How to decomission Blackberry Enterprise Server Express 5.0 from our Exchange 2010 environment

It is inevitable that more and more organisations will be moving away from Blackberry more and more as the domination of iOS, Android and Windows Mobile continue to dominate the handset market. Well we have come to that point in now, where we have had a BES server running for over a year without a single user connecting to it, and now it is time to remove the server the right way.

After trawling through the labyrinth we call the internet it surprised me that finding all the information simply was not in the one place. Admittedly the uninstallation of BES is quite an easy task there are a number of tasks to do before and after… and ill show you what they are.

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How to enforce Exchange ActiveSync Mailbox policies on mobile devices

Has your CTO/CFO/CEO/ITM (whatever acronym they decide to give themselves) asked you to lock down or secure mobile devices? Well if they haven’t then they sure as hell should! The security risks, in particular loss of confidential information from mobile devices is extremely high with more and more devices storing more data.

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Exchange 2010 test scripts

I have a need to test our simple single server Exchange 2010 environment when doing upgrades and major changes. Generally it doesn’t happen very often so I tend to forget all the areas I really should be testing. This is a scribble of items that I feel I should test and may hopefully help others when they do their testing. I will be updating this post when do come up with additional tests – and potentially some PS scripts as well that help in the testing.

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Upgrade Exchange 2010 SP1 to SP2 on a single server environment

I have read a number of documents online regarding the installation of Exchange 2010 SP2 where most are quite comprehensive however they lack in clear explanation of what to do in a single server environment. Below are the steps I used to install Exchange 2010 SP2 on an Exchange 2010 SP1 UR4 single server environment that also had Forefront for Exchange installed.

Before we begin I must say this entire setup process is using the Command Line Interface. Its a very basic setup so don’t be scared of doing things using the command line.

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Exchange OWA logon customisations

There are several customisations that can be done to Exchange OWA so that the look and feel can be tailored to your company needs. The changes that are possible are:

  • Sign-in and Sign-out pages
  • OWA Logo
  • Font colors and styles
  • Themes and web-parts (not covered here)

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How to clear old unused distribution lists from Exchange 2010 programatically

If you are an Exchange administrator you would most likely have hundreds of distribution lists in your organisation and no idea which ones are being used. Well I had this problem and decided to do something about it. I set out to see who was actually using these DL’s and remove all the ones that have not been used in months. I will be looking at Static DL’s. If you use Dynamic DL’s then the concept will be the same however some of the syntax may differ slightly.

High level overview of steps

Here are the steps I went through on a high level to identify and remove unused Distribution Lists in my Exchange 2010 SP1 environment:

  1. Increase Exchange MessageTrackingLogs from the default of 30 days to 90 days
  2. Export list of ALL distribution lists
  3. Export list of ALL active distribution lists based off Exchange Tracking Logs
  4. Compare the results and output the inactive DL’s
  5. Hide all unused DL’s from the GAL
  6. Delete all unused DL’s from Exchange

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Remove specific email from ALL mailboxes in Exchange 2010 SP1

Have you ever had the situation where you had to quickly remove an email from all mailboxes in an organisation? Maybe it was an accidental email by an assistant to the whole company, or worse, inappropriate content sent by a disgruntled employee? I have not yet been put in this position but i wanted to be prepared for the gloomy day. This will help you if you are in the same position.

Well here are some steps that i have tested in an Exchange 2010 SP1 environment.
Note: there is a different method for Exchange 2007/2010 RTM versions that has not been documented here.

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GAL photos in Exchange 2010

So i started to look into the idea of adding photos of our staff to our GAL and thought I would note down some things i learnt on the way. The first i would suggest is to have a good read to the below 2 URL’s as they have documented quite well what you need to do and how to do it. I will go over the basic steps, and tips i learnt along the way.

GAL Photos in Exchange 2010 and Outlook 2010
GAL Photos: Frequently Asked Questions

My Comments

The word GAL and Exchange get thrown about a bit so its easy to get confused with where the image is being stored. It actually goes into Active Directory and is stored under thumbnailPhoto field as a hexadecimal. You can upload it a number of ways but i chose to use an Exchange powershell command.

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