Exchange 14 Video


We’ve been hard at work on Exchange 14 (E14) for a few years now, and although we’ve shared a lot of details and code with customers on our TAP & Live@edu programs, we haven’t been too chatty publicly. That’s going to be changing over the coming months, starting with this first introductory video[1] with myself and Jim Lucey, the product manager for Exchange Labs, to talk a little bit about some of the work we’ve been doing.


One of the biggest things that’s different in E14 is that we started from day 1 two years ago with the goal of building a product on a single codebase that could be deployed in the way Exchange has been for over a decade in on-premise environments, as well as also be deployed in a service environment and scale to (eventually) hundreds of millions of users.


I say ‘eventually’ because we’re not quite there yet. We have only 3.5 million users right now :) I know, chump change, right?


The service thinking really got traction at the company when Ozzie wrote his software plus services memo, and that has been our mindset from the beginning of the E14 development cycle, affecting everything we do – what features we should build, how we architect them, how we test the code, how we get customer feedback, etc. Although Exchange has always been a group that’s very reliant on dogfooding, even with Microsoft’s ~100,000 mailboxes, that wasn’t enough for us to validate our high scale. So that’s why we started using Exchange 14 in Exchange Labs back in October 2007 as part of the live@edu program.


Today, more than 3.5 million people (students, faculty, staff, alumni) in more than 1,500 schools are using E14 through Exchange Labs, and we are adding more every day. Some of the schools involved include: St John’s University, The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, Hinds Community College, Coos Bay Public Schools, Colorado Community College System, and many more.


We haven’t lost the focus on the on-premise product, however – more to the point, deploying the service helps us understand at a very intimate level what exactly the pain points are in Exchange deployment & administration & more[2] that we need to be improving for on-premise Exchange admins. So at the same time, we’re also working with our TAP customers to test and deploy E14 in on-premise and heterogeneous IT environments. Having that first-hand experience running the service is what’s letting us build the most scalable version of Exchange yet. Ferris Research just did a survey of several enterprise customers, and they found that the cost of running Exchange 2007 was roughly half that of running Exchange 2003. E14 will bring that cost down by a similar margin yet again.


At any rate, so here’s the introductory video. I realize it’s not much to start with, but it’s what I’ve got for now. E14’s coming, get ready to learn more & give us feedback on it over the coming months. We’ll post more videos and blogs in the next couple of months with some more details.



Get Microsoft Silverlight

The video is also available on TechNet in a number of different formats.


[1] Don’t lean back against the wall when doing a video, as you will look like you’re slouching. I hope my mother doesn’t see this video as I’ll never hear the end about my bad posture. I got about 20 seconds in and had to stop, I look like a dork.


 


[2] And compliance, and self-service administration, and mailbox search, and browser matrixes, and hardware costs, and power consumption in the datacenter, and and and… I could go on forever J



 


KC Lemson






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Comments (60)
  1. nick says:

    2 things:

    Is any part of the OWA experience going to leverage Silverlight?

    What about a distro called "Lambda, Lambda, Lambda"?  

    NERDS RULE!

  2. Magnus says:

    I really enjoyed that you start publish some public info about E14!

    I would love to see what you have done to high availability and transport in E14!

  3. Roman says:

    I’d like to hear more about E14 programmability.  EWS is a good step forward in E2k7 but it only exposed a subset.  I’d welcome any info about new Managed API that was previewed at PDC and how it applies to this version.  Are Mapi or ADSI not needed entirely?

  4. Kevin says:

    Thanks for the video. I would love to see more of E14.

    You asked for some feedback so here are a few requests for future presentations:

    – please improve the image capture. When showing screen shots or demos please don’t use a camera that can barely see the screen.

    – explain if the proliferation of required servers has changed. E2K3 was a front end and a back end. E2K7 was Edge, Hub, transport, mailbox, etc. what is the situation with E14?

    – clustering and HA changes?

    – Security delegation …

    [In a University it is more likely to have devolved admin structures, but not the one Microsoft assumes. We have 6 different groups who are responsible for their area’s staff/user accounts/mailboxes/etc. The Infrastructure group delivers Exchange but doesn’t manage the users.

