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MVP - Most Valuable Professional
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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.
Thomas Stensitzki | MVP
Thomas Stensitzki | MVP

MVP LogoThomas Stensitzki is a leading technology consultant focusing on the Microsoft messaging and collaboration technologies and the owner of Granikos GmbH & Co. KG.

He is an MVP for Office Apps & Services since 2018.

Thomas is an MCT Regional Lead for Germany and delivers Microsoft Learning training courses for Office 365, Microsoft Teams, and Exchange Server.

He holds Master certifications as Microsoft Certified Solutions Master Messaging and as Microsoft Certified Master for Exchange Server 2010. These certifications make him a subject matter expert for any messaging topic related to Microsoft Exchange, Exchange Online, Microsoft 365, and hybrid configurations.

Follow Thomas: LinkedIn, Twitter

His sessions: https://sessionize.com/thomas-stensitzki

MVP Blog: https://blogs.msmvps.com/thomastechtalk
Personal blog: http://justcantgetenough.granikos.eu
Personal website: http://www.stensitzki.de
Thomas' Tech Talk: youtube.com/ThomasStensitzki

Contact Thomas at thomas@mcsmemail.de

 

Exchange ServerWhen you create or update an Exchange hybrid configuration using the Hybrid Configuration Wizard magic things happen. That's why it is called a Wizard.

One essential step of the Hybrid Configuration Wizard (HCW) is the configuration of the hybrid mail-flow. The hybrid mail-flow is required for both, classic and modern Exchange hybrid. 

The wizard asks you to select one or more Exchange servers that you will utilize for handling inbound mail traffic from Exchange Online to your on-premises organization. You either configure direct mail flow to your Exchange Mailbox Servers in your internal company network, or to your Edge Transport Servers located in the perimeter network.

The following screenshot example shows the selection dialogue.

Screenshot - Hybrid Configuration Wizard Receive Connector Server Selection

 

You can only select a server object, but not a receive connector on that selected server. The HCW chooses the "right" receive connector on the selected servers for you. If you are using the default set of receive connectors, you will not encounter any issues. HCW will use the default frontend connector on a mailbox server. When you use an Edge Transport Server you will run into any trouble as well. There is only one receive connector which you must extend by setting some additional parameters.

But what about an Exchange Organization where each mailbox server hosts multiple receive connectors bound to TCP port 25? 

 

The Problem

When you use multiple receive connectors bound to TCP 25 you will see that HCW will choose a receive connector that you won't expect. You might think that HCW will select always the default frontend connector. That is not the case. 

When you select multiple servers for hybrid mail-flow, and each server has a different receive connector configuration, you might get the impression that HCW selects the receive connector randomly. That is not the case either.

While doing some testing in a large enterprise infrastructure with five different Exchange forests (development, testing, staging, pre-production, production) we saw an interesting behavior.

From all available receive connectors having a TCP 25 binding, HCW selects the receive connector with matching RemoteIPRanges values of:

  • IPv6 all (::-ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff) and IPv4 all (0.0.0.0-255.255.255.255)
    This is normally the default frontend receive connector when you do not adjust the RemoteIPRanges parameter
  • Just IPv4 all (0.0.0.0-255.255.255.255)
  • Just IPv6 all (::-ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff:ffff)
  • IPv6 any address and IPv4 any address
  • Just an IPv4 address

Adjusting the default receive connector does have a direct impact on how HCW selects a receive connector in your Exchange environment. When you use multiple receive connectors for internal relay purposes, your receive connectors might end up in a messing situation. As mentioned, HCW selects receive connectors with a TCP 25 binding, regardless of the transport location of the connectors, frontend, or hub transport. The enterprise environment mentioned had some deviations between the different environments and we saw TCP 25 receive connectors in frontend transport and hub transport. 

 

The Solution (sort of)

Run the HCW and select only one server for hybrid mail-flow and identify the receive connector configured by HCW. Configure an appropriate receive connector on all other mailbox servers used for hybrid mail flow. Update the hybrid configuration object of your on-premises Exchange Organization accordingly. 

Verify the following two Tls* parameters of the receive connector:

Get-ReceiveConnector 'EXSRV01\Default Frontend EXSRV01' | fl tls*
TlsCertificateName    : <I>CN=Sectigo RSA Domain Validation Secure Server CA, O=Sectigo Limited, L=Salford, S=Greater
                        Manchester, C=GB<S>CN=mail.varunagroup.de, OU=PositiveSSL, OU=Domain Control
                        Validated
TlsDomainCapabilities : {mail.protection.outlook.com:AcceptCloudServicesMail}

 

You must ensure that the hybrid receive connector uses the correct TLS certificate, enabled for SMTP. Additionally, you must set the TlsDomainCapabilitiers to allow cloud mail for connections incoming connections with a TLS certificate for mail.protection.outlook.com.

Keep your receive connectors at frontend transport.   

 

Links

 

Enjoy Exchange Server.

 

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Exchange Server 2016 LogoRecently I had to support the uninstall of Exchange Server 2016 CU10 on a Windows Server 2019 system. That this setup is not supported is a different topic. In this case, a new Exchange Server 2016 system was placed in service, and the old system needed to be removed from the on-premises Exchange organization.

