Exchange 2016 CU2 and 2013 CU13 are out

Microsoft released the latest update to Exchange 2013 and 2016 on 6/21/2016. No major changes, but the DAG auto rebalancing and finally .NET 4.6.1 support are much desired changes. The new DAG feature is important to larger environments and the .NET support is important since 4.6.1 is an automatically suggested update and will cause issues on Exchange, unless you update to CU2\CU13 before install it.

EHLO Blog Post on this: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/exchange/2016/06/21/released-june-2016-quarterly-exchange-updates/

Tony Redmon’s post: https://www.itunity.com/article/excitement-good-news-exchange-quarterly-updates-3412

Key Changes

Other Changes

  • 2016: Get-ExchangeServer cmdlet updated to include rule definitions. Not a big deal, since 2016 servers will either be a Mailbox of Edge server
  • 2016: Self-signed certificates will now use SHA-2

2016 CU2 Key Fixes

2013 CU13 Key Fixes

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20 Years on Exchange and 30 years on email

I don’t recall the exact date, but when I worked at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), 1994-1996, I got a beta version of Exchange 4.0 in late 1995. Having worked with MS:Mail, VMS Mail (ALL-IN-1), and several other email systems I really wanted to see the new mail server from Microsoft.

So using my DEC AXP150, running a true 64-bit processor in 1995!, test box running Windows NT 3.51 64-bit. I installed my 1st version of Exchange 4.0 beta (64-bit also) and started down the path of being a Microsoft Exchange consultant and expert.

Initially, this was just a test system but our team of ~30 quickly moved it for our primary communications. We were on the Microsoft PC Apps support team and really didn’t like the character only messaging systems we had been using. Within a few months, it expanded to the PC hardware support and other teams and when I left DEC, in early 1996, we had over 200 mailboxes on two different Alpha based Exchange 4.0 beta servers. When I was leaving DEC I chatted with our corporate IT staff about their planned roll-out of Exchange, which had Tony Redmond (fellow Exchange MVP) on the team. It wasn’t until around early 2000s that Tony and I reconnected and realized we had talked about Exchange about 10 years earlier when we were both at DEC.

At home, where I ran a 12 node BBS and mini ISP, I continued to run NetScape Mail until Exchange 5.0 came out with OWA support in 1997.

My 1st email system I ever setup was actually about 30 years ago, in 1986 when I was sysop on multiple  WWIV BBSs that were integrated into the FidoNet. Back in those days you could still send an email around the county or world, but it would take many days to get to some locations. We were limited to 300 baud, or about 300 characters per sec, and long distance phone calls were expense, but the rates dropped in the middle of the night. So Fido net would store and queue up message during the day, then at a schedule time when long distance was cheaper it would call a BBS in another city. This process would repeat until your message got from your BBS to the user on the target BBS. It was common for a message to take days to get across the county initially, but hubs were setup and Delphia & Compuserve start providing quicker routing in the early 90s.

Today, we commonly see single emails that were many times the size of our entire mailboxes in Exchange 4.0. We started out with 10MB mailbox I believe on Exchange 4.0 at DEC, now I host mailbox for friends and family on Exchange 2016 out of my house that have a 10GB limit by default🙂

Posted in Exchange, Technical | Tagged | 2 Comments

Odd Transport Issue: Mail Stuck in internal queues

A week or so ago I started to notice messages getting stuck in the queues on one of my Exchange 2013 servers. My troubleshooting included restarting services, applying the latest CU, statically setting IPv6 address, and looking though logs but I was unable to find the issue. What I did see in the logs, at the end of this post, were connection rejected and DNS errors that looked related to IPv6. So in an effort to see if IPv6 was really the issue I setup static IPv6 addresses on the Exchange servers, but that didn’t help. After exhausting many other things and getting tired of copying the mail.que files from one server to another to get the messages delivered, I finally called PSS\Microsoft Support.

PSS started out by checking basic name resolution, which was working. Then check IP and DNS settings on the NICs, where were fine. Then they checked for static DNS server settings on the transport services, I didn’t think of that and should have!

This is where they found the problem. Somehow the IPv6 address for the DNS servers was set on the backend transport service on my IZSRVEX01 server, the one were the queues were backing up. Messages both to be delivered to the Internet, via O365, and to internal mailboxes, even if on the local server, were getting stuck.

