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We’re pleased to announce a preview build of Exchange Server 2019 is now available (download removed as Exchange 2019 is now released). We strongly believe Office 365 delivers the best and most cost-effective experience to our customers, but we understand that some customers have reasons to remain on-premises. Exchange Server 2019 is designed to deliver security, performance, and improved administration and management capabilities. These are the attributes our largest on-premises customers tell us they need from Exchange. We also have features end-users will love too of course. Here are some of the key features in each of these areas: Security: We’ve included support for installing Exchange Server 2019 onto Windows Server Core. Exchange Server 2019 installed on Windows Server 2019 Core provides the most secure platform for Exchange. You also have the option of installing the Exchange 2019 Preview onto Windows Server 2016 Core or Windows Server 2016/2019 with Desktop Experience, but we have worked hard to make sure running Exchange on Windows Server Core 2019 is the best choice for our code. Performance: We’ve done work to allow Exchange Server to take advantage of the larger core and memory packed systems our customers buy these days. We’re confident you can be very successful running Exchange Server with up to 48 processor cores and 256GB of RAM. We’ve re-engineered search using Bing technology to make it even faster and provide better results, and in doing so have made database failovers much faster, and administration easier.  The search indexes are now within the database itself. There are no more separate log files to manage. As the index data is now within the database, normal log shipping includes the database and search data in a single replication and the index is always up to date on all database copies. At Ignite last year, we told you that Exchange Online had started using Solid State Drives. Yes, SSD’s. Many people were shocked at this.  For years we’ve been telling you to use cheap low-cost storage, and then we switched and started using SSD? What’s up with that Exchange team? Well, that isn’t exactly what we said, what we said was we were using SSD’s in addition to cheap low-cost spinning disks. Why? Well we’ve pretty much reached the limits of what we can do with cheap storage, read latency in those disks hasn’t really improved yet storage capacity just keeps getting larger. It led us to conclude we needed to re-think our strategy. And we did, and the short version is that we store some of the data from those spinning disks on the SSD, and we use that super-fast device to store key search data, to make logins faster, and message retrieval faster. We still use low-cost storage for storing all of data but intelligently use SSD’s to make the overall user experience better. We’re adding this tiered storage read/write capability to Exchange Server 2019 but it’s not enabled in the Preview build. We know you will all have lots of questions about this new feature and we will of course have planning and configuration guidance available when we ship, but we will be talking a lot more about these changes at Microsoft Ignite 2018. You are going, aren’t you? We are. End user experience: One of the most important capabilities in Exchange is calendaring. All large enterprises are heavy calendar users and those organizations rely on calendars to help people get their work done. We’re bringing a few key features such as Do Not Forward and Simplified Calendar Sharing from Office 365 to On-Premises Exchange. We’re sure a lot of end users will be very happy with those features. Administrators get some new calendaring features too, as we’re adding the ability for admins to manage events on user’s calendars and to assign delegate permissions more easily. One thing to note is that Unified Messaging role will not be available in Exchange Server 2019. Customers who currently connect either a 3rd party PBX or Skype for Business Server to Exchange Server won’t be able to do so with Exchange Server 2019 mailboxes. Those customers considering an upgrade to Exchange Server 2019 should consider migrating to Skype for Business Server 2019 and using Cloud Voicemail, or migrating to Office 365 with Cloud Voicemail. More information on this change will be available prior to launch. That’s a brief roundup of many of the changes we have baked into Exchange Server 2019. We plan on launching Exchange Server 2019 later this year, and we’re planning on talking about it a lot more at Microsoft Ignite. Take a look at the Preview, and we really suggest you install it on Windows Server Core, and Windows Server 2019 Core if you have access to that. We will be publishing a blog post with tips for running Exchange on Server Core in a few days. But please remember it’s not a production release, so please don’t install into production at all. We look forward to your feedback, and in case we didn’t say it enough times, we’ll see you at Microsoft Ignite! The Exchange Team.

82 Comments
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Hey guys!

I installed Exchange 2019 on my lab environment and I saw that I still having a Content Index files inside mailbox folder. Can you explain more about this feature?

Anyways, good job!

