Two Thousand and Thirteen

2013/07/30 § Leave a comment

And so it came to pass that it fell upon your humble correspondent to undertake a perilous journey into the grimy reaches of the land known as Exchange 2013 from that known as Exchange Server 2007. (Why omit ‘Server,’ Microsoft?) So far, I’m getting a handle on the beast as it is quite different from the version I’ve been managing for the past few years; add that I’m skipping Exchange Server 2010 and that piles on the weird factor. The Hub Transport server role ist kaput and after the virtual dust clears, only the Mailbox and Client Access Server roles are practically left.

In what would have seemed like a low-down scurrilous move, Microsoft is taking us back to the days of Exchange Server 2003, with its ‘front-end (CAS)/back-end (Mailbox)’ configuration for 2013. I always felt it strange that Outlook client connected to the Mailbox role directly instead of to the … you know … Client Access Server and now balance has been restored to the nomenclature universe. For a 2007-ite like I am, I have no idea what Database Access Groups mean, but I now have to understand them. There are a few other design nuggets I have to dig up and dust  and wash off before I can melt them into usable jewelry. Alas, there aren’t that many bits of documentation in the form of textbooks available. I don’t trust Microsoft documentation but I went ahead and downloaded the help files for 2013 anyway. I haven’t read through them to any depth so I don’t know how good or bad they are. I’m voting bad. Wait, is that bigoted?

There is one—and only one—book available on 2013 by Rand Morimoto et al, Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Unleashed. I’m not a fan of the Unleashed series of books in general so I tend to stay away from them. Looking up Exchange 2013 on Amazon led me to a book that was just published on July 12, 2013 by Sybex and penned by Nathan Winters et al. Yes, so I lied about the number of books available. O’Reilly is making two massive (by length) books available, one each by Tony Redmond and Paul Robicheaux in its early release program. Redmond and Robicheaux are both rather excellent writers so I’ll be getting those books instead. They’re slated for final publication later in the year. I don’t know who Nathan Winters and his co-authors are, but they seem fine English gentlemen. I’ll pass. Smile

Can you tell I have a few trepidations about going it alone into 2013 land without any guidance, as it were. Where’s Gandalf?

One of the issues, since resolved, was that for a while Exchange 2013 couldn’t coexist with 2007 for mailbox migration. A Cumulative Update (CU) was made available so I can install 2013 right alongside my 2007 servers. There are also some nice features in 2013 that I look forward to using—off the starting blocks is the fact that DNS round-robin can be used to spread client connectivity between two Client Access Servers (or more) without a load balancer although one should probably do that anyway. And so away we dash …


PoSh On Time

2013/07/11 § 1 Comment

I’m learning PowerShell. I’ve been told I needed to learn PowerShell or learn how to ask if the customer “wanted fries with that …” Or something.

Never mind the exaggeration, it’s a good idea to learn PowerShell if  you’ve either been sentenced to or willingly (crazy bastard!) manage a Microsoft installation.

Magnus Andersson who looks more like a potentially marauding Viking than a mild mannered systems geek has written a good post on scheduling a PowerCLI (vSphere’s PoSh module) script in Windows task scheduler. Check it out, it’s rather useful.

Where Am I?

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