Archive for the ‘Microsoft Exchange’ Category

Test Access to Microsoft Resources

Friday, January 17th, 2014

Microsoft provides a tool at to test access to their servers and cloud services. Using the Remote connectivity analyzer you can test connections to Lync, review message headers, verify Autodiscover records are working properly, test outbound access to POP/SMTP/IMAP, verify mail flow from an IP, challenge single sign-on and of course test ActiveSync.

Screen Shot 2014-01-17 at 3.28.36 PM

Overall, the Remote Connectivity Analyzer is a great tool for any Microsoft tech and a valuable weapon in the Mac Admin’s batbelt as well!

Resolve Quarantined Mailbox Issues in Exchange

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Exchange 2010 will quarantine a corrupt, or poisoned, mailbox in the Information Store database. If a  mailbox is corrupt, dirty or poisoned, rather than forcing us to run eseutil or isinteg while the database is offline, Exchange just quarantines the mailbox. If you run into one of these, you can remove from the quarantine to run a mailbox repair by deleting a registry key. To figure out which key to run, first locate the GUID of the mailbox using PowerShell:

Get-MailboxStatistics -identity USERNAME | fl

Then copy the mailbox GUID and open up the registry and make a backup (which I do every time I change the registry btw) of the registry. Then view the following key:


Delete the key for the mailbox that displays as poisoned. Then, restart the Information Store and run a quick iisreset.

Export Exchange 2007 Mailbox Users Sorted By size

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Let’s say you need to run a report in Exchange 2007 containing the following items:

  • AD Display Name
  • Mailbox Size
  • Mailbox Item Count
  • Current Storage Limit (if applicable)

And you need this list sorted by Mailbox Size, descending, you would run the following command in Exchange Management Shell, on the Exchange 2007 server, using AD/Exchange admin rights:

Get-MailboxStatistics | where {$_.ObjectClass –eq “Mailbox”} | Sort-Object TotalItemSize –Descending | ft @{label=”User”;expression={$_.DisplayName}},@{label=”Total Size(MB)”;expression={$_.TotalItemSize.Value.ToMB()}},@{label=”Items”;expression={$_.ItemCount}},@{label=”StorageLimit”;expression={$_.StorageLimitStatus}} -auto >c:\mx_size_report.txt

The above will output to a txt file called “mx_size_report.txt”

Let’s say you want to view this in Excel, simply open Excel and import this TXT file.  You will now have an Excel manageable file with the report values you just generated.

TRIPPing On Lync

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

Microsoft Lync can require as much or as little bandwidth as you can give it, according to what you are using Lync for. At its most basic, Lync is a tool for instant messaging. At its most complicated, Lync can plug-in to Microsoft Outlook, schedule a video conference with 10 of your coworkers (without posting the fact that you had said video conference to your Google+ timeline btw), share your screen so you can step your parents through setting up Windows RDP to fix a problem on their computer and pass PBX style traffic to provide voice services; all the while still letting you instant message your wife that you’ll be late coming home because you are stuck on the video conference, a screen share and a phone call also being managed with Lync.

Because you can do so much with Lync, as you start to do some of the more bandwidth intensive tasks, you might notice performance issues. Especially if you have an office of people running Office 365 and Lync Online to communicate with customers and one another. There are two types of performance to be concerned with with regards to any video or VoIP-based teleconference solution. The first is latency and the second is speed. TRIPP stands for the Transport Reliability IP Probe. TRIPP can be used to test your connection and return with information about what kind of performance you can expect to have.

TRIPP is easy to use. Open a browser to and click on Start Test.

When prompted, provide a Session ID (if you don’t have one, simply enter 0 and hit the Return key).

The test then runs. The first step is to look at latency. Wait for the rest to complete.

When finished, you’ll see a summary page that outlines the kind of performance you can expect from Lync.

If you have latency issues then it’s often due to too many hops for various sessions. This can be difficult to troubleshoot as it’s often up to an ISP to resolve routing table issues or provide better services. Bandwidth problems can be addressed by reducing the number of services on your network or increasing your throughput. You can also associate a higher priority for this type of traffic. Consistency of Service often comes down to QoS.

So far, I’ve managed to run TRIPP on Windows, Linux and as you can see from these screens, OS X.

Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager 2012

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

Microsoft has released the Beta 2 version of System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) aka System Center 2012. SCCM is a powerful tool that Microsoft has been developing for over a decade. It started as an automation tool and has grown into a full-blown management tool that allows you to manage, update, and distribute software, license, policies and a plethora of other amazing features to users, workstation, servers, and devices including mobile devices and tablets. The new version has been simplified infrastructure-wise, without losing functionality compared to previous versions.

SCCM provides end-users with a easy to use web portal that will allow them to choose what software they want easily, providing an instant response to install the application in a timely manner. For Mobile devices the management console has an exchange connector and will support any device that can use Exchange Active Sync protocol. It will allow you to push policies and settings to your devices (i.e. encryption configurations, security settings, etc…). Windows phone 7 features are also manageable through SCCM.

