Managing Accessibility of OST files through Cloud-based Platforms

Implementing Cloud-based Platform Migration

Cloud-based migration is a next generation migration option that readily reduces the chances of corruption and makes accessibility of files quite easy. As far as OST files are concerned, they are also preferred to be migrated in the same platform without any worries. Doing so makes them all time available back-up of required files. Moreover, the cloud can be accessed from anywhere at any time and can be even used for bulk migration. 

Thus, the required OST files become safe and handy on few clicks. However, few questions protrude while we think of OST files. It relates to “What happens if OST files get corrupt?” “Will it anyhow affect the existence of PST?” If how, then what will be the concerning factors?

To make the picture clearer it must be clear that the initial focus is to rescue the damaged OST files content and try to keep data hierarchy unchanged without any issues. To be answerable in such unexpected circumstances it is necessary to avail some technical assistance from reliable third-party tool. 

Managing spoilt OST files

There is high probability of getting OST files affected by corruption. However, the severity of OST file corruption is beyond the scope of the topic, but its impetus may somehow put a massive effect on entire file structure. 

Implementing Cloud-based Platform Migration

Cloud-based migration is a next generation migration option that readily reduces the chances of corruption and makes accessibility of files quite easy. As far as OST files are concerned, they are also preferred to be migrated in the same platform without any worries. Doing so makes them all time available back-up of required files. Moreover, the cloud can be accessed from anywhere at any time and can be even used for bulk migration. 

Thus, the required OST files become safe and handy on few clicks. However, few questions protrude while we think of OST files. It relates to “What happens if OST files get corrupt?” “Will it anyhow affect the existence of PST?” If how, then what will be the concerning factors?

To make the picture clearer it must be clear that the initial focus is to rescue the damaged OST files content and try to keep data hierarchy unchanged without any issues. To be answerable in such unexpected circumstances it is necessary to avail some technical assistance from reliable third-party tool. 

Managing spoilt OST files

There is high probability of getting OST files affected by corruption. However, the severity of OST file corruption is beyond the scope of the topic, but its impetus may somehow put a massive effect on entire file structure. 

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Figure 1 Dialog Box presenting technical issue.

You must be introduced to the dialog box that displays the inaccessibility information. It is not the single note; moreover, there are ample of them that convey the same message in other manner. 

However, assistance from third-party proved to be helpful. Kernel for OST to PST is the most convenient and user-enabled third-party tool, which is often recommended for this purpose. This OST to PST tool simply scans for damaged/corrupt OST files and repairs them keeping OST file hierarchy and data structure unchanged. Moreover, the tool provides an option either to directly migrate the OST files to cloud-based platforms or convert same to PST and other file formats like DBX, MBOX, MSG, EML, TXT, RTF, HTML, MHTML, & PDF.

What takes for restructuring lost OST files?

Kernel for OST to PST makes use of inbuilt QFSCI algorithm to regain the lost file structure of OST files, it also includes resurrection of OST files content. So, to restructure the damaged OST files Kernel for OST to PST makes use of few essential steps, which include selection of concerned OST files, their preview post conversion and their migration/conversion as per user’s choice. The entire process is done within few clicks and conversion/migration entirely depends upon user’s choice.

Cloud-based Migration-User’s choice

Being a choice of next generation, cloud-based migration is being effectively used and recommended by many users.  Kernel for OST to PST provides such option in addition to the conventional methods of saving OST files in other formats. The screenshot of the tool clearly shows the effectiveness of the tool in handling the OST data in conventional process and cloud-based migration that involves email servers, webmails and Office 365.

 

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Figure 2 Screenshot of Kernel for OST to PST presenting different options.

 

About Kernel for OST to PST

Kernel Data Recovery has designed a more secure way than conventional methods that were quite risky and time consuming. A more dedicated tool – Kernel for OST to PST has been crafted for this purpose. Kernel for OST to PST uses a secure way to convert OST files to other file format. Thus, it brings a clear picture to the user that OST files can be saved in other formats as well with same dedication and precision as it does for PST file format. Even if the obtained files are large in size, then it can be split in required size. For lost OST files Kernel for OST to PST provides ‘Search’ option. The ‘Preview’ option lets user to make sure that entire conversion has been perfectly taken place. This option provides preview of converted items. 

With the below mentioned descriptive figure you can understand the exact functioning of the tool. 

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Figure3.Making file selection and uploading.

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Figure4.Details of concerned files and different saving option.

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Figure5. Saving Path of desired file.

