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  • Blog Post: Strange Jetstress 2010 results..?

    Are you running the latest version of Jetstress 2010 against data created using the beta ?  If so then you may see some very strange results because there are some minor updates from the beta version which mean that you cannot mix databases created using the beta version with tests run using the...
  • Blog Post: 3 into 4 can go…

    Once you’ve determined the number of Exchange Server 2010 mailbox database copies you’re going to use it makes sense to deploy a complimentary number of mailbox servers in the DAG .  If you decide to go with an odd number of database copies go with an odd number of nodes; if you use an even number...
  • Blog Post: 1 AD Site, 1 DAG = no DAC

    So as the TechNet article ( Understanding Datacenter Activation Coordination Mode ) explains you can’t enable DAC mode in Exchange Server 2010 for a DAG where all members are in the same AD site…  So what happens if you lose your primary data centre where your Witness Server is located and you do...
  • Blog Post: CCR or SCC?

    Have had this discussion on many occasions and this 3Sharp whitepaper by Missy Koslosky would have proved very useful as an external reference point… High Availability Choices for Exchange Server 2007: Continuous Cluster Replication or Single Copy Clustering In conclusion…  (this isn’t the only...
  • Blog Post: Why so much fluff?

    When you use the Exchange 2007 Mailbox Storage Calculator on the face of it you seem to get a lot of fluff added to your storage design.  ..fluff upon fluff. Will run through some of the reasoning where it may not seem obvious in the cell comments themselves. LUN Free Space Percentage : couple of...
  • Blog Post: 3 Data Centres and a File Share Witness

    What’s the guidance if you’ve got 3 data centres, you're stretching Exchange 2007 mailbox CCR nodes between two of them and the link speed and latencies are similar between all 3.  Should you put the File Share Witness (FSW) in the 3rd data centre? In my opinion yes I would recommend putting the...
  • Blog Post: 24 hour operation, several thousand mailboxes, high concurrency, heavy profiles – how do you tune Online Maintenance?

    For companies who have to support a lot of ‘heavy usage’ clients connecting to their Exchange 2007 platform 24 hours a day, tuning online maintenance is going to be important.. You have to be quite careful about staggering online maintenance to minimise its impact on performance and it can be a bit of...
  • Blog Post: Initializing Storage Groups…

    This is a nice blog from Tim McMichael (a Microsoft Escalation Engineer)…  If you want to know why replicated storage groups sometimes appear to be initializing have a read. Get-storagegroupcopystatus = Initializing “When storage groups are in an initializing state commandlets report that action...
  • Blog Post: Crossover cables and CCR…

    So can you just use a crossover cable for private cluster communications between CCR (& SCC) nodes.  Well the answer, not very surprisingly, is yes; but there are a couple of caveats… Be careful and test the cable, especially if it’s a DIY job; And make sure you get speed and duplex settings...
  • Blog Post: Getting your Exchange 2007 project approved– Part 1 (Fewer Servers supporting More Mailboxes)

    Let’s start with one of the obvious ones - Fewer Servers supporting More Mailboxes …  OK so it’s one thing being able to say that you can support more for less but it’s another proving it.  So how do you prove that you actually save money by requiring fewer servers to support the same or more...
  • Blog Post: Why not stretch CCR nodes across 2 Data Centres..?

    Have had a number of conversations with customers concerning the merits of achieving both data centre resilience and cost cutting by stretching CCR and avoiding deploying both CCR and SCR.   i.e. 3 for the price of 2. Firstly I wouldn’t consider stretching CCR if you are not confident of either...
  • Blog Post: Need to clarify something about log roll and continuous replication

    I blogged recently about log roll and CCR – ‘ New log created every 90 seconds... ’ and I need to qualify something…  To quote the relevant bit; “In effect log roll will occur every 90 seconds when insufficient transactions occur to fill the current log.  This means that for a completely idle...
  • Blog Post: New log created every 90 seconds…

    Let's say that over a period of an hour only a very small number of transactions are generated for a particular CCR enabled storage group in Exchange Server 2007.  If those changes add up to less than 1MB's worth of transactions and are therefore not sufficient to fill up and close the current log...
  • Blog Post: BIG online mailboxes…

    I recently made the assumption (not very accurately as it turns out) that deploying large mailboxes of a GB and above in online mode is not generally realistic. I think it’s a fairly common misconception that having a local cache is always going to improve Outlook performance.  Well actually that...
  • Blog Post: Continuous Replication, Site Resilience & decision making processes...