    E2K3 was simple; The admins had ADUC and rights over their users. All properties and management including Exchange was visible in the ADUC GUI. With E2K7 they need ADUC plus the Exchange console but the delegation model is all about splitting user management from mailbox management. I would think the more normal split model should be around "this group manages these users (all features) and this group manages these users (all features)"]

    – backup and restores. I know this isn’t strictly an Exchange issue but it is a day to day issue for most admins.

    [One reason I’m asking is that I followed the "how does Microsoft IT do Exchange" Technet and video trail all the way to the Data Protection Manager 2007 and how to restore a single mailbox. Technet says the following "To recover a mailbox, DPM must copy the entire database because this is the recommended method that Exchange supports". Many 3rd party products allow the quick recovery of mailboxes or even single mail items, but apparently this is not supported. "Microsoft support policy for third-party products that modify or extract Exchange database contents" (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=96542).

    So, what are the restore options supported with E14? a whole separate blog on this topic would be great.

    Another issue with restores .. moving mailboxes around seem to be the norm for many Microsoft how-to’s etc. This really messes with the restore process, as in "OK, we need to restore this mailbox from 12 months ago .. what store was it on back then?". Any changes in thoughts on that?]

    – Performance improvements.

    – OWA improvement for non-IE users

    Thanks. Sorry for the long post. Love the products and this blog!

    Cheers

    Kevin

  5. paul says:

    What about any changes to the LDAP properties. I’m sure we aren’t alone in accessing user and mailbox properties via LDAP. With Exchange 2007 all that seemed to go away. Now we can’t see that data. Any change?

  6. KC Lemson says:

    Kevin – WOW! Thanks for the detailed feedback. We are definitely working on some of the things you raised.

    Everyone – We’ll have more to talk about on these issues over the coming months.

    (still snickering about ‘lambda, lambda, lambda’)

  7. felix says:

    How about decreasing the number of email records?

    For instance, I send an email out to two friends and both reply to my email.  I rather see 1 email with 2 responses, rather than have 2 separate email to the same email subject.

    I get countless emails especially when a big group is responding to the same email.  

  8. Simon says:

    I agree with Kevin on the administration perspective. Too many applications to manage users with mail attributes. I’d like to understand from E14 how the Exchange Management Console has been evolved for delegated administration and the hosted model.

    Oh yes, and everything else of course considering this is the first exposure I’ve had to this new version…. :)

  9. mike says:

    It’s been mentioned but I want to second the cross-browser / cross platform experience request. In a university environment this is key. We can’t dictate what clients our faculty use, let alone our students. Supporting these sub par client experiences is a nightmare for IT in universities.

  10. Will some level of SLA database management be implemented?

    For many reasons Exchange admins need to control the maximum DB size (backup, restore, online maintenance etc.). But with E2K3E2k7 there’s no option to configure the maximum number of mailboxes a database can contain and/or the maximum DB size. Also there’s no option to force DB quotas so that exceptions can’t be made by admins.

    Martijn

  11. mwa says:

    For our University we need to hear whats going on around:

    – Support for non-IE, on Windows and more importantly Firefox/Safari on Mac OSX and Linux. The cross platform support is a big issue for us and the sooner we get good news on E14 the sooner I can reassure my many non Windows users.

    – Improvements to (or completion of!) the web services so people start writing migration tools and plugins for other clients (Lightning!).

    – Any effeciency improvements, support for things like QUOTA,PROXYAUTH (and many more), and fixes made to IMAP. E2K7 IMAP seems *bad* in so many ways. This is NOT the legacy protocol that you appear to think it is, especially for education.

    – Any improvements to debugging junk mail issues?

    – Any additional powershell functions around mailbox content? Especially setting up rules on behalf of a user.

    – Any new resources to help automate Exchange Powershell through C#. We have been doing this mostly blind from the few blog posts available on the subject.

  12. Ben says:

    Pretty please can you allow Edge Transport servers in E14 to support multiple AD forests/Exchange organisations? This would be a great help for those of us with many internet pipes and established companies that have been picked-up by corp. acquisitions.

  13. Emma says:

    Great to see some info about the E14 – would be great to understand more about the architecture of it.