The Exchange component sits natively with the configuration manager and does not have to interface with Exchange directly to be utilized. You can also define minimal rights for people to just install and/or configure what they need and nothing more. The bandwidth usage can be throttled to govern its impact on the local network.

SCCM will also interface with Unix and Linux devices, allowing multiple platform and device management. At this point, many 3rd party tools such as the Casper Suite and Absolute Manage also plug into SCCM nicely. Overall this is a robust tool for the multi platform networks that have so commonly developed in today’s business needs everywhere.

Microsoft allows you to try the software at For more information, contact your 318 Professional Services Manager or if you do not yet have one.

Using Archive Mailboxes in Exchange 2010

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Once upon a time, in a dark and dreary place, Exchange administrators (an already downtrodden lot mind you) had to let users archive their mail to pst files. These files, open while Outlook was open and distributed across the enterprise file servers, caused the poor Exchange administrators great pain and suffering as they were uncontrollable. The pst files roamed, causing great pains to SMB/CIFS, switching and other admins and these pst files worse of all had no policies applied to them.

Then came a bright knight in shining armor. She brought with her Exchange 2010 and stories of mailboxes that could be used for archival to replace the monstrosity pst files that had been in use for decades (ok, maybe just a decade, or a tad more, but close enough).

For environments running Exchange 2010, she explained that to configure archive mailboxes:

  • Open the Exchange Management Console from Administrative Tools
  • Click on Recipient Configuration
  • Click on the user who you would like to configure
  • Using the action pane, click on Enable Archive
  • To see an archive, log in to Outlook Web App with the user. You can then drag and drop some items into the online archive and change its name.

Then everyone realized that Microsoft, in their infinite wisdom, invented online archiving because it requires a CAL of its own. Each of the Exchange Admins then realized that the cost of said CAL would come from their own allotment of porridge!

Office 2004 Not Responding or Starting Up

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Office 2004 hangs during the Project Gallery pop up window portion of the application starting, or during the Entourage splash page. Here are items to try to do when you run into this:

1. Check for Updates
2. Re-run last large update (this got me from Office 2004 not starting at all, just beach balling, to getting to splash screens)
3. Check disk health and repair disk permissions.
4. Delete Office Prefs Plists (move them to desktop so if it doesn’t work you can put them back)
a. ~/LIbrary/Preferences/Microsoft/
b. If that doesn’t work, try removing these plists
5. Delete, Move, or Rename “Microsoft User Data”
~/Documents/Microsoft User Data
This will allow Microsoft to recreate Microsoft User Data. In my case, it was OK since:
a. I don’t use templates
b. I have no problem recreating my signature
c. I don’t use POP access to my e-mail

Adding Entourage Delegated Folders in Entourage for Hosted Exchange

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Setting up a mail account

Adding a hosted Exchange 2007 account to Entourage must be done manually as the auto discover feature doesn’t work with the hosts servers. Enter the user’s general information (name and email address) as you normally would. The user name will be the user’s email address, the domain is supplied by the host, and the mail server address is /exchange/usersemailaddress@domain.tld. The server does require SSL. The public folder server is supplied by the ISP (same as the OWA path in the server address) and it uses SSL.

Adding a delegated user’s folder

When adding another user’s folder, you have to use the advanced option to add the user’s folder because Entourage is currently accessing the server at which means that Entourage will attempt to access another user’s folder at /exchange/currentloggedinuser@domain.tld/userfolderthatyouwanttoadd which, of course won’t work. To get around this issue, click “open another user’s folder”, click advanced, enter the user’s full name, email address and enter the mail server address in the following format: /exchange/usersemailaddress@domain.tld. Click ok and select the other user’s folder that you want to add.

Blackberry BIS Setup, Websites and Providers

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

You will want to create an IMAP or POP account *Not an OWA account* If you create an OWA account it will not sync in real time.

To setup a IMAP or POP account you must:

1. create an account on one of the following websites below.

2. Enter in the PIN# and the ESN# (located under the battery and outside the box).

3. Fill in the user name (usually their E-mail address) and then the wrong password twice for the site to give you more options.

4. Next go through the setup using your own configurations and settings or it will default to OWA. Once finished the user should get an activation E-mail. From there you should be able to test.

A list of providers and their BIS sites can be found in the following list:

Website Wireless Provider




Bell Canada


Cellular South


Cincinnati Bell

Dobson Cellular

Earthlink Wireless

Edge Wireless



Rogers Wireless


TeleCommunication Systems

T-Mobile Austria

T-Mobile Germany

Tmobile UK

T-Mobile USA

US Cellular

Verizon Wireless

Vodafone Germany

Preparing for Exchange 2007

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Make sure you have a fully updated Windows 2008 64bit install setup for the following commands to work. Note that Windows 2008 R2 will NOT work with Exchange 2007.

