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Archive for June, 2010

Update Rollup 4 for Exchagne 2010

Posted by Brajesh Panda on June 28, 2010

Update Rollup 4 for Exchange Server 2010

http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2010/06/17/455191.aspx

Exchange CXP team has released Update Rollup 4 for Exchange Server 2010 RTM (KB 982639) to the download center.
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Exchange 2007 SP3

Posted by Brajesh Panda on June 28, 2010

Service Pack 3 for Exchange 2007 has been released. Seems to be supporting some cool features;

Biggest one is: Customers can install Exchange 2007 SP3 on a Windows 2008 R2 server

Release Notes:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff607233(EXCHG.80,printer).aspx

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Exchange 2010 Mailbox & Disk IOPS Sizing

Posted by Brajesh Panda on June 15, 2010

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SharePoint 2010 Small Farm Site Resilience Architecture

Posted by Brajesh Panda on June 14, 2010

Please Note:

SharePoint 2010 is just release 30days before. All promise features may not work correctly or if any product bug comes in-between team have to wait till next service pack to overcome the same.

SharePoint Architecture;

  • Backend SQL Infrastructure
    • Use Existing deployed SQL infrastructure (Deployed by
    • In Production Site-A use existing 2 Node Windows 2008 R2 Failover SQL Cluster for HA as 1st Level of HA to address Server Failure
    • In Production Site-B use exiting Mirror SQL Server for 2nd Level of HA for Production Site Failure
    • Every time one SharePoint database gets created in Site-A cluster, mirroring must configured manually to site B. SharePoint do not configure mirroring in application. It needs SQL Administration Skill & helps from DBA team.

       

  • SharePoint Front End
    • Two Front End Servers can be deployed
    • These servers will hold below set roles/features in both server giving redundancy
      • IIS 7 Role
      • Central SharePoint Administration Console (Port 10,000)
      • SharePoint Web Applications
      • SharePoint Virtual Directory
      • IIS Application Pools
    • These servers can hold Managed Services like Search etc. However at a time services can run on one server. If that server fails, SharePoint admin have to start services on other server. All services can run on a single front end server, can be divided among front end servers or dedicated extra application server can be used.
    • No need to start all Managed Services from the day one, it will create un necessary loads on farm. It should be on demand i.e. if YOU need that feature in future & if YOU developing applications using those features then should turned on. Else it will be management overhead

     

  • High Availability
    • Front End Servers should be load balanced using existing F5 Hardware Load Balancer hence seamless front end redundancy can be provided to end user
    • In general situation all Front end server from Site A & B will be doing transactions on Production Clustered SQL Databases
    • If one SQL server fails, databases will be transferred to other available SQL node providing complete redundancy.
    • For failover to Site B database in case of failure Managed Failover Database Partner must be configured for all Content & Service Application databases. This is a new feature in SharePoint 2010.
    • Before this SQL Admin must have configured Database Mirroring & production data must be stored in Site-B In Recovery SQL databases.
    • In case of Production Cluster SQL Database fails; SQL Administrator can initiate failover from Production Clustered SQL Server in Site A to Mirror SQL Server in Site B.
    • As soon as Databases get activated at Site B, Site A databases will move to in-recovery mode. SharePoint Front End & Managed Application Services will be do transactions in Site B database.
  • Backup/Restore
    • Backup Best Practices
      • Regular SQL Database Backup for Database Level Recovery in case logical database corruption
      • Use Disk to Disk to Tape backup solution
    • Web Application/Site Collection/Site level/Farm Level Backup/restore can be possible using Central Administration Tool & Powershell commands.

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Creating a Replica or Prototype LAB

Posted by Brajesh Panda on June 10, 2010

Usage:

Production Change Validation/Pre-Production Staging/Training/Migration Testing

Early days it used to be pretty difficult to replicate the production environment in lab. Because imaging production servers used to be kind of pain, primary reason – different kind of hardwares available mostly in LAB environment. But now a day’s virtualization made life a lot simpler. You can copy Virtual Disk (VMDK/VHD) file of the production virtual machine to the LAB environment & bring it online. Here are my considerations I used to follow while replicating production environment in my LAB. Keeping in mind that each environment is unique, you may need to fine tune your steps accordingly. Well considerations will be mostly same for Physical or Virtual Environments.

