June 2005 - Posts
I recently posted on my other blog (in Portuguese) about the launching of the beta program for the Novell GroupWise 7, a competitor of Microsoft Exchange, as you probably know.
There are some topics I keep in my head, about which I plan to blog in the near future. The open source phenomenon and the alternatives to Microsoft Exchange is one of those subjects.
Today I found out a good article about this, An Open Look at Groupware, written by Jim Conley and part of the July issue of the Redmond Magazine. Jim talks about the 2 major open source Exchange competitors: OpenGroupware.org and Open-Xchange. I particularly like the way he finishes the article:
"For Exchange administrators considering any messaging or groupware upgrade or migration, open source groupware deserves a look. With Windows-based open source client alternatives to Outlook not yet fully baked, open source groupware will remain an unfeasible work in progress for some; others will find the possibilities of server-side groupware carry enough immediate benefit to replace an Exchange installation."
Of course, for me there's no turning back. I'm completely addicted to Exchange!
"This four-step wizard will guide you through the process of creating a new SPF record for your DNS domain. You should add this DNS record to your domain's DNS configuration. Note that you may need to manually edit the SPF record created by this wizard if you want to use some of the more advance features of the SPF format. For complete details please refer to the SPF record specification at http://www.microsoft.com/senderid."
I discovered this while reading Gerod Serafin's blog.
Uuups... I forgot to mention that the wizard is available here.
Meanwhile I found out that there is another wizard at this site.
The collection of documents "Messaging Hygiene at Microsoft" have been updated to version 2.0. These documents provide us a detailed description on how Microsoft IT manages the large quantities of spam and malware-infected messages in its inbound Internet e-mail traffic.
I haven't had the time to read them yet, but a quick look unveiled that Sender ID is now mentioned.
The documents are available here.
The US Tech.Ed 2005 presentations are now online. I'm particularly interested in the track "Messaging and Collaboration" (what a surprise:-)), so I already started downloading PowerPoint presentations. Besides PowerPoint's, you can also watch the recorded video of the sessions.
Meanwhile, I started the countdown to the European Tech.Ed 2005, where I'm going to work at the Ask The Experts (ATE) stand. This is new for me, so wish me luck.
Unfortunately this site is now closed (could it be that it was made available by mistake? Or maybe all was just a collective illusion.). If you try to access it, all you get is this message:
"Please leave this area immediately. You are not authorized to access this site."
Meanwhile, the PowerPoints for the European Tech.Ed were supposed to be available yesterday, but they were postponed to Wednesday, 29-Jun.
Version 2.1 of the famous Exchange Best Practices Analyzer Tool (ExBPA) is now available for download.
I haven't tried it yet, but Paul Flaherty have. According to him this new version adds performance checks:
"When you select a Health/Performance Check, ExBPA will do the "normal " health check, but it will then take 240 performance monitor samples every 30 second (So the whole scan will last over 2hours).
Once complete, it will then compare the samples it collected against the Troubleshooting Exchange Server 2003 Performance whitepaper and make recommendations."
Meanwhile, the site You Had Me At EHLO blogged about this:
The weather here in Portugal is not as good as it should be, for this time of the year. Oh well, I guess that instead of going to the beach I'll stay home reading these fine articles:
In its tradition of dog food consumption, Microsoft deployed Sender ID authentication in Hotmail, to protect e-mail users from malicious spam and scams. The tests started a few months ago, so this announcement was expected.
Sender ID will arrive to Exchange 2003 with the release of SP2, but meanwhile there are some 3rd-party products that already implement this technology in Exchange, such as GFI MailEssentials and SPF event sink.
If you want to know more:
The S*PAM _KiNgS site posted an article (also blogged by Donna and Bink), according to which Microsoft dropped the address email@example.com. Messages to that address will generate the following auto-reply:
"Thank you for contacting Microsoft. Your e-mail will be handled by a Customer Service Representative within approximately 24 hours. Please note that the e-mail address you have contacted, "firstname.lastname@example.org" will be retired on April 29, 2005. In the future, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/contactus to contact Microsoft."