Exchange 2007 has a lot of prerequisites that need to be installed before you can install Exchange 2007. Instead of going through a bunch of Wizards and using trial and error to make sure you have everything installed, you can set them up using a command line.

The first command that should be run is:

ServerManagerCmd -i PowerShell

This will install and configure everything that Exchange 2007 needs for PowerShell.

IIS has several components that need to be installed to use Exchange 2007. You can create a quick batch script that includes them all. The following commands need to be run:

ServerManagerCmd -i Web-Server
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-ISAPI-Ext
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-Metabase
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-Basic-Auth
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-Digest-Auth
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-Windows-Auth
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-Dyn-Compression

If you plan on using RPC over HTTP (Outlook Anywhere) you will need to run this command after all of the IIS commands have finished:

ServerManagerCmd -i RPC-over-HTTP-proxy

After running these commands you should be ready to run the actual setup files. When you run setup.exe you should see that everything before option 4. Is greyed out. Option 4. is what triggers the install. If anything has not finished look through the command lines to make sure no errors have shown up.

Non-profits in Need of GroupWare?

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Not-for-profit and looking at options for messaging and groupware moving forward? Then you need to take a 2nd or even a 3rd look at Google Apps! Not-for-profit organizations with less than 3,000 users can get Google Apps Education Edition for free! For a not-for-profit with more than 3,000 users you can get Google Apps Premier Edition at a 40% discount.

Imagine all the infrastructure that can be repurposed, all the networking and message hygiene that you won’t have to do any more and most importantly, how happy the users will be. If your interest is piqued, give 318 a call today and we’ll be happy to work with you on a strategy, whether it’s Google Apps, Microsoft Exchange, Zimbra, Mac OS X Server, etc – 318 is platform-agnostic and here to help!

318 Video on “Gone Phishing”

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Thawte No Longer Offering Free Certificates

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Thawte is no longer offering free accounts for mail. As an interim, they are going to offer a free year (through a partner deal) of VeriSign’s similar service which is then $19 after that initial year.

MXLogic Acquired by McAfee

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

McAfee has announced that they will be acquiring MXLogic, outsourcer of message hygiene solutions. This strengthens the cloud offerings from McAfee and also brings one of the better known spam names into the umbrella of a larger entity. This move should allow MXLogic to strengthen offerings while allowing McAfee to bundle further services into existing MXLogic environments.

Printing Tables in Outlook 2000

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

To do this, you will need to do the following:

  • Open up Outlook 2000
  • Expand Hosted Exchange
  • Expand Inbox
  • Click on “Moved Billing”
  • Highlight all of the e-mails that will need to be printed on the right side.
  • Go up to File and then Print
  • Print style should be set to “Table Style”
  • Only selected rows should be chosen at the bottom.
  • Make sure you are printing to the printer you want.
  • Hit ok and it should start printing.
  • Do the same thing for Sent except expand the sent items folder instead of inbox.

Defragmenting Exchange Databases

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

In Exchange 2003, databases grow, and can get fragmented. It’s been nearly 6 years since it was released. Many people moved to Exchange 2003, and since may want to migrate to another new Exchange environment.

Either way, Exchange maintenance is important.

First, by default Exchange 2003 will have Online Defragmentation and it occurs daily between 1A and 5A. It’s online, so it’s OK if users hit their mailboxes during this time. It does not mess with e-mail. Every time someone accesses their mailbox, the defragmentation will pause, and then begin again once it notices that the mailboxes are idle again.

Secondly, there is something called Offline Defragmentation. Offline Defragmentation involves using a utility called Eseutil.exe (Exchange Server Database Utility). This utility can do some other things, but in this instance you can use it for defragmentation and shrinking down the size of the actual database. When using offline defragmentation, your databases must be offline.

According to Microsoft, the only times that you should use Offline Defragmentation is when:

- After performing a database repair (using the command Eseutil /p)
- After moving a significant amount of data from an Exchange Server database
- If instructed to do this when you are working with Microsoft Product Support Services, or when troubleshooting a specific problem and the existing documentation calls for an offline defragmentation.

- To determine how much space you will regain after the offline defragmentation of the database, check event 1221 in the Exchange server’s Application log. You should also consider the time factor when performing an offline defragmentation of the database because it is a lengthy process.
- It is also important to note that the offline defragmentation requires about 110% of the space of the original database to succeed. This is because the Eseutil tool actually creates a new database file, in addition to the original database file. Both files have to coexist on the disk. It is possible however, to redirect the temporary database file to a different hard disk by using the Eseutil /t switch
- Immediately create a backup after you initiate an offline defrag

For more good information, please see:

Using Symantec’s Backup Exec With External Hard Drives

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

This assumes that you’ve already installed Backup Exec, and licensed it appropriately.
This assumes that all parities understand the expected backup retention policies, as well.