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Hello Gabriel,

Thanks for taking a look at our preview. Yes, we are aware that there are still content index files being generated. Rest assured the actual indexes for your data are actually in the mailbox database. We still have a bit of clean up to do before we release later this year. The work item to stop creating these is actually in active development and was not completed before we cut the preview build.

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What's the plan for Exchange Online Unified Messaging? It sounds like it will be eliminated completely in favor of Cloud Voicemail. If so, what is the timeframe for the transition?
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Hi Rob, we are only announcing this change for Exchange Server 2019 On-Premises today.
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What about the Edge Server role? Will it be available in the future or is it going to be discontinued?
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@Peter - yes, Edge Role is available in Exchange Server 2019
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The download link is not working. Link: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=57167
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Sorry about that, we're working on it. Clearly the demand caught the download people by surprise. ;)
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as the final release will made public, can we run exchange 2013 in co exsistence and migrate?
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@harm, yes you will be able coexist with Exchange 2013.
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Thank you for the post. Is there a possibility you can elaborate on your statement "One thing to note is that Unified Messaging role will not be available in Exchange Server 2019"? We still rely heavily on our on our Premise Exchange with Unified Messaging. From the reading I have done today even with Skype for Business, "you must upgrade to Cloud Voicemail if you are using Exchange Server 2019". Any further insight is appreciated, we do have staff attending Microsoft Ignite 2018, but this could really impact our organization. Appreciate the Blog always.

Regards,

John

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John, you might want to take a look at the pre-release documentation on configuring Skype for Business Server 2019 - https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Skype-for-Business-Server-2019/bd-p/SkypeforBusinessServer2019
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Looking at the graphic, it appears that installing this version may lead to spontaneous outbreaks of St Vitus' Dance.
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It might. Wouldn't that be something.
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this is excellent. One of the most common things that users say when I ask them what they mostly do is "calendaring"
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with a name like yours are you sure they aren't just trying to get your attention?
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How about mailbox encryption?
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We're not announcing everything in 2019 today, just teasing some of it. Come to Ignite and find out more.
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so cool
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Thanks MS Exchange team.

Gonna have fun tonight.

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Wohooo! Finally! Looking forward to installing and testing the bits... Server Core Support is very much appreciated! Cheers Christian
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Christian,

This feature is near and dear to my heart and I am happy to hear you are excited about it too. The experience on Windows Server 2019 Server Core truly is the best. I hope you have access to those builds and can give it a try.

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Great to hear the positive reaction to Server Core support. Thanks Christian!
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"We strongly believe Office 365 delivers the best and most cost-effective experience to our customers, but we understand that some customers have reasons to remain on-premises."

Can you share any information on the solution that will allow the removal of the last exchange on premise server in hybrid mode using ad sync ? What are all the customer with an "admin" exchange 2013 box going to do , once exchange 2013 is EOL ? thanks

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That problem exists for all versions, and we'll fix it for all versions. More at Ignite on that.
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Goodbye Update-MailboxDatabaseCopy -CatalogOnly ?
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Dmitry, that property will server no purpose on Exchange Server 2019, but we plan to leave that for backwards compatibility when managing Exchange Server 2016.
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Wohoo! Finally! Just one question: I tried to install the bits on a Windows Server 2016 Core machine and the Installation Fails with "This computer requires the Microsoft Unified Communications Managed API 4.0". But of Course this can't be installed on a Server Core Installation because it is missing some components required by UCMA. Is this a know issue or is there a Workaround? Thanks! Cheers Christian
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Christian, on Server Core you can install the UCMA of the Exchange 2019 ISO, it's in the UCMARedist folder.
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I'm very disappointed to hear that you're removing UM from Exchange 2019 and I hope that you'll reconsider that decision. Or at the very least, allow for some sort of compatibility mode where mailboxes on Exchange 2019 can continue to be UM enabled as long as an Exchange 2016 server remains in the mix to handle the SIP trunks, etc.

The suggestion to use Cloud Voicemail as a replacement is not reasonable. First, if I'm still using on-prem Exchange its because I have various political and/or technical reasons why a cloud service doesn't work for my organization. So telling me to use a cloud service to replace functionality stripped out of my on-prem server just doesn't make any sense - if I could use the cloud, I'd be using the cloud. Second, even if I could clear the political and technical hurdles to using Cloud Voicemail, it's not even just a "drop-in" service. I also have to go deploy Skype for Business and (if I'm understanding the documentation right) toss out my IP-PBX. I hope I'm wrong about that, because there is no way I could get support for such a migration.

