We’re pleased to announce the final build of Exchange Server 2019 is now available and can be downloaded from the Volume Licensing Service Center. Exchange Server 2019 is designed to deliver security, performance and improved administration and management capabilities; attributes our largest on-premises customers expect from Exchange. If you haven’t yet seen the session delivered at Microsoft Ignite 2018 we suggest you watch the video and download the slides here. During that session we talked for the first time about how the code paths between on-premises and online have separated, and the impact to on-premises customers – in short, less code churn and more stability.
Here is a selection of other key features in Exchange Server 2019:
Security: Exchange Server 2019 requires Windows Server 2019. In fact, we recommend installing Exchange Server 2019 onto Windows Server 2019 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 Exchange 2019 onto Windows Server 2019 with Desktop Experience, but we have worked hard to make sure running Exchange on Server Core is the best choice for our code.
We’re aware all media for Windows Server 2019 and Windows Server, version 1809 has been temporarily removed and Microsoft will provide an update when refreshed media is available. Exchange Server 2019 will be fully compatible with version 1809, and the refreshed version.
We also built Exchange Server 2019 to only use TLS 1.2 out of the box, and to remove legacy ciphers and hashing algorithms. To understand how this affects coexistence with earlier versions, please reference our previous series of posts on TLS.
Performance: We’ve done significant work to allow Exchange Server to take advantage of larger core and memory packed systems available in market today. With our improvements, Exchange Server can use 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. We’re adding dual storage read/write capabilities to Exchange Server 2019 using Solid State Drive (SSD) technology to provide a super-fast cache of key data for improving end user experience. We also talked about this in our Email Search in a Flash! Accelerating Exchange 2019 with SSDs session at Ignite.
We also changed the way database caching works to allocate more memory to active database copies, again improving the end user experience. You can learn more about Dynamic Database Cache from Welcome to Exchange Server 2019! video and slides. The improvements we have made to Exchange Server 2019 will enable you to scale to a larger number of users per server than ever before, use much larger disks, and see the latency of many client operations being cut in half.
End user experience: We all rely on Exchange for calendaring, and we know large enterprises are heavy calendar users. We are bringing a few key features such as restricting the forwarding of meeting requests and better control over OOF settings to Exchange Server 2019.
Administrators get some new calendaring features too, as we’re adding the ability to manage events on user’s calendars and assign delegate permissions more easily.
We are also adding support for routing mail to and from EAI/IDN recipients and hope to add additional capabilities in this area in the future. The session recording also goes into some of the other features we have plans for, so make sure you watch it to the very end.
As we mentioned in the Preview post in July, the 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. Our official product documentation is now live, and we’ll be publishing the updated Preferred Architecture documentation soon.
We’re also pleased to also announce there are even more Office Server products releasing today! You can read more about those releases here.
We look forward to your feedback and thank you for your continued support and love of Exchange.