Turn your server into an iSCSI SAN with Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3

Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Microsoft released Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3, which turns your Windows Server 2008 R2 server into an iSCSI target.  This free component provides storage (disks) over a TCP/IP network to clients using an iSCSI initiator software, such as the Microsoft iSCSI Software Initiator Version 2.08 (also free) for Windows computers.  There's also a, iSCSI client inside the target package.
iSCSI targets provide centralized, software-based and hardware-independent iSCSI disk subsystems in storage area networks (SANs).

iSCSI Software Target software has been around for several years for Microsoft Windows Storage Server.  Now they've made it available for Windows Server 2008 R2. 

Here's how to use it:
  • Download the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target 3.3 on your Windows Server 2008 R2 server, and double-click it to expand the package and run the installer page.
  • Click iSCSI Software Target (x64) in the installer to run the installation wizard.
  • Run the Microsoft iSCSI Software Target application in the Adminstrative Tools menu.
  • Right-click iSCSI Targets and select Create iSCSI Target.
  • Click Next and enter a name and description for the target (for example, VHDTarget1).  Then click Next.
  • Enter the iSCSI Qualified Name (IQN) for the target.  The IQN is usually in the form, iqn.<year-month>.<server FQDN>:<target name>.  For example:
  • Supply a description, then click Next and Finish.
  • Right-click Devices and select Create Virtual Disk.
  • Click Next and enter the path for the new VHD, then click Next again.
  • Enter a size for the new VHD in MB and click Next.
  • Enter a description and click Next.
  • On the Access screen, click Add and select the target name you created (i.e., VHDTarget1).
  • Click Next and Finish.
  • Right-click the virtual disk and select Disk Access > Mount Read/Write.
You can now connect your iSCSI clients to the new target.
Read more ...

How to remove Exchange 2003 Mailbox Manager settings without the 2003 Management Console

Monday, June 13, 2011
I'm doing an Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2010 migration for a client and found that the Address Lists and E-mail Address Policy had not been updated from Legacy Exchange 2003 policies when they upgraded to 2007.  Typically, these are converted from Legacy policies in Exchange 2007 or 2010 by adding an RecipientFilter OPATH filter.

Exchange 2003 Mailbox Management policies were replaced by Messaging Records Management (MRM) in Exchange 2007.  During the migration from Exchange 2003, you're supposed to create new MRM policies to match your Exchange 2003 Mailbox Manager polices and then remove the 2003 policies using the Exchange 2003 Management Console.

The customer didn't do this before Exchange 2003 was decommissioned, so I'm doing it now in the 2010 migration.  But as I tried to convert the Default Policy in E-mail Address Policies using the Set-EmailAddressPolicy "Default Policy" -IncludedRecipients AllRecipients command, I get the following error:

Set-EmailAddressPolicy : The recipient policy "Default Policy" with mailbox manager settings cannot be managed by the current version of Exchange Management Console. Please use a management console with the same version as the object.
At line:1 char:23
+ Set-EmailAddressPolicy  <<<< "Default Policy" -IncludedRecipients AllRecipients

This happens when the Default Policy also includes Mailbox Manager settings.  Since there are no Exchange 2003 servers anymore (or 2003 console) in this environment, I can't remove the Mailbox Manager settings from the policy.  Here's how to fix this using ADSI Edit:
  • Run ADSI Edit from the Exchange 2010 server.
  • In the Configuration container, navigate to CN=Recipient Policies,CN=<Exchange Org>,CN=Microsoft Exchange,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=<domain>,DC=<com>
  • In the middle pane, view the properties of the Default Policy.
  • Remove the value(s) of the MsExchMailboxManagerFolderSettings attibute so that it's now <Not Set>
  • Edit the MsExchPolicyOptionList attribute and remove all the attributes that do not begin with 0xfc.  The policy that begins with 0xfc is the email addressing policy.
Now when you run Get-EmailAddressPolicy "Default Policy" | FL you will see that HasMailboxManagerSetting is set to False and you will be able to update the Default Policy.
Read more ...

Tabbed Conversations for Microsoft Lync 2010

Friday, June 3, 2011
Microsoft released Tabbed Conversations for Microsoft Lync 2010 today. Tabbed Conversations is an application that provides a tabbed Lync 2010 conversation window to allow multiple instant messaging (IM) conversations in a single window, as shown below.

This is a separate application from Lync 2010 and must be launched after the Lync 2010 client is launched.  If you close Lync, you'll need to launch it again.  See the Tabbed Conversations for Microsoft Lync 2010 Getting Started Guide for more details.

Once you start the application and you start an new IM for the first time, Lync briefly opens a normal IM window and then replaces it with the Tabbed Conversations window (above).  It then works exactly as the normal IM conversation window, with a few additions.

You can start a new tabbed conversation by clicking the "+" button at the end of the row.  This will pop-up the Send Instant Message window for you to choose a new contact.  You can also detach a conversation from the tabbed interface by clicking the up arrow icon in the tab.  This will open the conversation in the standard Lync IM window.  You can bring it back into the tabbed application by re-adding that contact as a new tab.

As expected, you can only do one screen share per tabbed IM conversation at a time, but you can have multiple contacts in that conversation.

It would be nice if the integration was a little smoother.  I don't like having to open the application after I launch Lync, and the way it briefly shows the normal Lync IM window before it kicks in is a little annoying.  But overall I like the way that it decreases the surface area of Lync, especially on smaller screens.
Read more ...