Exchange Unwashed Blog Digest September 2013

September was quite an active month because some bad things happened (like the Microsoft Learning decision to cancel some accreditation programs) and preparations were in full swing for the Exchange Connections conference in Las Vegas (from where I write this post). On the other hand, some interesting technical points came to light. I hope that you enjoy the posts.

When Best Practice goes bad (Sept 26): We all like to think that we follow – or even establish – best practice. Best practice is set down in books, blogs, and articles and people do their best to use the information in their deployments. Sometimes we get things wrong and it causes problems. In this case, advice to block database activation when performing maintenance on an Exchange 2013 standalone multirole server had some unfortunate consequences…

Fun all round with the UC Architects at Exchange Connections (Sept 24): A lookahead post anticipating the Exchange Connections conference and a fun event with the UC Architects team. The session takes off at 1pm today (Vegas time)… I hope it’s as good as I anticipated.

Managing a 500,000 mailbox Exchange 2010 deployment (Sept 19): HP manages a massive on-premises Exchange 2010 deployment. The nice thing is that they’re willing to share some pointers that they’ve learned through a process of massive consolidation allied to several large corporate acquisitions.

Stubbing is OK when Microsoft does it in Exchange 2013 site mailboxes (Sept 17): Stubbing is when an application places a stub item in an Exchange mailbox that links to an external application. It’s a technique long beloved by archiving vendors. Microsoft doesn’t like it because they prefer to have the full items stored in the database. But now they use stub items with site mailboxes, the new method for collaboration based on Exchange 2013 and SharePoint 2013. Sound strange… Read on to find out why they do it.

Windows 8.1, Outlook Web App, and IE11 (Sept 13): Like quite a few others, I upgraded to Windows 8.1 Pro soon after Microsoft released the bits. And then we found that OWA doesn’t like IE11 as much as it should. You can still use the browser, but only see the light version of OWA. That’s OK in its own way but not as nice as the premium version…

Microsoft Learning screws its credibility (Sept 12): Microsoft Learning (MSL) really did not do a good job when they announced the immediate termination of the Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) and Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) programs. The decision is understandable and supportable from a business perspective, but it affected many individuals and companies outside Microsoft in a way that MSL probably didn’t predict (or understand). Will anyone ever trust MSL when they introduce new certification programs in the future? We shall see.

The case of the erroneous disk space checker (Sept 10): A little glitch in Managed Availability and the way that it checks disk space. Not really a problem, more of a curio. Nothing to see… move along…

Tuning .NET for the Exchange 2013 Information Store (Sept 5): A small, but important detail emerged when I reviewed the decks scheduled to be presented at Exchange Connections.  It seems that Microsoft has a hot fix patch that improves the way that the Exchange Store interacts with the .NET Framework. The upshot is a saving in memory that is very nice indeed!

Doubling of Exchange Online mailbox sizes leaves me cold (Sept 3): Microsoft announced that Exchange Online now offers 50GB mailboxes. Big deal, I think. Mostly because the vast majority of people can’t fill such a space unless they really work at it, which most won’t. But it’s nice that Microsoft doubled the quota, isn’t it?

Microsoft Learning kills MCM and MCA accreditations (Sept 1): Microsoft Learning announced that they were stopping the MCM and MCA programs. Curiously, the news emerged in an email sent late on a Friday night of a holiday weekend. Were they trying to dampen the impact of the news? If they were, they failed.

Now on to October!

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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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