Friday, December 17, 2004
Thursday, December 16, 2004
The maximum amount of memory that Exchange can make use of is 4 GB (old news) but more interestingly is that the article recommends disabling the use of PAE (Physical Address Extension) on Enterprise and Datacenter versions of Windows with the use of the /nopae boot.ini switch (If using the /3GB switch) - as it puts unnecessary strains on the system.
New facts to me are the notes regarding the scalability of Exchange in terms of CPU's - on a 8 CPU system Exchange supposedly can fully utilize 900 MHz CPU's but it isn't able to utilize e.g. 8 1400 MHz Xeon CPU's (Unless you are running e.g. anti-virus products on the same boxes).
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
I would classify the content in these checklists as very good things-to-remember lists - as they by no means are complete. But they are indeed a good start when preparing the disaster recovery procedures and operational processes for an Exchange 2000/2003 deployment (and of course many of the checks on the lists could be implemented in e.g. MOM 2005 instead of doing it manually).
Sunday, December 12, 2004
If you do not have an existing IPSec policy, I recommend that you deploy this method right away. The easist deployment may be to do it with psexec or modify the script as ipseccmd.exe can take a server name as the first argument.
Friday, December 10, 2004
Microsoft just released a new paper on this. When running Microsoft® Exchange Server 2003 or Exchange 2000 Server in larger environments, the frequency of queries to the Active Directory® directory service can be very high. Exchange Server uses its directory access component to communicate with Active Directory domain controllers and global catalog servers to perform tasks such as e-mail address lookups, distribution group expansion, Microsoft Outlook® client proxy, and referral services. With such a heavy load being placed on domain controllers, Microsoft IT optimized the performance of Exchange when communicating with Active Directory by creating a new Active Directory site and isolating domain controllers and global catalog servers just for Exchange. Get it here.
Thursday, December 09, 2004
Microsoft has an article called Browsing the Web and Reading E-mail Safely as an Administrator - which actually refers to Aaron's blog :). The article has a DropMyRights utility, which is able to remove your permissions while starting an application. This is also a useful approach - e.g. run Internet Explorer and Outlook with lower permissions.
Finally, there is work-around of how to start Windows Explorer as another user from runas - Aaron again. I used to start iexplore.exe to do this trick, but it seems that if only you start it with the /root argument, it will start in its own instance. Read about that here. You can also read about a useful toolbar, that shows the current credentials.
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
Currently, there are no known incidents - and maybe WINS servers are too few worth attacking. If you do not implement one of the suggestions - after you have considered the situation carefully - at least follow the situation in the press and be ready to take action.
It goes beyond this posting to describe the complete list of functionality changes and updates in SP1 but its sure that as consultants and system administrators we are most eagerly awaiting the release of the Security Configuration Wizard that promises to deliver role based lockdown of servers including the ability to -
• Disable unnecessary services.
• Disable unnecessary IIS Web extensions.
• Block unused ports, including support for multi-homed scenarios.
• Secure ports that are left open using IPSec.
• Reduce protocol exposure for Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), LAN Manager, and server message block (SMB).
• Configure audit settings with a high signal-to-noise ratio.
Furthermore it uses an extensible XML knowledge base, which lets administrators import existing Windows security templates and lets developers extend the SCW to handle new user defined roles.
You can get access to the SP1 Technical Preview Program and the bits here - so while waiting for the final version of the SP1 - go ahead and test/play with the RC version ;-)
Furthermore Microsoft is kicking off a series of Windows Based Hosting Webcasts with the Experts from the Hosting Solutions Unit at Microsoft -
See live demonstrations of technical best practices on the full range of Windows-based Hosting topics, including interactive presentations, product overviews, and question-and-answer sessions. Each Webcast session will be hosted by one of the Windows-based Hosting Solutions program managers discussing how-to technical best practices and thought-provoking business perspectives.
Especially the "Active Directory Guidance for Hosting Service Providers" webcast looks interesting and this time they done something really friendly to us Europeans with 3 timeslots (Based on timezones) for each webcasts (Thanks MS - maybe I'll finally manage to see one of these webcasts ;-)
Saturday, December 04, 2004
We've already been mentioned on the MS Exchange blog (Thanks Chris ;-) and also our favorite MS bloggers at You Had Me At EHLO... has created a link to our blog (Check the front page under "Other Exchange Blogs") - so now we have decided to remove the "experimental" word from our about box, 'cause Per and I have decided to continue posting and enhancing the content and features of this blog.
Personally I'm finally back from my paternity leave (See my daughter Ida here) and will be back with more info on Exchange, IMF and ISA and updates to some of the topics I've been posting earlier (use our Atom Site Feed for subscription to new/updated posts) .
Per will continue to cover his main areas - from security, networking, AD over to management (MOM 2005 and SMS 2003).
Thursday, December 02, 2004
It also explains how to use the new SP1 OAB network bandwidth throttling option and how SP1 better handles mismatched SMTP addresses (Causing full instead of partial download on Pre-SP1 systems). Check it out here and don't miss out the add'l resources section in the appendix.
The KB has gone through several iterations in both KB 817379 and later KB 822177 and they were both withdrawn from the web. KB 817379 appearently has been updated and re-released - I don't usually memorize KB's but as I can remember the now only 23 step procedure has been updated with both an export and an import (new step) of the Virtual Directory and a new solution (Setting up an FE server) has been introduced (And E2K3 SP1 fixes some of the problems we had with the old solution).