Monthly Archives: April 2006

Take an MCP exam for Free

James noticed that you can take an MCP exam for Live Communications Server for free.  You need to use a promotional code (on his blog)  when you book the exam.  And if you pass the beta – you’ll be one of the first MCP’s on LCS too… so come on Arthur and Russ.  You know you want to….    

And if you’re the sort of person that loves doing beta exams – sign up for the invites here

Published Thursday, April 27, 2006 5:12 PM by Eileen_Brown
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New names for Exchange 12 and Management products too.

I just knew I should have gone to MMS this year.  The new name for Exchange 12 has been announced.  Microsoft Exchange 2007.  KC unveiled the new (unofficial) logo for exchange, which looks  very James Bond – ish and is really funky  – as does the new logo for 2007 Office system.  Kiril announced other new names too:

Windows PowerShell, formerly known as MONAD. Available to download in the second half of this year. Download RC1 here  and documentation..

Exchange 12 will officially be named Microsoft Exchange Server 2007. In addition,  The Exchange Management Shell in Exchange Server 2007 is based on PowerShell and will save IT administrators valuable hours by allowing routine and repetitive tasks to be automated through a scriptable command line shell.

“MOM V3” will become Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007.  System Center Operations Manager 2007 is building a solution based on PowerShell.
“SMS V4” will become Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007.
There’s  a new product for the service-desk market, to be delivered toward the end of 2007 and  codenamed “Service Desk”  This consists of:
1) A workflow engine that will provide the basis for how we automate IT processes
2) the implementation of the SDM-based Configuration Management Database (CMDB), which will be the foundation of our asset and change management capability.

Yup – I should have definitely gone to MMS.  Grrr…..

Geeking out with the girls…

Sarah did an amazing job with last nights Girly geek dinner in London – over 180 people registered for the event.  There are some truly awesome women who want to be with other technically focused women.  The show of hands showed that there were several really techy women there.  I met a fascinating SMS geek who was really pleased to be able to talk SMS infrastructure with another girl.  Of course Steve was there schmoozing the ladies – he’s such a flirt…

So thanks to Lloyd, Barry and Ian for taking the time to come over and chat.  It’s nice to see so many men there who just want to network with us.  And hello to all the women who made the evening such a success… 


Channel 9 lets me talk to them….

I didn’t even notice this, but Kintan mailed me overnight to say that he liked my video on Channel 9.  I was over in Redmond earlier this year, and talked to Charles and Jennifer about all sorts of things including ladies and girl geeks (and Sarah)

I can’t watch it though.  It was bad enough being filmed for IT’s showtime. It’s awful hearing my own voice when I do the Exchange 12 Unified messaging demos – but to actually see myself on a video makes me want to crawl under my desk and hide.

 My 26 minutes of fame…….. Yikes.

Messaging Webcasts for May

TechNet Webcast: Recipient Management and Permissions in Exchange “12” (Level 300)
Tuesday, May 02, 2006 – 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Pacific Time
Brad Clark, Program Manager Lead, Microsoft Corporation
Learn how to create and manage most types of recipients using the management console and management shell in the next version of Microsoft Exchange Server, code-named Exchange “12,” without Recipient Update Service (RUS) running in the background. See how a lower-level administrator can easily become a Recipient Manager without changing the access control list (ACL). This webcast also provides an overview of the Exchange “12” permissions model along with a primer on provisioning address lists.

TechNet Webcast: Policy Enforcement and Regulatory Compliance with Exchange “12” (Level 300)
Thursday, May 04, 2006 – 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Pacific Time
Shawn M Thomas, Program Manager Lead, Microsoft Corporation
Many companies struggle to meet the changing interpretations of “compliance,” while others have created new business opportunities by implementing tighter controls and increasing the transparency of their business processes. This webcast explains how the new features in the next version of Microsoft Exchange Server, code-named Exchange “12”, can help your company to enforce policies and comply with regulations. We also describe how the Exchange Server partner community can play an important, ongoing role in the dialog on compliance.

TechNet Webcast: Exchange “12” Management Shell and Scripting (Level 300)
Tuesday, May 09, 2006 – 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Pacific Time
Vivek Sharma, Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation
This webcast focuses on the command-line and scripting interface (based on Microsoft Windows “Monad”) in the next version of Microsoft Exchange Server, code-named Exchange “12.” See how to convert your multiple-page Microsoft Visual Basic and component object model (COM) scripts to a single line in Exchange “12.” We cover the basics of the management shell along with the underlying design and key concepts. Learn tips and tricks for building larger scripts that you can use to automate small, medium, and enterprise business scenarios. The session includes demonstrations of several single-line scripts that you can use immediately, with little or no tweaking.

TechNet Webcast: Secure Collaboration with Antigen (Level 200)
Friday, May 12, 2006 – 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM Pacific Time
Matt Hester, TechNet Presenter, Microsoft Corporation
Find out how you can help protect your messaging and collaboration servers from viruses, worms, spam, and inappropriate content with Antigen. This webcast explains what Antigen is and describes how it is tightly integrated with Microsoft Exchange Server, SharePoint Products and Technologies, and Live Communications Server to help ensure strong protection and centralized control without taxing server or network infrastructure performance. Learn how the content and file filtering technologies in Antigen can help ensure that your organization complies with corporate content policies, while eliminating inappropriate language and dangerous attachments from internal and external communications.

