Telstra Open Day at the Albion Exchange & Museum

By brendon on March 13th, 2012

Kudos must go to the Telstra staff who contributed and ran the Open Day at the exchange at Albion on the Saturday just passed. A very interesting and informative event with everything from 4G & fibre splicing to hotdog eating contests and face painting. As a self-confessed geek I often find I cannot speak with the right person to understand the whole picture of “how stuff works”.

While at the event I had the opportunity to grill engage with many different departments; techs were available from research, design, implementation, testing and maintenance. All within line-of-site and all happy to discuss the technology to great detail. It is difficult to find technical information published on the Telstra Velocity/ NBN network equipment being deployed around Australia. We know that it uses fibre to provide up to 100Mbit/s internet, phone and cable TV but what you don’t know is the HOW.

From my discussions I learned that the fibre based Ethernet+ PSTN+ Cable services being deployed utilise a type passive hub or one-to-many fibre splice connecting a single service from the Exchange to 24 nodes. All 24 end nodes will receive the same light transmissions from the exchange relying on the end hardware to select traffic destined for the appropriate serial number to process. At present a standard light wavelength will be used for each of the Ethernet/ PSTN & Cable service; each signal from the fibre using encoding unique to the appropriate port signal. Every premise will send & receive on the SAME light wavelength meaning that there must be some time-splicing or multiplexing built into signal transmission.

To my fortune, a Telstra Account Executive had invited me along to the day and was able to arrange for a personal tour of the live Exchange. Seeing the technology advance from a wall off rotating counter wheels soldered directly to telephone wires using string for cable management; to the racks of POTS switching equipment right through to the “new” ADSL DSLAM units connected by only a few strands of fibre was simply amazing. So much of the exchange is now empty where Moore’s law has reduce the space used by active equipment by 1/5 while still servicing the heavily populated inner-city suburbs.

There isn’t time to cover the relics and equipment in the Museum side of the Exchange, the only word that can sum up all the experiences from the day. #BestOpenDayEver

Office365 supports uploads by PST

By brendon on March 8th, 2012

While I’m yet to actually use it, Microsoft have announced a package able to upload contents of PST files into mailboxes stored in Office365. This will certainly make migrations for customers with >60GB of mailboxes on a crappy AU ADSL2+ link more attractive.

The official download page from Microsoft is located here with documentation on the service here.

Populate ADUC Computer Descriptions

By brendon on March 8th, 2012

This is a really easy walk through/ howto configure a Logon script to update the computer description field with Device details, user, etc. Automatically fill the computer description field in AD.

Thanks Geoff, even if the adds are a little obtrusive.

BIG: Memory like a sieve

By brendon on February 21st, 2012

I personally have a memory like a sieve. Unless I use something regularly I often forget the exact commands to configure it. (Go GUI!) – The most useful PS commands I have for managing Office365/ Exchange are:

PowerShell (From server with Exchange Extensions):

$LiveCred = Get-Credential

$Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri -Credential $LiveCred -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection

Import-PSSession $Session

Send-As mailbox access:

Add-RecipientPermission -Identity <sharedEmail> -Trustee <userEmail> -AccessRights SendAs


 Add Full Mailbox Access:

Add-MailboxPermission <sharedEmail> -User <userEmail> -AccessRights FullAccess

Remove Mailbox Access

Remove-MailboxPermission -Identity <SharedMailbox>  -AccessRights <MailboxRights>  -User <UserEmail>

Removing Distribution Groups

Use the Remove-DistributionGroup cmdlet together with the BypassSecurityGroupManagerCheck parameter to remove the distribution group as follows:

Remove-DistributionGroup <name of the group> -BypassSecurityGroupManagerCheck

Forwarding Email With Copy

Set-Mailbox user -DeliverToMailboxAndForward:$True -ForwardingAddress $forward       (NOTE must be user within Exchange Org, otherwise use ForwardingSMTPAddress)

Removing Forward

Set-Mailbox $user -DeliverToMailboxAndForward:$False -ForwardingAddress $null

Create a Shared Mailbox (

set-mailbox <shared> -type shared

New-Mailbox -Name “<Shared>” -Alias <Shared> -Shared

Set-Mailbox <Shared> -ProhibitSendReceiveQuota 5GB -ProhibitSendQuota 4.75GB -IssueWarningQuota 4.5GB