Hi Folks,

today the Exchange Dev Team launched the new Exchange 2016 RTM:

Exchange Server 2016: Forged in the cloud. Now available on-premises.

Exchange Server 2016 is here and available to download starting today! We’ve spent nearly three years iterating, polishing and refining Exchange since the release of Exchange 2013, and we are excited to put a shiny, new version of Exchange into your hands today. What sets this version of Exchange apart from the past, is that it was forged in the cloud. This release brings the Exchange bits that already power millions of Office 365 mailboxes to your on-premises environment.

Here is a quick video look at some of our favorite features.

Email remains the backbone of business communication and the one that workers consider the most essential tool for getting things done. Because of this, it’s vital to have a modern messaging infrastructure that meets today’s business expectations. With the volume of email and other communications continuing to grow, people need tools that help them focus on what’s most important in their inboxes, schedules and interactions with others at work. And as the quantity of email data grows, so do the demands on IT to manage, preserve and protect it.

To help you meet these challenges, we’ve deepened the integration between Exchange and other Office products, so your organization can be more productive and collaborate more effectively. We’ve made it easier to manage your email with new ways to focus on what’s important, work more efficiently, and accomplish more with your devices. We’ve simplified the Exchange architecture and introduced additional recovery features. We’ve also enhanced our built-in compliance tools for protecting and preserving data.

Exchange 2016 builds on and improves features introduced in Exchange 2013, including Data Loss Prevention, Managed Availability, automatic recovery from storage failures, and the web-based Exchange admin center. Here are a few of our favorite new capabilities:

  • Better collaboration: Exchange 2016 includes a new approach to attachments that simplifies document sharing and eliminates version control headaches. In Outlook 2016 or Outlook on the web, you can now attach a document as a link to SharePoint 2016 (currently in preview) or OneDrive for Business instead of a traditional attachment, providing the benefits of coauthoring and version control.

image

  • Improved Outlook web experience: Continuing our effort to provide you with a first class web experience across devices, we’ve made significant updates to Outlook on the web. New features include: Sweep, Pin, Undo, inline reply, a new single-line inbox view, improved HTML rendering, new themes, emojis, and more.

image

  • Search: A lightning-fast search architecture delivers more accurate and complete results. Outlook 2016 is optimized to use the power of the Exchange 2016 back end to help you find things faster, across old mail and new. Search also gets more intelligent with Search suggestions, People suggestions, search refiners, and the ability to search for events in your Calendar.

image

  • Greater extensibility:  An expanded Add-In model for Outlook desktop and Outlook on the web allows developers to build features right into the Outlook experience. Add-ins can now integrate with UI components in new ways: as highlighted text in the body of a message or meeting, in the right-hand task pane when composing or reading a message or meeting, and as a button or a dropdown option in the Outlook ribbon.

image

  • eDiscovery: Exchange 2016 has a revamped eDiscovery pipeline that is significantly faster and more scalable. Reliability is improved due to a new search architecture that is asynchronous and distributes the work across multiple servers with better fault tolerance. You also have the ability to search, hold and export content from public folders.
  • Simplified architecture: Exchange 2016’s architecture reflects the way we deploy Exchange in Office 365 and is an evolution and refinement of Exchange 2013. A combined mailbox and client access server role makes it easier to plan and scale your on-premises and hybrid deployments. Coexistence with Exchange 2013 is simplified, and namespace planning is easier.
  • High availability: Automated repair improvements such as database divergence detection make Exchange easier than ever to run in a highly available way. Stability and performance enhancements from Office 365, many of which were so useful that we shipped them in Exchange 2013 Cumulative Updates, are also baked into the product.

That’s just quick list of highlights; we encourage you to get a full view of what’s new by reviewing the Exchange 2016 documentation on TechNet, and the Product Guide.  Or, if you are in the mood for something more bite-sized, check out these short demo videos in which a few members of the Exchange team show off their favorite features:

Exchange 2016 will follow the same servicing rhythm as Exchange 2013, with Cumulative Updates (CUs) released approximately every three months that contain bug fixes, product refinements, and selected new investments from Office 365. The CUs will include features such as search indexing from passive that we decided needed additional refinement or validation before arriving on-premises. The first CU will arrive in the first quarter of 2016.

