Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Introduction
Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 introduced breakthrough technologies for high availability, security and compliance, and unified communications. In comparison to Exchange Server 2007 or Exchange Server 2003, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 is less expensive to deploy and support, easier to manage and expand, richer in features, faster, less vulnerable to single-point failure, more extensive in its support of mobile workers, and better able to safeguard sensitive information and resist malicious attacks. Exchange 2010 has been supplanted by Exchange Server 2016 (see Exchange Server 2016 consulting), but Exchange 2010 remains a popular, proven messaging solution. Exchange 2010 is also the oldest version of Exchange that can coexist with Exchange 2013 and Exchange 2016, making it possible to migrate to a newer version of Exchange with minimal disruption.
Exchange 2010 Enhances Fault Tolerance, Speeds Disaster Recovery, and Saves Money
Compared to prior releases of Exchange, Exchange Server 2010's built-in and easy-to-manage features deliver improved availability, faster recovery, better archiving, and lower cost of ownership. A major innovation in Exchange 2010 is the database availability group (DAG) structure, a collection of mailbox servers that continually replicate databases and automatically recover from disk, server, and datacenter failures. You can configure a DAG with as many as 16 mailbox servers with failover times of less than 30 seconds. System uptime is further enhanced in Exchange Server 2010 by the ability of administrators to move mailboxes with virtually no interruption of service.
Exchange 2010 Uses Database Availability Groups (DAGs) for Continuous Backup and Fast Failover
Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 allows you to configure redundant servers without the need to purchase, set up, and maintain complicated clustering platforms. You can deploy a fully redundant Exchange Server 2010 solution with just two servers rather than the minimum four servers required by Exchange 2007. You can also create a site failover solution that incorporates geographically dispersed datacenters to achieve enterprise-class resiliency. Because you can manage your Exchange 2010 DAG configuration remotely from within Exchange, rather than from a specialized cluster server platform, administration is simple and inexpensive.
Expanded Disk Support Slashes Storage Costs
Exchange 2010 adds support for the Serial ATA (SATA) hard disk interface included in virtually all desktop PCs shipping today. Because Exchange 2010 requires only about one tenth as much disk I/O as Exchange Server 2003, you can use commodity disk drives and still get high performance. You can now integrate a high availability storage configuration with Exchange Server that includes storage area networks (SANs), direct attached SAS drives, or desktop quality drives.
By making it affordable to provide your workers with large mailboxes, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 increases your profitability in a variety of ways. Administrative overhead shrinks and user productivity grows because less time is wasted dealing with mailboxes that are exceeding their capacity allotments. Large mailboxes also open the door to further cost savings and better business results because they permit the adoption of unified communications. As an example, Exchange 2010 includes an enhanced voice mail solution that allows you to receive voice messages in your inbox for easy retrieval, response, and management. Exchange 2010 also offers voice-to-text conversion that saves workers time sorting through and responding to email. Microsoft estimates that businesses can save as much as 40% by migrating from their legacy voice mail system to Exchange 2010. Incorporating voice mail in your Exchange mailbox also allows your workers to detect and respond to business-critical voice messages faster to give you a competitive edge.
Improved Support for Mobile Computers, Smart Phones, and Popular Web Browsers
In addition to supporting Microsoft's standard email client software, Office Outlook and Entourage for Mac, Exchange 2010 includes a dramatically improved version of Outlook Web App (formerly called Outlook Web Access) that allows users to access and manage their e-mail, voice mail, IM, and SMS text messages on most desktop computers, notebooks, handheld PCs, and smart phones and from any major browser. OWA offers a variety of new usability, collaboration, and mobile data synchronization features and now operates seamlessly on Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox to provide a rich messaging experience to virtually any user.
Improvements to Outlook Web App include the ability to display all messages on a single page. Users can scroll through all of the messages in a folder without having to pause periodically to click on a page advance button. This makes it easier to locate critical messages or conversations and reduces the chances that an important message will be overlooked. Another OWA improvement is that messages from a conversation thread are automatically grouped. The new Conversation View saves time and reduces the chances of overlooking important messages by allowing users to see related messages in context and making it easy to find the most recent message in a thread. The conversation group can be managed as though it were a single message for saving, moving, or deletion, and can span multiple folders.