For perfect conversion process to initiate, the user system must have Pentium class processor, minimum 64 MB RAM, 50 MB space for software installation and some space to save results. The tool supports all versions of MS Exchange Server, MS Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Server and Windows OS. 

Securing OST files-An Ultimate Aim

For secure OST migration to cloud-based platforms it is recommended to take assistance from reliable third-party tool like Kernel for OST to PST. Due to provision of secure migration and conversion, this tool is highly advised. Since cloud-based migration provides effective and convenient access to OST files; therefore, it is regarded as future cloud for MS Outlook users.

You could download the copy from the below location

http://www.nucleustechnologies.com/exchange-ost-recovery.html

Methodology to Import PST Files In Exchange 2010

Exchange Import-Info-Tech

Methodology to Import PST Files In Exchange 2010

Thanks to the Mailbox Replication Service in Exchange 2010 importing PST files in Exchange Server, is no longer a difficult task. Earlier, the task relied on Outlook’s DLL, which made the process a tedious one. The Mailbox Replication Service runs on Client Access server, scans the database of the move requests and starts the process of moving the mailboxes, when finds a request. The same process is followed in importing PST files to Exchange server with a minute change that the mail source instead of a mailbox is a PST file.

Necessity to Import PST File Data

The most important query on which this write-up is based in why the PST files need to be imported in Exchange mailbox. One of the most important factor due to which the PST files can be imported is for the data security purpose. The PST files are stored locally on the hard drive, from where it can be easily copied and taken to other media devices. Therefore, in order to save the authenticity of the PST file data, saving them on the server serves to be a reliable option.

Pre-Requisites for Importing PST in Exchange Mailbox

In order to import PST files in Exchange 2010 server, Mailbox Import Requests are used. The cmdlets are similar to the export request in a manner that they are processed by Client Access server. The PST file that needs to be imported needs to be accessible via UNC path of the shared folder.

In addition to this, the account from which the PST file is imported also needs to have the rights to do so. The first step in the export process is to grant the right to import the PST file into the mailbox. This can be done by running the below-mentioned command in the Powershell.

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Create Network Share For Mailbox Import

The next step is the creation of network share. The Network share is required by the Exchange Trusted Subsystem to read/write.

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Procedure to Import PST File with Mailbox Import Request

New-MailboxImportRequest cmdlet will be used to import PST file into an Exchange mailbox. We will import a PST file named christine.hayes96.pst into the mailbox Aria.

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In case you need to import the PST file into a sub-folder of the mailbox, you can do so by writing –TargetRootFolder parameter to the previous command.

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The above commands will create a new folder in the mailbox and the PST file data will be imported in it. The complete status of the mailbox import request can be seen with the help of Get-MailboxImportRequest cmdlet.

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If the user wants to monitor the progress of the complete process, Get-MailboxImportRequestStatistics cmdlet can be used.

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If you want to import PST files into Personal Archives, you can do so by –IsArchive parameter. This is helpful in the case when an organization looks forward to migrate all the PST files present over a network.

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Once the mailbox import request is run, it remains on the server till the time it is removed by the administrator. The cmdlet that is used to remove the request is Remove-MailboxImportRequest.

PowerShell Script to copy Exchange GUID from Office 365 to Exchange On-prem User.

When users are been migrated from On-Prem to Office 365 using some third party tool then the on-prem user object’s Exchange GUID gets rested to “00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000" . This will cause problem when we need to move back the mailbox to on-prem for some reason.  Below is the code which helps to validate the On-prem users which Exchange GUID and copy back the Exchange GUID properties from Online mailbox to the Exchange On-prem user.

Set-ADServerSettings -ViewEntireForest 1
"Remotemailbox" > c:\temp\myremotemailbox.csv
get-remotemailbox  -resultsize unlimited  | %{
$upn = $_.UserPrincipalName
$proxy = $_.EmailAddresses.ProxyAddressString
$exchGuid = $_.ExchangeGuid

$mailboxlist = @()
$found = $false
    foreach($pro in $Proxy)
    {
        If($pro -like "X500:/o=ExchangeLabs/*")
        {
        $found = $true
        }
    }
    if($found -eq $true)
    {
        $upn >> c:\temp\myremotemailbox.csv
    }
    if($exchGuid -eq "00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000")
    {
       
        $upn >> c:\temp\myremotemailbox.csv
   
    }
}

$LiveCred = Get-Credential
$Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri https://ps.outlook.com/powershell/ -Credential $LiveCred -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection
Import-PSSession $Session –allowclobber