We mounted the Exchange 2016 CU10 ISO, and ran the following command from an administrative command line:

Setup.exe /mode:uninstall

 

Prerequisites Checks

The prerequisites check failed with an odd error:

http://terenceluk.blogspot.com/2017/01/attempting-to-delete-exchange-server.html

Querying for any incompleted public folder migration requests returned no results. But the prerequisites check insisted that there was an existing public folder migration request. In such a case you already know that you have to use ADSIEdit to find the object in question. 

It turned out that the prerequisites check was right, as we found a single public folder migration request in the Active Directory configuration partition. The request was an artifact of an unsuccessful migration attempt in 2019. After we have checked that the current modern public folder hierarchy worked as expected, we deleted the artifact from Active Directory.

Now the uninstall procedure passed the prerequisites check successfully and the uninstaller moved on removed Exchange Server 2016 step by step.

Until...

 

Uninstall Error

The uninstall step Language Files an Access Denied exception while executing MSIEXEC uninstall actions for each Language Pack.

Language Files                                                                                    FAILED

The following error was generated when "$error.Clear();
$regPath='HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall';
$PackageGUIDRegEx = "{DEDFFB[0-9a-fA-F]{2}-42EC-4E26-[0-9a-fA-F]{4}-430E86DF378C}";
$InstallPath = (Get-ItemProperty 'HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ExchangeServer\v15\setup').MsiInstallPath;

if(test-path ($regPath))
{
Write-ExchangeSetupLog -info ("Removing " +  $RoleLanguagePackType + " Language Packs.");
Get-ChildItem ($regPath) | foreach{
if($_ -match "(?<ProductCode>$PackageGUIDRegEx)") {
$langPackPackageCode = $matches['ProductCode'];
if($langPackPackageCode -ne $null -and $langPackPackageCode.Length -ne 0) {
Write-ExchangeSetupLog -info ("Removing package $langPackPackageCode");
$language = $langPackPackageCode.Substring(20,4);
$logFilePath = [IO.Path]::Combine($RoleLogFilePath,"Uninstall") + '.' + $language +
'.' + "Client" + "." + $RoleLogDateTime + ".msilog";
uninstall-MsiPackage -ProductCode ($langPackPackageCode) -LogFile ($logFilePath);
};
};
};
Get-Childitem -Path $InstallPath -include ".Localized.js",".Localized.min.js" -recurse | foreach ($) {remove-item $.fullname};
Write-ExchangeSetupLog -info "Remove Language Packs completed.";
};
" was run: "**System.UnauthorizedAccessException: Access is denied** ---> System.ComponentModel.Win32Exception: Access is denied
--- End of inner exception stack trace ---
at System.Management.Automation.Utils.NativeDirectoryExists(String path)
at System.Management.Automation.SessionStateInternal.IsItemContainer(CmdletProvider providerInstance, String path, CmdletProviderContext context)".

 

Interestingly, the ExchangeSetup log file showed that the uninstaller wrote the informational text Remove Language Packs completed successfully. 

 

Solution

After following an idea to remove the language pack-related registry keys and other fancy approaches, we did something trivial. We restarted the server, mounted the ISO file, and ran Setup.exe /mode:uninstall again. 

The uninstaller process now passed the step Language Files without any issues.

I sometimes like simple solutions.

 

Enjoy Exchange Server. 

 

 

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Cloud8 Virtual ConferenceI am honored to speak at CloudEight Virtual Summit 2021.

CloudEight is a conference about Microsoft 365 related topics and takes place for the third time. 

 

My session covers the topic "Microsoft Teams and On-Premises Mailbox - Why?"
What are the reasons for using Microsoft Teams with on-premises mailboxes, what are the technical requirements, and why is this approach not necessarily a good idea?

Register today.

Looking forward to seeing you at the virtual conference.

 

Links

 

 

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The use of Microsoft Viva requires using a modern SharePoint site as a home site. 

The documentation for enabling Microsoft Viva describes how to set a new SharePoint Online Home Site, but lacks an important step.

You must swap the new home site and current home site, in addition to setting the SharePoint Online home site. The swap cmdlet archives the current home site. 

# Replace with the new home site URL
$NewHomeSiteUrl = 'https://varunagroup.sharepoint.com/sites/Varuna'

# Replace with current home site URL
$CurrentHomeSiteUrl = 'https://varunagroup.sharepoint.com/'

# Replace with an archive URL
$ArchiveUrl = 'https://varunagroup.sharepoint.com/sites/oldhomepage'

Invoke-SPOSiteSwap -SourceUrl $NewHomeSiteUrl -TargetUrl $CurrentHomeSiteUrl -ArchiveUrl $ArchiveUrl

 

Links

 

 

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Teams Admin Roles and Teams Admin Center

 

I am honored to speak at Teams Nation 2021 on 12th May about Microsoft Teams Admin Roles and Teams Admin Center

Register today and visit my session in room Teams Nation Germany (TCD). As suspected, the session will be in German.

Teams Nation is a community conference and offers 115 sessions in 11 tracks.

Visit the conference site and register today.

 

 

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