Exchange & Outlook UPDATE, Exchange Edition, August 9, 2002

Jerry Cochran covers a few of the highlights in Exchange 2000 SP3. Also, find out about Exchange resources and products.

Exchange and Outlook UPDATE, Exchange Edition—brought to you by Exchange & Outlook Administrator, a print newsletter from Windows & .NET Magazine that contains practical advice, how-to articles, tips, and techniques to help you do your job today.
http://www.exchangeadmin.com


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(below COMMENTARY)


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August 9, 2002—In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY

  • A Look at Exchange 2000 SP3

2. NEWS AND VIEWS

  • Microsoft Communications Infrastructure WebCast
  • Submit Top Product Ideas

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Become Part of Our MEC 2002 Focus Group!
  • Get a Free Digital or Print Sample Issue Today!

4. HOT RELEASE (ADVERTISEMENT)

  • VeriSign - The Value of Trust

5. RESOURCES

  • Exchange HOW TO: Use Certificates with Virtual Servers in Exchange 2000 Server
  • Featured Thread: SMTP Trace Tool

6. NEW AND IMPROVED

  • Migrate Exchange Mailboxes

7. CONTACT US

  • See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

1. COMMENTARY
(contributed by Jerry Cochran, News Editor, [email protected])

  • A LOOK AT EXCHANGE 2000 SP3

  • I hope you noticed that Microsoft got Exchange 2000 Server Service Pack 3 (SP3) out the door last week. (If you're still running Exchange Server 5.5, you probably don't care. Even if you're running Exchange 2000, you might not have gotten around yet to deploying SP2.) Is anything in Exchange 2000 SP3 worth getting excited about?

    You might recall that Microsoft originally proposed one major Exchange Server release (code-named Mercury) instead of a series of Exchange 2000 service packs. More than a year ago, however, Microsoft listened to customer feedback and realized that Exchange users weren't looking for another major release. So, the planned Mercury enhancements became a series of service packs that will culminate in the upcoming Exchange 2000 Titanium release, due in mid-2003. (For a discussion of what we know about Titanium, see last week's UPDATE commentary, "Fleshing Out Titanium," at the first URL below.)

    Originally, Exchange 2000 SP3 was scheduled for release about the same time as Windows .NET Server (Win.NET Server) and was dubbed the "Windows .NET Server Service Pack." However, as we all know, these things don't always work out as planned. Microsoft couldn't hold up Exchange 2000 SP3 just because the Win.NET Server release slipped. A lot of important planned Win.NET Server-related work hasn't come to fruition in SP3. In addition, Microsoft hasn't performed the extensive testing that's required for full support of SP3 on Win.NET Server. Therefore, Microsoft has delayed complete Win.NET Server support until the Titanium release. However, you can use an Exchange 2000 SP3 server in a forest that deploys Win.NET Server domain controllers (DCs). By doing so, you can take advantage of Win.NET Server features such as the dynamic Name Service Provider Interface (NSPI) protocol, Global Catalog (GC) partition occupancy, and linked value replication. (For information about preparing your forest and Exchange organization before upgrading to Win.NET Server, see the Microsoft article "Windows .NET Server ADPREP Command Causes Mangled Attributes in Windows 2000 Forests That Contain Exchange 2000 Servers" at the second URL below. For information about the specific features I mention, see the Microsoft white paper "Exchange 2000 Server Service Pack 3 Deployment Guide" at the third URL below.) With Win.NET Server support missing in SP3, what else is there? Don't worry—Exchange 2000 has plenty of room for improvement.

    Problems with virtual-memory management have plagued Exchange 2000—clustered Exchange 2000 deployments in particular—since the product's initial release. Microsoft has worked continuously to make virtual-memory allocation and management more stable for both clustered and nonclustered Exchange servers. SP3 provides a new and improved virtual-memory allocation scheme that changes the way the Store process (store.exe) allocates and deallocates memory. This change results in fewer instances of Exchange 2000 running out of virtual memory under load and should help many high-end deployments with clusters, or with many users per server, run more smoothly.

    Other enhancements include Exchange 2000 DSAccess changes that improve the way Exchange 2000's components (e.g., the Store, SMTP, the Routing service, the System Attendant) find and use Active Directory (AD) GCs and DCs. Microsoft expects these enhancements to drastically improve the efficiency of Exchange 2000 on the network.

