British Airways: Earn Tier points on all economy flights

About bl00dy time too, I fly BA a fair bit, but I pay so want to do it cheap! .. I received this in an email:

We’re delighted to tell you that as of 18 August 2009, you’ll be able to earn Tier Points on every flight* you take with us and our oneworld® partners. This even includes flights on discount economy tickets, for which you’ll receive 25% of the Tier Points you’d earn on fully flexible economy tickets.

It’s a programme change that has been frequently suggested in the feedback we’ve received from our members. Now you’ll have even more opportunities to earn the Tier Points that enable you to move up through the different levels of the Executive Club and enjoy the additional benefits each tier brings.

I hope this programme change will benefit you and that the next time you fly you choose to fly with British Airways.

Notes from the MMMUG August 2009

Wow not many spare chairs, so this was an Exchange 2010 HA session with Ewan Tsang-MacKellar.

Session started with the HA options Exchange 2007 gave us.  Then Ewan introduced us to Exchange 2010 DAG’s (Database Availability Groups).

  • DAG
    • Config information is stored in the AD and the Windows Failover cluster (yeah it’s still used). 
      • It uses the cluster database, heartbeats and the quorum for a failover cluster
    • The DAG is the boundary of replication and failover.
    • Each DAG contains a number of mailbox role servers.  You can have up to 16 servers per DAG and 100 databases.
    • DAGs use Log shipping to move data to other replicas of the database with  1mb Log files. 
      • Replay process similar to Exchange 2010. 
      • Now use TCP sockets NOT SMB for log shipping.
      • Push based log shipping.
      • Can choose the TCP port now too.
      • Supports encryption and compression
    • If a database fails, Exchange will determine the best copy to use.  The CAS will then reconnect outlook automatically.  Failover times are less than 30 seconds (which seem a bit more than Exchange 2007 CCR)
    • Can spread a DAG over Active Directory Sites ;-) Can make it like an SCR target in Exchange 2007.
    • Maximum number of passive copies = # servers in DAG –1 active
    • You can co-locate other roles on a mailbox server that is in a DAG.
    • Database names are unique across an forest
    • Still uses a FSW
    • Incremental Reseeding
    • Continuous Circular logging
  • Active Manager
    • HA’s brain
    • Primary (holds changable state information of each database) and secondary
      • PAM
    • One server in DAG is selected
    • Secondary
      • SAM
      • Helps CAS find the active copy of the database
      • All other servers in DAG
    • On failure of a database will select best copy
      • Copy Status [Good]
      • Catalog (healthy of crawling) [Healthy]
      • Copy Queue length [<10)]
      • Replace queue length
    • If all are okay can you set a preference
  • Backups
    • Uses VSS
    • Can backup active or passive copies or select a server to backup
    • Can use a database copy as a “backup”
      • 7 – 14 day lag copy

Transport HA

  • Shadow Messaging (Redundancy)
    • Hub Transport keeps a copy of a message until it gets confirmation that the message was sent.
    • Uses MsgID to identify each message.  In the event of a failure there is a possibility for duplicate messages to be sent, but the two messages will share a MsgID and “most” email systems will notice this
    • Exchange 2010 keeps a table of MsgID’s for 7 days
    • Size of transport dumpster depends on the time stamp of the worst  log copied.

Other Stuff

  • Autodiscover DNS TTL lower to 5 mins