  14. ThoR says:

    Brilliant with some info on the coming version of Exchange.

    Some features I’d like to see (that haven’t been mentioned) are:

    -Easier management of certificates, both internal and public.

    -Be able to do more tasks from the GUI and rather have the PowerShell code appear before commiting the change.

    -Be able to set a company policy for default calendar sharing (not just free/busy)

  15. Michael Dragone says:

    Very cool! We’ll be watching.

  16. thomas says:

    I would like to 2nd/3rd/nth the requests for better Non-IE web support.  I work for a non profit with hundreds of users spread across the globe so have little to no control over their system choices since I never see most of them and they purchase computers locally.

    I applaud the efforts to make more management tasks doable via the GUI instead of just in powershell.  Exchange 2007 RTM was severely lacking in that respect with even common tasks like Send On Behalf permissions requiring long power shell commands.  In small/medium organization’s IT depts. we need to be Jack of All Trades (and masters of none) since 2 or 3 man IT depts. don’t have the manpower to specialize in Exchange Management and memorize the long powershell commands.  

    And single mailbox/item restores when using DPM server is also a concern of mine.  The current official method is long and clumsy.

  17. Lord Melch says:

    Well said Thomas. Powershell ? For big orgs OK, for everyone else ? Why ?

  18. Dan_IT says:

    Would like to know how you guys are changing database portability and database management. I’ve been playing with an early build of E14 from the TAP and there are a few things that have changed. I hear a lot of whispers in the wind about changes to Cluster topologies and setups and would like to know which whay you guys are heading with log shipping and HA design.

    Additionally, any wizards for CSR requests (I get a lot of support calls on how to do this correctly) would be a great addition and the ability to "publish" or push out a certificate to multiple CAS/HT servers in a single operation would be awesome.

    Love the product guys, keep up the outstanding work!

  19. Aunt Cleo says:

    As much progress that appears to have been made, I’m disappointed that:

    – it’s still using Jet and not SQL (I know, I know… unstructured vs. structured data…). I figure all the supergeeks on the product team would have figured this out by now.

    – it’s still a single instance of store.exe. If store.exe crashes, all 50 of your databases go kablooey, too! Bad, bad, bad!! It’s a difficult problem to solve, I’m sure, but I’d like to see store.exe being multi-instanced… like SQL!

    – reduce reliance on RPC. Surely there’s a way to do MAPI over sockets, or something like that. RPC is just way too chatty and WAN latency is just terrible. Don’t tell me to use cached-mode, either. Cached-mode is only useful if you’re using the same computer ALL the time.

    – OWA still does not have the capability of multiple tabs within the same frame window. Having another window open when opening/composing a message is aesthetically inefficient and sooooo yesterday!

  20. Hal Rottenberg says:

    @Lord Melch,

    If you value your time (and your boss values the money he gives you), then you should be learning PowerShell, regardless of whether you work with Exchange or not.  As they say, if you repeat it, script it.

  21. KC Lemson says:

    Stay tuned for more details on browser support in the very near future.

  22. Dave says:

    I would agree with others that the support for a non-IE browser is critical in an educational environment.  How can we tell all of our Mac based students that they only get plain text email capability while their PC counterparts get full rich text & html support?   If you acn’t make that work, and we all know you can, then IE on other platforms are required.  At least then our students that don’t run Windows would not be left without any real options for web based mail.

  23. Martijn says:

    Please add Calendar sharing from OWA.

  24. justin says:

    Can groups be assigned to own or manage distribution lists yet?  Please. :-)

  25. Darren says:

    So is this new version based on SQL Server? Will it be a straight upgrade from Exchange 2003 or 2007?

  26. gazzoni says:

    Great time to separate “heavy” work folders like inbox/sent-itens/calendar from others folders, at database-level. Then,  backup/recovery procedures can be done first for them, and later for the rest of  the others (terabytes) of mailbox items.

    It will cut from hours to minutes to take  Exchange on-line in disaster scenarios. And the recent break of the single-instance message store made in Exchange 2007, will be useful for this suggestion.

  27. PatRick says:

    Roman (and anyone else interested in the Managed Client API), you should also watch the "Exchange API-spotting" blog over at http://blogs.msdn.com/exchangedev/

    There’s nothing new there since PDC at the time of this post, but the guys working on that API post to that blog fairly regularly.

