Today was an exciting day! Microsoft released the public preview for Exchange 2016.
Our first exposure to Exchange 2016 was at Microsoft Ignite back in May. Since then its been fairly tight-lipped. For more information on what we learned regarding Exchange 2016, I recommend my write-up ‘What Ignite taught us about Exchange 2016‘.
If you haven’t seen them I highly recommend checking out all Exchange sessions from Microsoft Ignite. The Exchange Team collated them in a blog post here. If there are any two Exchange sessions you should watch then it is these two; Ross Smith’s Exchange Server Preferred Architecture and Brian Day’s Deploying Exchange 2016.
I recommend checking out this release video from Microsoft’s Greg Taylor (@).
Exchange 2016 Requirements
Since Microsoft Ignite it seems a couple of the minimum requirements have changed. Initially, it was reported that the minimum domain are forest functional levels would be 2008 R2. In addition, the minimum OS to run Exchange Server would be 2012 R2. Microsoft has since dropped each requirement down one level. You can see all the 2016 requirements at the following TechNet site.
- Domain Functional Level – 2008 or greater.
- Forest Functional Level – 2008 or greater.
- Domain Controller – 2008 or greater.
- Operating System – 2012 or greater.
- Outlook 2010 or greater.
- Outlook for Mac 2011 or greater.
- Coexistence – Exchange 2010 or later.
- Exchange 2007
- Outlook 2007
- Outlook for Mac 2008
This upgrade will require an Active Directory schema update. For 2016 build and schema numbers check this article.
Note: Remember this is a preview. Keep it in the lab only. You don’t want this in production until general release.
The TechNet library for Exchange Server 2016 can be located here.
Be sure to check out my previous Exchange 2016 feature write up.
We also have a seven-part series on installing Exchange 2016 in your lab.
How about you? What feature are you most excited to see? Perhaps you are disappointed to see a feature dropped. Let us know in the comments below.