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16 New Features in Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1
At a Glance:
- New management features
- Enhanced server roles
- Improved Unified Messaging
Most admins are familiar with the process of downloading and applying Service Packs for servers and desktop systems. These downloads, of course, provide hotfixes and security updates that
help to keep your systems current. Sometimes, however, a service pack includes something more. This is the case with the upcoming release of Microsoft® Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1, which includes many exciting new features.
This download, which will be available at go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=91472, can be used both to perform a complete installation of Exchange Server 2007 (with all the SP1 updates in place) and to update existing installations of Exchange Server 2007. While it can be installed on Windows Server® 2003 SP1, SP2, and R2, Exchange Server 2007 SP1 introduces compatibility with the future release of Windows Server 2008.
Service Pack 1 introduces more new features and enhancements than I can possibly cover in this brief overview. What I have done instead, therefore, is to compile a descriptive list of some of the most noteworthy changes that you can take advantage of to improve your Exchange environment. For a detailed look at all the changes, see "What's New in Exchange Server 2007 SP1" at technet.microsoft.com/bb676323.aspx.
Changes to the Exchange Management Console
Service Pack 1 gives the Exchange Management Console, shown in Figure 1, some handy new features. For starters, the Toolbox, which provides a collection of diagnostic, troubleshooting, and recovery tools that are installed by default with Exchange Server 2007, now includes the Public Folder Management Console, a Details Templates Editor, and the Routing Log Viewer.
Figure 1 Exchange Management Console with Service Pack 1 (Click the image for a larger view)
You can use the Exchange Management Console, Public Folder Management Console, Details Templates Editor, and the Queue Viewer to export lists from the result pane and the work pane. Lists can be exported as Text (Tab Delimited), Text (Comma Delimited), Unicode Text (Tab Delimited), and Unicode Text (Comma Delimited). In addition to being able to filter the result pane in the Exchange Management Console, you can now filter the result panes in the Public Folder Management Console, Details Templates Editor, and the Queue Viewer.
Most notably, however, the Exchange Management Console includes a number of new management interfaces (such as the Public Folder Management Console that I mentioned). I will discuss these separately throughout this article.
Support for IPv6
With support for Windows Server 2008 comes support for Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6). Of course, this relies on Exchange Server 2007 actually being installed on Windows Server 2008 with both the IPv4 and the IPv6 protocol stacks enabled. If you disable IPv4 prior to installation, Exchange will not support IPv6.
You can enter IP addresses and ranges in either the IPv4 or the IPv6 format. All but one of the server roles can send data to and receive data from devices, servers, and clients that use IPv6 addresses. The one exception is the Unified Messaging server role. This is because the Unified Messaging role requires IPv4 due to limitations with some necessary telephony and speech components.
POP3 and IMAP4 Admin UI
The Exchange Management Console includes a new administration UI for managing POP3 and IMAP4. Here you can configure all the POP3 and IMAP4 settings for your Client Access server, including port settings, authentication settings, and connection settings. Figure 2 shows the IMAP4 properties configuration dialog; the same options are available for POP3.
Figure 2 Exchange Management Console for POP3/IMAP4
More Robust Mailbox Management
Mailbox management features in the Exchange Management Console now support bulk mailbox creation for existing user accounts. Meanwhile, new wizards allow administrators to grant or remove Full Access rights for a mailbox and allow you to configure Send As permissions for a mailbox.
New Features for Managing Mailbox Data
An administrator can now import and export .pst files for managing mailbox data. You can also do this in the Exchange Management Shell using the Import-Mailbox and Export-Mailbox cmdlets, respectively.
Messaging Records Management (MRM) can be applied to Managed Default Folders that live on an Exchange server that has an Exchange Standard Client Access License. (Note that MRM for Managed Custom Folders still requires an Exchange Enterprise Client Access License.) The new RemoveManagedFolderAndPolicy parameter, which is for the Set-Mailbox cmdlet, removes any MRM policies from a mailbox, removes MRM properties from any managed folders that were created as part of the MRM policy that was applied to the mailbox, and converts any managed folders to standard folders.
New Performance Monitor counters allow you to monitor various online defragmentation information—namely when online defragmentation was last run, how long it took to complete, and what it did. This information is handy for optimizing your online defrag interval.
