Exchange 2019 – The Beast has Resurfaced

  • Exchange 2019
  • Released for public preview in 2018
  • Rumours surfaced in 2017
  • Microsoft coding geniuses putting the beast together since 2014
  • And I, pure awesomeness, trying to keep up with the changes since 2009!

Hi folks! Yep, pure awesomeness here again and no, I’m not here to talk about cross forest this and mail flow that. I’m here to let you all know our good friends at Microsoft have now advised the next release of Exchange server is in public preview!

So, what does this mean for Exchange experts like you and me? It means we can download a giant 5.7GB ISO file from Microsoft’s trustworthy internet facing repositories, install Exchange in our lab environment and do whatever the heck we want with it and try to break it. Now why on earth do we want to try and break it? Well, let me firstly repeat…this is a public preview release, meaning in no way shape or form should you even consider installing it in a production environment! It means the platform has its kinks and it’s up to you and me to find out what these kinks are, report it to Microsoft so the coding geniuses can lock themselves away in their labs and work on adding in those extra 4,500,000 lines of code to make the platform more stable enough to be deployed in production.

OK Mr Pure Awesomeness, so what’s new with Exchange 2019? I thought you’d never ask. Here we go! Before I begin, I should point out that these are all what’s part of the public preview release. Once Exchange 2019 hits the shelves, these features may change.

Performance

Microsoft have done so much work on Exchange over the past 15 years, from adding in one extra line of code to make the platform do backflips on command all the way to carrying the 1 to ensure you don’t have to use Outlook Anywhere anymore. With Exchange Server 2019, you can potentially run this bad boy with up to 48 processor cores and 256GB RAM! Time to start letting your finance department know you may need a bigger IT budget this year.

Security

This is a big one! Previously, Exchange wasn’t supported on Server Core but now, you guessed it…it is! By providing support for Server Core and might I add, recommending that it is installed on Server Core, makes this release of Exchange the most secure platform its ever been since the heydays of Exchange 5.5!

So, what does this mean? It means you’ll need to sharpen your Server Core skills to be able to install Exchange 2019. But never fear, you can still install it on Windows Server 2016 (or Server 2019) with the Desktop Experience enabled for all of us out there who take comfort in seeing the Start Menu on a server.

Search Indexes

Wait for it…are now within the database! *Queue the happy dance*

This means no more separate log files to manage! In a high availability scenario, the search index replicates with the database!

User Experience

The most crucial part to any Exchange deployment and migration! You could be an absolute ace (like me) at implementing the platform, but if finance isn’t happy about Outlook taking so long to connect, guess what…you miss out on pay day and going out and splurging on that PS4 you wanted just so you can spend endless hours on Far Cry.

Back to the user experience…as you might be aware, Microsoft introduced MAPI over HTTP back in the Exchange 2013 days and slowly started to phase out RPC connectivity on Exchange 2016. Well, in Exchange 2019, RPC is gone for good! MAPI over HTTP is the new protocol and given that it’s supported with all Outlook client versions currently in mainstream and extended support today, it just made sense to remove RPC completely. This may change when Exchange 2019 becomes general release, but I doubt it.

So, there you have it folks…a very brief run down of what you can expect to see with Exchange Server 2019 which is now in public preview. Download it, install it, break it (if you can) and report to Microsoft with your findings and then, sign up to Insentragram and keep up to date with my future blog posts on what else is new and improved in the world of Exchange!

Until next time, Pure Awesomeness signing out!

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe – Muhammad Ali”

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