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The Top Ten Topics You Need to Know to Pass the 70-662 Exam, Part 2

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With any Microsoft certification exam, there are certain topics that show up in multiple questions. There are also topics that are easy to overlook as you are studying for an exam because the topics might seem insignificant. In either case, it is difficult to pass a Microsoft certification exam without knowledge of such topics. This article follows Part One and discusses ten additional areas that you need to study in order to pass the Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 exam.

In this second part of The Top Ten topics you need to know about the 70-662 Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 (read Part One here, Configuring exam, we are going to look a bit further at the likely exam topics and new features. As with many Microsoft products, there are versions which show that there is a good idea in the making, and there are versions which take that idea and develop it into what its predecessors should have been. In short, Exchange Server 2010 is like a good version of Exchange Server 2007, many of the features like DAG's and Unified Comms have been developed further and the look and feel of the product is generally better. That said it is by no means perfect, but it has come a long way since the brilliant Exchange Server 2003. If this is your first Exchange-based exam, then you may well find it easier than the Admins who were familiar with the very different Exchange 2000/2003 family. Either way, this exam is one of the best and most important qualifications you can take in the Microsoft world of examinations, as e-mail is firmly established as a core application for any company, and Exchange Server is the most common choice for businesses worldwide. So here are another ten reasons why it is so good and what you'll need to know to master Exchange 2010 and the exam.

1. Outlook Anywhere

Outlook Anywhere is the now more marketable name for RPC over HTTPS that it was known as in Exchange 2003. In essence, this is the same application as its predecessor; you still need to enable RPC over HTTPS on the Client Access Server, you still need to be at least Windows XP Service Pack 2, and you are still required to use an SSL certificate in order to encrypt the connection between the Server and the client. One of the new features designed to ease the complexity of setting up Outlook and Outlook Anywhere is autodiscover. You will see autodiscover pop up throughout your Exchange 2010 studies. Make sure that you are familiar with how autodiscover works inside your network (using the Active Directory to connect to the right Exchange Server), and externally using your external DNS (and more specifically the SRV DNS record).

Powershell tip: To set up Outlook Anywhere via the EMS:

Set-OutlookAnywhere "Servername\RPC (Default Web Site) -DefaultAuthenticationMethod NTLM

2. Outlook Web App

Outlook Web App (OWA) is the new name for Outlook Web Access in Exchange 2010. This has moved on a long way since its Exchange 2003 days, and if you are using the latest Internet Explorer 9 browser, the functionality is very close to an Outlook client. However, for the exam, you will need to know OWA in a bit more detail than just its interface. The EMC offers a host of management features, which allow you to manage the use of Outlook Web Access within your organization, called segmentation features. From here you can disable public folder access, access to e-mail files and folders, and the signature settings. You can also manage a file based permission called "Web Ready Document Viewing." This allows certain document extensions to be viewed via the web browser through your OWA session. For the exam, make sure you familiarize yourself with the allowed file types and why you would enable web-ready viewing in the first place.

3. Sending and receiving

Ultimately, this is what your Exchange Server needs to able to do: send and receive e-mails to and from users. In order to enable this to function successfully, you need to establish your send and receive connectors. The hub transport role in Exchange 2010 users the send connector role within the Organization node in order to send the e-mail outside of the company. As with Exchange 2003, you need to define what address space is allowed to send e-mails from the connector, whether or not they are to be relayed to a secure smart host or sent via DNS, and also other features such as the size limit of e-mails going out. If you have had any experience with setting up the Exchange 2003 SMTP connector, then studying the send connector is very much the same.

In contrast to send connectors, receive connectors accept the e-mail into the company based on the allowed networks, authentication, and transport rules that you setup. If an exam question suggests changing the receiving port for your e-mail, or suggests relaying between transport servers on the network, the receive connector is where you should be looking to set this.

4. Mailbox varieties

Another development from Exchange Server 2003 is the variety of mailboxes available. Previously you would have a standard mailbox, a group mailbox or a shared mailbox. In order to further expand the shared mailbox feature, Exchange 2010 introduces the resource mailbox. As this is a new feature, it is a possible exam question in waiting. The important facts to remember are that there are three varieties of resource mailbox[md]room, equipment, and shared. These can all be created in the EMC, and you can set the automatic scheduling and acceptance features here as well. Also bear in mind that if you want to convert an existing mailbox, you can only do this in the EMS using this command:

Set-mailbox [mailbox name] -type [Resource Type]

One of the big changes in Exchange 2010 is the introduction of the archive mailbox feature. This allows users to have an additional mailbox that is held on the server, which holds their archive e-mail rather than have it exported to their local PC in the form of a .PST file. The archive feature is enabled via the EMC during the user’s creation or from the action menu once they have been created.

