Exchange has known the concept of internal and external URLs for the different services (Outlook Web Access, OAB, EWS, ActiveSync etc) since Exchange 2007. And it’s still confusing people. The internal URL is the URL, that is used to access the desired service from the intranet. The external URL represents the URL that is used to access the service from the internet. Best practice is to use the same URL (the external) for both, use a certificate from a public CA, and use split DNS to access the external domain from the inside of your network.
As part of a troubleshooting process, I had to disable circular logging on a Microsoft Exchange 2013 mailbox database, that was part of a Database Availability Group (DAG).
What is circular logging? Microsoft Exchange uses log files that record all transactions and modifications to a mailbox database. In this case, Exchange works like MS SQL or Oracle. These log files are used, to bring the database back to a consistent state after a crash, or to recover a database to a specific point-in-time. Because everything is written to log files, the number of log files increases over time. Log files are truncated, as soon as a successful full backup of the database is taken.
|EDIT: If you have already installed .NET 4.6.1, check this blog post on how to remove it (You Had Me At EHLO…)|
Microsoft Exchange heavily relies on Microsoft .NET Framework. Because of this, Microsoft provides a matrix for the supported Microsoft .NET Frameworks. Mostly unknown is the fact, that Exchange doesn’t support the every Microsoft .NET Framework, and this is causing trouble sometimes. Some admins simply install the latest .NET releases because “it doesn’t hurt”. Well… it hurts!
Changes for .NET Framework 4.6.1
Microsoft has changed the support policy for .NET Framework 4.6.1 with the release of Exchange 2013 CU13 and Exchange 2016 CU2. Up to this versions, only .NET Framework 4.5.2 is supported. Starting with Exchange 2013 CU13 and Exchange 2016 CU2, Microsoft supports .NET Framework 4.6.1 together with a hotfix rollup (KB3146715 for Server 2012 R2, KB3146714 for Server 2012 and KB3146716 for Server 2008 R2). If you wish to install .NET Framework 4.6.1, make sure to install Exchange 2013 CU13 or 2016 CU2 first.
Some day ago, I installed a new Exchange 2013 CU11 for some test ins my lab. Nothing fancy, just a single server deployment on a Windows Server 2012 R2 VM. I deployed this Windows Server from a template, which was updated with the latest Windows Patches and WMF some days ago. The Exchange setup went smooth. I updated the SSL certificates and the internal and external URLs for the virtual directories. Then I started the Exchange Management Shell (EMS), to update the Autodiscover URL in the service connection point (SCP) of the Active Directory.
Microsoft has introduced the Web Application Proxy (WAP) with Windows Server 2012 R2 and has it positioned as a replacement for Microsoft User Access Gateway (UAG), Thread Management Gateway (TMG) and IIS Application Request Routung (ARR). WAP ist tightly bound to the Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) role. WAP can be used
- pre-authenticate access to published web applications, and
- it can function as an AD FS proxy
The AD FS proxy role was removed in Windows Server 2012 R2 and it’s replaced by the WAP role. Because WAP stores its configuration in the AD FS, you must deploy AD FS in your organization. The server, that hosts the WAP, has no local configuration. This allows you to deploy additional WAP servers to create a cluster deployment. The additional servers get their configuration from the AD FS.
When moving users to Exchange 2013 it can happen, that they can’t access public folders housed on the old Exchange 2010 or 2007 server. The same can happen to shared mailboxes (mailboxes with Full Access permissions). The users are constantly prompted for credentials or they get this message:
Cannot expand the folder. Microsoft Exchange is not available. Either there are network problems or the Exchange server is down for maintenance.
This can be a huge problem during a migration. Microsoft described this in KB2834139. This error is caused by a misconfigured Outlook security setting, called “Logon network security”. If you experience this issue, check the “Logon network security” setting. If it’s set to “Anonymous Authentication”, then you experience the in KB2834139 described problem. Otherwise you have another problem. Check the “Logon network security” settings in your Outlook client. I took this screenshots from a Outlook 2013, but it looks the same in Outlook 2010. With this setting you will have a problem:
There is an advantage, if you solves problems: You can learn something. I’m currently migrate a small Exchange 2007 environment to Exchange 2013. The first thing I learnt was, that IT staff still uses their own accounts for administration, and sometimes they assign administrator rights to users for testing and troubleshooting purposes. This can be a problem, as I described in my last posting. Today I learnt something different: Sometimes it’s the little things that bring you to despair.
During an Exchange 2013 migration project the first attempt to migrate a mailbox failed with the following error:
Error: MigrationPermanentException: Active Directory property 'homeMDB' is not writeable on recipient 'testing.local/Users/Dummy'. --> Active Directory property 'homeMDB' is not writeable on recipient 'testing.local/Users/Dummy'.
The error message clearly stated, that this was a permission issue. A quick search pointed me to the right direction. I found a thread in the TechNet forums, in which the same error message were discussed. This error occurs, if the Exchange Trusted Subsystem group is missing in the ACL of the user object. This group contains the exchange server and it’s usually inherited from the domain object to all child containers and objects. I checked the ACL of the user and the Exchange Trusted Subsystem group was missing in the ACL. This was caused by the disabled permissions inheritance. An object ACL with disabled permissions inheritance is sometimes called a protected ACL. Bill Long wrote a nice Power Shell script to search for object which have permissions inheritance disabled.
I got a couple of warnings (source MSExchange ADAccess, Event ID 2937) after removing a Exchange 2007 server at the end of a Exchange 2007 > 2013 migration. The details of the warning told me, that there was a faulty value set to a attribute of the mailbox database object. Because the public folder migration was part of the migration, the error message seemed plausible.
Process w3wp.exe (PID=4652). Object [CN=Mailbox Database E2K13,CN=Databases,CN=Exchange Administrative Group (FYDIBOHF23SPDLT),CN=Administrative Groups,CN=Testing,CN=Microsoft Exchange,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=testing,DC=local. Property [PublicFolderDatabase] is set to value [testing.local/Configuration/Deleted Objects/Public Folder Database DEL:4a45b7c2-10fc-42df-bdaa-82ae8a12e66e], it is pointing to the Deleted Objects container in Active Directory. This property should be fixed as soon as possible.
A quick check with ADSI Edit confirmed the message. To be honest: I made a mistake and searched for the attribute PublicFolderDatabase in the database object, but in the end I found the wrong entry as a value of the msExchHomePublicMDB attribute in the database object. It must be set to the distinguished name of the mailbox database that houses the public folder mailboxes. If you don’t have any public folders in your Exchange 2013 org, then you have to clear the value!