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September 3, 2013  5:08 PM

August in review: the top Exchange news and content

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger

In this new feature, we’ll highlight the most popular content with our readers from the previous month and share it with you.

Exchange update pulled, leaves testing processes in limbo

When Microsoft backtracked on a critical update, it said the update wasn’t tested in its dogfood environment before being released. One Exchange MVP called the move “the latest in a long line of cock-ups” and left others questioning how practical the company’s plans for quarterly Exchange updates were in light of this incident.

Exchange 2013: does it work as a MDM platform?

Exchange was meant to be a communications platform, but admins still wonder if Exchange 2013 has the features to make it a viable mobile device management platform. There are some limitations, but there are ways to decide if it’s the right option for your enterprise.

Deciding if a hybrid Exchange Server is right for your organization

By looking at the pros and cons of a hybrid deployment as well as the common myths associated with hosted email, organizations should be able to make a solid business case about whether the move to a hybrid Exchange Server is right for them.

Checklist for hybrid Exchange deployment and configuration

If you think of the move to a hybrid Exchange deployment as a transition rather than a migration, it uses the skills you already have. This list covers many problems that come up in the process and can help your organization avoid common pitfalls during the move.

Making the case for Outlook 2013 search folders

For people who receive large amounts of email, implementing search folders in Outlook 2013 can help them become more efficient in their work. These folders offer a filtered look at a user’s messages and can help automatically organize large email quantities.

What Exchange content has been most helpful for you in the last month? Let us know in the comments below, or on Twitter @ExchangeTT.

August 30, 2013  1:55 PM

Microsoft doubles Exchange Online, Office 365 mailbox size

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger

In a blog post this week, Microsoft said user mailboxes in Office 365 and Exchange Online are doubling in size.

The company said the current capacity at 25 GB will go up to 50 GB. There is no price increase with this change.

The size increases begin rolling out to current customers this week and will continue through November.

Customers with Office 365 Small Business, Midsize Business, Enterprise E1, Exchange Online Plan 1, Government G1 and Education A1 service plans will be affected by the change.

The company said resource mailbox and shared mailbox sizes will also increase to 10 GB, more than doubling the current storage size.

What do you think of this storage increase news? Let us know in the comments below, or on Twitter @ExchangeTT.

August 28, 2013  2:14 PM

Microsoft rereleases Exchange security update

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger

Microsoft rereleased a critical Exchange security update nearly two weeks after pulling it, assuring customers that it was tested before it was released.

The original issue with the security update, MS13-061, came from the Search Host Controller service. End users came across the problem when checking email with Office Web App (OWA) on Exchange 2013.

After update was pulled, IT pros questioned Microsoft’s plans to have quarterly updates for Exchange and suggested the plans were in jeopardy. One IT pro called the pull “the latest in a long line of cock-ups.”

Microsoft said the update was tested in its own Exchange dogfood environment before releasing it. The company also made sure search settings would be reinstated after installation.

The link to the Exchange Server 2013 CU1 update can be found here, and the link for Exchange Server 2013 CU2 can be found here.

What do you think about the news surrounding this security update? Let us know in the comments below, or on Twitter @ExchangeTT.

June 28, 2013  7:46 PM

Profiling the best Exchange Server professionals (June 2013) – Dave Stork

Matt Gervais Matt Gervais Profile: Matt Gervais

I hope everyone is having a good summer so far. This month, I’m again pleased to announce the most recent recipient of our monthly “Profiling the best Exchange Server professionals” program – Dave Stork.

You may recall from past posts that there have been a few recipients with multiple nominations. Well, Dave is another key member of the Exchange community who was nominated multiple times by his peers, Dave is another person with a solid blog, is always tweeting helpful information and offering helpful advice, and also partakes in the terrific UC Architects podcast series.

I can personally state that Dave is always extremely receptive and helpful with any questions I have, so when I saw that he had been nominated several times, it was an easy choice. I caught up with Dave this week to ask him a few questions regarding how and where he got started with Exchange, as well as his plans for the future.

