I wanted to share my initial thoughts on the Exchange 2013 Preview – slated for release late this year or early next.
One of the first things to notice is that the role count has gone down from five to two – now you only have to be aware of Client Access and Mailbox roles. The Hub Transport & Unified Messaging functionality has been split between the two remaining roles.
Management of your Exchange 2013 world will now be via the Exchange Administration Center, a Web based console with a Metro look and feel. The old MMC Exchange Management Console has been dropped.
No, contrary to comments in 2006, Public folders are still with us and have been developed in Exchange 2013 to be stored in Mailbox Databases that can be protected by Database Availability groups.
The new, clean, Metro style Outlook Web App has a new feature – it can be used offline. You can choose to syncronise your default mail folders onto your PC if using a supported browser (IE10, Safari 15, Chrome 16).
Migration and Co-existence
The preview version has no co-existence capabilities but it would appear (and be logical) that there will not be any direct migration path from Exchange 2003. This will mean that if you are still running Exchange 2003 you need to consider upgrading to Exchange 2010 now to allow migration to Exchange 2013 when you are ready.
These are my first impressions, I’ll write further posts as and when I’ve had a deeper look.