  28. Matthijs in t Anker says:

    Thank your for the demo. I loved it. We are really looking forward to an OWA which is giving shared calendar view. I know that OWA 2007 has a sort of feature for that if you like URL-editting. It would indeed be great if OWA 14 gives easy shared calendar functionallity.

    BUT! /me looks sad.

    Did my eye spot that "public folders" made room for "Sharepoint something" ? Why are you (again!) trying to kill of Public Folders? It is one of the best features Excahnge has over its competitors.

    Please keep the Public Folders in. They are a great way to share e-mails in project groups or amongst different departments. Just make a public folder and start to share. No extra software (and thus licenses) needed.

    /me gives puppy eyes.

    Matthijs

  29. mike says:

    Please kill Public Folders. They are the worst invention for any large enterprise. I do want some stripped down version of a mailbox for shared email addresses though (and 3rd party vendors not to charge for it as a mailbox). Maybe just an inbox and deleted items? That would be perfect for department email address needs.

    I also want to see expanded retention folders with way more options to file things away. Maybe an area for each user with a retention time on it?

    Nice start and I know there are so many other great ideas in the comments I hope you can fit them all in. ;)

    Keep up the great work and love the blog.

  30. Bryan S. says:

    We use Exchange 2007 in a University with 14,000 students. MUST HAVE features in E 14: Ability for non IE users to create distribution lists (read Mac users), ability to hide memberships in groups (for FERPA and data privacy reasons (e.g. class lists)), listserve-type service (ability for extername users to add their names to listserves or distribution lists), more themes and ability to make our own (students love this), in Calendar – a way to show faculty office hours and allow students to schedule themselves in during an office hour.

    Our students LOVE OWA. Your development team is one of the best in Microsoft!

  31. Steve B says:

    Will Exchange 14 be reintroducing the x400 connector?

  32. Petri says:

    – Do you have primary target as clouded Exchange? So in finally you could do our work? ;)

    – Single mailbox diagnostic, so you could increase logging per mailbox not server as today.

    – Notification message to database users, like "your mailbox is unavailable next 30 minutes"

    – Public Folders, are they or not :)

    – Active/Active/Active… clusters?

    – Can user see who have permissions to his mailbox?

    – Can user see who have permissions to use "send as" feature?

    – Can user see when he was used mailbox last time?

    – Can user see who has used his mailbox last time?

    – Can we monitor what has been done in single mailbox, by whom?

    – Firefox support

    – Fixed the problem of lost data when CCR is in use and other server crashes. Last emails are saved, but changes to mailbox are not (last transaction logs are not copied).

    – Something else than Powershell? It is good support, but it just don’t work for daily management.

    For Mike, PFs are great, but Microsoft has not done any real improvements to them…since Exchange 5.5. They are much better than SharePoint could offer..so far.

  33. JohnE says:

    A perspective from someone who has a student in college…

    My daughter barely uses email. She has Exchange via OWA provided by the university but all her communication is done via texting, Facebook and IM (in that order). If I want a quick response, I DO NOT send it to her via email. :->

    This not to say I would advocate turning Exchange into Facebook ::shudder:: Exchange works fine for our corporate environment. But I wonder how Microsoft’s strategy for communications products will integrate Exchange and OCS and their clients.

  34. Ryan S says:

    Look like gmail to me.

  35. Rob P says:

    I’d like to see more information on the upgrade path (hoping that there is an in-place upgrade path)

    Would also like to see information as to whether or not there will be better archiving features built in.  Having to deal with PST hell or a third party program to keep old e-mail available for users without having huge mail databases is a turn off.

    And please have better built-in backup.  DPM is nice but not all organizations can afford the extra hardware/licensing.  Still waiting on a Windows 2008/Exchange 2007 backup solution…has E14 taken this request into account as well?

  36. MaximumExchange.ru says:

    >> Felix said:

    >> How about decreasing the number of email records?

    >> For instance, I send an email out to two friends and both reply to

    >> my email.  I rather see 1 email with 2 responses, rather than have

    >> 2 separate email to the same email subject.

