New Features in Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 for 2003 Administrators

March 22, 2010

I recently have been reading up on Exchange 2010 and I have come across quite a few new features that I find quite helpful and interesting. Microsoft has also polished up some features added with Exchange 2007 as well as unloaded some long overdue extra baggage.

First things first, you can say goodbye to several concepts.

  • Recovery Storage Groups – the ground work was paved to improve the recoverability of a local database crash or server failure with the introduction of LCR (Local Continuous Replication), CCR (Cluster Continuous Replication) and SCR (Standby Continuos Replication) in Exchange 2007. With Exchange 2010, these technologies have been consolidated into Database Availability Group (DAG) technology allowing up to 16 copies of a user’s mailbox (more on this in a later post).
  • Storage Groups – One drawback of Continuous Replication in Exchange 2007 was that each database being replicated had to be in it’s own Storage Group. This has been nicked in the bud with databases remaining on the mailbox servers.
  • Administrative Groups – no longer are users grouped together for management assignment, Exchange 2010 has introduced an enterprise view of all users and mailboxes, administrators are assigned rights to manage specific objects and the view can these objects can be organized by flavor using the “Filter” view option.
  • Routing Groups- Active Directory now handles organizational sites and the routing of message communications utilizing the configuration in Active Directory Sites and Services.

Some highlights carried over from Exchange 2007:

  • If you are currently using Exchange 2003, you will find that there has been a big change with the GUI management interface. Microsoft did away with Systems Manager and it’s tree structure back in Exchange 2007. If are considering a migration from Exchange 2003, there is quite a bit of relearning involved.
  • As with Exchange 2007, Exchange Server 2010 will only run on x64-bit platforms. With the rapid increase in hardware technologies, 64-bit technologies will allow for greater scalability like supporting up 8TB or RAM memory and a considerate drop in spool disk space required.
  • There were major improvements in security with the introduction of new server roles in Exchange 2007 such as the Edge Transport and Hub Transport roles, these roles along with others can also be found in Exchange Server 2010. (more on roles in a later post).
  • Transport Layer Security (TLS) was introduced in 2007 and is also included so that unsecured traffic no longer flows between Exchange servers.

Being an engineer that stays on the road quite a bit, I have found that there has been quite a focus on improving the life of the remote and mobile user.

  • For starters, for users on the go that have become accustom to OWA, the new version of OWA included with Exchange Server 2010 can now offer just about every feature available in the full Outlook client, examples such as filters, drag and drop of messages, out of office rules, calendars, contacts, etc.
  • Another new feature available in Exchange Server 2007/2010 is the availability to be able to access internal network shares using a UNC path from OWA. With the “Direct file access” technology, users can access any shares configured by an administrator once logged into OWA.
  • Being an avid Mac user, one feature that gets me all worked up is the added support to OWA’s premium client for browsers such as Safari and FireFox. The “light client mode” is no longer a necessity for us Mac users.
  • Another feature added to mobile devices are the abilities to search all mailbox folders and access network shares with the previously mentioned direct file access technology.
  • WIth Exchange 2007 and 2010, administrators can take advantage a more powerful command line shell allowing for more rapid configuration changes by copying and pasting commands as opposed to the numerous clicks required in the GUI to make a single change.

These are just a handful of changes an administrator has to look forward to when migrating from Exchange Server 2003. I will be blogging on more Exchange 2010 in the near future, be sure to check back later.

For more detail, I recommend Microsoft’s Exchange 2010 Unleashed, Amazon.com: Exchange Server 2010 Unleashed (9780672330469): Rand Morimoto, Michael Noel, Chris Amaris, Andrew Abbate, Mark Weinhardt: Books



  1. Can you verify that Direct File Access is still there in 2010? There is a lot of buzz I’m finding about how pissed everyone is because MS took DFA away.

  2. Is it possible to sync calendar wherever i configured my account

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