Don’t Forget to Assign Ownership to Disks on your Netapp Filers

The other day a co-worker was doing his rounds in the data center, sent the team an email with (photos attached) indicating amber lights on one of the shelves of our Netapp Filer.  Amber lights on a shelf of disk on your SAN usually isn’t a good thing so I jumped onto OnCommand System Manager to begin the troubleshooting.It didn’t take me very long to figure out the problem because the first thing I see after I am logged into OnCommand was a warning that I had “unowned disks”.

The aha moment hit me, just the day before we had 2 disks fail and were replaced via the configured Autosupport. Gosh, I do like the autosupport. Having a disk go bad overnight then getting a replacement before you even walk through the door is very convenient.

When these particular disks were replaced by another co-worker the day before, he had removed the bad disks and inserted the replacement disks. Since our filers are setup with software disk ownership , with disk auto assign disabled, the disks were not assigned automatically to an owner.  Ownership must be assigned for disk(s) before the filer can use them otherwise they are useless and flash amber lights at you.

To assign ownership to the disk(s) SSH into your Filer and do the following :

  1. You will need to locate the disk(s) that don’t have any owners. Type the following command
    disk show -n
  2. Once you have the disk name of the unowned disk you assign ownership with this command:
    disk assign <disk_name>
    disk assign 0b.16
    for multiple disks < disk assign 0b.43 0b.24 0b.27
    or
    Assign ownership for all unowned disks at once < disk assign all
  3. Run disk show -v to verify the disk assignments

So there you go, a pretty simple fix. Next time you replace a failed drive don’t forget to give it an owner!

Remove Hidden Devices From Servers

One of the things I do after a successful P2V of a server is do some cleanup on the newly virtualized server. Cleaning up involves uninstalling any software , such as Broadcom  and Dell Open Manage software, that is no longer needed for the server. I also perform clean up of the any old or removed devices through the servers Device Manager that may still be lingering around. Removing these hidden or ghost devices can prevent or  fix any issues you may have with the vm.

To remove the hidden devices you will need to go to Device Manager and tell it to Show Hidden Devices, the devices will be displayed in a lighter shade than the installed devices. However, after performing many P2Vs , I found out that Device Manager doesn’t display all the devices that server may have had at one point.

Fig1.Hidden

Fig1.Hidden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fig2.Hidden

Fig2.Hidden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One would think by selecting this view everything would magically appear based on the fact that we just told Device Manager to “show hidden devices”. Since we are dealing with Windows and something that would be logical isn’t, we can the modify the registry  to see these “hidden” devices . Once the registry value has been added ,reboot the server then you will be able to see all those hidden devices that were never uninstalled and you can properly uninstall them.

Add the following Registry Settings

Registry Settings
System Key: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTE\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment]
Value Name: DEVMGR_SHOW_NONPRESENT_DEVICES
Data Type: REG_SZ (String Value)
Value Data: (1 = show all hidden devices)

Fig3. Hidden

Fig3. Hidden

 

After Rebooting the server go back into Device Manager < Select Show Hidden Devices again and you will now see the hidden devices shaded lighter.

Fig4. Hidden

Fig4. Hidden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To remove a device , right click on the device and select uninstall.

Fig5. Hidden

Fig5. Hidden

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may be prompted to confirm that you want to remove the device , select OK and the device will be removed.

Fig6. Hidden

Fig6. Hidden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can remove hidden devices  on VMs or even physical servers  that has been running for a while as part of overall server maintenance plan to keep your servers running in tip top shape.

TechEd 2014 – It’s more than KoolAid and Swag

IT conferences are a place where us nerds flock to a designated destination to discuss all things IT related and get your yearly supply of vendor t-shirts. Microsoft’s TechEd conference is no different and this year it’s held on  May 12-15 in Houston, TX. Tech conferences are more than the KoolAid and who has the best swag, it’s also about the parties/events and the people you meet there. The networking that one can do at a tech conference is amazing; you have vendors and IT professionals all in one location at your disposal. Making those connections can mean new business deals or even a job, you never know the sky’s the limit.  Not only are you building your IT professional network but attending social events after hours keeps you from watching re-runs on TV in hotel room. Who really wants to do that? Not I.

