Exchange & Outlook UPDATE, Exchange Edition--Disaster Preparedness and You--April 27, 2006

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1. Commentary
- Disaster Preparedness and You

2. Peer to Peer
- Instant Poll: What are your vacation plans for this summer?
- Featured Thread: Make Outlook not Close if Messages Are Open
- Outlook Tip: Using Group Policy to Control the Anti-Phishing Setting

3. New and Improved
- Recover Emails With One Mouse Click

==== Sponsor: Sonasoft ====

Integrated Backup/Recovery and Replication Solution for Exchange Server SonaSafe for Exchange Server is the only software that offers both backup/recovery and replication for Exchange Server as part of a single integrated solution. The solution provides automated one-click rapid recovery to the point of failure; Reliable replication – no distance limitation, can be anywhere in the world. Typically, customers have to buy multiple solutions from different vendors to get similar capability. Also, it would cost three to four times more to get comparable functionality offered by Sonasoft's SonaSafe solution.


Editor's note: Share Your Exchange Discoveries and Get $100
Share your Exchange Server and Outlook discoveries, comments, or problems and solutions for use in the Exchange & Outlook Administrator print newsletter's Reader to Reader column. Email your contributions (500 words or less) to [email protected] We edit submissions for style, grammar, and length. If we print your submission, you'll get $100.


==== 1. Commentary: Disaster Preparedness and You ====
by Paul Robichaux, Exchange Editor, [email protected]

I'm writing this column from the speakers' lounge at Exchange Connections Europe, which has been a terrific show so far. Nice, France, is a beautiful city, and so far no one has laughed at my attempts to dust off my rusty college French. However, what should have been a perfect trip has been haunted by the ghost of disasters, both past and future.

First, the past. Last week marked the 100th anniversary of the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906. San Francisco and its surrounding area were uniquely vulnerable to this earthquake because of a variety of factors, including prevailing construction methods, soil composition, and the lack of effective firefighting capability. As you probably know, the fault systems that underlie the Bay Area (and their companion faults in the Puget Sound area) are overdue for a major earthquake, and that's worrisome.

Second, I've been reading a scary book, "Fifty Degrees Below Zero," in which science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson describes some of the possible outcomes of abrupt climate change. Those outcomes include destructive weather events that are practically Biblical in scale, along with desperate efforts to mitigate the climate change and retool the economy. Whether or not you agree that global warming is real, the historical record of abrupt climate change--and the lasting aftereffects--is abundantly clear.

These two things have little in common except this: Both point out the need for effective disaster recovery for your Exchange organization, and "effective" in this context implies effective and accurate preparation. As hurricane season approaches, there are lots of nervous folks along the Gulf Coast, in Florida, and along the eastern seaboard of the United States, but they're already preparing. What about your own organization?

I don't have space in this column to list every step you might conceivably take to protect your Exchange organization, but I can point out a few high-value things that you should be sure to include in your planning:

1. Have a bug-out plan. If a disaster hit your business, how would you get away from the area? How would you decide when it was time to go? How would you tell your employees not to come to work? In fact, how would you make the decision to shut down or relocate operations?

2. Keep communicating. How would management and employees communicate until your email service could be reestablished? Who's in charge of establishing and maintaining disaster communications?

3. Grab your gear and go. One of my customers implemented its disaster recovery plan for Hurricane Katrina by shutting down the Exchange server, pulling all the disks from the storage enclosure, and taking them by car to Houston. This was an ingenious and effective solution, given the circumstances. What would you do under similar circumstances?

4. Now is always better than later. It's better to have a fair solution now than a perfect solution later. Of course, this doesn't mean that you should rush out and slap together a disaster-preparedness strategy out of whatever random products and technologies you can find. It does, however, mean that you should push disaster recovery and preparedness planning to the forefront of your list of operational concerns.

It's not possible to anticipate every possible disaster, but you don't have to. The responses to many disasters will be the same; you can make plans based on the expected duration of recovery, the impact of the disaster on your facilities and the surrounding area, and other factors. Even if you don't live in a disaster-prone area (I don't; the biggest threat in northwest Ohio is apparently highway construction), you should still be prepared for things such as structure fires, major traffic accidents (what if a gasoline tanker blew up nearby? That happened at my wedding!), and so on.

The Boy Scouts say "Be prepared," but I like the US Coast Guard's motto better: "Semper Paratus," which is Latin for "always ready."

And a brief follow-up note on my DirectPush experience. From the minute I landed in Nice and turned on my phone, email has been flowing smoothly to me. This has been a real bonus because there's effectively no Internet connectivity at Nice's otherwise excellent convention center. I'm still trying to figure out how to make my ancient Bluetooth headset work reliably with my phone, and there are still a few things I miss about the Treo (notably its 320x320 screen), but overall I'm still delighted with it.


==== Sponsor: iAnywhere ====

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==== Events and Resources ====
( A complete Web and live events directory brought to you by Windows IT Pro: )

Make sure that your DR systems are up to the challenge of a real natural disaster by learning from messaging survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Live Event: Tuesday, May 2

How do you ensure that your email system isn't vulnerable to a messaging meltdown? In this Web seminar, Exchange guru Paul Robichaux tells you what you should do before you have an outage to increase your chances of coming out of it smelling like roses.

Learn the best ways to manage your email security (and fight spam) using a variety of solutions and tips.

Expert Ben Smith describes the benefits of using server virtualization to make computers more efficient. Download this exclusive podcast today!

Ensure that you're being effective with your internal network security. Are your DIY options protecting you against worms, BotNets, Trojans, and hackers? Make sure! Live Event: Tuesday, May 23

==== Featured White Papers ====

Examine the risks of allowing unwanted or offensive content into your network and learn about the technologies and methodologies to defend against inappropriate content, spyware, IM, and P2P.

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==== 2. Peer to Peer ====

Instant Poll: What are your vacation plans for this summer? Go to the Windows IT Pro home page and select a) Taking 1 week, b) Taking 2 weeks, c) Taking 3 weeks, d) Not taking any time off, or e) Taking my work to the beach.

Featured Thread: Make Outlook not Close if Messages Are Open
A forum reader has a client who likes to leave his email messages open as a way of reminding himself what still needs to be done. But if he inadvertently closes Microsoft Outlook, all his messages close as well. Is there a way to have Outlook ask for verification that he wants to close before it closes the open messages?
Outlook Tip: Using Group Policy to Control the Anti-Phishing Setting
by Sue Mosher, [email protected]

Can I use Group Policy to prevent users from changing Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack 2's (SP2's) anti-phishing setting?

Find the answer (and links to more great tips) at

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==== 3. New and Improved ==== by Blake Eno, [email protected]

Recover Emails With One Mouse Click
Sonasoft announced the new version of its Exchange backup and recovery solution, SonaSafe for Exchange Server. This release includes dynamic mailbox backups, which automatically splits mailboxes over 2GB. A complete backup of your mailbox has to be taken only once. All following backups are incremental, decreasing storage space and costs. SonaSafe also features granular-level recovery, letting you restore an entire folder or a single email with a single mouse click. For more information, contact Sonasoft at 408-927-6200.


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