With the release of Exchange 2013 release to manufacturing, Microsoft has advanced its messaging capabilities to new levels of functionality and capability. Of course, it provides the same basic functions and reliability as earlier versions (messaging, group scheduling, tasks), but adds additional power to make it even better, not only for administrators but, more importantly, for users.
Exchange 2013 Key Benefits
- Improve user productivity by making it easier to view message threads as conversations, by allowing them to ‘opt out’ of irrelevant conversations, by enhancing the way they create and review meeting requests and giving them a web tool which is functionally similar to the full desktop client.
- Improved Compliance Management Features such as Data Loss Preventions (DPL) and improved search across SharePoint 2013, Lync 2013 and Windows File Servers.
- Access mail from virtually any device with the improvements in mobile access in Exchange 2013, supporting almost any mobile device or web browser
- Reduce Network Hardware requirements with Exchange 2013 now being ‘session indifferent’, which means that affinity requirements, normally dealt with by a Hardware Load Balancer (HLB) are no longer required reducing deployment complexity.
- Integrated Antivirus Protection is now included with Exchange 2013 with no subscription charges, due to changes in the forefront products roadmap.
- Standardise Group Naming by including suffixes or prefixes, or blocking certain text, ensuring organization naming standard policies are followed.
- Manage communications more effectively by providing speech-to-text conversion of voicemail messages, by showing users when they are sending externally or to a very large distribution group through the use of MailTips and linking with remote organizations for calendar sharing.
- Configure systems that are highly available through the Database Availability Group functionality that allows an Exchange database to be replicated to one or more servers, local or remote, such that recovery from a database or systems failure can be as fast as a few seconds.
- Simplify Exchange deployments with the reduction of roles required within Exchange 2013 environments.
Exchange 2013 Capabilities
- High Availability - Database-level high availability capability can reduce unplanned downtime significantly when compared to previous versions of Exchange.
- Storage Improvements – Up to 50% lower disk IOPS requirements over Exchange 2010. This now allows for the use of large capacity Enterprise SATA storage reducing your storage costs. Now supports up to 8TB databases reducing number of require databases.
- Outlook Client – Built for Outlook 2013 the end users experience has been improved and designed as a central location for SharePoint and Exchange resources. Outlook 2007 or later is required.
- Outlook Web App - Provides a web access option that is virtually the same as the Outlook client, including context-sensitive right click menus. OWA now supports offline mode on IE10 or Chrome 18 or later. OWA continues to support a premium OWA experience for the majority of non-Microsoft Internet browsers.
- Public Folders – Public Folders are still available in Exchange 2013 and are also now available in Office 365. Public folders have had a major makeover in 2013 and have now been moved to the mailbox databases for protection by the DAG.
- Migration Features – In addition to on-line mailbox migrations administrators can now create batches and provide email notifications during the move. Automatic retry and prioritization of moves. Another major change is incremental syncs to migrate changes
- Integration with Lync and SharePoint 2013 –eDiscovery is cross platform aware and can even be performed against file servers
- MailTips - When sending messages provides users with real-time information about how many people are in a distribution list, whether a message is being sent externally, any recipient out-of-office messages and more.
- Out of Office - Schedule on and off times for out-of-office messages and send different messages internally and externally.
- Centralized Rules - Add disclaimers, footer messages, re-route and moderate messages through the use of transport rules.
- Federation - Integrate with other organizations’ Exchange 2010 to enable rich calendar sharing and meeting functionality.
Reasons to Upgrade or Migrate
- Improves Server Consolidation – Exchange 2013 can now support much larger databases and this reduces administrative efforts over previous versions
- Virtualization Support – Exchange 2013 is part of the SVVP program which means Microsoft has tested the Application against leading Hypervisors to ensure application compatibility.
- Upgrade Path – Exchange 2013 can be upgraded side by side from Exchange 2007 and 2010. An upgrade through Exchange 2007/2010 is required for Exchange 2003 systems.
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