Exchange 2010 – Mailbox Server Role Overview – Part 10

In this post we will review the overall purpose of the Mailbox role.

We will also review the management options that relate to the Mailbox role including:

  • Database Management
  • Messaging Records Management (MRM)
  • Address Lists
  • The Offline Address Book
  • Public Folders
Mailbox Server Role functions:
A server that runs the Mailbox Server role (“Mailbox server”) performs the following:
  • Hosts mailbox databases (which hold recipient mailboxes)
  • Hosts public folder databases
  • Handles email address policies
  • Generates Offline Address Books (OABs)
  • Generates Address Lists
  • Enables content indexing
  • Allows for messaging records management (MRM)
  • Allows for retention policies
As you can tell that the role is an important one and that High Availability and Site Resilience is a key concern and Exchange 2010 has been designed specifically to provide those features.
The mailbox server has quite a bit of connectivity to all the other server roles (except for the Edge Transport Server).
Configuration Aspects of the Mailbox Role
Organization Configuration
  • Database Management and Database Availabilty Groups
  • Messaging Records Management (MRM)
  •      Managed Default Folders
  •      Managed Custom Folders
  •      Managed Folder Mailbox Policies
  • Address Lists
  • Offline Address book
  • Sharing Policies
Server Configuration
  • Most of the configuration work is being done on the Organization Configuration side. In Exchange 2007, Database Management was under Server Config – related to storage groups. Very limited settings including MRM schedule and a view of Database Copies (if any exist).
MRM – policies to adjust for example, how long items stay in the deleted items folders in (all) user’s mailboxes. Sharing policies control how to share calendars with persons outside the organization.
Click image to enlarge

To manage the mailbox server, open the EMC, go to Organization Configuration -> Mailbox. You’ll notice that I have two databases. One is the Mailbox database and the other is the Public Folders database. You can right-click on the Mailbox Database and choose properties, where you will find General, Maintenace, Limits, and Client Settings Tabs.

Database availability groups tab will by default not contain objects as this tab is used for High Availability/Fail-over configuration.

The Managed Default Folders tab – lists out typical folders in a user’s mailbox. You can also create additional default folders. You may want to create two different Deleted Items folders.

Managed Custom Folders – place a folder in User’s Outlook – for example, Archive, you can create it, and place it in this tab.

Managed Folder Mailbox Policies – no policies by default, create a policy and then apply – we will go over this later.

Offline Address Book – default OAB

Address Lists – pre-configured Address Lists as well as the Default Global Address List. You may want to create lists for departments, sites, organizations.

Sharing Policies – Default Sharing Policy


Server Configuration

Mailbox Role configuration

Click Image to Enlarge

In the top pane, right click on the Mailbox and click on properties. Here you will find a General tab, a Systems Settings tab, and a Customer Feedback Options. For some unknown reason, Scheduled Managed Folder Assistant tab is not available on my installation as it is in others. This may be due to permissions.

By Right-clicking on the database copy, you can get the General Status of the Mailbox Database: the Content Index State, the Status (Mounted), the Copy queue length and Replay Queue Length. Under the Status tab you will find: Seeding, Messages, Latest available log time, Last inspected log time, Last copied log time, and Last replayed log time. Here you can also View Errors Messages.





A good majority of the content provided in my Blog’s Exchange series is derived from J. Peter Bruzzese’ excellent Train Signals Exchange Server 2010 Video Disk Series, as well as my own Exchange 2010 lab. is an invaluable source for accurate, easy to understand, IT information and training.

Offline Outlook Address Book – delays in syncing Outlook and Exchange 2010 – Solved!

When an administrator makes a change in Active Directory/Exchange, why do the changes not appear in the Outlook Offline Address Book immediately?

I found that it may take up to two days for the changes to appear in Outlook.

In Exchange 2010 it takes even longer to synchronize the changes in the OAB than Exchange 2007.  After the OAB is updated, which by default is once a day, it may take up to 8hrs for the OAB to be available to the client. The reason is that the OAB is generated in the MAILBOX role and needs to be copied to the CLIENT ACCESS role. The CLIENT ACCESS role checks for changes every 8 hrs. On top of these delays, if a client does not close/open his or her Outlook, it can take even longer for a change to take place.

If you want the changes to appear in your Outlook Address Book right away, you need to do the following:

  1. Make a change or changes to the OAB. An administrator can do this by going to their Exchange server, and open the Exchange Management Console. Drill down from Microsoft Exchange to ->Microsoft Exchange On-Premises ->Recipient Configuration -> Mailbox. Right-click on the user in which you want to make changes or add another SMTP address. Add or Edit the addresses, etc.EMC1
  2. Manually update OAB  in the Exchange server. Go to the Exchange Management Console -> Microsoft Exchange -> Microsoft Exchange On-Premises -> Organization Configuration -> Right-Click on Mailbox and choose Properties. Click on the Offline Address Book tab. Right-click on the default offline address book and choose Update. EMC2
  3. Restart Microsoft Exchange File Distribution service. On the Exchange server, go to Start -> Run -> type in Services.msc and hit Enter/OK. Browse to the Microsoft Exchange File Distribution service, right-click on the service and click Restart.Services
  4. You may need to Sync the Domain Controllers between sites (in a multi-site environment).
  5. Download the OAB in Outlook. Open Outlook on the client that wants the change. Go to the File tab/menu. Click on the Account Settings button and then click on Download Address Book…OutlookDownloadAddressBook

Otherwise, the process may take up to 56  hrs (24hrs to generate OAB, 8 hrs to update the CLIENT ACCESS, and 24 hrs to update Outlook).