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  • Adrian Dolder

Welcome to Exchange 2019 - Ignite 2018

Exchange 2019 is on its way! In e few months in 2018, Microsoft will release the RTM for Exchange 2019, which was released in June 2018 as preview.

What are the key changes in Exchange 2019? And what options will be offered to you by Microsoft? What system requirements are needed? And what's on the feature roadmap?

I hopefully can answer this questions in the next lines/in this blog post.

The biggest change in Exchange 2019 is, that the Unified Messaging Role was removed!

WHAT? How we do Voicemail and Attendant when we use Exchange 2019?

As Microsoft said, Voicemail will be available on Azure. So you can use Azure Voicemail. But what if you have regulatory in your country or your customers have any restrictions to don't have any data in the cloud?

Well you don't have that much options, but Microsoft has presented 4 Options you have now:

  • Move all users and mailboxes to Office 365

  • Migrate to Skype for Business 2019 (and use Azure Voicemail)

  • Remain on Exchange 2016 (through 2026)

  • Deploy a 3rd party voicemail solution

These are not the best options, but the only ones you have, if you want to use the Voicemail feature. But we never now, with the public folders it was quiet the same. They will be retired on a version and on the customer voice, they are back and you can use it also in Exchange Online. So sit down and have a beer! ;-)

Upgrade / Migration path

So now, how is the way to migrate if you have also Lync 2010/2013 or Skype for Business 2015 deployed?

First you need to migrate to Skype for Business 2019 and move the voicemail to the cloud. After that, you can migrate also the Exchange Server to 2019. Take care, migration co-existence is only supported with Exchange 2013/2016.

Architecture & Security

Let's talk about the architecture & security of the Exchange 2019.

The new Exchange 2019 runs on Server 2019 ONLY. So in labs you can install it also on a Server 2016, but for production you need to install it on a Server 2019. This is because of the secure combination, where the changes made only exist on Server 2019.

Microsoft recommend you, to run Exchange 2019 on Server Core. Yes that's right, it's not a dream. Since we have Server Core, all we need is to install Exchange on a Server Core to break down attacks, security leaks and make it easier to update. So do it, you then need only a management Server for all the Tools (like Queue Viewer or if you want to do a hybrid configuration and run the HCW - Hybrid Configuration Wizard).

It also supports only TLS 1.2. So you need to check, if your existing environment supports TLS 1.2 before you install your first Exchange 2019 in your environment.

Legacy ciphers and hashing algorithms will be disabled during install! This are: RC2, RC4, DES, 3DES, MD5 and SHA. Cipher order to prefer elliptic curve key exchange - great!

Exchange 2019 also use forward key secrecy mechanisms so compromise of longterm keys does not compromise past session keys.

Search Engine

Microsoft has again re-engineered the search with codename "Big Funnel", which uses Bing technology. You no more have search index files to manage. The indexes are directly in the database, and so it is on the mailbox.

I hope it will be much faster and better than before, but we will see if it is that much faster in a big mailbox when working in Online Mode.

Performance Optimizations

Some optimizations are made to get better performance.

A lot of files are removed that normally have been shipped with the DVD and installed onto the server. This should make installs much faster, reduce surface area, has less disk usage and an overall improvement to security.

And you have no more UM Language packs to install, uninstall, re-install and so on.

They way, memory is used changed. Now the memory will be reserved on the machine assuming all databases were active. But passive databases have no need for large memory cache, so the memory cache fotr passive copies was wasted. Exchange 2019 dynamically adjust memory to give memory from passive to active copies (called dynamic database cache). So more memory for active copies, meaning more cache hits, so less time going to disk, meaning even better performance. It's that easy!

Since that, the number of users you can put on a server has increased 20%!

EAC and PowerShell block external

With Exchange 2019, you are able to block access to EAC (Exchange Admin Center) from external the corporate network.

Awsome, since today you had a big challenge to do it and a lot of troubles with a layer 4 load balancer.

You create a Client Access Rule to restrict access and that's it. But it has some recommendations. The mailbox of the admin need to be on Exchange 2019. The PowerShell connection needs to hit Exchange 2019, because rules are evaluated on the server receiving the connection.

So all connections need to terminate on the new Exchange 2019 to block both, EAC and PowerShell connection.

Calendar administration

There is also a new PowerShell CMDLET to manage calendar events.

Administrators can now cancel all meetings organized by a user.


Remove-CalendarEvents -Identity "Mike Magic" -CancelOrganizedMeetings -QueryStartDate 12-1-2018 -QueryWindowInDays 120

It does not cancel meetings without attendees or resources.

OOF (Out of Office Assistant)

You have new additional options when setting automatic replies. The users can now:

  • block calendar for this period

  • decline new meeting invitations during specified period

  • decline and cancel meetings (all in the period defined in one time!)

EAI/IDN (Email Address Internationalization)

It is now possible to use non-English characters in email addresses. Perhaps if you have a user named René Münster, you can now make his email address rené.mü and it will be routet correctly.

You can send and receive to/from external users with the EAI addresses.

BUT - you can't add an EAI proxy or Accepted Domain to your mailbox actually.

System Requirements

Now let's have a look on the System Requirements for Exchange 2019.

  • Windows Server 2019 (Server Core preferred)

  • .NET Framework 4.7.2

  • Active Directory Forest Function Level 2012R2 or later

  • Solid State Drive hardware if you use MCDB

  • 128GB recommended (not necessary) minimum RAM for mailbox role, 64GB for Edge

  • Co-existence n-2 (Outlook and Exchange Server) - so no Exchange 2010 co-existence

Feature Roadmap

On the end, I've you some features/functions they are on the roadmap:

  • On-Premises Modern Auth

  • Extending Client Access Rules to other protocols

  • Mailbox Encryption using Customer Keys

  • Monitoring/Analytics tools

  • Block Legacy AuthN

  • Removing support for RPC/HTTP - Don't use it anymore!

  • Simplified Calendar Sharing - Announced in Preview

What do you think about the new Exchange 2019?

Where do you see the future of Exchange?

Let's discuss and let me a comment.

#ignite18 #Exchange #Exchange2019 #MicrosoftExchange #MEX #NewExchange #MSIgnite

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