If you are new to TechEd or don’t know where to start with all this social activity I’ve made a list of some events that you may want to check out.  You never know you may even run into me at one these events…

Sunday Night 5/11/2014

  • The Krewe Meet and Greet at House of Blues – 7:30pm – 10:30pm

Kick off TechEd by meeting members of the world famous #TheKrewe- #TheKrewe is a community organized professional networking group. Their mission is to build a dynamic networking community through various activities and gatherings that extend beyond TechEd. The event is on a wait list but email  meetngreet@iamkrewe.org  to try to get yourself on the wait list.

Monday Night 5/12/2014

  • TechEd Expo Welcome Reception – 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Tuesday Night 5/13/2014

  •  Petri IT Author Meet and Greet –  5:00pm- 7:00pm

Come meet the authors of Petri IT knowledgebase (including myself!) sponsored by Veeam and Proximal Data.
The following Petri authors, contributors, and editors should be in attendance:

Aidan Finn – @joe_elway
Damian Flynn – @Damian_Flynn
Phoummala Schmitt – @PhoummalaSchmit
Jeff James – @JeffJames3
Daniel Petri – @p3daniel
Peter De Tender – @pdtit
J. Peter Bruzzese – @jpbruzzese
Mary Branscombe – @marypcbuk
Simon Bisson – @sbisson
Jonathan Hassell – @jghassell
Jeffrey Hicks – @jeffhicks

Space will be limited – RSVP ticket by clicking on the following link and registering for the event http://www.eventbrite.com/e/petri-it-knowledgebase-author-meet-and-greet-at-microsoft-teched-2014-tickets-11225258049

  • Join NetApp for craft beer, food and fun at Saint Arnold Brewing Company- 4:30–7:30 p.m

Stop by at the Netapp Booth with your TechEd Badge before Tuesday for an invite and party badge.Transportation to and from will be provided. Pick up will begin at 4:15 p.m. and runs through

5:30 p.m. outside of Hall F at the George R Brown Convention Center. Just look for the

NetApp logos.

  • Veeam TechEd Party at House of Blues – 8:00pm – 11:00pm

To register for the Party Apply  stop by at the Veeam booth or pre-register here: http://go.veeam.com/teched_party_2014.html

  • CommVault TechEd Jam Session at House of Blues- 9:00pm – 1:00am

Come hang out with your fellow attendees and see who has some musical talent. If you’re not into singing or jamming on stage just sit back relax and enjoy a beer, you might even see me swinging by.

Wednesday night 5/14/2014

  • TechExpo Happy Hour and Best of TechEd North America 2014 Awards – 5:00pm – 6:00pm

The purpose of the UC Roundtable is to gather Exchange and Lync admins, MCMs, MVPs, Exchange product group members, architects, and experts for a free-flowing discussion about issues, questions, and experiences related to Exchange, Office 365, and Lync Server.  If you work with Exchange, Office 365, or Lync you need to be at this party. Come join other Exchange and Lync admins, MCMs, MVPs, Exchange product group members, architects, and experts to discussion about issues, questions, and experiences.

Please RSVP to jeff@expta.com for event details and location

  • Scheduled Maintenance Party hosted by ENow – 9:00pm – 12:00am

The awesome folks at ENow are bringing all of us Exchange, Lync, and SharePoint admins much needed “Scheduled Maintenance”. This is a party you don’t want to miss. It will be EPIC!

You can also stop by the ENow booth for more details.

Go to http://schedulemymaintenance.com to request a pass.

  • Meet the DevExpress Team at TechEd and Lucky Strike Houston! – 7:00pm -11:00pm

Come meet the DevExpress Team and enjoy a night of cocktails, appetizers and bowling.

RSVP as soon as possible @ rsvp@devexpress.com

Thursday night 5/15/2014

  • TechEd 2014 Closing Party at Minute Maid Park – 7:30pm 11:00pm

Close out TechEd by enjoying an evening at Minute Maid Park where attendees have exclusive access to the entire park. There will be lots of food, drinks, music, games, and activities. You must have your wrist bracelet to attend party. Guests of attendees can purchase tickets for the party , see information/registration desk at convention hall.

If you need a daytime guide for TechEd, check out some of these sites:

Don’t Forget What’s Really Important in Life

Thanksgiving Day starts the holiday season with food, parties, family, and fun. This is also the time to reflect  on what’s really important in life. The world we live in today is driven by material things and we sometimes forget what’s real and meaningful to us.

I am just as guilty as everybody else when it comes to “things”; I love gadgets and shiny new toys just as much as the next person. I’ve done the Black Friday shopping, waited in line at Best Buy in the freezing cold for a really good deal, then racing to another store to do the same thing. It’s what we do on Black Friday right?