$csvimport = Import-Csv C:\temp\myremotemailbox.csv
"userprincipalname,legacyExchangeDN,ExchangeGuid" > c:\temp\rmbresult.csv
Foreach($csv in $csvimport)
{
$rmaibox = $csv.remotemailbox
$mailbox = get-mailbox $rmaibox | select userprincipalname,legacyExchangeDN,ExchangeGuid
$mailbox.userprincipalname + "," + $mailbox.legacyExchangeDN + "," + $mailbox.ExchangeGuid >> c:\temp\rmbresult.csv
}

remove-PSSession $Session

$finalRM = Import-csv C:\temp\rmbresult.csv
foreach($final in $finalRM)
{
$upn = $final.userprincipalname
$eguid = $final.ExchangeGuid
$x = "X500:"  +  $final.legacyExchangeDN

if($upn -ne "")
{
get-remotemailbox $upn | Set-reMotemailbox -exchangeguid $eguid -CustomAttribute3 "Account Verified for X500-GUID" -EmailAddresses @{Add=$x}

}
}

Configuring LoadMaster Global Balancing for Exchange 2013 – Part 3

In Part 1 and Part 2 of the article series, we deployed Exchange 2013 servers in each AD site, deployed Kemp LoadMaster and configure it for Exchange services in each AD site.

In this final part of the article series, we will configure LoadMaster with Global Balancing, where if Dallas AD site goes down then client request (internal and external) will route to Exchange 2013 servers in the Pittsburg AD site and vice versa. Global Balancing provide redundancy for both Exchange and LoadMaster itself. Below is the figure 3.1 is the current diagram for the Exchange 2013 lab using Kemp Free LoadMaster

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Figure 3.1 Exchange 2013 and Kemp LoadMaster LAB configuration.

Configure Static Routes on Kemp LoadMaster

From the above Figure 3.1, Dallas LoadMaster Eth0 interface is configured with network 192.168.1.0/24 network and LAB router with DHCP have assigned DNS and Default gateway for this interface. Using DNS and default gateway, Eth0 interface can reach any external network including Pittsburg Eth0 interface.

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Figure 3.2 DNS Name Server IP address

But, Dallas LoadMaster Eth1 interface is on 10.10.10.0/24 and it does not configured with DNS and default gateway. Since, two network interface (NIC) on the same machine cannot be configured with two different DNS and Gateway. Hence Eth1 interface has no information on how to reach Eth1 network (20.20.20.0/24) of Pittsburg LoadMaster or any other network internally. To archive this, we need to add manual static routes on the Dallas LoadMaster. Below is the steps to configure the same.

1. Connect to Dallas LoadMaster using Internet Explorer

2. Expand System Configuration -> Additional Routes

3. Add route to reach 20.20.20.0/24 network using gateway 10.10.10.101 (It is the default gateway for 10.10.10.0/24 network to reach Pittsburg network). Below Figure 3.2 is the reference image.

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Figure 3.3 Adding new Fixed Static Routes on Dallas LoadMaster

Similarly, Pittsburg LoadMaster Eth1 interface is on 20.20.20.0/24 and it is not configured with DNS and default gateway. It has no information on how to reach Eth1 10.10.10.0/24 Dallas network or any other network. Hence we need to add static routes on the Pittsburg LoadMaster to reach Dallas Eth1. Below is the steps to configure the same.

1. Connect to Pittsburg Loadmaster using Internet Explorer

2. From the Left menu , expand System Configuration -> Additional Routes

3. Add route to reach 10.10.10.0/24 network using gateway 20.20.20.101 (It is the default gateway for 10.10.10.0/24 network). Below is the reference image.

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Figure 3.4 Adding new Fixed Static Routes on Pittsburg LoadMaster

Configuring LoadMaster to Synchronize Configuration each other:

Synchronization lets to replicate the configuration changes or additions done one LoadMaster to another. Below are the steps to synchronize two LoadMaster on Dallas and Pittsburg network.

1. Connect to Dallas LoadMaster from the browser using the IP Address https://192.168.1.100

2. From the main menu ,expand System configuration -> remote Access

3. Under GEO Settings, specify GEO LoadMaster Partners IP Address and click on set Geo LoadMaster Partners. In our case it is Pittsburg LoadMaster Eth0 interface IP address – 192.168.1.101

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Figure 3.5 Configuring GEO LoadMaster Partner Settings at Dallas

4. Now, connect to Pittsburg LoadMaster from the browser using the IP address https://192.168.1.101

5. From the main menu ,expand System configuration -> remote Access

6. Under GEO Settings, specify GEO LoadMaster Partners IP Address – 192.168.1.100 and click on Set Geo LoadMaster Partners. In our case it is Dallas LoadMaster Eth0 interface IP address

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Figure 3.6 Configuring GEO LoadMaster Partner Settings at Pittsburg

7. Now we have configured the synchronization between Dallas and Pittsburg LoadMaster, we just make configuration on any one LoadMaster and it gets replicated to other.

