Introduction to Microsoft Exchange Server 2016
Exchange Server 2016 completes Microsoft's drive towards architectural consolidation by eliminating the Client Access server (CAS) role and incorporating client
access services, which are responsible for accepting all forms of client connections, into the Mailbox role. In the new design, the Mailbox server handles all in-perimeter services that were in the past assigned to separate server roles. The new streamlined design takes advantage of the high-performance hardware available in modern data centers to offer simplified deployment and migration, ease of management, seamless scale, improved availability, faster recovery, and more rapid fault isolation. All of these benefits of Exchange 2016's new architecture, combined with very high resource utilization, accelerate your return on investment in Microsoft's messaging technology.
Other enhancements in Exchange 2016 include better integration with Office 365 cloud apps, higher I/O performance thanks to support for Windows Server 2012 R2 or later hosts, improved compliance through advanced data loss protection (DLP), better support for Apple iOS and Android smart phones and tablets, and a revamped web client known as Outlook on the web. Exchange 2016 also has the advantage of being stress tested in the demanding environment of Exchange Online, allowing Microsoft to resolve many of the issues typically associated with new software prior to release to manufacturing.
With popular older versions of Exchange at or near end-of-life, including Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2007, and Exchange 2010 becoming increasingly ill-adapted to modern styles of computing, businesses should consider the benefits of migrating to Exchange Server 2016. Progent's Microsoft-certified Exchange consultants can help you evaluate the advantages of moving to Exchange 2016 vs. the risks of maintaining legacy email technology, which include management overhead and compliance issues. Progent can help you determine whether a physical deployment, a cloud-based solution, or a hybrid environment is the best choice for your business, and Progent can help you design and implement an efficient migration to Exchange 2016 that minimizes productivity disruption and delivers optimal business value. For details about services available from Progent for migrating to Exchange 2016, go to Exchange 2016 migration and support services.
Exchange 2016's New Architecture
The new single-building-block architecture of Exchange Server 2016 incorporates transport services, Client Access services, mailbox databases and Unified Messaging services into the Mailbox server role. Because all servers are identical, you can use the same hardware with the same configuration and the same maintenance and management for all your Exchange 2016 servers within the perimeter. The elimination of the separate CAS server role has no impact on communication between servers or on load balancer configuration. The only other server role is the optional Edge Transport server, which is designed to reside outside the Active Directory (AD) forest and load balancer firewall where it can provide a greater level of anti-virus and anti-spam (AV/AS) protection. One of the important advantages of combining all essential Exchange services in the Mailbox server is that database availability groups (DAGs), which provide automatic recovery from mailbox database failures, can be easily deployed and offer faster recovery from downed servers or corrupted data.
Exchange 2016's simplified design scales easily for deployments of any size
You need the Standard or Datacenter editions of Windows Server 2012 R2 or later to host the Exchange 2016 Mailbox and Edge Transport servers. Management tools for Exchange 2016 also require these server operating systems or the 64-bit version of Windows 8.1, Windows 10, or Windows 11. Outlook clients that work with Exchange 2016 include Outlook 2010 with current updates, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2016, Outlook for Mac 2011, and Outlook for Mac for Office 365. Exchange 2016 does not support Outlook 2010 or earlier nor Mac clients that require DAV such as Entourage 2008. Progent can help you integrate the software you need to support Exchange 2016 by providing online and onsite services that include Windows Server 2012 R2 consulting, Windows 11 planning and migration consulting, Windows 10 integration, and Windows 8.1 support, Office 365 integration support, and macOS and Mac OS X consulting services.
Improvements to Exchange Server 2016 Clients
The Exchange 2016 web client has been renamed from Outlook Web App (OWA) to Outlook on the web. With the new name comes a cleaner, more contemporary look, improved performance, enhanced support for iOS and Android smart phones and tablets, plus an array of new features that save time and improve collaboration. Outlook on the web can be used with current versions of all popular browsers including Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. New and enhanced features include:
Outlook on the web search refiners help you zero in on what you're looking for
In Exchange 2016, MAPI over HTTP is the default protocol for Outlook users to communicate with Exchange, replacing RPC over HTTP. For clients that do not support MAPI over HTTP, RPC over HTTP will be used. This is significant because MAPI over HTTP allows Exchange Server 2016 to recover faster after disconnections caused by common events like device hibernation or switching between networks. Unlike RPC over HTTP, the MAPI over HTTP transport protocol does not require a connection to be rebuilt after this type of break. Clients that support the industry-standard MAPI over HTTP transport layer model benefit from more stable and reliable connections.
- A single-line Inbox reading pane option eliminates clutter when scanning messages
- You can propose a new time for meeting invitations
- Calendar improvements include Email reminders for events, enhanced search, and birthdays
- Filtering has been expanded to include data ranges and related senders
- Search refiners make it easier to locate information through contextual filters
- The Inbox can show previews of URLs pasted into messages, and previews can include videos
- Pins allow you to specified email on the top of the Inbox
- Flags let you mark items for special attention, and you can search for flagged items with Inbox filters
- An action pane displays common actions including the new functions Archive, Sweep, and Undo
- Emojis are now supported
- User interface enhancements utilize features specific to iOS and Android smart phones and tablets
- 13 graphic themes are included
- You can copy contacts directly from LinkedIn
Documents stored in OneDrive for Business in a SharePoint Server deployed on-premises can be accessed and shared in Outlook in the same way as in Office 365. If your organization is running Office Online Server on premises, Outlook on the web users can view and edit Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files included in an Exchange 2016 email and stored either in OneDrive for Business or on-premises SharePoint.
