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Managing the Messaging Infrastructure Lifecycle
6. (Part 1)Understanding Powershell with Exchange Management Shell
So I just clicked it, I waited for it to load, and here it is. Okay, now that Exchange is actually going to load your commands up into memory, Actually, in general, any time you use PowerShell, it's going to load your commands into memory. Okay? So I want to make sure we're very clear on PowerShell, because you 100% have to have a good understanding of PowerShell to grasp all of this and do some of the things that we're going to work with. So we're just going to make sure that we get all of that. And that way, throughout the course, you're going to be comfortable with working with PowerShell. Okay? So, the first order of business is to learn about PowerShell. PowerShell works off of a verb-noun system, okay? That means that when you run commands in PowerShell, you start with a word that is a verb, and then you use a dash, and then you use a noun. The verb describes the action you want to perform, and then the noun describes what you want to perform the action against. Some of the common verbs that you'll see are words like "get" if you want to get information,ually going to load your commands up into memory, Actually, in general, any time you use PowerShell, it's going to load your commands into memory. Okay? So I want to make sure we're very clear on PowerShell, because you 100% have to have a good understanding of PowerShell to grasp all of this and do some of the things that we're going to work with. So we're just going to make sure that we get all of that. And that way, throughout the course, you're going to be comfortable with working with PowerShell. Okay? So first order of business is to understand about PowerShell. PowerShell works off of a verb-noun system, okay? That means that when you run commands in PowerShell, you start with a word that is a verb, and then you use a dash, and then you use a noun. The verb describes the action you want to perform, and then the noun describes what you want to perform the action against. Some of the common verbs that you'll see are words like "get" if you want to get information, and "set" if you want to set information. Make a change to something, alter something, remove something if you want to delete something, and create something new if you want to create something new. Move if you want to move something; allright, rename if you want to rename something. So these are pretty common verbs that you would use in PowerShell. Okay? So let's say I want to get some information—let's say I want to get mailboxes on Exchange. So I'm going to type "get," all right? And then I'm going to put a dash, and then I'm going to put the noun that I want to perform this against. In my case, I'm going to do the word mailbox. Now I want to show you a little trick with PowerShell, if you're not really familiar with it. PowerShell is heavily reliant on something called IntelliSense, or, I should say, people who work with PowerShell are usually heavily reliant on IntelliSense. IntelliSense means that it can detect what I'm about to type. So I could actually type get, ma, and hit tab, and it's going to try to detect what I'm going to type. And as you can see, it put in mailbox. But if I hit tab again,I can tab through other commands. So one of the great things about PowerShell is you may have a very long command, but the good news is you don't have to type at all. You can use tab. Tab is your friend. Okay? So I can tab through that, and if I pass the command I'm looking for, I can hold down the shift key and hit tab again, and it will go backwards. Alright, so here I am going backwards; now there's a mailbox. I'm going to go ahead and hit Enter, all right? And slowly but surely it's going to query Exchange, and it's going to return mailbox information. Now I would also like to point out that outside of PowerShell, it's important to be able to get help information on your commands. So one of the things you can do there is you can pretty easily go through and type "get help" if you want on a particular command like "Get mailbox." All right, by the way, you'll notice that it did return my mailbox. I have a couple of mailboxes here. We don't have a lot of recipients yet because this is a fresh install of Exchange. But if I type "get help," get mailbox," and hit enter," it's going to return help information. Now it is going to ask you: would you like to update your help information from the online help documents? Normally I would say yes, but just for time purposes, I'm going to say no. I don't want it to do that. I just want you to show me the help information. Okay? So at that point, it's not going to do that. It's going to retrieve the help information and eventually display it on the screen. Okay? So here's the help information for you: Now I'll be honest; I'm not a huge fan of their help documents. At least reading them right here within PowerShell, I prefer to actually pull up their knowledge base articles because you're going to get a lot more information. So for example, if you actually just pull up a web browser and then just search for the commands you want help on, like I'm going to go to a search engine and I'm going to type "Get mailbox," Microsoft has a database full of Knowledge Base articles on pretty much any PowerShell command you could want. All right, here it is, right here. It uses the very first article in a search engine, Google being whatever, and you'll see it's a Docs.Microsoft.com article. So if I click that, I can go and view this help documentation, and it's going to give me a lot of valuable information. One thing I really love