Exchange Server 2010, the new version of Microsoft’s unified communications product, brings with it remarkable innovations. The messaging infrastructure is becoming more cost-effective and more efficient.
Undoubtedly, one of the most remarkable features of Exchange Server 2010 is the changes in Email databases and client connections. Now let’s take a look at what’s new in the 2010 version step by step.
Mailbox Databases and High Availability
The “Storage Group” structure and LCR, SCC, CCR, SCR high workability options in the 2007 version are not included in the 2010 version. In the 2010 version, there are Database Availability Groups (DAG) instead. These groups synchronize among themselves. They act as backups for each other without the need to use an extra high-operability option.
The number of Mailbox servers can be increased up to 16. As the number increases, the number of DAGs will also increase. A cluster structure is used without the need to use the “Failover Clustering” service. This provides a simpler and more efficient automatic load balancing. However, it will be possible to move clients from one group to another without losing their connection.
In 2007 version clients were communicating directly with Mailbox server via MAPI connection. In version 2010 all clients will now connect through the Client Access server. So there will be no client connection to the Mailbox server and the focus will be on the Client Access server only.
With the web interface named “Exchange Server Deployment Assistant”, the planning/installation processes are carried out step by step. A checklist is presented to system administrators and allows a healthy installation without skipping any operation.
Thanks to the Role Based Access Control (RBAC) feature, authorization on users and groups can be done more flexibly. Users can also edit some authorizations themselves. RBAC properties can be changed from both the interface and the command interface.
System administrators have been provided with a more comfortable management environment with the innovations made in the graphical interface and command interface. Commands can be run from a remote computer. Records of administrative transactions are kept.
Outlook Web App
Outlook Web Access (OWA) included in the 2007 version has been enhanced both graphically and functionally. The new interface is called Outlook Web App. Navigating menus, sending/receiving e-mails, actions on contacts, calendar, history and searching are now easier.
Exchange Control Panel
Administrators can perform some Exchange management operations related to users and groups through OWA.
Archiving, which was previously only possible with third-party software, has now become a built-in feature of Exchange Server. While giving a normal e-mail account to the users, an archive account can also be opened. Separate quota management can be applied.
Some tips are shown to users on the e-mail sending screen. For example, when e-mailing a group, there is a hint about how many people are e-mailed. Or, if the person to whom the message will be sent has set an “out of office message”, this will be reported to the user.
If there is Office Communicator 2007 R2 or Lync 2010 in the environment, users can instantly communicate with people through Outlook and Outlook Web App.