Configuring Global Balancing for FQDN – mail.happy.com

1. Connect to Dallas LoadMaster and from the main menu Expand Global Balancing -> Manage FQDNs

2. Input the new FQDN name – mail.happy.com and click on Add FQDN

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Figure 3.7 Configure Mail.happy.com FQDN at LoadMaster

3. Enter the LoadMaster Dallas External Virtual IP Address – 192.168.1.90 and click on Add Address

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Figure 3.8 Configure Mail.happy.com FQDN with Dallas External Virtual IP Address

4. Similarly add Pittsburg Loadmaster External Virtual IP address – 192.168.1.91 and click on Add Address

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Figure 3.9 Configure Mail.happy.com FQDN with Pittsburg External Virtual IP Address

5. Then finally, add Dallas LoadMaster internal Virtual IP – 10.10.10.90 and then Pittsburg LoadMaster Virtual IP – 20.20.20.91

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Figure 3.10 Mail.happy.com FQDN updated with Dallas and Pittsburg External and Internal Virtual IP Address

6. To provide better health check for the HTTPS services, change the checker from ICPM Ping to TCP Connect for the Virtual IP Address on port 443 and then click on Set Addr

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Figure 3.11 Configure Mail.happy.com FQDN with Health settings to determine the availability of the services.

7. We could now see that all the Servers are Available and healthy and ready to take connection for mail.happy.com

Configuring Global Balancing for FQDN – autodiscover.happy.com

Since, we have one Virtual IP for all the Exchange HTTPS services on each LoadMaster, we would need to create another FQDN name autodiscover.happy.com and follow the same instruction provided for same IP address and port number used for FQDN name mail.happy.com.

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Figure 3.12 Configure autodiscover.happy.com FQDN with Pittsburg External and internal Virtual IP Address

Configuring Global Balancing for FQDN – smtp.happy.com

1. Connect to Dallas LoadMaster using Internet Explore

2. Expand Global Balancing -> Manage FQDN

3. Add a FQDN name smtp.happy.com’ and click Add FQDN

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Figure 3.13 Creating new FQDN smtp.happy.com

4. Input each of the internal and external Virtual IP (VIP) address of both Dallas and Pittsburg LoadMaster and click Add Address. Then, make sure that checker is to set TCP connect for port 25.

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Figure 3.14 Adding External VIPs for smtp.happy.com FQDN

Since Dallas and Pittsburg is configured to sync with each other, we should be able see the configuration synced from Dallas LoadMaster to Pittsburg LoadMaster in real-time. To validate the same, connect to Pittsburg LoadMaster and Navigate to Global Balancing -> Manage FQDNs.

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Figure 3.15 Validation Global Balancing synchronization at Pittsburg LoadMaster.

DNS Configuration:

We are almost done with the LoadMaster configuration at both Dallas and Pittsburg AD site. Now we need to configure Internal and External DNS with delegated subdomain for mail.happy.com and autodiscover.happy.com pointing to LoadMaster Virtual IP Address defined in the below table.

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To accept SMTP emails from internet for happy.com, configure MX records on the external DNS to point to the external DNS VIP of both Dallas and Pittsburg LoadMaster and below are the details.

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Configure Exchange send connector with option ‘Route mail through smart host’ and specify the LoadMaster SMTP Internal VIP Address – 10.10.10.103 and 20.20.20.104.

This configuration will help clients to connect to all the HTTPS service and also mail flow between internal and internet.

Below is the final diagram with complete IP Address, DNS, LoadMaster and Exchange server details.

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Figure 3.15: Final LAB diagram

Finally, we are at the end of the articles series, completely installed, configured Kemp Free LoadMaster in both the AD sites and also configured Global balancing between the sites. Same steps can be followed to implement LoadMaster in production environment, but we need public IP address NATed to the DMZ VIPs to communicate with other external domains.

Configure LoadMaster for Exchange 2013 Services in LAB – Part 2

In part 1 of the article series, we got Exchange 2013 configured, Hyper-V networks configured and installed LoadMaster in both the AD site and finally configure with Two-Arm networks. In this part of the article series we will configure LoadMaster for Exchange HTTPS and SMTP services. Below Figure 2.1 is the current lab setup with IP address configuration.