about it that you'll notice is that I can actually get examples. It'll tell me the different switches and the different parameters that I've got available, and it gives me examples. Okay? So when I say switches or when I say parameters, I'm talking about all of these things right here, these dashes, okay? So let me zoom in on that for you. So here are some examples. If I wanted to say Get mailbox, result size limitless, displays a summary list of all mailboxes in your organization. Obtain the users of the mailbox organisational unit. This is going to query a particular organisational unit and tell your mailboxes that are in that organisational unit. Some commands can require you to provide additional information in order to perform the action, okay? And you can get help through these knowledge base articles. So I encourage you to always pull up the knowledgebase articles and learn how to use the commands. Okay, so if we come back in here to PowerShell, I'll show you another example. We'll look at all the services that are running on our Exchange server right now. We'll type "get service." All right, let me cheat and just kind of type that quickly. Get service. Here's all the services that are running on my Exchange server right now: So look at all these Exchange services that are running, okay? Now as you may know, on servers and Windows computers in general, we have all these background services that make things run, right? Some of these are running, some of them are not. I can stop services. For example, if I wanted to stop a particular service Like, let's see, let's stop the print spooler service in Windows, which makes it where you can't print, right? So if I wanted to, let's look here, and we've got the Spooler service currently running, right? So I could say "stop service." Okay? And this is where I'm going to specify a parameter. The parameter is going to have a dash, so there'll be a space between the command line and the parameter. And then I'm going to hit Tab. So another great thing about IntelliSense is that you can actually tab through the parameters as well, okay? So I can tab through that if I want. And there's the name, and then I'm going to put Spooler. All right? and that's going to stop that service. So now if I type "get service again," there we go again. Type the full name out; you'll see that the Spooler service will be running this time, not this time because I stopped it, right? So if we look all right, we've got the Spooler service, and it is currently stopped. so we can start that back up. Now all we've got to do is simply change it to "start SERVICEName," and that's going to let me start this back up, right? So start serving. Hang on. My server is trying to catch up with my name, and we'll do Spooler, and it's going to start that back up for me. So again, it's now running. All right, so there are all sorts of commands here. I can say "get processed" if I want to. See all the processes that are running right now on my Exchange server. Here they are. Look at all those exchange processes that just flash by the screen. All right, so quite a few are there. Okay, so you really can utilise a lot of different PowerShell commands to see things that are going on. And what's great is that with PowerShell, you're grabbing entire objects' worth of data that you can manipulate if you want. So when I run get process, it's taking all these processes and loading them up into what's called a PowerShell object. And I could manipulate these; I could terminate all of them if I wanted to. Of course, that would cause a lot of problems if I did that, but I could. Okay. All right. There's a whole lot there that you can really do to control things. And PowerShell is a very intuitive systemif you take the time to learnthe way that the commands actually work. One thing I'd like to show you now is I'd liketo show you how you can find commands in PowerShell. I can type getcommand, hit Enter, and this is going to show you every command that's in memory right now on this Exchange server, okay? So as you can see, a lot of different commands are going to flash by the screen here. You're going to see a lot of different Exchange commands that will flash by the screen—a lot of generic commands. All right, let me show you how I can actually go in and narrow down what I'm looking for. Okay, let's say that I want to see every command that has the word mailbox. I can type "get command space noun" and then watch what happens if I just type "mailbox," or just not dash "mailbox," but just the word "mailbox." It's going to show you every command that's got the word mailbox in it or at least ends with the word mailbox. But check this out. If I hit the up arrow, it'll retype it, and I can use an asterisk I can see every command that starts with the word "mailbox." If I put "mailbox" in the star, I could see every command that ends with the word "mailbox." If I put "star mailbox," I could see every command that has a mailbox anywhere in the noun at all by doing "star mailbox." So check that out. Look at all the commands that show up now. Okay, you can further narrow things down. All right, let's say that I want to see every command that has the word mailbox as the noun, but I want to see every command that has the word remove as the verb. I can use the verb. I'll say remove, and you can see every command that now has the word remove and the word mailbox in it. So it really helps if you learn some of thoselittle tricks for being able to kind of narrow downand fix filter what's happening there in PowerShell. Okay? But definitely, this will help you with navigating a little bit, trying to find the command you want, and then, of course, getting help on those commands.
