Top 10 New Features in Exchange Server 2010
It’s difficult to read any technical journal or website today without finding stories on cloud computing. In an effort to reduce costs and network complexity, some organizations are opting to move at least some software or services to the cloud.
In response to this need, Microsoft released the first new version of Microsoft Exchange since 2006.
Exchange 2010 has a lot to offer including more flexibility, a better user experience, simplified administration, and much more.
With the 2010 update, they have addressed a few long standing issues and included additional functionality to help solve a crop of new, modern business problems.
The benefits? Unification, lowered costs, higher availability, and improved security.
Let’s review the top 10 new features.
The new outlook web access (OWA) webmail client allows for delegation of administrative tasks. It also includes updated self-help options, intended to reduce help desk calls and ultimately, costs.
The Exchange Control Panel allows users to set their own email rule-set, create distribution groups, and track message delivery. And, if you lose your phone, you can remote wipe from your browser.
Another import feature is the inclusion of support for Firefox and Safari as well as Internet Explorer.
2. Legal Hold
By now, most corporate employees are aware that email should not be considered private. In fact, email has been subpoenaed for court cases.
But corporate policies that outline conflicting message retention dictates make balancing legal requirements against increasing storage costs, a challenge. In response, Exchange now has a legal hold feature that allows for the retention of email, even if archived or deleted.
3. Multi-Mailbox Search
As a tie-in to the legal hold feature, the multi-mailbox search function will allow for searches spanning multiple users’ inboxes. This feature will prove useful for enterprises that need to search their entire systems, perhaps based off a few keywords.
4. Exchange Control Panel
The Exchange Management Console and Exchange Management Shell have been joined by the Exchange Control Panel. This is a new, user-level and administrator management tool that lets users perform basic tasks, and allows admins to perform tasks remotely, using a web interface.
The more an end user is able to accomplish with help desk intervention, should translate to lower costs.
5. Database Availability Groups
Exchange 2010 introduces the concept of database availability groups. The idea is to allow you to designate multiple servers to host copies of individual databases. This is a feature designed to provide for a type of automatic backup. If one database fails, data can easily be restored from one of the availability groups.
This will definitely prove to be an essential tool for business critical email.
6. Database-Level Failover
In previous Exchange versions, a failure would affect an entire cluster. But with the 2010 update, a database failure will be contained to only that database.
7. Voice Mail Transcription
Instead of storing email messages only as sometimes difficult to access attachments, Exchange 2010 now has a speech recognition engine that will automatically transcribe voice mail messages.
The message will still appear as an attachment, which will allow for indexing, but will include a written text preview of the message.
8. Call answering rules
At some point, we’ve all encountered an automated attendant, directing us to press an option on our keypads to handle call routing. This nifty feature has found its way to the end user.
Call Answering Rules allows employees to setup their own call routing rules. For instance, they can send certain calls to voice mail, to their cell or home phones, or to ring through to their desks.
9. Personal Archive
Users in this version of Exchange have a new tool to help manage often unruly inboxes.
Personal archive allows for essentially two mailboxes — a primary mailbox and an archive mailbox. The archive is as readily available and easily browsed as the primary inbox.
10. Retention Policies
With the new retention policies in Exchange 2010, users can determine when messages should expire. This can be done at the folder or individual message level.
Permissions can be tricky and determining resources access requirements can be a time-consuming activity. However, using role-based access control greatly simplifies this process.
Rather than assigning permissions, an administrator can indicate tasks that a resource will perform. The appropriate permissions will then be assigned automatically.
If you think this sounds like an impressive feature list, you’re not alone. An Azaleos survey finds that 44% of enterprises plan to migrate to Exchange Server 2010 within 18 months. Which means that you must be ready for Exchange 2010 if you want to be a part of the action.
Microsoft is providing you with three ways to try Exchange 2010 for free:
- 120 day software trial download
- 60 day web-based test drive
- 30 day online trial