MEC Day One Keynotes

So, day one, a celebration of our “Exchangeness”! Apparently were all a little bit zany and think outside the box.

This innovation is what drives the Exchange team to create new technologies like ActiveSync that is now the standard for mobile device mail in a world where 1 in 7 people own a smart-phone.

To capitalise on this spirit a new community website has been launched –

One of the key themes repeated through the day is that of product feedback from the Cloud services, such as Office 365, into the on-premise server products, to make products more manageable and give a better experience to the Information Worker.

A good example of this feedback is Managed Availability – built into Exchange 2013 to deal with the majority of server failures without intervention by an operator. Other features include the Exchange Admin Console (EAC) designed to scale (Including Multi-Forest support) without adding complexity.

Hybrid co-existence between Exchange 2013 and Office 365 was also discussed, including the detail that Microsoft themselves run multiple versions of Exchange in-house, hosted and on-premise.

The new Outlook was discussed, key points being the simplified experience and integration of Apps into the interface (that will also work in OWA as the code is the same). This version of OWA is the closest in look and feel to the full Outlook client ever, it will even work offline and across all devices from PC’s to tablets & ‘phones (not just Microsoft).

Other key details mentioned in the Opening keynote were that DLP is now present in Exchange 2013 as well as “basic” AV & Anti-Spam technology.

The Technical Keynote followed with Ross Smith from the Exchange Group.

A discussion of Server Roles followed, explaining that the 5 split roles were introduced for Exchange 2007, partly as a means of working around the CPU constraints at that time. It has since become clear that the minimum 3 roles always have to be installed, maintained & upgraded together and within the local AD site as a closely coupled unit. This also has issues such as Load Balancing and too many certificate namespaces to manage.

The new split of just CAS & Mailbox roles removes these dependencies, allowing geo-splitting CAS & Mailbox roles and no constraints on upgrading individual servers. All communication is now between Protocol services and not directly to the Store Process.

All communication is now over HTTPS, RPC over TCP in no longer used. ALL client access is now via the CAS role, even Public Folders.

IOPS have been reduced again, now 99% reduced over Exchange 2003 – creating the opportunity to use cheap 7200RPM disks to allow larger mailboxes of 100GB – I think we might need more convincing about that!

Finally Public Folders – they are now stored in the Mailbox Database which means they can be protected by a DAG, but that also means they can only have one active copy, unlike in the past, so there may be a performance impact over slower links.

Overall, a lot of interesting information that will be drilled down into over the breakouts following these keynotes.

Are we all Zany? – Probably a little. Do we think outside the box? – Definitely!


2 responses to “MEC Day One Keynotes

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