Here are the cmdlets PSS ran to find these settings:

Get-TransportService | ft  name, *DNSAdapterGuid
Get-FrontendTransportService | ft  name, *DNSAdapterGuid

On IZSRVEX01 the InternalDNSAdapterGuid value was set to something other than all zeros. So PSS cleared the values with this cmdlet:

Get-TransportService | ? {$_.Name -NotLike "*EDGE*"} | Set-TransportService -InternalDNSAdapterGuid 00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000 -ExternalDNSAdapterGuid 00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000

I’m not sure how these got set, the best wild guess I can make it that it got set somehow when moving VMs between Hyper-V servers. When doing this I’ve seen virtual NICs get lost and have had to reconfigure them, but still not sure why this would cause transport service to have a static IPv6 address set.

What makes troubleshooting this difficult is that starting with Exchange 2013 there is the Front-End (FE) transport services, which the *- FrontendTransportService cmdlets apply to and the Back-End (BE) transport service, which the *-TransportService cmdlets apply to. By default, the BE transport services do not have logging enable also. After I enabled logging, which I normally enable via a Transport configuring script, I did find which log had errors this should have led me to checking the DNS settings on the transport services, but I missed that.

Errors found using cmdlets

Using the [Get-Queue] cmdlet:

Identity    MessageCount NextHopDomain           Status LastError

——–    ———— ————-           —— ———

IZSRVEX01\4          115 edgesync – home to o365  Retry 451 4.4.0 DNS query failed. The error was: DNS query failed with error ErrorRetry

IZSRVEX01\5          497 mailboxes                Retry 451 4.4.0 DNS query failed. The error was: DNS query failed with error ErrorRetry

You can see above that message, that messages to both the EDGE server, which then delivers to Office 365, and to the “mailboxes” database were suck.

Below are further signs of the issues and log entries.

Using the [Get-Queue -Identity IZSRVEX01\5 | FL]:

RunspaceId            : 42ba65c4-de75-4a73-81c3-8c97f9a5a314
DeliveryType          : SmtpDeliveryToMailbox
NextHopDomain         : mailboxes
TlsDomain             :
NextHopConnector      : 500b24dd-bda7-49e5-816d-5e9ea8d9360b
Status                : Retry
MessageCount          : 1
LastError             : 451 4.4.0 DNS query failed. The error was: DNS query failed with error ErrorRetry

 

From BE connectivity transport, default path: C:\Exchange Server\V15\TransportRoles\Logs\Hub\Connectivity\CONNECTLOG<date>.LOG

2016-01-18T18:56:56.592Z,08D32039214A4CB4,SMTP,edgesync – home to o365,>,DNS server returned ErrorRetry reported by 255.255.255.255. [Domain:Result] = IZSRVEDGE01.altered.com:ErrorRetry; IZSRVEDGE02.altered.com:ErrorRetry;

2016-01-18T18:56:56.592Z,08D32039214A4CB4,SMTP,edgesync – home to o365,-,Messages: 0 Bytes: 0 (The DNS query for  ‘SmtpRelayWithinAdSiteToEdge’:’edgesync – home to o365′:’54fa82f8-4b9d-49fe-acbd-2f968f11a3cd’ failed with error : ErrorRetry)

From C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V15\TransportRoles\Logs\Hub\ProtocolLog\SmtpSend

2016-01-21T18:40:50.468Z,Intra-Organization SMTP Send Connector,08D322903B262F35,1,,[da8:6c3:ce53:a890::42]:2525,*,,”Failed to connect. Winsock error code: 10061, Win32 error code: 10061, Error Message: No connection could be made because the target machine actively refused it [da8:6c3:ce53:a890::42]:2525″

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Latest Update for Exchange 2007-2016 are out!

As my tech associate Tony Redmond said on his blog, http://windowsitpro.com/blog/lots-exchange-premises-updates-install, “Lots of Exchange on-premises updates to install.” He is right, Microsoft just released updates to Exchange 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016 today! Not many environments are running all four, but I know of many that are running 2010 mainly and have started to migrate to 2013, but have now switched to 2016 so they have all three versions running in their enterprise.

Exchange 2016 CU1 | KB3134844 | Download
Exchange 2013 CU12 | KB3108023 | Download
Exchange 2010 SP3 RU13 | KB3141339 | Download
Exchange 2007 SP3 RU19 | KB3141352 | Download

2016 CU1 & 2013 CU12 will both update the AD schema, so coordinate with you AD team before attempting to install.

The updates to 2007 and 2010 includes security improvements, mainly changing S/MIME to use SHA-2 vs. SHA-1.

