I'm now an Exchange MVP!

Monday, September 19, 2011

While I'm here in Redmond at the MCM Exchange course, I don't have much time to check my email (or blog, really).  But I did get a chance to check my email long enough to see that my MVP extertise has been changed from Server Infrastructure: Engineering to Microsoft Exchange Server.  This actually happened last week, but I just found out.

Now back to my regular brain cramming...

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Exchange MCM Update #1

Sunday, September 18, 2011
It's the end of my first week of Exchange MCM training and it has been just amazing.  We've covered Hub Transport with Brian Reid, Client Access Server with Dirk Buntinx and Greg Taylor, and Unified Messaging with Paul Robichaux.

The schedule has changed beginning with this rotation.  Instead of five days on, two days off, as in previous rotations, Rotation 10 will have no days off until the very end of the training.  In theory, the days will be shorter and we'll have time off in the evenings to review, study, maybe eat something and get some laundry done.  In practice, the days are still very long and you don't have time for ANYTHING else.  After Paul's UM presentation today (Sunday), one of my colleagues and I walked to the grocery store and then decided to come back to the lab to do some more studying.

Hub Transport with Brian Reid. The clock could be AM or PM, I'm not sure.
The test schedule has changed, as well.  In previous rotations an exam was held every Monday mornings to cover the previous week's training.  Now the exams will be combined and administered the final Friday of the rotation, covering all the content learned during the previous three weeks.

One of Greg Taylor's more enthusiastic whiteboard drawings for CAS. You can tell it's Greg's drawing because of the horns on the user.
R10 is a small rotation. There are only four of us along with an entourage of Lync attendees, all of whom are current MCMs. This is a benefit offered to MCMs, who may be gearing up for a refresh cycle.  This rotation will also include Office 365 content, which is new to any rotation.

Tomorrow we begin mailbox training.  My brain hurts.
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MCM Update and The EXPTA {blog} Reaches 1,000,000 Hits!

Saturday, September 10, 2011
The EXPTA {blog} will have its one millionth page hit today!  I never thought my blog would be this popular when I started it on April 16, 2007.  On average, I'm getting about 1,271 hits per day, 7 days a week from over 65 countries around the world.

Dot sizes: = 1,000+ = 100 - 999 = 10 - 99 = 1 - 9 visits

It took a year and a half to reach 100,000 hits and double that time to reach 1,000,000.

Thank you to all my readers, comment contributors, and all those who follow me on Twitter!  This is most rewarding and I look forward to future growth.

MCM Update

So today is my last day of freedom before I embark to Redmond for three weeks of Exchange MCM training.  And what am I doing?  Writing this quick update and more STUDYING.  I've been working and studying around the clock for almost three weeks.  The more I read, the more I realize I don't know.  My colleagues who have taken the same course say it's a truly humbling experience.

I'm packing my bags with a week's worth of clothes, sundries, and essentials.  There won't be any time for anything more than class and studying, but I will be taking speakers for my iPod just for to keep my sanity.  The hotel has a washer/dryer onsite, so some evenings will be spent doing that and shopping for groceries.

I've heard that there will be some big changes in the schedule for my rotation.  I don't have the particulars yet, but it seems that the course will now run 7 days a week (no weekends off) with shorter days.  This is designed to balance out the workload a bit more evenly.

Wish me luck!
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Cloning Exchange Remote IP Ranges Between Connectors

Friday, September 9, 2011
I've been doing a number of Exchange 2007 to 2010 migrations lately.  Most of these customers have internal relay Receive Connectors that allow internal application servers to relay SMTP email through Exchange to internal and/or external recipients.  The connectors are configured to allow only certain IP addresses to use them, and often it's a pretty extensive list.  This article explains how to copy, or "clone", these remote IP addresses from one connector to another.

For example, here's an Exchange 2007 connector with over 25 remote IP addresses that are allowed to use this connector:

Typing in these IP addresses into a new Exchange 2010 Receive Connector is not only laborious, it can lead to errors that may take quite a bit of time to troubleshoot.

Using Powershell we can easily clone this set of IP addresses from an existing connector, named Anonymous Relay on EX2007HT, to another connector with the same name on an Exchange 2010 Hub Transport server, EX2010HT.

Begin by creating a Receive Connector on the target server, EX2010HT with the name Anonymous Relay and configure it with the appropriate permissions.  Then run the following cmdlets to clone the RemoteIPRanges attribute:
$connector = Get-ReceiveConnector "EX2007HT\Anonymous Relay"
Set-ReceiveConnector "EX2010HT\Anonymous Relay" -RemoteIPRanges $connector.RemoteIPRanges
You can use this method to copy any remote IP range from one connector to another.  Simply replace the server\connector names.
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