Exchange Unwashed blog digest October 2013

October began with the Exchange Connections conference in Las Vegas and ended with some thoughts on whether to go to TechEd or MEC next year. In between, I contemplated some of the questions raised by attendees at Exchange Connections as well as some thoughts that came up in my own mind. Read on to discover what happened on my Exchange Unwashed blog in October.

MEC or TechEd? Austin, here I come… (Oct 31). Microsoft has scheduled two good conferences in Texas five weeks apart next year. Will I go to TechEd, which has become more of a marketing event than I really like or head to Austin and attend the next iteration of the Exchange Conference. I think the choice really has to be MEC, don’t you?

Increase in Exchange 2013 mailbox sizes is simply “Store tax” (Oct 29). Moving mailboxes to Exchange 2013 makes the mailbox increase in size by up to 30%. At least, that’s what the Store tells you when you examine the mailbox size before and after the move. The reason is that the Store is better at adding its sums and charging users for all the overhead they incur. It’s just a form of taxation really…

Why the upper version always wins in mailbox moves (Oct 24). It’s logical that a newer version of any product will have some knowledge of what’s gone before whereas an older version has little chance of knowing what lies in the future. And so it is for mailbox moves, where the newer version of the Mailbox Replication Service always takes charge. With good reason too!

The influence Managed Availability has over DAGs that you might not realize (Oct 22). Exchange 2013 introduces the new Managed Availability framework, which then promptly goes to work to keep Database Availability Groups (DAGs) in good health, sometimes with unanticipated consequences.

Making use of the data logged by Exchange (Oct 17). Lots of data is logged by Exchange servers as it interacts with clients and other servers. And some of that data is even interesting and accessible. In this instance, an EHLO post about ActiveSync transactions and another about how to assess how many transaction logs are generated by the Store caused some pondering on how best to use such data.

Why I don’t think on-premises Exchange is dead (Oct 15). The article that easily attracted most comments in the month, largely because it’s a topic about which many have strong feelings. On the one hand, we have those who say that on-premises Exchange is dead because Microsoft is “all in” the cloud. Others (like me) say “not so” because of the size of the Exchange installed base and the profit that still exists there for Microsoft. We shall see over time…

Skills for new people coming into a Windows infrastructure shop (Oct 10). Prompted by a discussion over dinner at Exchange Connections, this post speculated on the recommendations you might give to a newcomer to the exciting world of Windows-centric IT. What skills should they concentrate on acquiring first? And what then?

NFS and Exchange – not a good combination (Oct 8). No matter what you might hear (including out of the mouths of some very plausible salespeople), you should never use NFS-based storage with Exchange. Why? Because you run the risk of leaving holes in your database… and that’s never a good thing.

Exchange Connections 2013 wrap-up (Oct 5). Written in the splendour of Las Vegas airport en route home from Exchange Connections, this post discusses the good points about coming to a conference like Connections instead of simply staying at home and reading whatever stuff is posted on the net (like this material).

Highlights from Day 2 of the Exchange Connections Conference (Oct 3). Proving that I could actually remember what happened during a busy day at Exchange Connections… or maybe not. In any case, it has a nice picture of the live UC Architects podcast being recorded, a session that threatened (often) to descend into farce but managed to limp through to a manageable end.

Hot points from Exchange Connections (Oct 2). Everyone comes to a conference with some questions that they would like to have answered and the attendees at the annual Exchange Connections event were no different. This post captures some of the top-of-mind thoughts that people expressed on day 1.

Release of Apple iPhone 5s and iOS 7 gives new headaches to Exchange administrators (Oct 1). A new version of Apple’s iOS operating system can create some administrative challenges for Exchange servers. It all depends on what Apple does to please consumers, usually with zero disregard for the needs of large enterprises. In this case the new OS introduces fingerprint authentication, a superb feature from a user perspective but not so good when you think about the interaction between iOS devices and Exchange ActiveSync (EAS).

November has started out dank and dreary in Ireland. Fortunately I get on a plane later today to go to Kuala Lumpur, where I’ll be talking about Exchange 2013 and enjoying the better weather there for the next week or so. More articles will appear on Exchange Unwashed. Be sure to stay in touch.

Follow Tony @12Knocksinna


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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