Exchange 2019 Server is here – What are you waiting for?

Yes Exchange 2019 Server finally available to public although it is in a public preview, but it has all the major features in it. For IT Pro who just want to test it they can simply download it from here.

For those who’d like to know more about the product, here is high level product overview

Secured by Design

This product version Exchange 2019 is now even more secured. Now you can install Exchange 2019 Server on Windows Server 109 Core version. As per Microsoft this is the most secured deployment of Exchange Server, but it doesn’t mean that GUI version is less secured. End of the day it is your choice which method you prefer to manage your Exchange 2019 Server.

Exchange Server 2019 installed on Windows Server 2019 Core provides the most secure platform for Exchange.”  (Exchange Team, July 24, 2018)

Improved Performance | More Compute Less Servers

Today in the market there is enough computer, storage and memory with the server hardware. Storage being the cheapest one followed by compute and then memory. If you shop for server then you will they come with multiple processor and each processor with many cores. It gets very tricky when you have to deploy Exchange 2013/2016 under PA. The existing requirement for the deployment of Exchange 2016 is 24 Core (12 ore per pro) and maximum 192 GB RAM. In this you need to look for specific model of the servers. Now with Exchange 2019 this is not an issue anymore. Exchange 2019 support 48 Core and 256GB RAM. (still waiting for accurate sizing details from exchange team). Not sure if it would matter to have 4×12 Core or 2×24 core proc. It still helps because this will significantly reduce the number of servers in the large-scale deployment.

Another significant change in the architecture the way it manages the disk storage. Now Exchange 2019 server has the built-in capability to support multi-tiered storage architecture.Exchange 2019 leverages SSDto store key search data, improves login faster and faster retrieval of messages. Now what is required in order to set it up I’d recommend you wait for more details from Exchange Team on their blog.

Database failover is nothing new to Exchange Admin. When a database if failed and a new copy is activated search has to build from start which takes time and impact on end-user experiment and additional burden to Exchange Admin.  Now with the new architecture in Exchange 2019 these search indexes are now within the databasesand normal log shipping includes the database and search data in a single replication and the index is always up to date on all database copies.  This is big relief for sure

Improved End-user Experience

Exchange is known for its state-of-the-art communication and collaboration feature and has a very large footprint in the market. Exchange being in Office 365 as Exchange Online has the most up to date feature in the service. With this new product IT admin and end-user will be able to see some of those features in their on-premises Exchange server 2019. Exchange product team has announced that “Do Not Forward”and “Simplified Calendar Sharing”will be available in on-premises version.  Exchange Admins will also see some more features related to calendaring, and new administration improvements to manage events in end-user’s calendar and delegate permission assignment.

What is the release date of Exchange 2019?

We hope to hear more details about Exchange 2019 during MS iGnite 2018

Exchange Server 2016 CU3 with Windows Server 2016 – NOT SUPPORTED – Hold On

Microsoft Exchange Product Team published the blog post that Ex2016 CU 3 having issues with Exchange 2016 due to the crashes of W3WP.exe and the work is being done, till then don’t proceed.

screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-12-28-35-pm

 

TechNet has also published the what other features have been reported for issues on Windows Server 2016.

screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-12-24-15-pm

Stay Tuned with Exchange Blog

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/exchange/

 

Notes From Microsoft iGnite 2016 #msignite

Running from Hall A to Hall C and then back to Hall A I needed up walking/running approximately 4 miles (6 km) per day, yeah it was good cardio J

I went there to learn more about on-premises Exchange Server 2016 and Hybrid configuration with Office 365 BUT was not quite impressed though you search the sessions you will find approx. 57 sessions on EXCHANGE but most of the are just Office 365 features and product marketing. It looks like iGnite email related (messaging) content were focused to a specific customer market or in other words they ignored the large enterprise customer running complex exchange environment.

I’d also mention that there were some sessions which I liked most and one of them was just specific to Office 365 but it is related to on-premises stuff (Below is the list of sessions I liked most or in other word 5/5 on the score card).

Challenge cloud encryption myths and learn about Office 365 BYOK plans
Yes, now you can bring your own keys.  Very information session from Jaclynn.

Migrate to Exchange Online via Exchange Hybrid
2nd session of the day for Hybrid.  Tons of information, must watch Tim and Mike did an awesome job.  And yes don’t forget to run the RCW on-premises.