7. (Part 2)Understanding Powershell with Exchange Management Shell
I'd now like to show you two of the most powerful things that PowerShell brings to the table. Okay? Number one, PowerShell comes with its own scripting language. PowerShell is a programming language, and you can declare variables with PowerShell. You can store those in memory, and you can call those variables anytime you want. I could, for example, say dollar sign mailbox. Assume dollar sign mailbox, is mailboxes equal?, get mailbox, and enter. It will collect every mailbox in ExchangeRight now and store it in this variable. This variable is now in memory, and I can call upon it and see the output. And as you can see, those are your objects right there. Okay. that it's actually found. And the great thing about Exchange, and I'm sorry, PowerShell and its programming capabilities, its scripting capabilities, is that it's not just storing the text like some other operating systems that are out there. It's storing the entire object. And the entire object can be manipulated through this variable. Okay? So in fact, I can actually do this. I can support piping, so I can say dollar sign mailboxes, and I can pipe this over and say format this as a list. Right now it's formatted as a table. I'm going to say "formatted as a list." In other words, show it in list view, not table view. So what is piping? Piping is taking the output from one command, or a variable in this case, which is really just the data from that command, and then attaching it to the input of another command. Okay, so I can go here and hit Enter, and it's going to reformat the objects in there and show me everything as a list. Okay, so it's now going through the process of processing that. And look, look at all this information! See, you aren't seeing all this information when you look at it as a table view because the table view of the object just gives you a summary of the information. This is showing you everything. The great thing about PowerShell is that when you create a variable and you store objects in memory, you're storing all of them. You're not just storing a piece of it. Okay? All right. Another thing I could do is hit the up arrow here, pipe it again, and say outfile clog text if I wanted to. This is going to a pipe, and it's going to take this output and dump it in a file called log text. So I'm going to hit Enter, and it just did it. If I actually pull up File Explorer on my server, I can go in and actually view that file and notice that it's put it all in this text file for me on the C drive. Okay, so look at all this information I can get. Okay, so really cool, really great capability. All right, there are a few of these options. This is where you have the ability to exit. In grid view, for example, this is a nice one. If you hit Enter, it actually puts it in a grid view for you. It can't be in list view for that. Whoops, let me fix that. So let's do that. All right. and look what you get. This is kind of neat. It puts it in a grid view for you, and you can actually have it display certain pieces of information if you want. You can add conditions to the information that you see. So that's kind of neat. But here's the thing. You can write scripts and all that stuff directly in PowerShell. But PowerShell comes with its own scripting environment called the ISE. I'm going to type "ISE" for Integrated Scripting Environment. Okay. And the integrated scripting environment is going to let you write scripts, and it's going to kind of baby you through the process of writing a script. So here we are in the integrated scripting environment. I'm going to drop this little script option down here so I can see everything and actually be able to write my script if I want. So, let's say I wanted to write a script that would allow me to view the event log on my server, so I could type get EventLog. All right? And then I can say "Login name notice. It's going to show me the parameters that are available. I can actually see all the parameters that are availablefor get log here's the parameters that are available. kind of babies, you'll get through it. All right? Then if you hit space, I love this. It actually shows me all the logs that are on the server right now. So I can go through here and choose a particular log. Maybe I want to see the Exchange Management Log. Okay? And then I can say "newest" and we'll say "ten results." So it's going to show me the newest ten results. I'm going to hit play, and it's going to show me where it is. I got the newest ten results, and in my case, I've got some apparent errors, but we'll deal with