New features in Exchange Server 2016


Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 is new latest version of Exchange server and it is been enhanced from Exchange 2013 and it is built on proven Office 365 model. It provides the same look and feel of Exchange 2013 but it offers more stability,reliability, better fault tolerance and self-healing capabilities.

Exchange 2016 can co-exists only with Exchange 2010 SP3 RU11 and above, Exchange 2013 CU10 and above. But it cannot co-exist with Exchange 2007 or any previous versions of Exchange.

Exchange 2016 inherits most of the features from Exchange 2013 and below are some of the new features in addition to the existing feature of Exchange 2013

Architecture enhancements

Microsoft simplified the architecture by consolidating the Client access role and Mailbox role of Exchange 2013 into one mailbox server role and Edge transport server role. This integration of roles reduces hardware, implementation, and management efforts and in some usage scenarios lower licensing costs.

Mailbox Server Feature

o Mailbox server contains mailbox database which stores and process emails.

o Transport service performs routing of emails within internal and to the external.

o Client access service accepts all the client connection and connect them to the mailbox database

o Unified messaging service provide voice mail and other telephony service

Edge Server Feature

o Edge Server is located in perimeter /DMZ network and it is to interface between external to internal and vice versa.

o It offers anti-spam, content, connection filtering service for the internet emails.

Mailbox Server enhancements

· Database divergence detection keeping looking for the database which is out of sync. It automatically reseeds to bring it into a healthy state.

· Exchange 2016 supports much faster database failover and failback, and also provides a faster site resilience than previous version of Exchange.

· MAPI over HTTP is the default protocol for outlook client’s connection to the Exchange servers.

· The content/search index are built from the local copy rather than from the active copy. It reduces the network utilization across the WAN in multi-site environment.

· Disk IOPs utilization has been reduced by 22% from Exchange 2013.

Hybrid enhancements

· Downloadable Hybrid deployment wizard for Exchange 2016 made the hybrid configuration and deployment troubleshooting easier.

· Exchange 2016 on-premises users can make use Office 365 services such as archiving, data loss prevention, rights management, advanced thread protection, mobile device management, spam/virus filtering protection etc.

Client features

· Outlook Web Access (OWA) is now called as ‘Outlook on the Web’. It can work together with SharePoint 2016 or OneDrive for Business to share and edit documents. Recipients are automatically provided permission to edit the document. This allows recipients to manage and edit a document without going to SharePoint.

· Search has been significantly enhanced in Exchange 2016. Outlook 2016 and Outlook on the Web provide the same search results. Search speed has also been significantly increased and calendar items can now be searched from Outlook on the Web.

· Outlook 2016 introduces a new Clutter folder that store low priority messages. Outlook itself can assign a low priority to emails based on the past user actions on the emails.

· The Smarter Inbox features helps to increases emails and document search efficiency and productivity.

· The “Tell me what you want to do” box helps users to easily find specific outlook functions or search the web.

· Some great enhancement in Outlook on the Web are one click archiving, common typos/suggestion, the ability to import contacts from CSV files, better formatting features, better attachment views, inline replies, inline previews of URLs and videos and many more.

Mobile enhancements

· Mobile users are new getting rich user experience on phones and tablets. Search on mobile devices has been improved to provide better search results. Two new tabs in the mobile clients: Focused and Others. Where the ‘Focused’ tab will contains all the important email and the ‘Other’ tab is supposed to contain relatively unimportant emails such as newsletters, notifications, subscriptions, etc.

· Mobile version of Outlook provides ‘Send Availability’ Option. It allows users to send availability time slots to external recipients.

· The mobile calendar view has been greatly improved and it provides more detailed information of invites and other necessary information.

Security and compliance features

· Data Loss Prevention (DLP) has been enhanced and now it can identify, monitor, and protect 80 different types of sensitive information.

· Auditing has been enhanced and updated with a new architecture. Audit logs are no longer stored in individual mailboxes but they are now stored in the centralized audit report mailbox of the organization. This is helpful for long term retention and adds the ability generate various reports easily.

· eDiscovery search has been improved significantly to provide more accurate , faster and reliable results.