Outlook Web App also introduces improvements in the area of texting through SMS message synchronization. By using Microsoft's ActiveSync you can send SMS text messages from Outlook Web App. You can also use your OWA inbox to read any SMS messages that have been sent via EAS to your smart phone or other mobile handheld device.
Other new features of Outlook Web App include:
- Advanced Search Capabilities OWA now allows advanced queries plus the ability to save and recall your favorite searches. You can qualify your searches with various criteria such as “from:”, “to:”, and “has attachments:” to locate vital messages quickly.
- Shared Calendars OWA now supports calendar sharing with individuals from other organizations. Users can check different calendars simultaneously to streamline the challenging process of scheduling meetings with people both inside and outside your company.
- Filtering OWA makes it easier for users to apply message filters thanks to a convenient drop-down menu that includes the most common options.
- Presence Awareness By connecting OWA to Skype for Business or Microsoft Lync Server, your workers can check the presence of business associates and determine at a glance whether to communicate via email or IM.
Exchange Server 2010 Expands Support for Unified Communications
Exchange Server 2010 is central to the Microsoft Unified Communications portfolio which in its fullest deployment enables consolidated access through your inbox to email, telephony, IM, voice mail, faxes, calendaring, and conferencing. When you use Exchange 2010 in conjunction with Microsoft Lync Server 2010 or its predecessor Office Communications Server 2007 R2 (see Skype for Business support and Microsoft Lync Server 2013 integration), you can replace your legacy PBX, instant messaging, and audio/video/Web conferencing systems with Microsoft's integrated, software-driven communications solution.
Exchange Server 2007 made it possible to route voice mail messages from your PBX to your Exchange inbox. Exchange Server 2010 introduces features that allow you to replace your legacy voice mail system altogether. Improvements in voice mail support include:
The unified communications features of Exchange Server 2010 combined with Office Communications Server can improve the health of your business by facilitating internal and external collaboration, shortening project and sales cycles, and improving your responsiveness to customer issues. According to Microsoft, unified communications can enhance your profitability by lowering travel costs by up to 40%, cutting as much as 40% off telephony and conferencing service expenses, reducing costs for messaging and voice mail by up to 40%, and shrinking administrative overhead.
- Speech to Text Preview You can scan your voice mail messages as text, saving the time required to open and listen to an audio file.
- Automated Attendants You can create custom menus to greet callers so they can easily navigate your software-driven voice mail system.
- Call Answering Rules Users have the flexibility to define call transfer options or to screen callers based on Caller ID or contact information
- Text Messaging Alerts Exchange 2010 can send you alerts via text messages about missed calls or new voice mail
- Voice Mail Security You can prevent sensitive voice mail from being forwarded to unauthorized recipients by using Active Directory Rights Management Service
Enhanced Security and Compliance
Microsoft and other software publishers and managed services providers offer an abundance of solutions for protecting email from viruses and spam, and Progent's network security consultants can help you select and deploy anti-virus and anti-spam (AV/AS) technology suitable for your IT environment. Exchange Server 2010 includes new features that help businesses safeguard sensitive information from being leaked or intercepted due to poor definition, implementation, or enforcement of company information protection and control policies.
With Exchange 2010, you can automatically encrypt messages, route them to additional recipients, hold delivery pending review, block them altogether, or allow messages to pass while adding new headers or disclaimers to avoid liability problems. You can apply these controls based on the identity of specified senders, recipients, or distribution lists. You can also manage message flow based on defined keywords or common patterns, such as credit card or social security numbers, that occur within the contents of the messages or attachments.
A variety of new features in Exchange 2010 are designed to support compliance. A new retention policy framework allows administrators and individual users to automate the archiving and expiration of messages and email folders. An easy-to-use web interface allows cross-mailbox searches to expedite legal discovery. These new capabilities help organizations achieve and verify compliance with standards mandated by government agencies, industry organizations, or business partners.
Additional Enhancements Introduced in Exchange Server 2010
Exchange 2010 incorporates an array of additional capabilities to simplify administration, increase performance and availability, and improve productivity. Important additional features include:
MailTips warn users when an email in progress has potential problems such as triggering a non-delivery report (NDR), sending an email to an extremely large or inappropriate delivery group, selecting Reply to All to a message received via Bcc, or inadvertently sending email to recipients outside your organization. Common causes of NDRs include exceeding your company's policy for maximum message size or number of recipients, or sending to recipients who are restricted, have full mailboxes, no longer exist, or who will send automatic replies. MailTips enhance productivity by preventing users from wasting time sending email that won't arrive, saving users the distraction of dealing with irrelevant emails, cutting down on calls to the help desk, and reminding users about your company's email policies. MailTips can also avoid embarrassing situations and encourage users to be careful about disclosing sensitive business information.