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Figure 2.1 Current lab setup with IP address configuration.

Importing Exchange Kemp Templates into the LoadMaster

Kemp offers free templates for Exchange 2013 with preconfigured settings. These preconfigured templates are based on the Microsoft best practice and helps us to keep our configuration simpler and quicker. These configurations can further tweaked to suites the complex environment and business requirements.

1. Download Exchange 2013 Core Services template from Kemp LoadMaster documentation page on the Hyper-v host machine

https://kemptechnologies.com/loadmaster-documentation/.

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Figure 2.2 Downloading Exchange 2013 Core Services template.

2. Core services template helps administrator to configure all the Exchange 2013 HTTPS, SMTP and MAPI protocols easily with minimum configuration steps.

3. Connect to the Dallas LoadMaster from the host machine browser using the IP Address – https://192.168.1.100

4. Click on Virtual services -> Manage Templates

5. Click on Browse button to select the template file ‘Exchange2013Core.tmpl’ from the local machine and click on Add New Template button to import the same.

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Figure 2.3 Importing Exchange 2013 Template

6. Once imported, it will display the details of all the templates imported

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Figure 2.4 Exchange 2013 Templates after importing the downloaded template file

Perform the above steps 1-5 to import the Exchange 2013 Core Services template on Pittsburg LoadMaster.

Creating and Configuring HTTPS Virtual Services

In this part, we will configure one Virtual IP for all the Exchange 2013 HTTPS virtual services. HTTPS virtual services include OWA, EAC, Active sync, Outlook anywhere and EWS. We can also configure one virtual IP for each Exchange services. It is complex to configure but provides better redundancy for each of the Exchange services.

Follow the below steps to configure Dallas LoadMaster with one Virtual IP address for all the Exchange HTTPS services.

1. Connect to the Dallas LoadMaster from the browser using the IP Address – https://192.168.1.100

2. Expand Virtual Services -> click Add new

3. To allow external clients to connect to Exchange, sepcify VIP – 192.168.1.90 on port 443, then select use template Exchange 2013 HTTPS and click on Add this virtual service.

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Figure 2.5 Adding Virtual IP Address for Exchange 2013 HTTPS

4. It then redirects to the properties page of Virtual IP(VIP) address

5. Under Basic Properties, specify the Alternative Address as 10.10.10.90 from which is from Dallas internal network segment.

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Figure 2.6 Exchange 2013 HTTPS Basic properties configuration.

6. Keep the Standard Options, SSL Properties, Advanced Properties, and ESP Options as default.

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Figure 2.7 Exchange 2013 HTTPS Standard Options, SSL Properties, Advanced Properties, and ESP configuration.

7. Under Real Servers properties, click on Add New button to add the Dallas Exchange 2013 server

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Figure 2.8 Exchange 2013 Real Servers Properties

8. Specify the Dallas Exchange 2013 IP Address -10.10.10.2 and click Add This Real Servers

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Figure 2.9 Specifying Exchange 2013 Server Address for Real Servers options.

9. Validate the addition of Exchange 2013 server under real servers.

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Figure 2.10 Validating Addition of new Exchange 2013 Real Servers Properties

10. Finally, click on View/Modify services from the main menu to confirm the new HTTPS Virtual IP Addresses and services status is UP.

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Figure 2.11 Validating HTTPS Virtual IP Addresses and services status

Perform the above operation from step 1 – 11 on Pittsburg LoadMaster to configure External Virtual IP Address 192.168.1.91 and internal alternative Virtual IP as 20.20.20.91. Make sure to add the internal Pittsburg Exchange 2013 server IP address 20.20.20.2 under Real Servers.

Creating and Configuring SMTP Virtual Services

SMTP Virtual services help to route email between internal and external network. Internet MX records must be configured to these external Virtual Address so internet emails are delivered to it. LoadMaster process the Internet email and forwards to the internal Exchange servers. Similarly Internet email from internal are accepted by the LoadMaster and it will be process delivered to external. Below are the steps to configure the same:

1. Connect to the Dallas LoadMaster using browser – https://192.168.1.100

2. From the main menu, expand Virtual Services -> select Add new

3. Input the Virtual Address 192.168.1.103 , select use template Exchange 2013 SMTP and click on Add This Virtual Service

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Figure 2.12 creating new Virtual IP Address for Exchange 2013 SMTP services.

