Messaging and Colloboration

Friday, 15 July 2016

Mailbox Anchoring In Exchange Server 2013


In Exchange 2013 CAS locates where the mailbox by querying Active Directory for the user mailbox GUID, once it obtain the GUID, HTTP Proxy contacts Active Manager to find out the active copy of the database where the user’s mailbox . Once CAS knows where the user’s mailbox is located, then it proxy the connection to appropriate Mailbox Server. This functionality is same for all client protocols such as OWA, ECP and EWS except EMS (Exchange Management Shell)


In Exchange 2013(before CU11), shell opens connection to the local server or just proxy the connection to the other available Exchange server. But in Exchange server 2013 CU11 “Mailbox Anchoring” was introduced, as per the logic Exchange Management Shell will be connected to the mailbox server where the logged on user’s mailbox resides, if the logged on user doesn’t have any mailboxes, then it will connect to the Exchange server where system mailbox {bb558c35-97f1-4cb9-8ff7-d53741dc928c}(arbitration Mailbox) is located.


Mailbox Anchoring:
When a user/admin logs on to the Exchange Server and open up EMS, the session will be proxied to the server where the user’s mailbox is located.

When we upgrading existing Exchange environment (2010 à 2013) or (2013 à 2016) we must move the arbitration mailboxes to the higher version of Exchange databases else we will end up with issues.

To move the arbitration mailboxes,
Get-Mailbox  -Arbitration | New-MoveRequest  -TargetDatabase <Higher_Version_Exchange_Database>


EMS console will always display name of the CAS server that receive the initial connection, but in background the connection may be proxied to different mailbox server.

To check which server your EMS is connected to, use the following cmdlets in EMS,
$env:COMPUTERNAME à will give you the local server name.

Get-ExchangeCertificate, will return the certificate for the server where EMS connected to it. We can find the server name in the subject of the certificate.

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