that later. All right, but the newest ten results And there it is. You'll notice it is a table view. If I wanted to output this to a listview, I could say to "format as a list," and then it would format it as a list. And I could do that exchangelog text again if I wanted to pipe it to that out file command. And then I'll hit Play, and it's going to format it and put it inside that Exchange logtext file right there on my C drive. And I can now go through and see all of this information, so I can actually look at those errors and find out what those errors are actually all about. Okay, in this case, it looks like some public folder messages were a migration message. So there's nothing too hardcore there. But I could troubleshoot that later if I wanted to. Okay, so the ISC is a great tool if you're wanting to write scripts. This is not really a scripting class, so I'm not going to get into too much depth there. But definitely, if you wanted to write scripts, you could. Okay. Using the ISE, I can go to "File, Save As," and I can save this script and reuse it later if I want. Okay, so the next thing I want to show you is that PowerShell is incredibly powerful. You can run commands against other servers. Okay, so I'm on the Exchange Server here. I can actually hit my domain control right now if I want. So if I type "Get service," like I was talking about doing earlier, "get service," I can say, "Computernamenycdc One." This is going to show me the services that are running on NYCDC One right now. As you can see, if I want to see the processes, I could say "get process" on ComputerNameDC One, and it's going to show me the processes that are running on that server. As you can see, I have some Active Directory stuff going on there because that is the domain controller. All right? Now here's one of my favourite things. Check this out. I can type in a PS session. All right. Computernamenycdc one. And I'm now going to remote into my domain controller. Okay, so it's actually connecting right now. All right? And as you can see, take a look at what the message over here says on the left side of the screen. Okay? So check this out. Everything that I do is actually happening on NCDC One. If I create a folder, I'm going to create a folder called Test Folder on that server. Now if I actually jump over to Nycdc-1, that folder should exist over on that server. Okay, so here I am on Nycdc 1. Open up File Explorer, go to my C drive, and as you can see, the test folder is there. Now, what allows somebody to connect from one computer to the other using PowerShell? It's a service called the Win RM service. If I actually go to Tools in Server Manager and locate services here, I can go down and find the Win RM service. The Win RM service stands for Windows Remote Management. That service must be running on the server in order for you to connect with PowerShell. Okay, so Windows Remote Management is the name of that server. Let me just browse by alphabetical order here; that'll actually make things a little easier for me. So Windows Remote Management There it is, right there. If I was to stop this service, I would not be able to remote into this machine. The other thing is, your firewall on this machine must not be blocking port 59.85 if you're using HTTP and port 59.86 if you're using HTTPS, which is the encrypted version of HTTP. Okay. There's also a quick way that you can force a computer to open up that service and support PowerShell. All right? If you go to the command prompt on your server, you can type this command: win RM quick config. All right, so I could type that command. It's going to make sure that the service is running, and it's going to make sure the ports are open, which, of course, on my domain controller they are. So we're good. If you want to enable Windows remote management on a large scale, you can use group policies to do that. You could deploy that to a bunch of machines out in your domain and have that turned on on all those machines. Okay? So, hopefully, that gives you a good understanding, a solid foundation in PowerShell. We're going to be using some of the techniques as we work with PowerShell in this class; it's very important that we have a decent understanding of how PowerShell is going to work and how we can remote into machines and utilise machines and all of that. Okay? So Exchange is definitely going to heavily use PowerShell to manage a lot of things, especially when you do batch operations. So it's obviously great for us to try to build that good foundation. And I'll be referring back to some of the techniques that we've learned in this section.
