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Just can't get enough of IT

This blog is about mostly anything in IT. But the primary focuses are Microsoft technologies like Exchange Server, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams, and Cloud Security.

Exchange Server 2013Exchange Server 2016Description

This script fetches emails from a given monitoring mailbox by searching email messages for a given subject string. In this case email messages sent by the ENow Management Suite (http://enowsoftware.com/). Status messages are parsed to extract Disk Performance alert data for further processing in Power BI.

The mailbox is queried using Exchange Web Services (EWS). The EWS endpoint is identified by AutoDiscover.

The script exports the following columns for further processing:

  • SERVER = Name of Exchange server reporting issue
  • DATE = Date of issue occurance (Short Date)
  • TIME = Time of issue occurance (Long Time)
  • IO = READ or WRITE
  • THRESHOLD = WARNING or CRITICAL
  • VALUE = reported value

You can easily adjust the script to fit your requirements. Search for other message subjects and parse for other content in the message body.

Requirements

  • Windows Server 2012 R2+ 
  • Exchange Server 2013+
  • Exchange Web Services Library

Examples

Code Samples

# Run script using default parameters
.\Get-EmailContent.ps1

Example output

"COMPUTER";"DATE";"TIME";"IO";"THRESHOLD";"VALUE"
"EXLABP08";"19.05.2017";"11:15:38";"READ";"Critical";"109,90"
"EXLABP08";"19.05.2017";"11:15:38";"WRITE";"Warning";"23,61"
"EXLABP08";"19.05.2017";"11:15:38";"READ";"Critical";"80,13"
"EXLABP08";"19.05.2017";"11:15:38";"WRITE";"Warning";"21,58"
"EXLABP08";"19.05.2017";"11:15:38";"READ";"Warning";"33,01"
"EXLABP08";"19.05.2017";"11:15:38";"READ";"Critical";"53,04"
"EXLABP08";"19.05.2017";"11:15:38";"READ";"Warning";"24,24"
"EXLABP08";"19.05.2017";"11:15:38";"READ";"Warning";"40,01"

Power BI report examples

Power BI report based on CSV output

This example shows that P04 and P08 have exceeded the critical and warning state disk performance thresholds more often than the other servers.

The next example shows the same date in a different report.

Power BI report based on CSV output

Version History

  • 1.0, Initial community release

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When you delete a public folder using a legacy Outlook client, you can easily restore the deleted folder and it's content using the Recover Deleted Items function. 

Due to a fancy trick implemented in Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016 the recovered folder will not be recovered using it's full name.

This phenomenon has been verified with Exchange On-Premises and Exchange Online on the server side and Outlook 2013/2016 and Outlook 365 ProPlus.

The following example uses public folders in Exchange Online and Outlook 365 ProPlus.

Example

In this example I will delete and recover a public folder named My Public Folder.

Public folder hierarchy before deletion

After deletion of My Public Folder and it's content, I need to select the original parent folder and click the Recover Deleted Items button in the button bar.

Select original parent folder

Recover Deleted Items

The Recover Deleted Items dialogue opens and we select the deleted item for recovery. The dialogue displays the original name of the deleted folder.

Recover Deleted Items (DE)

After recovering the deleted folder the folder is recovered with the first character only.

Recovered public folder with first character only

That's an annoying result in regards to customer self-care when users restore deleted items on their own behalf.

But wait, there is a solution available.

Solution

The solution requires today's primary administrative tool available: PowerShell.

Step 1

Get an overview of public folders currently located in the public folder dumpster

Get-PublicFolder –Identity “\NON_IPM_SUBTREE” –Recurse 

Name             Parent Path
----             -----------
NON_IPM_SUBTREE
[...]
My Public Folder \NON_IPM_SUBTREE\DUMPSTER_ROOT\DUMPSTER_EXTEND\RESERVED_1\RESERVED_1\65722859-3...
Sub Folder 1     \NON_IPM_SUBTREE\DUMPSTER_ROOT\DUMPSTER_EXTEND\RESERVED_1\RESERVED_1\65722859-3...
Sub Folder 2     \NON_IPM_SUBTREE\DUMPSTER_ROOT\DUMPSTER_EXTEND\RESERVED_1\RESERVED_1\65722859-3...
[...]