When I go through these moments of over indulgence in materialistic things I’m reminded of a story I was told when I was 19 years old. A story that puts life into perspective, reminds me what’s really important and drives home the need to be thankful for everything I have.

The story takes place in December 1978 in Laos; 3 years following the Communist Pathet Lao took over the country in 1975. A young father, in his early 30’s left his wife and their 2 young children, a boy 4 yrs and girl 20 months, seeking a better opportunity for his family. This man, a former Lao Army solider, had seen what horror the communist can do to the people of its country. He’d witnessed beheadings of fellow soldiers and innocent civilians. He knew what the communist were capable of doing and did not want his family to be a victim of any of their doings.

It has been several weeks since he left the village; his wife has started to lose hope since there has been no word where he was or if he was still alive. Just as she was coming to the reality that he may never return to her and their family the young father returns home on a December day. His return was short; he told his wife that he’d found a way for them to escape the communist country but in order to do so they had to leave immediately. The young wife’s younger brother, a teenager, was home at the time and begged to come and the family, knowing this was his only hope agreed to bring him along.  Her other siblings she had to leave behind as they were not at home. The young family grabbed basic essentials, with the clothes on their back said their goodbyes to her mother and secretly left the village by foot. Before leaving the village the young father instructed the remaining family members to hide or bury all their belongings. For the family feared the communists would hunt for them they were to be treated like they never existed.

The escape plan was to meet up with other people that were escaping Laos, at a rendezvous point a few miles outside of the village. With his 4 yr old son strapped to his back, daughter swaddled by his wife and teenage brother in tow they made the hike into the unknown jungle towards the rendezvous point. When they met up with the group they realized they were the only family with small children, this was not received well by some. They feared the family would slow them down and get them killed. The leader of the group allowed the family to continue the journey.

The journey to freedom from the communist was 41km (25 Miles) through the jungles of Laos by foot to the Mekong River. This is where they would escape to neighboring country of Thailand and seek refuge at a camp. For fear of being seen by communist soldiers and being killed the group only walked when the sun was down and stayed hidden within the foliage of the jungle during the day.  This was about a day and half hike on foot but when carrying small children it was even more grueling.

The young children not understanding what was going on around them continued to play, laugh and giggle in jungle not knowing how much danger they were in. If they were caught by communist soldiers it would be an immediate beheading, no ifs, ands, or buts about it, everybody would be killed on the spot.

The refugees came very close to being discovered at one point when they were nearing a highway;  trucks filled with communist soldiers were passing by. Since the sun was still out and as the foliage was light, hiding was very difficult. The leader of the group instructed everyone to lie down on the ground and be very still. This was a problem for the young family, as the 4 yr old son was still strapped on his father’s back and the daughter was strapped to mother’s hip. There was nothing they could do, the father laid down on the ground with his son on his back, the mother did the same, while she smushed her daughter’s face onto the ground so she would not make noise. They were on the ground for several minutes before all the trucks and people had passed them. Narrowly evading the communists, they breathed a sigh of relief and continued on their journey to the Mekong River.

Once they reached the Mekong River it was not completely safe there. The communists knew people were escaping Laos so as a deterrent they planted mines on the shore of the river. Before approaching the river the leader of the group used his flashlight to signal to the people helping from the Thai side of the Mekong River. Once the all the clear signal was received, a small boat was sent from the Thai side to pick up the group and bring them to Thailand. Before the boat made it to shore, someone used their paddle to scan for any mines, when it was cleared they shored up. The man on the boat quickly said he could only take a few at time but would return for the others. He pointed to the young family and said they were would be the first to go. Not hesitating the young family quickly jumped in the boat and started their way to freedom.

The boat ride to Thailand is a big milestone as many have been caught at the river and killed. Making it across the river gave the family hope. They knew they weren’t completely out of woods yet as they still had to travel to the refugee camp. They were told that once refugees make it to the camp they will first be imprisoned by the Thai government before being allowed in the refugee camp. When they finally reached the refugee camp fence they found it was closed for the holidays. Who knew they were shutting for Christmas and New Year’s? The family along with about 10 other people sought shelter in a small hut in a neighboring rice patty field. They would stay at the hut for a week before the refugee camp fences were re-opened.