Managing Modern Messaging Infrastructure
1. Working with Microsoft Exchange Databases
Microsoft Exchange is going to be storing all of the different mail that users are going to be receiving, both inbound and outbound, into what's called a mailbox database. Now, this is nothing new. If you've been around with Exchange for a long time, you might know that they call these mailbox databases. Of course, in the early days of Exchange, they used to call them mailbox stores, which they now call mailbox databases or mailbox database stores. So what is a mailbox database? It's a logical object. It's a unit that's stored on a hard drive in a database file. And that database file is called an EDV file. All right? And these EDV files are now not only for mailbox databases; you're going to see that they actually store public folders now as well. So it used to be in the early days of Exchange, too. We'd have to create a separate public folder database from our mailbox database. Now Microsoft has pretty much just merged all these things together. Okay, so you have a bunch of different kinds of files that are going to be involved in the mailbox database as well. And another thing you can do is each mailbox databasein Exchange 2016 and 2019 has its own properties. So we're going to look at how we can configure some of the different rules and capabilities of each one of these databases. and you'll actually be doing that. You can do that with the graphical tool, the EAC, which is the Exchange Administrative Center, or you can use the EMS, which is the Exchange Management Shell, which of course is PowerShell. Right. Now what are the different files that you've got involved here? The mailbox database itself is called an EDB file. That's going to be the main file that stores your mailbox information, right? You've also got a transaction log file, or actually, you have a lot of transaction log files that get created over a period of time if you're not familiar with transaction logs and databases. One thing that's interesting about transaction logs is that you're going to find that transaction logs actually store information before it actually makes its way to a database. So information will be written to the transaction log, and then it'll get written to the database. I'm going to draw this out for you here in a second. So you'll see where I'm going with that. Another thing that comes into play is called a checkpoint file. The checkpoint file keeps track of the tasks that are being written to the log into the database, and it confirms what has been committed from the log into the database. This is extremely useful in the event that the Exchange server was in the middle of doing something and had committed it to the log and was about to commit it to the database when the server's power went out. Okay, maybe you had a UPS hooked up to the server, but the UPS failed. Because the battery died or something, and the power went out unexpectedly, you could end up with corrupted or missing data. But what happens is that your checkpoint file keeps track of what's been written to the log and what's been written to the database. And the great thing about that is, if something wasn't committed to the database and the server went down or whatever, it got committed to the log. As soon as the server comes back online, it can go into the log and check the checkpoint file and say, "Oh, I didn't get to commit this to the database yet." So then it would commit it to the database and check it off in the checkpoint file. Okay. Another file you've got is the temporary file. The temp file is going to store things that are being written in a temporary memory space while things are happening. So this is just a file that's basically helping you process things through.As it writes to the database log, it handles everything in memory. The last set of files you've got are called reserve log files. And you'll notice they always start with an "E," and then there'll be a number, followed by an "R," and so on and so forth. And these take up a certain amount of hard drive space, just in case you were to run out of hard drive space. Imagine what would happen if we were right in the middle of doing something, like having a bunch of email flowing in, and then all of a sudden the hard drive ran out of space. Okay? And then what ends up happening is the server cannot commit the information that's supposed to be written to the hard drive because it runs out of space. So you have a couple of these reserve log files, and what they do is you have a couple forever