    The ability to continue to provide a full service to your user community in the unlikely event of the loss of a datacentre is an increasingly common requirement. The use of Continuous Replication (CCR and SCR) with Exchange 2007 Service Pack 1 is an obvious choice in providing data availability and site...
  • Blog Post: Some more thoughts on SAN v DAS. Is it actually time to consider DAS?

    Ok so here's my thoughts on the whole SAN ( Storage Area Network ) versus DAS ( Direct Attached Storage ) argument... No-one's surprised to learn that storage is still one of the main topics of conversation when architecting an Exchange infrastructure ..but the discussions are definitely now a bit different...
  • Blog Post: SAN v DAS

    This is a great white paper for anyone evaluating what storage solution to deploy for Exchange 2007...  There has been a lot of discussions about storage and Exchange 2007 and how the debate has changed from when we were architecting Exchange 2003 deployments.  I am in the middle of a blog...
  • Blog Post: Site resilience with both DPM secondary's AND SCR targets...?

    Let's say I have two data centres and a requirement that in the event of the loss of the primary data centre I can restore the messaging service with minimal downtime and minimal data loss.  The decision is made to use SCR.  I have also however deployed DPM for short term protection of the...
  • Blog Post: How can the same email have two different sizes?

    If you look at the size of an email in OWA and then preview the same email in Outlook you'll see that the message size might not be the same....? The reason of course is that Outlook is displaying the message via MAPI (and TNEF) and it's connection to either an .ost or a mailbox role server. OWA makes...
  • Blog Post: My DPM article on 'You Had Me At EHLO' generated a number of comments...

    I recently posted an article to the Exchange Team site here - ' Protecting Exchange data with Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) ' and received a number of comments. I thought I would discuss some of the issues here on my blog rather than with such a wide audience on 'You Had Me At...
  • Blog Post: But I only want to restore a single mailbox...

    I'm using DPM to backup my Exchange data and I want to restore a single mailbox only. Is that possible?  This is a pretty common question at the moment and the answer is of course Yes .  However DPM takes volume snapshots using VSS and so you will need to restore an entire volume set (i.e....
  • Blog Post: Protecting Exchange data with DPM

    Microsoft System Centre Data Protection Manager (DPM) is one of the suite of System Centre products to be released last year. DPM offers a new approach to backing up our Exchange data and introduces a number of new alternatives to traditional approaches to backup, particularly when used alongside Exchange...
  • Blog Post: More on ...Windows 2008 or Windows 2003?

    A blog on this same subject has just been posted to You Had Me At EHLO... and there are a few points that I'll add here which I didn't include in my original blog 'Windows 2008 or Windows 2003?' .  (...and I apologise for lifting these points directly from Scott's article.  There didn't seem...
  • Blog Post: Windows 2008 or Windows 2003?

    So you're about to deploy Exchange Server 2007 with Service Pack 1 and want to know which operating system to deploy.  There are a number of issues that you should be aware of when you are making this decision so I thought I would summarise a few points... The first has got to be the in-place upgrade...
  • Blog Post: Exchange 2007 Service Pack 1 on Windows 2008...?

    So now that Windows Server 2008 has been released what versions of Exchange Server can we run on it...?  Well the earliest version that is supported to run on W2K8 is Exchange Server 2007 with Service Pack 1.  It is not supported to run the RTM version of Exchange Server or indeed any previous...
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