 

Step 2

Export the list of public folders currently located in the public folder dumpster and find the identity of the deleted public folder you want to recover

Get-PublicFolder –Identity “\NON_IPM_SUBTREE” –Recurse  | fl | Out-File D:\TMP\publicfolderdumpster.txt

publicfolderdumpster.txt excerpt:


RunspaceId                     : 6ce9588e-829b-4592-aedc-85f9a2e2c963
Identity                       : \NON_IPM_SUBTREE\DUMPSTER_ROOT\DUMPSTER_EXTEND\RESERVED_1\RESERVED_1\65722859-366a-4e0
                                 9-81fe-ea576ec7a6f7\My Public Folder
Name                           : My Public Folder
MailEnabled                    : False
MailRecipientGuid              : 
ParentPath                     : \NON_IPM_SUBTREE\DUMPSTER_ROOT\DUMPSTER_EXTEND\RESERVED_1\RESERVED_1\65722859-366a-4e0
                                 9-81fe-ea576ec7a6f7

Step 3

Recover the deleted public folder to the correct parent target folder

Set-PublicFolder –Identity "\NON_IPM_SUBTREE\DUMPSTER_ROOT\DUMPSTER_EXTEND\RESERVED_1\RESERVED_1\65722859-366a-4e09-81fe-ea576ec7a6f7\My Public Folder" –Path “\TestFolders” –Verbose

As a result the public folder is recovered with it's original name.

Notes

There are some other things to consider when recovering deleted modern public folders.

Public folders originally located in the hierarchy root are always recovered to the public folder mailbox holding the primary hierarchy. 

Public folders originally located in the hierarchy root will replace the permissions of child public folders when restored. 

More on these default restore behaviours can be read here.

Links

Nevertheless, enjoy modern public folders.

 

 

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Exchange Server 2013 Exchange Server 2016 The PowerShell script to purge Exchange Server and IIS log files has been updated to version 2.0.

Release 2.0 allows for copying of files that will be deleted to be copied to a central file repository. The script will create a folder per server and the full log file folder structure will be preserved.

The next release will contain an option to compress the copied log files.

Added code:

function Copy-LogFiles {
  [CmdletBinding()]
  param(
    [string]$SourceServer,
    [string]$SourcePath,
    $FilesToMove
  )

  if($SourceServer -ne '') { 

    # path per SERVER for zipped archives
    $ServerRepositoryPath = Join-Path -Path $RepositoryRootPath -ChildPath $SourceServer

    # subfolder used as target for copying source folders and files
    $ServerRepositoryLogsPath = Join-Path -Path $ServerRepositoryPath -ChildPath $LogSubfolderName

    $ServerRepositoryPath = Join-Path -Path $RepositoryRootPath -ChildPath $SourceServer

    if(!(Test-Path -Path $ServerRepositoryPath)) {
      # Create new target directory for server, if does not exist
      $null = New-Item -Path $ServerRepositoryPath -ItemType Directory -Force -Confirm:$false
    }

    foreach ($File in $FilesToMove) {
      # target directory
      $targetDir = $File.DirectoryName.Replace($TargetServerFolder, $ServerRepositoryLogsPath)

      # target file path
      $targetFile = $File.FullName.Replace($TargetServerFolder, $ServerRepositoryLogsPath)
      
      # create target directory, if not exists
      if(!(Test-Path -Path $targetDir)) {$null = mkdir -Path $targetDir}

      # copy file to target
      $null = Copy-Item -Path $File.FullName -Destination $targetFile -Recurse -Force -Confirm:$false -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue

    }-Force   
    
    if($ZipArchive) {
      # zip copied log files
      #
      <# NOT FULLY TESTED YET 
      $Archive = Join-Path -Path $ServerRepositoryPath -ChildPath $ArchiveFileName
      $logger.Write(('Zip copied files to {0}' -f $ArchiveFileName))

      if(Test-Path -Path $Archive) {Remove-Item $Archive -Force -Confirm:$false}

      Add-Type -AssemblyName 'System.IO.Compression.FileSystem'
      [IO.Compression.ZipFile]::CreateFromDirectory($ServerRepositoryLogsPath,$Archive)

      #>
    } 
  }  
}

Note

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Updated 2017-04-02

Exchange Speech AssistantAs an Exchange administrator you normally perform tasks by executing PowerShell scripts. Some of these scripts are executed automatically, some are run manually as these scripts require more attention.

Think about a completely different approach. Have you ever thought about administrating Exchange Server or your Exchange Online instance using your voice?

Thanks to Alexa skills we can do something like

"Alexa, ask Exchange Assistant to create a new mailbox for John Doe"

"Alexa, is the CEO's mailbox in good shape?"

Or run something more complicated

"Alexa, start Exchange to setup 5 new Exchange servers, please"

Sounds like magic, right?

Alexa Speech Assistant SkillSolution

As a solution we use the following technologies:

  • Alexa custom skills extension for Exchange
  • Azure subscription supporting
    • Azure Web API
    • Azure Automation
  • Azure Hybrid Runbook Worker

The Azure Hybrid Runbook Worker enables you to execute PowerShell runbooks in your local infrastructure to manage local ressources.