When the refugee camp finally opened the family went there ready to be sent to prison first but to their surprise the police officer of the camp did not imprison the family. Instead he allowed them in the camp freely and imprisoned the others. The young family did not question the police officer and carried on into the camp as he instructed them to do. The family registered at the camp as refugees hoping that this would bring them freedom in another country.

The Thai refugee camp would be home for the family for 1 year. During the course of the year, some friends, cousins, uncles, aunts, and other relatives of the young family would later join them in camp. They all traveled through the dangerous Lao jungle in search of a better life. Conditions in the camp were horrible; people lived in poverty and were given small rations of rice daily. The family made do with what they had; the wife had a small garden for food and the young father and his cousin (who also had a family with 2 small children) built a hut house which the 2 young families would share while living in refugee camp.

The family was very lucky that they only had to stay in the camp for 1 year. There are others that have lived up to 5 -6 years in the refugee camp. On January 9th 1980, about a year from when they first made it into the camp, the family was granted refugee status and being sent to the US to start a new life. The family arrived in the US on January 18th, 1980 with no money in their pockets, did not speak English, with nothing but the clothes on their backs, but a lifetime of dreams ahead of them.

The everyday hustle and bustle of life I go through is nothing like what this family had to endure. I am sure there are countless stories like this family that could be shared that would make any of us think twice about our problems and be thankful for what we have because others are not as fortunate. The fights over cheap TV’s during Black Friday at Walmart is just so irrelevant when there are people even still today that suffer in refugee camps in parts of the world.

Whenever I think about this story it makes think about what’s really important in life how thankful I am to be where I am today.  I am so thankful to have such a brave father and mother. They were so courageous for escaping our country; knowing if caught they would be killed and going into the unknown to seek a better life for us.

When I ask my father what made him want to leave and go into the jungle not knowing if we were going to make it or not, he responded “ I saw what the communist did to our people, I know what they are capable of doing and didn’t want that for us. I knew very little of what was out there but I knew it was better than what was coming if we stayed.”

What are you thankful for this year?

thankful

*These are the only baby photos the 2 young children have

P2V’d VM fails to boot with incorrect disk controller

VMware converter tool is a really nice tool to convert physical server to virtual machines. It’s free and fairly simple to use. The majority of time that I have used it I have not had any issues but a recent issue where a P2V’d vm failed to boot inspired me to write this blog posting.

Back in 2010 when I was first implementing virtualization at my company, I ran into an issue with a P2V of aW2K8 server that wouldn’t boot up after completion. The VM would go into a continuous loop of blue screens and reboots. This was very annoying and made it difficult to determine the source of the problem.

The blue screen error gave the generic error that hardware on the server changed. DUH…I just P2V’d you from a Dell M610 blade so of course your hardware has changed, you silly server. The fun part was finding out what the server didn’t like about this change to cause it to blue screen.

The blue screen error code indicated something with the disk had been changed. With that lead I started looking at all of the VM settings, in particular the disk settings.  I noticed that the SCSI controller was set to Paravirtualized SCSI which was different from all of the other VMs I had P2V’d that day.  Their controllers were set as LSI Logic controllers.

I figured something must have become confused during the conversion of this blade, so I changed the SCSI controller on the VM to LSI Logic SAS within the vSphere client. The settings change worked, and the VM powered up normally.

Fast forward to August 2013 when I encountered a similar problem. This time I was converting a Dell 1855 blade running Windows Server 2003 R2 which also suffered from the infamous blue screen reboot loop. Having seen this issue before, I checked the SCSI controller setting and found that it had been converted as an IDE controller. Server operating systems are not compatible with IDE controllers so this VM was not going to boot unless I changed the adapter controller. When I attempted to change the disk type using the vSphere client, however, the option was not available.

ide1

A quick search on the internet led me to VMware KB article 1016192 (Converting a virtual IDE disk to a virtual SCSI disk).According to the article, if no controller is selected during the conversion process, the VM is created with an IDE controller for the VM’s system drive.

To fix the issue you have two options:

1.      Re-run the conversion, making sure you select a controller type. Do not leave it set to the default of auto-select.

2.      Manually change the adapter type inside the vmdk file.

I was under a time constraint and did not have time to re-run the P2V, so I opted to manually change the controller type. Using the instructions from the article, I was able to successfully change the controller.

To manually change the disk controller type I used the following steps:

Login to the host where the VM resides. If SSH is not enabled, you will need to enable that option before you can connect.