So, what should have been a straightforward upgrade/migration to Exchange 2019 during our next hardware refresh now becomes much more complicated and expensive since I'll have to purchase an on-prem voicemail system.

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We appreciate this might be tough for some customers, and respect your position. I will say, you don't have to upgrade to 2019 the moment it arrives, or at all. We're not changing anything with regard to UM in earlier versions, they will be on working while you figure out your longer term plan.
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This decision is yet another HORRIBLE one from the Microsoft Exchange team. Leave it to the Exchange team to remove functionality that has been in Exchange for many versions and to spring that on us at the end of a development cycle and tell us that we need to switch to their cloud offering and essentially rip and replace our existing systems, which weren't cheap, to align with what they think everyone on the planet should be doing. I've been a huge supporter and user of Microsoft products for decades, but this is absolutely rediculous... How hard could it possibly be to LEAVE a feature in a product? This is as dumb as when they removed fax functionality for no reason and when they discontinued Forefront for Exchange, leaving EOP as the only truly viable alternative... Had it occurred to you people that support companies have built solutions around the functionality your products offer and you cause major issues for them every time you pull this crap? This makes the phone systems that my company set up for clients, integrating voicemail and auto attendant functionality with Exchange, unworkable as offered since part of the pitch was to have it all in a nicely integrated system, keeping up with the latest releases of Exchange and Office.. What ever happened to giving warning that a feature would be removed in the future by depricating it in the current version, so that integrators could at least know what's going to happen and can account for it in their designs? Also, I realize you want everyone to go to the cloud, but that is never going to happen, and the more you do these things, the more loyal customers you're going to push to other solutions. I realize that Azure is growing incredibly fast, but that doesn't mean you should alienate yourselves from everyone else. You're making it harder and harder for people to WANT to do business with you...
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Love the dancing users. If this version does that I'm upgrading ASAP. : - )
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I just checked a test server I have, and I spontaneously danced. So I think it's in the Preview. (Your own response may vary etc etc, lawyers made me say that etc etc)
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Thanks for the post and news about indexing within the db now!
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Since Gabriel noticed we still have a bit of cleanup to do, it is a preview after all, you will also notice that some remnants of Unified Messaging have yet to be removed. We are aware and actively putting the final DVD on a diet between now and RTM.
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So those dancing users will be even thinner come RTM.
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Great Job!

Can you let me know if the powershell -verbose switch is finally fixed and working as it should?

thanks

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We have worked with the PowerShell team and have been told this is resolved.
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Sadly its still not working not even in the Core edition. How cruel can you be?
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I'm assuming that by not replying to this message you know that -verbose switch does nothing this will never be addressed either by your team or the OS team. Thanks for confirming it by being silent.
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Will support coexist exchange 2010?
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No Fred, it will not. That's consistent with previous versions supporting n-2 co-existence.
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"We’ve re-engineered search using Bing technology" - My experience with Bing is that it can't find stuff even on Microsoft's own pages. It deeply concerns me to have it as THE search engine in Exchange.
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We've always used Microsoft technology in our search engine Zoltan, this is no different.
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I 've been truing for a few days now, but still get a corrupted download.
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Have you tried using a different browser? The team which runs our download center has investigated these reports and informed us the download center is functioning normally at this time. Some browser/OS combinations seem to be having difficulty processing the package due to its size. You may also try using the download manager (https://www.microsoft.com/download/details.aspx?id=27960).
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Hi Brent,

After a few tries on Win10/Edge without success I now downloaded the file on Win2016/IE without any problem.

Thanks!

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Any hope of DKIM signing coming in one of the next builds? Office 365 has this feature, it would be logical to also have it natively in Exchange Server? Native support would be so much better than third-party DKIM addons which silently break after Exchange Server updates.
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Hello MCB, we have heard this request from multiple customers. We are evaluating if this can be added to Exchange Server 2019. At this time, there is no commitment to this feature.