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Exchange 2013: A new look…

The Exchange Server product line experienced a few changes with the introduction of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013. Exchange Server 2013 brings with it a whole new set of services, technologies and features all aimed at enhancing user experience. With the aim to helping businesses and individuals succeed in their collaboration efforts, the new Exchanger Server 2013 drastically lowers the overall cost of ownership. Delving into the core functionality of Exchange 2013 exposes some new features.

Basically, the new Exchange 2013 integrates a multigenerational workforce. The use of smart search ensures that user experience is enhanced; so as to prioritize search results. Users can now merge their contacts from multiple sources such that only a single view of a particular contact is provided. This it does efficiently by linking contact information got across multiple locations.

The new look and feel of Exchange 2013 is a refreshing change. In addition to changing the looks of Exchange 2013, Microsoft also does the same with Outlook Web App. Both now offer an interface that allows users to make use of touch especially with mobile devices.

Integration with Microsoft SharePoint 2013 and Microsoft Lync 2013 is now easier and seamless in Exchange 2013. This was efficiently handled through site mailboxes as well as In-Place eDiscovery. All goes together in a suite and offers the possibility of collaboration and enterprise eDiscovery using mailboxes.

Exchange 2013 means that users are able to meet up with compliance needs. Since compliance can quickly become challenging for many organizations, it is now possible for organizations to find and search data across the organization and not be limited to Exchange. This means in effect that it is now possible and easier to perform a search across Lync 2013, Exchange 2013, Windows file servers and SharePoint 2013 because of the improved search and indexing. Furthermore, there is the introduction of data loss prevention (DLP) which can help prevent users from erroneously sending sensitive data to people who are not signatories to that information. With DLP, it is possible to protect, identify, and monitor sensitive data through the process of content analysis.

The provision of offline support makes it possible for emails and actions to be synced automatically upon the restoration of connectivity. With Site Mailboxes, it is possible to bring Exchange emails and SharePoint documents together to work seamlessly.

The UI layout of Outlook Web App is differently optimized for phone browsers, desktop and slate. Customization of Outlook and OWA is easier with the integration of apps from Office marketplace. For developers this means they will be able to utilize the new ‘Napa’ tools and HTML5 for the customization process.

The Exchange Management Console has been replaced by the new Web-based Exchange Administrative center (EAC). It can also support multiple databases per disk (as to one database and its log files in Exchange 2010); this is made possible through changes to the ESE database engine providing a “sequentialish” IO performance.

Built-in anti-virus protection can be configured and managed from the Exchange Administration Centre (No more console! All is done through powershell or the EAC, which is a webpage). This feature can also be turned off or replaced if the administrator so desires. It is entirely possible to pair this feature with paid services like the Exchange Online Protection; this helps to add an extra layer of protection to the new system.

Administrators no longer has to grapple with multiple roles as they have been reduced to just two which are the Mail Server and the Client Access Server (whilst the hub transport still exists it is now tightly integrated in to the mailbox role). This reduction means loosely coupled roles. The entire traditional server components as is found in Exchange 2010 are present in the 2013 Mailbox server. This includes the Client, Hub Transport service, Unified messaging, Access protocols, and Mailbox databases. The function of the Client Access server is to provide authentication, proxy services as well as redirection. When it comes to data rendering, the Client Access doesn’t play any major role as it is a thin and stateless server. Nothing is queued or stored in this server. All the previous access protocols such as HTTP, POP, IMAP and SMTP are present in this new system.



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