Exchange 2013.. is.. Awesome.

So, over the weekend I converted one of my clients into our Exchange in the Cloud solution. Their server was a old as can be 2003 SBS server (yuck!), so getting them off this server was waaay overdue.

Two weeks ago the client’s exchange server reported over 45GB of space used with just 14 accounts! So cleaning it up, on friday after the exchange store purged the trash bins, their store was reporting only 20GB of data. Fantastic! So I exported all of the users outlook profiles from their respective Outlook clients.

With their fantastic DSL, I had to calculate about 40% of the data be kept locally to upload to our servers and the other 60% would come with me to upload to our servers, then import straight into their accounts once in our cloud.

That is where this post goes to give the awesome it’s name. I had been trying to get an outlook client setup in one of our Farm’s, however I kept getting an error relating to the Global address list not being found for the user. Since I knew that I was able to setup the accounts locally on the client’s machines, I looked for another way to import into the client’s account.

In exchange 2010, I remembered that there was an export and import exchange cmdlet that allowed my to do just that, import and export, but it did have some issues with that process. Looking up to see if they (Microsoft) had expanded the functionality, I was overjoyed (and I do mean OVERJOYED) to find out that not only had they kept the functionality, they had expanded it to be an autonomous system that as soon as you tell the system to import, it queues it and does it!

Pretty cool huh? I thought so.. The only thing you need to be aware of is that the following command needs to be run to enable your admin account the ability to import and export by default (it is not enabled by default, most likely a security restriction so that you don’t have random people adding random PST files to the accounts on your servers).

Command for exchange cmdlet:
New-ManagementRoleAssignment -Role “Mailbox Import Export” -User “DOMAIN\administrator”

This will enable the following to the Admin Menu:

The import process is slick, it will ask you for the location of the shared PST file, from there it asks you what email to send the notifications to (note, even if you remove admin, it still sends it to the admin account..), and viola, you’re done! I Queued up 5 accounts and within 5 hours it was completed.

So.. not so much a rant, just a props to Microsoft for actually doing something right and making a script that does what it’s supposed to without issue..

Till Next time..

-B

Long time.. How do you like your fiber… cut?

So it’s been a while.. I was really getting in to doing a post once a day, then life/work got in the way and totally blew the wind out of my sails..

Anyway.. There’s been a ton that has happened since my last post.. The most interesting thing I ran into over the last few weeks was a fiber cut for a major ISP..

For those of you that don’t know how networking is setup, there are different ways to get your data traffic around, Copper (Ethernet, Coax), Fiber and Air (WiFi, P2P Long distance Directional Wireless). A week or so back we had two clients call in and report that their internet was down.. Well, the good news was we knew their internet was down due to our in-house monitoring system (gosh is it awesome..).

So.. after an hour or two of nothing coming back up, I gave a call to their provider, in this case, was Vinakom.. While I normally have no issues with a company selling T1’s and charging 300+ a month for them, what I DO have an issue is, when you have clients in Evanston, and Elgin IL and both of their connectivity to the world goes down.. Wait.. the whole world?!

Yes. Locations >35 Miles away from each other lost connectivity, they were 100% down.. When I called the ISP was greeted promptly, but was told that one of their Fiber lines were cut, that it was minimal and would only effect a few clients.. hah wait, only a few!? While the woman answering the phone was nice, I was NOT impressed. How can you as an ISP have a single fiber cut but downplay the effects on their clients! Ugh.

Needless to say, the outage lasted 7 hours, it wasn’t until 4:30pm that the connectivity came back…

Minor Fiber cut my butt.. To this day I still believe Vinakom is only peering with one provider, this is not only stupid but an idiotic thing to do.. especially when it is your lifeblood.

Either that.. or the pipe that they used to go to the ISP hotel on 350 Cermak.. now THAT would be hilarious..

Oh well.. alls well that ends well.. I would have advised my clients to jump ship and to use the outage as a way to get out of their contract.. but in both situations they can only get ADSL or a T1.. bummer.

Well that’s all for now, i’ll make it more of a point to get on here and do more updates.. The business of IT changes all the time, and so does the amount of STUFF that we see.

Be back soon.

-b