Welcome to Exchange Server 2010!

Exchange Server 2010 continues the tradition of providing more and more Messaging features for the enterprise, and at the same time, significantly lowering mailbox associated costs. This new version brings a slew of features to your messaging and communication infrastructure such as: Archiving, Compliance, High Availability, Enhanced Messaging experiences from various entry points, and so on.

Naturally, with a set of new features, comes the requirement for managing these features. As you are all aware, Exchange Server 2007 was fully manageable with a set of PowerShell CmdLets, and the Exchange Management Console (EMC) was built on top of this. This continues to be the case with Exchange Server 2010: a whole new range of PowerShell CmdLets to manage the product's cutting edge features, and a vastly greater administrative surface exposed via the EMC.

This series of articles will quickly skim through all the new administrative features surfaced via the EMC. Because of the sheer amount of things we wanted to show you, we broke this up into 3 separate blog posts that will follow each other. Future articles will drill into greater detail.

High Availability

High Availability is one of the core themes of Exchange Server 2010. High Availability (HA) in Exchange Server 2010 combines replication techniques and Windows Clustering to deliver a highly and continuously available Exchange infrastructure. One of the key concepts in managing HA in Exchange Server 2010 is "Database Availability Group" (DAG) - a logical container for a set of Mailbox servers that provide isolation from database, server or network failures. Associated with DAGs is the concept of DAG Networks, that can be turned on or off for creating customized continuous replication and database seeding networks. Creating and configuring DAGs as well as DAG Networks, are core scenarios made easy and seamless in the EMC. The following screenshots show the DAG and DAG Network management experience in EMC.


Figure 1: The new Database Availability Group Wizard.


Figure 2: Managing DAG Networks.


Figure 3: The new Manage DAG Membership wizard. You can quickly add/remove servers to/from a DAG here. Once a new server is added here, it immediately participates in providing automatic database recovery.

In Exchange Server 2010, databases are based on new storage architecture, and no longer rely on the older Exchange Server 2007 concept of Storage Groups. Aligning with this change, the EMC has also been enhanced to support the management and monitoring of Database Copies. Additionally, the EMC also allows administrators to manually perform switchovers. The following screenshots show the Database and Database Copy management experience in EMC.


Figure 4: The Add Mailbox Database Copy Wizard.


Figure 5: The new Database Management view.


Figure 6: Viewing properties for a Mailbox Database.

Archiving

Archiving is another core theme in Exchange Server 2010. Archives deliver on a core legal compliance requirement by ensuring that your Exchange Server is in charge of all mailbox data, rather than being stored away in 3rd party backups, personal archives, PST files and such. Archiving can be turned on at a per-mailbox level either during mailbox creation or later individually or in bulk, for example, say at a department level. The following screenshots show the Archive management experience in EMC.


Figure 7: Enabling Archive while creating a new Mailbox.


Figure 8: Enabling Archive for an existing Mailbox.


Figure 9: Bulk-Enabling Archive on a set of mailboxes.


Figure 10: Archive listed as a Mailbox Feature in the Mailbox Property page.


Figure 11: Using the Create Filter option to view mailboxes that have Archive enabled.

Federation and Sharing

Federated sharing allows organizations to effectively collaborate beyond the traditional email exchange. Exchange Server 2010 makes it simple to share and access PIM data (free/busy, calendar and contacts) stored in Exchange with users external to your Exchange organization while maintaining customer confidence around security and control, both at an information-sharing level as well as at the TLS level. Configuring and managing this is a snap with the EMC. The following screenshots show how to setup Federation and Sharing in an Exchange Server 2010 environment and how to share data with Exchange another organization.


Figure 12: Setting up Federation Trust between two organizations, with 3rd-party trusted certificates.


Figure 13: Setting up a new Organizational Relationship between Exchange organizations.


Figure 14: Setting up a new Sharing Policy that can be associated with users in an Exchange organization.

Part 2 of this post to follow... we hope you like what you have seen so far!

- The Exchange Management Console Team