How does it work

The solution consists of a Visual Studio Solution acting as an Alexa skill endpoint. The configured intents connect to your Azure Automation webhooks and trigger the execution of preconfigured PowerShell automation runbooks.

These runbooks can either run againt Azure resources or against your local infrastructure. Automation of your local infrastructure requires the setup of the Azure Hybrid Runbook Worker components.

The following diagram illustrates the functionality.

How does the Exchange Speech Assistant work?

Requirements

Preparation

The solution utilizes the Azure4Alexa and AlexaSkillsSet.NET projects available on Github. Currently the approach requires some manual steps and Visual Studio knowledge, as you want to deploy your own Alexa custom application. This is primarily driven due to security demands. The Hybrid Runbook Worker can access your local infrastructure. So you went to be in charge of the credentials used to access your infrastructure.

  1. Clone the Visual Studio solution from Github (https://github.com/Apoc70/ExchangeSpeechAssistant)
  2. Follow the description provided here to setup your personal Alexa developer account and to get your Azure trial subscription to host the application
  3. Publish the Visual Studio solution as an intital endpoint to setup your Alexa custom skill
    This results in a simple web page demonstrating the new Azure Web App
    Speech Assistant Azure Web App
  4. Modify the AlexaConstants.cs to use your Application Id
  5. Re-Publish the Visual Studio solution with your custom Application Id
  6. Prepare your local infrastructure for the use with Hybrid Runbook Worker
    1. Installing Hybrid Runbook Worker
    2. Create a Runbook Automation Account
      Runbook Automation Account
    3. Create a runbook for whatever action you want to execute
      Runbook Example NewVMs

Start enjoying how your administrator's can orchestrate your Exchange Server environment.

Links

Enjoy your wonderful life with Exchange :-)

Thanks for stopping by on April 1st.

 

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Last updated 2018-08-14

 

Exchange Server 2013Exchange Server 2016Description

 

This script has been developed for a custom project with the following requirements:

  • User photos are provided in rectangular format by the HR department and stored in a dedicated folder
  • User photos should be resized automatically to a square format to be suitable for
    • Active Directory thumbnailPhoto attribute (96x96 pixel)
    • Exchange user photo (648x648 pixel)
    • Intrant address book (150x150 pixel)
  • Processed photos should be moved to a processed folder
  • User logon names are used as user photo file names

The script utilizes a self developed C# command line tool, which has been published as open source at Github. The ResizeImage Wiki explains the usage of the command line tool. The application's configuration controls the target size and an optional pixel based offset.

Maybe the script will be useful in your project as well.

Requirements

  • ResizeImage.exe command line tool
  • GlobalFunctions PowerShell module as desribed here
  • Exchange Server 2013+ Management Shell (EMS) for storing user photos in on-premises mailboxes
  • Exchange Online Management Shell for storing user photos in cloud mailboxes
  • Write access to thumbnailPhoto attribute in Active Directory

Examples

The code samples utilize the following folder structure:

  • D:\UserPhotos
    • SOURCE
      Contains all .JPG user photos with file names matching the user logon names
    • AD
      Target folder for tumbnailPicture photos (96 x 96 px)
      • ResizeImage.exe
      • ResizeImage.exe.config (local configuration for Active Directory photos)
    • EXCHANGE
      Target folder for Exchange mailbox user photos (646 x 648 px)
      • ResizeImage.exe
      • ResizeImage.exe.config (local configuration for Exchange mailbox photos)
    • INTRANET
      Target folder for Intranet address book user photos (150 x 150 px)
      • ResizeImage.exe
      • ResizeImage.exe.config (local configuration for Intranet photos)

 

Code Samples

# EXAMPLE
# Resize photos stored in the default PictureSource folder for Exchange On-Premises (648x648) and write images to user mailboxes
.\Set-UserPictures.ps1 -ExchangeOnPrem   

# EXAMPLE
# Resize photos stored on a SRV01 share for Exchange Online and save resized photos on a SRV02 share
.\Set-UserPictures.ps1 -ExchangeOnline -PictureSource '\\SRV01\HRShare\Photos' -TargetPathExchange '\\SRV02\ExScripts\Photos'

 # EXAMPLE
 # Resize photos stored in the default PictureSource folder for Active Directory (96x96) and write images to user thumbnailPhoto attribute
 .\Set-UserPictures.ps1 -ActiveDirectory

# EXAMPLE
# Resize photos stored in the default PictureSource folder for Intranet (150x150)
.\Set-UserPictures.ps1 -Intranet

Version History

  • 1.0, Initial community release
  • 1.1, Exchange Online support added
  • 1.2, Log strings updated when updating Exchange photos

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