Exchange & Outlook UPDATE, Exchange Edition, September 18, 2003

This Issue Sponsored By

C2C Exchange Content Discovery



1. Commentary

- One-Box Servers

2. Announcements

- Active Directory eBook Chapter 4 Published!

- New Web Seminars on Exchange, Active Directory, and More!

3. Resources

- Using Windows Backup

- Featured Thread: Exporting an Address Book

- Outlook Tip: Counting the Number of Message Recipients

4. Events

- New--Mobile & Wireless Road Show!

5. New and Improved

- Remotely Manage Exchange Server

- Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

6. Contact Us

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


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==== 1. Commentary: One-Box Servers ==== by Paul Robichaux, News Editor, [email protected]

Before I get started this week, I need to make a correction to the August 28 Exchange & Outlook UPDATE. In that week's Commentary, I mentioned a script for automatically configuring RPC-over-HTTP; that script isn't yet downloadable. Microsoft is working to make RPC-over-HTTP easier to configure and plans to have a better solution in early 2004. I don't yet know what form that solution will take, but rest assured I'll let you know when I find out. Now on with the show.

Can small organizations productively use Exchange Server? My answer is "Yes," but you must find a balance between Exchange's productivity features (e.g., calendaring, group scheduling, resource booking, Web-based email access, public folders) and Exchange's resource requirements (e.g., hardware requirements, dependence on Active Directory--AD). Microsoft Small Business Server (SBS) offers an all-in-one product that includes Exchange, but the product limits you to a maximum of 50 or 75 mailboxes (depending on which version you buy). Many organizations that are too big to use SMS--say, a company with 200 mailboxes--have considered building a relatively small "one-box" server that's powerful enough to host all the company's mailboxes and also act as a domain controller (DC). Many larger Exchange organizations that want to power individual regional or branch offices have also considered such a combination, which provides good email and logon performance (even though most such organizations would get off cheaper by using Exchange Server 2003 and Outlook 2003's cached mode to consolidate sites).

Microsoft has never encouraged putting Exchange on a DC, but the company's attitude is beginning to change a bit with Exchange 2003 and Windows Server 2003. The company's support boundaries do have limits, however--and I'll add a few of my own.

- Know how to perform disaster recovery. Exchange disaster recovery can be complicated, but with study and practice you can master the complexities. AD disaster recovery adds its own set of complications and restrictions, and you'd best understand them before committing your production email database to an AD server.

- Have reasonable performance expectations. For light loads, you probably won't notice a performance difference on a one-box setup compared to running Exchange alone on the same hardware. For heavier loads, you'll notice a difference, although its magnitude is difficult to calculate in advance. Remember that AD uses transaction logging too, so try to put the Exchange logs, AD logs, and Exchange databases on separate disk sets whenever possible.

- Be careful with your hardware. In particular, remember that Exchange 2003 clusters aren't supported on DCs. In the same vein, don't use the /3GB switch; if you do, Exchange might end up stealing memory from Windows, leading to drastic performance reductions. Remember that the one-box server must also be a Global Catalog (GC) server. If the server fails for some reason, Exchange won't fail over to using another GC. Outlook clients, however, can still find another GC if one exists.

- Secure things appropriately. One good reason for separating your DC and Exchange servers is that compromising one doesn't make it any easier to compromise the other. You lose this advantage by putting the DC and Exchange on the same box. In addition, remember that if Exchange administrators can log on to the local console, they might be able to escalate their privileges to gain domain administrator access. This situation is unlikely but worth thinking about all the same.

After you set up the DC/GC, installing Exchange is perfectly straightforward, with no special steps or requirements. One quirk you'll notice is that shutting down the server (as opposed to pulling out the power cord) takes an extremely long time because one of the first services to shut down is lsass.exe, which DSAccess tries to contact as it shuts down. Because DSAccess can't find that service, it will time out and try again, leading to an 8- to 10-minute shutdown cycle. To avoid this problem, manually stop the Exchange System Attendant when you shut down the machine; the following command does the trick:

net stop msexchangesa /y

One-box configurations aren't for everyone, but for small organizations or those using a branch-office topology, Microsoft's support for this design is terrific news. Still, proceed with caution.


