As many of you may already know, support for Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 will be coming to an end in April 2014. Each product that Microsoft releases has a lifecycle that determines how long it maintains and supports the product. Exchange 2003 mainstream support is already over. And, Exchange Server 2003 extended support ends on April 8, 2014.
April 2014 will be here before you know it, so now is the time to start planning your upgrade. Back in 2011, Microsoft gave a heads-up about Exchange 2003 support coming to an end in Time to Move from Exchange 2003. Since then, they’ve released Exchange Server 2013 and released more new features in Microsoft Office 365.
To help you plan, this article discusses the recommended steps to either upgrade to Exchange 2013 or move to Office 365. It also includes links to the appropriate documentation that provides detailed information about each stage in the process.
What's New in Exhange 2013
Before you start planning steps for your upgrade to Exchange 2013, let’s talk about the benefits of upgrading to Exchange 2013. Microsoft has made multiple improvements to Exchange 2013, including, but not limited to the following:
- With Exchange 2013, the number of server roles is reduced to two: the Client Access server role and the Mailbox server role. The primary design goal for Exchange 2013 was for simplicity of scale, hardware utilization, and failure isolation.
- Data loss prevention (DLP) is a new feature in Exchange 2013. DLP capabilities help you protect your sensitive data and inform users of internal compliance policies.
- Smart Search learns from users' communication and collaboration behavior to enhance and prioritize search results in Exchange.
- Outlook Web App emphasizes a streamlined user interface that also supports the use of touch, enhancing the mobile device experience with Exchange.
- The built-in malware filtering capabilities of Exchange 2013 helps protect your network from malicious software transferred through email messages. All messages sent or received by your Exchange server are scanned for malware (viruses and spyware).
- With Exchange 2013, users can merge contacts from multiple sources to provide a single view of a person, by linking contact information pulled from multiple locations.
- Exchange 2013 offers greater integration with Microsoft SharePoint 2013 and Microsoft Lync 2013 through site mailboxes and In-Place eDiscovery. Together, these products offer a suite of features that make scenarios such as enterprise eDiscovery and collaboration using site mailboxes possible.
- Exchange 2013 helps you to find and search data not only in Exchange, but across your organization. With improved search and indexing, you can search across Exchange 2013, Lync 2013, SharePoint 2013, and Windows file servers.
- In Exchange 2013, the Managed Store is the name of the newly rewritten Information Store processes, Microsoft.Exchange.Store.Service.exe and Microsoft.Exchange.Store.Worker.exe. The new Managed Store is written in C# and tightly integrated with the Microsoft Exchange Replication service (MSExchangeRepl.exe) to provide higher availability through improved resiliency.
- Exchange 2013 reduces the number of certificates that an Administrator must manage, minimizes the interaction the Administrator must have with certificates, and allows management of certificates from a central location.
- Exchange 2013 readiness checks make sure that your computer and your organization are ready for Exchange 2013 deployment.
- Public folders now take advantage of the existing high availability and storage technologies of the mailbox store. The public folder architecture uses specially designed mailboxes to store both the hierarchy and the public folder content. This new design also means that there is no longer a public folder database.
- Exchange 2013 introduces the concept of batch moves, which allows the ability to move multiple mailboxes in large batches. The new move architecture is built on top of MRS (Mailbox Replication service) moves with enhanced management capability.