Overview of Exchange Server 2013
Microsoft Exchange 2013 expands on the successful technology of Exchange 2010 to provide a powerful platform for unified messaging and collaboration. Important improvements have been made in the areas of availability, management, security and compliance, cost of ownership, teamwork, support for smart phones and tablets, performance, and scale. You can run Exchange Server 2013 from the cloud, in on-premises or multi-site configuration, or as a hybrid cloud/on-premises system. To get the full benefit of Microsoft's innovative collaboration and eDiscovery technology, you should integrate Exchange 2013 with SharePoint 2013 and Lync 2013.
Because Microsoft has stopped supporting Exchange Server 2003, which continues to be a popular product, it is important for IT organizations who are still using this legacy email system to make plans for migrating to a current version of Exchange. Progent's Microsoft-certified consulting team can help organizations of any size in all phases of an Exchange 2013 migration and are available for engagements as small as providing occasional trouble shooting or as big as providing comprehensive outsourced project management. If you currently run Exchange Server 2013, Progent offers efficient Exchange Server 2016 migration support services. Whatever your requirements, Progent offers the knowledge and experience to ensure your company derives maximum business value from Exchange 2013.
Progent's Online Consulting Services for Exchange 2013
Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants have more than two decades of experience delivering online consulting and technical assistance to provide organizations of any size with enterprise-class IT support at a price small businesses can afford. Remote support does away with the cost and delays associated with travel and improves productivity by delivering faster solutions. Progent is a pioneer in providing high-level remote consulting support to small and mid-size businesses and has delivered online IT solutions to businesses in every state in the U.S. (See Progent's nationwide customer testimonials.) For situations that require onsite support and for clients who prefer it, Progent offers prompt on-premises expertise in major metropolitan areas throughout the United States.
Progent offers a broad range of consulting and support services to help you migrate to Exchange 2013 and manage your Exchange 2013 solution. Exchange 2013 support services available from Progent include:
- Provide comprehensive project management services or assist your project manager to carry out an Exchange 2013 migration
- Help your organization to assess the potential return on investment and the technical risks of migrating to Exchange Server 2013
- Determine whether your IT goals would best be met from a cloud, on-premises, or hybrid environment
- Help prepare your Active Directory forest and its domains for optimal operation with your Exchange 2013 solution
- Design a configuration of Database Availability Groups (DAGs) that delivers high availability without overstretching your IT budget
- Create and document an Exchange 2013 migration plan based on industry leading practices and including realistic costs and schedules
- Set up a pilot test to verify that your Exchange deployment will be compatible with key applications, capable of handling peak workloads, and able to recover quickly from hardware failures
- Carry out a migration to Exchange 2013 that minimizes disruption to your business
- Help you configure a robust and responsive network infrastructure for Exchange 2013 with the help of Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE network engineers
- To promote maximum productivity from your mobile clients, provide iPhone and iPad integration, Android phone and tablet consulting, and RIM BlackBerry expertise
- Configure Exchange 2013's Unified Messaging capabilities to combine email, messaging, voice, video, and presence into a powerful productivity solution
- Deploy SharePoint 2013 and Lync 3013 to take full advantage of the collaboration and compliance features of Exchange 2013
- Show you how to manage your Exchange environment efficiently with the new web-based Exchange admin center (EAC)
- Help you create and document a business continuity plan that incorporates the fast restoration of Exchange 2013 services
- Help you meet or verify compliance with regulatory requirements or with your own internal security standards with the assistance of CISA, CISM, GIAC, and ISSAP certified network security consultants
- Provide continuing online or onsite consulting and technical support including remote Help Desk services for Exchange 2013
Introducing the New Exchange 2013 Architecture
Exchange 2013 has only two core server roles: the Client Access server (CAS) and the Mailbox server (MBX). The Edge Transport server role is also available for perimeter networks. This consolidation of server roles makes it easier to deploy and manage Exchange 2013, provides more flexibility in designing an Exchange 2013 solution, and allows organizations to save money through higher utilization of hardware. Another advantage of this new streamlined architecture is session indifference, which eliminates the need for costly and complex Layer 7 load balancing and allows instead simple Layer 4 load balancing. For a more detailed discussion of Exchange 2013's new architecture, see Consulting Support for Exchange 2013's New Streamlined Architecture.
Enhancements to Database Availability Groups in Exchange 2013
The database availability group (DAG), introduced with Exchange 2010, remains the fundamental component of high availability (HA) for mailbox servers in Exchange 2013. Based on Windows Server failover clustering, DAG technology has been improved to provide better resilience, faster failover, more efficient utilization of data center resources, and easier management. In addition, public folders are now stored in Exchange 2013 mailbox databases, so they can take advantage of DAG-based HA. DAG now provides managed availability by incorporating built-in monitoring and proactive recovery capability as well as the ability to alert network managers at the early signs of problems.
The Managed Store feature, known as Exchange Store in Exchange 2010, has been enhanced to offer faster failover times and greater resilience. Managed Store also now uses the same Search Foundation search engine that is used by SharePoint 2013. Higher utilization of disk drives can be achieved by exploiting Exchange 2013's support for multiple databases per disk. A new AutoReseed features speeds up the process of copying the content of a failed redundant disk to a backup drive. For more information about Exchange 2013's enhancements to Database Availability Groups, see Consulting Support for Exchange 2013's Enhanced DAG Technology.
