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Microsoft Exchange Server is the server side of a client–server, collaborative application product developed by Microsoft. It is part of the Microsoft Servers line of server products and is used by enterprises using Microsoft infrastructure solutions. Exchange's major features consist of electronic mail, calendaring, contacts and tasks; support for mobile and web-based access to information; and support for data storage.
Planning the migration from Microsoft's internal "legacy XENIX-based messaging system" to Exchange Server environment began in April 1993 Template:Deadlink, and by January 1995 some 500 users were running on Exchange Server Beta 1. By April 1996 32,000 users were migrated to that environment.
Windows Messaging, initially called Microsoft Exchange, is an e-mail client that was included with Windows 95 (beginning with OSR2), 98 and Windows NT 4.0. In Windows 98, it is not installed by default, but available as a separate program in the setup CD. Microsoft Exchange gained wider usage with the release of Windows 95, as this was the only e-mail client that came bundled with it. Exchange was included throughout later releases of Windows up until the initial release of Windows 98, which by then also included Outlook Express 4.0.
Microsoft Fax, also called Microsoft at Work Fax (AWF), is the fax component to provide Send-and-Receive Fax capability; sent and received faxes were stored in the same .pst file as other messages, first attempt of unified messaging by Microsoft; also the ability to act as fax server, which is not available in later versions of Windows until Windows Vista
Exchange Server 4.0Edit
Exchange Server 4.0, released on June 11, 1996, was the original version of Exchange Server sold to the public, positioned as an upgrade to Microsoft Mail 3.5. The original version of Microsoft Mail (written by Microsoft) had been replaced, several weeks after Lotus acquired cc:Mail, by a package called Network Courier, acquired during the purchase of Consumer Software Inc. in April 1991. Exchange Server was however an entirely new X.400-based client–server mail system with a single database store that also supported X.500 directory services. The directory used by Exchange Server eventually became Microsoft's Active Directory service, an LDAP-compliant directory server. Active Directory was integrated into Windows 2000 as the foundation of Windows Server domains.
Exchange Server 5.0Edit
On May 23, 1997, Exchange Server 5.0 was released, which introduced the new Exchange Administrator console, as well as opening up "integrated" access to SMTP-based networks for the first time. Unlike Microsoft Mail (which required a standalone SMTP relay), Exchange Server 5.0 could, with the help of an add-in called the Internet Mail Connector, communicate directly with servers using . Version 5.0 also introduced a new Web-based e-mail interface Exchange Web Access, this was rebranded as Outlook Web Access in a later Service pack. Along with Exchange Server version 5.0, Microsoft released version 8.01 of Microsoft Outlook, version 5.0 of the Microsoft Exchange Client and version 7.5 of Microsoft Schedule+ to support the new features in the new version of Exchange Server.
Exchange Server 5.5, introduced November, 1997, was sold in two editions, Standard and Enterprise. They differ in database store size, mail transport connectors and clustering capabilities. The Standard Edition had the same 16 GB database size limitation as earlier versions of Exchange Server, while the Enterprise Edition had an increased limit of 16 TB (although Microsoft's best practices documentation recommends that the message store not exceed 100 GB). The Standard Edition includes the Site Connector, MS Mail Connector, Internet Mail Service (previously "Internet Mail Connector"), and Internet News Service (previously "Internet News Connector"), as well as software to interoperate with cc:Mail, Lotus Notes and Novell GroupWise. The Enterprise Edition adds an X.400 connector, and interoperability software with SNADS and PROFS. The Enterprise Edition also introduced two node clustering capability. Exchange Server 5.5 introduced a number of other new features including a new version of Outlook Web Access with Calendar support, support for IMAP4 and LDAP v3 clients and the Deleted Item Recovery feature. Exchange Server 5.5 was the last version of Exchange Server to have separate directory, SMTP and NNTP services. There was no new version of Exchange Client and Schedule+ for version 5.5, instead version 8.03 of Microsoft Outlook was released to support the new features of Exchange Server 5.5.
