Exchange Unwashed Digest – June 2014

June 2014 was an interesting month for my “Exchange Unwashed” blog on as the material covered was pretty diverse as we went from platforms like Azure to storage firmware and all points in between. See what you think!

Why running Exchange on Azure is an unattractive proposition (June 26): Quite a few people are enamoured of the prospect of running Exchange on Azure – or Amazon Web Services for that matter – but I am not quite so sure. It is not a matter of technology but rather of economics. You can certainly make Exchange run on Azure or AWS but will it pay? And if you really want to run Exchange in the cloud, don’t better alternatives already exist?

Keeping up to date with what’s been happening with Set-MailboxDatabase (June 24): Examining the individual parameters of a commonly-used PowerShell cmdlet might seem like a silly thing to do, and so it is if you do it for sport. But you can find some interesting nuggets, which is what happened when I found that one of the cmdlet’s parameters has been deprecated in Exchange 2013 and a new one simply doesn’t work as it’s supposed to. But it will in Exchange 2013 CU6, or so I hear.

Is Microsoft really saying “don’t virtualize” Exchange? (June 19): Microsoft publishes a “preferred architecture” for Exchange 2013, which is nice, except that it doesn’t accommodate virtualization. “So what?”, you might say, if you prefer a nice physical server. But there are those who would virtualize everything, including their cat, and the preferred architecture came as a surprise.

Nothing to fear in MAPI over HTTP (June 17): I wrote a long feature article about the transition from RPC over HTTP to MAPI over HTTP when Microsoft first announced the technology. This post discusses some of the concerns that have surfaced in the meantime and why I am not too concerned about them.

OWA for Android debuts but leaves on-premises customers waiting (June 12): Microsoft announced the second leg of their OWA for Devices strategy at MEC last March but it then took them two months to provide working code for Android devices. And that code only works for some Android devices (small screen, no pads) and only if you have an Office 365 account. So the release was a bit of a damp squib. At least Microsoft provided a web page for people to use for complaints.

Encrypting email in transit makes a heap of sense (June 10): Google launched an initiative to embarrass email domains into encrypting messages in transit. This seems like an excellent idea. The good news is that Exchange has used opportunistic TLS for quite some time and that Office 365 encrypts mail in transit too. But you might not, so it’s a good topic to consider.

How flawed firmware can really give your DAG some replication headaches (June 5): The storage team at IBM did us all a favour by sending out the world’s most obscure and badly written support bulletin (well, a candidate for the prize anyway). The serious side of the bulletin told how a change to a storage controller configuration could have very bad side-effects for Database Availability Groups. Not what you want to read on a Monday morning…

The cyborgs are coming or how Microsoft “Clutter” will help you to do a better job of processing email (June 3): I’m a big fan of machine learning and the Clutter feature is based on that technology. It’s designed to help remove unimportant messages from your Inbox so that you can get right to processing the most important email. Unfortunately it looks like Clutter will only appear in Office 365 for now, but I still think that it’s pretty cool.

On to July. Vacation season might be in full swing but there are still posts and articles to write. Technology never stops evolving.

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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