Exchange 2013 Server Role Requirements Calculator v5.1

The long awaited Exchange 2013 Server Role Requirements Calculator v5.1 has finally been released. Like its predecessor, the Exchange 2010 Mailbox Server Role Requirements Calculator, it was announced by Ross Smith IV at the Microsoft Exchange Team Blog.

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There are several new features introduced by this version. Like you probably noticed from the name, the tool is no longer a mailbox exclusive calculator, it now includes client access servers and transport sizing (as the transport role is now part of the mailbox role).

For full details and prescriptive guidance on how to use the tool, read the Exchange 2013 Server Role Requirements Calculator Readme

Update for Outlook Junk E-mail Filter – May 2013

Microsoft has recently released the May updates for the Outlook 2003/2007/2010/2013 Junk E-mail Filter.

"This update provides the Junk E-mail Filter in Microsoft Office Outlook with a more current definition of which e-mail messages should be considered junk e-mail."

The update is available for Outlook 2003, Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010 (32-bit, 64-bit) and Outlook 2013 (32-bit, 64-bit) or you can use Microsoft Update. As usual the update comes with the corresponding Knowledge Base article:

TechNet Magazine – May 2013

The May 2013 edition of the TechNet Magazine is now available for online reading.

Featured Articles:

Columns:

Securing Active Directory, Microsoft IT Style

Microsoft IT release a couple of documents that highlight some of the best practices to secure Active Directory.

  • Securing Active Directory: An Overview of Best Practices – The threat of compromise to IT infrastructures from external attack is rapidly growing and evolving. The Active Directory environment is often the target for these attacks. This article details steps that your organization can take to protect its Active Directory environment
  • Best Practices for Securing Active Directory – This document contains recommendations to assist organizations in enhancing the security of their Active Directory installations. By implementing these recommendations, organizations will be able to identify and prioritize security activities, protect key segments of their organization’s computing infrastructure, and create controls that significantly decrease the likelihood of successful attacks against critical components of the IT environment. This document discusses the most common attacks against Active Directory and countermeasures to reduce the attack surface, and recommendations for recovery in the event of complete compromise.

Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Management Pack v15.00.0620.030

The Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Management Pack v15.00.0620.030 is now available to download. For detailed information about importing and using this management pack, refer to the Exchange Server 2013 Management Pack Documentation.

Overview
The Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Management Pack provides comprehensive service health information for your Exchange organization.
The Exchange 2013 Management Pack is engineered for organizations that include servers running Exchange 2013.
The key feature of this management pack is user focused monitoring. The simplified dashboard focuses on the user experience and makes it easier for you quickly determine exactly what your users are experiencing.

        Feature Summary
        The Exchange Server 2013 Management Pack works with the Managed Availability feature in Exchange 2013. The alerts within the System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) portal indicate unhealthy states as reported by the Managed Availability components in Exchange 2013.
        The following are some of the new features in the Exchange 2013 Management Pack:
        • Simplified dashboard The dashboard of the Exchange 2013 Management Pack has been simplified and refined into the following three categorie
          • Active Alerts Provides a list of all outstanding alerts in your organization.
          • Organization Health Provides an overview of the overall service health in your organization.
          • Server Health Provides an overview of the health of individual servers in your organization.
        • User focused monitoring Exchange 2013 introduces a monitoring and recovery infrastructure called Managed Availability. Managed Availability focuses on the user experience. All Exchange 2013 components have built-in monitors that detect problems and attempt to recover the service availability. Any issues that can’t be recovered automatically are escalated to the Exchange 2013 Management Pack as an alert.

        System Requirements
        Supported Operating System:
        Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter, Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise, Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard, Windows Server 2012

        You have one of the following versions of System Center Operations Manager deployed:

        • System Center Operations Manager 2012 RTM or later
        • System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 or later