[LEGACY] Preparing for Exchange Services

Document created by user.oxriBaJeN4 Employee on Sep 14, 2015Last modified by user.oxriBaJeN4 Employee on Dec 2, 2015
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Applies to: version 2.9.1 and earlier.

The Exchange Services features listed below, require the installation of the Mimecast Synchronization Engine software.

 

  • Mailbox Folder Replication
  • Calendar Replication
  • Mailbox Storage Management
  • Managed Folders

 

This article provides guidance on preparing for this installation.

 

Mimecast Implementation Requirements

 

The Mailbox Folder Replication, Exchange Storage Management and Managed Folders features are all designed with the assumption that all Exchange messages are available in the Mimecast Archive.

 

Consequently it is important that the following features are enabled and functional to ensure the best possible experience:

 

  • Journaling - so that internal messages, and inbound messages sent to a distribution list are available in the Mimecast archive
  • Exchange Ingestion - so that all messages in your users mailbox from before the time that Journaling was enabled with Mimecast are available in the Mimecast archive.

 

Supported Environments

 

The Mimecast Synchronization Engine supports the following Exchange versions,

 

  • Exchange 2003 SP 2.
  • Exchange 2007 SP 1 and later.
  • Exchange 2010.
  • Exchange 2013.
  • Office 365 in both a hybrid and an standalone configurations.

 

The Mimecast Synchronization Engine can be installed on versions of Windows Server from, Windows Server 2003 SP 2 through to Windows Server 2012 R2.

 

Hardware Requirements

The recommended hardware requirements for a server hosting the Mimecast Synchronization Engine application will vary depending on a number of factors, including:

 

  • The number of features that will be deployed to the server(s).
  • The average item count of the Exchange mailboxes that you will be targeting with these features.
  • The number of geographically dispersed locations where you have Exchange Mailboxes hosted.

 

As a minimum Mimecast Synchronization Engine will install and run on hardware that meets the requirements for the host operating where Mimecast Synchronization Engine will be installed. A basic recommended hardware spec is:

 

ComponentDescription
ProcessorDual Core
Memory2 GB free RAM. On average each Mimecast Synchronization Engine task will use between 250 to 512 MB of RAM while it is running
Disk SpaceAt least 40 GB of available disk space on the drive where Mimecast Synchronization Engine will be installed for data, log and temporary files to be stored.

 

Software Requirements

The Mimecast Synchronization Engine requires that the .Net Framework version 4 be installed on the host server.

Exchange 2003

 

If your organization operates an Exchange 2003 environment the Microsoft Exchange Server MAPI Client and Collaboration Data Objects 1.2.1 must also be installed.

 

Mimecast has observed the following behaviour when processing Exchange tasks when encountering mail items containing Chinese or non-western character sets causing scheduled tasks to fail indefinitely.

 

It is important to ensure that the Asian Language pack is installed on your Mimecast Synchronization Engine server to mitigate this risk.

 

This arises because of known limitations in the Microsoft MAPI libraries Mimecast uses to communicate with Exchange 2003. There is no practical engineering solution to work around these limitations, and so installation of the Asian Language pack should be considered a prerequisite for Exchange 2003 customers using the Mimecast Synchronization Engine.

 

We might reasonably expect similar behavior with other non-Western languages and will update this recommendation as we learn of further instances. In the interim, Mimecast recommends installing language packs on the Mimecast Synchronization Engine server for all anticipated languages.

 

Network Requirements

The Mimecast Synchronization Engine communicates from your network using HTTPS outbound to the Mimecast platform.

 

Depending on the region where your Mimecast account is hosted it is critical that the server where the Mimecast Synchronization Engine is installed has outbound HTTPS access to the following hosts:

 

RegionHosts
EU

- api.mimecast.com

- eu-api.mimecast.com

- service-uk.mimecast.com

US

- api.mimecast.com

- us-api.mimecast.com

- service-us.mimecast.com

ZA

- api.mimecast.com

- za-api.mimecast.com

- service-za.mimecast.com

AU

- api.mimecast.com

- au-api.mimecast.com

- service-au.mimecast.com

Offshore

- api.mimecast.com

- jer-api.mimecast-offshore.com

- service.mimecast-offhore.com

 

Firewall and Proxy server considerations

  • If your organization uses a proxy server or other web filtering service, you should be aware that communications will be initiated in the context of the user account configured to run the Mimecast Synchronization Engine service. If proxy settings are applied via policy be sure to cater for this during your implementation.
  • Additionally if your organization uses a Cisco appliance, look out for the half-open connection timeout, this is a setting that will terminate open HTTP / HTTPS connections if no response is received after a given period, usually between 30 and 60 seconds, please ensure that this is increased where possible to prevent unexpected issues with Exchange Services.

 

Mimecast Synchronization Engine installation and configuration

Proximity

Exchange on-premises

  • For Exchange on-premises environments it is critical that the Mimecast Synchronization Engine is installed on same LAN as the Exchange Servers and Active Directory domain controllers hosting the mailboxes that you want to process.
  • Installing the Mimecast Synchronization Engine on a different LAN to the Exchange servers will cause severe delays in the time an Exchange Task takes to process.
  • To align with industry best practices Mimecast does not recommend installing the Mimecast Synchronization Engine application directly on an Exchange server, domain controller, or any other line of business application, for example a SQL server.

 

Exchange Online and Office 365

  • If your organization uses a hosted Exchange or Office 365 it is not possible to install the Mimecast Synchronization Engine on the same LAN as the Exchange environment.
  • When working in these environments, the Mimecast Synchronization Engine can be installed on either a domain member server, or a standalone WORKGROUP server.

 

Better with Microsoft Azure!

Consider using a Microsoft Azure Virtual Machine to host your MSE installation. This has the added benefits of:

 

  • Reducing your LAN footprint.
  • Eliminating the bandwidth consumed by the Mimecast Synchronization Engine features you wish to implement from your internet connection.
  • As well as ensuring a fast connection from your Mimecast Synchronization Engine host to Office 365 or your hosting provider.

 

Installation

  • The Mimecast Synchronization Engine is installer is provided as an executable file that launches a wizard guided installation.
  • The installer can be downloaded from here or from the Services | Exchange Services dashboard in the Administration Console.
  • Software pre-requisites are validated and there is an option to set the local installation path.
  • For full details on using the wizard please see the [LEGACY] Mimecast Synchronization Engine Installation Wizard article.

 

Service Account considerations

The Mimecast Synchronization Engine runs as a windows service, communicating with Mimecast to retrieve instructions about which scheduled Exchange tasks to launch, when to launch them, and the specific settings to use for each one, depending on the configurations made in the Administration Console.

 

The user selected to run the Mimecast Synchronization Engine service requires the following local server permissions,

 

  • Log On As A Service.
  • Full Control NTFS permissions to the Mimecast Synchronization Engine Program Files directories.

 

Exchange permissions

The Mimecast Synchronization Engine service account requires permissions to access the mailboxes you want to process with Exchange Tasks. This is configured differently for each supported version of Exchange. Select your version of Exchange from the table below to see specific guidance.

 

 

Site Configuration

The Mimecast Synchronization Engine is configured using the Site Configure utility. To learn more about this process please see Site Configuration.

 

Binding to Mimecast

When you install the Mimecast Synchronization Engine it must be be bound to Mimecast. To learn about this process and how to complete this task please see [LEGACY] Binding the Mimecast Synchronization Engine.

 

Next Steps

Once the Mimecast Synchronization Engine is installed and configured you are ready to start enabling features. To learn more:

 

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