I have been a longtime user, administrator and architect of environments that use Microsoft Exchange. Today is my first day back from MEC2012, The Lost Conference. It had been a long time since the last MECon, and it was well worth the wait.

Microsoft created an environment with a community feel; there were MCMs, MVPs and Engineers from the Exchange team, as well as what appeared to be 1500+ users, admins and architects. Each of the three days was intense, high impact and full of - pardon the expression - "Exhangeness." There were also sessions on Office 365 and Lync - but the focus was Exchange.

Enough of my fanaticism - lets get to some of the technical details, in no particular order.

  • Exchange 2013 reduces IOPS from Exchange 2003 - 2013 by 99%.
  • Pushing back toward "single server with multi roles."
  • Recomended NOT to virtualize, as the need for enterprise disk no longer exists.
  • With DAGs in place, you could feasably implement using SATA-JBOD
  • CAS role no longer requires session affinity at layer 7 - reducing the cost and complexity of the load balancer requirements.
  • OWA can/will run entirely in-frame, has "recover deleted item" functionality, and, my personal OWA favorite, can be operated in Offline Mode with up to a years-worth of content available. Really, the experience you have with Outlook 2013 will, effectively, be the same between OWA and the fatter client.
  • OMA functions now reside on the mailbox servers, providing better overall performance and End-User-Experience
  • If OWA experiences a failure, "Multiple Availability" feature will fail-over DB copies to keep OWA users connected to a server running optimally.
  • The "Edge-Transport" role is gone; you can leverage a 2010 ET if you need one.

For those of you that read this far, AWESOME.

In order to upgrade your 2007 or 2010 environment to 2013 (note, the lack of 2003 - youll need to get to 2010 SP3 first), there will be a service pack/rollup required to have coexistence with 2013. That will be released next year.

As I work through my lab, findings, etc, Ill provide more information. Stay Tuned!!!

 

Matt