Exchange Server is Microsoft’s messaging platform, providing basic messaging services like email, scheduling, and basic familiar communication capabilities. Microsoft’s goal with this recent version is to also support organizations and individuals as we move from a communication focus to one of collaboration. As an administrator or end-user, whether you may be deploying or using Exchange Server 2019 on-premises or moving your mailboxes to the Exchange Online cloud platform, there are likely to be some new features of interest to you. This article will point out just a few of the more notable, highlighted bells and whistles Microsoft is now providing.
In the area of security, we see the introduction to support for running Exchange Server on a Windows Server Core deployment, which means less attack surface and fewer components to manage/service. We also see that TLS 1.2 is the only protocol enabled by default for encryption to improve the security of both client and server connections. Also, Microsoft has introduced Client Access Rules to much more easily allow/restrict and control administration of Exchange from the internal network instead of using traditional complex network and firewall rules of the past.
Performance of Exchange Server has also been improved. There is a completely rebuilt search infrastructure, mimicking the cloud functionality and scalability of Exchange Online. This allows for a simpler approach to indexing much bigger files, while at the same time providing better performance in the retrieval of that indexed/searched content. The changes to the search architecture have also resulted in significantly faster and more reliable failover between servers. Microsoft has also made improvements in the database engine, enabling better overall performance and the ability to optimize the latest in hardware technologies, including larger disks and SSDs, as well as more RAM support (up to 256GB) and up to 48 CPU cores.
The benefits of Exchange 2019 don’t just start and stop at server configurations and administrative controls. Clients have been provided some useful features as well. There have been many updates to Calendar features, such as better Out of Office options, email address internationalization (native routing of email addresses containing non-English characters), integrated use of the Do Not Forward template to prevent event/meeting invitees from forwarding their meeting invitation on to other people. The Outlook Web App (which you may know as Outlook on the Web or Outlook Web Access, depending on your current Exchange Server version) has also been updated and optimized with several new features, primarily for better use with tablets and smart phones, some also for more traditional desktop/laptop use as well.
MAPI over HTTP(S) is now the default protocol used by Outlook users to communicate with Exchange, designed to improve reliability and stability of the client/server connections. While this is now Microsoft’s recommended and preferred protocol, the legacy RPC/HTTP(S), otherwise known as Outlook Anywhere, will still be supported for clients that don’t support MAPI/HTTP(S).
With more and more focus on collaboration, not just communication capabilities, we also see improvements in this area. Exchange 2019 allows Outlook on the Web users to link to/share documents stored in OneDrive for Business in an on-premises SharePoint server instead of attaching those files to messages. The recipient may now have the option of viewing and editing that file on OWA (assuming requirements for running an Office Online Server on-premises have also been met). Microsoft has also made it easier to save/upload files to OneDrive, and the “most recently used” lists now populate with both local and online files.
There are several new and updated message policy and compliance features. With a DLP policy and mail flow rules (also known as transport rules) in Exchange 2019, you can now identify, monitor, and protect 80 different types of sensitive information with new conditions and actions. You now have more options and improvements to In-Place Archiving, retention and eDiscovery features. This includes, but is not limited to, using In-Place eDiscovery to search and place an In-Place Hold on public folders.
And one final highlight is for those organizations specifically thinking about cloud migration. Microsoft has updated the Hybrid Configuration Wizard (HCW) from Exchange 2013 to become a much improved cloud-based application. It can now be updated quickly to support changes and account for newly discovered customer-related issues. There are also improved troubleshooting and diagnostic to help you resolve those issues.
While I haven’t introduced every new functionality in Exchange 2019, I think I’ve touched on those that should be interesting to the majority of administrators and users. If you’d like to learn more about these features or get some hands-on, instructor-led training on Exchange Server 2019, consider attending one or more of our Microsoft courses. We’d love to have you attend in person or virtually using our Virtual Training platform to help you save travel costs. And in case you didn’t know, however you choose to attend these courses, you will also receive a FREE Pearson Vue Certification exam voucher to get you moving down the road to certification!
Here are some Exchange 2019 courses that may be of interest to you:
If you are new to Microsoft 365 in general, and would like a great introduction to Exchange Online, as well as many of the additional core cloud services, you might be interested in course MS--030T00 - Office 365 Administrator.
For those focused on managing Exchange Server on-premises, check out MS-20345-1 - Administering Microsoft Exchange Server 2016/2019.
For those considering Exchange Online, or a hybrid approach to administration (adopting Exchange Online and Exchange on-premises), take a look at MS--203T00 - Microsoft 365 Messaging.
For more information on our Microsoft courses, check out our upcoming schedule at www.LRSEducationServices.com.
If you have any questions or would like more information regarding courses scheduled at LRS Education Services, please call 877 832.0688 extension 1493 or email us at getsmart@LRS.com.
Penny Morgan, LRS Education Services
MCT, MCSA, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCP
Microsoft 365 Certified: Fundamentals
Microsoft 365 Certified: Enterprise Administrator Expert
Microsoft 365 Certified: Security Administrator Associate
Microsoft 365 Certified: Messaging Administrator Associate
Microsoft 365 Certified: Teams Administrator Associate
Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals
Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate