JAN 14 2020 -One year from today Exchange Server 2010 will no longer be supported

Jan 14 2020 – One year from today Exchange Server 2010 will no longer be supported.

What does end of support mean?

Exchange Server, like almost all Microsoft products, has a support lifecycle during which we provide new features, bug fixes, security fixes, and so on. This lifecycle typically lasts for 10 years from the date of the product’s initial release, and the end of this lifecycle is known as the product’s end of support. When Exchange 2010 reaches its end of support on January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide:

  • Technical support for problems that may occur
  • Bug fixes for issues that are discovered and that may impact the stability and usability of the server
  • Security fixes for vulnerabilities that are discovered and that may make the server vulnerable to security breaches
  • Time zone updates

Your installation of Exchange 2010 will continue to run after this date. However, due to the changes and risks listed above, we strongly recommend that you migrate from Exchange 2010 as soon as possible.

What are my options?

We’ve [Exchange PG] created a page (https://aka.ms/Exchange2010EndOfSupport) where we outline options, but in order to stay supported you essentially can;

  • Migrate all mailboxes to Office 365 and remove all Exchange 2010 servers by Jan 2020, making sure any on-premises servers used for administration purposes are on a supported version.
  • Go Hybrid with Office 365, remove all Exchange 2010 servers by Jan 2020 and make sure any on-premises servers are on a supported version.
  • Stay On-Premises and upgrade to a newer version of Exchange Server.

Clearly we think moving to Exchange Online and Office 365 is a good idea. We really do believe that’s where you’ll get access to the most secure and productive software with the lowest TCO. But over and above all of that, and in relation to the subject of this post – it gets you out of the upgrade business. If you migrate fully to Office 365 you really don’t need to worry about these big bang version migrations any more. You just have to make sure you keep a much smaller number of on-prem servers up to date, and you’re good.

If you do want to stay on-premises don’t forget that you cannot upgrade directly from Exchange 2010 on-premises to Exchange Server 2019. You can upgrade to Exchange 2013 or 2016 directly from Exchange 2010 and we recommend you upgrade to Exchange 2016 if you have the choice. It will give you a longer support lifecycle and more features. Given how similar 2013 and 2016 are from a migration standpoint, it’s also just as easy to go to 2016 as it is 2013. So, upgrade to Exchange 2016, and then you have the option to go to 2019 if you want to.

What if I need help?

If you have a complex deployment, or if you just don’t have the time or skills you might need some help. That’s fine, there are plenty of ways to get help.

If you’re migrating to Office 365, you might be eligible to use our Microsoft FastTrack service. FastTrack provides best practices, tools, and resources to make your migration to Office 365 as seamless as possible. Best of all, you’ll have a real support engineer that will walk you through your migration, from planning and design all the way to migrating your last mailbox. If you want to know more about FastTrack, take a look at Microsoft FastTrack.

If you run into any problems during your migration to Office 365 and you aren’t using FastTrack, or you are migrating to a newer version of Exchange Server, we’re still here to help. Here are some resources you can use:

You might choose to engage a partner to help too. We have a great number of partners with deep skills in Exchange, and we’re sure one of them will be able to help you. Start your search here – https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/solution-providers/home

So What Now?

What now? You need to get started if you haven’t already. Time really does fly and Jan 14th2020 is only a year away.

Tick Tock.

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

Alias in header being overwritten by Primary SMTP Alias

Very common and very know topic for New Exchange Admins.
By default each e-mail address has one default policy and it is setup when you configure your Exchange Server. So if you setup your Exchange with Contoso.local it will setup as yourname@contoso.local and this will become your REPLY Address. What happens is that at recipients side when they hot reply it will be repling to .local address not to the .com and you will never receive the reply. In order to fix it un-check the Automatically upgrade e-mail address based on e-mail address policy and you are all set.


Exchange 2013 Architecture

I am surprised to read about the changes in the Exchange2013 Architecture. Microsoft has changed the architecture again and now using the combo approach which means running multiple roles in a single role or a single install. It was not too far when Microsoft’s experts were suggesting using the multiple role deployment even in Exchange2010 to make the use of available hardware but didn’t know that will bring the change in the new release of Exchange2013.  So this what it has in the new architecture

Out of new changes there is BIG SURPRISE  that there are only TWO SERVER ROLES, MAILBOX ROLES AND CAS ROLE. Microsoft has combined other server roles into these two roles. So you can install a HUB TRANSPORT and UNIFIED MESSAGING separately anymore.  

There are only two roles in Exchange 2013 i.e. Mailbox and Client Access Server which means no Hub Transport server and there is no news for Edge Transport server but Exchange 2010 Edge can be used.

Exchange2013 Mailbox Server contains all the roles yes it contains all the Client Access Protocols, Hub Transport Services, Mailbox Database and Unified Messaging.

The CAS Server itself does not do anything data rendering, it is just a thin layer which does proxy, redirection and authentication. It is a stateless server. It does offer all the protocols, HTTP, POP and IMAP and SMTP.

RPC is no longer a supported direct access protocol. Means all Outlook connectivity must use RPC/HTTPS (Outlook anywhere).  Does it mean goodbye to MAPI?

Outlook clients no longer connect to a server FQDN as they have done in all previous versions of Exchange. Outlook uses AutoDiscover to create a new connection point comprised of mailbox GUID, @ symbol, and UPN suffix.

The unit of high availability is still the database availability group (DAG). The DAG still uses Windows 2008 clustering. Continuous replication still supports both file mode and block mode replication. However, there have been some improvements. Failover times have been reduced as a result of transaction log code improvements and deeper checkpoint on the passive nodes.

The Exchange Store service has been re-written in managed Now, each database runs under its own process, allowing for isolation of store issues to a single database.


New Architecture benefits

Version upgrades flexibility   No more rigid upgrade requirements. A Client Access server can be upgraded independently and in any order in relation to the Mailbox server.

Geo-flexibility    Because all the processing and data transformation takes place on the Mailbox server, we’re no longer constrained to having both a Client Access server and a Mailbox server in each site. You can now choose to have a central Client Access site for all protocol traffic if you want.

Session indifference   With Exchange 2010, session affinity to the Client Access server role was required for several protocols. In Exchange 2013 Preview, the client access and mailbox components reside on the same Mailbox server. Because the Client Access server isn’t doing any data rendering, we only require layer 4 load balancing. Layer 4 load balancing is protocol- unaware and balances traffic based on IP address and TCP/UDP port.  Does it mean now you can use WNLB without the issue of IP Affinity? And you don’t need high-end load balancers anymore?

Deployment simplicity   With an Exchange 2010 site-resilient design, you needed up to eight different namespaces. With Exchange 2013 Preview, the minimum number of namespaces drops to two. If you’re coexisting with Exchange 2007, you still need to create a legacy hostname, but if you’re coexisting with Exchange 2010 or you’re installing a new Exchange 2013 Preview organization, the minimum number of namespaces you need is two: one for client protocols and one for Autodiscover. You may also need an SMTP namespace. So there are three names space in total.