Improvements to Outlook Web App
Exchange 2013 supports an enhanced version of Outlook Web App (OWA), the web-browser version of the Outlook Exchange client. OWA now provides stronger support for handheld devices and offers three distinct user interfaces for smartphones, tablets, and desktops. OWA includes more features to support collaboration and improve personal productivity. One of OWA's headline innovations is support for offline access, which lets users work on their email even when they have no web access. Any changes made while offline are automatically synchronized once the OWA user is back online.
An improved Outlook Web App (OWA) has distinct interfaces for smartphones, tablets and desktops
Microsoft has developed an OWA for iPhone app to simplify sign-in and to support offline email. OWA with Exchange 2013 now allows you to link multiple entries for the same contact to create a single contact card that combines all the information for that person. You can also see a merged view of multiple calendars, display a specified day's agenda, accept/decline meetings, edit or delete appointments, and search across primary and archive mailboxes at the same time. You can set up Exchange and Lync so OWA users can see IM groups and contacts, conduct IM sessions, and manage IM groups and contacts. Developers can create apps for OWA and distribute them from the Office marketplace.
Centralized and Web-based Management in Exchange 2013
Exchange 2013 includes a new management console called the Exchange admin center (EAC). This web-based tool combines and extends the functionality of the Exchange Management Console (EMC) and the Exchange Control Panel (ECP), which were designed to manage Exchange 2010. The EAC also incorporates features of additional Exchange 2010 utilities. This consolidation of features into a single management console makes it easier for administrators to learn and also saves them time. Some of the EAC functions that used to require special utilities include Public Folder management, the Role Based Access Control (RBAC) User Editor for managing role groups, and the Unified Messaging (UM) Call Statistics and User Call Log tools for viewing statistics and accessing information about specific calls for a UM-enabled user. Because the EAC is a web-based management console, administrators are no longer tied to a specially configured desktop with all the attendant requirements for maintenance and updating.
New or enhanced capabilities built into the EAC include an expanded list view, a notification viewer for tracking long-running processes, and enhanced Group management. In addition, managers can now partition Internet as opposed to intranet access at the virtual directory level in IIS. This makes it possible to block users from accessing the EAC from outside your organization, while allowing end users to access to OWA options.
Integration with SharePoint 2013 and Lync 2013
Exchange 2013 offers close integration with SharePoint 2013 and Lync 2013. In combination, these technologies make a powerful platform for collaboration and compliance. Features such as eDiscovery and in-place archiving/hold can be managed consistently and centrally for Exchange mailboxes, SharePoint webs and docs, and Lync content. This integration simplifies the coordination of group projects and facilitates compliance.
The new Exchange 2013 site mailbox makes it possible to share Exchange emails as well as SharePoint docs via Outlook 2013. The new unified contact store (UCS) makes Exchange contact information available to Lync, Exchange, Outlook, and OWA users. Instant Messaging groups and contacts can be viewed in OWA's Navigation Panel, and users can run IM sessions from OWA. The new eDiscovery Center of SharePoint 2013 offers a standard interface for compliance officers to search and analyze unchangeable data held in-place in Exchange 2013 mailboxes, SharePoint 2013 webs, and Lync 2013 archives. In addition, Exchange 2013 can now store user photos so they can be shared through SharePoint 2013, Lync 2013, and OWA. A low-res copy of each user profile photo is also stored in Active Directory. This saves users the hassle of placing and updating their profile photos separately in in each application.
Additional Enhancements to Exchange 2013
Many of the enhancements provided by Exchange 2013 focus on security and compliance. Exchange 2013 offers expanded Data Loss Prevention (DLP) technology to keep sensitive data from being intentionally or inadvertently leaked or lost through email. You can select from a library of transport rules that comply with international standards to identify and block email data that match known patterns such as credit card or social security numbers. You can also add your own transport rules that protect sensitive information unique to your organization from being sent via email. The new In-Place Hold model in Exchange 2013 allows you to lock email data so that it cannot be deleted, altered, or otherwise tampered with, making it easier to comply with legal hold requirements associated with actual or impending litigation.
With Exchange 2013, you can also utilize a user's mailbox to archive IM content from Lync 2013. A compliance officer can then search the archived Lync data via In-Place eDiscovery. Exchange 2013 also provides new Messaging Records Management (MRM) features to help you enforce your organization's email lifecycle policies. Calendar and Tasks retention tags can now also be included to your organization's retention policies. Exchange 2013 by default offers a basic level of anti-malware protection which is based on the same anti-virus engine as Microsoft's System Center Endpoint Protection. This can easily be disabled in case your organization uses an alternate anti-malware technology.
Download Progent's Exchange 2013 Migration Support Datasheet
To download a single-page printable datasheet in PDF format describing Progent's Exchange 2013 Migration Support, click:
Progent's Exchange 2013 Migration Support Datasheet. (PDF - 101 KB)
Contact Progent for Help with Exchange Server 2013
For consulting services and technical support for Exchange 2013, call 800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.