Month: July 2016

How to apply an Exchange product key

How to apply an Exchange product key

In this article, we explore applying the Exchange product key. We will illustrate this process through both the Exchange Admin Center (EAC) and PowerShell. We will also look at how to license multiple servers at once and how to locate all unlicensed servers in your environment. This process is the same for both Exchange 2013 and 2016.

Apply the product key with Exchange Admin Center

To apply the product key through the Exchange Admin Center follow these steps.

Log into the Exchange Admin Center (EAC). Navigate to the Servers tab and then the Servers sub-tab at the top.

Select the server you wish to apply the key and click the Edit () button.

From the General tab enter your 25-character product key into the 5 boxes under Enter a valid product key section.

Click Save.

You will receive a message that the product key has been validated but will not be active until you restart the Information Store.

Click Ok.

Warning: Restarting the Information Store will dismount any active databases on that server. For environments with a Database Availability Group (DAG), it is recommended to move the active copies to another server. In a single server environment, it is recommended to perform this task during a maintenance window.

To restart the Information Store navigate to Start > Administrative Tools > Services. Right-click on the Microsoft Exchange Information Store and click Restart from the context menu.

Once restarted let’s examine the General tab again in the EAC.

This time we can see the inclusion of the Product Edition box. This box will either report Standard or Enterprise depending on the license you have. In our case it reports Enterprise. A checkbox to Change Product Key will also appear. This is especially useful if you need to swap out a Standard edition key for an Enterprise edition key. Standard Edition limits you to 5 databases whereas Enterprise Edition grants you 100 databases. Keep in mind that you can not swap an Enterprise key for a Standard key. You will also notice the product key boxes have been grayed out.

Now let’s look at how to do this with PowerShell.

Apply the product key with PowerShell

First, let’s open the Exchange Management Shell.

To apply a product key to a server named EX16-02 you would enter the following command:

 C:> Set-ExchangeServer -Identity EX16-02 -ProductKey xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx

In this command:

  • Identity specifies the server where you want to apply the product key.
  • ProductKey specifies the 25-character Standard or Enterprise product key.

We will receive a warning that the Information Store needs to be restarted. Let’s do that next. To restart the Microsoft Exchange Information Store on the local server issue the following command:

Warning: Restarting the Information Store will dismount any active databases on that server. For environments with a Database Availability Group (DAG), it is recommended to move the active copies to another server. In a single server environment, it is recommended to perform this task during a maintenance window.

 C:>
WARNING: The product key has been validated and the product ID has been successfully created. This change won't take
effect until the Information Store service has been restarted.

 C:> Restart-Service MSExchangeIS

WARNING: Waiting for service 'Microsoft Exchange Information Store (MSExchangeIS)' to stop...
WARNING: Waiting for service 'Microsoft Exchange Information Store (MSExchangeIS)' to stop...
WARNING: Waiting for service 'Microsoft Exchange Information Store (MSExchangeIS)' to stop...
WARNING: Waiting for service 'Microsoft Exchange Information Store (MSExchangeIS)' to start...
WARNING: Waiting for service 'Microsoft Exchange Information Store (MSExchangeIS)' to start...
WARNING: Waiting for service 'Microsoft Exchange Information Store (MSExchangeIS)' to start...
[PS] C:>

Once the command is complete you will be returned to a prompt. You can check the status of the service by running the following command. In our example below, we can see the Information Store has returned to a running state.

 C:> Get-Service MSExchangeIS

Status     Name             DisplayName
------     ----             -----------
Running    MSExchangeIS     Microsoft Exchange Information Store

To check that the product key has been correctly applied run the following command.

 C:> Get-ExchangeServer EX16-02 | ft Name,Edition,ProductID,IsExchangeTrialEdition -Auto

Name      Edition      ProductID                 IsExchangeTrialEdition
----      -------      ---------                 ----------------------
EX16-02   Enterprise   XXXXX-XXX-XXXXXXX-XXXXX   False

In this output, we can see the Edition column is reporting as Enterprise. If this were a trial it would be reported as StandardEvaluation. In addition, the IsExchangeTrialEdition column reports as False.

You can also pipe the Get-ExchangeServer cmdlet into the Set-ExchangeServer cmdlet to license multiple servers at once. In this example, we look for all Exchange 2013 servers that are in trial mode and license them.

 C:> Get-ExchangeServer | Where {$_.AdminDisplayVersion -like "*15.0*" -and $_.IsExchangeTrialEdition -eq $true} | Set-ExchangeServer -ProductKey XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX

In addition, to look for all unlicensed servers in your environment you could run this command.

 C:> Get-ExchangeServer | Where {$_.IsExchangeTrialEdition -eq $true}

You are all set! How did your implementation go? Drop a comment below or join the conversation on Twitter @SuperTekBoy.

The post How to apply an Exchange product key appeared first on SuperTekBoy.

Use Your Gmail Account to Filter Spam

Use Your Gmail Account to Filter Spam

Less Spam with GreylistingI have had a gmail account setup for a number of years, but really haven’t been getting much use out it since I prefer to use my personal email based on my own domain name, which is of course registered and hosted with register4less.com.  The one thing gmail does actually do quite well is filter spam with a low rate of filtering out valid email.  There are a number of reasons I recommend to use an email address based on your own domain, including branding, portability, tie-in with your website, but that’s not the focus of this post.

Gmail allows you to forward incoming messages to your gmail address to any other external address, and this is what allows you to flow your email to gmail and back to your domain based email address for filtering.  Here are the steps:

Setup on Gmail:

  • If you don’t have a gmail account, go to their website and create a free account
  • Log into your gmail account, and go to Settings page, and then to the Forwarding and Pop tab.
  • In the Forwarding option, set gmail to forward all email to your domain based email address, and keep a copy in inbox on your gmail account.

Setup on R4L:

In this example, I will use the example email address johndoe@gmail.com and john@doe.com (both not real addresses, so please don’t email them).  My apologies if Mr. Doe receives additional email as a result of this post 🙂

  • Log into your account on Register4Less.com and go to the cPanel (Paid Hosting > Manage Advanced Hosting) where you normally manage your email accounts.
  • Click on Email Filters, and then your email address (john@doe.com in this example)
  • Click the blue Create Filter button
  • Give the filter a name (gmail filtering)
  • Under rules, choose Any Header and does not contain
  • In the box below, enter in the text X-Forwarded For: followed by your gmail address and then your domain based address.   In our example, that would be  X-Forwarded For: johndoe@gmail.com john@doe.com .
  • Under Actions, choose Redirect to Email, and in the text box below enter in your gmail address.  Again in our example, you would enter in johndoe@gmail.com .
  • Click the blue Save button

That is the entire setup.  Your email will now forward to gmail (spam included), be filtered, and then forwarded back.  The filter in your R4L account checks to see if the email was forwarded from your gmail account, and only if it finds that the email did not come from there will it forward to gmail.

You may know that Register4Less.com automatically backs up all of our hosting accounts on a daily basis for one week, and on a weekly basis for four weeks.  Setting up this forward will also create an additional backup for you, as all of the email that is forwarded to your gmail account will stay in the inbox there as well.

Please give this a try and let us know how it works for you.