Office 365 News
Earlier this month was a big day for Exchange updates. Not only did we get Cumulative Update 12 for Exchange 2013, but we also got our first update for Exchange 2016. Yay!
As always, test these updates in a lab first! I recommend checking out this 7-part guide on configuring Exchange in your lab. It doesn’t take much to get one going.
The updates are as follows:
So what’s new?
This update is a culmination of bug fixes and feature tweaks. Most notably the OWA S/MIME control ditches its SHA-1 signing certificate in favor of the more secure and robust SHA-2. This signing change makes it to all supported versions of Exchange. For 2007, which is in extended support, this is the only thing Rollup 19 addresses. Exchange 2010, also in extended support, similarly sees this update and just one other minor tweak–which is the introduction of a link to the new Hybrid Configuration Wizard.
Despite the inclusion of this link in EMC, the new Hybrid Configuration Wizard was able to run against prior roll-ups of Exchange 2010. This update simply adds a link for ease of access. Be sure to check out this blog post from the Exchange Team for more info on the new HCW for Exchange 2010.
Another cool update, that flew under the radar, is that the web.config file for Outlook on the Web will now be preserved during a cumulative update. This is neat because it will preserve any customization admins may have made to that file. Sadly this change only applies to Exchange 2016 deployments but let us keep our fingers crossed this will be ported back to Exchange 2013.
One surprising plot twist was the retraction of Mailbox Anchoring in the Exchange Management Shell. This had been implemented in the previous 2013 update and was set to ship with 2016 CU1. Exchange CU12 sees this change reverted and 2016 never sees it at all.
Mailbox Anchoring was the concept of making sure that an admin was always getting the same experience when connecting to the Exchange Management Shell. This was especially important in an environment where Exchange 2013 and 2016 are load balanced in the same pool.
In essence, when you opened Exchange Management Shell mailbox anchoring would always proxy you to the server that hosted your admin mailbox. If your admin account didn’t have a mailbox, or, it was unavailable, then it would proxy you to a server hosting the arbitration mailbox. If neither were available then the Exchange Management Shell would fail to connect. At this point, your only option was to connect through local PowerShell and add the Exchange snap-in.
Microsoft has reverted this change in response to community feedback.
As mentioned in a previous post .NET 4.6.1 continues to remain unsupported. The Exchange Team has indicated that support will be added in a future cumulative update. For now, keep that update away from your Exchange servers. As of writing 4.5.2 remains the highest supported version for Exchange 2013 & 2016.
Other items of note include:
- Exchange 2016 receives 17 new languages in Outlook on the Web.
- Exchange 2016 ditches self-extracting packages in favor of ISOs for delivery.
- Workaround for .Net update KB3097966 causing significant slowdowns in Exchange installations is documented here.
- Lag Replay Manager is enabled by default in 2016 CU1 (but can be disabled).
Thursday night I had the great pleasure of being a guest on The Current Status. We had an awesome discussion on Exchange 2016 and the preferred architecture. Check out the video below.
Tip: For everything new to Exchange 2016 check this article.[Read more…] about Webcast: Exchange 2016 and the Preferred Architecture
If you weren’t aware Microsoft is hosting its Ignite conference this week in Chicago (May 4th-8th).
Microsoft Ignite is the convergence of several Microsoft conferences into one mammoth event. And, it makes sense. With so much cross-product integration there was a growing amount of duplicate content. To quote the Microsoft Blog;
So how popular is Ignite? Joe Belfiore (@joebelfiore) revealed during the Cortana Power BI demo that over 23,000 people were in attendance. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make this conference. But luckily Microsoft has not forgotten us. You can watch the on-demand recording of the keynote here. Furthermore, Channel 9 is live-streaming several of the sessions at http://channel9.msdn.com/. Their featured session guide is on the front page.
UPDATE: Channel 9 has all the Ignite recordings available here. There are 688 recorded sessions!!
Your 2016 may have just gotten a little busier
If you saw the keynote then you know there was a slew of product announcements made. Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella (@satyanadella), announced several new product releases. Many of which are already available for preview, or, will be second-half 2015.
- Windows Server 10
- Exchange 2016
- System Center 2016
- SQL Server 2016
- Windows 10
- Office 2016
Also highlighted were:
- Azure for your Datacenter
- Skype for Business Broadcast
- Windows Update for Business
- