Exchange Server 2019

What’s new in Exchange 2019

Exchange Server 2019 is designed to deliver security, performance and improved administration and management capabilities; attributes our largest on-premises customers expect from Exchange.

Exchange use a single building block architecture that provides email services for deployments at all sizes, from small organizations to the largest multi-national corporations.

Exchange 2019 roadmap
Currently, the planned list of major updates for Exchange 2019 looks like that:
  • Deploying on-premises Modern Authentication and block legacy Auth Mechanism (No more NTLM and basic Auth)
  • Extending the before mentioned Client Access Rules to protocols other than Exchange Admin Center and PowerShell
  • Mailbox encryption using Customer Keys (already implemented in Office 365)
  • Changes to Monitoring & Analytics tools
  • Blocking RPC over HTTP protocol. MAPI over HTTP is already the default and recommended transport protocol.

Exchange 2019 requirements

A complete list of Exchange 2019 system requirements, is available at this site. Below, I list a shortened version.
  • Windows Server 2019 regardless whether it is the Mailbox or Edge Transport role (Windows Server Core is recommended but not required)
  • .Net Framework 4.7.2
  • AD FFL 2012R2+
  • Coexistence with Exchange 2013+ (although there are a few exceptions)
  • 128-256 GB RAM for Mailbox Server, minimum of 64 GB for Edge Transport
With the great focus on scalability and performance, the minimum RAM requirement might come as a bit of surprise. According to the documentation, Exchange 2016 required only 8 GB of RAM. As far as I have tested it, small Exchange 2016 organizations worked just fine with 8-16 GB. While it is possible to install Exchange 2019 with less memory, it will not let you experience any of the performance-boosting functionalities.

Unified Messaging removed

With Exchange 2019, Microsoft says goodbye to the UM role. Organizations which use Unified Messaging probably are not thrilled to learn that.

Security-focused release of Exchange

Each and every Exchange version was announced to be more secure than the previous one. This time; however, the Exchange development team went an extra mile to ensure maximum security of the newest release.
Even before the official release of Exchange 2019, it was mentioned that Exchange 2019 has been created with Windows Server Core version in mind. The most important reason for this decision is, that’s right, security. You can install Exchange 2019 on Windows Server with Desktop Experience, but you will not be able to take advantage of the improvements mentioned below.

Scale & performance improvements

Now, let’s get technical. Exchange 2019 has been redesigned to use Server Garbage Collection (GC), instead of Workstation GC. Translating to English, previous on-premises Exchange versions used .NET libraries in Workstation Mode, Exchange 2019 has switched to the Server mode. What is the difference? Simply speaking, the workstation mode is the best when it comes to handling small number of long running applications. It minimizes latency when processes have to run non-stop, but, at the same time, does not allow the server to use the most of its CPU power.

Client Access Rules

In Exchange 2019, you can selectively allow or restrict access to Exchange admin center and to PowerShell. The criteria can base on IP Address, authentication type and user property values. Thanks to those rules, it is possible to ensure that there are no unauthorized connections to your Exchange environment, or to allow certain users to use PowerShell for specific time frames.

What’s new in Exchange 2019 for end users

Exchange 2019 is neither functionality, nor end-user focused release. That being said, there are some changes to calendars and Out of Office messages, which directly influence end users.
When it comes to calendars, those who organize meetings might notice three changes:
  • Default End Date. Although it is the admin who sets it up and benefits the most out of it, those who organize meetings need to know of the change. The default end date eliminates the problem of periodic meetings or events that recur to the end of the world. It might feel cumbersome if someone is used to setting up daily standups or briefings just once. But, at the same time, it makes life easier for those who have to manage organization’s calendars and clear them from potential “ghost meetings.”
  • Do Not Forward. A meeting organizer can prevent attendees from forwarding meeting requests to other recipients. The flag works like server-side Outlook rules – you create it in the email client but Exchange enforces it in the transport. Unfortunately, mixed Exchange environments might experience some issues, as Exchange 2013 does not support this. Worth remembering in case of Exchange 2013 and 2019 coexistence.
  • Improved calendar management. This, again, helps administrators more than end users. A new cmdlet, Remove-CalendarEvents, lets you use PowerShell to cancel future meetings. For example, when someone takes a leave of absence or leaves the organization, the cmdlet lets you remove (or preview) all meetings organized by this particular mailbox. The mailbox must be mail-enabled to work, as meeting cancellations must be sent out for it to work.
Changes applied to out of office messages include three additional options available while configuring an out of office message:
  • Block my calendar for this period
  • Decline all meeting requests send for this period
  • Decline & cancel all meeting requests sent during this period
  • hybrid deployment compatibility, see following table.
On-premises environmentExchange 2019-based hybrid deploymentExchange 2016-based hybrid deploymentExchange 2013-based hybrid deploymentExchange 2010-based hybrid deployment
Exchange 2019SupportedNot supportedNot supportedNot supported
Exchange 2016SupportedSupportedNot supportedNot supported
Exchange 2013SupportedSupportedSupportedNot supported
Exchange 2010Not supportedSupportedSupportedSupported
Exchange 2007Not supportedNot supportedSupportedSupported

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