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==== 2. Announcements ==== (from Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

Active Directory eBook Chapter 4 Published!

The fourth chapter of Windows & .NET Magazine's popular eBook "Windows 2003: Active Directory Administration Essentials" is now available at no charge! Chapter 4 looks at what's inside Windows Server 2003 forests and DNS. Download it now!

New Web Seminars on Exchange, Active Directory, and More!

Check out the latest lineup of Web seminars from Windows & .NET Magazine. Prepare your enterprise for Exchange Server 2003, discover the legal ramifications of deterring email abuse, and find out how Active Directory can help you create and maintain a rock-solid infrastructure. There is no charge for these events, but space is limited, so register today!


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==== 3. Resources ====

Using Windows Backup

Do you know how to use Windows Backup with Exchange Server? To find out whether you're missing any subtle nuances, see the Microsoft article "How to Back Up and Restore an Exchange Computer by Using the Windows Backup Program."

Featured Thread: Exporting an Address Book

A forum reader has a question about using CSVDE. To offer your advice or join the discussion, go to the following URL:

Outlook Tip: Counting the Number of Message Recipients by Sue Mosher, [email protected]

Q: I'd like to know how many people I'm sending an email newsletter to without manually counting them. Is there a way to count them automatically?

A: Here's a CountRecips subroutine that you can run as an Outlook macro:

Sub CountRecips()
Dim objApp As Outlook.Application
Dim objItem As Object
On Error Resume Next
Set objApp = CreateObject("Outlook.Application")
Set objItem = objApp.ActiveInspector.CurrentItem
If Not objItem Is Nothing Then
If objItem.Class = olMail Then
MsgBox objItem.Recipients.Count
MsgBox "Not a mail message"
End If
MsgBox "No message open"
End If
Set objItem = Nothing
Set objApp = Nothing
End Sub

Put the code in an Outlook Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code module, create the message containing the newsletter, and, with the message open, press Alt+F8 to bring up the Macros dialog box. Select the CountRecips subroutine, then click Run. If you're running a version of Outlook with the Outlook E-mail Security Update, you'll need to click Yes when you see the address book security prompt. After that, you'll see a message box with the number of message recipients.

See the Exchange & Outlook Administrator Web site for more great tips from Sue Mosher.

==== 4. Events ==== (brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine)

New--Mobile & Wireless Road Show!

Learn more about the wireless and mobility solutions that are available today! Register now for this free event!

==== 5. New and Improved ==== by Carolyn Mader, [email protected]

Remotely Manage Exchange Server

Sonic Mobility announced sonicadmin 3.0, remote administration software that lets you remotely manage Exchange Server and Active Directory organizational units (OUs). You can use the software to perform network-management tasks from a Pocket PC or Research In Motion (RIM) BlackBerry handheld wireless device. You can manage your company's Exchange infrastructure from anywhere. You can also create and modify contact email addresses, add and edit SMTP proxy addresses, and manage storage limits. For pricing, contact Sonic Mobility at 866-602-2002.

Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Tell us about the product, and we'll send you a Windows & .NET Magazine T-shirt if we write about the product in a future Windows & .NET Magazine What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions with information about how the product has helped you to [email protected]

==== Sponsored Links ====

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==== 6. Contact Us ====

About the newsletter -- [email protected]

About technical questions --

About product news -- [email protected]

About your subscription -- [email protected]

About sponsoring UPDATE -- [email protected]


This email newsletter is brought to you by Exchange & Outlook Administrator, the print newsletter with practical advice, tips, and techniques covering migration, backup and restoration, security, and much more. Subscribe today.

Copyright 2003, Penton Media, Inc.

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