The CU1 download for Exchange 2016 is an ISO and future CUs will probably be also, it’s also very large at 6.4GB vs. 2013 CU12 at 1.7GB. Since it’s an ISO you will need to mount or extract the files to install 2016 CU1.

2016 CU1 and 2013 CU12 both remove the mailbox anchoring support added in CU11 and 2016 RTM. See Tony’s post here on what the issues were with this: http://windowsitpro.com/blog/exchange-mailbox-anchoring-runs-stormy-waters.

.NET Framework 4.6.1 still should NOT be used on Exchange 2013 and 2016 servers, another post from Tony on this topic: http://windowsitpro.com/blog/exchange-says-no-net-framework-461. We hope this is resolved in the next CUs for 2013 & 2016!

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Why I’m Supporting Bernie Sanders

I’ve been following Bernie for a couple of years. When he announced he was running for President in May I was ecstatic since I knew he would bring some attention to major issues, but I admit I didn’t think he would get a huge following. I was right on the first point and wrong on the second.

The Iowa caucuses were just held and Bernie won by far. Technically he lost by .03%, or by one of six coin tosses* that ALL went in favor of Hillary; which there is a 1.56% chance of happening. He won because he proved he is a viable candidate.

So why do I support Bernie? Here are my top five reasons

  1. He wants to get big money out of politics
    In 2012 $609 million were spent by super PACs to back their candidates; this election cycle this will exceed ONE BILLION! If this amount of money has to be spent to get people elected something is wrong. There are SO MANY other way this money could be spent to help others! Bernie is taking money from super PACs to help his campaign and isn’t endorsing any (but technical he can’t stop them either); his is funded by the people, with an average donation of only $27 dollars across over 3 million donations. Historically, 90% of Hillary’s top donors, since 1999, are corporations. Over her career this totals up to $9.3 million from her top 20 contributors or per this article she has gotten $44.1 million from Wall Street and financial firms. Bernie on the other had has gotten 95% of his contributions, since 1989, from unions (as of July 2015); the top 20 come out to $1.2 million. For the current presidential race 73% of Bernie’s funds have come from small individual donations verses 17% for Hillary. As of November, Bernie has gotten outside support of $25,044 vs Hillary’s $20,292,009. Bernie has also stated he will ONLY appoint Supreme Court justices who will make it a priority to overturn Citizens United. He also will fight to pass a constitutional amendment to regulate money in elections and will be fighting in others ways to get big money out of politics. Hillary hasn’t talked about doing any of this, so how hard to you think she will fight for getting big money out of politics when she has made millions speaking to the big money groups?
  1. He wants to address Income and Wealth Inequality
    Today the top .1% (1/10 of 1%) has almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%. We have more wealth inequality than all other major developed counties, this started in the 80s and ties back to point #1. Bernie is the only candidate who want to break up the big banks, most of which are larger now than they were when we bailed them out, vs Hillary who has been funded by them for her entire political career. Wall Street and the billionaire class have rigged the rules to their benefit. Yes, Bernie is for raising taxes but mainly on those making more than $250,000/year and large corporations; both of whom hide their income and use tax shelters to pay a very small to NEGATIVE (they get rebates) percent of taxes. Hear Bernie talk about this topic here.
  1. His personal integrity
    Bernie has been fighting for the rights of people since he was first elected in 1981 as the mayor of Burlington, VT, and into Congress in 1990. That entire time his views on our rights and his areas of focus have not changed. This includes fighting for equal rights for women, LBGT citizens, income inequality, universal healthcare, campaign finance reform, racial discrimination, mass surveillance, and more. Hillary on the other hand has changed her “views” many times over her career. She didn’t support gay marriage until 2013, she voted for the Patriot Act which allowed for legal violation of our right to privacy, she voted for and supported private prisons until Oct 2015, she was very soft on immigration reform until May 2015, and more. She was corrupted by big money a long time ago and will continue to support them. She has also stated she wanted to be President because it’s her time, but she has since changed her public message on this to almost parrot Bernie’s. She is also under investigations for setting up a personal email server and using it for State Department communications, including 22 classified emails, which is a federal offense and carries up to a ten year sentence. [2/8/2016 Article 1 | Hearing Date to be set 2/9] |  Email is what I do for a living, I’ve been designing email systems for 20 years and I’ve worked with the DoD and other classified systems. If this was anyone else, they would have been fired from their job and up on charges already. I challenge anyone to find anything Bernie has been investigated for, beside protesting for our rights, or any shady dealings in his past.
  1. He wants universal health care or Medicare for all
    We are the only “first world country” to not have healthcare for all. The Affordable Care Act/Obamacare was a good first step, but it was supported by private healthcare which should be a sign that it was still very pro-business. Currently the US spends $3 TRILLION a YEAR on health care, or about $9,000 per person, the highest of any country and we have a lower life expectancy then them. Under Bernie’s plan this would be reduced by $6 trillion over a ten-year period and save the typical middle class family about $5,000/year and business would save around $9,400/year per average employee! In addition, over 19 million still do not have health insurance today. We are one of the most prosperous counties in the world so we can all afford to help the sick! We are the 10th most prosperous country, behind almost all European counties who have universal healthcare. Maybe if we cut back a few percent on our military budget we could also fund universal healthcare that way.
  1. He is starting a major politic revolution
    The current political system is mostly controlled by big business, they pay lobbyist to lobby for their client’s best interests, in many cases even write the laws that Congress then votes on, and mass media further supports pro big money politics. This ties back to point #1 of course, but when Bernie wins the Democratic nomination he will bring a MUCH higher percent of younger votes out to vote in November. If Hillary gets it, many of these same people will be further disenchanted by “establishment” politics and won’t show up to vote. The more people who show up to vote the better Democrats do historically, so Bernie will be a stronger candidate against the Republicans. In Iowa Bernie got 84% of the vote of those 17-29, Hillary got 14% of them. But the main reason this is important is that we have got to change Congress to vote for the interest of the 99% not the 1%. The only way to do this is to vote many of them out. With Bernie’s election this process will start with the large liberal voter turn-out, but it will take many years to change Congress and probably more than one President. So by Bernie getting elected he will show that Americas want real change and will be blazing a path for other progressive candidates to follow

There are many other reasons I support Bernie, but these are the key ones. I am showing my support by volunteering as a Data Captain for Colorado House District 11 and a Caucus Captain for HD11 precinct number 625 in Longmont. I am also helping to run our local Bernie supporters group and I have donated to his campaign many times. I am using my blog, social media, and wear a Bernie button everywhere to start conversations whenever I’m out and about.

Bernie is the only candidate who is 100% trustworthy, hadn’t flip-flopped on issues over and over, believes in the separation of church and state, and mostly importantly is truly fighting for the 99%.

Also check out this link for why Bernie is a better choice than Hillary: http://benjaminstudebaker.com/2016/02/05/why-bernie-vs-hillary-matters-more-than-people-think/

You can get involved by going to http://map.berniesanders.com and finding a local meeting to get connected to local Bernie supporters. To see where Bernie stands on the issues goto: http://berniesanders.com/issues

Go Bernie!!!!
A fellow Exchange MVP has also endorsed Bernie on his blog, read his post here: http://paulrobichaux.com/2016/01/30/why-i-donated-to-the-sanders-campaign

Now with all of that said, Hillary is still a FAR better choice than any of the currently leading Republican Candidates. If Bernie doesn’t get the nomination Democrats still need to win this election!

Fellow Geeks check out https://www.facebook.com/groups/geeksforbernie/, just found it a bit after posting this article.

Great site for checking where each Democratic candidate stands on issues: http://bernievshillary.org. Pick the issues that are important to you and it will then ask you were you stand on questions related to those issues. It will then show you where the candidates stand today AND in the past.

Or summarized in a single graphic:
CTLdXUrU8AEK10H

Updates:
2/8: Judge Sets Hearing Date in Hillary Clinton E-mail Case
2/8: FBI formally confirms its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server
2/8: Great site for checking where each Democratic candidate stands on issues.