5. Public folders...They are still there

Since the advent of Windows Sharepoint, Microsoft has tried to reduce the use of public folders within a company environment. However, they remain useful for many Exchange features when it comes to sharing data, so it is important you still cover them in your exam studies. Exchange 2007 introduced Exchange public folders as an optional requirement, so the management console for them is within the Toolbox sub-console. In terms of the exam, much of the emphasis is around creating the Public folder and then allowing subsequent access to the folders as needed, and ensuring you can sync content between other Exchange Servers and versions. When it comes to exam questions on public folders, watch out for Exchange connectivity issues with Outlook 2003 clients. Outlook 2003 is now considered a legacy client and has a number of problems when connecting to Exchange 2010, one of the main ones being that it requires public folders to manage the Offline Address Book.

6. Powershell[md]Part Two

As I discussed in Part One, Powershell is an important feature in Exchange 2010. When you open the EMC, you are also opening an EMS session, which is running in the background. One of the nice features of Exchange 2010’s EMC is that when you make a change, the console displays the Powershell syntax used to carry this out. If you have a lab environment where you can test this out, it makes for great learning tool as it bridges the gap between the graphical interface and the plain text box. Another helpful tool is using the tab key; this enables you to autocomplete the syntax by scrolling through commands of the same letter in order to find the right one. As stated in Part One, you will learn by doing when it comes to mastering the EMS.

7. Anti=Spam

Exchange 2010 carries on the Exchange 2007 feature of its own antivirus and anti-spam engine. Although you should always use a third party solution, many Anti Spam products on the market will be designed to work with the pre-installed Microsoft software. As you will be taking a Microsoft exam you can expect any Microsoft features that would normally be handled by a third party to make an exam appearance, if just to get the word out to admins it exists. Make yourself familiar with the Powershell script that is run in order to install the anti-spam software:

Cd C:\Program files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\v14\Scripts
.\install -AntiSpamAgents.ps1

Restart the Exchange Transport Service.

8. Virtualization considerations

Although not strictly part of the Exchange exam topic, it is an important consideration within any infrastructure exam due to the increasing popularity of virtualization and its features. Although there are other providers of virtual software for the exam, you would only be questioned on Microsoft Hyper-V for obvious reasons. The roles most suited to virtualization are the hub transport and Client Access Server roles, as they don't have a high demand in disk usage in comparison to the mailbox server role, which, due to its design, has very high I/O rates. One of the benefits of virtualization is the high availability and fault tolerance features, which ensure servers are constantly available. However, Exchange 2010 doesn't support the high availability feature on the CAS or HT roles, and Microsoft recommends the Database Availability Groups (see Part One) for maintaining high client availability for the mailbox server role. As I said at the start of this section, don't spend too long on studying virtualization for the exam, but be aware of its involvement within an Exchange infrastructure.

9. Best practice

One of the main rules of thumb to follow when you are taking your Microsoft exams is that you follow best practice as Microsoft outlines in their study materials. This applies to any Microsoft or technical exam, but make sure you check the source of your study materials and avoid brain dumps. When it comes to managing Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 in the real world, it is common that Exchange setups vary considerably from company to company. There may be a large company that requires multiple Client Access servers with Database Availability Groups on the mailbox servers, and they send out via an Edge server. Alternatively, you may have a single server, which is running on a small business operating system and running all of the server roles. Regardless of the setup, the principles of Exchange still apply; keep this in mind when you are faced with the various exam question scenarios.

10. POP and IMAP

The POP and IMAP features within Exchange 2010 Server are not really the preferred methods of connecting your clients to Exchange, but they are a valid alternative, which means that they could make an exam question appearance. One of the main reason’s POP and IMAP are not as favored as the traditional SMTP method is down to security and lack of features. The POP protocol is an older protocol, and as a result can be considered as a possibly weak security area in Exchange. It is unlikely that you will get many POP or IMAP questions that don’t involve the port numbers so make sure you know them: POP3 is port number 110, and IMAP is port number 143. One of the main reasons POP and IMAP are less favored is because they don’t support calendars, contacts, or tasks, and they can be slower when receiving e-mails as they are reliant on a POP or IMAP server and their synchronization policy.

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