What was born on the cloud is now descending to your premises! With the release of Exchange 2016, Microsoft is making a bunch of new features whose radiance we have glimpsed in Exchange Online as a part of Office 365 available for on-premises deployment. These features, having powered millions of mailboxes and public folders in the Cloud environment and having gone through trials and testing in the hands of users from diverse backgrounds, have matured by now (may be the reason why Microsoft is following the cloud-first approach now). Wait a minute—if you go merely by looks, you may not be seeing much more than what was offered in its previous versions. But by all means, the new version of Exchange is empowered to enhance the messaging and collaboration capabilities of organizations substantially.
What is new in Exchange 2016? How Microsoft has achieved better messaging and collaboration in Exchange 2016? Let’s see:
Exchange 2016 has a Mailbox Server role with Client Access server (CAS) role integrated to it. This architectural simplification, which is followed by all servers (except Edge Transport Server), has been achieved without changing the way the Exchange message routing and data processing functions. Thus, you can now have a robust messaging system by deploying a lesser number of Exchange Servers. So organizations save on hardware costs, operational costs, and consequent infrastructure costs.
Reliability and High Availability Measures
Exchange 2016 promises better reliability. Replay Lag Manager has been turned on by default in this version. Database failover times have been brought down by 33% too. To take advantage of the high availability features, one can add the Mailbox servers to a Database Availability Group (DAG).
Data Loss Prevention Mechanism
Data Loss Prevention (DLP) mechanism has been given more teeth with features like document fingerprinting. In Exchange 2016, you can manage 80 types of sensitive information for better data security.
Enhanced Client Capabilities
Outlook and Outlook on the web, the desktop and web interfaces of Outlook 2016, offer a finer experience because new features, improved UI, and mobile device accessibility. Some of the new features are single-line inbox view, inline reply, Pin, Sweep, and Undo. Also, they provide better HTML rendering, formatting controls, and inline image pasting. By default MAPI over HTTP connectivity is implemented for Outlook connectivity. Document preview and editing features also have been improved.
You can hope to get instant search results now. Speedy server-side search, type-ahead, and refiners helps you have relevant search results with lightning speed. Search return times have improved with the introduction of a local search instance.
eDiscovery now works with consistency and speed because of a new architecture that shares load with many servers with improved fault tolerance. Both mailboxes and public folders are searchable and multiple mailbox search can be done with the use of cmdlets.
Auto-expanding Mailbox Archives
Exchange 2016 supports auto-expanding of archive mailboxes. Archive mailboxes that are automatically incremented in 50 GB sizes help you store a large amount of data.
Exchange 2016 is more cloud friendly than any version of Exchange. By using hybrid configuration, you can experience some of the cloud based features—Online Protection, Online Archiving, Message Encryption, Azure Rights Management, and Data Loss Prevention—with the on-premises Exchange 2016.