For those of you eager to get hands on with Exchange 2016, you can start right away by getting the bits from the Microsoft download center to evaluate the fully-functional product for 180 days. We know that you’re hungry for more in-depth info, so we’ll be publishing a series of deep dive blogs on Exchange 2016 here on the EHLO blog in the weeks ahead.

A big thanks to all those who participated in our Technology Adoption Program, downloaded the public Preview, and contributed feedback to help shape this release. One such participant was King Saud University; read about their experience with Exchange Server 2016.

Enjoy Exchange Server 2016!

(Source: Exchange Team Blog)

Video  —  Posted: October 2, 2015 in Exchange 2016, Info, Office 365
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Hi folks,

with Exchange 2013 ManagedFolders are no longer supported. This feature has been replaced by RetentionTags and RetentionPolicies.
The central management of custom folders is made more diffcult. The local user can apply the RetentionPolicies manual. A workarround for centralized management is the use of Exchange Web Services.

$getRTResp=$service.GetUserRetentionPolicyTags();
foreach ($rtTagin$getRTResp.RetentionPolicyTags) {
if ($rtTag.DisplayName-eq”1 Month Delete”)
{
$NewFolder=new-objectMicrosoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.Folder($service)
$NewFolder.DisplayName=”My New Folder12345″
$NewFolder.FolderClass=”IPF.Note”
$NewFolder.PolicyTag=New-Object
Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.Data.PolicyTag($true,$rtTag.RetentionId)
$NewFolder.Save($folderid)
}
}

This is an example how to create a new folder and set the RetentionPolicyTag on that folder to a UserRetentionPolicyTag called “1 Month Delete”.

(Source: MSDN Blog)

Cheers,

Chris

Hi Folks,

Marc Lognoul, a French MVP did a good Job comparing the different methods of synchronizing your local Active Diretory wiht Azure Active Directory:

 

comparision

 

(Source: Marc’s Blog)

Hi folks,

the new Exchange 2016 is coming. On the EHLO Team Website there is some very interesting Information about the architecture:

Exchange Server 2016 builds upon the architecture introduced in Exchange Server 2013, with the continued focus goal of improving the architecture to serve the needs of deployments at all scales.

Important: This article contains preliminary information that may be changed prior to final commercial release of the software described herein.

Building Block Architecture

In Exchange Server 2016, there is a single building block that provides the client access services and the high availability architecture necessary for any enterprise messaging environment.

e16
Figure 1: Building Block Architecture

In our continuing quest to improve the product’s capabilities and simplify the architecture and its deployment, we have removed the Client Access server (CAS) role and added the client access services to the Mailbox role. Even without the CAS role, the system maintains loose coupling in terms of functionality, versioning, user partitioning and geographical affinity.

The Mailbox server role now:

  1. Houses the logic to route protocol requests to the correct destination endpoint.
  2. Hosts all of the components and/or protocols that process, render and store the data.

No clients connect directly to the back-end endpoints on the Mailbox server; instead, clients connect client access services and are routed (via local or remote proxy) to the Mailbox server that hosts the active database that contains the user’s mailbox.

Mailbox servers can be added to a Database Availability Group (DAG), thereby forming a high availability unit that can be deployed in one or more datacenters. DAGs in Exchange Server 2016 do have a few specific enhancements:

  1. DatabaseAvailabilityGroupIpAddresses is no longer required when creating a DAG. By default, the failover cluster will be created without an administrative access point, as this is the recommended best practice.
  2. Replay Lag Manager is enabled by default.
  3. Lagged database copy play down can be delayed based on disk latency, thereby ensuring active users are not impacted.
  4. Database failovers times are reduced by 33% when compared to Exchange Server 2013.