Pick the issues that are important to you and it will then ask you were you stand on questions related to those issues. It will then show you where the candidates stand today AND in the past. http://bernievshillary.org

2/4: Added link about PACs being setup for Bernie, even though he is against him. Besides denouncing them he can’t really prevent them. But so far the ones that have been setup are by Unions not billionaires.
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/12/bernie-sanders-super-pac/420930/

2/4: Adding link after the “six coin tosses” comment to an article by NRP that there was more than six, but it didn’t include too much details or proof about their being more than six. So in trying to keep this post has truthful as possible here is the link with more details.
http://www.npr.org/2016/02/02/465268206/coin-toss-fact-check-no-coin-flips-did-not-win-iowa-for-hillary-clinton

2/4: Added reference to statement Hillary made last night in the Democratic Town Hall and the totals that the Washington Post came up with.

  • “In all, donors from Wall Street and other financial-services firms have given $44.1 million to support Hillary Clinton’s campaigns and allied super PACs, compared with $39.7 million in backing that former president Bill Clinton received from the industry.”
  • “Only about $75,000 of the $75 million Sanders has raised for his 2016 campaign has come from donors in the finance sector.”
  • “With the $21.4 million that Wall Street has given for her current White House bid, Clinton is on track to quickly exceed the nearly $23 million that she raised in her three previous campaigns combined from the PACs and employees of banks, hedge funds, securities firms and insurance companies.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2016/02/04/daily-202-hillary-clinton-makes-her-wall-street-problem-worse/56b23083981b92a22df007C1

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/clinton-blasts-wall-street-but-still-draws-millions-in-contributions/2016/02/04/05e1be00-c9c2-11e5-ae11-57b6aeab993f_story.html

Posted in Personal, Political | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Script: Set-TransportLogs.ps1

Starting with Exchange 2013 there are now three groups of transport related logs: Front-End (new to 2013), Back-End (or just Transport), and Mailbox Transport. By default, these logs all go under the directory where you install Exchange, which is the C: (system drive) by default. I’ve seen these logs easily take up GBs of space since they are saved for 30 days, by default, and generate many lines in multiple logs for each message transmitted.

So I created this script to easily reconfiguration the location of these logs to save space on the install drive and make troubleshooting\finding these logs easier. I also enable NTFS compression on my D:\Logs directory to further save space. In my environment I have two Exchange 2013 servers, three Exchange 2016 servers, and two EDGE 2016 servers. This script will exclude any server with the name “EDGE” in it, since normally the EDGE servers are in the DMZ and can’t be accessed from the internal network and some transport cmdlets can’t be run against an EDGE server directly.

This script will not move the old or currently opened log files, so you will need to some some manually clean-up.

Set-TransportLogs.ps1

$FEReceivePath = "D:\Logs\Transport\FE\Receive"
$FESendPath = "D:\Logs\Transport\FE\Send"
$FEConnectivityLogPath  = "D:\Logs\Transport\FE\Connectivity"

$BEReceivePath = "D:\Logs\Transport\BE\Receive"
$BESendPath = "D:\Logs\Transport\BE\Send"
$BEConnectivityLogPath  = "D:\Logs\Transport\BE\Connectivity"

$MBXReceivePath = "D:\Logs\Transport\MBX\Receive"
$MBXSendPath = "D:\Logs\Transport\MBX\Send"
$MBXConnectivityLogPath = "D:\Logs\Transport\MBX\Connectivity" 

$Servers = Get-TransportService | ? {$_.Name -NotLike "*EDGE*"}

ForEach ($Server in $Servers) {
	$ServerName = $($Server).Name
	Write-Host "Setting Log Paths on [$ServerName]"
	Set-FrontendTransportService $ServerName -ReceiveProtocolLogPath $FEReceivePath -SendProtocolLogPath $FESendPath -ConnectivityLogPath $FEConnectivityLogPath -ConnectivityLogEnabled $True
	Set-TransportService $ServerName -ReceiveProtocolLogPath $BEReceivePath -SendProtocolLogPath $BESendPath -ConnectivityLogPath $BEConnectivityLogPath -ConnectivityLogEnabled $True
	Set-MailboxTransportService $ServerName -ConnectivityLogPath $MBXConnectivityLogPath -ReceiveProtocolLogPath $MBXReceivePath -SendProtocolLogPath $MBXSendPath
}

Write-Host "`nFrontendTransportService:"
Get-FrontendTransportService | ? {$_.Name -NotLike "*EDGE*"} | FT Name, ReceiveProtocolLogPath, SendProtocolLogPath, ConnectivityLogPath -Wrap
Write-Host "TransportService:"
Get-TransportService | ? {$_.Name -NotLike "*EDGE*"} | FT Name, ReceiveProtocolLogPath, SendProtocolLogPath, ConnectivityLogPath -Wrap
Write-Host "MailboxTransportService:"
Get-MailboxTransportService | FT Name, *Protocollogpath*, ConnectivityLogPath -Wrap

Posted in Exchange, Script, Technical | Tagged , | Leave a comment

What’s New and Cool in Exchange 2016 – It’s out now!