The address abuse@domain is defined in RFC2142 and is intended for reporting inappropriate public behaviour (e.g., spam).
Just for curiosity, here's a short list of (almost) all the addresses that should exist on every mail system:
MAILBOX AREA USAGE
---------- ---------------- ---------------------------
ABUSE Customer Relations Inappropriate public behaviour
NOC Network Operations Network infrastructure
SECURITY Network Security Security bulletins or queries
MAILBOX SERVICE SPECIFICATIONS
---------- ---------------- ---------------------------
POSTMASTER SMTP [RFC821], [RFC822]
HOSTMASTER DNS [RFC1033-RFC1035]
USENET NNTP [RFC977]
NEWS NNTP Synonym for USENET
WEBMASTER HTTP [RFC 2068]
WWW HTTP Synonym for WEBMASTER
UUCP UUCP [RFC976]
FTP FTP [RFC959]
Configuring Exchange SMTP Gateways at Microsoft is a new document available for download at the Microsoft site. It describes how Microsoft IT custom configures its SMTP servers to make its mail flow more securely and manageably.Configuring a Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) gateway to be secure as well as manageable can be a challenge. The e-mail team at Microsoft IT shares its experience with customers on configuring its Exchange Server 2003 SMTP gateways for optimal performance, security, and manageability.
Microsoft Corp. today announced the completion of its acquisition of Sybari Software Inc. Originally announced Feb. 8, the acquisition of Sybari adds a critical security component to Microsoft’s efforts to help enterprise customers become more secure. As a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft, Sybari will continue to offer enterprise protection products for the Microsoft® Windows® platform.
The Sybari homepage has a new logo with the phrase "A Microsoft Subsidiary". If we scroll down this page, we can see two other logos that are, under the current circumstances, at least curious:
Can a Microsoft Subsidiary be a Gold Partner?
Can a Microsoft Subsidiary be an IBM Partner?
As usual, Eileen Brown posts on her blog about the upcoming webcasts related with messaging and collaboration. Here is a short list:
If you're interested in IMF, there's a good blogcast about the subject:
Meanwhile, William Lefkovics blogged about some Tech.Ed 2005 simulcasts that are available as on demand webcasts:
It's time for the usual weekend reading, and this week it's on time! For a really good start, we'll begin with another article by my favourite author:
After you read this one, you may continue with the rest:
Microsoft released a new update for the Junk E-mail Filter that provides Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 with a more current definition (according to Microsoft) of which messages should be considered unsolicited commercial email.
The update can be obtained by direct download, using Office Update or using the new Microsoft Update. As usual, you can get specific information about this update in the corresponding Microsoft Knowledge Base article Description of the Update for Outlook 2003 Junk Email Filter (KB896999).
Microsoft Security Bulletin MS05-029, published this month, describes a new Exchange 5.5 vulnerability, which could allow cross-site scripting attacks.
The issue is classified as Important, so it's better to install the provided update.
You know I usually post this list every Friday, but last Friday was a holiday here in Portugal. But, best of all, Monday was also a holiday, so I decided to spend this oversized weekend in Amsterdam!
That's why I'm only posting the reading list now. Here it is:
Tech•Ed 2005 has started, so you can expect lots of news during the next days. Today Microsoft finally revealed the new features that will be included in Exchange 2003 SP2.
There are some exciting ones:
- Mobile E-Mail Improvements
- Integrated IMF
- Support for Sender ID
- New offline address book format
- Iberian and Brazilian Portuguese spelling checker for OWA
If you want to know more:
Here are the must-reads for this weekend (by the way, it's going to be a sunny weekend here in Portugal, so I'll spend it at the beach):
William Lefkovics posted this one on the MS Exchange Blog.
The Definitive Guide to Exchange Disaster Recover and Availability is written by Microsoft Exchange expert Paul Robichaux, and is available as a free download from Content Central.
Chapter 1 - Basics of Exchange Protection - is now available. I guess you'll have to wait for the rest of the chapters.