Removal of the separate CAS role does not affect how communication occurs between servers. Communication between servers still occurs at the protocol layer, effectively ensuring that every server is an island. For a given mailbox’s connectivity, the protocol being used is always served by the protocol instance that is local to the active database copy.

island
Figure 2: Inter-server communication in Exchange 2016

The load balancer configuration is also not affected by this architectural change. From a protocol perspective, the following will happen:

  1. A client resolves the namespace to a load balanced virtual IP address.
  2. The load balancer assigns the session to a Mailbox server in the load balanced pool.
  3. The Mailbox server authenticates the request and performs a service discovery by accessing Active Directory to retrieve the following information:
    1. Mailbox version (for this discussion, we will assume an Exchange 2016 mailbox)
    2. Mailbox location information (e.g., database information, ExternalURL values, etc.)
  4. The Mailbox server makes the decision to proxy the request or redirect the request to another Mailbox server in the infrastructure (within the same forest).
  5. The Mailbox server queries an Active Manager instance that is responsible for the database to determine which Mailbox server is hosting the active copy.
  6. The Mailbox server proxies the request to the Mailbox server hosting the active copy.

The protocol used in step 6 depends on the protocol used to connect to client access services. If the client request uses HTTP, then the protocol used between the servers is HTTP (secured via SSL using a self-signed certificate). If the protocol used by the client is IMAP or POP, then the protocol used between the servers is IMAP or POP.

Telephony requests are unique. Instead of proxying the request at step 6, the Mailbox server will redirect the request to the Mailbox server hosting the active copy of the user’s database, as the telephony devices support redirection and need to establish their SIP and RTP sessions directly with the Unified Messaging services on the Mailbox server.

e16cc
Figure 3: Client Protocol Connectivity

And yes, the Edge Transport server role will ship in Exchange Server 2016 (and at RTM, to boot!). All the capabilities and features you had in the Edge Transport server role in Exchange Server 2013, remain in Exchange Server 2016.

Why did we remove the Client Access server role?

The Exchange Server 2016 architecture evolves the building block architecture that has been refined over the course of the last several releases. With this architecture, all servers in the Exchange environment (excluding Edge Transport) are exactly the same—the same hardware, the same configuration, and so forth. This uniformity simplifies ordering the hardware, as well as performing maintenance and management of the servers.

As with Exchange 2010 and in Exchange 2013, we continue to recommend role co-location as a best practice. From a cost perspective, the overall goal is to ensure that the architecture is balanced for CPU and disk. Having separate server roles can result in long-term cost disadvantages as you may purchase more CPU, disk, and memory resources than you will actually use. For example, consider a server that hosts only the Client Access server role. Many servers enable you to add a given number of disks in a very economical fashion—when you are deploying and using that number of disks, the cost is essentially zero. But if you deploy a server role that uses far less than the given number of disks, you’re paying for a disk controller that is either under-used or not used at all.

This architecture is designed to enable you to have fewer physical Exchange servers in your environment. Fewer physical servers mean lower costs for a variety of reasons:

  • Operational costs are almost always higher than the capital costs. It costs more to manage a server over its lifetime than it does to purchase it.
  • You purchase fewer Exchange server licenses. This architecture only requires a license for one Exchange server and one operating system, while breaking out the roles required multiple Exchange server licenses and multiple operating system licenses.
  • Deploying fewer servers has a trickle-down effect across the rest of the infrastructure. For example, deploying fewer physical servers may reduce the total rack and floor space required for the Exchange infrastructure, which in turn reduces power and cooling costs.

This architecture ultimately distributes the load across a greater number of servers than deploying single-role servers because all Mailbox servers also handle client access because:

  • You’re distributing the load across a greater number of physical machines, which increases scalability. During a failure event, the load on the remaining servers only increases incrementally, which ensures the other functions the server is performing aren’t adversely affected.
  • The solution can survive a greater number of Client Access role (or service) failures and still provide service, which increases resiliency.

Key Architectural Improvements

Exchange Server 2016 also includes a number of architectural improvements, beyond the server role consolidation, including search enhancements, document collaboration improvements, and more.

Search Improvements

One of the challenging areas for on-premises environment was the amount of data that was replicated with each database copy in previous releases. In Exchange Server 2016, we have reduced bandwidth requirements between the active copy and a passive copy by 40%. This was accomplished by enabling the local search instance to read data from its local database copy. As a result of this change, passive search instances no longer need to coordinate with their active counterparts in order to perform index updates.