10/12 Update: Link to Exchange 2016 Preferred Architecture added
10/2 Update: Known Issues section added near the end

Continuing my “What’s New and Cool” series that started with Exchange 2007, this article is on Exchange 2016 which was released today! For the latest timeframe information on the other Wave 16 releases see this roadmap page by Redmond Magazine.

Download here | EHLO Blog Post | Release Notes

Exchange 2016 builds upon Exchange 2013 and the extensive experience Microsoft has gained from running Exchange in the cloud publicly since the Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) in November 2008 and Office 365. The experience Microsoft has gained from running Exchange 2016 in Office 365 for almost a year will benefit on-premises customers greatly. The same code using for Office 365 is converted into on-premises installable version, which a few features disabled that are only available in O365. Sadly Clutter and the new “Office 365” groups will be only available in O365. For info on these two technologies see these two articles by Tony Redmond: Q&A Clutter and Using Office 365 groups with Outlook 2016. You can read more about Office 2016 here What’s New and Improved in Office 2106 & Office 2016 Quick Start Guides.

While I still love Exchange and recommend it over any other on-premises email and calendaring solution, for small, medium, and even large organization, the value that Office 365 provides is huge! If you’re running Exchange on-premises today and are a small (<250 users) organization there are VERY few reasons to be running your own messaging systems anymore. Medium and larger orgs tend to have some special requirements and a migration to O365 does take proper planning and testing, so the move isn’t as quick or easy but it still a very viable option for most orgs. Check out this Microsoft site for information on this topic: http://www.whymicrosoft.com/see-why/customers-find-value-choosing-office-365/

2016 Announcements and Articles

Here are some of the best places to go for more details on Exchange 2016:

Also join the Exchange Information Sharing Facebook group here that I admin with Tony Redmond and a few other Exchange MVPs: https://www.facebook.com/groups/MSExchangeInfo/. This group is primarily focused on Exchange 2016.

Key Changes in Exchange 2016

  1. One Role to Rule Them All – Single role only, unless you count the Edge Transport server
  2. Reliability and performance improvement – This is major benefit of “Born in the cloud”, 2016 being designed for and tested in O365 for almost a year before going to public beta
  3. Faster and more intuitive search
    1. Server side search speed significantly improved
    2. Message index by the Transport layer – No delay on messages and attachments showing up in search results
    3. Outlook 2016 will utilize server side search improvements, even when in cached mode,
    4. Fuzzy logic based search and suggestions shown as you type; based on content in your mailbox, people you communicate with, and your query history
  4. 33% faster failovers than 2013
  5. Simplified document sharing with support for OneDrive and SharePoint 2016
  6. New Outlook web experience

General Changes

Reliability, Scalability & Performance

  1. Additional storage performance improvements – 22% less IOPS than 2013 or 95% less than 2003! – STOP using expensive SAN solutions and high speed disks for Exchange!!!
  2. Faster and more scalable eDiscovery – Big effort was spent on improving search performance in 2016
  3. Hybrid improvements – Improved UI & error handling
  4. Database divergence detection and repair
  5. Support for 1 million Public Folders, also supported in 2013 CU8
  6. Resilient File System (ReFS) recommended for DB & log volumes
  7. Refactoring of mailbox size statics to be more accurate, expect around a 10% growth in reported usages of mailbox
  8. Support for dynamically expanding VHDX files – Legacy expanding VHD and differencing disk are still unsupported

Server and Role Changes

  1. “Up-Down” proxy support for Exchange 2013 – 2013 and 2016 can proxy to other 2013 or 2016 servers
  2. Office Web Apps Server required for Office document viewing in OWA/OotW
  3. Non-IP/Administrative Access Point (AAP) DAG used by default

