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Exchange Server 2016 Overview and Requirements

The server Roles for Exchange server change from the one version of exchange to the next one, in the following will describe the new architecture for exchange server 2016.

In Exchange 2016 the Client access server role has been removed and added client access services to the mailbox role.

For Exchange 2016, there are two server roles: Mailbox server and Edge transport server.

Mailbox servers:

  • Provide a mailbox services and client access services.
  • Contain mailbox databases that process and store data.
  • Contain the client access services that accept client connections for all protocols and proxy these connections to the corresponding backend services on a Mailbox server.
  • Contain the Unified Messaging (UM) services that provide voice mail and other telephony features to mailboxes.

Edge Transport servers:

  • Should be installed in the perimeter network.
  • Handle all external mail flow for the Exchange organization.
  • Provide anti-spam and transport rules to the messages.

New and Discontinued Features

By comparing the features on Exchange server 2016 and the previous versions of exchange server you will find some new and discontinued features as the following details,

New Features:

  • Decreased server roles to only two roles “Mailbox and edge servers”
  • RPC over https replaced with MAPI over http.
  • Data loss prevention (DLP) supports attachment search and recipient notification.
  • Public folder support for in-place eDiscovery and In-Place Hold.
  • The Hybrid Configuration Wizard which was included in Exchange 2013 is has become a cloud-based application in Exchange 2016
  • Outlook on the Web (the old name Outlook web app) with some new features:
  1. Platform-specific experiences for phones for Android and IOS
  2. Premium Android experience for chrome on Android version 4.2 or later devices
  3. Email interface improvements
  4. Contact linking
  5. Calendar improvement
  6. New themes
  7. Search suggestions
  8. Apps for Outlook
  9. Link preview
  10. Offline Mode

Discontinued Features:

  • Client Access Server Role: which has been added to Mailbox server role
  • MAPI/CDO library: which has been replaced by Exchange Web Services (EWS), Exchange ActiveSync (EAS), and Representational State Transfer (REST) APIs.

Exchange 2016 Requirement

Before we install Exchange 2016 should review the minimum system and hardware requirement.

System Requirement:

  • The Windows Server Desktop Experience feature needs to be installed

    Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2: Run the following command in Windows PowerShell “Install-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra, Server-Gui-Shell -Restart”.

    Windows Server 2016: Install Windows Server 2016 and choose the Desktop Experience installation option.

    • All domain controllers in the forest need to be running one of the following:

      Windows Server 2016 Standard or Datacenter

      Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard or Datacenter

      Windows Server 2012 Standard or Datacenter

      Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard or Enterprise

      Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter RTM or later

      Windows Server 2008 Standard, Enterprise, or Datacenter

Hardware Requirement:

  • Processor:

    X64 architecture-based computer with Intel processor that supports Intel 64 architecture (formerly known as Intel EM64T)

    AMD processor that supports the AMD64 platform

    Intel Itanium IA64 processors not supported

  • Memory:

    Mailbox    8GB minimum

    Edge Transport    4GB minimum

  • Paging file:

    The page file size minimum and maximum must be set to physical RAM plus 10MB, to a maximum size of 32,778MB (32GB) if you’re using more than 32GB of RAM.

  • Disk Space:

    At least 30 GB on the drive on which you install Exchange

    An additional 500 MB of available disk space for each Unified Messaging (UM) language pack that you plan to install

    200 MB of available disk space on the system drive

    A hard disk that stores the message queue database on with at least 500 MB of free space.

  • File Format:

    Disk partitions formatted as NTFS file systems

Ratish Nair

Microsoft MVP | Office Servers and Services

Team @MSExchangeGuru

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