Preparing Backup Drives
1. Unpack Backup Drives
2. Plug both of them in
3. Note the drive letter assigned to them (this drive letter will now be forever associated with that drive).
4. Ensure drive is formatted with NTFS, if not, backup info on hard drive, format it, and label it appropriately
NOTE: You want to backup info on the new external drive because often times there will be utilities on there that are not present on the CD that the drive came with, or available from the manufacturers website.

Preparing Devices
1. Open Backup Exec
2. Navigate to Devices
3. Right mouse click on Removable Backup-to-Disk Folders
4. Select Backup-to-Disk Wizard
5. Click Next
6. Select Create a new backup-to-disk folder
7. Select Removable backup-to-disk folder
8. Name it (remember the name)
9. Select a path (this is just the drive name [ex. F:])
10. Follow the rest of the steps
NOTE: You will need to do this for each drive.

Preparing Media
NOTE: This is a critical step. If you don’t do this, chances are that the media you’re writing to will not allow you to overwrite it, even if you told it to do so in your Job properties. As a general rule, remember that device properties trump job properties.
1. Go to the Media tab, Right mouse click on Media Set
2. Select New Media Set
3. Give it a name (remember the name)
4. Ensure that “Overwrite protection period” is set to: Infinite – Don’t Allow Overwrite
NOTE: This is in my opinion bad grammar that’s been carried along from version to version. What this settings does is DISABLE overwrite protection. This means that there is no overwrite protection – i.e, you can write over the drive as many times as you please.
5. For “Append Period”, ensure that it is set to “Infinite – Allow Append” Backup exec interprets this as “I will allow you to append as many time as you please because there is no period to stop appending”.
6. Set Vault rules to None

Creating a Job
1. Go to the Job Setup tab
2. On the left pane, under the Backup Tasks window, select “New job using wizard”
3. Select “Create a backup job with custom settings”
4. Select the resources you would like to backup
5. Test the logon account
6. Select the order of backup
7. Name the backup, and the backup set
8. Choose the device you’d like to backup the data to (The All Devices pool).
NOTE: You will in most cases want to select “all devices”. This will tell Backup Exec to go to all devices and then select the one that’s available to backup to. If you have a tape drive that’s been deprecated, then you want to disable the tape drive under “Devices”, but still point the job to all devices. It will then backup to the drive that’s plugged in. This will allow for external drive rotation with the least amount of user intervention. If you have more than one “online” device, then you want to create a new “device pool” under “Device” and add your two “backup-to-disk” folders within that new pool.
9. Select the media set you’d like to backup the data to (the new media set you created).
10. For Backup Overwrite Method, please select “Append to media, overwrite if no appendable media is available”. What this will do is backup to the drives for as long as the drives say per your Media selection, and if there’s no room, it will overwrite.
11. Choose your backup options. Depending on the time it takes to backup, you will want to adjust this. With the size of external hard drives nowadays, I don’t see any other reason why you’d want to stray from Full Backups. If the backups are under 100GB and you have 1TB drives, go ahead and choose full backups (at the speed of USB2.0 or greater this will most likely only take about 4-5 hours). This will make it easier for restores in a offsite rotation scenario, managing jobs in the long run, and give you ~8 days worth of backups.
12. Always select it to verify backups
13. Schedule the job to run later
14. For the schedule, you would usually want to choose Recurring Week Days, and select the days you want it to backup per your conversation with the client.
15. For the Time Window, select what time you’d like the backup to start.

Adjusting Alerts
1. Go to Tools > Alert Categories
2. For “Media Insert”, and “Media Overwrite”, ensure that you select “Automatically clear alert after” 2 Minutes (or whatever you want), and Respond with “Yes”
NOTE: IMPORTANT If you don’t do this, Backup Exec will actually wait FOREVER (literally) for someone to manually acknowledge the alert by clicking Yes, No, or Cancel. It will always pop an alert because it’s hitting a pool to search for available media. By responding with Yes, it will now begin to Overwrite and/or use the device and media that you have selected the job to use.

Testing Job
1. Unplug one of the drives
2. Manually Run the Job
3. Verify that the job has run successfully and note what problems you have ran into, and correct or note as necessary
4. Run the Job AGAIN on the same drive. Ensure that it runs and appends to the drive. This will prove that the drive can be written to and is not “locked” due to an incorrect setting on the job or media.
5. Unplug the tested drive
6. Run steps 2-4 on the other drive to ensure that everything is OK.
7. Run a test restore
8. You can now leave one of the drives onsite, and take another with you or leave it with the client. You can now assure the client that they now have good backups (one onsite, and one that’s going offsite), and that you’ve thoroughly tested the backups and also performed a test restore.

Wrap up
1. Note any false positives in notes for the client (for backup troubleshooting in the future)
2. Update the Backup section for the client in notes.
3. Even if there was no BEV, send a BEV out saying that they now have a backup system in place.