Considerations to Build the LAB

Isolation

Just to note we are not going to extend our production environment to LAB. We are going to create a replica means all LAB servers will have same name, same security identity as the production. So we can’t keep these two environments communicating each other. We have to isolate the LAB environment from the production environment (network). Else you will be ending up in a mess due to name, computer security ID conflicts. We can use standard network security devices, switching devices, virtual switches, open source virtual security appliances & also a simple dual NIC machine (without routing enabled) to configure the isolation.

To create isolation you don’t need a separate server room or separate set of switches or servers! You can use same virtual environment using different set of virtual switches to achieve the same. Only thing you have to remember virtual machine identification name is unique in the environment.

Accessibility

You may ask if I keep my LAB environment isolated, how I will access. Well it is simple, while we are doing isolation you can only open RDP (3389) port using network address translation, you may like to create couple of LAB Virtual Desktops & use them as your door step to the LAB environment.

Authentication

Current days most of all Windows Servers & their (OS & App) authentication mechanism integrate with Active Directory environment! So 1st task is to replicate the same active directory environment in LAB; We can do this in multiple ways; Older ways is by doing backup restore in lab, however now a days you can have a Temporary Virtual DC in your Prod environment & whenever you need LAB DC refreshment you can shut this temporary prod virtual server & copy the VHD to LAB environment. It will carry all new objects to lab environment. You can remove LAB DC’s old virtual disk & connect this new virtual disk & start the virtual machine. However after it get started we have Seize FSMO roles & make this server FSMO role holder. As there is no other DC for replication you may like to do Meta data clean up to stop all replication errors. These entire configurations can be done using a script file which will reduce a lot of human administrative effort. Just to remember Production & LAB are two isolated environment, so any changes to production like user account creation, deletion, modification, password change or any other modification will not get propagated to LAB till that time you didn’t refresh the AD environment in LAB again.

If you have multiple layer of AD environment you like to build the complete FOREST hierarchy by copying top, lower level & peer level domain controllers following above process.

Provision App Servers

If your production application servers are virtual machines, you can follow the same process i.e. shut them down & copy their virtual disk file to LAB. If you can’t shutdown the server due to unavailability of downtime you can take snapshot of virtual machines (either hypervisor or storage level) & transfer respective files to LAB environment. It can be achieved in most of all virtualization environments like VMWare, Hyper-v, Xen, Parallel etc.

If your production application servers are physical servers, you may like to image them & restore those images in LAB environment. However under current technologies environment you may like to use physical to virtual environment conversation process to create virtual hard drives of physical servers. And after wards these virtual hard drives can be used in LAB environment. Choice between IMAGING or P2V depends on the requirement. Let suppose you want to do some stress or load testing in LAB using same kind of hardware & environment you may chose hardware to hardware IMAGING. If your computing environment supports you can also break Mirrored RAID array from production servers & move Hard drives to LAB.

If some of the application servers (like Exchange, SQL, Oracle) holding a lot of data & you don’t want to do include those data for image/p2v process, you can exclude them & later on can restore them. You can also build some AD integrated application like Exchange server using it’s native recover switch.

Provision Public Access

If you want to expose your lab applications (let suppose web apps) to users over internet, you may like to publish them using different IP address & different URLs (like www to www1 or wwwtest etc). To make this change you have to do necessary changes in your LAB servers.

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Turn off User Account Control in Windows 2008 (R2)

Posted by Brajesh Panda on June 2, 2010

In Windows 2008

1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.

2. In Control Panel, click User Accounts.

3. In the User Accounts window, click User Accounts.

4. In the User Accounts tasks window, click Turn User Account Control on or off.

5. If UAC is currently configured in Admin Approval Mode, the User Account Control message appears. Click Continue.

6. Clear the Use User Account Control (UAC) to help protect your computer check box, and then click OK.

7. Click Restart Now to apply the change right away, or click Restart Later and close the User Accounts tasks window.

Here is the Microsoft Office Article: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc709691(WS.10).aspx

In Windows 2008 R2 or Windows 7

Using Registry:  Click here

Using GUI:  Follow below steps or in windows explorer bar just type “Control Panel\User Accounts\User Accounts” & press enter – it will take you there. Even in Windows 7 old Vista command works “UserAccountControlSettings.exe

Posted in WindowsServer | 24 Comments »

 
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