    >> I get countless emails especially when a big group is responding to

    >> the same email

    Hey! None do this way for serios. In early times they used to create a post in public folder with multiple comments and replys. And after that – it’s recommended to use Sharepoint for this kind of conferencing, or you still can use PF. But never an email.

  37. Matthijs says:

    @Mike

    Uhm, why are Public Folders bad for the enterprise? If you don’t need them: just don’t install them. They are not in your way then.

    Shouting stuff without giving argumentation is too easy.

  38. Hasan Khan says:

    Nice video, but it left me hungry for more. Building the software as a service model into the core of E14 is very exciting to see (although we barely got to see any of it).

    I haven’t had the privilege to deploy exchange for 3.5 mill users; I might be closer to 3500. I was wondering whether there are there any plans for creating a "client access" role that is designed to sit in DMZ? I liked the edge role but I was disappointed that it didn’t run client protocols as well.

  39. jaz69 says:

    What is the estimated beta and released date…

  40. Alex Muetstege says:

    Nice vid!

    Things I’d really like to hear more about;

    – The new OWA access experience vs the full client experience

    – The lean OWA client features vs the rich OWA client features

    – Virtualisation of the backend infrastructure

    Those are things that we run into frequently while implementing Exchange.

    Greetz,

    Alex

  41. Gopal says:

    As a admin, how do I register SMTP eventsink say disclaimer at "on arrival of the mail" or "submission of the mail"?

  42. Gopal says:

    Do we have pubic folder concept in Exchange 14 and Exchange online services or Exchange Labs?

    Do we have option/feature to register EventSink for a given custom public folders in Exchange Labs?

  43. Petri says:

    Gobal:

    One thing more for disclaimer, do not add disclaimer if that already exist in the email.

  44. Todd says:

    One thing we’ve noticed switching from Domino to Exchange 2007 – If you want a distribution list to include external email addresses, you first have to create objects for every one of them in AD.  AD should be limited to objects that are part of your organization.

    The only way around this is to use a public folder address book (and public folders is not supported, is supported, is not supported, now it is!)

    It would be great to have a clear path for sharing external contacts outside of AD.  Maybe some ability (LDAP?) to hook into a SQL table of contacts and share out through EWS! ;-)

  45. mike says:

    @Matthijs and Petri:

    I have worked with Exchange since 4.0, MSMail before that and always in large corporate environments. Administration and support of PFs has always been a hassle. It is so hard to control culture and the fact many people see PFs as a file respository or extended file system. The current organization I work at has over 50,000 PFs. That is one folder for every .3 people. Some folders date back to 1997 and have the same content.

    Removing content from an Enterprise organization that is involved in 100s of lawsuits a year creates a major issue. It took 3 years, but we finally have a suitable archiving solution. And no, we don’t archive everything! People who do that are just as insane as those who want to keep PFs.

    Besides the culture change for an organization, why can’t PFs be replaced by Sharepoint or file servers?

  46. Jeff25 says:

    Can you share how the Administrator function can be used if there are two accounts (one normal user the other used for administration).  These seems to be the industry standard now especially with SOX.

  47. Petri says:

    @Mike

    If you compare PF management at 1998 with Exc5.5 and now with 2007, can you found any huge improvements. In my mind Microsoft has not put any effort for support us – like you – to create well controlled PF environment.

    Now we are forced to move data from PFs to another platform(s). Personally I see that there has been huge unused potential on PFs. Perhaps this is because companies want to develop applications on Domino and not on Exchange. Quiet few even knows that there is a "development environment" in Outlook.

    About replacing PF with MOSS and File Shares, so far MOSS has not been ready yet for taking the PF roles. Shared address books, content replication between foreign offices, shared calendars.

    But who knows, time is going forward, and MOSS is coming better and better. Maybe it is time to check this again..

  48. Redflares says:

    Does E14 has inbuilt support for mail archive(to support an e-discovery event) or DAOS(like in Domino 8.5) features? Or we still have to go for third party solutions?

  49. icv says:

    Will it be possible to subscribe to my calendar using anything other than Outlook or OWA?

    Will IMAP performance be acceptable, or will it keep being the joke it is on E13?