  1. Once logged onto your server navigate to the datastore path of the VM.

# cd /vmfs/volumes/<datastore_name>/<vm_name>/     ide8

  1. Using the vi editor, open the vmdk file of the VM with the following command.

vi nameofserverfile.vmdk

  1. Find the line that says :ddb.adapterType = “ide”ide6
  2. Change the adapter type to LSI Logic,

(type r over a letter then the replacement character until all the characters have been replaced with)
ddb.adapterType = “lsilogic” ide7

  1. Press the ESC key, then :wq to save the file.
  2. From vSphere Client:
    1. Click Edit Settings on the VM.
    2. Select the IDE virtual disk and remove it from the VM but DO NOT delete the disk.  ide2
  1. After the disk has been removed, you will need to go back into settings and re-add the disk.
    1. Click Add > Hard Disk > Use Existing Virtual Disk. ide3
    2. Navigate to the location of the disk you just removed and select to add it to the VM.
    3. Choose the same controller type from step 4. The SCSI ID should read SCSI 0:0. ide4 ide5

SnapManager for Exchange fails to run scheduled snaps after running an upgrade to 6.0.4

Sometimes fixes & patches introduce another set of issues that will give way to another set of new patches and fixes.

In our case, it was our upgrade to SnapManager for Exchange( SME) 6.0.4 which had fixes to some bugs we were facing. Everything seemed to go real well, all the upgrades on the Exchange 2010 DAG member servers didn’t hiccup one bit. This was too good to be true, an upgrade of SME and no issues so far. I had my fingers crossed and was hoping for the best, maybe luck would be in our corner.

No Joy…

After completing the upgrade on all servers I needed to run a test of some exchange snaps. Got to make sure it works right? I first started out running manual snaps on all the databases on each node. Those worked great, No Problems.

So onward to the next test which was to kick off a scheduled snap of the DAG databases. After kicking off a scheduled snap through task scheduler the snaps failed to run. After some digging around and a few more tests, my co-worker discovered that there is bug when you upgrade to SME 6.0.4 which causes scheduled snaps to fail.

According to Netapp’s KB 649767 article it has to do the value “0” is not selectable in the “retain up-to-the-minute restorability” option in the GUI of this release like it was in previous releases.  When running the snaps through the GUI of SME 6.0.4 , you can manually enter the value “0” and the run the job immediately, backups will work. The issue occurs when SME creates a scheduled job; it creates the job with wrong parameter , it be should be NoUtmRestore if you don’t want to retain any transaction logs.

http://support.netapp.com/NOW/cgi-bin/bol?Type=Detail&Display=649767

SME604_a

Getting Backups to work again…

To get scheduled backups to work again you will need to do one of 2 things:

  • Change the -RetainUTMDays and -RetainUTMBackups from something other than “0”. Changing the value to something other than “0” will retain your transaction logs for the specified value
  • If you don’t want to keep any transaction logs, manually modify the scheduled job and remove the -RetainUTMDays or -RetainUTMBackups parameters then replace with NoUtmRestore.
    • If you are running a DAG remember you will need to modify the scheduled job across all DAG members that have the scheduled job.

SME604

Using Custom Filters For Your Exchange Dynamic Distribution Groups

Dynamic Distribution groups are Distribution groups that dynamically add members into the group based on a certain set of filters and conditions, when an email is sent to the group. These are great for mass mailing a group of users that change can often and managing the group manually would be difficult to maintain.

Exchange offers 2 ways of creating these groups; you can use the EMC/ EAC or PowerShell. I have found that the majority of cases for Dynamic Distribution can be created using the EMC/EAC, which offers the following set of pre-canned filters and conditional.

  • IncludedRecipients
  • ConditionalCompany
  • ConditionalDepartment
  • ConditionalStateOrProvince
  • ConditionalCustomAttribute( 1–15)

There are times that this pre-canned list just doesn’t fit the bill. Let’s say you need a Dynamic Group that filters on users from a certain country or even a particular job title?  PowerShell to the rescue!

PowerShell offers the pre-canned filters as well as any of the account attributes that a user account would have, giving you a lot more freedom to create some customized Dynamic Distribution Group. Please note that you cannot combine pre-canned conditional filters and custom Recipient Filters in the same query.