databases, and what they do is they've already conserved a certain amount of memory in that way or a certain amount of hard drive space in that way. If you run out of hard drive space, the server can continue writing what it needs to write into those log files, JRS log files, and log files. And what happens after it's written to those log files is that, because they've already reserved space on the hard drive, it can shut down the database and prevent anyone from writing anything until you free up some hard drive space. Okay, so this is what your reserve log files do. They already take up a certain amount of space in that way. That space is already reserved and the changes that arebeing made, even if the hard drive runs out ofspace, it can go ahead and commit those changes. Okay? Now the other thing I want to say is that you really shouldn't have to mess with these files a whole lot. You really shouldn't have to change these files a lot. At most, the only thing you're really going to want to care about is making sure stuff is backed up, okay? Not only should you pay attention to your database, but also to your transaction logs. Because believe it or not, you can actually recover your database from your transaction logs. Everything that is written in the database is written in your transaction logs, and basically, if you lose your database, you can replay those logs and have that database recreated. Okay? All right, so what I want to do now is sort of walk through what the steps are that are actually happening with the database. I'm just going to kind of draw that out for you. Now we'll start with this: we've got an exchange server here. We're going to call this Ex One. So Exchange Server One is here. And Exchange Server One receives a message. Okay? So an email is coming in via the client transport services and the client access role, correct? So, when that email arrives at your email server, it must now commit it to the database. There's going to be a few things that have to happen. All right? So the first thing that's going to happen here is that I've got to write the message. Where is it going to write the message? Okay, it'll write the message in two places. The message is going to get written into what's called "memory cache." So it's going to go into RAM, right? So it can be processed, and it's going to be part of the temporary file we talked about. And then from there, it's also going to be written to the transaction log. So the transaction log is going to get this before the database ever gets it, okay? And then, after it's successfully added to the transaction log, at that point, that's when it's actually going to make its way into the database. Okay? So step three here is that it's actually going to get written to the database. Let me just kind of draw a little database symbol here. This is going to be the mailbox database that I've got, all right? And that's, of course, going to be your little EDB file and all that. So this is our mailbox database—mailbox DB, all right? And of course, if you've got Dags and all that, Dags will play a role in this as it gets into database availability groups, which we're going to cover the concepts of a little bit later. But it gets committed to the database. Now the other thing that happens after that is that we have to think about the checkpoint file. So we have a checkpoint file, all right. Let's say CHK checkpoint, and it's got to update that checkpoint file and confirm that both the transaction log and your database have both gotten the information in it. Okay? So that is going to be the fourth thing that happens. Now, finally, after all that's occurred, at that point, a client can actually receive that information. So at that point, somebody could be using Outlook, they could use Outlook on the web, whatever, and your user can actually check their email, get their email, and access that. So that whole process, from start to finish, is happening on your Exchange server, writing to the cash transaction log. It goes into the database, updates the checkpoint file, and then at that point, somebody who wants to check their email can actually get the email. So Outlook could actually receive the email. But that is not going to happen. Outlook is not going to receive that email until that checkpoint file has been updated and confirmed and everything has gone through successfully. Okay, so that's sort of your beginning to end. between receiving the email on the Exchange server and committing it to the hard drive in the database and then allowing the client to get it.