1. Can you give a brief description of how you began working with Exchange Server and related technologies?

I had already had a little experience with administrating Exchange 5.5 and 2000, but my employer offered internal training for MCSA 2003 with Exchange 2003 as an elective exam. It took me three tries to pass the exam, but afterward I admitted to my manager that I actually liked Exchange. After that, I got mostly Exchange-related projects, since I had the most experience… me and my big mouth.

2. What’s your favorite part of working with Exchange Server and related technologies?

There are a lot of things I enjoy, but I mostly concentrate on transitions and migrations. A successful migration should have little to no unexpected negative effects on end users; that’s something I really enjoy seeing through. That said, I also quite enjoy training and coaching customers and co-workers in both old and new versions of Exchange. This is especially true when it comes to explaining new features that will ease folks’ burdens and result in higher productivity.

3. What are you excited to work on in 2013 and why?

I’m very excited to continue working with Exchange, as it’s still my main focus and specialty. I also hope to see more and more Exchange 2013 deployments, especially those that would benefit from enhancements in 2013 compared to 2010.

We’ll probably see some interesting updates for Exchange 2013 this year. They’ve already lifted the veil on some of the new features coming in CU2, but I think we can expect interesting things in CU3 and perhaps CU4 as well this year. I also keep my eye on Office 365, Azure and Lync projects. I definitely see interest growing in those products and I think they can complement a lot of Exchange environments.

Do you have someone you think should be nominated for our monthly award? Write us and let us know.

Until next time,


June 25, 2013  5:38 PM

What Exchange content would you like to read about?

Matt Gervais Matt Gervais Profile: Matt Gervais

Here at, we’ve been publishing how-to’s, troubleshooting tips, news articles, guides, expert responses and more for over a decade. And like you, we’ve seen Exchange and surrounding technologies mature and change over that time.

As things change, we must change with them, so we’re putting out the call. What topics would you like to learn more about? Is there a topic we’re not covering enough? Maybe there is one we’re covering too much. The important thing is that we want to give you what you want and what you find most interesting.

Take a moment and write us. Tell us what you’d like to see on the site:

And how would you like that information delivered to you?

We’re open to suggestions and would like to hear not only what you’d like to read about, but how we could improve on things. We want to serve our readers as effectively and efficiently as possible, so take a few moments to help us help you.

Until next time,


June 20, 2013  6:45 PM

Immerse yourself in Exchange 2013 literature

Matt Gervais Matt Gervais Profile: Matt Gervais

“Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it.” – William Faulkner

As an editor and writer, being an avid reader isn’t necessarily a requirement — but it should be. I read various blogs, websites, Twitter, technical forums and more. Simply put, it’s one of the best things I can do to continually get better at what I do.

I’d like to pass along that same sentiment to you. Maybe you’ve been considering a move to Exchange 2013 or maybe you’re already there. Either way, there’s a wealth of knowledge on topic available. The more you read about it, the more you’ll understand. Things will be subsequently prove easier for you and ultimately you’ll improve at your job.

You can turn to our site and read some of the helpful Exchange 2013 tips from some of the community’s best and brightest, though of course we can’t cover everything.

Below you’ll find a number of books on Exchange Server 2013, some are out now; others will be out within the next few months. Immerse yourself in as many as possible, they can only help you in the long run.

 * Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Unleashed (released December 7, 2012) by Rand Morimoto, Michael Noel, Guy Yardeni and Chris Amaris

This one provides a basic, yet comprehensive look at new features, architectural changes, migrations paths and more. 

* Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 PowerShell Cookbook: Second Edition (released May 22, 2013) by Jonas Andersson and Mike Pfeiffer

By now, everyone agrees a superior grasp of PowerShell should be a large part of any Exchange administrator’s repertoire. Get the knowledge you need here.

You can also read some of Mike Pfeiffer’s contributions to, several of which include helpful PowerShell tips.

* Microsoft Exchange Server 2013: Design, Deploy and Deliver an Enterprise Messaging  Solution (due to release July 29, 2013) by Nathan Winters, Neil Johnson and Nicolas Blank

Not out yet, but sure to be top-notch due to whose involved, this book is aimed at those “in the trenches” and details processes necessary for the best possible Exchange 2013 deployment.