Using LCR for Exchange 2007 Disaster Recovery

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Local Continuous Replication (LCR) is a high availability feature built into Exchange Server 2007.  LCR allows admins to create and maintain a replica of a storage group to a SAN or DAS volume.  This can be anything from a NetApp to an inexpensive jump drive or even a removable sled. In Exchange 2007, log file sizes have been increased, and those logs are copied to the LCR location (known as log shipping) and then used to “replay” data into the replica database (aka change propagation).

LCR can be used to reduce the recovery time in disaster recovery scenarios for the whole database, instead of restoring a database you can simply mount the replica.  However, this is not to be used for day-to-day mailbox recovery, message restores, etc.  It’s there to end those horrific eseutil /rebuild and eseutil /defrag scenarios.  Given the sizes that Exchange environments are able to get in Exchange 2003 R2 and Exchange 2007, this alone is worth the drive space used.

Like with many other things in Windows, LCR can be configured using a wizard.  The Local Continuous Backup wizard (I know, it should be the LCR wizard) can be accessed using the Exchange Management Console.  From here, browse to the storage group you would like to replicate and then click on the Enable Local Continuous Backup button.  The wizard will then ask you for the path to back up to and allow you to set a schedule.  Once done, the changes will replicate, but the initial copy will not.  This is known as seeding and will require a little PowerShell to get going.  Using the name of the Storage Group (in this example “First Storage Group”) you will stop LCR, manually update the seed, then start it again, commands respectively being:

Suspend-StorageGroupCopy –identity “First Storage Group”

Update-StorageGroupCopy –identity “First StorageGroup”

Resume-StorageGroupCopy –identity “First StorageGroup”

Now that your database is seeded, click on the Storage Group in the Exchange Management Console and you should see Healthy listed in the Copy Status column for the database you’re using LCR with.  Loop through this process with all of your databases and you’ll have a nice disaster recovery option to use next time you would have instead done a time consuming defrag of the database.

Setting Up Folders and Rules in Outlook

Friday, April 10th, 2009

In Outlook, to create a new folder, right click on the Mailbox – Username on the left side and select New Folder. Type in the name FooBar E-mail for the Name. For the “Folder Contains” you should choose Mail and Post Items (Which should be the default).

Now that you have the folder created, a rule needs to be setup for it so that all e-mail goes into that folder that was addressed using the e-mail address. To start off, you need to go to Tools and then Rules and Alerts. Click on New Rule. You are going to want to select “Move messages from someone to a folder”. Click Next. Uncheck anything that is currently checked. Then put a check mark in “with specific words in the recipient’s address”. Now down in the lower window, click on the blue text that says “specific words”. Another box should pop up. In the top thin box, type the users e-mail address in and then click add. If they have any sort of alias they should add that one as well. Click ok when done. Now click on “specified folder”. It will bring up another window. Find the FooBar folder that was created earlier, highlight it and then click ok. Once the blue high lighted words are correct, you should be able to click on finish and be done.

Now any e-mail that comes into the new Exchange server with the e-mail address, it will be directed to that folder of the user it was addressed to.

Moving Exchange Public Folders Between Information Stores

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Moving the Public Folders in Exchange 2003 from one Information Store to another located on the same server.

The only way to do this, previously, was to create another Exchange server and either use pfadmin to transfer the public folders, or to setup another Exchange server setup replication and then replicate again to the target Information Store. Either way, you will require another Exchange server.

Setting up and using PFADMIN:

Setting up Public Folder Replicas: (towards middle of page)

The steps outlined below will allow you to use only one.

1. Ensure there are no connections to Exchange (OWA, Outlook, etc.)
2. Login to Exchange System Manager (ESM)
3. Drill down to the Public Folder that you want to move. Make note of the application
4. Install adsiedit
a. <- For Windows 2003 SP2
5. Drill down in ADSIedit to the public folder
a. Configuration
b. Services
c. Microsoft Exchange
d. Administrative Groups
e. Server
f. Information Store
6. Right mouse click the public folder on the right side that you want to move. Select “Move”
7. A new window will appear, drill down again to the information store that you wish to move the public folder to, and move it.
8. Go back to ESM
9. Go to Mail Box on originating Information Store (where you are moving from)
10. Right mouse click, and re-associate the public folder with the mailbox store. It will automatically redirect itself to the newly moved public folder in the new information store.
11. Reboot Exchange or Restart Exchange Services.

The process above was used to migrate data from one information to another located on a SAN that was connected to an Exchange server. The migration process first included the Mailboxes, then the System Mail Boxes, and lastly the Public Folders. If following that process, you can then safely delete the mailbox store from the originating Information Store, and then delete the original Information Store. (ensure there are no lingering accounts that have associated mailboxes to the old store).