Confirmation of Remote Wipes
Exchange Server 2007 already allows an administrator or account user to issue a remote wipe to clear all user data from a mobile device—a handy security feature for when a device is lost or stolen. With Service Pack 1, a confirmation message is sent when the device acknowledges the remote wipe request. If the user originates the request (through Outlook® Web Access, or OWA), he will receive a confirmation e-mail. If the administrator issues the request (through the Exchange Management Console), both the administrator and the user will receive a confirmation e-mail.
A More Robust OWA Client
The Web-based e-mail client offers many enhancements that provide better messaging for mobile workers. With SP1, OWA users can create and edit Personal Distribution Lists as well as server-side rules. Also, users are able to use the Dumpster and the Recover Deleted Items features.
Move and copy commands have been added to the UI, allowing users to move and copy folders via the right-click menu on the folder list. Individual items in message folders and public folders can also be moved and copied by right-clicking in the item list or by clicking an icon on the toolbar.
OWA users also have complete access to Public Folders without using the /public virtual directory (and you don't need to keep an Exchange 2003 back-end server to support this). And Public Folder search capabilities are supported in OWA.
S/MIME capabilities now allow users to read and compose signed and encrypted e-mail messages (see Figure 3). There is even CNG (Cryptography API: Next Generation) support and Suite-B compliance. Meanwhile, the OWA UI can be customized for seamlessly integrating custom applications.
Figure 3 S/MIME message settings (Click the image for a larger view)
Composition Monitoring in OWA Light
Outlook Web Access Light—a less complex version of OWA that was designed to work with nearly all Web browsers—now monitors activity while a user is composing a long entry of any type (such as a message or calendar entry) to ensure that the session does not time out (causing data to be lost) while the user is still typing. In addition, messages are automatically saved in the Drafts folder if the session times out due to inactivity while the message compose form is open.
Improved Direct Push Performance
Direct Push operates by establishing an HTTPS connection between a mobile device and the Exchange 2007 server. With Exchange 2007 SP1, the size of the HTTPS request and response headers has been reduced, and this reduces the amount of data being sent to and received from a mobile device.
Public Folder Management
The new Public Folder Management Console, shown in Figure 4, allows administrators to create, configure, and maintain public folders from within the Exchange Management Console. Address lists, e-mail address policies, dynamic distribution groups, and distribution lists are public folder-aware. When previewing address list, e-mail address policy, dynamic distribution group, and distribution group recipients, you can see the mail-enabled public folders that are included in the group membership criteria.
Figure 4 Public Folder Management Console (Click the image for a larger view)
The Public Folder Management console in Exchange 2007 SP1 lets you configure public folder administrative rights. You can do this either by using the Add-ExchangeAdministrator cmdlet or the Add Exchange Administrator Wizard to add a user to the Public Folder Administrator role or by using the Add-PublicFolderAdministratorPermission cmdlet to grant or deny specific rights to public folders.
Enhanced Message Processing and Routing
Deployed inside the Active Directory® forest, Hub Transport servers handle all mail flow inside the organization, apply transport rules, apply journal rules, and deliver messages to recipient mailboxes. Messages being sent out to the Internet are relayed by the Hub Transport server to the Edge Transport server on the network perimeter. SP1 includes enhancements to these server roles.
Exchange Server 2007 includes a system resource monitoring feature, called Back Pressure, that enables the Hub and Edge Transport servers to respond to high resource use. With SP1, the free disk space requirement has been reduced significantly, from 4GB to 500MB.
The Exchange Management Console in SP1 offers more transport configuration settings. And you now have the ability to configure an X.400 address space as an authoritative domain (X.400 long addresses are also supported now).
The Hub Transport server supports priority queuing. The message priority that is assigned to a message by an Outlook user is considered by the categorizer, helping to ensure that messages sent with high importance actually do receive priority handling and are delivered more quickly than messages designated as low importance.
In Exchange 2007 SP1, the scoping of a Send connector to a single Active Directory site is simplified by the addition of the IsScopedConnector parameter in Exchange Management Shell cmdlets and the Scoped Send Connector checkbox in the Exchange Management Console. When a Send connector is scoped, only the Hub Transport servers in the same Active Directory site as the Send connector's source servers consider that Send connector in routing decisions.
Edge Transport Server Synchronization Enhancements
In Exchange Server 2007 SP1, you can use the Start-EdgeSynchronization cmdlet to immediately begin synchronization of data from Active Directory to the Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM) directory service. In Exchange 2007 SP1, this cmdlet supports the Server parameter, which gives you the ability to run the cmdlet from a remote computer.
