Generate Exchange 2013 OAB Multiple Times a Day

The generation of the Offline Address Book (OAB) back in Exchange 2010 was based on a schedule set on the OAB’s properties. In Exchange 2013 (at least in CU9 at the time of writing this) we still see this property but it is no longer used:

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Instead, Exchange Server 2013 OAB Generation takes place according to OABGeneratorWorkCycle and OABGeneratorWorkCycleCheckpoint properties configured at the Mailbox Server. According to TechNet:

  • The OABGeneratorWorkCycle parameter specifies the time span in which the OAB generation on the Mailbox server will be processed. The default value is 8 hours;

  • The OABGeneratorWorkCycleCheckpoint parameter specifies the time span at which to run OAB generation on the Mailbox server. The default value is 1 hour.

Maybe it is because English is not my first language, but it took me a while to understand exactly what the above means… Eventually I got to the conclusion that what the above text is trying to tell us is that, by default, Exchange updates the OAB every 8 hours. If I look at my environment, I can see this is indeed the case:

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For organizations where recipients change at a considerable rate, this might not be ideal. Let us say that we want to want to update the OAB every 2 hours instead. To achieve this, we simply run the following cmdlet:

Set-MailboxServer “server” -OABGeneratorWorkCycle 00.02:00:00 -OABGeneratorWorkCycleCheckpoint 00:30:00

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After a few hours, we can check the Application log and look for Event ID 17002 to ensure the OAB is actually being generated every two hours (Event ID 17001 shows when the generation started while 17002 when it completed):

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Don’t forget that to set these properties across all your Mailbox servers that might be generating the OAB. The server hosting the arbitration mailbox with Persisted Capability “OrganizationCapabilityOABGen” is the one responsible for the OAB generation. For a non-DAG environment, you can use the following cmdlet to identify the OAB Generation server:

Get-Mailbox -Arbitration | Where {$_.PersistedCapabilities -match "oab"} | FT Name, ServerName

For a DAG environment, use the following one instead:

Get-Mailbox -Arbitration | Where {$_.PersistedCapabilities -match "oab"} | FT Name, Database

And then check which server currently has that database mounted:

Get-MailboxDatabaseCopyStatus “database”

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