Hosting and Multi-Tenancy Guidance for Exchange Server 2013 Now Available

We are pleased to be able to announce the oft-requested Hosting and Multi-Tenancy Guidance for Exchange Server 2013 document. It is available for download here.

As the keen eyed reader will observe, it is very similar to the guidance for Exchange Server 2010. That’s not because all we did was a find, copy and replace, but because the strategy we decided upon for Exchange 2010 holds true for Exchange 2013. That is, you should only use the built in tools, cmdlets and interfaces for configuring your solution, and you should not under any circumstances directly manipulate objects in AD to meet your desired configuration.

What also holds true is the notion that not all features are going to work as you might want them to in a multi-tenant like configuration. For example, MailTips will work exactly the same as they do in a standard on-premises type deployment – and typically that may result in unwanted data between tenants being exposed. The document highlights features that might not work as hoped when you configure Exchange for multi-tenancy, and makes recommendations for configuration, or for disabling where necessary.

Core to the important directory segmentation element of your solution is the Address Book Policy feature. With the recent announcement of a transport agent, created to take advantage of Address Book Policies, we hope you will find your 2013 solution even easier to build and maintain.

Please note there are some important changes for 2013, and so we encourage you to read the guidance thoroughly before you plan and build your solution, and refer back to it as needed if you have any problems.

Just as with Exchange 2010, we have partner solutions that are built following the guidelines in the document, and the solutions we have currently validated are also listed on the site. That list will grow so do check back if the solution you want to use isn’t currently on that list, or contact the vendor and ask about their plans for validation.

We do plan on releasing updated Scale Guidance for Exchange 2013 configured for multi-tenancy or hosting, and will update the solutions site when that document is available.

We hope you find the document useful and look forward to hearing your feedback.

Greg Taylor
Principal Program Manager Lead
Exchange Customer Experience

Comments (11)
  1. Stu Fox says:

    There appears to be a circular link. and no document.  If I follow the link I end up at a landing page, and if I try to get the document it takes me back to the landing page.

  2. Greg Taylor [msft] says:

    The links are just being updated, sorry Stu, it'll take a short while but they will be done soon.

  3. Greg Taylor [msft] says:

    The link should now work.

    One more comment, to save anyone needing to post – the links in the document for the new transport agent are not live and likely won't be until CU1 for 2013 releases. The new feature is in CU1 as a previous blog post explained.

  4. Just finished reading it through.  No major surprises.  Although nothing special about Public Folders?  Also nearly all of the pieces are in place, can we expect an update to the Sizing Calculator soon as well?

  5. Can we expect a 2013 for Hosters forum going up soon as well?

  6. M.Gamal says:

    Hi there,

    Recently I migrated our environment to Office365 , all works great . What I noticed that for contacts creation only the exact address is visible via Outlook , which is not the case as mentioned here…/understanding-contact-objects-in-exchange-online

    My question is that a unique capability for Office365 ? or it is related to Exchange ? . If related to Exchange , how it could be implemented for a multi tenancy deployment ? and it is applicable for Exchange 2010 ?  

  7. Greg Taylor [msft] says:

    Office 365 does not share the directory for tenants in the same way on-prem Exchange or BPOS-S (as the article refers to) does, or did, in the case of BPOS. In 365 each tenant has their own Exchange org/Directory partition and so multiple tenants can have contacts for the same object without clashing.

    So no, you cannot do it the way O365 does it using on-prem Exchange. Sorry.

  8. M.Gamal says:

    @ Greg Taylor : So if I intended to build a multi tenancy I will continue to have the contacts conflict issue even with Exchange 2013 !!!! Or there a workaround ?

  9. Greg Taylor [msft] says:

    The workaround is as I explained to you in the newsgroup post at…/b9f0a128-9e11-449f-8761-7b3e23b2b25e

    There is no other solution when using on-prem Exchange in a multi-tenant way as there is only one shared directory for all tenant objects.

  10. Greg Taylor [msft] says:

    Just saw the original poster in the newsgroup wasn't in fact you M.Gamal, sorry. but I see you on that thread too, and that is the workaround you need to look at.

  11. M.Gamal says:

    @ Greg : Thanks a lot for explanation . I think I will just work with the workaround as it is the only available solution ! . Thanks again  

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