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April 15, 2015  7:13 PM

Microsoft releases name of Exchange Server v.Next

Tayla Holman Tayla Holman Profile: Tayla Holman
Exchange Server, Microsoft, Office 365

The next version of Exchange Server will be called Exchange Server 2016 and will be shipped in the second half of this year, Microsoft said in a blog post.

The new version of Exchange Server will refine search and include improvements to e-discovery search performance and reliability, the company said. Microsoft said it’s working to bring such elements as back-end improvements to Exchange architecture, high availability and storage to on-premises environments. Exchange Server 2016 will also have “tight integration” with SharePoint Server 2016 as well as new REST-based APIs for Mail, Calendar and Contacts.

Most of the new features in Exchange Server 2016 were “birthed in the cloud,” Microsoft said, emphasizing its previous stance that it would be taking a cloud-first, not cloud-only strategy. At last year’s Microsoft Exchange Conference, the company said the cloud “is the place we’re going to deliver you the most value” and that new features would be delivered to Office 365 first and before making their way to on-premises deployments.

Microsoft said it will share more details about Exchange Server at its Ignite conference, which is scheduled for next month in Chicago. A Meet Exchange Server 2016 session is scheduled for May 5, which is expected to include more details about what will be included.

April 1, 2015  8:01 PM

The top Exchange Server content of March 2015

Tayla Holman Tayla Holman Profile: Tayla Holman
ADFS, Exchange 2013, Office 365, Uncategorized

In our monthly feature, we look at the Exchange content most popular with our readers in March.

Organizations and admins had security on their minds last month, while IT pros debated the use of personal email accounts for business.

Clinton’s use of personal email sparks discussion among IT pros 

Reports that Hillary Clinton used her personal email during her tenure as Secretary of State raised several questions about government policy restrictions and the security of data exchanged outside of a corporate environment.

Exchange 2013 CU8 improves EAS and Public Folders

Cumulative Update 8 for Exchange Server 2013 not only offers improvements for Office 365 migrations and Public Folders, but also includes client redirection for Exchange ActiveSync (EAS).

Security tasks Exchange admins should do daily 

There are several daily tasks admins should do to secure their Exchange environments, including being proactive about system monitoring and assessing risks to the setup.

ADFS 2012 R2 offers improvements for Office 365

ADFS 2012 R2 allows admins to use Server Manager for remote installation and configuration and improves the sign-in experience with controls for customizable error messages and company logos.

Six questions to ask hosted Exchange vendors

If your organization is planning to use a hosted Exchange service, you’ll want to make sure that security is a top priority. Here are six questions you should ask before you choose a vendor.

What content was most helpful to you in March? Was it something we didn’t include in our list? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @ExchangeTT.

March 2, 2015  9:01 PM

The top Exchange Server content of February 2015

Tayla Holman Tayla Holman Profile: Tayla Holman
Exchange security, Microsoft Outlook, Office 365, Uncategorized

In our monthly feature, we look at the Exchange content most popular with our readers in February.

Readers wanted to learn more about Office 365 Clutter and Office 365 Video, as well as the benefits of deploying a hybrid setup in Exchange.

Organize your mailbox with Office 365 Clutter

One of the newest features in Office 365, Clutter learns users’ email habits and moves messages that are likely to be ignored to a separate folder. Users can also train Clutter manually by pulling out certain items and telling the feature not to mark them as clutter.

Post and view videos with Office 365 Video

Office 365 Video works with Windows Azure Media Services to give enterprises an easy way to post and view videos directly within Office 365 portals. Admins can also configure permission settings to control who can post videos and create channels.

Survey says Exchange is an easy target for attacks

A recent security survey has found that most organizations are not only unaware of the location of their sensitive data, but also lack BYOD-related technical controls to aid in the secure use of mobile devices.

Boost Exchange performance by optimizing Outlook

Older versions of Outlook may not respond well to certain features in Exchange Server 2013, causing frustrating performance problems. Encouraging end users to use new versions of Outlook can help optimize performance, but reducing the size of personal storage files can help as well.

Benefits of a hybrid Exchange deployment

Hybrid Exchange deployments are a popular choice for organizations that want to use a cloud infrastructure with minimal effort. A hybrid setup may also benefit organizations that don’t have the disk space to provide users with larger mailboxes.

What content was most helpful to you in February? Was it something we didn’t include in our list? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter@ExchangeTT.

February 3, 2015  5:47 PM

The top Exchange content of January 2015

Tayla Holman Tayla Holman Profile: Tayla Holman
Exchange 2013, Exchange Server, Office 365

In our monthly feature, we round up the Exchange content most popular with our readers and share it with you.

For the beginning of the new year, Exchange admins wanted to know which apps would be of value to their organizations and free tools to make Exchange Server deployments run effortlessly.

Must-know apps for Office 365 and Exchange

Wading through the number of apps available for Office 365 can be time-consuming, but there are a few apps every admin should know. Office Mobile is available across a number of device platforms for document viewing, while Outlook Web App (OWA) provides offline access to mailbox items.

