subject: exchange


Can a Bayesian spam filter play chess?
July 28, 2005, 9:55 pm
Filed under: 1312

Most of the anti-spam tools available are based on Bayesian Filters. And damn, they are pretty good doing this. But one might ask: can a Bayesian spam filter play chess?


My fellow MVP Lee Derbyshire found a very interesting link that can probably answer that:




Microsoft to Acquire FrontBridge Technologies
July 20, 2005, 10:01 pm
Filed under: News

If you can’t beat them, buy them!
Microsoft continues its strategy of buying companies that can complement its products. The latest target is FrontBridge Technologies, a Leading Provider of Secure Messaging Services.


Probably the main reason for this action has to do with adding some compliance capabilities to Exchange. But we must not forget security and availability, FrontBridge has some great solutions regarding that too.


With this acquisition, Microsoft will deliver a service for enforcing compliance through archiving, minimizing spam and viruses, and ensuring e-mail availability in the case of a disaster.


[...]The planned acquisition of FrontBridge Technologies will play a key role in Microsoft’s strategy to help customers be more secure and better protect their messaging infrastructure while complying with mandatory regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and regulations that affect financial services companies such as SEC 17A and NASD 3010 and 3011.


Related links:




Messaging & collaboration webcasts for August
July 19, 2005, 11:42 am
Filed under: 1312

As usual, Eileen Brown, informs us of the messaging webcasts available for the next month:

TechNet Webcast: Mastering Exchange Server Scripting (Level 300)
Tuesday, August 09, 2005 – 9:30:00 AM – 10:30:00 AM Pacific Time
Don Jones, Microsoft MVP, Book Author, and Founder of ScriptingAnswers.com
Jeffery Hicks, Contributing editor to ScriptingAnswers.com, Principal Consultant, JDH Information Technology Solutions
Tackle one of the toughest customers in the scripting world: Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. This webcast examines the Microsoft technologies that make Exchange script-accessible, including Collaboration Data Objects (CDO), CDO for Exchange Management, Windows Management Instrumentation, ActiveX Data Objects, and Active Directory Service Interfaces. Get an in-depth look at scripts capable of monitoring and managing Exchange, and learn about the capabilities and limitations of Exchange Server scripting.

Small Business Webcast: Using Microsoft Exchange Server in Small Business Server 2003 (Level 100)
Wednesday, August 17, 2005 – 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM Pacific Time
Chris Smith, Business Development Manager, Microsoft Corporation
Learn how to get the most out of your Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 investments. This webcast shows you how to open shared calendars and contacts, along with many other valuable tips and techniques that can help you work more efficiently. Find out how to make these solutions work for you.

Momentum Webcast: Fighting Spam the Microsoft Way (Level 100)
Tuesday, August 2, 2005 – 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Pacific Time
John Stoiney, Technology Presenter, Microsoft Corporation
It is likely that over half of all e-mail hitting your network right now is spam. Businesses spend billions of dollars each year dealing with unsolicited e-mail. Left uncontrolled, spam can severely impact bandwidth on your network, storage space on your mail server, and the availability of your information technology (IT) staff. This webcast shows how Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003 coupled with Microsoft Exchange Server can maximize the protection of your company’s e-mail while enabling your IT staff to devote their time to other tasks. Learn how to use the latest tools and techniques combat spam from one end of your network to the other.

Momentum Webcast: Fighting Spam the Microsoft Way (Level 100)
Monday, August 15, 2005 – 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Pacific Time
John Stoiney, Technology Presenter, Microsoft Corporation
It is likely that over half of all e-mail hitting your network right now is spam. Businesses spend billions of dollars each year dealing with unsolicited e-mail. Left uncontrolled, spam can severely impact bandwidth on your network, storage space on your mail server, and the availability of your information technology (IT) staff. This webcast shows how Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003 coupled with Microsoft Exchange Server can maximize the protection of your company’s e-mail while enabling your IT staff to devote their time to other tasks. Learn how to use the latest tools and techniques combat spam from one end of your network to the other.

Momentum Webcast: Common Troubleshooting and Support Issues for Exchange Server 2003 (Level 100)
Thursday, August 18, 2005 – 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Pacific Time
Microsoft Technical Specialist, Microsoft Corporation
Since e-mail is the primary source of communication in many organizations, a slow or unavailable messaging system can bring your business to a crawl. In this webcast, Microsoft Technical Specialists will cover tips and tricks for deploying and troubleshooting Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 migrations, including mail flow and performance issues. Don’t miss this free webcast and learn what you can do to mitigate common Exchange problems.