Exchange 2000 ServerEdit
Exchange 2000 Server (v6.0, code name Platinum), released on November 29, 2000, overcame many of the limitations of its predecessors. For example, it raised the maximum sizes of databases and increased the number of servers in a cluster from two to four. However, many customers were deterred from upgrading by the requirement for a full Microsoft Active Directory infrastructure to be in place, as unlike Exchange Server 5.5, Exchange 2000 Server had no built-in Directory Service, and had a dependency upon Active Directory. The migration process from Exchange Server 5.5 did not have any in-place upgrade path, and necessitated having the two systems online at the same time, with user-to-mailbox mapping and a temporary translation process between the two directories. Exchange 2000 Server also added support for Instant Messaging, but that capability was later spun off to Microsoft Office Live Communications Server.
Exchange Server 2003Edit
Exchange Server 2003 (v6.5, code name Titanium) debuted on September 28, 2003. Exchange Server 2003 (currently at Service Pack 2) can be run on Windows 2000 Server (only if Service Pack 4 is first installed) and 32-bit Windows Server 2003, although some new features only work with the latter. Like Windows Server 2003, Exchange Server 2003 has many compatibility modes to allow users to slowly migrate to the new system. This is useful in large companies with distributed Exchange Server environments who cannot afford the downtime and expense that comes with a complete migration.
The June 2, 2003, release of Exchange Server 2003 made the migration from pre-2000 versions of Exchange significantly easier (although still involved the same basic steps), and many users of Exchange Server 5.5 waited for the release of Exchange Server 2003 to upgrade. The upgrade process also required upgrading a company's servers to Windows 2000. Some customers opted to stay on a combination of Exchange Server 5.5 and Windows NT 4.0, both of which are no longer supported by Microsoft.
One of the new features in Exchange Server 2003 is enhanced disaster recovery which allows administrators to bring the server online more quickly. This is done by allowing the server to send and receive mail while the message stores are being recovered from backup. Some features previously available in the Microsoft Mobile Information Server 2001/2002 products have been added to the core Exchange Server product, like Outlook Mobile Access and server-side ActiveSync, while the Mobile Information Server product itself has been dropped. Better anti-virus and anti-spam protection have also been added, both by providing built-in APIs that facilitate filtering software and built-in support for the basic methods of originating IP address, SPF ("Sender ID"), and DNSBL filtering which were standard on other open source and *nix-based mail servers. Also new is the ability to drop inbound e-mail before being fully processed, thus preventing delays in the message routing system. There are also improved message and mailbox management tools, which allow administrators to execute common chores more quickly. Others, such as Instant Messaging and Exchange Conferencing Server have been extracted completely in order to form separate products. Microsoft now appears to be positioning a combination of Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office Live Communications Server, Live Meeting and Sharepoint as its collaboration software of choice. Exchange Server is now to be simply e-mail and calendaring.
Exchange Server 2003 added several basic filtering methods to Exchange Server. They are not sophisticated enough to eliminate spam, but they can protect against DoS and mailbox flooding attacks. Exchange Server 2000 supported the ability to block a sender's address, or e-mail domain by adding '*@domain.com', which is still supported in Exchange Server 2003. Added filtering methods in Exchange Server 2003 are:
Exchange 2003 mainstream support ended on April 14, 2009.
Exchange Server 2003 is available in two versions, Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition. Standard Edition supports up to two storage groups (with one of the storage groups, called the recovery storage group, being reserved for database recovery operations) and a maximum of 2 databases per storage group. Each database is limited to a maximum size of 16GB. Beginning with the release of Service Pack 2, Standard Edition allows a maximum database size of 75 GB, but only supports 18 GB by default; larger sized databases have to be updated-in with a registry change. Enterprise Edition allows an 16 TB maximum database size, and supports up to 4 storage groups with 5 databases per storage group for a total of 20 databases per server.
Exchange Server 2003 is included with both Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 Standard and Premium editions and is 32-bit only, and will not install on the various 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2003.
Exchange Server 2007Edit
Exchange Server 2007 was released on November 30, 2006, to business customers as part of Microsoft's roll-out wave of new products. It includes new clustering options, 64-bit support for greater scalability, voice mail integration, better search and support for Web services, better filtering options, and a new Outlook Web Access interface. Exchange 2007 also dropped support for Exchange 5.50 migrations, routing groups, admin groups, Outlook Mobile Access, X.400, and some API interfaces, amongst other features.
