Archive for August, 2011


With a lot of modern routers (ISA, Watchguard, etc..) we can put some proxy actions for publishing services. What’s the advantage? We can monitor the entire conversation between the client and our web server. Just like client outbound proxies, however, there can be some mishaps.

One good example is how a WebDav server can behave under a http proxy, you may get mixed results. OWA (Outlook Web Access) is a WebDav server for IE clients, and sometimes you may get errors like not being able to see your inbox, but you can see your folders just fine, or Active Sync just not working at all.

First lets look at the OWA error. In my example, I’m using a Watchgaurd XTM firewall with a HTTPS proxy to publish OWA. With the Proxy’s default values, we can log into OWA, but showing anything in the inbox keeps a “loading…” message. In order to make the inbox come up, we need to add a simple checkbox:

Remote Desktop Connection

Which bypasses proxy actions to allow WEBdav.

Next, lets look at ActiveSync. ActiveSync will just not work with watch guard’s default HTTPS proxy. The best way to diagnose it to try to go to the ActiveSync web page:

Watchguard http proxy  Google Images

With this, we need to allow the “Option” method in the HTTP protocol:

Watchguardhttpoption

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I recently got myself a Mac Mini (mid-2011) to act as a Media Center, and as a server for my home environment. I will admit, things were not as smooth as I anticipated..

Apart from not having control of DHCP and DNS from the default Server.app (not that I’m bitter), having to download the remote server admin tools to control open directory.. The Time Machine server function never “just worked” for me.

On the server.app, setup is plainly simple. Choose your Disk, and turn it on:

NewImage

So the setup is practically seamless. How does another Mac backup to the time machine server? The server uses bonjour to broadcast the backup service. What’s presented to your Mac is a share on the server called “Backups”:

System Preferences

What SHOULD happen is backups over Wifi, pretty cool! One problem, troubleshooting this thing is not user friendly AT ALL, as in my case:

All Messages

What does “NAConnectToServerSync failed with error: 80” mean?

Of course, Lion is brand spanking new, so googling for help was useless (especially for lion server), Turns out, my password that I was using was the culprit.

In my password, I had a special character “$”. This messes with the mount_AFP command that is issued to backup. The Solution? Create a Backup user without special characters for its password.

Now, with this considered, I find this HORRIBLE! How, in this day and age, not allow special characters for passwords in order for stuff to work? It’s beyond me. A lot of my server experience has been a big mess. In windows when I DCPROMO a server, it installs DNS, why is DNS and DHCP so buried in the settings.. I don’t get it..

Hopefully Apple can get on this and put the same Quality Control it does like its consumer products.. Hell, 50$ Server License for all your Macs, you can pretty much call it a consumer product.

Remember the good old days when you wanted to export an e-mail account out of exchange for archiving, or just general backup purpose? We admins needed to install EXMERGE!
Exmerge was, and still is, a blessing to admin’s everywhere, it was a powerful tool that gave you more control of exporting or importing mailboxes in exchange, packaging everything up in a nice .PST file so you can re-import, or open it up with outlook. Let’s face facts though, by today’s standards, its not the most elegant/modern solution going. I was happy to see that Microsoft added this functionality in exchange 2010 through Powershell, and no Outlook required!

First off, we need to add your AD account as part of the mailbox import export role, lets fire up the Exchange Management Shell and type up:

New-ManagementRoleAssignment –Role “Mailbox Import Export” –User domain\AdministratorAccount

Before we start exporting and importing, there is one small snag, we need to use network shares for output and input of pst files. Of course, it can be a share within the exchange server itself. (Make sure you have full read and write permissions on the share!)

So lets start with Exporting.

When your importing or exporting, you issue a request, think of it as moving a mailbox in the Exchange Management Console. The request holds the status of the job, even when the job fails or completes.

To start an export request:

New-MailboxExportRequest -Mailbox user -FilePath “\\server\share\user.pst”

This will issue an export request.. now what? We can list the export request by issuing:

get-mailboxexportrequest

There is a more detailed output:

get-mailboxexportrequeststatistics

this is good, but now i want the full details of the request I just made:

get-mailboxexportrequeststatistics -identity user\mailboxexport | fl

If we want to create a mailbox import request, its the same commands, but just change “export” to “import”

New-MailboximportRequest -Mailbox user -FilePath “\\server\share\user.pst”

get-mailboximportrequest

get-mailboximportrequeststatistics

get-mailboximportrequeststatistics -identity user\mailboximport | fl