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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

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Microsoft Exchange Server-An Introduction

Microsoft Exchange Server is not just a mail server (that runs on Centralized Windows Server system) but it also helps you to manage your contacts, calendar and tasks. The latest version is Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 is much better than previous versions of Exchange Server in terms of user interface and Data loss prevention techniques. Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 includes some unique features like supports for apps, share point integration and also it is touch optimized.
Exchange Server also provides a platform for mobile and web-based users which make them able to access their data on the go wherever they want (remotely). Exchange Server interfaces with a wide range of email client including Microsoft Outlook and Entourage for the Mac Users. 

 Exchange Server Features        

Microsoft Exchange Server integrates several technologies including Email, Calendaring, Contacts, Voice Mail, Task, Shared folders and it also integrates with Microsoft Lync (formerly Microsoft Office Communicator) and SharePoint which integrates features like Instant Messages, web/video conferencing, document and content management  under a common unified approach. Some of the features in Exchange Server are listed below:
  • Centralized and Role based control: Exchange Server is a computer server that stores organization email and other data centrally hence you can share files among your team 24X7. Also you can define roles to control access and for delegate tasks.
  • Highly Secure: Anti-spam and anti-malware protection also keep your data safe with alerts, message block, encryption, and Information Rights Management (IRM).
  • Sharing becomes Easy: You can share emails, calendar, to-do list and documents with your team to work efficiently.
  • Outlook Web App and support synchronization: Get web-based email and synchronize mailbox with your tablet and Smartphone so that you can work on the go.
  • Unified Messaging (UM): Exchange Server allows users to receive voice mail, email, and faxes in a single mailbox that can be accessed from different devices. 

Exchange Server-A Brief History

Exchange Server 4.0

Release Year: 1996
Runs on: Windows NT Server 3.51
Keys Points
  • First Version of Microsoft Exchange.
  • More reliable then MS- Mail for Centralized email communication.
Exchange Server 5.0
Release Year: 1997
Runs on: Windows NT 4.0
Keys Points
Exchange Server 5.0 supported the first version of Microsoft Outlook (97).
Integrates Email, Calendars (using Schedule+) and address book together.

Exchange Server 5.5

Release Year: 1998
Runs on: Windows NT 4.0/Windows 2000 Server
Keys Points
  • Supports more storage capacity in Enterprise Edition of Exchange Server 5.5 than previous version of Exchange Server which is limited to 16GB only.
  • Better Integration of Email, Calendars and address book.

Exchange Server 2000

Release Year: 2000
Runs on: Windows Server 2000
Keys Points
  • Due to dramatically decreasing of popularity of Novell’s, Organizations were migrating from Novell GroupWise to Exchange 2000 Serve.
  • Use of first version of Microsoft Active Directory (AD) which combined network and email user account into a single user account.
Exchange Server 2003
Release Year: 2003
Runs on: Windows Server 2000/2003/2003 R2
Keys Points
Added mobility to users to synchronize their pocket PC and mobile devices to Exchange Server.
Added concept of Recovery Storage Group (RSG) which allowed organization to mount an Exchange Database for test and recovery purpose.

Exchange Server 2007

Release Year: 2007
Runs on: Windows Server 2003/2003 R2/2008/2008 R2 [64 Bit Systems]
Keys Points
  • Eliminates the concept of routing group being separate from Active Directory sites.
  • Introduction of continuous replication which is one of the major improvements in Exchange Server 2007. Previous version of Excel stores the user’s mailbox to only one server. If by any means the server failed or database was corrupt organization need to take support of third party software to minimize Exchange system outage. Exchange Cluster Continuous Replication (CCR) provided organization primary and secondary copy of database.  If primary database failed, the secondary copy of the Exchange database came online within 20-30 seconds without being noticed by user of primary database failure.
  • Unified Messaging: Users can receive voice mail, Email and faxes in their mailboxes remotely using their cell phone and other wireless devices.  

Exchange Server 2010

Release Year: 2010
Runs on: Windows Server 2008/2008 R2/2012 [64 Bit Systems]
Keys Points
  • Introduction of Database Availability Group (DAG) for Storage: Exchange Server 2010 provided upto 16 copies of user’s mailbox (instead of just two copies as in case of Exchange Server 2007). These copies of user’s mailbox can be situated on servers within a database and or across multiple sites around the world to achieve disaster recovery in true manner.
  • Exchange Server 2010 enables eDiscovery of content stored in user’s mailboxes.
  • Integrates the Voice Mail, Email, Desktop Access and Mobile Access into single platform.
  • Introduction of Client Access Server (CAS)
  • Shadow Redundancy: Protects emails while they are in transit by making redundant copies of mail before they are delivered to mailboxes. 

Office 365

Release Year: 2011
Runs on: Cloud Based Exchange Server
Keys Points
  • Offers cloud based Exchange Server with SharePoint and Lync integration.
  • Parallel branch of Exchange Service (not in direct line with Exchange Version Series)

Exchange Server 2013

Release Year: 2013
Runs on: Windows Server 2008 R2/2012 [64 Bit Systems]
Keys Points
  • Removed 4GB Ram limitation occurred on previous version of Exchange Server due to 32-bit platform.
  • Data loss prevention (DLP): Used to identify, monitor, and protect sensitive data and inform users about policy violations before emails are sent.
  • Support for up to 8TB disks: Exchange Server 2013 supports database that easily run into hundreds of GB’s or even multiples of TB’s size.


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