After many dog food, beta, and RTM releases MS just made the announcement that Exchange 2013 is available as a final RTM release. Once again this next shiny new release of Exchange adds to an extensive feature set. Some are large features and some not so much. Here is what you can expect:
- Public folders – Public folders are now located inside an Exchange mailbox. This means that they can be managed in the EAC and participate in a DAG so that they will have the same high availability features as mailboxes.
- Server role reduction – Servers roles have been reduced to just two simplifying deployment. The Client Access server now handles authentication and proxy and the Mailbox server hosts the other server components including Unified Messaging.
- Mail store dedicated worker processes – Each mail store has a dedicated worker process. If one goes down it does not bring down the others.
- OWA improvements – In My opinion this is the biggest enhancement to OWA since Exchange 2003. Offline Access!! Using HTML 5 local data storage you can now create and edit email messages and then connect to synch.
- Web based EAC - If you find yourself in the Management Console on a daily basis the this is a big change. The EAC will now replace the Management console.
- Data loss prevention – Available at the transport this feature will alos include PCI checking and integrate with Mailtips to warn a user before sending an email that they are out of policy.
- Improvements to DAG resiliency, High Availability, and Disk I/O.
My favorite change is the change to the OWA client. It will be interesting to see how much more the OWA client is used in the future with this added functionality. Congrats to the MS Exchange team on their new release!