Does 2015 signal an Exchange in the cloud movement?

With Exchange moving into the cloud, admins should be on the lookout for an increase in hybrid workloads, as well as new features and capabilities for Exchange Online. For third-party vendors, the focus will likely shift to products that are compatible with Office 365.

Free Exchange 2013 deployment assessment tools

There are several free tools admins can use to make Exchange Server deployments run as smoothly as possible, such as the Exchange 2013 Server Role Requirements Calculator and the Office 365 Best Practices Analyzer (BPA).

Setting up a multi-forest hybrid Exchange deployment

Organizations using a multi-forest hybrid Exchange deployment have a single Office 365 tenant but multiple Active Directory (AD) environments with Exchange installed in each one. A multi-forest hybrid deployment allows admins to move mailboxes directly to the cloud.

Three ways to handle a disabled mailbox in Exchange

Once an Exchange mailbox has been disabled, admins will want to let senders know that the address is no longer in use. One way to do this is to configure an out of office message in the disabled user’s mailbox.

What content was most helpful to you in January? Was it something we didn’t include in our list? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @ExchangeTT.

January 5, 2015  6:40 PM

December in review: the top Exchange Server content

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger
Exchange 2013, Office 365, SharePoint Online

In our monthly feature, we round up the site content most popular with our readers and share it with you.

As 2014 drew to a close, many Exchange admins learned about the newest updates to Exchange and Office 365. But the future was also on admins’ minds as they wondered what potential changes could be coming in 2015.

Changes, improvements in Exchange 2013 CU7
Admins were curious about what they could expect in Exchange 2013 Cumulative Update 7. Many were happy about the update, particularly about a long-awaited fix to public folders.

Say ‘so long’ to SharePoint Online Public Websites
Microsoft dropped Public Websites for SharePoint Online from its offerings just before the end of the year. IT experts weren’t surprised at the change, but some said the drop could hurt smaller shops who put the time and resources into the feature.

The top Office 365 features
As companies look toward the cloud for its needs, they look at the features Office 365 can offer should they choose to make the move. Five features are worth noting.

What’s in store for Exchange in 2015?
We asked our site contributors about what they expect to see for Exchange Server in the new year. Their predictions include hybrid Exchange’s increasingly important role, the evolution of Office 365 and possible security enhancements.

IT pros concerned about Microsoft’s free Office 365 moves
With Microsoft’s latest offer to migrate organizations to Office 365 at no cost, some IT pros have raised concerns about how the move could affect their business. One Exchange MVP takes a closer look at its effect so far.

What content was most helpful for you in December? Was it something we didn’t include in our list? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @ExchangeTT.

December 11, 2014  6:31 PM

Microsoft pulls buggy Exchange 2010 update

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger
Exchange 2010, Microsoft Outlook 2010, Microsoft Patch Tuesday

Microsoft has pulled one of the Exchange updates released this week after customers reported connectivity issues.

Exchange Server 2010 SP3 Update Rollup 8, which was one of four Exchange updates released on Tuesday, was pulled because of connectivity issues to Outlook, the company said in a blog post. Customers were having trouble connecting to Outlook 2010 after they installed the update.

Customers who already installed the update should roll it back and wait to install it until a revised version is released, Microsoft said. The company did not give a timeframe for when a fix would be delivered.

Exchange MVP Michael Van Horenbeeck, who wrote about the Exchange updates released on Tuesday, said it was unfortunate that the update had to be withdrawn because of a bug that wasn’t discovered in Microsoft’s testing process. Microsoft does some elaborate testing, but he thinks this pulled update shows that the company struggles to test all customer scenarios.

“On the other hand, this bug affects a pretty common functionality in Exchange 2010: Outlook Connectivity,” Van Horenbeeck said. “I’m not sure why this exception was not caught as I would think that basic Outlook Connectivity testing is one of the first things in a test plan.”

However, Microsoft was right to quickly react to the problem and pull the update in a short time frame, Van Horenbeeck added.

What do you think of the pulled Exchange update? Have you been affected? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @ExchangeTT.

November 11, 2014  8:05 PM

Microsoft rolls out Clutter for Office 365, rebrands Lync

Tayla Holman Tayla Holman Profile: Tayla Holman
Microsoft, Microsoft Lync, Office 365, Skype

Microsoft rolled out a new feature for Office 365 business customers today called Clutter, which helps users focus on the most important messages in their inbox.

Clutter uses Office Graph’s machine learning techniques to determine which messages users are likely to ignore and moves them to the Clutter folder. Though the feature gets smarter the longer it is used, users can also train Clutter to ignore certain emails by tagging messages as clutter or dragging them to the folder. The feature is disabled by default, but can be enabled from the Outlook Web App (OWA) menu, and syncs across OWA, Outlook and mobile devices.

Microsoft first introduced Clutter in a keynote demonstration at its Microsoft Exchange Conference in March. The feature goes into effect today for customers who opted into First Release and will roll out to customers using the English locale first. Other languages will follow as localization is completed. Microsoft has yet to announce when or if Clutter will become available to non-business users.

