Exchange 2013: Health Manager service may not reliably start after server boot.

In Exchange 2013 we have introduced managed availability.  The managed availability process runs within the Microsoft Exchange Health Manager service (MSExchangeHMHost.exe).   After booting a server it has been observed that the Microsoft Exchange Health Manager service fails to start automatically.  Attempts to start the service manually are successful.  When reviewing the system log the…

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Office365: POP and IMAP clients receive OWA links for calendar invitations

As you may know, Office 365 supports a number of different client protocols, including POP and IMAP and a variety of POP and IMAP clients. By default, POP or IMAP clients will be configured to use Outlook Web App (OWA) for handling calendar invitations. When these clients receive a meeting request, within the body of…

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Exchange 2013 Cumulative Update 2 – Where are my databases?

In Exchange Server 2013 Cumulative Update 2 (CU2) we introduced support for a maximum of 100 mounted mailbox databases per server (active or passive) when an Enterprise Edition license is applied.  This was an increase from Exchange Server 2013 RTM and Exchange Server 2013 Cumulative Update 1 (CU1).   It has been recently discovered that…

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Exchange 2010: Remove-databaseavailabilitygroupserver–configurationOnly does not evict the member from the cluster.

Administrators may encounter conditions where DAG members cannot be gracefully removed from a database availability group.  For example, a member server may have encountered an unrecoverable failure or the server may need to be removed from the DAG in order to perform a server recovery.   In order to account for these and similar conditions…

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RPC Filtering and Exchange 2010 Database Availability Groups

Recently I’ve had the opportunity to work with customers who were having issues seeding databases using update-mailboxdatabasecopy in Exchange 2010.  When attempting to perform an update the following sample error was returned:   A source-side operation failed. Error An error occurred while performing the seed operation. Error: Failed to open a log truncation context to…

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Exchange 2013: OutlookMailboxDeeptTestProbe fails with Access Denied

I recently had an opportunity to work with a customer who was experiencing unexpected database failovers between nodes.  When looking at the ProbeResults log within the ActiveMonitoring crimson event channel the following error event was noted (full event text at end of post):   Log Name:      Microsoft-Exchange-ActiveMonitoring/ProbeResult Source:        Microsoft-Exchange-ActiveMonitoring Date:          7/8/2013 12:08:31 PM Event ID:     …

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Part 9: Datacenter Activation Coordination: An error caused a change in the current set of domain controllers

As a part of a datacenter switchover process, administrators run Stop-DatabaseAvailabilityGroup to stop DAG members in the failed datacenter.  This cmdlet is responsible for updating the stoppedMailboxServers attribute of the DAG object within Active Directory.   When this command is run and multiple AD sites are involved, the command attempts to force AD replication between…

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Part 8: Datacenter Activation Coordination: Stop! In the Name of DAG…

Sometimes, even when following a specific process, it takes only one mistake to send the entire process off course.  Recently I’ve worked with several customers on their datacenter switchover steps that have found themselves unable to complete the process.  Let’s explore several examples of what happened… ==================================================================================== In the first example, we have a four…

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Part 7: Datacenter Activation Coordination: When to run start-databaseavailabilitygroup to bring members back into the DAG after a datacenter switchover…

When running Restore-DatabaseAvailabilityGroup as part of the datacenter switchover process, servers in the secondary datacenter are forced online from a quorum and cluster perspective, and servers in the primary datacenter are evicted from the DAG’s cluster. When nodes in the primary datacenter come back online and network connectivity is restored, these restored nodes are not…

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Exchange 2010: Page Zeroing and VSS Based Backups

In Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 1, page zeroing is enabled by default and there is no method to disable it. Page zeroing is a process that takes pages that exist in whitespace within the database and marks them with a pattern of zeros making them forensically unrecoverable.  The page zeroing process runs as part…

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