TechNet Webcast: Protecting Your Exchange “12” Network from Viruses and Spam (Level 300)
Monday, May 15, 2006 – 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Pacific Time
Mihai Costea, Program Manager, Microsoft Corporation
Join this webcast to learn about the agent-based messaging hygiene features in the next version of Microsoft Exchange Server, code-named Exchange “12”. Out of the box, Exchange “12” provides you with a competitive antispam solution that is composed of multiple filters with frequent updates and a built-in IP reputation system. Of interest to independent software vendors (ISVs) is antivirus technology such as store scanning and mechanisms for reliable and efficient transport scanning.

TechNet Webcast: Scripting Secrets of Exchange Server 2003 (Level 300)
Wednesday, May 17, 2006 – 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Pacific Time
Paul Robichaux, , 3Sharp
You have probably heard about the Windows “Monad” Shell, the next-generation command-line and scripting environment coming in the next version of Microsoft Exchange Server, code-named Exchange “12.” But were you aware that Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 already includes a robust set of scripting capabilities? You can script many common, tedious operations in Exchange Server 2003, and you can easily write scripts to inspect or change many key configuration settings of your Exchange organization and servers. Join this webcast to learn how to create and manipulate Exchange objects, how to unlock the full power of unattended setup in Exchange, and how to optimize your backup processes using scripts.

TechNet Webcast: Introduction to the Exchange Server Best Practice Analyzer Tool (ExBPA) (Level 300)
Wednesday, May 31, 2006 – 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM Pacific Time
Harold Wong, TechNet Presenter, Microsoft Corporation
The Microsoft Exchange Server Best Practices Analyzer Tool (ExBPA) is an automated health check and troubleshooting tool. It collects configuration settings and performs network and protocol tests in an Exchange topology, and then sends the results to an XML output file. This webcast describes the benefits of this tool, and covers topics related to its implementation such as scheduling and baseline support. We also discuss how to use the tool with Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005.

Microsoft Office System Webcast: Tips and Tricks for More Secure Communication with Outlook 2003 (Level 100)
Thursday, May 04, 2006 – 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Pacific Time
Andy Reed, Senior Training Specialist, Pacific Technical Consulting (PTC)
Learn the fundamentals of security, auditing, privacy, and protection in Microsoft Office Outlook 2003. Find out how to choose secure passwords, create profiles, limit exposure to viruses and junk e-mail, create more secure attachments, and incorporate encryption and digital signatures into your e-mail. This webcast on connected productivity shows how you can reduce vulnerabilities and enhance reliable communication inside and outside your organization by implementing Outlook 2003 with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. This webcast illustrates these techniques through demonstrations that represent typical interactions between team members.

What is RPC/HTTP?

We talk about using RPC over HTTP and HTTPS a lot.  I’ve blogged about troubleshooting RPC/HTTP, I talk about how fantastic it is to be able to access my email without the need to VPN, but I was stopped in my tracks today when someone actually asked me what RPC/HTTP meant. I mean why is RPC “over” HTTP.

Well, I started talking about the OSI model, and how the different layers interacted.  Then I had to stop as I realised that this person really had no idea what I was talking about, and couldn’t picture this protocol stack (I was initially taught to think about it as a high rise building with 7 floors (and the end user sitting on top of the building on the 8th floor ready to add the unknown variable “user error”).  Thank goodness for Wikipedia… and its excellent descriptions.

So for all of you who want to know.  RPC (Remote procedure call)  is a protocol that sits above (“over”) HTTP in the Application layer (7).  Messaging protocols like IMAP4, SMTP POP3 and NNTP are all up there at the top of the stack in the application layer.  If you then wanted to secure your transmission, you’ll need to use SSL which sits in the Presentation layer (6).  Which sits above TCP in the Transport layer (4), which sits above IP in the Network layer (3). And so on till all of the 1’s and zero’s zoom out of the building layer 1 on their way to wherever… 

Yikes.  I must be getting old.  I assumed that all IT guys knew about the OSI model.  I am old….  

Exchange 12 – who’s saying what…

So my roving reporter, Mark is over at the Windows Connections 2006 event in Disney World (don’t ask).  I’ve asked him to report on some of the cool sessions that he’s been attending there.  So he dutifully went along to an Exchange 12 session for me to report on what he heard…  Tony presented some interesting stuff that I can’t talk about yet, as we’re not at Beta 2, but you get the gist of what I’d like to say…  Nick, who says more than me anyway, talks about Exchange and UM a bit too, whilst Larry, Mark and Brett watch out for all the bits that I usually miss and blogs about them instead….

I really need to finish building my Exchange 12 VM’s for the roadshow – just to make sure the demos actually work and I’ve got something to blog about!