    No service pack would be complete without a roll-up of bug fixes. SP3 contains several hundred fixes, some of which exist as hotfixes for Exchange 2000 SP2 and earlier versions. (You can find a fairly comprehensive description of the contents of all the Exchange 2000 service packs in the Microsoft article "XGEN: List of Bugs Fixed by Exchange 2000 Server Service Packs" at the fourth URL below.)

    Nothing in Exchange 2000 SP3 is earth shattering—Microsoft tries not to put new features in service packs (the company saves such features for the releases it can charge for). However, depending on your deployment and use of Exchange 2000, SP3 might offer certain benefits. For example, if you run large or clustered Exchange 2000 servers, SP3 seems worth a look. Also, the improvements in DSAccess and GC and DC utilization are well worth deploying if you're plagued by related problems. To learn more about SP3 and whether it warrants further investigation, take a look at the SP3 Deployment Guide or review the recent Microsoft Support Webcast at the fifth URL below.

    "Fleshing Out Titanium"

    "Windows .NET Server ADPREP Command Causes Mangled Attributes in Windows 2000 Forests That Contain Exchange 2000 Servers"

    "Exchange 2000 Server Service Pack 3 Deployment Guide"

    "XGEN: List of Bugs Fixed by Exchange 2000 Server Service Packs"

    Support WebCast: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Service Pack 3 Overview (originally broadcast August 6, 2002)


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    2. NEWS AND VIEWS
    (contributed by Jerry Cochran, News Editor, [email protected])

  • MICROSOFT COMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE WEBCAST

  • The Communcations Infratstructure WebCast discusses the business benefits of a communications infrastructure and how to optimize such an infrastructure. Several Webcast dates are available. To learn more about the Webcast or to register, visit the following URL:
    http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/ci/webcasts/default.asp

  • SUBMIT TOP PRODUCT IDEAS

  • Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Do you know of a terrific product that others should know about? Tell us! We want to write about the product in a future Windows & .NET Magazine What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions to [email protected]

    3. ANNOUNCEMENTS
    (brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

  • BECOME PART OF OUR MEC 2002 FOCUS GROUP!

  • If you're attending MEC 2002 and work at a company with more than 3000 employees, join our focus group on October 9, 2002. We'll give you a free lunch and $100! To be considered for this focus group, please email us at mailto:[email protected] by August 23. Please include your full name, job title, and email address.

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    4. HOT RELEASE (ADVERTISEMENT)

  • VERISIGN - THE VALUE OF TRUST

  • FREE E-COMMERCE SECURITY GUIDE
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    5. RESOURCES

  • EXCHANGE HOW TO: USE CERTIFICATES WITH VIRTUAL SERVERS IN EXCHANGE 2000 SERVER

  • Each week, Microsoft posts several Exchange Server how-to articles to its Knowledge Base. This week, learn how to install and use certificates on Exchange 2000 Server's POP3, IMAP4, SMTP, and Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP) virtual servers.
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;q319574

  • FEATURED THREAD: SMTP TRACE TOOL

  • Robert wonders if anyone knows of an SMTP trace tool that can reveal messages' full routes and locate lost messages. To offer your advice or join the discussion, go to the following URL:
    http://www.exchangeadmin.com/forums/thread.cfm?cfapp=72&thread_id=111095&mc=1

    6. NEW AND IMPROVED
    (contributed by Carolyn Mader, [email protected])

  • MIGRATE EXCHANGE MAILBOXES

  • Automation-Specialists Software Engineering Group released Mailbox Migration Manager 2.0, software that lets organizations migrate Exchange Server mailboxes between Exchange sites, containers, and organizations. You can use the software to complete migrations while preserving associated permissions, rules, distribution list (DL) membership, and mailbox foreign-language settings. The software includes a utility to update desktop Outlook profiles on client workstations. Pricing depends on the number of objects you want to migrate. Contact Automation-Specialists Software Engineering Group at 480-832-9020.
    http://www.automation-specialists.com

    7. CONTACT US
    Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

    (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)

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    Thank you for reading Exchange and Outlook UPDATE, Exchange Edition.

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