- Role Based Access Control (RBAC)
Role Based Access Control (RBAC) takes the place of the permissions model used by Exchange 2007. RBAC gives you unprecedented flexibility and precision in defining permissions. Management role groups specify what administrators and specialist users can manage in the organization. You can specify what facets of the organization the members can manage by adding or deleting members and role assignments from role groups. Role assignment policies also specify which users can change their personal and contact information or membership in distribution groups. By allowing you to delegate administrative responsibilities to specialists and end users, you reduce the work load of your IT support staff or help desk and avoid productivity lost while users wait for assistance.
- Online Disk Defragmentation
Disk defragmentation in Exchange 2010 now runs in the background 24×7 and is automatically moderated so it doesn't impact system responsiveness. This is one of many performance, availability, and recoverability enhancements in Exchange 2010 which also include reducing disk activity by caching larger page sizes and the introduction of shadow redundancy to provide redundancy for messages for the entire time they are in transit.
- Message Throttling
Exchange 2010 allows you to moderate the rate of message submissions by users and/or IP addresses in order improve the consistency of performance in your Exchange environment. Message throttling ensures that no user can inadvertently or intentionally hog system resources and that all connectivity methods share resources proportionally.
Progent's Online Consulting and Technical Support Services for Exchange Server 2010
Progent's Exchange consultants can help you assess the business value of Exchange 2010 for your company and assist in designing and implementing a cost-effective plan for migrating to Exchange 2010 from Exchange 2007, Exchange 2003, or Exchange 2000. Progent's Microsoft-certified engineers can carry out an Exchange 2010 upgrade that minimizes business disruption, enhances your messaging security, dependability, and performance, reduces your ongoing costs for equipment, administration, and technical support, and improves the productivity of your workers. For complex upgrades that include multiple sites and communications technologies, Progent offers the experience to carry out a successful upgrade on schedule and within budget.
A key to Progent's success is the ability to deliver world-class consulting nationwide at prices that small businesses can afford (refer to Progent's nationwide customer testimonials). This is possible because of Progent's expertise with providing remote consulting and technical support services whenever circumstances allow. Progent's seasoned team of online support professionals, which includes one of the world's largest independent teams of Cisco-certified CCIE network engineers, can work with your IT staff to eliminate wasted travel expenses and finish projects rapidly. When the situation calls for on-site support, Progent can also dispatch technical experts to every state and most zip codes in the U.S.
Progent can provide a range of services to help you maintain or enhance your Exchange Server 2010 environment. Progent's consultants can help you integrate Exchange Server 2010 with Active Directory to support your security and compliance policies, show you economical ways to configure Exchange 2010 for high availability, develop a disaster recovery plan that includes the continuous backup and fast restoration capabilities of Exchange 2010, and provide smart phone consulting including iPhone and iPad integration, Android phone and tablet consulting, and RIM BlackBerry expertise to make sure your mobile users have seamless access to all of Exchange 2010's messaging features. Progent can also help you to upgrade efficiently to a current version of Exchange by providing Exchange Server 2016 migration support or Exchange Server 2013 migration consulting services.
Microsoft Office 365 Exchange Online Integration with On-premises Exchange
Microsoft has made a strong effort to enable seamless hybrid networks that combine Office 365 Exchange Online and local installations of Exchange. This allows you to have specific mailboxes hosted on your on-premises datacenter and other mailboxes resident on Office 365. Progent's certified Exchange consulting team can help you with any facet of designing, implementing and debugging your hybrid Office 365/Exchange solution. Progent's Exchange consultants can deliver as-needed support to help you resolve challenging technical issues and also offer comprehensive project management outsourcing or co-sourcing to ensure your hybrid Office 365/Exchange initiative is carried out on time and on budget. For more information about Progent's consulting expertise for hybrid Office 365 and on-premises Exchange environments, visit Office 365 integration solutions with on-premises Exchange.
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