PCMAN – It’s been established clearly that Microsoft is rapidly practicing their strategy towards mobile first, cloud-first world. One of the proofs being Office 365 enhanced to its maximum potential, including its Exchange Online feature. However, with a better performance, Office 365 Exchange Online puts Microsoft Exchange Offline Server—that has been long established—at risk.
Luckily, Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 offers a comparable experience with the Office 365 version. Users will benefit from the many advances that have been added to Exchange Server 2016 such as function improvements and performance and stability that are derived directly from Office 365. It also offers significant features designed to improve the management experience.
Flexible and Simplified Architecture
One of the signs that make Exchange Server 2016 as an improved version is the set up process while selecting the server roles. Since Exchange Server 2003 the number of roles available in Exchange Server has exploded. Different roles such as Mailbox Server, Client Access Server, Hub Transport Server, Edge Transport Server and Unified Messaging Server was used in Exchange Server 2007 and 2010.
In Exchange Server 2016, Microsoft has simplified things by only deploying itself as a Mailbox Server or as an Edge Server—those are the only choices. The Client Access Server has been rolled into Mailbox Server role with similar functionalities. The reason behind this gesture came from their experience running Office 365 when they combined the Client Access Server role onto a server with the Mailbox Server role, which resulted in the ability to use fewer servers, thus reduced the overall Exchange Server footprint and improved resilience to failover.
Indexing and Search
Microsoft has changed Exchange Server 2016 Index feature by setting it to be used by passive database copies generated from the passive database so it would prevent the number of WAN traffic. For its Search feature, Microsoft has designed it to automatically recognize commonly misspelled words and offers correction suggestions. Users are also able to search for events from their or others’ calendar. It is also smart enough to figure whether the user is searching for a keyword or a contact.
One of the best features of Exchange Server is the archive mailbox, where Microsoft has further improved with auto-expanding archives. The auto-expanding archive feature allows an archive mailbox to grow to accommodate large quantities of mailbox data.
This feature will come handy for users with extremely large mailboxes. The feature will only engage when the user’s archive mailbox reaches 100GB in size. When it does, the auto-expanding archives feature creates an additional archive mailbox for the user that can accommodate up to 50GB of data.
Data Loss Prevention
Microsoft improved Exchange Server 2016 by adding new DLP engine and Transport rules feature that can act on message classifications applied by a non-Microsoft classification mechanism. It can also detect up to 30 types of information deemed sensitive. On top of its ability to detect sensitive information such as credit card or Social Security numbers, it also allows the user to make updates on some of the sensitive information types that has already been defined.
What Microsoft has done to Exchange Server 2016 was one of their efforts of supporting hybrid deployments that are based on Office 365, on top of making it easier for their customers to move away from local Exchange Server in favor of Office 365. They built Exchange Server 2016 to take advantage of a variety of online services such as Microsoft Azure Rights Management, Office 365 Message Encryption, Exchange Online Protection and Exchange Online Archiving. Bottom line, Microsoft is on their way to educate and migrate their users to a mobile-first, cloud-first world.