Tuesday, August 21, 2007


You must not rename or move the Exchange Administrative Group or the Exchange Routing Group after you install Exchange Server 2007 in a mixed-mode environment After you install Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 in a mixed-mode environment, you must not rename the Exchange Administrative Group or the Exchange Routing Group in Exchange Server 2007. This is because Exchange Server 2007 uses the Exchange Administrative Group for configuration data storage and uses the Exchange Routing Group to communicate with earlier versions of Exchange Server. Additionally, the process of moving objects that are contained in the Exchange Administrative Group or in the Exchange Routing Group is not supported in Exchange Server 2007.

Do not move Exchange 2007 servers out of Exchange Administrative Group (FYDIBOHF23SPDLT) and do not rename Exchange Administrative Group (FYDIBOHF23SPDLT) by using a low-level directory editor. Exchange 2007 must use this administrative group for configuration data storage. We do not support moving Exchange 2007 servers out of Exchange Administrative Group (FYDIBOHF23SPDLT) or renaming of Exchange Administrative Group (FYDIBOHF23SPDLT).


If you replace each letter in FYDIBOHF23SPDLT with the previous letter in the alphabet, you get EXCHANGE12ROCKS. Setup also creates a new routing group inside this new administrative group, and it is named "Exchange Routing Group (DWBGZMFD01QNBJR), replace each letter in DWBGZMFD01QNBJR with the next letter in the alphabet, it comes up to EXCHANGE12ROCKS!

Exchange 2007 is ROCK

Here is the real story

As most people know, back in the days of Exchange 5.5, Exchange servers were grouped into sites, representing groups of well-connected servers.  In Exchange 2000 and Exchange 2003 we introduced the idea of routing groups, which represented well-connected servers, and administrative groups, which represented administrative boundaries.

In Exchange 2007 (aka Exchange 12), our management model has evolved such that we no longer need to expose routing groups or administrative groups.  However, because we live in the same Active Directory hierarchy and object model as Exchange 2000/2003, we found that we still needed to create secret admin and routing groups to hold Exchange 2007 servers; groups that would never be exposed to administrators... unless they used legacy management consoles or poked around manually in the Active Directory.

So the question arose, here in the cloistered hallways of the Redmond campus, what should we name these secret groups? They had to be named something, and we had to be sure that we chose a name that nobody with an existing Exchange 2000/2003 deployment had chosen (because we want to be sure that the new groups contain only Exchange 2007 servers); but since they were to be hidden from all but the nosy, they didn't have to be particularly euphonious names.

 In fact, as you know if you've performed haruspicy on the Exchange 2007 AD configuration, the names we chose are these:

Exchange Administrative Group (FYDIBOHF23SPDLT) & Exchange Routing Group (DWBGZMFD01QNBJR)

Not, perhaps, poetic.  In part, at least, rather mundane.  "Exchange Administrative Group". No Pulitzers there.  But whence those odd jumbles of letters and numbers? The original idea had been to append GUIDs to the names to ensure uniqueness.  But it was put to us that this was unimaginative, and that if we had any pride we would think of something "clever".  So the floor was opened to suggestions. Some people favored numbers, transcendental or otherwise interesting pi (3.141592654...), e (2.718281828...), phi (1.618033989...).  The Hardy-Ramanujan number (1729, the smallest number that can be written as the sum of two cubes in two different ways) was mentioned.Pop culture references began to appear; 24601 (Jean Valjean's prisoner number), 2716057 and 3370318 (Bender and Flexo's serial numbers, from Futurama).  THX1138 (Lucas' trademark) was too obvious to need mentioning.

As the person actually making the change, however, I got final say; and I chose to reject the math and pop culture geeking of my peers in favor of my own.  I cast my mind back to 2001 (the novel movie, not the year), and HAL.  It was widely asserted that the name HAL had been derived from IBM, by employing a simple Caesar cipher and shifting each letter one space backwards.  I resolved that if it was good enough for Arthur C. Clarke, it was good enough for me - and, by extension, good enough for you, the valued customer.

 At this point, it should be a trivial exercise to "decode" the hidden message in the admin and routing group names - if a further hint is needed, I'll add that they both decode to the same message.  For the lazy or impatient, I'll reveal the answer on the other side of a handful of ellipses




Exchange 2007 is SPDL


Best Regards,

Oz Ozugurlu


Anonymous said...


Martyn said...

What a stupid bloody childish idea. This is 2011 - not the dark ages og computing - for go's sake stick to meaningful names.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad Martyn is not in charge of the party. KillJoy ; )


Triple D said...

Completely makes sense. You have to come up with something arbitrary. Why not have an inside joke. Cheers to the Exchange Team. That product always been so consistent and solid for a long time. I agree - "FYDIBOHF23SPDLT".

Anonymous said...

Stupid idea. Ugly name we all are stuck with. Doh!.

Anonymous said...

really long names are slightly annoying for PowerShell (scripting), why so long? probably the reason why people don't like it.

Anonymous said...

This is awesome. I didn't expect the name would be an inside joke. Now I will easily remember it!
Don't you naysayers have lawns to chase kids off of? Personally I think the name sounds like something Bill the Cat would say. Thbbbt!