Unraveling Unified Messaging

Friday, March 13th, 2009

There’s been a lot of talk the past year or two about unified messaging. You may remember the old ATT All in One commercial where a person was golfing and his important call would find him, and he wouldn’t miss the call. Or have you ever had a job where every morning you had to check your e-mail, then your voicemail on your phones, and then walk to the fax machine to check your faxes? Well, Google this week released a new service called Google Voice. Google Voice is just a revamp of their system called Google GrandCentral. You have one number that people will call, and Google will route the call to all of your phones to try and locate you, and allow you to essentially ignore the call or accept it. You can also search your emails, voicemails, and SMS messages from the web. Microsoft Exchange offers a system that will allow you to get all your email, voicemail and faxes in one centralized location. Weaver just released a service in February that will allow Asterisk users to have their voicemail transcribed automatically and e-mailed to them. Below is a chart of services offered by Google, Asterisk, and Microsoft Exchange 2007 Unified Messaging to give you a better understanding of what technology route you may want to go.

Microsoft Exchange 2007 Unified Messaging
Microsoft’s Exchange 2007 Unified Messaging goal is to tie in Email, Fax and Phone into one manageable place. An example that Microsoft uses is that first thing in the morning most people check their email, then check their voicemail, and after check their faxes. Exchange Unified Messaging has the ability to tie together all three of these communication technologies into a single place for management.

Exchange Unified Messaging on it’s own cannot serve a PBX function, but harnesses a current PBX infrastructure into Exchange for end users to have a seamless place to manage their communications. The current iteration of Exchange Unified Messaging is with Exchange 2007. To leverage the entire suite of features, you must use Outlook 2007.

Google Voice
Google Voice is a communication infrastructure much like Exchange Unified Messaging, but seems to be targeted for non-business consumers. Google Voice is the current iteration of what was once known as Google GrandCentral. Its purpose is unified messaging as well, as it ties in your Gmail, SMS and incoming phone calls into your phone account created on Google Voice. Google Voice is an IP-PBX (VoIP) that allows you to make and receive calls with unified messaging capabilities.

Receiving calls can be done through any cell phone that you have, or through their Google Voice web interface. Making calls can be done via GoogleVoice (web-based), or through any other phone (landline or cell phone). The price point is very good (as in free). The price is free for all calls made to US numbers (long distance charges to other countries apply, of course). It requires no additional hardware.

Asterisk is an open source IP-PBX (VoIP) platform based on Linux. It requires a computer to run on and can tie in your existing land line with almost any VoIP provider of your choice. Call pricing depends on your phone carriers.


Google Voice


Exchange 2007


Yes, stored on Google’s PBX Server.

Yes, stored on PBX Server.

Yes, originating from current PBX, but forwarded and stored in Exchange


Yes, integrated with Gmail.

Yes, SMTP’d to host of your choice.

Yes, integrated with Exchange and Outlook

Transcribing VoiceMail


Yes, not natively as it needs to use VoiceScribe[1] and then emails you the trasncript

No, but allows the user to take notes (including manually transcribing voicemail) to allow voicemail to be searchable via Outlook


The use is free, and calls to US numbers are free.  Your cell provider rates still apply, and Google has their own price for long distance calling[2].

Free to install and use, and configure.  The call price rate depends on your local and/or VoIP carrier.

Phone calls rates are based on your PBX/Call Provider.  Only certain PBXs are supported[3].  The price for Exchange is $699 for Standard or $3,999 for Enterprise depending on how many storage groups and databases per mailbox server role you need.[4]  Both come with unified messaging.

Can call more than one of your phones at a time to try to locate you.


Yes, but you need to purchase additional trunks (VoIP or PSTN)

Depends on PBX

Can automatically locate you and route calls depending on bluetooth proximity.




Native Address Book

Yes, integrated with your Google Account.


Yes, integrated with Exchange Contacts

Call Management

Yes, via your phones (and possibly through Google Voice)

Yes, via your phones or through HUD

Yes, through Outlook and possibly through your PBX Software



Yes, but it’s through VoIP, and not realiable[5]

Yes, through a standard fax line




Depends on PBX

Listen to voice messages without changing their context to another application

Yes, integrated with Google Voice

No – you need to use whatever sound application is installed on your computer

Yes integrated with Outlook


Unknown, but since it’s web based, it may work on Linux, Mac, and Windows.

Yes – Linux, Mac, and Windows

No, just Windows with Outlook 2007. You can play messages in Entourage, but may either have to change file type in Exchange from *.wma to *.wav, or have Mac users install WMP 9 for OS X[6]

Configure individual voice mail settings

Via phone or web

Via phone or web

Yes integrated with Outlook

View all voicemail in one location




Distinguish voice and fax messages from email messages within mailbox

No, just voice mail from email, and only through Google Voice


Yes integrated with Outlook

Determine whether a voice message has already been played



Yes integrated with Outlook

Add notes to a voicemail message natively



Yes integrated with Outlook

Reply to a voice mail with email

Unknown – not sure if it can work with blocked numbers or telephone numbers not in contacts.