Another area of investment in search has been around decreasing the length of time to return search results, especially in online mode clients like OWA. This is accomplished by performing multiple asynchronous disk reads prior to the user completing the search term, which populates the cache with the relevant information, providing sub-second search query latency for online mode clients.

Document Collaboration

In previous releases of Exchange, OWA included document preview for Office and PDF documents, reducing the need to have a full fidelity client. SharePoint had a similar feature, however it used the Office Web Apps Server to accomplish this capability. Within Office 365, we also leverage Office Web Apps Server to provide this capability, ensuring uniform document preview and editing capability across the suite.

In Exchange Server 2016, we leverage Office Web Apps Server to provide the rich document preview and editing capabilities for OWA. While this was a necessary change to ensure a homogenous experience across the Office Server suite, this does introduce additional complexity for environments that don’t have Office Web Apps Server.

The next generation of Office Web Apps Server will not be supported for co-location with Exchange. Therefore, you must deploy a separate server farm infrastructure. This infrastructure will require unique namespaces, and will require session affinity to be maintained at the load balancer.

While Exchange supports an unbound namespace model, the Office Web Apps Server will require a bound namespace for each site resilient datacenter pair. However, unlike the bound namespace model within Exchange, Office Web Apps Server will not require any namespace changes during a datacenter activation.

oos
Figure 4: Office Web Apps Server Connectivity

Extensibility

Office 365 introduced the REST APIs (Mail, Calendar, and Contact APIs), and now these APIs are available in Exchange Server 2016. The REST APIs simplify programming against Exchange by providing a familiar syntax that is designed with openness (e.g., open standards support JSON, OAUTH, ODATA) and flexibility (e.g., granular, tightly scoped permission to access user data). These APIs allow developers to connect from any platform, whether it be web, PC, or mobile. SDKs exist for.NET, iOS, Android, NodeJS, Ruby, Python, Cordova, and CORS for use in single page JavaScript web apps.

What about Exchange Web Services (EWS)? All existing applications that leverage EWS will continue to work with Exchange Server 2016. We are, however, focusing new platform investments on the REST APIs and the apps for Office extensibility model. We expect to make significantly fewer investments in EWS so that we can focus our resources on investing in a single modern API that will, over time, enable most of the scenarios that our partners currently use EWS.

Outlook Connectivity

Introduced in Exchange Server 2013 Service Pack 1, MAPI/HTTP is the new standard in connectivity for Outlook. In Exchange Server 2016, MAPI/HTTP is enabled by default. In addition, Exchange Server 2016 introduces per-user control over this connectivity model, as well as, the ability to control whether the protocol (and Outlook Anywhere) is advertised to external clients.

Note: Exchange Server 2016 does not support connectivity via the MAPI/CDO library. Third-party products (and custom in-house developed solutions) need to move to Exchange Web Services (EWS) or the REST APIs to access Exchange data.

Coexistence with Exchange Server 2013

In Exchange Server 2013, the Client Access server role is simply an intelligent proxy that performs no processing/rendering of the content. That architectural tenet paid off in terms of forward coexistence. When you introduce Exchange Server 2016, you do not need to move the namespace. That’s right, the Exchange Server 2013 Client Access infrastructure can proxy the mailbox requests to the Exchange 2016 servers hosting the active database copy! For the first time ever, you get to decide when you move the namespace over to the new version. And not only that, you can even have load balancer pools contain a mix of Exchange Server 2013 and Exchange Server 2016. This means you can do a one-for-one swap – as you add Exchange 2016 servers, you can remove Exchange 2013 servers.

The Preferred Architecture

During my session at Microsoft Ignite, I revealed Microsoft’s preferred architecture (PA) for Exchange Server 2016. The PA is the Exchange Engineering Team’s best practice recommendation for what we believe is the optimum deployment architecture for Exchange 2016, and one that is very similar to what we deploy in Office 365.