The Test-EdgeSynchronization cmdlet, a diagnostic cmdlet that reports the synchronization status of Edge Transport servers, has been augmented with a new parameter set that lets you verify the synchronization results for individual users.
TransportConfig Object Cloning
Cloned configuration scripts make it easy for administrators to apply a consistent configuration when more than one Edge Transport server is deployed in their environment. In SP1, the TransportConfig object, which controls server-wide settings for the Edge Transport server role, is now included in the cloned configuration information. The inclusion of this object greatly streamlines server deployment, backup, and restore procedures.
Improvements to Unified Messaging
Unified Messaging was an exciting part of the initial Exchange Server 2007 release. Service Pack 1 builds upon this functionality, introducing many new features and enhancements. Some of the features require you to deploy Office Communications Server 2007 in the same Active Directory forest, but there are many features that don't require Office Communications Server. I can't cover all of the changes to Unified Messaging here, but I will run through some of the notable additions. If you want to read more about Unified Messaging, check out "Deploying Unified Messaging with Exchange Server 2007" in this issue of TechNet Magazine for more information.
First I'll touch on some of the new features that do require Office Communications Server 2007. There is now support for media streams to traverse firewalls and for high-fidelity voice messages. There is notification of forwarding when leaving voice messages when the destination uses call forwarding. Users can access Outlook Voice Access from Office Communicator 2007 without entering a PIN. There is integration of missed call notification e-mail messages and voicemail notification with Office Communicator 2007 (see Figure 5). And much more.
Figure 5 Voicemail notification in Office Communicator
One of the enhancements to Unified Messaging that doesn't require Office Communications Server is support for the Secure Realtime Transport Protocol (SRTP). The initial release of Exchange Server 2007 offers two security modes: unsecured and secured. The secured mode only encrypts the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) traffic, and the RTP traffic is unencrypted. In SP1, there are three modes: Unsecured, SIP secured, and Secured. In SIP secured mode, only the SIP traffic is encrypted, not the RTP traffic. In Secured mode, both the SIP and RTP traffic are encrypted. You can also configure Mutual Transport Layer Security (MTLS) for dial plans using the Exchange Management Console.
Other changes include the new Enable Unified Messaging Wizard, which you can use to add an SIP or E.164 address for a user; configuring the URI type for a dial plan using the Exchange Management Console; and Quality of Service (QoS) support using DiffServ for tagging media traffic was added to SP1.
Better High Availability
Service Pack 1 introduces several new features that will improve high availability as well as enhancements to existing high availability features. The new and improved features extend the scenarios in which you can achieve data and service availability for your Exchange 2007 server roles. The new scenarios enable organizations to separate high availability scenarios from site resilience scenarios and to deploy configurations that are tailored to the organization's specific needs in each separate area.
For starters, added support for Windows Server 2008 enables multi-subnet failover clusters as well as support for new quorum models (disk and file share witness). There are also very useful improvements to cluster reporting and monitoring capabilities, including additional functionality designed for proactive monitoring of continuous replication environments. Meanwhile, performance-related improvements include a reduction of I/O on the disks that contain passive copies of storage groups, faster log file copying, and faster moving of clustered mailbox servers among nodes.
Finally, new wizards were added to improve the management and configuration experience (see Figure 6), and new UI controls were added for managing clustered mailbox servers, including a new Clustered Mailbox Server tab, and a Cluster Continuous Replication (CCR) configuration page.
Figure 6 Manage Clustered Mailbox Server Wizard (Click the image for a larger view)
Standby Continuous Replication
Standby continuous replication (SCR) uses the same log shipping and replay technology used by local continuous replication (LCR) and CCR to provide added deployment options and configurations. SCR is similar to LCR and CCR, but it has unique characteristics of its own. For an in-depth look at SCR, see the article "Standby Continuous Replication in Exchange Server 2007" by Scott Schnoll in this issue of TechNet Magazine.
Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1 is clearly more than just hotfixes and security updates. It offers many new features and enhancements that you'll soon rely on. I don't have the space to cover all the new features and enhancements, but I hope this article has given you a good overview of what you'll get. For complete information about all the changes in Service Pack 1 plus downloads, webcasts, and discussion forums, visit the Exchange Server TechCenter at technet.microsoft.com/exchange.