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Monthly Archives: July 2008

I just stumbled over a nice cool online tool from the Exchange Team over at http://blog.unifiedcommunications.eu/

It seems that the Microsoft Exchange Team is working on a online tool to test Exchange Internet based services (ActiveSync, Outlook Anywhere, Autodiscover & SMTP) The tool is still Prototype, and i have found no public references to it yet. So it should be used as-is.
The Microsoft Exchange Server Remote Connectivity Analyzer (nice name by the way) can help you test and troubleshoot you public configuration (Public DNS & Firewall)

Enjoy!

Security note:

To use the tool, you must enter username and password to complete the test. It is highly recommended that you create a temporary user for this test, and delete it after you complete the test.

I just checked the WhoIs database with this result:
(… So it is Microsoft.)

So its time again;

Microsoft Tech·Ed EMEA 2008 IT Professionals is the Microsoft premier technical education conference just for IT professionals. For five days, you and 5,000 of your peers will learn how to architect, plan, deploy, manage and secure a connected enterprise from Microsoft experts and industry leaders. Experience more than ever before at Tech·Ed EMEA 2008 IT Professionals.
Be a part of the experience
Design a personalized schedule from 11 Technical Tracks and 4 Virtual Tracks
Advance your development skills in one of more than 190 Breakout Sessions
Go deep with Microsoft experts in one of more than 95 Interactive Sessions
Take your time and drill down on a specific task in one of our Hands-on Labs

Be a part of this year’s Tech·Ed EMEA 2008 IT Professionals, 3-7 November 2008, in the CCIB, Barcelona, Spain.
http://www.microsoft.com/emea/teched2008/itpro/default.aspx

See you there!

Here’s an update on the release date of the upcoming OCS 2007 R2.

The TAP program has started June 2008, and the new R2 version will be released to companies in the program.

The OCS 2007 R2 product should be released December 2008 or January 2009

Enjoy,

Updated here:
http://it-proknowledge.blogspot.com/2008/08/ocs-2007-r2-news.html

Here’s an update on what to expect of Office Communications Server 2007 & Windows Server 2008

OCS 2007 will not be supported on Windows Server 2008.

Windows Server 2008 domain will work. You will need to re-run to AD prep tool after upgrading you Windows Server 2003 domain to Windows Server 2008 AD Services.

In new domain environments (no upgrade scenario) there should be no problems installing OCS 2007, prior to completing the AD prep.

Here is some field notes from configuring backup of OCS. These steps should provide information about how to complete basic backup of your OCS installation, including configuration and databases.

First we look at the configuration on the front end server. In this scenario we will complete backup of Front end and mediation server from the front end server. If you have additional servers they are easily added to this script.

  • First Create an folder on the C: drive of the FE server called “Backup”
  • Browse to the new folder “c:Backup”
  • Create a new .bat file called “OCS-backup.bat”
  • Edit the .bat file

—– Content of OCS-backup.bat——–
“C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft Office Communications Server 2007lcscmd” /config /action:export /level:machine /configfile:c:backup[name of front-end server]-Serversettings.xml /fqdn:[fqdn of front-end server]

“C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft Office Communications Server 2007lcscmd” /config /action:export /level:machine /configfile:c:backup[name of mediation server]Serversettings.xml /fqdn:[fqdn of mediation server]

“C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft Office Communications Server 2007lcscmd” /config /action:export /level:pool /configfile:c:backup[poolname]-Pool.xml /poolname:[poolname]


“C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft Office Communications Server 2007lcscmd” /config /action:export /level:global /configfile:c:backup[poolname]-Global.xml /poolname:
[poolname]

“C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft Office Communications Server 2007lcscmd” /config /action:export /level:global,pool /configfile:c:backup[poolname]-GlobalAndPool.xml /poolname:
[poolname]

————END————-

Please note that the pool name is the same as the hostname of the Front End server in Standard Edition deployment.

  • Save the file and give it a test run. You should get 5 .xml files in c:backup directory

Backup of the Access Edge server is very similar. It should be backed up, however it is not needed every day, depending on your company’s security requirements. Backing up configuration every time a change is applied to the server is a very good idea.

The command is the same as for the Mediation and Front End server:

——-Access Edge Backup——–

“C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft Office Communications Server 2007lcscmd” /config /action:export /level:machine /configfile:c:backupServersettings.xml /fqdn:
——–END——–

Then we move to backing up SQL Databases:

If you have a backup application that supports SQL 2005, its possible to backup the databases directly.

If you are left without this tool, there are other ways. In this case i will describe the procedure for the Standard edition of OCS deployments, and there for assume that OCS is using an SQL 2005 Express.

