisk.fdb and template.fdb (after stopping the forefront services). On restarting the service rebuild the two files, thereby will get the latest working engines alone.

5. In case of any engine update failure, check progromlog.txt which captures the complete engine update events with timestamp and neat descriptions.

Hope the information is useful.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

BB device troubleshooting - client side

The below is the basic first level troubleshooting needs to be done in the BB device client side.

1. Check the signal strength.

2. Checking the wireless network connection setting
If the signal is good, there is no need to check the wireless network connection setting, but when the signal is down make sure the wireless network options are set. Check in Menu --> Options --> Mobile network options --> Make sure data services is on (mobile network and network selection mode is set appropriately)

3. Check the availability of the PIN Number in the device. Device --> option --> status --> will find 8 digit alphanumeric PIN Number. If you don’t find the pin number, try to register the device by going to Device --> option --> advanced options --> Host routing table --> press menu key and choose register. This will register your device in the BB RIM and the new unique PIN number will be generated, still if you have the issue in getting the PIN Number, then the problem is with the device and needs to be checked with the vendor.

4. Can check the mail flow from the BB device itself to the same connected user account or can send test PIN message to the same device account.

5. If you're having mail or messaging issues, or any other BlackBerry performance problems, you should resend your device's service books.

6. We can use the Blackberry device manager for synchronizing the BB device with the server i.e., outlook email client.

If the above are fine, then troubleshooting needs to be done at the BES server side like BESAdmin account permission, mailbox quota check, BB device last contact time, BB detailed event logs and goes on. Probably I will document an article on that front in the near future.

Hope the above information is useful.


Blackberry OS Installation/Upgradation:

This article explains the installation/upgradation of the blackberry Smartphones.

1. Connect the device and take the complete backup of the BB device using the Blackberry Desktop Manager and check the backup data for entries of contacts, messages, etc.
2. Disconnect the Device.
3. Download the Blackberry device OS from Blackberry website for the appropriate model and also chose the appropriate provider (exe file).
4. Run downloaded exe file and it gets extract the files in the location (C:\Program Files\Common Files\Research In Motion\Shared\Loader Files) by default.
For example: it creates the folder 8300-v4.5.0.174_P2.7.0.105 for the device 8300 BB device.
5. Select the application loader option in Blackberry Desktop manager and choose the update software | click start.
6. Connect the device and it should detect and the device model will be shown in the drop down menu.
7. Its check the device and gives the list of application and language setting before starting the installation, leave the default value and choose next.
8. Process takes around 30-60 minutes to complete. During the course of installation, it also takes the backup and restore after the OS upgrade.
9. At the end of the successful installation and unplug the device and check for the latest version and data.

Make sure Blackberry device battery level and also computer power are good before starting the installation.