We can appreciate that, at times, being a Microsoft Exchange Server administrator can be a challenging role. You’re dealing with demands on server space, architecture questions, the day-to-day costs of operating and managing an efficient system, and the headaches that come with server maintenance and repairs. Well, have we got some good news for you – Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 promises to ease many of these issues and make your job that much easier.

Releasing in late 2015, Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 includes a number of enhancements and improvements designed for the very people who work with it on a day-to-day basis:

Improved File Collaboration

Your users like to email each other. Your users particularly like to email each other the documents they’re working on together. This habit places a demand on both server space and office bandwidth. To help mitigate the demands on your email partition, document partition and bandwidth, Exchange 2016 introduces new file collaboration capabilities with the addition of adding documents as links rather than the full file..

And, for those of you considering or using OneDrive, you’ll find that this document linking option within emails enhances your ability to manage and version corporate documents on your shared drive.

Simplified Architecture Equals Savings

Building on momentum from Exchange Server 2013, Microsoft has continued to take strides to simplify and reduce server roles. The 2013 architecture recommended that each server had a dual role with both Mailbox and Client Access Server roles. While this recommendation does extend to Exchange 2016, Microsoft has removed the Client Access Server role and these responsibilities are now managed completely by the Mailbox role.

Faster Database Failovers and Improved Site Resiliency

Now that the Mailbox servers can be added to a Database High Availability Group with high availability protection, database failovers are expected to drop by a third based on Exchange 2013 numbers. This change coupled with the improved site resiliency of Exchange 2016 means the recovery time from server failures and corruptions is much faster.

Seamless Exchange 2013 Coexistence

No one likes change, particularly when this change has the potential (and history) of introducing problems and headaches. With the new proxy capabilities it is much easier to introduce your Exchange 2016 servers to your network. This improvement allows you to plan for a straight-forward swap out of your Exchange 2013 servers with your new Exchange 2016 servers.

Reduced WAN Costs and Demands

Your users like to search for their documents and emails and have a tendency to do this on a frequent basis. These seemingly simple searches can place a high load on your WAN, resulting in higher costs for you. To help reduce your WAN costs and demands, Exchange 2016 uses passive copy for all searches. Your users can be confident that the passive copy index is updated on a regular basis, ensuring that all content is up-to-date.

Automated Repair Features

Server maintenance and repairs take up a lot of your time and effort (and can cause a lot of stress). With Exchange 2016 and its automatic repair functionality, the bulk of these issues should be solved for you. Any database corruptions are detected using database divergence detection and loose truncation is used to prevent long-term space problems caused by dismounting databases. In addition, with Get-MailboxServerRedundancy cmdlet, you can easily see the status of your Database Availability Group servers and immediately understand where repairs and attention are required.

Moving to Exchange 2016

Typically, upgrading and changing server infrastructure can seem like a task that will introduce very limited improvements – this is not the case with Exchange 2016. With features and functionality envisioned to make your job as an administrator more straight-forward and efficient – Exchange 2016 is a welcome change in your office infrastructure.

When planning for Exchange 2016, be sure to contact the Messageware team for assistance with your pilots and roll-outs. Our team is developing and delivering key security updates and features for Exchange 2016.