2. Considerations for Databases and Logs
So if you looked at the previous lesson, you saw the concepts of databases and how databases interact with transaction logs and all that. I want to talk about the considerations for database logs and all that. So first things first, We know that when you make changes, the changes occur in the database transaction log first before they get committed to the actual database. And the checkpoint file is going to help mark that the change has been made. Your log files themselves are about 1 megabyte piece, one megapiece.So it's storing the information; all the text, everything, goes into that log. The transaction did occur and was written to the database, and it just keeps continually creating more transaction logs as time goes on. So as that one byte fills up, it creates another log and adds another number to it. Okay? and we'll take a look. I'll show you the files that come up. But it just keeps adding more numbers, and you get more logs. It does not delete the logs automatically. Okay? You definitely do not want to delete all of your logs because you can recover your database from your logs. Okay? So some of the other considerations are that you should definitely try to keep things backed up. You can keep your database backed up. You can keep your logs backed up. It is not as critical to keep your logs backed up if you are using what is called a DAG. A DAG is a database availability group. Coming up, we're going to have a big lesson on that. We're going to talk about how DAGs are sort of the premier way of providing redundancy for our databases through exchange. It has been in the last few versions of Exchange. Okay? So DAGs are a hugely important capability that's going to give us redundancy. And of course, if we're using DAGs and we've got a large amount of redundancy for our databases, then we don't necessarily have to keep our transaction logs constantly backed up or in a dedicated place. You can move them, though, if you want. You can move your logs to a different location and put them on solid state or something to get a little bit better performance. But it's not as critical if you've got tags, and we have to keep all of those logs backed up all the time. You've also got transaction logs that can be placed using Raid. So if you're using a Regenerative Independent Disk and you want some extra fault tolerance, you can store that on a Raid Disk as well. Okay? The big thing too, though, is that these are one-meg files, and they just keep adding more files over time. You've got to make sure you have enough disc space to handle that. And the other thing is, do not implement any kind of compression for those logs, okay? Anytime you're dealing with database technologies and all that, if you're dealing with transaction logs, I don't care if it's Exchange, I don't care if it's SQL, and I don't care what it is. You should never use compression with those. When you back up data somewhere off of the server, it's okay to use compression then, but not with the actual live versions of those files. Okay? Now, as far as storage options go, in exchange for storing your database or your logs, there are different options. The two main options people go with are Dazz or San. So, what exactly is Das? DAZZ is direct-attached storage. Okay, chances are, you are probably sitting in front of a computer right now that uses Das. A disc is simply a hard drive that's attached to your computer or multiple hard drives that are attached to your reader. Now, this is a very low-cost solution because hard drives are relatively inexpensive. Unless you opt for a higher level of solid state storage, it's likely that it's already built into your computer. You price out most servers you buy. It's going to come with hard drive space, and all of that is already going to come with hard drives. It's easy to implement because, well, most of the time it's already there. And the other consideration is that they tell you there are distributed failure points. So this is where you run into a problem with Das. You can actually use raid and all that to provide redundancy, but if the whole server fails or something, you're in trouble at that point, right? So if you really want high availability, they recommend using a storage area network. The disadvantage of a storage area network is that it is expensive. Okay? You can go with a name brand like Fiber Channel. You're going to pay a lot of money for fiber-channel equipment. Another option is to use ISCUZZI, which is less expensive than Fiber Channel. And actually, you can get about the same performance in a lot of cases with IceCzech that you can get with Fiber Channel. But the idea of a storage area network is to have equipment that is distributed in different places. I could have my storage in my server room stored in a different place than where my servers are. It can run off fiber. You can even have your storage stored in a different office altogether if you want. You can have multiple servers that are accessing the same storage, and that way you've got a good failover solution. If servers fail or if something happens to the cables, even if the storage fails, you can provide redundancy for all that. So the goal of a storage area network is a separate network that is built specifically to provide high availability for your storage. Okay? Now I want to introduce you to a new feature that they've added. This is an Exchange 2019 feature. We didn't have this with Exchange 2016 or earlier. It's called the MCDB—Medicare database. And the Medicare database is a feature that allows you to use solid state. If you put solid state drives in your machines, you can actually utilise this MCDB feature. It is an indexing feature that indexes the information within a database to give you a higher throughput in locating data within that database. All right, so you get a lower performance cost. It reduces the CPU overhead by indexing all your data and storing it on a solid-state drive. so it uses less memory. They tell you it actually gives you 250 percent faster search and log-on information processes than they actually occur. You get better IOPS (input outputs per second). They claim that it will make your mail access two to three times faster. Okay? And percentage wise, as far as the user load itself, they tell you that you're going to have 20% more user load on the same server as compared to previous versions of Exchange. So this can be a really great feature that can be implemented to give you better performance out of your databases. Another thing we have is that I'm going to demonstrate all of this by the way here. Coming up, we're going to look at creating and managing databases. And of course, there are multiple ways to do that. One being the graphical way, which is the Exchange Management Center, which is the EAC, and then the other way would be to use the PowerShell method, which is going to be EMS, right? Now. Again, this has sort of been the way it has been ever since Exchange 2007 came out. The graphical tool cannot do the more advanced things or have the more advanced capabilities. In exchange, we're going to require you to use the Management Shell for that. So it kind of forces you to learn PowerShell, whether you want to or not. You're going to be using that EMS a good bit. Okay, one of the first things they tell you is that you can't use the EAC to move mailbox databases. So if you want to do that, you have to learn the Exchange Management Shell commands. So we're going to look at some of the PowerShell commands coming up here, just four common ones that people use. You have a new mailbox database, a new dash mailbox database, which is going to let you create a mailbox database if you want one and which is going to let you see all the mailbox databases. You have an Exchange; you have a set mailbox database, which is going to let you modify the parameters of that database and change information about that database.Finally, there's the one we were just discussing, the move database path, which will allow you to move a mailbox database. So all in all, you can see that there's a lot here that involves databases. We're going to definitely get into how to do that graphically using the EAC and PowerShell, and I'm going to walk through all that with you guys coming up in these next sections.
