Microsoft Exchange and Blackberry Server Specialists

SEMblog

Microsoft Exchange Server and
Blackberry Enterprise Server news, views and fixes.

Free BES 10 CALs when you Activate a Blackberry 10 Device

Looks like Blackberry are running an offer for free BES 10 CALs.

Activate a Blackberry 10 device and get two free CALs.

 

http://uk.blackberry.com/business/blackberry-10/blackberry-10-ready/license-offer.html

 

Activate a Blackberry 10 device between July 1st and August 31st 2013 and for each device you will get TWO free CALs. These CALS are the EMM Corporate type so will work for Blackberry 10 devices and Android/iPhone. At current prices they are worth almost £70 each.

 

The BES 10 software is free (trial download on the link above).

 

The window to claim the free CALs is quite small, so Blackberry have provided a link to be told when the registration process is open. 

A New Take on the Exchange Management Shell Startup - Keberos Error

I was recently asked to look at an Exchange server giving the common PowerShell connection failure due to Kerberos authentication. 

The following error occurred while attempting to connect to the specified Exchange server 'rpi-exchange.rp.local':

"The attempt to connect to http://rpi-exchange.rp.local/PowerShell using "Kerberos" authentication failed: Connecting to the remote server failed with the following error message: The connection to the specified remote host was refused. Verify that the WS-Management service is running on the remote host and configured to listen for requests on the correct port and HTTP URL. For more information, see the about_Remote_Troubleshooting Help topic. "

The usual reasons for this error are well documented and I am not covering them here. After spending an hour going through the usual suspects, I started to look for anything else, as this was giving a Connection Refused error, which wasn't hugely documented past the Remote PowerShell permission. 

I then had a brainwave. I was working on a system in a school. Schools have pretty restricted Internet access in most cases. This usually means a proxy. 

Netsh winhttp show proxy 

That command immediately showed there was a proxy, running

Netsh winhttp reset proxy

Cleared the proxy settings and allowed the Exchange Management Console to start correctly. 

The client was then advised to check their proxy configuration settings, specifically the exceptions list so that the correct ones were in place, as I feared that next time Group Policy applied the proxy settings, the change would be reset. 

Exchange 2010 Service Pack Support Dates

From conversations with clients, it would appear that a lot of people are unaware that Exchange 2010 Service Pack 1 is no longer supported.

I am still seeing clients who haven't upgraded. These range from SBS users right up to multi site Enterprise clients. 

The Microsoft support policy on service packs is that when a new service pack is released, the previous service pack only is supported for a further 12 months. 

The support of Exchange 2010 SP1 ended in January 2013, Service Pack 2 ends in April of 2014. 

If you are still on the original release, known as RTM, then support ended in November of 2011. 

This shouldn't be confused with support of the product Exchange 2010, which will be supported (as long as it is on the latest service pack) until 2015, with extended support until 2020. 

The full table for support can be seen here:
http://semb.ee/e2010dates

If you are curious about Exchange 2007, then those dates can be seen here:
http://semb.ee/e2007dates

 

Free BES 5 Upgrade for BES 4.1 Users

Still using BES 4.1? Then this blog posting will be of interest to you. 

There were lots of announcements from Blackberry last week during their convention, but one that probably got buried in all of the handset news is probably of interest to Exchange administrators. 

If you are still on BES 4.1 then you can now get a free upgrade to BES 5. That is the full BES, not BES Express. 

http://uk.blackberry.com/business/blackberry-10/blackberry-10-ready/upgrade-path.html

You can use the transporter suite to migrate to the new version of BES with almost no downtime for the end users. 

Note - this is the full BES 4.1, not the older Professional or other free options. If you are using BPS then you should move to BES Express.

The reason for Blackberry doing this is to encourage moves to Blackberry 10 devices. One of the features of the BES 10 version is able to manage both Blackberry 10 and older devices from a single interface. However for that to work the older devices need to be on a BES 5 server. 

If you are using BES 4.1 now is the time to upgrade.

If you have devices still using OS 4.x then it would also be a good time to look at upgrading those, at least the OS, but preferably the device as well. 

If you are in the UK, then I can assist you with this upgrade, please use my business web site to contact me: http://www.sembee.co.uk/ 

 

Where to get free support for Microsoft Exchange Server

If you are having problems with your Exchange server, you have a number of sources for assistance. 

You can Google for the problem, and in many cases this will bring up something that can assist you.

If you have a fairly specific problem though, you might need to actually explain it to someone to get assistance. For that you have two main sources. 

1. Microsoft Support - this is of course a chargeable solution. 

2. Peer to peer support. 

The second option is very popular and is where you can get assistance from some of the top Exchange experts. Exchange MVPs (like myself) post in peer to peer locations, as do some Microsoft employees. 

Where to find peer to peer support

With the demise of the Microsoft Newsgroups, peer to peer support pretty much comes in two forms. 

  • Forums
  • Email Lists

Email Lists

One of the most active email lists was hosted by Sunbelt Software, who were acquired by GFI. GFI have now announced the lists are going away, so the new list can be found at "My IT Forum" http://myitforum.com/myitforumwp/services/email-lists/  

Yahoo Groups also have email lists for each version of Exchange, however these appear to be very low traffic. 

Use an Outlook.com account or a public folder to store the list traffic - they can get very busy and by putting the content in to a separate place it will keep it from your main email. 

Forums

There are lots of forums where you can get support for Microsoft Exchange. 

Microsoft Technet

Exchange 2013: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/category/exchangeserver

Previous Versions: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/category/exchangeserverlegacy 

Very busy forums, which are monitored by Microsoft staff. However there are a lot categories therefore working out where to post can be a challenge. 

Experts Exchange

The Exchange section is very active and is one of the main places you will find me posting. Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to pay to either see the solutions or post a question. A free account can be created here: http://semb.ee/ee

Petri

Exchange 2000/2003: http://www.petri.co.il/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=12 

Exchange 2007/2010/2013: http://www.petri.co.il/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=36  

Another forum where you will find me posting, I also moderate the Exchange forums. Not quite as busy as some, but knowledgeable people post. 

Msexchange.org

http://forums.msexchange.org/ 

Another forum divided in to categories. 

There are other forums out there, but have very low traffic, which means your question may go unanswered. 

You can also find groups on Linked In, if you have an account there. 

More ways to get assistance can be found on my list of Exchange resources at http://exbpa.com/