Exchange PowerShell Scripts

Earlier this week Exchange team had a new blog post about some of their favorite PowerShell Scripts for Exchange and Office 365 Admins. While they have a few good suggestions, there are a few more that I’ve found most helpful when working with Exchange.

Generate Health Report for an Exchange Server 2016/2013/2010 Environment

By Paul Cunningham
Download Link

This script is one of my personal favorites and I’ve used it for years in several environments. It does an amazing job of scanning your Exchange organization and reporting back with an easy for follow color coded HTML page that you can have emailed to you. I’ve used this as a daily health check of the environment before the workday begins, and also as a snapshot of the current system health by running it in a scheduled task and having the report outputted to a static HTML page, which can be displayed in a public monitoring space.

Exchange Server Performance Health Checker Script

By Marc Nivens
Download Link

The Health Checker script was created by a Microsoft employee as what I can only assume was a large amount of support calls about server performance that was tied to improper system configuration. So this script is ran against your Exchange servers and verifies that your system is configured to match the Exchange 2013 Sizing and Configuration Recommendations along with several patches and recommendations that have come later.   Below is a list of a few of the items it verifies.

  • OS Version
  • Page File Size
  • Server Role
  • Power Settings
  • Checking if Hyper Threading is enabled
  • .Net version

 I’ve found this script to be particularly helpful before bringing new or rebuilt servers into production as well as to verify that no .Net updates have not sneaked onto the server or that a new critical update isn’t missed. This script is growing and always being updated so be sure to check for updates before running.

If you know of any additional scripts that have been helpful to you as an Exchange administrator, please post them in a comment.

New Skype for Business Room Systems “Project Rigel”

One of the great things that came from #MSIgnite was the announcement of the next Lync Room Systems (aka Project Rigel). As a Skype4B admin who has done integration with current generation Lync Room Systems and Polycom infrastructures, I have to say that Microsoft has made huge steps forward.

The idea of a Lync Room System was great, however the initial execution from the first generation systems was lacking a cohesive professional polish. Earlier versions of the Lync Room Systems where built around non-standardized hardware that each vendor (Polycom, Crestron, and SMART) customized with a non-vanilla client software based on an SDK provided by Microsoft. All of these pieces made for a management nightmare, while delivering a sub-par user experience at an exorbitant price point.

However, after seeing and using these myself, I am actually excited about these new room systems and let me explain why.

20160929_120009.jpg
Image of “Project Rigel” room system from Logitech.

Hardware

All of these systems are based around the Surface Pro 4! That’s right, the image above is an actual computer and not a dumb terminal like most flat screens with room systems. There is no need to have an equipment cabinet to hold the computing component of the room system. This is the core of all of the new room systems, the current vendors (Logitech, Crestron, and Polycom) have taken the Surface Pro 4 and built a standard dock, which contains the power, HDMI and other connectors. Additionally, the vendor is able to build various packages with peripherals, such as cameras, and audio devices that cater to the various size meeting rooms.

Software

Microsoft has created a new Skype for Business application that has been hidden on the Microsoft store and is only available to devices that have been licensed to use them. This means that we can’t just go buy a bunch of Surfaces and create our own room system. However, the major advantage is that now all of the room systems, regardless of vendor, will be using the same Skype software and deliver the same controls and experience to users.

Price

Because of the flexibility with these devices being packaged with different audio and video equipment based on the needs of specific rooms, the price point varies. However, it was announced that small sized room systems will have a starting price point of about $1,200. Medium to large size rooms can reach upward of $5,000. This is still a significate reduction in cost compared to current Lync rooms systems  that sell for around $10,000.

Conclusion

At this time, Logitech is set to the first hardware vendor to release the room system and Crestron and Polycom are following shortly behind. If you would like to know more I recommend that you want the Ignite session on Project Rigel or read the links below from the vendors. There is many details about the systems, and you can see a live demonstration.

Links

Logitech Press Release
Logitech Blog Post
Polycom Press Release
Crestron Press Release

 

 

 

 

 

Ignite 2016 Sessions + Downloader

Michel de Rooij did a great job putting together this script to download the PowerPoint and video files. You will need youtube-dl.exe to download the videos. Also you can search based on keyword or tittle so you only need to download the sessions you are interested in.

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imageNote: Due to Microsoft putting Ignite 2016 contents on YouTube and a new portal, I had to rewrite the download script. Mattias Fors was also working on this, and after integrating his contents pointers, I present you Ignite2016Download.ps1. Check the description on Technet Gallery page for usage options.

Today, the Ignite 2016 event will kick off in Atlanta, US. The agenda contains the whopping number of 1412 sessions, of which 395 touch Office 365 and 133 Exchange in some way or another.

With those numbers it is impossible to attend every session for folks interested in these topics, but luckily Microsoft will also publish Ignite 2016 sessions on Channel 9 this year.

Some of the interesting sessions to watch out for are (links should resolve to on-demand sessions, as they become available):

Session Description Speaker(s)
BRK1021 Unplug with the Microsoft Outlook experts Julia Foran, Gabe Bratton, Allen Filush…

View original post 830 more words

HTTP Redirection for Exchange

 

If you’ve ever installed Exchange 2010 or 2013, you can probably recall that first time you tried visiting OWA, and there it is the 403.4 error. Of course that small moment of panic sets in because you’re certain there were no errors with the install. Then after a few minutes of scouring the internet, you finally realize that you’re not crazy because this is by designed!

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While I understand that the last thing we want is to expose our user’s login information over an HTTP connection, from a usability perspective it’s frustrating for users to have to remember to type https:// when trying to get to OWA. We can resolve this by going to the default site and disabling the require SSL and setting up a redirection. However,thanks to inheritance, you’ve just unknowingly disabled the requirement for SSL across the entire default site. Now we need to go to each of the various folders and enable the SSL requirement, but make sure that the PowerShell folder isn’t enabled or you’ll break the Exchange management shell.

After all of that, we still need to setup the redirect so that when people navigate to http://mail.domain.com they get redirected to https://mail.domain.com/owa.

So 30 minuets later I’ve fixed one of my Exchange servers, awesome! I got tired of going through this routine, so I cooked up a PowerShell script that will do the work for you. Hopefully you’ll find it useful as well!

https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/scriptcenter/Setup-CAS-II-b326b2ed