· eDiscovery Compliance Search can be used to search on very large numbers of mailboxes. Multile searches can be performed at the same time.

· Public folder content can be on placed on In-place hold and public folder contents can be searched using the eDiscovery.

Exchange 2016 has discontinued Client Access Server and RPC over HTTP protocol for client connection from Exchange 2013. Exchange Server 2016 is great new release of Microsoft’s mail server. It simplifies administration, improves the integration with Office 365 and together with Outlook 2016 and OWA 2016 it helps improve productivity of end users.

Publishing Exchange and ADFS Server for Office 365 using IIS ARR Server

I found this article series extremely helpful where you want to publish Exchange and also want to publish ADFS servers for Office 365 SSO using  free IIS Application Request Routing proxy server.


Part 1 : Reverse Proxy for Exchange Server 2013 using IIS ARR
Part 2: Reverse Proxy for Exchange Server 2013 using IIS ARR
Part 3: Reverse Proxy for Exchange Server 2013 using IIS ARR
Part 4: IIS ARR as a Reverse Proxy and Load balancing solution for O365 Exchange Online in a Hybrid Configuration


Happy Reverse proxy

Exchange 2013 Designing Factor

Exchange 2013 designing plays a major role in the successful deployment and long running Exchange without any issues. The main objective before designing the solution is to understand the technical and business requirement. These requirements has be understood, reviewed and documented thoroughly. Given below are the business and technical requirements which need to be considered before designing a new solution. These requirements vary from customer to customer depending on their type of business, country regulation, infrastructure, budget etc.

Business requirement

Total Cost of Ownership

It is both the direct and indirect cost and benefits with the implementation of the new solution. It includes purchase of the hardware, license, power, maintenance, engineers, hidden cost, etc.

Reduction in Implementation Time

There are tons of works required to implement Exchange and management, always looks for the automated process to deploy the new solution. Projects allow bounded by tight time lines and automated deployment, configuration and versions are the only to meet the tight deadlines. Automated process reduces human efforts, time and errors.

Service Uptime

Uptime of the server and uptime of the service are two different things. Server can be up but the services can be down. It has no meaning when the servers are up and services are down. Service uptime is measure in percentage and business expects to have very minimal down time. To provide 99.999 percent of uptime, it comes with the huge cost.

No or Minimum user impact

Migration of users to the new environment should have minimum or no impact. Users should be able to continue to send and receive emails with continue access calendars, shared mailboxes, and delegate mailbox during the migration.

Compliance and Legal requirement

New solution comply with compliance and legal requirement of the organization. It should support legal hold, eDiscovery, Role based access control etc. to meet the needs.

Supportable and expandable

There are tons of dependent applications which integrate with exchange. New version of exchange should be fully supported by both in house and vendor applications. It should also be scalable to accommodate the expansion of the organization growth.


It should offer strong encryption and security from any kind of security threats and breaches. Security threats or breaches can be like spoofing, phishing or spamming, which can be very unhealthy to the organization and cause damage in terms of reputation and money. Mobile devises are easy sources of security threats, implementing encrypting thought Active sync policy would secure it. Other comment

Data Retention and Recovery

Companies have different retention polices for different types of emails. Some needs to retain the email forever and some would need to retain them for 7 years and some may be for just a year. One the other side, these retained email should be available for recovery depending on the requirement. These recoveries can be for the accidental deletion of email or recovery of email of several years back for the legal dispute.

Exchange Recovery time Objective (RTO) and Recovery point object (RPO)

RTO is defined as part of the disaster recovery and business continuity plan. Exchange Recovery time object is the acceptable account of time taken to restore after a disaster or service distribution occurs. Depending on the criticality of the service, RTO time varies and exchange being one of the most critical applications, which would need to have the RTO time as low as possible. It can be specified in seconds, minutes, hours or days. For example, if the RTO time is around 4 hours then you need to invest huge amount of money to provide redundant infrastructure but If RTO time is about day or two, then it would give some time to restore the service at the reduced infrastructure investment

RPO is also defined as part of the business continuity and disaster recovery plan. It is the maximum acceptable level of data loss after any disaster or catastrophe. It represents the point in time data to be recovered to resume the normal operation. It is calculated in Seconds, minutes, hours or days. If the RPO is 5 hours, then exchange data must be backed up once in 5 hours. Lower the RPO, higher the infrastructure investment cost and vice versa.

