We are pleased to be able to announce the oft-requested Hosting and Multi-Tenancy Guidance for Exchange Server 2013 document. It is available for download here.

As the keen eyed reader will observe, it is very similar to the guidance for Exchange Server 2010. That’s not because all we did was a find, copy and replace, but because the strategy we decided upon for Exchange 2010 holds true for Exchange 2013. That is, you should only use the built in tools, cmdlets and interfaces for configuring your solution, and you should not under any circumstances directly manipulate objects in AD to meet your desired configuration.

What also holds true is the notion that not all features are going to work as you might want them to in a multi-tenant like configuration. For example, MailTips will work exactly the same as they do in a standard on-premises type deployment – and typically that may result in unwanted data between tenants being exposed. The document highlights features that might not work as hoped when you configure Exchange for multi-tenancy, and makes recommendations for configuration, or for disabling where necessary.

Core to the important directory segmentation element of your solution is the Address Book Policy feature. With the recent announcement of a transport agent, created to take advantage of Address Book Policies, we hope you will find your 2013 solution even easier to build and maintain.

Please note there are some important changes for 2013, and so we encourage you to read the guidance thoroughly before you plan and build your solution, and refer back to it as needed if you have any problems.

Just as with Exchange 2010, we have partner solutions that are built following the guidelines in the document, and the solutions we have currently validated are also listed on the site. That list will grow so do check back if the solution you want to use isn’t currently on that list, or contact the vendor and ask about their plans for validation.

We do plan on releasing updated Scale Guidance for Exchange 2013 configured for multi-tenancy or hosting, and will update the solutions site when that document is available.

We hope you find the document useful and look forward to hearing your feedback.

Greg Taylor
Principal Program Manager Lead
Exchange Customer Experience