May 2012 articles posted on

Another month goes by, another set of articles have been posted to my “Exchange Unwashed” blog on Here are the set for May 2012:

The cloud is great, but what about Plan B? (May 31) discusses the need for companies who move applications to cloud services to have a back-out plan just in case things don’t work quite as well as expected. In particular, if you move your Exchange mailboxes to Office 365 and discover that the cloud is so much hot air, can you get your data back reasonably quickly to resume an on-premises service?

Twenty years of MIME (May 29) celebrates the 20th anniversary of the first use of MIME to encode email attachments and reflects on how essential MIME has become to the way that we exchange information today. I was chuffed to receive a tweet from Nathaniel Borenstein, who featured in the article and is still working on related technology as the Chief Scientist of Mimecast.

Thoughts on why one company decided not to move to Google Apps (May 24) looks at a report about why a company called New England Biolabs decided to stay with Microsoft Office applications after it conducted a review of Google Apps. Although you could get wrapped up in the Google vs. Microsoft technology battle, I thought that the more interesting aspects were those relating to productivity and how humans interact with applications.

Office 365 mailbox statistics (May 22) points to some useful PowerShell scripts that are available to help Office 365 tenant administrators understand their deployment a tad better. In particular, I point to a script that extracts statistics about mailboxes (quota used, etc.) and exports it to a CSV file. I discovered something interesting from the resulting data… you might too!

MEC early discount closing (May 17) – the topic is outdated now because you can’t get an early-bird discount to attend the Microsoft Exchange Conference in Orlando next September (24-26) any more. I was charmed to find that Microsoft is using my photo as part of their publicity for the event. However, I can’t guarantee anything from the simple fact that I’ll be attending.

Managing Outlook synchronization logs (May 15) discusses how Outlook can accumulate a great number of synchronization logs in its Sync Issues folder and what you can (or rather, can’t) do to get rid of the blessed things. Some relief has been subsequently gained through one of the fixes included in Exchange 2010 SP2 RU3, but only one of the underlying root causes have been addressed and this is still a problem that you might have to live with.

The idiot’s (me) guide to writing ESE applications  (May 10) arises from a session given by Microsoft’s Brett Shirley at the TEC conference in San Diego at the start of May. Brett is one of the developers who work on the Extensible Storage Engine (ESE), the heart of the Exchange Information Store. Whereas most of the code that Brett insisted on describing at great length went well over my head, I learned enough to find something interesting to write about.

EMS tip of the day: love it or hate it? (May 9). EMS is, of course, the Exchange Management Shell. Each time you start EMS, it provides an interesting or totally useless tip of the day, depending on your perspective and state of knowledge covering Exchange and its PowerShell cmdlets. Given that Exchange 2013 is on the horizon, a window of opportunity has opened up to allow people to lobby for changes in this area – you can find out how by reading this article.

ECP Performance revealed and some thoughts on future Exchange management (May 8). The future of Exchange administrative tools is likely to revolve around the browser and be based somewhat on what we see in Exchange 2010’s Exchange Control Panel (ECP), which also provides the primary management interface for Exchange Online in Office 365. This article discusses how you can reveal a performance-tracing component for ECP and speculates how the Microsoft developers will build on ECP for future versions of Exchange.

Microsoft updates the MCSE program for the cloud, but what about the other guys? (May 3) talks about the focus attributed to “the cloud” in Microsoft’s recent overhaul of its MCSE certification program and concludes that although it’s certainly valuable to spread knowledge about cloud implementation techniques and principles, on-premises deployments aren’t going away any time soon. Microsoft needs to keep this salient fact in mind as it develops the exams and other supporting material for the MCSE program.

Will “Death to Outlook” follow “Death to Word”? (May 1). An article in that discusses Word’s fit for purpose some twenty years after its introduction brought me to wonder whether Outlook is also showing signs of an application whose best days have gone by. See whether you agree.

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About Tony Redmond

Lead author for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook and writer about all aspects of the Office 365 ecosystem.
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