Yes integrated with Outlook

Add telephone numbers received to Contacts natively



Yes integrated with Outlook

Share VoiceMail




Adding a user

Free.  Requires that each user is registered with a Google account.

Free.  Just create a new extension for IP phones.  For non-IP hard phones, you must buy a FXS card (or to connect a regular phone to an ATA).

You must buy CALs for each user.  For unified messaging, you must have both the Exchange Standard AND Entprise CAL.  Exchange Standard CAL is $67, Exchange Enterprise CAL is $35.[7]  You must purchase both CALs for each user.  You also need to add a user to your PBX – pricing and licensing depends on PBX provider.

There are some things that may catch your eye (or not) when you first see this chart. Exchange Unified Messaging is expensive, but offers a lot of features that the other two don’t. From a “birds eye view” it may also fit your enterprise better if your companies’ locations use different types of PBXs, but you want to “unify” all of the communication in Exchange.

If you have a heterogeneous environment or non Windows environment, Asterisk or Google Voice may be a better route for you.

If you are concerned with regulatory compliance, Google Voice may not be your best choice since you do not have a centralized location of all your communication readily available.

When determining which choice is a better fit for your business, carefully weigh your options (price, compliance and room for expansion to name a few). It will be exciting to see how the technologies are managed, and what the future holds for unified communications. If you plan to roll out any of these services, or are in need of consultation, please don’t hesitate to let us know. We’re here to help.

Installing Symantec Security for Microsoft Exchange Licenses

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Once you get the PDF with the license numbers that you need you will log on to You can create a new account with your own e-mail address to do so.

Click on new purchase and enter in the first serial number. Click submit. It will then ask you to e-mail it to you. Just finish this and it will e-mail you the license and also present it to you on the web page that comes up next. Download it to an appropriate place.

Open up Symantec Mail Security for Microsoft Exchange. Click on Admin and then Licensing. Go right to step 3. Browse to the file that you just downloaded and it will check with the server and configure it.

For the second license file, do the same thing as stated above.

Restart all of the started Symantec Mail services.

If you are updating the licenses after the expiration date, you have to do one more step to get everything enabled again.
You probably noticed that SPA status still says disabled. To enable it, go to Policies and then Premium Anti-Virus Settings. Put a check in “Enable Symantec Premium AntiSpam” Then click on the Deploy Changes button at the top. It will ask if you want to deploy it to all servers. Click ok on that. Now that status on the Home page will say that SPA Status is enabled.

You should be all done at this point.

Preventing Vacation Response Loops for Distribution Groups in Kerio

Monday, January 26th, 2009

When messages are sent to a Distribution Group, and a user in that group has a vacation Auto-reply set up, Kerio will respond to the group address, and the auto-reply will be triggered again, and a loop results.

In order to avoid this, another mail filter is required. To set this up:

1) Log into Kerio Web Mail, and click on Settings, and then Mail Filters
2) Click “New” to add a new rule.
3) In the Conditions pane, check the box for “Where the recipient address (To or CC line) contains
4) In the Actions pane, check the box for “Stop processing more rules”
5) In the Rule Description pane, click the underlined value (in this case ‘contains”’), and enter the name of the distribution group (for instance,
6) Name the rule something descriptive, and click “OK” to save the rule.
7) In the Mail Filters window, single-click on the rule you just created, and click the “Move Up” button until that rule is above any other rules that would cause messages to be sent to the group. In most cases, you should just move it to the top.

Step 7 is important – if this rule is below your Out Of Office rule, it will trigger too late.

Managing Global Address Lists in Exchange 2003

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

1. Open ‘Active Directory Users and Computers’ –
Start → All Programs → Administrative Tools → Active Directory Users and Computers

2. Select the user that you would like to update on the Global Address List

3. Right-click on that user and select ‘Properties’ in the resulting pop-up menu

4. Go to the ‘Exchange Advanced’ tab for the user

5. Check the box to ‘Hide from Exchange address lists’ and delete the ‘Simple Display Name’ to remove the user from the Global Address List. To add the user to the Global Address List, then un-check the ‘Hide from Exchange address lists’ and enter an alias in the ‘Simple Display Name’ text box.

6. Click on ‘Apply’ then click ‘OK’ to submit the changes.
The changes can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours to propagate.

7. To confirm updates via the Exchange System Manager then open the manager
Start → All Programs → Microsoft Exchange → System Manager

8. On the right side navigation panel go to
Recipients → All Global Address Lists → Default Global Address List

9. Right-click on ‘Default Global Address List’ then click ‘Properties’ on the pop-up menu.

10. Click on ‘Preview’ to generate the current Global Address List

Office Unified Communication Server

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Communication is the transfer or collaboration of thoughts, ideas and plans between individuals. It is essential in the organizational success of most businesses to have various easy to use methods of communication. Today’s communication varies from chatting to video teleconferencing. Combining these forms of communication into a simple easy to use interface or tool can drastically increase the flow of collaboration and communication of staff members.