3. Using iSCSI for Accommodating Database Storage
I'd like to talk now about using ISCUZZY in order to accommodate your database storage. So we spoke a little bit about Isguzzi in my previous lecture, and I talked about storage area networks and how we can store our information somewhere else. We don't actually have to store our mailbox database on our Exchange Server, which can be very convenient if you've got a couple of servers that have a large amount of data. Now you can go full-blown fiberchannel and use all proprietary equipment, fiberchannel switches, and fiber-optic cable. But Microsoft actually has a relatively inexpensive solution for companies that really can't afford to go to that level of hardware. So what you can actually do is get yourself a couple of file servers and implement what's known as an ISCUZZY target, and your Exchange Server can utilise those file servers for its mailbox database storage. Okay? And you can have a nice backup solution for that and keep all of that going. So I want to just kind of explain this concept to you. I'm going to draw it out for you. And of course, "is cozy" is something that can pop up on the exam. So understanding how it works is important for that as well. Okay? So to start with, we're going to use a couple of servers here. And the first server is going to be a file server. And that file server has a lot of storage in it.So you have connected lots of hard drive space—hard disc drive space or solid state? Either way, ideally, you want solid state because you're going to get a lot of performance out of that, right? So you're going to have lots and lots of space on this drive available for the storage of Exchange databases. Okay? We are going to install a role called the Eyescuzzy Target, which is the File and Storage Services role and is going to accommodate a feature role service called the Iscuzzy Target. And that is why Gaze Target is going to be the connection that is going to happen between your Exchange Server and the Iscuzzy Target server, which is going to be your file server. Okay? Now granted, guys, you could use a NAS for this as well. If you went out and purchased some NAS equipment, you could use that instead. But Microsoft's Eyes Target service is free of charge. It is part of the deal. You buy a server and licence the server. Target includes ice cream as part of the package. Okay? So I'm going to have a Server 2019 box here, all right? And I'm going to install the IscosyTarget service on that box, okay? Granted, it doesn't have to be Server 2019. You can go all the way back to, like, Server 2008 R2, I believe, and be an Iscasi Target server. But in my case, I'm using Windows Server 2019. And then of course, we have our Exchange Server. Okay? So this is going to be our Exchange server. In this case, ExOne is our Exchange server. All right? And we want to store our mailbox database over on that Iscuzzy Target server. To do this, you must have connectivity between the two computers so that you can use a network switch. And of course, in a perfect world, we would have fibre optics, right? So you want to connect it with something like fibre optic cable. Do you have to have fibre optics? Absolutely not. You do not have to have fibre optics. But of course you're going to get the best performance if you do, right? Okay. And you can even have two nicks and two fibre optics, and you can actually have NIC teaming for redundancy on your nicks. You can do a bunch of things there, okay? But now the next thing that's going to happen is once I've got my Icecuzzy Target set up, the Icecuzzy Target is going to set up something called a V disk, a virtual disk, okay? And that virtual disc is where Ex One is actually going to store its data. Okay? The V disc can actually span multiple hard drives if you want. Even Microsoft has a solution called Storage Spaces, where you can span as many hard drives as you want. You can do what's called "just a bunch of disks," if you've heard of that before. But you have a bunch of disks; you plug them into your server, and you have a bunch of space that's spanning all those disks. You could set it up in a raid format. I could do what's called parity, which is like grade five. I can do mirroring. So you can actually set a bunch of stuff up on that server and provide redundancy and fault tolerance for this data. Okay, granted, as I've said before, if we've got multiple Exchange servers, we can use a DAG, which is a database availability group, which is going to give us redundancy as well. And again, I am going to talk about Dags pretty thoroughly. Coming up here a little bit later, we'll go into all the concepts there as well as what you need to know for the test and all that good stuff. Okay. Now, this server, this Exchange Server Exchange, in this case, is going to be Exchange 2019, but it really doesn't matter. It could be an earlier version of Exchange as well. Is Cozy has been around for a while, but I'm switching to Exchange 2019. This is going to be called the Isguzzy Initiator. Now, that is something that's very important. You need to be aware of that. The Exchange Server is the thing connecting to the target. The Exchange Server is the initiator, and the server on the other end, the file server on the other end that's hosting the data, is going to be the IceCaps, the target. So make sure you get that straight in your head if you're taking the exam. They'll expect you to understand that the Exchange server is the initiator, and the server on the other end hosting the storage is the target server. Okay? Okay. Now, keeping in mind that, if you wanted to, you could go to a whole other level. You could have multiple servers, multiple switches, and multiple fibre optic cables, and you could go all-out into providing yourself with a very redundant storage area network. Okay? All right, so what I'm going to be doing now in this next little section is I'm actually going to demonstrate setting up IceCourt so that we can host our mailbox databases over here on the server. Now, in my little lab environment, this server here is going to be Nycdc One. He's going to be my file server. Now, he is a DC; ordinarily in the real world, I wouldn't use a DC, but for my lab environment, I'm going to use my domain controller. He's going to be my file server. Okay? And of course, in my lab environment, my Exchange server is Nycx One. So you're going to see me set up the domain controller with the Ice Cozy target coming up here. And then the Exchange server is going to be my IceCozy initiator. So hopefully this gives you a good idea of how everything will fit together. And in this next little section, I'm going to set it up.
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