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There is no existing PublicFolder that matches the following Identity

Problem

You are not able to list public folders in a co-existence scenario with Exchange Server 2007 and Exchange Server 2010/2013 using the Exchange 2007 EMS or EMC.

When you try to execute Get-PublicFolder you receive the following error:

Get-PublicFolder " There is no existing PublicFolder that matches the following Identity: '\'. Please make sure that you specified the correct PublicFolder Identity and that you have the necessary permissions to view PublicFolder.

This might happen after you have removed the first Exchange 2007 mailbox server, but not the last Exchange 2007 mailbox server.

Exchange Server 2007 uses the Exchange System Attendant to access the public folder store and fails, if the System Attendant discovery in Active Directory does not provide a proper configuration.

KB 2621350 describes the discovery process:

  1. Exchange Server 2007 selects a mailbox database.
  2. Exchange Server 2007 obtains the LegacyExchangeDN attribute of the selected mailbox database. For example, Exchange Server 2007 obtains the following LegacyExchangeDN attribute value:
    /o=First Organization/ou=Exchange Administrative Group (group_name)/cn=Configuration/cn=Servers/cn=E14HUBCAS/cn=Microsoft Private MDB
  3. Exchange Server 2007 removes the "CN=Mailbox Database" part of the address. The address then resembles the following:
    /o=First Organization/ou=Exchange Administrative Group (group_name)/cn=Configuration/cn=Servers/cn=E14HUBCAS
  4. Exchange Server 2007 adds "CN=Microsoft System Attendant" to the LegacyExchangeDN value. After the value is appended, the LegacyExchangeDN attribute value resembles the following:
    /o=First Organization/ou=Exchange Administrative Group (group_name)/cn=Configuration/cn=Servers/cn=E14HUBCAS/CN=Microsoft System Attendant
  5. Exchange Server 2007 tries to log on to the public store by using the value in step 4.
  6. The store then tries to locate the System Attendant object.

There two annoying things about these steps

  1. Step 1:  Exchange Server 2007 selects a mailbox database

    There is no description available on how the database is being selected. But the co-existence scenario results in a mailbox database being selected that might be located on Exchange Server 2010 or Exchange Server 2013. Even thought that there still are Exchange Server 2007 mailbox database available. You still require to have a mailbox database hosted on an Exchange 2007 public folder server, due to the legacy public folder requirements with Exchange Server 2013.
     
  2. Steps 2-4: The LegacyExchangeDN example shows a E14HUBCAS name as a placeholder. In a situation where you have deployed dedicated mailbox servers this should read E14MBX.
     

Solution

The magic System Attendant mailbox has been removed from Exchange 2010. But the System Attendent configuration node does still exist in the Active Directory Configuration Partition for compatibility reasons. The configured attributes of the System Attendent entry vary depending on the version of the installed Exchange Server.

In regards of public folder issue, we need to focus on the following:

  • Exchange Server 2010 System Attendant
    • homeMDB: <not set>
    • homeMTA: <not set>
  • Exchange Server 2013 System Attendant
    • homeMDB: <not set>
    • homeMTA: CN=Microsoft MTA,CN=E15MBX,CN=Servers,CN=Exchange Administrative Group (FYDIBOHF23SPDLT),CN=Administrative Groups,CN=[ORG],CN=Microsoft Exchange,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=[DOMAIN],DC=[TLD]

To fix the public folder access issue for Exchange Server 2007, set the homeMDB and homeMTA attributes. Set the Exchange System Attendant attributes to appropriate values for your Exchange servers.

Exchange Server 2013

  1. Open ADSIEdit and connect to the Configuration context
  2. Open Databases node
    CN=Databases,CN=Exchange Administrative Group (FYDIBOHF23SPDLT),CN=Administrative Groups,CN=[ORG],CN=Microsoft Exchange,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=[DOMAIN],DC=[TLD]
  3. Open the Properties of an Exchange 2013 database
  4. View the distinguishedName property and copy the value to clipboard
    Example: CN=E15MBXDB01,CN=Databases,CN=Exchange Administrative Group (FYDIBOHF23SPDLT),CN=Administrative Groups,CN=[ORG],CN=Microsoft Exchange,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=[DOMAIN],DC=[TLD]
  5. Close the Properties window and open the Servers node
    CN=Servers,CN=Exchange Administrative Group (FYDIBOHF23SPDLT),CN=Administrative Groups,CN=[ORG],CN=Microsoft Exchange,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=[DOMAIN],DC=[TLD]
  6. Expand the first Exchange 2013 server and open the Properties of the Microsoft System Attendant node
    Ensure that the view is not filtered to Show only attributes that have values
  7. Edit the homeMDB attribute and paste the distinguished name of the mailbox database copied in step 4
  8. Apply the changes and close the properties window

Repeat steps 4 to 8 for each Exchange 2013 server in your environment.

Exchange Server 2010

  1. Open ADSIEdit and connect to the Configuration context
  2. Open Databases node
    CN=Databases,CN=Exchange Administrative Group (FYDIBOHF23SPDLT),CN=Administrative Groups,CN=[ORG],CN=Microsoft Exchange,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=[DOMAIN],DC=[TLD]
  3. Open the Properties of an Exchange 2010 database
  4. View the distinguishedName property and copy the value to clipboard
    Example: CN=E14MBXDB01,CN=Databases,CN=Exchange Administrative Group (FYDIBOHF23SPDLT),CN=Administrative Groups,CN=[ORG],CN=Microsoft Exchange,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=[DOMAIN],DC=[TLD]
  5. Close the Properties window and open the Servers node
    CN=Servers,CN=Exchange Administrative Group (FYDIBOHF23SPDLT),CN=Administrative Groups,CN=[ORG],CN=Microsoft Exchange,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=[DOMAIN],DC=[TLD]
  6. Expand the first Exchange 2010 server and open the Properties of the Microsoft System Attendant node
    Ensure that the view is not filtered to Show only attributes that have values
  7. Edit the homeMDB attribute and paste the distinguished name of the mailbox database copied in step 4
  8. Apply the changes and close the properties window
  9. Open the Properties windows of the Microsoft MTA of the same Exchange
  10. View the distinguishedName property and copy the value to clipboard
    Example: CN=Microsoft MTA,CN=E14MBXSRV01,CN=Servers,CN=Exchange Administrative Group (FYDIBOHF23SPDLT),CN=Administrative Groups,CN=[ORG],CN=Microsoft Exchange,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=[DOMAIN],DC=[TLD]
  11. Open the properties of the Microsoft System Attendant node for a second modification
    Ensure that the view is not filtered to Show only attributes that have values
  12. Edit the homeMTA attribute and paste the distinguished name of the mailbox database copied in step 10
  13. Apply the changes and close the properties window

Repeat steps 4 to 13 for each Exchange 2010 server in your environment.

Wait for Active Directory replication and retry to access the public folders using Get-PublicFolder in an Exchange Server 2007 Management Shell.

It might be required to restart the Exchange 2007 Information Store and System Attendant service of the Exchange 2007 server in question

Use an administrative PowerShell

Restart-Service MSExchangeIS 
Restart-Service MSExchangeSA 

I haven’t noticed any issues in production environments so far. If you encounter any issues in your environment, feel free to leave a comment.

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You need assistance with your Exchange Server setup? You have questions about your Exchange Server infrastructure and going hybrid? You are interested in what Exchange Server 2016 has to offer for your environment?

Contact me at thomas@mcsmemail.de
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