Enhanced Features, Extensibility & Usability

  1. Modern attachment support – With Outlook 2016 and OotW using file sharing services, like OneDrive, will be much easier
  2. DLP improvements – More templates, Mail Tips, and document fingerprinting
  3. MAPI over HTTP on by default – Added in Exchange 2013 SP1, but could only be enabled at org level; with 2016 it can be enabled at the user level
  4. Support for litigation hold of Public Folder content
  5. Supported in Azure, using premium storage only – But this should only be an option in very special cases, if you want hosted Exchange use Office 365
  6. Greater extensibility – Greatly improved Add-In module for Outlook and Outlook on the Web

OWA Changes

  • Renamed to Outlook on the Web
  • GAL UI picker removed, replaced with search paradigm
  • UI being tweaked to look more like “Outlook Mobile”
  • Frequent contacts tracked and suggested when starting a new email
  • Undo action button, like accidental deletes & moves
  • Pinning of message to top of the Inbox
  • Sweep support for touch devices
  • Improved, “Modern Attachment” attachment support, including Most Recently Used (MRU) list of attachments

New APIs

Preferred Architecture for 2016

See The Exchange 2016 Preferred Architecture post on the EHLO blog for full details. Lots of great info in this Channel 9 – Microsoft Ignite session by Ross Smith also: Exchange Server Preferred Architecture, but in summary:

Servers

  • Multi-role (it’s your only option with 2016 now)
  • Commodity hardware
    • Dual-socket system, 20-24 cores max, and mid-range processors
    • Max of 96GB of RAM

Storage

  • Large capacity 7.2k SAS disks
  • Battery-backed cache controller (75/25)
  • Multiple databases per volume
  • Auto-Reseed with hot spare drives
  • Data volumes are formatted with ReFS and encrypted with BitLocker

Availability

  • Single namespace (FQDN) used for all sites
    • Except for Outlook Web Apps Server, should be on namespace per datacenter for OWAS
  • Layer 7 network load balancer with one VIP per datacenter, with per-service health checking.
    • No session affinity
      • Except for Outlook Web Apps Server, should be enabled for OWAS
    • Round-robin Geo-DNS
    • Symmetrical DAGs spanning datacenters
    • No administrative access point
    • Single network for replication and client traffic
    • Utilize a third datacenter or Azure for Witness server placement, if possible
    • Deploy four copies per database, two copies in each datacenter
      • One copy is a lagged for seven days

Known Issues

  1. 10/1: Can add an Exchange 2013 database to a 2016 DAG
  2. 10/1: Can’t connect to archive mailbox when using MAPI over HTTP
    • Only an issue if 1) MAPI over HTTP is enabled on the user’s mailbox AND 2) MAPI over HTTP is disabled at the organization level
    • Users will get the error: “The set of folders cannot be opened. The attempt to log on to Microsoft Exchange has failed”
    • Workaround: Disable MAPI over HTTP for the mailbox
      • Set-CasMailbox -MapiHttpEnabled $False

Features that didn’t make RTM but should appear in a future CU

  1. Auto-expanding archives – Providing nearly unlimited archive mailboxes, if enabled & desired
  2. 40% reduction in network usage – Indexing built using local DB copy instead of active copy only
  3. Loose Log Truncation aka Log Reply Manager enabled by default – Prevents an off-line database from causing excessive and space consuming log build up on other replicas

Discontinued from 2013

  1. Client Access and separate Mailbox roles, just Exchange Server now
  2. Exchange 2007 & Outlook 2007 support
  3. Windows Server 2008 R2 and earlier support for Exchange servers
    1. Must be at least one Windows 2008 R2 or higher writable DC\GC in each AD site with an Exchange 2016 server
    2. Windows 10/2016 Server may or may not be supported with Exchange 2016 RTM
  4. Pre-Windows Server 2008 forest or domain functionality level
  5. MAPI/CDO – REST APIs should be used
  6. Outlook 2008 EWS for Mac

What’s discontinued in Exchange 2016, include a list of features disconnected from 2010 also see: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj619283(v=exchg.160).aspx

De-emphasized, may not be in the next version

  1. Third-party replication APIs
  2. RPC over HTTP
  3. DAG support for cluster administrative points

What’s New and Cool Historical Posts

2013: https://blog.jasonsherry.net/2012/07/31/new_cool_exchange_2013/
2010: https://blog.jasonsherry.net/2009/04/15/whats-new-and-cool-in-exchange-2010-e14/
2007: https://blog.jasonsherry.net/2006/07/21/whats-new-exchange-2007/

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