Exchange Server 2007 (v8, code name E12, or with SP1 v8.1) runs only on 64-bit x86-64 versions of Windows Server. This requirement applies to supported production environments only; a 32-bit trial version is available for download and testing. Hence, companies currently running Exchange Server on 32-bit hardware will be required to replace or migrate hardware if they wish to upgrade to the new version. Companies that are currently running Exchange Server on 64-bit capable hardware are still required to migrate from their existing Exchange 2000/2003 servers to a new 2007 server since in-place upgrades are not supported in 2007.
The first beta of Exchange Server 2007 (then named "Exchange 12" or E12) was released in December 2005 to a very limited number of beta testers. A wider beta was made available via TechNet Plus and MSDN subscriptions in March 2006 according to the Microsoft Exchange team blog. On April 25, 2006, Microsoft announced that the next version of Exchange Server would be called Exchange Server 2007.
The principal enhancements, as outlined by Microsoft, are:
Exchange Server 2010Edit
Microsoft announced the Exchange 2010 to be available from the second period of 2009, and it was released to manufacturing (RTM'ed) on October 9, 2009. Exchange Server 2010 was officially launched on November 9, 2009 ; a month after hitting RTM. A 120 day trial is also downloadable from Microsoft at Microsoft.
Preliminary changes include: Storage Groups are being eliminated and incorporated into the Information Store. Clustering is now at the Database level, not Server level. LCR and SCC clustering no longer offered. CCR now at Datastore level, not Server Level although the terminology has changed. Clustering functionality is now known as DAG (Database Availability Group). Exchange 2010 is also only available in 64-bit as part of Microsoft's drive for all its future products to be solely 64-bit based. Exchange 2010 will run on Windows Server 2008 x64 with SP2 at least and Windows Server 2008 R2 (also only released in a 64-bit edition).
Clustering and high availabilityEdit
Exchange Server Enterprise Edition supports clustering of up to 4 nodes when using Windows 2000 Server, and up to 8 nodes with Windows Server 2003. Exchange Server 2003 also introduced active-active clustering, but for two-node clusters only. In this setup, both servers in the cluster are allowed to be active simultaneously. This is opposed to Exchange's more common active-passive mode in which the failover servers in any cluster node cannot be used at all while their corresponding home servers are active. They must wait, inactive, for the home servers in the node to fail. Subsequent performance issues with active-active mode have led Microsoft to recommend that it should no longer be used. In fact, support for active-active mode clustering has been discontinued with Exchange Server 2007.
Exchange's clustering (active-active or active-passive mode) has been criticized because of its requirement for servers in the cluster nodes to share the same physical data. The clustering in Exchange Server provides redundancy for Exchange Server as an application, but not for Exchange data. In this scenario, the data can be regarded as a single point of failure, despite Microsoft's description of this set up as a "Shared Nothing" model. This void has however been filled by ISV's and storage manufacturers, through "site resilience" solutions, such as geo-clustering and asynchronous data replication. Exchange Server 2007 introduces new cluster terminology and configurations that address the shortcomings of the previous "shared data model".
Exchange Server 2007 provides built-in support for asynchronous replication modeled on SQL Server's "Log shipping" in CCR (Cluster Continuous Replication) clusters, which are built on MSCS MNS (Microsoft Cluster Service—Majority Node Set) clusters, which do not require shared storage. This type of cluster can be inexpensive and deployed in one, or "stretched" across two datacenters for protection against site-wide failures such as natural disasters. The limitation of CCR clusters is the ability to have only two nodes and the third node known as "voter node" or file share witness that prevents "split brain" scenarios, generally hosted as a file share on a Hub Transport Server. The second type of cluster is the traditional clustering that was available in previous versions, and is now being referred to as SCC (Single Copy Cluster). In Exchange Server 2007 deployment of both CCR and SCC clusters has been simplified and improved; the entire cluster install process takes place during Exchange Server installation. LCR or Local Continuous Replication has been referred to as the "poor man's cluster". It is designed to allow for data replication to an alternative drive attached to the same system and is intended to provide protection against local storage failures. It does not protect against the case where the server itself fails.
