iOS 6.1 banned from corporate servers due to Exchange snafu (Updated)

iOS 6.1 banned from corporate servers due to Exchange snafu (Updated)

Summary: iPads and iPhones running the newest version of iOS are being blocked in some enterprises because bugs are overloading corporate Exchange servers.

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One of the benefits of Apple's iOS devices such as the iPad and iPhone is that you can upgrade to the latest version as soon as it comes out. Being on the cutting edge is usually a good thing, but sometimes it can come back to bite you. If you are connecting to an Exchange server for mail and calendar services, the latest version of iOS has an unpleasant surprise in store for you.

Reports started surfacing in late January about excessive logging on Exchange servers caused by the upgrade to 6.1. A report on Microsoft Technet states:

I had a user upgrade to 6.1 and immediately after he finished, his phone/IPAD started causing excessive logging on the exchange server.  

I found the problem by using exmon and saw the CPU utilization in conjunction with high session count.

He shut down Outlook and the problem remained.  He turned off his iPad and the problem went away.  The only change he said he made that morning was upgrading to iOS 6.1.

This problem has been confirmed by many sources. Windows IT Pro's Tony Redmond reports:

I’ve picked up a few other reports that cannot be publicly attributed at this point that also refer to excessive transaction log generation after iOS 6.1 devices are introduced into Exchange 2010 or Exchange 2007 environments. I assume the same is true for Exchange 2013 as the underlying cause is likely to be in Apple’s mail app code that calls ActiveSync to synchronize with a user’s Exchange mailbox, with some indications being that the problem is once again associated with calendar events. You’d think that Apple would have learned after the iOS 6.0 calendar hijack fiasco.

Until the bug is fixed, corporate users are advised to not upgrade to iOS 6.1. For users who have already upgraded, though, there is no way to revert to the previous version. IT administrators have no control over when their BYOD users upgrade, so many of them have resorted to blocking iOS 6.1 from accessing Exchange as a temporary mitigation to prevent server outages for everybody else.

Apple has not yet acknowledged the problem or stated when a fix might be available, but hopefully it will be patched soon. Meanwhile, early adopters will have to access their calendars somewhere else.

Updated February 15th: Microsoft has more information about the problem in a Knowledge Base article, and Apple has also acknowledged it in a support note. Sources say that a fix is on the way in version 6.1.2.

Topics: iOS, Apple, BYOD and the Consumerization of IT

Ed Burnette

About Ed Burnette

Ed Burnette is a software industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience as a programmer, author, and speaker. He has written numerous technical articles and books, most recently "Hello, Android: Introducing Google's Mobile Development Platform" from the Pragmatic Programmers.

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95 comments
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  • Another FAIL for iOS

    Just wanted to get the Apple faithful in a huff (since they like that),

    But I'm sure we'll hear market share numbers and stock prices, so that will mean the problem doesn't exist, andthat it's all a problem with Exchange.

    That and because Apple has not yet acknowledged the problem, so it's imaginary.
    William Farrel
    • Once again you open your mouth before all the facts are in

      And, you openly admit you are a troll.
      Given the complete lack of market share posts as per hour prediction, and the fact that you couldn't even keep your brain straight enough to form that last bit into an actual sentence, you have hit a fail trifecta.
      .DeusExMachina.
      • Looks like you're taking umbrage with somebody badmouthing your mother.

        I'll bet you wouldn't defend your mother as much as you do Apple.

        It's like your family honor was at stake.
        adornoe
        • butt hurt

          he is just massively butt hurt with this one.
          at least Danbi tries to blame mountains, duesexmachina doesn't even offer excuses on this one.
          warboat
        • Looks like nothing of the kind, troll

          .DeusExMachina.
      • LOL! Why is it people like you can't take as good as you give?

        Come on, .DeusExMachina. you'll go to an MS blog and bad mouth anyone or anything that even hints at liking some MS product and you think it's all well and fine to insult those users.

        Yet I come here and have a little fun with Apple, and you go on the defensive, insults and all?

        Here's something you might try - don't go to an MS related blog with the sole intent to be an a$$, and we won't pick on poor little Apple. Deal?
        William Farrel
        • Hey, liar

          Please pose a SINGLE MS-related blog where I have EVER done anything of the kind.
          Go ahead, I dare you.
          Good lock with that.
          Liar.
          .DeusExMachina.
      • here are the facts

        users can't easily downgrade iOS.
        iOS support calls are the number one issue in IT departments that support iOS devices.
        iOS is causing problems with enterprise servers.
        IT departments that ban iOS devices don't have these problems.
        AAPL down 35% since the release of iOS6.
        it doesn't JUST WORK
        warboat
      • its true in my company

        First they banned devices on iOS 5 for similar reasons, they reinstated it in Dec. Now they are banning iOS6. You can't blame me for being anti-apple since my company is doing it. And you can't blame my company for being anti-apple either because we have lots of apple fanatics over here. We also happen to have lots of android and windows users too.
        rengek
      • Predictable .DeusExMachina.

        you are the number one badmouther of MS stuff and are here showing your disbelief!!! Hilarious!!
        Master Wayne
        • Oh really, liar?

          Name a single post where I did anything of the kind. Liar.
          .DeusExMachina.
    • Was your troll written in an iPad?

      The missing space in andthis is typical of posts made on my iPad. I love my iPad but I absolutely HATE the fiddly iPad keyboard that randomly ignores key taps the point that my ipad is often covered in spittle emitted while swearing at it.
      Garryfre
    • lets face it

      using iOS devices on enterprise networks is basically using beta software on live data.
      Apple users are the beta testers and corporate data is at risk.
      Any IT pro would ban the itoys if the data is valuable.
      warboat
    • apple needs more testers

      i mean... customers....
      Master Wayne
  • iOS 6.1 Killing Devices EVERYWHERE

    Not only is this a problem for the SERVER...there are thousands of iOS users on the Apple forum who are having issues with the devices overheating and draining the battery at an alarming rate. This problem darn near killed my iPhone 4S before I deleted the Exchange account that was causing my phone to overheat and drain the battery. In typical Apple fashion, they are simply sitting there with their mouths closed...twiddling their thumbs. Apple Customer Service - now there is a contradiction in terms for you!!!
    theablepatriot
    • Apple is doomed

      Yes, didn't you hear Apple is doomed.

      Doomed because they make excessive profits and an iOS copied by their competitors.

      Yes the internet is a trustworthy place for all kinds of information and everyone tells the truth.
      AdanC
      • LOL.... Do you know how dumb that sounds? (Maybe there was lost humour)

        I bet you have no idea how dumb those statements sound...
        A) You glory in Apple profits and obviously fail to see that IS YOUR hard earned cash, and that much of it is going to Asian countries to further erode your national industry in years to come. Pretty dumb in my book, but it is happening to most of us in the west.
        B) Nobody is copying anything. That would be illegal. There's nothing wrong with taking a good idea and implementing your own version. Apple fully acknowledge that and use everyone else's, much like others will pick off IOS.

        I!m scribbling this on an iPad but I could have used my asus, or wildfire. I'm happy using what's at hand. Doesn't mean I have to be an a$$ and not appreciate ALL the options out there!
        johnmckay
    • Apple has worst battery in the world

      Pretty upset my iPhone 5 drains to about 60% by end of day.
      baozebub
  • SNAFU says it all

    Situation Normal - All Fouled Up
    NotMSUser