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Server 2008’s Windows Server Backup is not Exchange-aware

Just an FYI for when the time comes that you deploy Exchange 2007 on Server 2008. The Windows Server Backup is not Exchange-aware and cannot be used for streaming backups or restores on Server 2008. Thanks goes out to Scott Schnol from Microsoft for this information. You must purchase a 3rd-party (or DPM 2007) VSS capable backup solution. If you do go to Server 2008, you can restore previous backups using the NTBackup Restore Utility available at the following URL:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=7DA725E2-8B69-4C65-AFA3-2A53107D54A7&displaylang=en

And just to add some more information for those that haven’t used Windows Server Backup yet, you can’t back up the system state via the GUI. You have to use the CLI. You are also limited to full volume backups only. You cannot back up specific files/folders.

Personally, I think the Windows Server Backup leaves a lot to be desired.

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Server 2008 and Vista SP1 RTM

Server 2008 as well as Vista SP1 have finally RTM’d. You can read more at the following URL:
http://blogs.technet.com/windowsserver/archive/2008/02/04/windows-server-2008-rtm.aspx

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2007 Office System Administrative Templates (ADM) SP1

This download (direct download) includes updated Group Policy Administrative Template files and Office Customization Tool OPA files for use with the 2007 Microsoft Office system programs. It also includes an \Admin folder with an updated Office Customization Tool, and ADMX and ADML versions of the 2007 Microsoft Office system Administrative Template files for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. In Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 operating systems, the ADM files are replaced by ADMX files, which use an XML-based file format to display registry-based policy settings. This download also includes a workbook (Office2007GroupPolicyAndOCTSettings.xls) that provides information about the 2007 Office system Group Policy settings and OPA settings.

For more information about ADMX files, see Managing Group Policy ADMX Files Step-by-Step Guide on the Microsoft TechNet Web site.

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Certifying in Windows Server 2008

For those who are planning to go after their Windows Server 2008 certification, here is some new information you might deem worthy to check out:

Windows Server 2008 Step-by-Step Guides

Live Meeting: Transition to Windows Server 2008 Certifications

Previously, I blogged about a free beta exam for upgrading to Server 2008 which included help guides, blog sites, and screen casts that would help you prepare for the Windows Server 2008 exam. While the beta exam period is over, the help guides, blog sites, and screen casts still exist which will also assist you in your preparation. You can view my previous blog entry here.

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Exchange 2007 SP1 and Server 2008

Microsoft has released information on how Exchange 2007 SP1 and Server 2008 will work together. Obviously you can just go to article located here and read about it, but I wanted to blog about this and give some key points about operating on Server 2008 and one of the more disappointing things that many organizations will face when they begin to deploy Server 2008.

The good:

  • SP1 contains the RTM bits of Exchange 2007. One of the main reasons this was done, is because if you have a Server 2008 environment, you cannot install Exchange 2007 RTM on Server 2008 and then upgrade Exchange 2007 to SP1
  • Exchange management tools for SP1 can now run under Server 2008 and/or Vista

The bad:

  • You will need a writable DC/GC in your site. What this means, is if you plan on deploying only a RODC/ROGC in a branch office, you cannot install Exchange 2007 in that branch office. You will need a writable DC/GC.
    • You can still have a RODC/ROGC in a site as long as there is a writable DC/GC in that site as well

The ugly:

  • You cannot upgrade Exchange 2007 servers to Server 2008 at all, no matter what! You cannot upgrade your Exchange 2007 box on Server 2003 to SP1 and then upgrade to Server 2008. This means you will need to install a new Server 2008 system, install Exchange 2007 on it, and then move-mailbox mailboxes over to the Server 2008 box. This becomes very bad if you have clustered servers. You will have to deploy an entire new cluster, and then move-mailbox mailboxes from your old cluster to your new cluster.
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Exchange 2007 SP1 Beta2

REDMOND, Wash. — Aug. 13, 2007 —Microsoft Corp. today announced Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and opened a technology preview for the software. Exchange Server 2007 SP1 features enhancements such as support for Windows Server® 2008, enhanced integration with Microsoft® Office Communications Server 2007, and improved mobile device management and advanced security technology.