First you need the Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio Express

  • Download and install the package on your Front End server

This enables you to view and generate SQL scripts. For this deployment, the below scripts will work:

———–RTC-backup.sql———–
BACKUP DATABASE [rtc] TO DISK = N’C:Backuprtc.bak’ WITH NOFORMAT, INIT, NAME = N’rtc-Full Database Backup’, SKIP, NOREWIND, NOUNLOAD, STATS = 10
GO
—————END————–

———–RTCconfig-backup.sql———–
BACKUP DATABASE [rtcconfig] TO DISK = N’C:Backuprtcconfig.bak’ WITH NOFORMAT, INIT, NAME = N’rtcconfig-Full Database Backup’, SKIP, NOREWIND, NOUNLOAD, STATS = 10
GO
—————END————–

———–RTCdyn-backup.sql———–
BACKUP DATABASE [rtcdyn] TO DISK = N’C:Backuprtcdyn.bak’ WITH NOFORMAT, INIT, NAME = N’rtcdyn-Full Database Backup’, SKIP, NOREWIND, NOUNLOAD, STATS = 10
GO
—————END————–

  • Create the 3 .sql scripts and save them to the c:backup folder.
  • Now create a new .bat file called OCS-sql-backup.bat

———–OCS-sql-backup.bat———–

sqlcmd -S .rtc -i c:backuprtc-backup.sql

sqlcmd -S .rtc -i c:backuprtcconfig-backup.sql

sqlcmd -S .rtc -i c:backuprtcdyn-backup.sql

—————END————–

Now you have 2 .bat files (OCS-sql-backup.bat & OCS-backup.bat) and all that is left is to create a couple of Scheduled Task to run these every day, and configure your file level backup to take backup of the c:Backup folder.
I hope this helps, and if anything is unclear, please don’t hesitate to post comments below.

Regards,

Rasmus Hald

Error message when accessing the mailbox being proxied by a CAS server in other than the mailbox AD site:

The page must be viewed over a secure channel

The page you are trying to access is secured with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).
Please try the following:
Type https:// at the beginning of the address you are attempting to reach and press ENTER.

HTTP Error 403.4 – Forbidden: SSL is required to view this resource.

Note that the URL is /exchange. It should be /OWA, because the user is located on a Exchange 2007 Mailbox / CAS server

Solution:

This error was caused by the CAS server in the secondary AD site, requiring SSL on the /Exchange virtual directory. (or in other words, the solution was to set the IIS not to require SSL on the Exchange virtual directory only) The problem was that the Exchange 2007 CAS server was not redirecting to the /OWA virtual directory, but after changing the config, it is redirected (and still using SSL)

Another error was found in the same setup, but this was easier to figure out:

Error message in IE:

Outlook Web Access is not currently available for the user mailbox that you are trying to access. If the problem continues, contact technical support for your organization and tell them the following: The Microsoft Exchange Client Access server that is proxying the Outlook Web Access requests is running an older version of Microsoft Exchange than the Client Access server in the mailbox Active Directory site.

The Event Viewer on the Internet facing CAS server shows this event:

Event Type: Error
Event Source: MSExchange OWA
Event Category: Proxy Event ID: 46
User: N/A
Computer: CAS Server
Description:
Client Access server “https://webmail.domain.com/owa“, running Microsoft Exchange version “8.1.240.5”, is proxying Outlook Web Access traffic to Client Access server “second-CAS.domain.com”, which runs Exchange version “8.1.278.2”. To ensure reliable interoperability, the proxying Client Access server needs to be running a newer version of Exchange than the Client Access server it is proxying to. If the proxying Client Access server is running a newer version of Exchange than the Client Access server it is proxying to, the proxying Client Access server needs to have an Outlook Web Access resource folder (for example, “<Exchange Server installation path>)ClientAccessowa8.0.498.0″ that contains all the same versioned resource files as the Client Access server it is proxying to. If you will be running Outlook Web Access proxying with mismatched server versions, you can manually copy this resource folder to the proxying Client Access server.

Solution:

Update all Exchange servers to the same build number (service pack & Patch level)

Microsoft has released a Update Rollup 3 for Exchange Server 2007 SP1 and Update Rollup 7 for Exchange 2007 RTM.

Read more about it here from the Exchange Team:
http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2008/07/08/449161.aspx

Or at Microsoft at:

Description of Update Rollup 3 for Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=949870

Description of Update Rollup 7 for Exchange Server 2007
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=953469

Update (July 10):

  • The patch stops Exchange related services
  • The Patch includes the previous updates for SP1 (rollup 1 & 2)
  • The patch may require the server to restart to complete.
  • Please note that it can takes some time to apply this update (up to 15 min.)(see image below)

While waiting for the next relaese of the Unified Messaging Language Packs for Exchange Server 2007 i bumped over this page showing the ones released to date:

http://technet.microsoft.com/da-dk/exchange/bb330845(en-us).aspx

From what i´ve heard, there should be additional language packs released this summer, but i dont have a date…

While MOM/SCOM monitors most events of your OCS system if you are using the OCS Management Pack, there are several events that you need to monitor manually if you not so lucky to have MOM/SCOM

OCS heavy use of certificates also means that when thay expire, your UC solution stops working. Therefor it is recomended to monitor Certificate related events. Heres an example of an early event:

Event Type: Warning
Event Source: OCS Protocol StackEvent
Category: (1001)
Event ID: 14398
User: N/A
Computer: OCS
Description:The default outgoing certificate configured for secure transport will expire soon.
Outgoing Certificate for (Default) edge will expire on XXXX Local Time. The certificate serial number is attached for reference.

Also monitor events 14398 and 14342 – A certificate will expire soon, and 14399, 14341, and 14393 – A certificate has expired.

I hope it helps

Rasmus

Microsoft is working fast on the anti virus component for OCS in the ForeFront suite. There is a updated version of the public beta out this weekend.

Forefront Security for Office Communications Server 2007 Beta
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=d128fd1a-42a2-47cb-9de8-e4ea8ba2382d&DisplayLang=en

Registration is needed to download the beta, and it will give you access to resources related to the product.

Enjoy

Rasmus

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