>Exchange Server 2010 SP1

The anticipated release of Exchange Server 2010 SP1 has finally arrived! Microsoft recently announced that SP1 is now available for download (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=50b32685-4356-49cc-8b37-d9c9d4ea3f5b) . This article will provide you with an overview of some of the enhancements and functionality provided by this service pack.

While SP1 provides enhancements and new functionality in many areas, this article will focus on just a few key features in the following areas: new deployment functionality, CAS improvements, improvements in Transport functionality, permissions functionality, changes to the Exchange store and mailbox database functionality, mailbox and recipients features, high availability, policy and compliance.

During the install of Exchange 2010 SP1, you now have the ability to also choose to install required operating system roles and features for each selected Exchange server role. If any of the installations require a system reboot, you must restart the server and then run setup again (setup will resume from the point where it left off).

Improvements and new features in the Client Access role are found in several key areas:

Federation certificates
You can now allow the use of self signed certificates (rather than certificates generated by a 3rd party certificate provider) to establish a federated trust with a Microsoft Federated Gateway.

Mobile Device Support
SP1 will provide better management capabilities of ActiveSync devices using the Exchange Control Panel. Also, ActiveSync policies now contain support for IRM functionality, allowing non-windows mobile devices to receive and view protected emails. SMS Sync is another new feature providing the ability to sync messages between mobile phones or devices and the user’s 2010 Inbox.

OWA improvements:
There are now 27 themes available with new administrative options, such as the ability to specify a default theme or customize your themes.

Client throttling policies
Throttling policies are used to manage performance of CAS by allowing Exchange to track the resources each user consumes and enforce connection bandwidth limits as necessary. This helps to ensure users aren’t intentionally or unintentionally taxing the system, and are sharing resources proportionally. With SP1, all client policies are now enabled by default and can be disabled as necessary.

Transport functionality
SP1 provides better monitoring and troubleshooting of MailTips, such as allowing more control over how MailTips are shared across organizational relationships, what types of MailTips will be used and even the ability to designate specific groups of users for which to return MailTips

There have also been enhancements to message throttling on the transport server. Transport servers now maintain a running average delivery cost of messages sent by individual senders. If a user continues to send costly messages, such as those with large attachments, Transport servers start to give priority to other messages with lower cost before processing messages from that sender.

Transport servers also monitor RPC utilization of mailbox servers. When a Hub server detects RPC resource pressure on a Mailbox server, it scales back the RPC sessions it opens to that mailbox server, allowing client connections to the mailbox server to take precedence over message delivery.

SP1 incorporates better message tracking features. Along with improved error messages for delivery reports, you will have enhanced monitoring and troubleshooting capabilities, such as better event log entries, alerts, and performance monitor counters. There have also been improvements in load balancing and failover in SMTP. In Exchange 2010 RTM, Microsoft introduced shadow redundancy to minimize the loss of any message during delivery after it enters the exchange organization. However, when Exchange receives messages from hosts that don’t support shadow redundancy, Transport servers delay sending acknowledgement to incoming messages until they verify final delivery within the organization. When a specific threshold was reached, the Transport server issued an acknowledgement even if final delivery wasn’t verified. This presented a scenario where messages received from hosts that don’t support shadow redundancy could be lost in transit.

To address this issue, a new feature called shadow redundancy promotion is introduced in Exchange 2010 SP1. Now, instead of issuing an acknowledgment without delivery confirmation, a Transport server now routes the message to any other Transport server within the site so that the message is protected by shadow redundancy.

Database scope support now provides control over which database mailboxes can be created and/or managed for given set of administrators. Active Directory split permissions now completely separate the administrative capabilities of Exchange administrators from the Active Directory administrator. You can also now create and manage management role groups and management role assignment policies in the Exchange Control Panel. You can also now use the Exchange Management Console to configure client permissions for public folders.

Mailbox and Recipient Functionality
In Exchange 2010 RTM, upon completion of a mailbox move, the mailbox on the source database was deleted and was therefore not recoverable. If a mailbox server failover on the target database occurred, the mailbox move was interrupted and data loss for the mailbox being moved could occur.

Exchange 2010 SP1 now performs a soft-delete for the mailbox on the source database. This allows you to recover the mailbox in the event failover or data loss. The soft-deleted mailboxes will be retained in the source database until either the deleted mailbox retention period expires or the mailbox is purged. As a result of this change, if you’re performing mailbox moves to reduce the amount of space being used in a database, you must also perform the additional step of purging the soft-deleted mailbox. Soft-deleted mailboxes can’t be reconnected, but using the MailboxRestoreRequest cmdlets set, you can restore a soft-deleted mailbox.

Internet calendar publishing
This feature allows users in the Exchange organization to share Outlook calendars with an Internet audience. Prior to Exchange Server 2010 SP1, sharing user calendar information required a federation trust and an organization relationship or sharing policy with another federated organization. Now users in your Exchange organization can share their calendars with anyone that has access to the Internet.

The Calendar Repair Assistant (CRA)
CRA, which was introduced in Exchange 2010 RTM, detects and corrects inconsistencies that occur for single and recurring meeting items. The Calendar Repair Assistant now checks for and detects the following new scenarios:
• The attendee’s calendar is missing an occurrence or an exception of a meeting.
• The attendee’s start/end time doesn’t match the organizer’s start/end time, including time zone inconsistencies.
• The attendee’s meeting location is different than the organizer’s meeting location.
• The meeting organizer’s calendar is missing an item.
• The attendee’s recurrence pattern of a meeting series is different than the organizer’s recurrence pattern.

High Availability
Exchange 2010 RTM includes a configuration mode for DAG site resilience support called datacenter activation coordination (DAC) mode. In DAC mode, Exchange cmdlets can be used to perform a data center switchover. Prior to SP1, DAC mode has been limited to DAGs with at least three members with at least two or more members in the primary data center.

In Exchange 2010 SP1, DAC mode has been extended to support two-member DAGs with each having members in a separate data center. Support for two-member DAGs uses the witness server to provide additional arbitration. In addition, DAC mode has been extended to support DAGs that have all members deployed in a single Active Directory site, including single Active Directory sites that have been extended to multiple locations.

Microsoft has also added and/or enhanced several scripts for easier management and monitoring of high availability services. The EMC also now provides an interface to configure the IP address and alternate witness server settings for DAGs.

Message Policy/Compliance
SP1 now provides the ability to provision personal archive on different mailbox database than the one that hosts the primary mailbox, as well as the ability to delegate access to personal archive, import/export mailbox data to/ from .pst files directly to archive or primary mailbox using new-mailboximportrequest.
There are also new retention policy management features (wizards) in the EMC. You can also now create and/or use retention policy tags for calendar and tasks default folders, default retention and archive policy, opt-in personal tags (allowing users with a retention policy assigned to use ECP to select and use personal tags not included in their policy).

Enhancements have been made to the multi-mailbox search feature. A preview of search results is now available, providing an estimate of number items returned by search before items copied to discovery mailbox. This will allow administrators of the search to make decisions regarding changing search criteria before rendering results that are not desired. Administrators can also now add annotations to search results and request to use data de-duplication, which will provide only a single instance of a message returned across multiple folders within the same mailbox or across different mailboxes.

WebReady document viewing of IRM content now allows users to view protected content without having to download protected messages in OWA.

The list of new features and enhancements provided by SP1 includes more than just the few topics mentioned here! You can find references to this information, as well as more details at the following locations:

You can also learn more about Exchange Server 2010 in Microsoft course 10135: Configure, Manage and Troubleshoot Exchange Server 2010