What’s new in Microsoft Exchange 2013 Preview

The preview version has been release the 16th of July. There is many changes in this version. I think Microsoft continue to push his customer on the cloud. Small company should finish in the cloud and big ones in an hybrid configuration.
In this Article I will present some big improvement of this new version and in next blog posts I will describe some of them. Let’s go!

Exchange Administration Center (EAC)

The new EAC is replacing the good old EMC (Exchange Management Console) that we used to get since Microsoft Exchange 2007 and the ECP (Exchange Control Panel).
EAC is the entry point for all your admin task on Exchange 2013 (of course you will continue to use the PowerShell J). The EAC is a web interface so you don’t have to deploy it like the EMC. Moreover EAC has been design to manage “on premise”, “hybrid” and “Online” architecture. I’ve use the EAC with Google Chrome browser and honestly it works very well.
EAC is able to make auditing reports to troubleshoot configuration or get access and activities information on a mailbox.

Roles in Microsoft Exchange 2013 preview

There is no more Hub role. The Hub Transport Service is on the Mailbox role. So we have an architecture base on a front end, the CAS server, and a back-end, the mailbox server.

  • CAS Server: The Client Access server provides authentication, redirection, and proxy services. The Client Access server itself doesn’t do any data rendering. The Client Access server is a thin and stateless server. There is never anything queued or stored on the Client Access server. The Client Access server offers all the usual client access protocols: HTTP, POP and IMAP, and SMTP.
  • Mailbox Server: The Mailbox server handles all activity for a given mailbox. This role contain the client access protocol the hub transport service, the Mailboxes DB and the unify messaging if you decide to use it. So now all rendering and data transformation is done locally on the mailbox server.

The biggest advantages from this new architecture are:

  • Mailboxes server and CAS server are independent from a version point of view so upgrade and update will be more flexible.
  • Because there is no data processing on the CAS Server you don’t need anymore to deploy them on all sites. You can centralize the access.
  • Because the CAS Server is stateless you can use layer 4 load balancer which based on protocol and not IP.

Exchange Store service

Now it is integrated with the replication service. This new service named “Managed Store” work now with the replication Service which is based on ESE as database engine. The most important benefit is to provide better HA (high Availability).
The Managed Store is also integrated with the FAST search engine (the same search engine used by SharePoint 2013 Preview) to provide more robust indexing and searching.

Certificates

In Exchange 2013 Preview, certificate management functionality is provided in the Exchange Administration Center, the new Exchange 2013 Preview administrator user interface. The Client Access server automatically trusts the self-signed certificate on the Exchange 2013 Preview Mailbox server (goodbye warning on the client about untrusted certificates).

Messaging Policy and Compliance

Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

It is a new feature of Microsoft Exchange 2013. This feature identifies the sensitive data to prevent users to send by mistake sensitive data outside the company. DLP is in charge to inform users of the internal compliance policy. By default Exchange 2013 offer a built-in DLP policies based on regulatory standards, however you can extend it or create your own DLP policy.

Moreover the new PolicyTips of Microsoft outlook 2013 Preview will informs users about the policy violations to prevent them to send sensitive data.

In Place archiving, retention and E-discovery

A new improvement helps you to archive and prevent data deletion to meet your compliances needs.

  • In Place Hold (for retention policy)
  • In Place E-Discovery (search across Mailbox, SharePoint and Lync)
  • Keywork Statistics (redefine search query to provide better result)
    Search across primary and archive mailboxes in Outlook Web Access
  • Apply personal tags to default folders using Outlook Web App

Mail Flow

The mail flow has been redefined in Microsoft exchange 2013 Preview. The Hub transport service is now on the Mailbox role. The CAS act only has a front end. The Mailbox server has the Hub Transport service and the Mailbox Transport Service.

  • Front-End Transport Service: on the CAS, i twill deal with all the SNMP traffic (inbound and outbound). There is no processing on the email (no data inspection) but the CAS can redirect them correctly (based on sender, domains…). It will discuss with the Hub transport service only.
  • Hub Transport Service: so where is our hub now? It is here. On the Mailbox server. It still manages the mail flow of the exchange Organization. It will discuss with the mailbox transport service. So all the processing remain on the Mailbox Server now.
  • Mailbox Transport Service: this service is running on the mailbox server and is two different services
    • Mailbox Transport Submission Service: connects to the mailbox database using RPC to retrieve messages, and submits the messages over SMTP to the Hub Transport service.
    • Mailbox Transport Delivery Service: receives SMTP messages from the Hub Transport service, and connects to the mailbox database using an Exchange remote procedure call (RPC) to deliver the message.

Exchange 2013 Preview transport pipeline


Sharing and collaboration

Public Folders

They can take advantage of the DAG. There is no more public folder DB. PF are using Storage technologies of the Mailbox Store; that why they can use the continuous replication model for High Availability.

Site Mailboxes

Site Mailboxes is a new concept. The goal is to access to Mails trough outlook and to the attachments trough a SharePoint Site. It should permit a better collaboration.

Integration with Lync an SharePoint

Exchange 2013 Preview offers greater integration with SharePoint 2013 Preview and Lync 2013 Preview. Benefits of this enhanced integration include:

  • Users collaborate more effectively by using site mailboxes.
  • Lync Server 2013 Preview can archive content in Exchange 2013 Preview and use Exchange 2013 Preview as a contact store.
  • Discovery Managers can perform In-Place eDiscovery and Hold searches across SharePoint 2013 Preview, Exchange 2013 Preview, and Lync 2013 Preview data.
  • Oauth authentication allows partner applications to authenticate as a service or impersonate users where required.

Outlook Web App

Recently the Blog « You had me at EHLO” publish an article on the new OWA. It has been optimize for mobile device. Now OWA support third party application (you have access to them trough a store) and an offline mode is available.

High Availability and Site résilience

Exchange 2013 still use the DAG for High Availability. Some nice improvement has been done like: Gestion de la disponibilité.

  • Managed availability.
  • Managed Store.
  • Automatic configuration and management of DAG networks.
  • Management via the Exchange Administration Center.
  • Enhancements to DAG-related cmdlets to introduce new scenarios.

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