In Part 3 of my Exchange 2013 series, I will talk about the new PowerShell cmdlets, certificate management, Outlook Web Access, and compliance improvements.

PowerShell ^

PowerShell rules Exchange 2013. It provides great flexibility in managing Exchange 2013 and relies completely on PowerShell 3.0. Exchange 2013 comes with more than 180 new cmdlets (minus a few cmdlets from Exchange 2010 that have been removed). This huge number of new PowerShell cmdlets will certainly make an administrator’s life easier and provides an enhanced scope for automation.

Certificates ^

Certificates play a major role in Exchange 2013 as most of the operations are performed through SSL. Exchange 2013 supports both SAN and wildcard certificates. The trusted certificate has to be installed on the Exchange 2013 Client Access server (CAS) only; Mailbox servers have a self-signed certificate installed by default. The CAS trusts the Mailbox servers. The Notification Center in the Exchange Administration Center (EAC) will notify you about expiration details, if any.

Outlook Web Access (OWA) ^

Outlook Web Access has a new, improved, modern user interface. You can see the new user interface at outlook.com. Microsoft has adopted a similar look and feel for all three mail access user interface modes (Outlook, OWA, and phone devices). OWA also distinguishes between “OWA Premium” and “OWA light” based on the user’s web browser.

Exchange 2013 - Outlook Web Access

Exchange 2013 - Outlook Web Access

OWA now also has an Offline option. This feature allows users to continue to access mailboxes even if they are not connected to the Exchange server. This is similar to the Outlook cached mode. Supported client browsers are Internet Explorer 10, Safari 15, and Chrome 16.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP) ^

Improved compliance is provided through the data loss prevention (DLP) feature. Many third-party tools and appliances provide comparable functionality with additional cost for previous Exchange versions. Microsoft has now integrated DLP in Exchange 2013. Data loss/leak is a major issue in any organization as email is a critical business application that carries the most sensitive information. DLP helps monitor, identify, and protect a company’s data through deep content analysis. This feature is not configured by default. It requires thorough understanding before configuration. Administrators have to work closely with the compliance team to determine various requirements and create the policies accordingly.

DLP can be implemented using DLP policies, which are simple packages that contain sets of conditions. These conditions are just a set of rules, actions, and exceptions. Administrators can create policies using the Exchange Administration Center (EAC) or the Exchange Management Shell (EMS). For testing purposes, DLP polices can be tried without impacting the email flow of end users.

Exchange 2013 - Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

Exchange 2013 - Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

 Administrators can configure “policy tips,” which are similar to mail tips. Policy tips send policy violation notifications to users before sending a compliance violation message.

In my view, the new features discussed in this post will bring more stability to Exchange. Please continue reading the final part in my Exchange 2013 series, which will cover the integration with other Microsoft products.

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