Microsoft also said that it has rebranded Lync as Skype for Business. The change will go into effect in the first half of 2015. Skype for Business will adopt Skype icons and adds the Skype call monitor, while refining Lync features like telephony and content sharing. Current Lync Server users will simply need to update from Lync Server 2013 to the Skype for Business Server — no new hardware is required.

What do you think of the latest Office 365 developments? How will they affect your organization? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @ExchangeTT.

November 4, 2014  5:45 PM

October in review: the top Exchange Server content

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger
Exchange Server, Office 365

For our monthly blog feature, we recap our most popular content from the previous month and share it with you.

October was the month of Office 365 on Our readers were interested in learning about some of the particular parts that make up Office 365, including management and migration options.

Message classifications and their role in Office 365

Message classifications, which provide an interface to give users information about their messages, allow Exchange admins to apply business logic. They’re considered to be one of the hidden gems in Office 365.

Options for managing Office 365 user accounts

Before beginning a migration to Office 365, admins will have to decide which way they will establish and manage user accounts. There are three options in the Office 365 management console to pick from, so it’s important to study each option.

Third-party MigrationWiz tool to help with an Office 365 migration

There are lots of questions to answer during mergers and acquisitions, and some of those questions will revolve around Office 365. Native Exchange tools can help with a migration, but a third-party tool may be better for you.

Evaluate how ready you are for an Office 365 migration

Moving from Exchange to Office 365 requires lots of preparation and planning. You can gauge how ready your organization is for the move by answering questions about certain facets of the migration, such as Active Directory and your domain name.

Figure out why your connection is on the fritz

If your Exchange 2010 server keeps disconnecting to Outlook and the network isn’t the cause, you have a few options for determining the cause and coming up with a fix.

What Exchange content was most helpful to you last month? Was it something we didn’t include in our list? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @ExchangeTT.

October 28, 2014  5:01 PM

A recap of Office 365 developments at TechEd Europe

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger
DLP, MDM, Office 365, OneDrive, TechEd, windows intune

Three major changes are coming to the Office 365 suite, Microsoft said at TechEd Europe this week.

The first change to the suite is that Office 365 subscribers will have access to unlimited storage in OneDrive and OneDrive for Business. The rollout comes at no additional cost to subscribers and will continue over the next couple of months. Office 365 Home, Personal, and University customers will be the first to receive the unlimited storage, the company said.

The second change coming to Office 365 is built-in mobile device management features in the suite. The change is set to roll out sometime in the first quarter of next year, the company said. Powered by Intune, these MDM capabilities will include selective wipes of Office 365 data and simpler policy management options. This change will also include enhanced Intune capabilities to manage mobile devices and mobile applications.

The third change is the expansion of data loss prevention features in a number of products, including Office 365 and Office 365 applications. Beginning in the first quarter of next year, Microsoft will enable file classification infrastructure detection for Office documents in OneDrive for Business, Exchange Online and SharePoint Online. Office 365 applications will include native DLP, beginning with Excel in early 2015 and continuing with Word and PowerPoint later in the year, the company said.

These moves appear to be part of Microsoft’s continued effort to follow its cloud-first strategy in delivering changes and upgrades, which was first discussed in detail at the Microsoft Exchange Conference earlier this year.

We will continue to follow the developments at TechEd Europe and update the post if more information becomes available.

How will these Office 365 developments affect your organization? What change are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @ExchangeTT.

October 1, 2014  5:22 PM

September in review: the top Exchange Server content

Toni Boger Toni Boger Profile: Toni Boger
Exchange Virtualization, Microsoft Exchange 2013, Microsoft Learning, Office 365

In our monthly feature, we round up the most popular content with our readers and share it with you.

For September, Exchange admins were most interested in learning about the state of Microsoft Learning’s certification program, Office 365 migrations and the Role-Based Access Control feature in Exchange 2013.

Microsoft Learning needs a revamp — soon

A year after Microsoft Learning canceled its Masters certification program, one Exchange MVP looked at the effects of the cancelation and spoke with other Exchange experts about its consequences.

Office 365 tenant migration prerequisites

Before undertaking an Office 365 tenant-to-tenant migration following a company merger or acquisition, admins should look into what prerequisites the environment must meet and consider using native tools as one way of doing the migration.

Use hybrid Exchange to migrate Office 365 tenants

Following a merger or an acquisition, Exchange admins also have the option of using hybrid Exchange to migrate Office 365 tenants. This tip includes a step-by-step look at what such a migration would entail.

Control Exchange access with RBAC

The Role-Based Access Control in Exchange 2013 can help organizations looking to control access within Exchange, and one MVP includes an introduction for admins about how the feature works and what its authorization model is built upon.

Exchange Server virtualization benefits and challenges

This e-handbook breaks down some of the most important things admins should know when it comes to virtualizing Exchange, including some of the reasons why some organizations should consider virtualization and why others should look at other options.

What content was most helpful to you last month? Was it something we didn’t include in our list? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @ExchangeTT.

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