All posts by fope

Active Manager? – Never heard, right?


If you are using Exchange 2013 with a DAG setup you are familiar with the PAM or Primary Active Manager, right? And you are more familiar with SAM – the Secondary Active Manager – aren’t you?

The Active Manager runs within MSExchangeRepl.exe and manages the database copy between the Nodes within the DAG. PAM is the instance which decides which copy of a DAG should be Active.

Be aware: Exchange itself is not a clustered application. It just uses the Windows Failover-Cluster technology to do the job.

Important while do a planned upgrade from Exchange to a new Cumulative Update: Note: If your DAG have more nodes, you need first upgrade all non PAM nodes and then upgrade PAM node.

Details about PAM/SAM and more can be found here: Active Manager

Your EXGuru – aka Peter Forster – aka Satschent Peter

Do you know the Full Access Permissions in your environment? – Be aware if you migrate your Exchange to a newer version!


During Exchange Migrations some ‘new’ features can make your day happy – or not. While migrating from Exchange 2007 a new feature on Exchange/Outlook can have a hughe impact on your access permissions for mailboxes.

Think about the following scenario:

User A – lets call him EXGuru and User B – lets call him User B should get access to the mailbox of User B. Years ago this permission was assigned on Exchange 2007. The permission was assigned but the Helpdesk-Team never added the mailbox into the existing Outlook-Profile from EXGuru. Everyone (EXGuru, UserB and the Helpdesk) did not remember about that permission.

Now the Mailbox will be moved to Exchange 2013/2016 and wohooo – the Mailbox of User B will show up at the EXGuru Outlook Profile. This happens because the existing permissions will be migrated and because of the ‘new’ auto mapping feature from Exchange those mailboxes will show up even if they were not shown in Exchange 2007.

Normally this shouldn’t be a problem but eventually it is. With this script you can check the existing permissions and recap the details if there are still permissions assinged they shouldn’t. Good place to start are Management mailboxes.

Get-Mailbox -Identity <mailbox> | Get-MailboxPermission | where {$_.user.tostring() -ne "NT AUTHORITYSELF" -and $_.IsInherited -eq $false -and $_.AccessRights -match "FullAccess" -and ($_.User -notlike 'S-1-5*')} | Select Identity,User,@{Name='AccessRights';Expression={[string]::join(', ', $_.AccessRights)}}

Your EXGuru – aka Peter Forster – aka Satschent Peter

The little known secret about – Sizing your Exchange RAM


Sizing your Exchange server is a very common task for an Enterprise Architect like me. On a regular basis I will check the recommended Hardware-Sizing for our customers.

Many of our deployments are installed on physical boxes but some are also virtualized. In aspects of sizing there aren’t really any differences. I do not want to share now the well known (you did know this, right)? sizing recommendation from Microsoft: Exchange 2013/2016 Sizing recommendation

I want to share the real numbers. For instance:
A Customer with 2360 Mailboxes is running Exchange 2013 on physical Hardware with 128GB RAM (hey  – wasn’t there the recommended limit with 96GB)? on a two node DAG.

Sometimes all databases are on one Server and the RAM Usage is on 101GB. The performance of Exchange is still perfectly – no reports for slow Outlook connections in Online mode or anything else.


Another customer is using a virtualized environment with 64GB RAM for approx. 2200 users. Here we also do not see any issues with the size of RAM

So – just a hundred users less and running fine with 64GB.

Even if there are other recommendations – just check out the downscaling side of live. As long as there are no compliants from your users and Managed Availabilty is running fine (more on this in another post) everything is fine.

The only thing to keep in mind with RAM is: Do not run your Exchange 2013/2016 server with less than 7GB – otherwise you will need a lot of time for wating until tasks are done. Even my demo-environment runs on Windows Azure fine in that configuration (D2 VM)

Your EXGuru – aka Peter Forster – aka Satschent Peter

Welcome to the world of EXGuru


The idea of blogging is long time in my mind but now the time has arrived to do it (again). I’m with the community since the old NNTP times (the good times) and now I’m back with a brand new blog and a brand new topic: Exchange

Since years I’m in the world of Exchange. Started with Exchange 5.5  – the early days of messaging –  I was using every version until the latest Exchange Release from Microsoft which is Version 15.1 aka Exchange 2016.

On this blog I try to help you out with the most important things on Exchange: Do the things right.

The blog will contain technical informations and interesting findings at my installations at our customers.

I’m happy to start over again!

Your EXGuru – aka Peter Forster – aka Satschent Peter