    Will it be possible to run both CAS and Store roles on a cluster node?

    And last but not least, when will it get released?

  50. icv says:

    Will it be possible to subscribe to my calendar using anything other than Outlook or OWA?

    Will IMAP performance be acceptable, or will it keep being the joke it is on E13?

    Will it be possible to run both CAS and Store roles on a cluster node?

    And last but not least, when will it get released?

  51. Preston says:

    One thing I’d like to see that I didn’t see in Exchange 2003 (haven’t checked 2007) is real status tracking for internal e-mails.  I  know when we go from Groupwise to Exchange it will be painful to have to deal with "read receipts".  I like to see my status tracking

    Delivered

    Opened

    Deleted

    This is helpful when dealing with "people" issues.

    "Why didn’t you talk to JoeBob?"

    "I sent JoeBob an e-mail.  He did not read it."

    "How do you know that?"

    "Look at the status tracking.  Delivered->Deleted".

    Busted. ;-o

  52. Bob Admin says:

    Please rexamine the reasoning behind forcing mundane tasks to the Power Shell. Sorting mailboxes by size shouldn’t require the use of this ‘Powerful’ tool.

    I don’t have to use use ‘dnscmd’ to sort my DNS entries on a Windows Server.

  53. Raftdell says:

    Will OWA in E14 has the capability to access IMAP/POP accounts as Outlook does? It would be great if my OWA account settings can be made the same as in my Outlook.

  54. darkoaddison says:

    I agree entirely with Rob P.

    Lemson and Co. Please prioritise psts/archiving and ediscovery capability with E14. It’s high time we decoupled this from 3rd party solutions.

    Compliance requirements (SOX for example) are becoming a serious concern for exchange admins!

  55. crazyburns says:

    What I would really like to see in E14’s OWA is the ability to import/export users and calendar items.

  56. Hilal says:

    First of all the Girl Cassie is Annoying. Second this looks like a simple revamp of Exchange 2007. I don’t know why they are trying to push the attachment as  a web page when it is already available in Exchange 2007. Besides there is almost nothing new in there which will make me switch over to E14. Apart from the creation and managing a Distribution group from OWA, there is virtually not much to look forward to.

  57. EmailMe says:

    I have 20,000 users on my Exchange servers.  Some requests are for the following.   I hope I am not repeating any from other posts.

    – Add the Department and or Office field to the Outlook Address Book view.  Helps the user determine which user to email if similar names exist.

    – Address book search does not return true results in advanced search.  It seems to work best if the term is the start of the field and not later in the string like the second word or later

    – Allow users to move the fields in the address book around such as a drag over to arrange like the mail window fields.  Easier to view data.

    – Allow them to filter the view by clicking the header and sorting like Sharepoint lists.

    – OWA already has the user authenticated.  Instead of the folder view of a sharepoint server which is a nightmare to navigate maybe render the Sharepoint site in the right browser window of the OWA client.  Good way to present a Sharepoint Intranet to already logged in users and avoid PF or the document library views.

    – The OWA mailbox space notice in the top left is great.  Add it to the client.

    – Numerical view of unread emails to the right of a folder is good in the client. Add a similar number to the calendar for unactioned meeting requests.

    – Ditch the Public Folders

    – Make PST files awailable in OWA.  Possibly integrate with Sharepoint personal profiles.

    – Export/Publish emails to Sharepoint libraries option as EML instead of using the SMTP connector on the Sharepoint server to receive the message when forwarded which adds a copy to the sent items.  Keep that SMTP option though for other uses.

    Aside from that I am happy with the progress of the app.  Good work all.

  58. marc weibel says:

    ok

  59. Erez says:

    We considered buying Exchange 2007 but when we found out OWA doesn’t support Safari and Firefox we said "bye bye microsoft, there are plenty of other (better, smarter, more compatible, more stable, faster and un-bloated) solutions out there" and went and bought something else (which we enjoy every minute of).

  60. Jason Fletcher says:

    Will it be possible to have multiple SMTP addresses in E14 and be able to "send from" all of them tied to the mailbox?  We have a lot of users that need this and we end up having to create new mailboxes just so they can send from multiple email domain brands.

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