Configuring Microsoft Windows Live Exchange Labs

When it comes to decision making having data to make the right choice is paramount.

Creating a pilot program provides invaluable feedback from users as to the functionalities that a specific product provides and making them part of the selection process improves the success of a project greatly.

Today we will be looking at Microsoft’s e-mail hosted solution, more specifically Exchange Labs which is described in detail in a previous post here.

Once you get an invitation from Microsoft which you have to request, you will go to their administrative console http://domains.live.com. After the domain is created, the game beings and we start playing with DNS records. We will address BIND specific configurations, but these same settings will apply to other DNS servers.

The easiest way to begin is to setup a new zone named live.your-domain.com.

An MX record will need to be created pointing to the exchangelabs.com domain and the specific entry will be provided by the administrator console.

  • DNS Record Type: MX
  • Host: live.your-domain.com
  • MX server: number_provided.mail.exchangelabs.com
  • TTL: 3600 or 1 hour
  • Priority: 0 (or High priority)

Create a CNAME entry to allow Outlook 2007 client to connect to Exchange Labs.

  • DNS Record Type: CNAME
  • Host: autodiscover
  • Value: autodiscover.exchangelabs.com

Configure Sender ID to allowing destination mail servers to trust mail originating from your domain using the Sender Policy Framework (SPF).

  • DNS Record Type: TXT
  • Host: live.your-domain.com
  • Value: v=spf1 include:exchangelabs.com ~all
  • TTL: 3600 or 1 hour (if requested)

Finally if you want to have federated Windows Live Messenger access, you will need to create a SRV record.

  • DNS Record Type: SRV
  • Host: _sipfederationtls._tcp.live.txwes.edu
  • Value: 10 2 5061 federation.messenger.msn.com

Now to test the configuration you can use DNSWatch to test your records to see how the world sees your servers. Keep in mind that it could take hours for your records to propagate throughout the Internet.

Finally there are several options for you to customize the look and feel of your hosted e-mail.

You will be able to reach the site by going to http://autodiscover.live.your-domain.com or you can enter an additional CNAME entry in your DNS which is more significant to you and point it to autodiscover.exchangelabs.com

Apparently creating multiple administrator accounts cannot be done easily on the administrative website, but rather using a tool called PowerShell and promoting existing user accounts. Further limitations include that PowerShell will only run on Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008.

Instructions on doing this are here and here.

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One thought on “Configuring Microsoft Windows Live Exchange Labs

  1. […] my previous post here, I went into the steps needed to bring up a Microsoft Live Exchange Labs […]

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