While Exchange 2016 offers a wide variety of architectural choices for on-premises deployments, this architecture is our most scrutinized one ever. While there are other supported deployment architectures, they are not recommended.

The Exchange 2016 PA is very similar to the Exchange 2013 PA. A symmetrical DAG is deployed across a datacenter pair with active database copies distributed across all servers in the DAG. Database copies are deployed on JBOD storage, with four copies per-disk. One of the copies is a lagged database copy. Clients connect to a unified namespace that is equally distributed across the datacenters in the site resilient pair.

However, the Exchange 2016 PA differs in the following ways:

  1. Exchange’s unbound namespace model is load balanced across the datacenters in a layer 7 configuration that does not leverage session affinity.
  2. An Office Web Apps Server farm is deployed in each datacenter, with each farm having a unique namespace (bound model). Session affinity is managed by the load balancer.
  3. The DAG is deployed without an administrative access point.
  4. The commodity dual-socket server hardware platform contains 20-24 cores and up to 196GB of memory, and a battery-backed write cache controller.
  5. All data volumes are formatted with ReFS.

As we get closer to release, we’ll publish a complete Exchange 2016 Preferred Architecture article.

Summary

Exchange Server 2016 continues in the investments introduced in previous versions of Exchange by reducing the server role architecture complexity, aligning with the Preferred Architecture and Office 365 design principles, and improving coexistence with Exchange Server 2013.

These changes simplify your Exchange deployment, without decreasing the availability or the resiliency of the deployment. And in some scenarios, when compared to previous generations, the PA increases availability and resiliency of your deployment.

Cheers,

Chris

(Source: EHLO Team Blog)

 

Marc Lognoul's IT Infrastructure Blog

Having recently dealt with MS Exchange vs. Firewall and flows issues, I thought it might be interesting to post a summary of useful links related to network ports and flows used by Exchange and various clients . Bottom line: Exchange and firewalls ain’t no good friends but you already knew hat don’t you?

Clients and Mailflows

Unified Messaging

Hybrid Deployments

Other Resources

View original post

Hi folks,

the guys from the Microsoft Exchange Team have published the following Article:

Coming soon: A first look at Exchange Server 2016

Less than three weeks to go until Microsoft Ignite kicks off in Chicago! Based on how many members of the sellout crowd have identified themselves as Microsoft Exchange Conference alumni, it looks like we’ll have an excellent turnout from the Exchange community. We’re excited to talk face-to-face with you about all things Exchange.

At Ignite we’ll give you a first look at Exchange Server 2016, the on-premises release that we plan to ship in the second half of this year. This new version of Exchange includes innovation across a broad set of areas, including individual productivity, team collaboration, and information governance. There are new features, enhancements, and refinements that add up to goodness on the way for end users, IT, and your organization as a whole.

To highlight a few examples:

  • A new approach to document collaboration that makes it easy to send links and collaborate without versioning issues of attachments
  • Faster and more intelligent search, to help users quickly find what they need in their mailboxes and calendars
  • Significant improvements to eDiscovery search performance and reliability
  • Better extensibility, including new REST-based APIs for Mail, Calendar, and Contacts that simplify web and mobile development

If you’ve been keeping tabs on Office 365 since we shipped Exchange Server 2013, many of these new capabilities will be familiar. Most of the new features in Exchange Server 2016 were birthed in the cloud and then refined in a feedback loop that includes millions of mailboxes deployed worldwide. The same is true of back-end improvements to Exchange architecture, high availability, and storage. We are now working to bring these elements to the diverse world of on-premises environments. You can join our on-premises Technology Adoption Program if you want to be a partner in that process.

We still have much to do before Exchange Server 2016 ships, but we’re confident that its simplified architecture, performance improvements, new user experiences, better extensibility, and tight integration with products like SharePoint Server 2016 add up to a solid release.

We look forward to sharing more details with you at Ignite!

P.S. If you didn’t snag a ticket before Ignite sold out, don’t worry. You’ll be able to watch recordings of all sessions—including the Meet Exchange Server 2016 overview and all the Exchange sessions—on the Web within 48 hours after they happen.

Source: The Exchange Team

Cheers,

Chris


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