Guy's Best Practice Ezine 145 - Bluster, or the Real Deal?
My position is that all departments, especially IT, benefit from a mixture
of both men
and women. While the physical differences between the genders are obvious, there are
more subtle distinctions between male and female approaches to
problem solving, consequently, a mixed workforce can cover all bases and thus function more
Technical computing is still a largely male dominated profession; therefore,
I encourage every IT department that I visit to employ more women. My
reasoning is that having a mixed staff not only gives a better balanced
atmosphere, but also that women have a different slant on problem solving, which is
useful when it comes to troubleshooting.
Over the last 40 years I have seen at close quarters how women
have caught up and overtaken men academically. However, one area where men still rule
the roost is the ability to exaggerate their achievements, to tell tall
stories, to bluster their way out of a tight spot. Often this ability to
embellish their job history is the reason why they landed a particular computer post.
This week I have questions, or 'Litmus tests', which are designed for managers to discover if a new Exchange techie is the real deal, or a deceiving impostor.
Alternatively, if you have Exchange expertise you may like to try my questions
and even dispute some of my answers!
What is the purpose of a
Checkpoint files such as E00.chk, are a record of all completed Exchange
transactions. In Exchange, the logs are 'write-ahead', meaning
transactions are saved into log files, then at some time later, the email
data is committed to the database.
There is one .chk file for each mail storage group and I think of each
checkpoint file as a progress file. The ESE engine reads the checkpoint
file to see how far it has got with writing these transactions into the database
Is Circular Logging a good idea?
No! When circular logging starts overwriting some of your early logs it makes it
impossible to restore any email or Exchange transactions since the last full
backup. For any database, recycling the log files in this manner is only
an emergency measure when you have exhausted all other ways of freeing up disk
By the way, enabling circular logging removes the option to create differential
backups. To digress further, Exchange 2007 has Local continuous
replication (LCR), cluster continuous replication (CCR) and standby continuous
replication (SCR) provide a level of protection for mailbox data, this is
addition to normal backups.
What is the difference between a Mailbox user and a Mail user?
When it comes to understanding recipient types in Exchange 2007, ask yourself,
'Does the object have an account in active directory? And, where is the email
A mailbox user describes the classic Microsoft Exchange recipient. They have an
Active Directory account, and a mailbox which connects to a database in your
A mail user also has an Active Directory logon account, but is configured for an
email address outside your Exchange organization.
My hidden agenda with this question is to alert you to Microsoft's name changes
in Exchange 2007, for example, the Exchange System Manager, is now the Exchange
Management Console. One day soon I will give a fulsome account of all the
new features in Exchange 2007, but today is about simple questions to suss out
those who pretend to know more than they really do.
Question 4: Why is Function Level important in Exchange 2007?
Supplementary Question: How would you change the Function Level?
You should use at raise the function level to at least Windows 2000 Server native.
Each and every domain in the
Active Directory forest where you install Exchange 2007 requires a minimum
function level of: Windows Server 2000 Native.
Incidentally, many network managers realize they are inexperienced at the art of interviewing,
therefore they find it easier to judge prospective employees on their responses
to practical tasks. Here is an example of a challenge they could set:
To check or change the Function Level, they should follow this path:
Open Active Directory Users and Computers
right-click on YourDomain (Grey computer icon)
Select: Raise Domain Functional Level
If necessary, choose: Windows Server 2000 Native
The above steps sorted out the DOMAIN function level, but you should also check
the FOREST Functional Levels. Start by right-clicking Active Directory
Domains and Trusts. One more point, whilst Windows 2000 is the minimum
requirement, I would research to see if you could raise the Function Level to
Windows 2003. The only problem is that if you make a mistake, you cannot
revert to Windows 2000.
My idea is for you to develop simple questions and practical tests that determine if a prospective IT techie is all bluster, or whether they will be an
asset to your company. My greatest joy would be if you took my concept and
tailored the questions to suit your IT department.
Will and Guy's Humour
When Will and Guy reviewed their site's most popular page for May, they were
surprised to find it was:
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