Microsoft has released the Public Preview of Exchange Server 2019, and we have been spending time in our labs getting familiar with the product. It will be supported on Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2019. There are definitely some interesting new tweaks to the product!
First of all, this will be the first version of Exchange Server that is supported on Server Core. This is fantastic news as it makes the platform more secure by reducing available attack surface. The product team claims that Windows Server 2019 Server Core is the best choice for their code.
You can also expect increased performance. Guidance for supported servers has increased to 48 CPU cores and up to 256 GB of RAM. Additionally, search has been reworked to include Bing technology, as well as bringing the search indexes directly into the mailbox databases themselves. In prior versions, the indexes were separate files, and administrators would often have to rebuild them, especially if there were a lot of failovers happening in the environment.
Speaking of failovers, the change to search will result in much faster failovers.
And, while it isn’t in the Public Preview, Microsoft has confirmed that tiered storage will be included in Exchange Server 2019. This means that you now have the choice to strategically use lightning-fast SSD to make user experience better, while continuing to use low-speed high-capacity drives for the majority of database storage.
Microsoft will also be integrating some of the Exchange Online calendaring improvements, such as Do Not Forward and Simplified Calendar Sharing to the on-premises product.
Finally, Microsoft has elected to remove the Unified Messaging role from the product. Customers who currently connect either a 3rd party PBX or Skype for Business Server to Exchange Server should consider migrating to Skype for Business Server 2019 and using Cloud Voicemail, or migrating to Office 365 with Cloud Voicemail.
Expect Microsoft Exchange Server 2019 to release by the end of this year. As always, Peters will be ready on day one to help you deploy the latest version of Microsoft’s messaging platform, in the best configuration that makes sense for the way that you do business. If you need any additional assistance, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to help.