4. It then redirects the advance properties page

5. Specify the Alternative Address – 10.10.10.103 from Internal network subnet

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Figure 2.13 Configuring Exchange 2013 SMTP basic properties.

6. Keep Standard Options, SSL Properties, Advanced Properties and ESP Options as default

7. Click on Add New button from Real Serves options to add the Dallas Exchange 2013 server.

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Figure 2.14 Configuring Real Servers properties.

8. Specify the Exchange 2013 IP Address -10.10.10.2 and click on Add this Real Servers

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Figure 2.15 Adding Exchange 2013 Server under Real Server.

11. Validate the Exchange 2013 server IP address and port under Real Servers.

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Figure 2.16 Validating Exchange 2013 Server under Real Server.

12. Click on View/Modify Services to confirm the new SMTP Virtual IP Addresses and services status is UP

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Figure 2.17 Validating new Exchange SMTP Virtual Service.

Perform the above operation from step 1 to 13 on Pittsburg LoadMaster to configure External SMTP Virtual IP Address 192.168.1.104 and internal alternative Virtual IP as 20.20.20.104. Finally, make sure to add internal Exchange server IP Address – 20.20.20.104 under Real Servers and validate the same.

We have almost done with the configuration of LoadMaster in the lab and below Figure 2.18 is the final Exchange 2013 LAB using Kemp Free LoadMaster. It has all the necessary VIP address for client connection.

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Figure 2.18 Exchange 2013 LAB using Kemp Free LoadMaster

Importing Exchange 2013 Certificate into the LoadMaster

Currently LoadMaster is not configured with SSL Offloading. SSL Offloading terminates the client SSL connection at the LoadMaster and generate the new connection to the Exchange server in the backend. This improve the security and performance for client connection. This is an optional settings and below are the steps to perform the same:

1. Export the SAN Certificate from the Exchange server 2013 with private key in PFX format and password.

2. Connect to the Dallas LoadMaster through internet Explorer

3. Click on Mail Menu -> Certificate -> SSL certificate and click on Import Certificate

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Figure 2.19 SSL Certificate Import option on LoadMaster.

4. Specify the Exchange Certificate file path, Pass Phrase (password applied during the export) and Certificate Identifier. Click on Save to import the certificate into the LoadMaster

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Figure 2.20 Importing SSL Certificate into the LoadMaster

5. Modify the Exchange HTTPS virtual Service and expand SSL Properties

6. Enable SSL Acceleration and Reencrypt option. Then set the available Exchange certificate and move it to assigned certificates. Lastly select Best Practices under Cipher set and click on Modify Cipher Set.

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Figure 2.21 Configuring SSL Offloading and assigning Exchange certificate on the LoadMaster

Follow the above instruction from step 1-6 on the Pittsburg LoadMaster to import the Exchange certificates and configure SSL offloading.

We are almost at the end of the Part 2 article series and configured with LoadMaster for Exchange 2013 HTTPS and SMTP Services. In the next and final part of the article series, we will configure Geo Redundancy. Which allows clients to connect to the available Exchange servers, if any of the Exchange servers/services /AD sites goes down.

Deploying a Free LoadMaster at Your Exchange 2013 lab – Part 1

In this article series, we will understand the step by step instruction to deploy Kemp LoadMaster for Exchange Server 2013 services in multi- site (Dallas and Pittsburg) lab environment and also configure geo-redundancy between the two AD sites. Where the Kemp LoadMaster load balances the client requests( from internal and internet network) within the AD site and also routes the client request automatically to the available Exchange 2013 servers in other site when one AD site goes down.

Current LAB Setup

Current Lab is built on Microsoft Hyper-V and it is configured with two AD sites Dallas (10.10.10.0/24 network) and Pittsburg (20.20.20.0/24 network). It is also installed with domain controller on each site with the domain name happy.com. In each of the AD site, one Exchange Server 2013 (multirole) is installed and configured Database Availability Group (DAG01) between them. Below Figure 1.1 has the details of the AD sites, Domain Controller, Exchange nodes and DAG.

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Figure 1.1 Exchange 2013 deployed in the lab environment.

 

LAB Hyper-V Virtual Network Configuration Requirement:

LoadMaster interfaces with both internal network and external/internet network. Hence, Hyper-V needs to configure with two Virtual networks: DMZ Network and Internal Network.

1. DMZ Network: Create a new DMZ Network virtual network of type External network, it should connect to the host Machine network interface card (NIC) and communicates with the external world. Make sure to select Allow management operation system to share this network adapter. The Figure 1.2 has the details of the same. Host machine NIC should be connected to the internet.