Microsoft’s Unified Communication Server and Office Communicator comprise a suite of programs and services that allow businesses to integrate most communication platforms into one centralized management console. Unified Communications takes the functionality of outlook and exchange and combines email with VOIP service, voicemail, chatting, faxing and video teleconferencing. Along with the integration of all these services, Unified Communications comes with one tool to rule them all.

Office Communicator gives anyone with a laptop or Windows Mobile Smart phone the ability to switch methods of communication on the fly, without having to worry about loss of communication. This simple tool will give you ability to take your office anywhere in the world as long as you have an Internet connection. It also has the ability to attach additional phone numbers to your main office number. Chatting, faxing, emailing, calling and video teleconferencing have never been so easy.

Unified Communications and Office Communicator provide a new method of centralized communication that when implemented in your company will greatly enhance the flow of communication between the staff at your business.

Setting Up Delegates in Microsoft Exchange

Saturday, April 19th, 2008

Exchange 2003 allows you to administer it granularly from Exchange System Manager (”ESM”), but this cannot be done with users that already are administrators (Domain Admins, Exterprise Admins, etc.)

First, create a user that you would like to have Administrator Delegate Access to Exchange and all of the information stores. Do Not make this user a member of any admin security groups.

Next, create a group for administering Exchange, usually this can be called “exadmin” without quotes.

Start populating that security group with the people you would want to have access to the Information Store(s). Next, open up ESM and right mouse-click on the top level of the tree. Go to Delegate Control, and add the newly created group FULL ADMINISTRATIVE ACCESS.

Press, “Next” until all of the windows close.

After you have given the group access, wait approximately 30 minutes for the settings to propagate through Exchange.

Members of this group can now take control of items in user’s inboxes and can also administer public folders via Outlook. They can also now run exmerge.

Cleaning Exchange Queues in Windows Server 2003

Monday, April 7th, 2008

While working in Exchange, you will run into issues where the Exchange server is getting heavily SPAMmed. Often times if it’s not due to being an Open Relay, it will be by NDR. The definition of and explanation of NDR’s will not be covered in this article.

Let’s say that when viewing items in the Queue, you Identify that you are being SPAMmed using NDR, and don’t have the luxury of time to create another queue to dump things into, and clear it out the old-fashioned way – and possibly lose “good” e-mail along the way.

There’s hope.

Go to: Support Tools/Aqadmcli

…and download aqdmcli.exe

Save this somewhere on the Exchange server.

Type in the following at the command prompt: #>aqdmcli.exe >setserver ‘yourexchangeserver’flags=SENDER, (at this point, after you hit enter, it will go through and delete ONLY those e-mails from the queue) >end (this is to quit out of aqadmcli)

That’s it. You’re done. Wasn’t that easy?

More information on this time saving utility is available here:,289483,sid43_gci1218279,00.html #>aqdmcli.exe ?

Configure the Maximum LDAP Connections in Kerio Mail Server

Friday, November 30th, 2007

1. Stop the Kerio Engine

2. Navigate to C:\Program Files\Kerio\MailServer\mailserver.cfg (sudo nano /usr/local/kerio/mailserver/mailserver.cfg on a Mac) and open the mailserver.cfg

3. Make a Copy of this file as a backup

4. Do a find for “ConnectionLimit”

5. Modify the following line:32

The default limit is 32.

6. After making the change, save the file and restart the mailserver engine.

Exporting Outlook 2003 Contacts & Importing to Mac OS X’s Address Book

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

If you want to do a complete one time export of your Outlook contacts and import them into you Mac Address Book.

From Outlook Select all your Contacts

Click Actions > Forward As Vcard

This will compose a New Email with all your contacts as separate Vcards. Then send the email to yourself, or any other email address you can check.

Download all your attachments into a separate folder, so you can select all in the next step

In the Finder Select all your Vcards and then just drag them into Address Book. Or you can go into Address book and File > Import > Vcards

Using Exmerge in Exchange 2003

Saturday, November 24th, 2007

Exmerge is an application that can be gotten from:

The above version is 06.05.7529 and is actually the version of ExMerge that was for Exchange 2003, but can be ran on versions as far back as Exchange 5.5.

Definition of ExMerge From Microsoft:

Brief Description Extract data from mailboxes on one server running Exchange and then merge that data into mailboxes on another server running Exchange with the help of this tool.

What it does is export mailbox(es) into a pst, and/or import mailboxes from a pst. It carries the followng items from the mailbox over: Rules Notes Journal

ExMerge can be ran in two ways. One way is to have it export and import directly into Exchange, the other is to run it where it will import into a newly created PST that ExMerge creates.