For example, to create a Dynamic group for mailbox users only in a particular country and company, let’s say the US, use the following cmdlet:

New-DynamicDistributionGroup -Name "TestGroup" -Alias "TestGroup" -OrganizationalUnit "your/OU"-RecipientFilter {(RecipientType –eq  “UserMailbox”) -and (CountryOrRegion –eq “United States”) -and (Company –eq “mycompany”)}

If you have an existing group that you just need to modify to become custom use the Set-DynamicDistributionGroup cmdlet:

Set-DynamicDistributionGroup -Identity "TestGroup" -RecipientFilter {(RecipientType –eq  “UserMailbox”) -and (CountryOrRegion –eq “United States”) -and (Company –eq “mycompany”)}

Note that when creating your Dynamic Distribution Group using PowerShell you cannot combine pre-canned conditional filters and custom Recipient Filters. A list of all the available filterable properties  parameters can be found on TechNet’s site.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb738157(v=exchg.150).aspx

Exchange 2010 and Active Directory Operation Failed on DC errors

An annoying problem that I have seen since we upgraded to Exchange 2010 is when in the Exchange Management Console (EMC) , you are not able to perform certain tasks because a DC could not be contacted .The domain controller in the error is usually one that has been demoted from your environment but sometimes not.  The issues can also occur after recent changes to a DC, which causes the EMC to lose contact with the Domain Controller

When this particular scenario was first noticed , it puzzled us because the DC in question  was still  running and Exchange was able to discover it. We did all the typical AD and exchange troubleshooting steps, checked permissions, AD replication, etc., but none these steps fixed the issue, the tech was still not able to create accounts.  After some more digging around we later found out some FSMO roles were removed from that DC. Aha! A major change to the DC.

Common error messages may contain  “Active Directory operation failed on Dcxxxx” or “ LDAP server was unavailable”. When the problem occurs  you are not able to perform certain actions in the EMC, such as creating accounts, mailbox moves, basically any operation that requires contact with the DC.

 An example of an error is shown below:

EMC

So what’s the problem you ask?

The problem is a result of the Exchange Management Console caching the domain controller details in the MMC temp files. It caches the data but it’s not smart enough to update the data or locate another DC. To fix the issue you have to remove the MMC cache file from the users profile.

Use the following steps to clear the EMC MMC cache file:

1. Close the EMC if you have it open
2. Go to the User’s profile directory and delete the Exchange Management Console file.
3. File location can be found here:

      • C:\users\<specific user>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\MMC\Exchange Management Console

EMC2

4. Reopen the EMC

See Microsoft KB article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2019500

Change a Windows Server 2012 Product key?

For those that are just getting started with Windows Server 2012 you may have noticed that you don’t get the option to change the server’s product key on the activation page. This can be a problem if you need to switch to MAK or KMS keys and reactive the server. No worries, the solution is pretty simple.  You can use one of the following 2 options:

Option #1 –

1. Open a Command promtp and run the following :

slmgr.vbs /ipk  <put  your Product key here>

Option #2 – 

1.  On Windows server 2012  -( with your mouse point to the lower-right  hand corner of the screen)  click Search.

2.  Type Slui.exe 0x3

2012b

3.  When the activation screen pops up type in your new Product Key and Activate.

2012c

Message restrictions on your Exchange groups preventing emails to be received?

A common problem I get support tickets on is distribution groups not receiving emails from non-Exchange systems. There can be various reason for this, but the first thing I do is check the mail flow settings for the group to determine if the group is restricted to only authenticated users.

When groups are created in Exchange 2010, the default settings are applied and off you go, ticket closed. What is often overlooked are the mail flow settings for the group. The mail flow settings control who can send to the group, which senders to reject messages from and require that all senders are authenticated. Typically this not an issue if you’re sending emails to the group in Outlook, but if you want to send emails to this group from outside of the Exchange system, you will want to make sure that this is not enabled. When the “require that all senders are authenticated”  is enabled it prevents any users that don’t have valid logon credentials in your organization from sending emails to this group. If you have servers in your environment that need to send emails to an Exchange group, you will want to disable this setting since that server is not authenticating. If the groups were created prior to Exchange 2010, this setting was not enabled by default therefore there were restrictions.

You can disable the setting by 2 ways, through Powershell or the Exchange Management Console (EMC).

To disable the setting in the EMC:

Go to the group properties in the EMC > Mail flow settings > clear the checkbox on “Require that all senders are authenticated”

Mailflow1

To disable the setting in Powershell:

Set-DistributionGroup -Identity <DistributionGroupIdParameter> -RequireSenderAuthenticationEnabled $false

Mailflow2a