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Figure 1.2 DMZ Network configuration

2. Internal Network: Create new Internal Network virtual network of type Internal Network. Internal network is isolated network which can communicate within themselves. We will configure all Exchange Servers 2013 guest machines NICs to use internal network.

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Figure 1.3 Hyper-V Internal Network Configuration.

A Windows VM is configured as Router with two NICs pointing to internal network. This windows Router will route traffic between two network segment Dallas (10.10.10.x) and Pittsburg (20.20.20.x) within the internal network.

Configuring Kemp LoadMaster in the Exchange 2013 lab

In this part , we will Install and configure LoadMaster on both the AD site in Two-Arm Deployment as defined in the below Figure 1.4. With one NIC pointing the DMZ network and other NIC pointing to the internal network.

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Figure 1.4 Kemp LoadMaster deployment and IP address configuration plan

Configuring LoadMaster for Dallas Network

1. Register a new Kemp ID at http://freeloadbalancer.com and download the latest version of Free Kemp loadmaster for Hyper-V

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Figure 1.5 Free Kemp LoadMaster Website

2. Extract the KEMP LoadMaster Virtual Machine (VM) file on the Hyper-V server.

3. Start Hyper-V Manager and click on Import VM from the Actions menu then click on Next at the Welcome Screen.

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Figure 1.6 Importing LoadMaster Virtual Machine into Hyper-V

4. At Local Folder page, Click on Browse button to specify the Kemp LoadMaster virtual machine and click Next and on Select Virtual Machine page keep the settings as default and click on Next

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Figure 1.7 Specify the Folder containing virtual machine to import

5. Choose the option Copy the Virtual Machine (create a unique ID) to make of copy of the VM with the new unique ID and click Next. (This will help us to create multiple copy of the downloaded LoadMaster image)

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Figure 1.8 Choose the virtual machine Import type

6. Choose folders paths to store the new copy of the LoadMaster VM and click Next.

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Figure 1.9 Choose Virtual Machines files path

7. Then Choose Storage folders path for the new VM and click Next

8. Validate the Summary page and click on Finish to import the Virtual Machine (VM) into Hyper-V console.

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Figure 1.10 Completing Import Wizard.

9. To identify the Dallas Load Master in the Hyper-V, rename the newly imported LoadMaster VM to DalKemp.

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Figure 1.11 Renaming LoadMaster VM in Hyper-V Manager

10. To configure the virtual network on the DalKemp VM, right click on LoadMaster VM and select Settings. Select DMZ Network for the first VM-Bus network Adapter and Internal Network for the second VM-Bus network adapter and click on Apply. Below Figure 1.12 has the reference details.

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Figure 1.12 Configure Network Adapter on DalKemp VM

Connecting to LoadMaster and Activating Free License

1. Boot the DalKemp LoadMaster VM from Hyper-V console

2. Post booting it displays IP Address of the Appliance (in our case it is 192.168.1.100). It is been assigned by the LAB router via External DMZ network. Since, this network is sharing the host NIC and also connected to the Lab router with DHCP Configured.

Note: The Default Username/Password: bal /1fourall

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Figure 1.13 DalKemp LoadMaster connection information.

3. To configure the DalKemp LoadMaster, start Internet Explorer and connect to it using the IP address assigned – https://192.168.1.100

4. Provide the Default credentials Username/Password: bal /1fourall

5. Click on Agree to accept the End User Agreement

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Figure 1.14 Accepting EULA

6. Select License Type as Free LoadMaster and click on Allow to connect back to KEMP home for license activation.

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Figure 1.15 Selecting License Type

7. Use the registered KEMP ID and activate free LoadMaster license.

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Figure 1.16 Activating Free LoadMaster License

8. Once activated, it will prompt to reset the default user (bal) password. Once password is changed then re-login back to the VM using new password.

Configuring LoadMaster Network Interface

1. Login to Kemp LoadMaster from Internet Explorer and under Main menu expand system configuration -> interface

2. Select eth0 (Network Interface 0) and validate IP Address – 192.168.1.100/24. It is been assigned by DHCP and we could use the same on the interface and change it if required. Make sure Use for GEO Responses and Request is checked and this interface will be used to communicate with Pittsburg LoadMaster for geo redundancy.

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Figure 1.17 Configuring LoadMaster eth0 Interface

3. Select eth1 (network Interface 1) and assign the IP address 10.10.10.9/24 from the Dallas internal network segment and click on Set Address. This interface will be used to communicate with internal Exchange 2013 servers in the Dallas and Pittsburg AD sites.

