Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 : Managing Mailboxes (part 1)

2/7/2015 3:10:25 AM

This first section on mailbox management tackles the most common tasks: creating, managing, and deleting mailboxes associated with a real user account. If you are upgrading from Exchange Server 2003 to Exchange Server 2010, the most important thing you need to learn up-front and immediately is that mailbox management tasks are no longer performed via extensions to Active Directory Users and Computers.

Clean Up the Exchange 2003 Management Consoles

An organization, STUV, had user account and Exchange mailbox administrators spread out across eight different offices in North America. After they completed their upgrade to Exchange Server 2010 and removed their Exchange 2003 servers, they frequently found that they were having problems with new users accessing their mailboxes.

A new user would be created, but the user was never able to access her mailbox. The user did not appear in the Global Address List (GAL), nor did she get email addresses. The problem continued to escalate to the corporate help desk but the "solution" they found was to move the mailbox to another database.

After much investigation, the corporate email administrator found that some of the remote user account administrators were still using the Exchange 2003 extensions to Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC). The Recipient Update Service (RUS) that took care of stamping a user account with email address and address list membership information no longer exists in Exchange Server 2010. The Exchange Server 2010 Management Console and the Exchange Management Shell take care of all these tasks the instant that the object is created rather than the RUS taking care of this a few seconds or minutes later. Thus, the ADUC extensions provided with Exchange 2003 no longer worked.

Rather than moving the mailboxes to another database, this issue could also have been fixed using the Exchange Management Shell and the Set-Mailbox cmdlet. The Set-Mailbox cmdlet has an -ApplyMandatoryProperties option that would fix this as well.

As administrators' areas of responsibility are moved from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010, their management tools should immediately be upgraded. The Exchange Server 2003 management tools must be removed, and administrators should be provided with a way to use the Exchange 2010 management tools, such as upgrading their desktop systems to an x64 operating system or accessing the tools via Remote Desktop to a Windows 2008 x64 Terminal Server.

The Exchange Management Console (EMC) allows you to associate a mailbox with an existing user in the Active Directory, or you can create the user account (if you have the necessary permissions). All mailbox management–related tasks handled within the Exchange Management Console are performed within the Mailbox subcontainer of the Recipient Configuration container, as shown in Figure 1. By default, all mailboxes in the entire organization are shown in this container.

The rules for mailbox ownership and associating an account with a mailbox have not changed since Exchange 2000. There are a few important things to keep in mind with respect to user account and mailbox management:

  • A user account can own only a single mailbox or a single mailbox and an archive mailbox associated with that mailbox.

  • A user account can be given permissions to other mailboxes.

  • Each mailbox must be associated with a user account that is in the same Active Directory forest as the Exchange server.

  • A single user account from another Active Directory forest can own a mailbox, but a user account in the Exchange server's home forest must still exist and be associated with the mailbox.

Figure 1. The Mailboxes subcontainer in the Exchange Management Console

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