* Mastering Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 (due to release Sept. 23, 2013) by David Elfassy 

This book is a continuation of the best-selling series. It promises step-by-step instructions for design, installation, administration and more, straight from Microsoft MCMs.

* Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Inside Out: Mailbox and High Availability by Tony Redmond (due to release Oct. 22, 2013)

A quick look at the title and author here, and you know exactly what you’re going to get: a deep dive into mailbox and high-availability tips from one of the world’s foremost Exchange experts.

* Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Inside Out: Connectivity, Clients, and UM by Paul Robichaux (due to release Oct. 22, 2013)

Top-notch expert advice again, this time from Paul Robichaux. Much like Tony, Paul has a number of technical books under his belt. This is definitely one to watch for.

What’s on your summer reading list? Write and let me know.

Until next time,


May 24, 2013  6:16 PM

Reviewing recent content: Office 365, Exchange 2013, e-discovery and more

Matt Gervais Matt Gervais Profile: Matt Gervais

Every couple months, I think it’s important to review some of our better tips and articles. You may have missed them for one reason or another, but fear not, I’ve got several of them bundled up in this blog post.

As always, be sure to follow us on Twitter @ExchangeTT and be sure to check our homepage and expert response pages frequently, as we’re constantly publishing new and informative content.

* Exchange 2013 CU1 gives green light to coexistence, migrations
While customers are now free to begin their “coexistence journey” with Exchange 2013 CU1, there’s plenty they should understand before beginning that trek.

* Where did the hub transport server role go in Exchange 2013?
Although the hub transport server is no longer a separate role in Exchange 2013, the transport architecture and services still live on.

* Highlighting new features in Exchange 2013: Compliance and e-discovery
New features in Exchange 2013 may actually help drive adoption. Take compliance and e-discovery features for example.

* Preventing denial-of-service attacks on virtualized Exchange servers
Denial-of-service attacks pose a serious security threat to virtualized Exchange servers. Discover what you can do to mitigate potential intrusions.

* How to configure Exchange 2013 site mailboxes
Exchange 2013 site mailboxes are a great new feature, but several configuration steps are necessary before rolling them out to users.

* Configuring federation proxy servers for a hybrid Office 365 deployment
Part of the hybrid Office 365 single sign-on configuration process is correctly setting up federation proxy servers. Here’s how.

* Helpful OWA 2013 mobile device hints for administrators
Supporting OWA 2013 on various mobile devices can prove a bit tricky. These important tips will make life easier for admins and users alike.

What topics would you like to see covered on the site? Write me and let me know.

Until next time,


May 23, 2013  7:14 PM

Experts weigh in on Exchange 2013 Server Role Requirements Calculator

Matt Gervais Matt Gervais Profile: Matt Gervais

If you’ve been following the Exchange team’s blog with any sort of regularity recently, I’m sure you’ve probably seen that they’ve been dropping a lot of updates and new tools.

Just to name a few, there’s the:

  • Updated Exchange 2013 Deployment Assistant,
  • The new Message Analyzer tool,
  • The Exchange 2013 Management Pack, and
  • The Exchange 2013 Server Role Requirements Calculator.

The last item in this list is one that’s really seemed to get a lot of press, so I asked a couple of my most trusted Exchange experts — Dave Stork and Michael Van Horenbeeck — on their thoughts regarding the calculator.


To start, Stork pointed to the importance of the expansion of the calculator since the 2010 version, which only accounted for the mailbox server role.

“Remember, Exchange 2013 has a different infrastructure. Where in Exchange 2010, the UM role was separate, it’s now part of the 2013 mailbox role,” said Stork. “Those changes in infrastructure explain the difference in results of both calculators.”

Both experts also noted the dramatic memory increase from an eight GB minimum in the previous iteration (multi-role), to the now 24 GB minimum in the Exchange 2013 version:

“I think a lot of people will be surprised when crunching numbers. I admit, I was too at first,” said Stork.

“[When I saw the] numbers change so drastically, there was a bit of a shock. It’s not that it’s a problem though, memory is relatively cheap and CPU is usually under-utilized,” added Van Horenbeeck.

The important point to understand here is that these new memory requirements will more-than-likely affect Exchange 2013 deployments.

