Exchange 2010 Checklist

When upgrading your Exchange server to 2010, here is a list of things you should review before moving forward:

1. Clean up old mailboxes: Backup and remove old/Stale mailboxes from exchange 2003 system
2. Clean up mailboxes: Remove deleted items, Purge junk mail folders
3. Identify any archive PST files that users may have on their local systems and move and label them to a central location on the server if they wish for them to be imported into the existing system
4. Identify All domains to be accepted by the mail server
5. Identify need for Active sync. Active sync policies need to be identified and new policies need to be distributed to end users.
6. Mailbox quotas need to be identified
7. Identify retention policies
8. Identify need for any devices that need to relay email to the mail server
9. Spam Rules need to be identified
10. Verify all clients are using outlook 2003 or greater
11. Best practices needs to be run against the server and any issues identified and resolved.
12. Identify certificate information. Unified communications certificate needs to be purchased based on machine name, public name of server, Normal certificate will hold 5 FQDN names unless the internal domain is the same as the external domain.
13. New 2008 x64 server needs be spun up in virtual environment partitioned off so that information store and log files can be stored on their own server.
14. Exchange needs to be installed and configured on server
15. Smart hosts need to be configured if used
16. Configure retention policy
17. Configured email policy
18. Configure any relay’s needed on the network
19. Database and log files need to be moved to appropriate locations on the server
20. Firewall rules need to be implemented to allow port 25 traffic to the server or another port if so indicated in requirements.
21. Connector needs to be built to communicate between the 2003 and 2010 exchange servers
22. Test of migration of one mailbox and verify mail flow between the servers and the outside
23. Schedule move of mailboxes to new server
24. Import PSTs as needed
25. Configure Relays for devices
26. Public folder replication needs be setup and moved to the new server
27. Complete testing
28. Setup external url information in 2003 access to web is via https://FQDN/exchange and in 2010 it is https://FQDn/owa if the client would like to keep /exchange a redirect needs to be configured.
29. Anti virus needs be setup on the exchange server
30. Backups of the server need to be configured, tested and verified
31. Test of active sync and active sync rules
32. Test of all secure certificates
33. Verify all clients connect smoothly to the new server using Auto Discover.

Unrecoverable error during 5.5 restore (from failed 5.6)

This weekend I decided to perform the upgrade of our 2 XenServer 5.5 servers in a farm configuration to 5.6 FP1. However I found conflicting information on how to perform the actual upgrade. The mistake I made was to put the server into maintenance mode before shutting it down. When performing the upgrade you must keep the pool master in normal mode, with all VMs migrated off of it, and then shut it down, which will place the farm into a recovery mode. While in this mode you are supposed to perform the implace upgrade in a rolling style. I miss read that step. So instead I ran the upgrade with the pool master in maintenance mode (thus it was no longer the true pool master as it nominated another server to be the master). Well it let me perform the upgrade, and everything appeared to be working fine. The server rebooted and I was greeted by the regular XSConsole. However I noticed two things:
1) XenCenter still saw the server as offline;
2) XSConsole showed that there were no network interfaces (NO NICS).

After researching the issue, I discovered it was caused by an improper upgrade, but no fear there is a build in restore option. Simply insert the upgrade CD and reboot… It will prompt with a restore option. And it was working great until about 95% where it errored out saying:
“Installer only supports having a single kernel of each type installed. Found 2 of kernel-xen”

Apparently if you have any prior backups on the server, plus the one made during the upgrade, the restore will fail. I found a Citrix Forum post http://forums.citrix.com/message.jspa?messageID=1521356 which described by specific situtation and I attempted the recovery to no success. Only having mild Linux experience it took be a while to discover what I was missing from that forum post since I am a Microsoft guy. Here is the actual steps for a windows guy:
1) Reboot the server with the 5.6 upgrade CD
2) When prompted for advanced setup, press F2 (it will quickly auto select standard install if you aren’t watching)
3) It will prompt you for which advanced setup mode, type “shell” and press enter (no quotes)
4) Setup will continue and dump you to a command line
5) Type “vi /opt/xensource/installer/backend.py” and press enter (again, without the quotes)
6) You are now in the VI editor which is a pain, you can google for how to nagivate, but for the purposes of this, type “/kernel” – and press enter, repeat that until you see the line beginning with “assert len(out) == 1, “Installer only supports having a single kernel ”
7) with the cursor over that line, type dd (this should delete the entire line)
8) Then move the cursor over to “return out[0]” and press “a” to enter into the append mode, change it to read “return out[-1]” – then press “esc” and then type “ZZ” (Case sensative).

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