How Do You Handle Automated Notifications in Your Enterprise?

Recently, we had an outage due to heat in some of our switch closets.  Not only did this generate a lot of alarm traffic for IT Systems…but it also generated a lot of alarm traffic for HVAC and even other systems as well.  In the end, we sent out so many automated notifications (emails) to pagers and cell phones that we got rate controlled and then subsequently blacklisted due to the massive volume of emails heading out of our SMTP IP Address.  This blacklist meant that email was brought to a screeching halt in the enterprise.  I had to have our Network Team fail us over to our secondary SMTP IP Address in order to get mail flowing again.  This of course, meant we were no longer using our primary network circuit and there were some DNS hiccups…and really, we didn’t need anything else to make the IT department look bad…DNS was the icing on the cake.

So my question to all the Email Administrators out there is…how do you handle automated notifications in your enterprise?  Do you have secondary SMTP servers with different IP Addresses that you use to send out automated notifications?  Do you use the same Exchange server but filter traffic using Exchange and virtual SMTP Servers to an external smart host?  How do you do it?

I hope someone has some examples for me and I appreciate any help you can give…we’re just venturing into territory I haven’t been in before and it’s always good to get perspective of those who have been there already.

Dear Microsoft, Public Folders

Dear Microsoft,

Public Folders are way to hard to manage in Exchange 2007/2010.  Adding/Removing folders is a pain the neck; even if I’ve got the right permissions, I still don’t have the right permissions.  Please fix this immediately.

Yours Truly,

Teknologist

PS:  Do something about getting Local Continuous Replication (LCR) in 2010 too?  Thanks!

ActiveSync Device Report

Brian Desmond’s blog has an excellent tip on how to create an ActiveSync Device Report.  I’ve been looking for a way to do this and hacked together a long powershell command and then found his tip via my feedreader.  I’m going to include it here in case the permalink changes but credit goes to Brian Desmond for posting it.  Thanks Brian!

Exchange 2007

$devices = @()
$mailboxes = Get-CASMailbox -ResultSize:Unlimited | Where-Object {$_.HasActiveSyncDevicePartnership -eq $true -and $_.ExchangeVersion.ExchangeBuild -ilike "8*"}

foreach ($m in $mailboxes)
{
 $devices += Get-ActiveSyncDeviceStatistics -Mailbox $m.Identity
}

$devices | Export-Csv DeviceStats.csv

Exchange 2010

$devices = @()
$mailboxes = Get-CASMailbox -ResultSize:Unlimited | Where-Object {$_.HasActiveSyncDevicePartnership -eq $true -and $_.ExchangeVersion.ExchangeBuild -ilike "14*"}

foreach ($m in $mailboxes)
{
 $devices += Get-ActiveSyncDeviceStatistics -Mailbox $m.Identity
}

$devices | Export-Csv DeviceStats.csv

To use the above info, copy the code into a text file on one of your exchange servers and rename that file with the .ps1 extension.  Next, open up the Exhcange Management Shell and use the ‘cd’ command to change directories until you are in the directory where the .ps1 file is located.  Type ./Filename.ps1 and hit enter to run the script.  The outputted CSV file will be located in the same directory that the file was run from.