“For smaller shops, having to split up 24 GB for a deployment of limited size might prove too much,” said Van Horenbeeck. “The same applies for virtualizing Exchange 2013; even though it’s fully supported, who wants to virtualize a memory-crunching machine like that?”

“These requirements could mean that the adoption of [Exchange] 2013 will be slower for smaller companies; the Netherlands has a lot of companies in the 100-500 range, vastly smaller than the U.S.,” added Stork. [It’s also possible] that the adoption of Office 365 or other hosting providers will gain traction.

Upon reading this post, another trusted Exchange expert, Michel de Rooij wanted to share his thoughts as well.

“People should also be aware that the calculator tries to make recommendations based on available DIMM sizes, for example eight, 16, 24, 32,” said de Rooij. “That makes less sense of course when virtualizing Exchange. Also, for small memory amounts you get a ‘penalty’ as the minimum amount for the Content Indexing (new engine) already starts at 10 GB.”

What are your thoughts on the new calculator? Let me know.

Until next time,


May 22, 2013  7:00 PM

Profiling the best Exchange Server professionals (May 2013) – Oliver Moazzezi

Matt Gervais Matt Gervais Profile: Matt Gervais

I’m quite pleased to announce the latest recipient of our monthly “Profiling the best Exchange Server professionals” program – Oliver Moazzezi.

Another individual who was nominated multiple times by his peers, Oliver runs a terrific blog, is a prolific tweeter and has been awarded the title of Microsoft Exchange MVP.

I recently spoke with Oliver about a hosted Exchange feature I was working on, (which you’ll find in our June Modern Infrastructure e-zine) but I was also fortunate enough to catch up with him this week to ask him a few questions about how and where he got started with Exchange, as well as his plans for the future.

1. Can you give a brief description of how you began working with Exchange Server and related technologies?

This is a funny one. I studied animation and computer visualization at university, gaining a BA (Hons), but simply could not get a job after graduation. In 2001, I took a part-time job at Cobweb Solutions, as I was adept at computers. That part-time job turned into a full-time one, and I worked my way up to the second line support team, and later became a systems admin.

From there, I really got into Exchange and Active Directory, having a large part in Cobwebs’ Exchange 2000 and Exchange 2003 hosting platforms. I then became the Exchange team lead, and I later designed — as one of two principle architects at Cobweb — the Exchange 2007, 2010 and 2013 hosting platforms. As you can see, it has been one hell of a ride through all the various support roles to where I sit now, overseeing our Exchange and Lync hosting platforms.

2. What’s your favorite part of working with Exchange Server and related technologies?

For me, I think it has always been the scale of the platform. I was just always really into Exchange once I got my hands on it. It’s something I picked up more naturally than any other Microsoft server technology. My primary focuses are Exchange, Lync and Active Directory, and they excite me just as much as when I first started working with Exchange 10 years ago.

3. What are you excited to work on in 2013 and why?

I have to say the cloud. The last 24 months have really been the era of the cloud, and I’m excited to finally see companies take it seriously. It was a hard sell 10 years ago, but through perseverance and the Google/Microsoft fight, it has really gotten into the mainstream. For that, I am proud of what myself and the teams at Cobweb have achieved.

Please join me in congratulating Oliver by tweeting this post.

Until next time,


April 30, 2013  3:33 PM

A spring pitch for our Ask the Expert section

Matt Gervais Matt Gervais Profile: Matt Gervais

Back in January, I urged readers to be part of our Ask the Experts revival. I’m here now not only to reiterate that suggestion, but also to highlight some of the terrific expert responses we’ve published since then.

For example, now that customers are free to migrate to Exchange 2013, we’ve covered numerous helpful topics that folks are sure to run into during their migrations, such as:

These aren’t the only questions we’ve answered since January, so do yourself a favor and head over to the expert answer section of our site and peruse commonly asked Exchange questions, both old and new.

Also, we’re always looking for new talent to answer reader-submitted questions and write expert tips. If you’re interested in the opportunity, feel free to email me at your leisure.

If you have questions of your own, feel free to either write me personally, or drop them in our editor mailbox. Either way, I’ll see them and pass them on to one of our experts.

Until next time,


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