New Features

With the release of Exchange Server 2003, Microsoft has created a robust email server platform that includes many new and improved features. The improvements and enhancements are most noticeable in the areas of administration, email access, security, and reliability. Although both versions of Exchange Server 2003, Standard and Enterprise, include the improved and enhanced features, there are features specific only to Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise. Let's take a look at some of these features.

Improved Administration, Deployment, and Management Tools

Microsoft made a concerted effort to improve and enhance the administration, deployment, and migration tools in this release of Exchange. The new tools include updated wizards and user interfaces that make installing, configuring, and maintaining Exchange easier. Exchange System Manager, ExDeploy, Internet Mail Wizard, and the Active Directory Account Cleanup Wizard are a few examples of the improved tools included in Exchange 2003.

Updated Outlook Web Access

Exchange 2003 includes an updated version of Outlook Web Access (OWA) that evens the messaging playing field with the full Outlook 2003 client in terms of the look, feel, and usability of the web interface. OWA, developed in conjunction with Exchange 2003, has features that complement Exchange and allow users to access their mailboxes and public folders via their web browser. Because the interfaces are almost identical, end users will immediately be comfortable when using Outlook Web Access or Outlook 2003.

Updated VSAPI

Microsoft has included an updated version of the virus scanning application programming interface (VSAPI). Introduced in Exchange 5.5 SP3 (version 1.0) and updated in Exchange 2000 SP1 (version 2.0), VSAPI was updated to version 2.5 in Exchange 2003. VSAPI provides proactive on-demand and background monitoring of incoming email messages and their attachments for viruses, worms, Trojans, and the like. Unlike previous versions, the updated virus-scanning API (VSAPI 2.5) now includes new features that enable Exchange-aware antivirus software to run on servers that do not host mailboxes such as front-end or bridgehead servers. VSAPI also includes the capability to delete infected messages and notify senders of infected messages. These features help IT departments maintain a healthy network and allow administrators to focus on keeping users productive.

Enhanced Reliability, Backup, and Recovery via Volume Shadow Copy Service and Mailbox Recovery Center

As the code name for Exchange 2003, Titanium, suggests, Microsoft had reliability and availability in its sights when it developed its latest version of Exchange. In conjunction with its Trustworthy Computing Initiative, Exchange leverages the Windows 2003 server Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS), which makes point-in-time snapshots of data for easier backup-and-restore functionality. The snapshots or shadow copy backups are exact copies of files or volumes at a specific point in time. After the snapshot is completed, it is backed up via a backup application. Microsoft also provides a new feature, the Mailbox Recovery Center (MRC), which makes recovering multiple deleted mailboxes easier than ever. Instead of connecting to mailboxes individually, as required in the Exchange 2000 System Manager, the MRC in Exchange 2003 allows you to connect to and recover multiple mailboxes simultaneously on one server, even if the mailboxes are located on different servers.

Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise Specific Features

In addition to the features previously covered, the Enterprise Edition of Exchange Server 2003 includes support for the following:

  • Eight-node Clustering using the Windows Clustering service in Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition or Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition Cluster support is expanded from two- and four-node support in Exchange 2000 to eight nodes in Exchange 2003. Improvements in setup and security as well as support for volume mount points are also included in Exchange 2003.

  • Multiple storage groups, multiple databases, and virtually unlimited database size Exchange 2003 Standard Edition supports a single storage group (think of a group as a container) with two databases (one mailbox store and one public folder store), and Exchange 2003 Enterprise Edition supports up to four storage groups, with each storage group containing up to five databases. This allows up to 20 individual information stores on a single Exchange 2003 Server. In addition, whereas the Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition information stores have a maximum of 16GB, the information stores in Enterprise Edition are limited only by the hardware being used, with a theoretical limit of 16TB (terabytes) of storage. Wow! I challenge someone to top that!

  • X.400 connectors The Enterprise Edition includes an X.400 connector that can be configured to handle email in and out of an organization and supports both TCP/IP and X.25. The X.400 connector is also very useful for integrating an Exchange Server into a third-party messaging platform for coexistence between an Exchange routing group and an X.400 system or during a server migration between two Exchange routing groups.

Sams Teach Yourself Exchange Server 2003 in 10 Minutes
Sams Teach Yourself Exchange Server 2003 in 10 Minutes
ISBN: 0672327244
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 130
Authors: James Walker © 2008-2017.
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