Improvements in Message Policy and Compliance
Exchange 2016 offers important improvements in the areas of message policy and compliance including enhanced data loss prevention, in-place archiving, retention and eDiscovery.
Data loss prevention (DLP) policy and transport rules in Exchange 2016 provide improved protection against the intentional or inadvertent disclosure of 80 kinds of sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) by incorporating several new conditions and actions. Examples of PII that can be detected by its character pattern include credit card numbers, social security numbers, bank account and ABA routing numbers, and driver's license numbers.
To provide enhanced support for litigation and audits, Exchange 2016 allows you to use In-Place eDiscovery to search or put an In-Place Hold on the content of public folders. Holds on public folders can be query-based or time-based. In Exchange 2013, In-Place Hold was only supported for user mailboxes.
- With the new condition Any attachment has these properties, including any of these words, an Exchange transport rule can check a document attached to an email to determine whether the document contains the words specified in the condition. You can easily use this condition to integrate Exchange DLP policies with SharePoint Server and Windows Server 2012 R2 File Classification Infrastructure (FCI) for comprehensive DLP policy enforcement.
- You can use the new action Notify the recipient with a message to create a transport rule that sends the recipient a message with the specified text. This allows you, for example, to inform someone that Exchange has automatically sent a message to Junk Mail or blocked a message entirely.
- The action Generate incident report and send it, which was available in Exchange 2013, has been enhanced in Exchange 2016 so that it can be applied to multiple distribution lists.
The Exchange Management Shell makes available a new high-capacity, high-performance eDiscovery search tool called Compliance Search, which can quickly search an unlimited number of mailboxes in a single search. You can also run an unlimited number of searches in parallel. In contrast, In-Place eDiscovery allows you to search up to 10,000 mailboxes per search and supports up to two simultaneous searches.
The redesigned search architecture of Exchange 2016 has moved from a synchronous to an asynchronous and decentralized one. By distributing the workload across multiple servers, the new search architecture offers higher performance, more reliability, and greater scale. The number of mailboxes that can be searched using the console has doubled, and the number that can be searched using Exchange Management Shell is unlimited.
Database Availability Group (DAG) Improvements
You can add Mailbox servers to a Database Availability Group (DAG), which provides an automatic failover cluster for high availability (HA). You can also deploy DAG groups in multiple, geographically dispersed data centers, following industry best practices for disaster recovery. DAGs in Exchange Server 2016 reduce failover times by an estimated 33% compared to Exchange Server 2013. Other enhancements include the default enabling of the Replay Lag Manager, the ability to delay lagged database copy play down based on disk latency to avoid affecting active users, and the default ability (and recommended best practice) to create a DAG without an administrative access point.
How Progent Can Help You Plan and Deploy Exchange Server 2016
Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can assist at any and all stages your Exchange 2016 migration including designing a resilient topology; preparing the schema, domain, and forest to support Exchange 2016; verifying compliance with server and CAL licensing; configuring Client Access services; managing SSL certs; determining required storage capacity for VMs, databases and logs; deploying Hyper-V if appropriate; configuring high-availability and cost effective load balancing; configuring and testing Exchange Servers, Windows Servers and DAG groups; configuring IIS and DirSync; creating PowerShell scripts; monitoring mail flow, and performing client remediation. Progent can also help you set up and manage Exchange clients including Outlook and Outlook on the web (formerly Outlook Web App, or OWA). To learn more about the migration services Progent offers for Exchange 2016, go to Exchange 2016 migration support services.
Progent's disaster recovery consultants can assist you to create and test a comprehensive disaster recovery plan that follows leading practices by utilizing multiple physical data centers or a mix of a local and cloud-based resources. Progent's certified Cisco CCIE network consultants can help you implement an affordable infrastructure that provides advanced availability, performance, and security for your Exchange 2016 ecosystem.
Progent's SharePoint consultants and Office desktop and Office 365 consultants can assist you to build a local, cloud-based, or hybrid collaboration environment that supports the BYOD style of computing. To enhance mobile productivity with Exchange 2016, Progent offers iPhone and iPad integration, and Android phone and tablet consulting. Progent's load balancing consultants offer expertise at configuring and maintaining the latest generation of value-priced ADC platforms from major vendors including Barracuda, Citrix NetScaler and Coyote Point/Fortinet.
The Advantage of Online Consulting
A major source of Progent's ability to add significant value to IT service is Progent's experience providing advanced consulting support online. This allows Progent to offer technical solutions that are fast, effective, and affordable. Progent has successfully provided online consulting, development, and technical support services to organizations of all sizes in every state in the U.S. (see Progent's testimonials from Progent's customers). Progent's veteran network consultants, application developers and troubleshooting experts are available to help you with specific tasks such as configuring a router or debugging a script or for major engagements such as creating a private cloud or migrating a line-of-business application to a new platform. Progent can also dispatch consultants to provide onsite support in major metropolitan areas throughout the U.S.
Download Progent's Exchange 2016 Migration Support Datasheet
To download a PDF datasheet about Progent's Exchange 2016 Migration Consulting Services, click:
Progent's Exchange 2016 Migration Consulting Datasheet. (PDF - 101 KB)
Contact Progent for Help with Exchange Server 2016
For consulting services and technical support for Exchange 2016, call 800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.