In November 2007, Microsoft released SP1 for Exchange Server 2007. This service pack includes an additional high-availability feature called SCR (Standby Continuous Replication). Unlike CCR which requires that both servers belong to a Windows cluster, typically residing in the same datacenter, SCR can replicate data to a non-clustered server, located in a separate datacenter.
Like Windows Server products, Exchange Server requires Client Access Licenses, which are different from Windows CALs. Corporate license agreements, such as the Enterprise Agreement, or EA, include Exchange Server CALs. It also comes as part of the Core CAL. Just like Windows Server and other server products from Microsoft, you can choose to use User or Device CALs. Device CALs are assigned to a device (workstation, laptop or PDA). User CALs, are assigned to a user or employee (not a mailbox). User CALs allow a user to access Exchange e-mail from any device. User and Device CALs are the same price, however cannot be used interchangeably. For Service Providers looking to host Microsoft Exchange, there is an SPLA (Service Provider License Agreement) available whereby Microsoft receives a monthly service fee in the place of the traditional Client Access Licenses. Two types of Exchange CAL are available: Exchange CAL Standard and Exchange CAL Enterprise. The Enterprise CAL is an add-on licence to the Standard CAL.
Microsoft Exchange Server can also be purchased as a hosted service from a number of providers.
Microsoft Exchange Server uses a proprietary RPC protocol, MAPI/RPC, that was designed to be used by the Microsoft Outlook client. Clients capable of using the proprietary features of Exchange Server include Microsoft Outlook and Novell Evolution. Exchange Web Services (EWS), an alternative to the MAPI protocol, is a documented SOAP based protocol introduced with Exchange Server 2007 which significantly reduces synchronization time between the server vs. WebDAV, which is used by Exchange Server 2003. Exchange Web Services is used by the latest version of Microsoft Entourage for Mac. Also, since the release of Mac OS X v10.6 (also known as Mac OS X Snow Leopard), Mac computers running OS X include some support for this technology via Apple's Mail application. Built-in support with Mac OS X 10.6 requires the Exchange organization to be running Exchange Server 2007 SP1/SP2 or Exchange Server 2010.
Mac users wishing to access Exchange e-mail running on Exchange Server 2000 or 2003 must use Microsoft's Entourage client versions X, 2004 or 2008. Alternatively a limited version of Outlook Web Access is available to Mac users using a web browser. Entourage X, 2004 and 2008 do not support synchronizing tasks and notes with Exchange Servers 2000, 2003, 2007 or 2010. However Entourage 2008 "Web Services Edition", which is a free download from Microsoft for users of Office 2008, does support synchronizing tasks and notes with Exchange Server 2007 SP1 roll up 4 or later (including Exchange 2010).
E-mail hosted on an Exchange Server can also be accessed using SMTP, POP3 and IMAP4 protocols, using clients such as Outlook Express, Mozilla Thunderbird, and Lotus Notes. (These protocols must be enabled on the server. Recent versions of Exchange Server turn them off by default.)
Exchange Server mailboxes can also be accessed through a web browser, using Outlook Web Access (OWA). Exchange Server 2003 also featured a version of OWA for mobile devices, called Outlook Mobile Access (OMA).
DavMail Gateway allows any email client to connect to a Microsoft Outlook server with Outlook Web Access (OWA).
Support for ActiveSync was added to Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. ActiveSync, in the context of Exchange Server, allows a compliant device such as a Windows Mobile device to sync mail, contacts and other data directly with the server. BlackBerry, Nokia, Apple Inc. and other companies have licensed the software to enable their devices to sync with Exchange Server as well.
Support for Push E-mail was added to Exchange Server 2003 with Service Pack 2. Windows Mobile 5.0 requires the "Messaging and Security Feature Pack (MSFP)", later versions of the mobile operating system have the capability built in. Many other devices now support ActiveSync push e-mail, such as the iPhone .
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