Monthly Archives: October 2005

So what does “out of free support mean”

I’ve been answering a lot of questions recently about the fact that free support for Exchange 5.5 ends on December 31st.  Probably brought on by the fact that I blogged about our Exchange unplugged tour last week, and set a few thought processes in motion.  There seems to be a lot of different thoughts about what this means.  A couple of years ago we introduced a support roadmap for all of our products called the Software Support Lifecycle which enabled you to plan your upgrades and refreshes.  When a product is released i.e. Exchange 5.5, then that product remains under full support for a period of 5 years from the date of product release (or 2 years after the date of release of the 2nd successor product, whichever is longer).  Essentially, most products will receive at least 10 years of online self-help support.  Details about this support lifecycle plan and product support information can be found here.

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Blogcast: Moving User mailboxes

Part 13 of this blogcast series which runs through how to upgrade your Exchange Organisation from Exchange 5.5 to 2003 shows you how to move mailboxes.  This blogcast runs for 2 minutes and 38 seconds.  This blogcast talks about moving mailboxes from theExchange 5.5 server so hat the server can be decommissioned.  The Exchange task wizard is used to transfer the full content from one server to the other.  View the blogcast here

Other blogcasts in this series:

1: Reviewing the Exchange Organistion

2:Creating the trust 

3: Assigning appropriate rights

4:Exploring Deployment tools and checklists

5:Preparing Active Directory

6: Using the Active Directory Migration Tool

7: Configuring the Active Directory Connector

8: Checking the Migrated User accounts

9: Creating a connection agreement

10: Verifying synchronisation

11: Starting to Install Exchange 2003

12: Using the Public Folder migration tool

New certification structure

Oooh! now this has caught my eye!  In my dim and distant (and vaguely murky!) past, I used to be a Technical trainer.  I used to train lots of Microsoft products ( I mean most of the Back office products, networking stuff and Internet type courses.  I used to be really be proud of the fact that my MCP mumber was only 6 digits (167xxx) until I hired someone into the company with a 4 digit MCP nimber (10xx).  Boy, was I jealous of his DOS MCP! (Yes TonyCM, you know who you are!)

So why is this important to you?  Well, having people skilled and certified on Microsoft technology gives you an extra edge in being successful.  Certifications are linked to specific versions of the technology so you can then ensure that you, or the person you hire is up to date with technology and also allows you to better identify exactly what people in your team are skilled on.
Having three tiers of certified professionals caters for different types of people and at different stages in their careers. For example: 
   Technology Specialist level is about proficiency in product skills (and is specific to a version of the product) 
   Certified IT Professional and Certified Professional Developer are about proficiency in product skills Certifications plus for general skills on being a good IT Pro or developer (like operational frameworks, etc). 
   Architect level takes certifications to a whole new level and requires an individual review of the persons knowledge and experience by a board of experts

I’ve followed the announcement of our new certification program with  a great deal of interest.  I was an MCSE on NT 3.51, 4.0 and Windows 2000 before moving on to other things and giving up the seemingly endless slog of exams that I needed to teach the courses (I was an MCT too before you ask by the way).  So I was a little bit jealous that there are a new set of certifications on offer that I now don’t have much chance of achieving (my day job totally gets in the way of studying for these new exams) and I spend most of my time chatting over coffee – sorry having “face to face” meetings with my colleagues!

So I may just have a go at another MCP – get my current score over 30 MCP’s achieved.  hee hee….

Blogcast: Using the Public Folder migration tool

Well we’re now onto part 12 of the blogcast series which shows you how to upgrade your Exchange Organisation from Exchange 5.5 to 2003.  This blogcast runs for 6 minutes and 28 seconds. Exchange 2003 with SP1 has been installed, and there’s a look at the post installaion checklist and tools.  The integrity of the instalation is checked and ADCConfigCheck isused to check that all items hae been replicated.  The PFMigrate is used.   View the blogcast here

Other blogcasts in this series:

1: Reviewing the Exchange Organistion

2:Creating the trust 

3: Assigning appropriate rights

4:Exploring Deployment tools and checklists

5:Preparing Active Directory

6: Using the Active Directory Migration Tool

7: Configuring the Active Directory Connector

8: Checking the Migrated User accounts

9: Creating a connection agreement

10: Verifying synchronisation

11: Starting to Install Exchange 2003

Exchange unplugged tour

Well we’re going on the road talking about Exchange 5.5 upgrades to Exchange 2003.  Support ends on December 31st this year by the way.  We’re going to 9 venues in under 3 weeks.  it’s a bit of a rock tour  – well if I’m going to be a rock star, then I hope we get to travel in a tour bus or something :-).

We’ll be talking about the different types of Exchange architectures (Ewan – guitar man), then talking about the tools to upgrade, and actually upgrading to Exchange 2003 (me), Then Jason (and his amazing Technicolour devices) will be talking about how you can get mobile, and John will be talking about how messaging hygeine can be implemented.

You can register here for your chosen date, and come over and chat.  We’re all  going to be there and  we’re looking forward to helping you sort out any Exchange challenges you may have.  

Blogcast: Starting to install Exchange 2003

Part 11 of the blogcast series which has been talking about upgrading your Exchange Organisation from Exchange 5.5 to 2003.  This blogcast runs for 5 minutes and 45 seconds. We’re finally onto the stage in Deployment where we can install Exchange 2003.  There are a couple of tools to run through first though, similar tools that have already been ran, but are still important to check that all of the network and connectivity checks are still satisfactory befrore setup starts.   View the blogcast here

Other blogcasts in this series:

1: Reviewing the Exchange Organistion

2:Creating the trust 

3: Assigning appropriate rights

4:Exploring Deployment tools and checklists

5:Preparing Active Directory

6: Using the Active Directory Migration Tool

7: Configuring the Active Directory Connector

8: Checking the Migrated User accounts

9: Creating a connection agreement

10: Verifying synchronisation

Cap Plan 2006 Beta refresh release

There’s a beta refresh for System Center Capacity planner out at the moment.  I’d blogged about the features the other week, but the Windows Management team have been looking at feedback and have made quite a few enhancements: Don’t forget though that this Beta is for evaluation use only and is shared to enable you to become more familiar with the product and provide valuable feedback to us so that we deliver a fantastic product.
We look forward to receive valuable feedback on this new product.  Please download the product
here, work with it, and give us feedback in the forums:

Here’s some of the enhancements:
·                                 SCCP Beta2 Refresh aligned with .NET 2.0 RC release
·                                 Improved support for modeling VPN connected users 
·                                 More granular control of Exchange transaction rates 
·                                 Optional exclusion of a redundant WAN link from load balancing
·                                 Improved support for users in branch office 
·                                 Improvements to reporting
·                                 Improvements to the Hardware Editor
·                                 Improved online help
·                                 Modifications to the user interface text

Learn more about System Center Capacity Planner 2006: