Introduction to Microsoft Exchange Server 2003
MS Exchange 2003 Server delivers a dependable, extensible, and manageable infrastructure with round-the-clock email and collaboration as well as low cost of ownership. Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 supports a wide range of team functions, including group calendaring abilities, discussion areas, and group folders, and furthermore gives access to information that extends over territorial, logical, and technology barriers with features that include IM, real-time information, and video conferencing. Exchange 2003 Server introduced enhancements over Microsoft Exchange 2K Server in important areas that address protection, performance, and remote access.

In 2009 Microsoft terminated support for Microsoft Exchange 2003 Server, making information technology management deal with the problems associated with maintaining an end-of-life email system. Nevertheless, many Exchange users are currently running Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. Progent's Microsoft-certified IT engineers have extensive experience supporting Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and can assist your organization to manage and troubleshoot your existing Microsoft Exchange 2003 solution or help you to plan and carry out an economical upgrade to an up-to-date edition of Exchange. (See Progent's Exchange Server 2016 migration planning and support services and Exchange 2013 expertise.)

Improvements of MS Exchange Server 2003 Over Exchange 2000 Server
MS Exchange 2003 Server features enhancements in capability over Exchange Server 2000 in crucial areas such as disaster recovery, performance, security, mobility, teamwork, and simplicity of management.

  • MS Exchange Server 2003 delivers improved disaster recovery by including the capability of 8-node clustering, faster failover, support for mount points which eliminate the 24-drive letter limit, SAN connectivity, Volume Shadow Copy Service for backup infrastructure, a Mailbox Recovery Center utility, and a Restore Storage group.
  • MS Exchange Server 2003 enhances performance through features that include /3GB and /USERVA startup switches for tuning the allocation of memory and memory address space, public folder replication improvements, distribution list performance enhancements, and suppression of Out of Office messages.
  • Security improvements introduced by Exchange Server 2003 include Internet Protocol security (IPsec) compatibility for front-end and back-end clusters, signed LDAP requests to Microsoft Active Directory, front- and back-end Kerberos authentication, Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0 security, limiting of distribution lists to authenticated users, up-to-date Safe and Block lists, download filtering, attachment blocking in OWA, and public folders permissions enhancements.
  • Microsoft Exchange 2003 Server includes better accommodation of remote and mobile workers by including an Outlook Web Access (OWA) user interface (UI) and a more extensive range of capabilities for Web Outlook, Outlook 2003 speed improvements via MAPI compression, HTTP compatibility from Outlook, cHTML aND.htmL mobile phone browser support, and synchronization of notifications for Pocket PCs.
  • Manageability and service are simplified by organizing queues on a per-server basis, enhancing the user experience, revealing all system queues, enabling cookie permission, using Microsoft Exchange System Manager to move queue data, including a multi-user Move Mailbox feature, and adding dynamic distribution lists, public folder Send Contents, and public folder affinity to manage referrals.

Advantages of Exchange 2003 Over Exchange 5.5 Server
Microsoft Exchange 2003 Server delivered significant enhancements in functionality over MS Exchange 5.5 in key areas including accessibility, manageability, protection, stability, scalability, and performance.

  • MS Exchange 2003 Server offers a dramatic improvement in capability over the MS Exchange 5.5 web client. Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 offers an almost complete version of the traditional MS Outlook GUI interface that features scheduling and utilities. Because of this, remote and mobile workers can have complete, protected access to email even without a notebook. All they need is an Internet-connected PC with a standard browser.
  • In contrast to Exchange 5.5, which incorporates its own directory, Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 utilizes Active Directory, providing a more streamlined administration and protection model. This makes Exchange Server 2003 easier to administer and support and in addition allows better protection.
  • Exchange 2003 Server has a strong architecture for seamlessly adding third-party utilities including virus and spam scanning software. Exchange Server 2003's strong API solves the instability associated with Microsoft Exchange 5.5 Server when integrating third-party utilities.
  • Microsoft Exchange 2003 Server offers greatly improved capacity and speed over Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5. These improvements allow more and larger mailboxes and faster remote access.
  • Exchange Server 2003 also offers better search capability, making it easier and faster to retrieve vital data when you need it.

Advantages Microsoft Exchange 2003 Server Compared to an ISP-provided or POP3 Email System
If your organization is currently using an email environment hosted by an ISP or if you are running your Outlook users in POP3 mode, Exchange Server 2003 provides a wealth of enhanced capabilities in the areas of manageability, performance, capacity, reliability, and collaboration:

  • Unlike the store-and-forward technique used by POP3 email environments, MS Exchange 2003 Server is based on a central-store model that liberates users from reliance on a specific personal computer or laptop, reduces vulnerability to computer breakdown or viruses, and allows both on-line and off-line operation, programmed backup, and sophisticated collaboration.
  • MS Exchange 2003 Server has powerful collaboration features that permit teams to improve efficiency by sharing calendaring, address groups, messages, and data.
  • The versatility of Exchange 2003 Server allows you to install non-Microsoft security add-ins or support wireless devices such as the BlackBerry smartphone.
  • Exchange 2003 Server works with advanced administration and monitoring utilities so you can confirm that your messaging environment is operating smoothly.
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 allows complete on-line backup without disrupting performance, enabling 24x7 operation by avoiding routine downtime.

How Progent Can Help You to Migrate Your POP3 Users to Exchange Server 2003
Progent's experience and tested methodologies can help you to manage a fast, seamless migration of your POP3 users to Exchange Server 2003. Progent attends to vital details such as coordinating domain names so that both on-site and off-site workers enjoy a hassle-free upgrade from the restrictions of POP3 messaging. Progent can help you with integrating an on-site Microsoft Exchange 2003 Server solution or help you to set up and manage your Exchange 2003 Server in an off-site datacenter. Progent's business continuity consultants can help your organization to design and implement a complete disaster recovery plan that includes Microsoft Data Protection Manager (DPM) support for continuous online backup and rapid data restoration.

How Progent Can Help You to Upgrade to Exchange 2013 or Exchange 2016 from Exchange Server 2003
Progent's Exchange consultants can assist you to migrate to Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 or migrate to MS Exchange 2016 Server from Exchange Server 2003 at minimal expense or interruption of business. Progent can help your organization to improve Microsoft Exchange security, performance, reliability, and availability and streamline management. Progent's CISM-certified security consultants can evaluate and upgrade your security environment and Progent's Cisco-certified network engineers can enhance your network architecture to increase network efficiency and lower support cost.

Microsoft Office 365 Exchange Online Integration with On-premises Exchange
Office 365 Exchange Online Integration Solutions with On-premises ExchangeMicrosoft supports seamless hybrid environments that combine Office 365 and on-premises Exchange deployments. This allows you to have certain Exchange mailboxes hosted on your on-premises datacenter or private cloud and other mailboxes hosted by Office 365. Progent's certified Exchange consultants can help your organization with any phase of designing, implementing and troubleshooting your hybrid Office 365 solution. Progent's Exchange consultants can provide as-needed expertise to help you through stubborn technical issues and also offer comprehensive project management outsourcing or co-sourcing to make sure your hybrid Office 365/Exchange initiative is successfully completed on time and within budget. For more information about Progent's consulting services for hybrid Office 365 and on-premises Exchange systems, go to Office 365 integration with on-premises Exchange.

Hosting for Microsoft Exchange
Progent also can provide Microsoft Exchange Hosting Services based on an enterprise-class facility for MS Exchange and featuring fast Internet connectivity, firewall protection, security update and service pack implementation, Help Desk Call Center services, spam protection, regular backup, automated analysis of security and performance, and comprehensive Exchange management services. While you are migrating from an earlier version of Microsoft Exchange is a great occasion to consider moving to a remote managed environment for MS Exchange Server 2016 or Exchange 2013 Server so you can economize on expenses associated with computer hardware, fail-safe infrastructure, and email management.

If you wish to get in touch with Progent about professional expertise for Microsoft Exchange Server technology or to ask about Progent's Exchange hosting services, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

Progent's Consulting Services for Microsoft .NET Servers
For small companies throughout the United States, Progent's Microsoft-certified experts can provide network assistance and professional consulting services for the whole family of Microsoft .NET servers and Microsoft Windows Servers. Progent's planning, integration, optimization, and support services include system architecture, configuration, and administration help for project management and documentation, on-site and off-site IT help and network repair, Standard Help Desk Services or Co-managed Help Desk Call Center Services, certified security expertise, turn-key outsourcing, and ProSight Virtual Hosting services.

In case your organization is looking for fast remote support from a Microsoft certified network expert, refer to Progent's Urgent Remote Computer Support.

Find out additional information about Progent's Consulting Services for Microsoft Server Technology.

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