GSX Blog

Hot Tips on Exchange and Windows Azure

Posted by Yann Baudic on Wed, Jul 17, 2013

microsoft exchange windowsazure dag tips announcements resized 600There have been a lot of recent announcements on new updates and capabilities on Exchange, especially for the Database Availability Group (DAG) and Windows Azure.

I wanted to share some tips we've learned about from attending recent Microsoft events and by staying updated in the online Microsoft community.

First, let's start with hugely popular Windows Azure.

Windows Azure

  • HTTP based probes allow you to check Azure VMs server health: “VM”/healthcheck.aspx (Load Balancer Point Name contains Probe Path, Port, Protocol, etc.).
  • There are APIs available to test Azure Storage .

Exchange

  • Exchange Diagnostics Service logs, V15/Logging/Diagnostics/DailyPerformanceLogs/, check on information stored there for Capacity Planning, etc. 
  • Message Tracking Logs scripts are available on the Exchange Team Blog.
  • You HAVE to make sure that Hyper Threading is turned OFF on any Exchange 2013 machine, as this doubles the amount of necessary RAM and will cause all other sorts of issues.
  • Unified Messaging is now embedded on every Exchange 2013. There is a limit of 100 concurrent UM users per box, make sure to plan accordingly. 
  • Use QoS (Quality of Services) to control Exchange Replication bandwidth consumption.

Database Availability Group

  • Basic DAG monitoring possible via the Exchange Crimson Channel. providing Probes / Monitors / Responders: “Bus Reset” events (ID 129) are of particular importance.
  • DAG auto reseeding is possible because of JBOD (we now have spare disks available that Exchange can use to reseed Mailboxes automatically).
  • Mailbox Server migrations may cause cluster heartbeat timeouts resulting in eviction of the server from the DAG: make sure to adjust heartbeat accordingly. Use “(Get-Cluster).xxx” PWS commands from the FailoverClusters class to do so.

For more recent information on the latest updates from Microsoft, click here.

Let us know which announcements you are looking forward to the most!

Tags: Cloud, hyperv, teched europe 2013, Microsoft, TechED North America, sql server, sql 2014, Powershell, BYOD