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Figure 1.18 Configuring LoadMaster eth1 Interface

Follow the above Instructions: Configuring LoadMaster for Dallas Network, Connecting to LoadMaster and Activating Free License, Configuring LoadMaster Network Interface to import and configure Pittsburg LoadMaster. Configure interface Eth0 with IP address 192.168.1.101/24 (Pittsburg DMZ network) and Eth1 with 20.20.20.9/24 (Pittsburg internal network) on it.

With this we are at the end of the part 1 of the article service with Exchange server 2013 installed and configured, Hyper-V networks configured and finally installed and configured LoadMaster in both the AD site. In the next part we will configure the LoadMaster for the Exchange HTTPS/ SMTP Services and validate the same.

MS Outlook Issues and Their Solutions Applicable

While working with Outlook, one may have to face many troubles knowingly or unknowingly. An account holder has authority to customize and program various security features in Outlook. The processing of Outlook PST file is necessary if it is not working properly and recovery should be applied in extreme cases where the data file has completely failed to open. There are various reasons that compel users to recover the PST file; some of them are discussed below with their possible solutions:

Need for Recovery of PST Files:

§ Data File Corruption: The PST file may be corrupted due to some kind of hardware failure such as Storage Device Failure, Faulty Networking Device, or Power Failure while accessing PST file. In addition, some software issues may also become the reason for PST file corruptions such as unexpected Outlook Termination, Deficiencies in Outlook Program, etc.

§ Security posing As a Restriction: To prevent the PST files from an unauthorized user, it is necessary to set a password on them. For example, an employee has set a password to his PST files but if the administrator needs to access those password-protected files in his absence. In this situation, the administrator needs to remove the password from those PST files, which is not possible without applying various specified methodologies.

§ Data Deletion Permanently: Another possible case for recovery is for Deleted Items. If there is a need of previously deleted items for investigation process or any item from the PST file is deleted unintentionally, then we can recover it by using some methods. Since Outlook removes the index of deleted item instead of the actual item so there is a possibility to get back that item.

Possible Solution for Recovery

For the above three situations, a possible recovery solution is scanpst.exe, inbuilt with MS Outlook. It resets the structure of data file and rebuilds the headers of each Outlook item. Another additional file is pst19upg.exe is also necessary to remove the password from PST file that is to be installed from some other sources. Make sure that Outlook application must not be running while working with this procedure. This repair procedure creates a separate backup file for original PST file with the extension .bak. This method allows you to save the repaired .pst file into various formats such as EML, DBX, MBOX, PST, MSG, or save as archive.

Steps to Perform the Manual Solution

1. Initially, close your Outlook application and copy your PST files from its default location to any other location for the safety point of view.

2. Run scanPST.exe, a dialogue box is opened. Add here the path of your copied PST files by clicking on browse button and click on the start button.

After scanning, it will ask you to make a backup copy of your repaired files, check the box if you want to make a backup copy otherwise uncheck it.

3. Click on repair button. The files will be repaired.

4. Now, open Command Prompt, type the path of your PST19up.exe, and give your PST file name. For ex. – “C:\Users\admin\Downloads\ PST19upg.exe” – r outlook.PST and hit enter.

This will make a copy of your PST with the same file name with extension .psx.

5. Now rename the original PST file.

6. Type the path of file C:\Users\admin\Downloads \PST19upg.exe – i filename.psx at the command prompt and press enter.

This will create a password free PST file form this PSX file.

7. The next step you need to follow is to run scanPST.exe to repair this PST file.

Now, you have successfully repaired your PST file. You can open this file in Outlook to view it.

By performing the above steps, you can successfully remove the passwords from PST file, repair the corrupted PST file or recover the permanently deleted files. However, this manual method has some disadvantages given below.

Limitations of Recovering Manually

· Scanpst method is not suitable to recover the data of password – protected files completely. Since it works on a copy of .pst file and it deletes the corrupt pages from a data file completely as part of recovery, it isn’t a suggested solution due to the risk of loss involved.

· This procedure works only on older ANSI PST files; clearly, it is not compatible with MS Outlook 2007 and earlier versions and does not guarantee for 100% recovery.

· This method is a little bit complicated and cannot be performed by a non-technical person since some commands needs to be written.

· Scanpst.exe is not capable to fix the PST files larger than 2 GB that leads to the big failure of this method.

· This method is suitable for low-level corruptions only and is useless if trying to repair highly corrupted PST files.