Technical Requirement

Easy Administration and implementation

It should be easy to manage, implement and the interface should be easy to use and provide remote PowerShell management. It should also provide the scope for automation to reduce the management and administration efforts.

Bigger Mailbox size

Users never want to delete anything from their mailbox; they want to keep everything. To address this issue, new Exchange solution should support bigger mailboxes

Bigger Database

Bigger database support reduces the number of databases in the organization. It also reduces the maintenance and management efforts. Newer disk provides larger storage space and accommodate bigger Database.

Client Support

It should support rich clients like Outlook, Outlook Web access, various mobile devices like blackberry, Active sync and Mobile device management solution.

High Availability and Disaster recovery

High Availability (HA) and Disaster recovery (DR) are very important for a business. Loss or unavailability of emails can be huge loss to the business; thus, HA and DR can help in reducing the complexity of delivering business continuity.


It should be able to integrate with another application and systems in the organization. Some of other applications like Lync, SharePoint, office application, some in house and other third party application. Organization will have many in-house built or third party application like SAP, HR etc. and this needs to be supported by the exchange server.

Virtual or Physical

Exchange is resource intensive application and depending on the organization policy some may want to implement physical and other want to go for virtual. Over the years, virtualization has proved to provide better performance with CPU and Memory. Microsoft also supports Exchange 2013 on virtualization technology like HyperV and Vmware, they also have provided some guidelines and best practice when Exchange is been implemented on vitalization. It’s totally a technical requirement from the Exchange team on the path they wanted to take to implement exchange.

Understanding Current Environment

Understanding current environment plays a major rules in designing the solution. It is very important to understand every component of the exchange and its depending tools which works in collaboration of exchange. Without understanding current environment, it would be impossible for anyone to design the new solution.

To start with need:

1. Exchange Architecture diagram

2. Exchange designing document

3. Exchange Configuration Information document

4. Exchange Server CPU Utilization and specifications

5. Exchange server Memory utilization and specifications

6. Exchange Mailbox Database configuration and Size

7. Exchange server Storage utilization type and design

8. Network diagram

9. Current High Availability and Disaster recovery model

10. Vendor support documents and support number.

11. Active directory diagram with server details

12. Blackberry and Mobile device Management (MDM) software and server details

13. SharePoint solution

14. Instant Messaging and Unified Messaging solution

15. Backup Solution

16. Fax solution

17. Archiving solution

18. Journaling

19. Antivirus Software

20. Gateway and Spam filtering solution

21. Email Encryption

22. Business Custom Application

23. Monitoring and reporting solution

24. Custom Outlook plugins

25. Signature Software

26. Server Patching Solution etc.

There are various native and exchange built-in tool available to pull the necessary information on the current environment and they play the vital role in designing.

1. Exchange profile Analyzer

2. Exchange Environment Report

3. Microsoft Exchange Server User Monitor (ExMON)

4. ExIISLogParser

5. Exchange Best Practice Analyzer

With these information, we get some good idea on the all the business and technical requirement and also help to get the complete knowledge on the existing environment. It helps provide solution which is ideal for the requirement and to accommodate the business growth. I hope this article helps you to considers all the factors before designing a messaging solution for your organization.

Configuring Outlook Anywhere via ARR on IIS 7

If you are trying to configure Outlook Anywhere to route via ARR sever on IIS 7 then you will not be able to connect and you should get error “outlook unable to connect to the Exchange sever.”

in IIS logs you should find the error code 404.13 (which mean content length is too large)


By Default IIS ‘Maximum allow content length’ is set to 30 MB. We just have to reset it to 2 GB(2147483648 byes).

To configure this select the required website and double click  on ‘Request Filtering’


Select ‘Headers’ tab and click on ‘Edit Feature Settings’ then increase the ‘Maximum allow content length’ to 1 GB (1073741824 bytes)