Reduce SPAM and increase security with SMTP Submission over Port 587

Exchange server 2007 provides higher security and less SPAM potential by elimination authenticated mail over SMTP port 25.    This leaves us without the ability to relay mail from other SMTP servers without the following tips.

Here are some setup tips on setting up SMTP relay over port 587 securely.

After setting up your network with a back-end Exchange 2007 Hub Transport/Client Access/Mailbox server and an isolated Exchange 2007 Edge Transport server in a DMZ or separate internal network, try setting up an IMAP connection to the Exchange Client Access server.  Since all incoming mail traffic is supposed to flow through the Edge Transport server, you set up that as the endpoint for your outgoing SMTP server in your mail client like Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird, but no matter what you do, it just won’t work without authentication.  The Edge Transport server is not (or at least it’s not supposed to be) a member of the domain, and therefore cannot authenticate the user.

One way to fix this is to set your firewall(s) to pass SMTP Submission traffic to the back-end Client Access server (CAS).    Mail will  be sent first to the back end Exchange Client Access server for authentication, and then be forwarded on to the front end server for external delivery.

Also, don’t forget to to check off the TLS or SSL security option and change the outgoing SMTP port number to 587 for SMTP Submission, rather than port 25 for standard SMTP traffic.  And now, you should be sending mail securely.

Managing Outlook Favorites

Outlook 2007 seems to have a bug that causes favorite folders to disappear frequently.  I’ve been loosing my shared calenders often.  We are still searching for a solid fix, but in the meantime here are the correct instructions to adding favorite folders back.

In outlook “Favorites” and “Favorite Folders” DO NOT mean the same thing.

To add a public folder to your “Favorite Folders” view in the “Mail” view in Outlook:

1. Navigate to the “Folder List” view in Outlook.

2. Navigate to any public folder, right click, then select “Add to Favorites”.

3. Still in the “Folder List” view, go to Public Folders >> Favorites >> [foldername].

4. Right click on the “Favorite” that you just created, select “Add to Favorite Folders”.

5. Your public folder will now appear in the “Favorite Folders” pane in the “Mail” view of Outlook.

Virtual Office and working from anywhere

I’m happy to say I can now officially work from anywhere. Its a great feeling, and I am really enjoying this beautiful weather. Can you get out and do that efficiently today?

I can truly:

  • Answer all calls on my office phone – via my software phone on my laptop.
  • Make all calls with my office caller id with my softphone – caller id says I’m in the office to customers, so what if there are birds in the background.
  • Access all my data on the virtual office system, outlook anywhere, & external sites via the internet
  • Enjoy this beautiful weather!
  • Have the freedom to sit down and work ANYWHERE with my verizon air card & laptop.

Can you work from anywhere? Call us today for more information how you can free yourself from the confines of a traditional office environment. You deserve this level of efficiency and ease of technology access.  We can help you drive your business ahead of the curve.  This is easy, and its time you took advantage of it.

Windows Vista indexing Oulook

UPDATE: I’ve verified a noticeable performance improvement after doing this on my workstation and laptop.  I encourage all performance users to consider all their indexing on their computers and minimize it to what you need only.

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To ring in my new year, I had some outlook 2007 issues.  Like most of us out there, I have been struggling to get some performance out of this new version of outlook for some time.   Now, I should mention that I’m far from an average user.  I have 10+ gigs of email in my exchange mailbox (no I don’t believe in archiving), and I I’m also running Xobni, so I do hit outlook pretty hard.  I feel it is fair for me to wait on occasion for things, but I’m running a fairly new Vista 64-bit machine with 12 gigs of ram, so Outlook cannot complain about resources.  I know its only 32-bit, but I can give it a full 4 gigs of ram if it wants, and it usually takes it.   It would be nice if there was a 64-bit version of outlook… someday.

One of the common performance tweaks is disabling the searching in Outlook.  With Google desktop, Microsoft, and in my case Xobni, you need to pay attention to how many programs have there hands on your database for indexing.  I disabled outlook and Google to only rely on Xobni for searching.  I followed the instructions, and THOUGHT I had removed all the search features in outlook.  Today I was VERY surprised to find the index service in Vista was STILL indexing my outlook data file.  Here is how I found it.

I had an unrelated search speed issue, so I looked into tuning my indexing settings to speed things up a bit.   If you are like most of us, you are running Google desktop as well, so I don’t really need the Vista index, but I do want it there for the occasional focused or advanced search.  Anyway, when going into the search options, I clicked modify and found that my Microsoft Office Outlook was still selected to be indexed!

I unchecked it, adjusted some other areas like “offline files” and other network shares that I don’t want indexed.  Then I initiated a full re-index to ensure it was cleared.

I’ll post later and let you know if I notice an increase in speed.