TechNet Webcast: Implementing Exchange Server Security (Level 200)
Wednesday, August 24, 2005 – 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM Pacific Time
Harold Wong, TechNet Presenter, Microsoft Corporation
E-mail is essential to the communication infrastructure of any computerized organization, but it also carries threats to any organization’s bandwidth and security. Join this webcast to learn how to deploy a secure Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 infrastructure and ensure that client connections to Exchange 2003 are as secure as possible. In this webcast you will learn how to increase the security of e-mail that flows through an organization’s Exchange servers, and how to configure Exchange Server 2003 to reduce the amount of unwanted e-mail.

TechNet Webcast: Microsoft IT: Exchange Security at Microsoft (Level 300)
Tuesday, August 30, 2005 – 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM Pacific Time
Konstantin Ryvkin, Senior Systems Engineer, Microsoft Information Technology Group, Microsoft Corporation
Exchange Security Guides provide the best recommendations for running a secure Exchange environment. Tune into this webcast, one of the top-rated breakout sessions (MSG362) from Tech•Ed 2005 in Orlando, Florida, and learn how Microsoft IT applies and manages these recommendations in its Exchange ecosystem. Focusing on specific examples from Microsoft’s internal messaging environment, we discuss a variety of messaging security topics. Topics include email hygiene, securing mobile messaging infrastructure, hardening the Exchange server platform, and securing Exchange communications.

TechNet Webcast: Implementing Messaging Security for Exchange Server Clients (Level 200)Wednesday, August 31, 2005 – 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM Pacific Time
Kai Axford, TechNet Presenter, Microsoft Corporation
To ensure that messages can be read only by the intended recipients, it is as important to provide security for the clients of Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 as it is to secure the server itself. Join this webcast to learn about solutions such as using Microsoft Exchange Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension and Information Rights Management to protect email content. We will also discuss remote procedure call over HTTP to help secure client connections to Exchange Server 2003 via the Internet. We conclude with a discussion about controlling access to email attachments and how to manage and secure Microsoft Office Outlook Web Access.



Configuring SMTP in Microsoft® Exchange 2000 Server
July 15, 2005, 10:27 am
Filed under: Cool Reading

Updated document (v2.0), very useful even for Exchange 2003 solutions. Available here.


This book explains how to configure Microsoft® Exchange 2000 Server for sending and receiving Internet mail. Although Exchange supports many Internet protocols and features, this book mainly focuses on Internet mail and SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol).



The dreadful -1018
July 13, 2005, 10:23 pm
Filed under: 1312


One of the most feared Exchange errors is probably -1018 (JET_errReadVerifyFailure). This error means one of two conditions has been detected when reading a page in the database:


  • The logical page number recorded on the page does not correspond to the physical location of the page inside the database file. 
  • The checksum recorded on the page does not match the checksum Exchange expects to find on the page.

To help us in this situation Microsoft published Exchange Server Error -1018, How Microsoft IT Recovers Damaged Exchange Databases, a paper that shows how Microsoft IT monitors for this error, what happens after database file damage has been discovered, and how Microsoft recovers databases affected by the problem.


BTW, here are a couple of KB articles with some more details:




HP Storage Planning Calculator for Microsoft Exchange Server 2003
July 13, 2005, 3:56 pm
Filed under: Tools


[click on the image for a larger view]

While at Tech.Ed I had the opportunity to attend a session from Jurgen Hasslauer, MSG381 Exchange Server Sizing, where I was introduced to a fantastic tool: HP Storage Planning Calculator for Microsoft Exchange Server 2003.
This free tool provided by HP (a registration may be needed) eases the burden of planning the storage of an Exchange 2003 server. The tool takes into account factors like capacity, performance, backup time, restore time, user profile and we can even generate a pricing breakdown report!


As Jurgen said, we (consultants) should all be worried, because the tool does much of the work we are supposed to do.


Make sure you also visit the site HP ActiveAnswers for Microsoft Exchange Server, where you can find other tools and guidance documents that will help you with many Exchange related tasks.



DKIM submitted to IETF
July 13, 2005, 3:38 pm
Filed under: News



From Techworld (Yahoo and Cisco combine to combat phishing) comes this news:


Yahoo and Cisco are to submit their e-mail authentication specification, DomainKeys Identified Mail  (DKIM), to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to be considered as an industry standard.
Discussions on DKIM will begin at the IETF meeting in Paris scheduled to run between 31 July and 5 August.
DKIM combines Yahoo’s DomainKeys and Cisco’s Internet Identified Mail, two e-mail authentication technologies developed separately, which the companies announced in June they would combine with the intention of licensing the resulting specification royalty-free throughout the industry.


DKIM is probably the main alternative (and rival) to Sender ID, a technology jointly developed by Microsoft and Pobox.com.


Yahoo has already adopted DKIM, just like Hotmail did with Sender ID.