Meet twin sons of different mothers (MVPs and Exchange engineers). It was a very interactive session carried out by Tony Redmond with folks from Product Team (Karim Battish and Jeff Mealiffe) and Exchange MVP (Andrew Higginbotham and Jeff Guillet). The room was full of on-premises Exchange Enthusiast.

The Ultimate Field Guide to Office 365 Groups. Microsoft gave a lot of information at Ignite about future developments for Office 365 Groups. This session provided a counterweight in that it focused on how groups are used in the field. This session was carried out by Tony Redmond and Bejamin Niaulin.

Unplug with the experts on Exchange Server and Exchange Online
Another interactive session. Discussion on on-premises, Modern-Auth, ADFS and Hybrid

 

So to conclude that overall it was a busy event, specially with running from one hall to another (wish they plan it better next year). Other than attending these breakout sessions I got most of questions answered by meeting the product team at the booth, I spent HOURS with them.

 

Office Document Editing using Office Online Server 2016 with On-Prem Exchange 2016

Product covered – Office Online Server 2016 and Exchange 2016 CU2

Summary/Goal – Achieve document editing using a web browser without having desktop version of MS Office 2016

 

Like Office 365 document editing, you can also setup your infrastructure for the on-prem document editing . The end-user does not require desktop version of Microsoft Office.

In this lab, I’m using a 3rd party ssl certificate and all the domain name are FQDN.
Exchange URLS  https://mail.office365sme.com, auto discover.office365sme.com 
OOS Server URL https://oos.office365sme.com 
Friendly Certificate name The Office 365 SME

 

Begin Installation

Office Online Server 2016
If you see the same error as I did then install the particular KB, once installed it will dis-appeared as below

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 3.00.49 PM

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 4.08.16 PM

 

Now setup your OfficeWebApp Farm as below – As mentioned above I’m using the same url. These are my lab urls–

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 4.10.32 PM

It FAILED, because the certificate name was type incorrectly. I ran the same cmdlet agains with the correct Certificate Name ‘The Office 365 SME’

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 4.29.04 PM

Setting up Exchange 2016 Server to integrate with Office Online Server 2016

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 4.36.06 PM

Verifying the above integration –

https://oos.office365sme.com/hosting/discovery

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 5.24.57 PM

 

Viewing / Editing the Document Online via browser on your On-Prem Exchange 2016

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 4.37.54 PM

 

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 4.38.24 PM

 

Cheers 🙂

Now your on-prem Exchange 2016 offers you the same feature (one of them) as Office 365.

Exchange 2013/2016 Cumulative Updates and Hybrid Environment.

Exchange 2016 CU2 and Exchange 2013 CU13 now supports .NET Framework 4.6.1

Today Microsoft Exchange Team made announcement of not one but two cumulative updates, one for Exchange 2013 which is Cumulative update 13 and Cumulative CU2 for Exchange 2016.  With these CU updates .NET 4.6.1 is officially supported now.

I’d like to start with Hybrid Deployment first

Minimum CU For Hybrid environments

So if you are and Exchange 2013 or Exchange 2016 or mix of both then you have no choice EXCEPT  upgrade to either CU12 minimum (.NET 4.6.1 is not supported on CU12) or CU1 at minimum (.NET 4.6.1 is not supported on CU1) respectively. So if you on hybrid and want to be at the upgrade to  .NET 4.6.1 then you have to be on the latest CU Levels.

How to proceed?

Do not install .NET 4.6.1 directly on your existing CU, first you need to upgrade to CU13 for Exchange 2013 and CU2 for Exchange 2016, this is the recommendation as per #msexchange team.

  • Exchange Server 2016 Cumulative Update 2 does include updates to Active Directory Schema

Post CU installation

(these three KB article solves the same issue of course you need separate hot fix for all the OS)

Migration to Modern Public Folder Resolved

The issue reported in KB3161916 has been resolved.

To prevent any installation issue
make sure that Windows PowerShell Script Execution Policy is set to “Unrestricted” on the server being upgraded to.

SHA-2 Support for Self-Signed Certificates

The New-ExchangeCertificate cmdlet has been updated to produce a SHA-2 certificate for all self-signed certificates created by Exchange. Customers may opt to replace existing non-SHA2 certificates generated by previous releases as they see fit.

Support for Exchange 2010 ???

Exchange 2010 is still not support and will never be as per Jeff Guillet – http://www.expta.com/2016/06/exchange-2016-cu2-and-exchange-2013.html (read his own comment at the bottom of this post)

For full details checkout #msExchange Team Blog