Release Notes are located here.

SCR ready for production use:

  • Extends the existing continuous replication features and enables new data availability scenarios
  • Supports multiple targets per storage group
  • SCR enables a separation of high availability (comprised of service and data availability) and site resilience
  • SCR can be combined with CCR to replicate storage groups locally in a primary datacenter (using CCR for high availability) and remotely in a secondary or backup datacenter (using SCR for site resilience)

OWA:

  • New OWA themes (X-Box, Zune)
  • Supporting digital signatures with certificate that do not have email address in them for S/MIME

S/Mime features which were not complete in Beta 1:

  • HTML filtering (now S/MIME message reading and editing is full fidelity)
  • OWA Printing
  • Admin Settings
  • Both the new task and the updated MOM pack have been checked into the Beta 2 branch.
  • Integration with anti-junk/phishing mail features
  • Many bug fixes (in all features, not just S/MIME)
  • Exchange Web Services HTTP Proxy and new Web Services ID’s.

New EMC features:

  • Full Access permission management for mailboxes and mail-enabled public folders
  • Preview of AL/EAP/DL with custom filter
  • More ActiveSync policy settings

Office Communications Server 2007 and Exchange UM integration:

  • Support for additional types of UM dial plans
  • Additional logic for resolving internal calling numbers
  • Notification of forwarding when voice messages are left and the destination uses call forwarding
  • Support for recording high-fidelity voice messages
  • “Play on Phone” calls cannot be automatically forwarded when they are played on Communicator 2007
  • Outlook Voice Access can be accessed from Communicator 2007 without requiring the user to enter a PIN
  • Communicator 2007 clients can associate subjects and priorities with voice messages
  • Support for media streams to traverse firewalls
  • Integration of “missed call” notification e-mail messages with Communicator 2007

Other:

  • Both the new task and the updated MOM pack have been checked into the Beta 2 branch
  • Inter-Site Message Size Restrictions feature enable
  • Test-ReplicationHealth is a new task that MOM pack uses to monitor HA replication
  • MRM now supports policies on the message type “e-mail” in addition to other types of items (calendar, notes, etc)

Additional information:
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/aug07/08-13Exchange2007NewPR.mspx
http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2007/08/14/446656.aspx
http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2007/06/28/445538.aspx#445539
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/939531

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Free Upgrade to Server 2008 Certifications and Training Materials

Trika released some information on her blog regarding free beta exams that will provide you with a chance to upgrade your certifications for free! Hurry up though. This offer does not last forever. You have up to August 3rd to register and take your beta exam.

If you are an MCSA in Server 2003, you can take the 71-648 exam for a free chance to upgrade your MCSA to the following two certifications:

  • Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist: Windows Server® 2008 Active Directory Configuration
  • Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist: Windows Server® 2008 Network Infrastructure Configuration

If you are an MCSE in Server 2003, you can take the 71-649 exam for a free chance to upgrade your MCSE to the following three certifications:

  • Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist: Windows Server® 2008 Active Directory Configuration
  • Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist: Windows Server® 2008 Network Infrastructure Configuration
  • Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist: Windows Server® 2008 Application Platform Configuration

Microsoft is currently providing a free Server 2008 e-book written by an MVP that will help you on your endeavor of obtaining your Server 2008 certifications. In addition to this Server 2008 e-book, there is also a Powershell Step-by-Step book. These e-books can be obtained by signing in with a Windows Live ID here and following the instructions till you are granted access.

Microsoft has also released some component posters, which some of you have seen in a recent Technet Magazine, of different Server 2008 architectural infrastructures. These posters include diagrams on how a Read-Only Domain Controller Functions, Active Directory Federation Services, and much more works. You can download these component posters here.

Keith Comb has been releasing some screencasts which provide good information on how to get running with different Server 2008 services. You can view these screencasts here.

Changes in functionality from Server 2003 with SP1 to Server 2008 can be found here.

Server 2008 Step-By-Step guides can be found here.

Step-By-Step guide on configuring Server Core can be found here.

A tour of Windows Server 2008 PKI enhancements can be found here.

My torn data pages blog has several informative blog entries regarding certification on Server 2008. You can find their blog here.

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