Sender ID Framework and Intellectual Property Overview and FAQ
July 12, 2005, 10:38 am
Filed under: Cool Reading,News

One of the claims people invoke for not deploying Sender ID is that it’s a proprietary technology. Remember that Sender ID is a protocol jointly developed by Microsoft and Pobox.com.


To clarify some of these doubts, Microsoft just made available a FAQ regarding the need and use of Microsoft’s royalty-free license for implementation of the Sender ID Framework. Here’s a small excerpt from the Sender ID Framework and Intellectual Property Overview and FAQ:


Q1. Do end users need to sign this license?
A.
No. End users do not need to sign this license.


Q2: Why is Microsoft asking people to take a license?
A:
Microsoft is not aware of any issued patent claims covering the Sender ID specification, and Microsoft does not require anyone to sign a license with Microsoft to implement or use the Sender ID specification.



The ATE FAQ
July 12, 2005, 9:45 am
Filed under: 1312


My experience working at the Ask The Experts (ATE) booth allowed me to build a small list of frequently asked question (FAQ), which I called “The ATE FAQ”. Statistically it’s obvious that my sampling isn’t representative of the universe of the Exchange users and administrators, but at least I have an excuse to write about some exciting topics.


1. New SP2 features: There isn’t enough space in this post to write about all the new SP2 features, but I would like to point out Direct Push, Remote Wipe, anti-spam capabilities, the increase of the storage limit of the standard edition to 75 GB and, as I’m Portuguese, Iberian and Brazilian Portuguese spelling checker for OWA. For further information, here are some additional links:
Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2 is Coming!
Frequently Asked Questions About Exchange Server 2003 SP2
New Mobility Features in Exchange Server 2003 SP2
Exchange 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) Remote Wipe functionality
Enforcing security settings on mobile devices with Exchange 2003 SP2
Solving the Phone Synchronization Problem End-to-End
Exchange 2003 SP2
Storage limit changing in Exchange 2003 SP2 Standard


2. Exchange 12: there is some curiosity about the next version of Exchange, scheduled to be released at late 2006, early 2007. Besides including the new functionalities of the upcoming SP2, Exchange 12 will add:
• 64-bit support 
• Log shipping
• Continuous backup
• Unified messaging
• Server role setup
• Improved search 
Monad, new command line interface 
• Shared SharePoint documents from OWA


3. Public Folders support: although Microsoft has announced that it will discontinue Public Folders, that will only happen in the version to be release after Exchange 12. So we still have 6/7 years to start thinking in migrating to SharePoint


4. Stretched Clusters: I registered very interest for geographic dispersed clusters (some hundred kilometers), probably due to disaster recovery concerns. Microsoft supports stretched cluster as long as you follow some requisites, such as using hardware listed on the Windows Server Catalog. Here is a small list of links about this subject:
Deployment Guidelines for Exchange Server Multi-Site Data Replication
Cluster Solutions, Geographically Dispersed Cluster Solution
Multi-site data replication support for Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2000
Multi-site Data Replication For Exchange Server 2003


These were the trendy topics during the time I spent at the ATE. If you would like to add another ones, feel free to drop a comment.



The last 2 days of Tech.Ed
July 9, 2005, 5:04 pm
Filed under: News

At the moment I’m packing to depart from Amsterdam. Great city, great ambiance. Tech.Ed has ended now, but Microsoft didn’t announce where will it be next year. I voted for Prague (hey, why wasn’t Lisbon listed as a choice?).
Here are the news from the last 2 days, in what it matters to messaging. Some of the topics covered are really sexy, so you can expect some future posts about them, or maybe some articles.


Day 3:
Best Practices for Disaster Recovery – Lessons Learned from Exchange 2003 Stretched Clusters Deployments – a great topic, during my experience at the Ask The Experts (ATE) I noticed that there is a great interest around the subject of geo-clustering. Exchange 12 will be great for the task, since it will support log shipping.
Tech.Ed Party – As usual, Thursday night is party night. Scizzor Sisters and NU2, tribute bands to Scissor Sisters and U2, performed during the party. Not bad, but I think it could be better…


Day 4:
Analysing Exchange Server 2003 with SQL Server 2000 Reporting Services – if after a party night, at 8:30 in the morning I didn’t get sleepy it’s because the session was damn good. It’s wonderful the result we can get with Log Parser 2.2 and SQL Reporting Services.
Exchange 2003 Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) Based Backup and Restore – now I’m confused. A day before I was told that NTBackup was not VSS-aware, now this guy tells me it is. I’ll definitely have to do more research on this…


The final evaluation is positive. What the conference lacks in more deep technical content (remember that this event is for all kind of people) it compensates with the opportunity to meet really experts in all Microsoft technologies.
I’ll probably attend Tech.Ed 2006 if I can, but I think the really exciting event for next year will be IT Forum 06, because by that time there will be already some betas of Exchange 12.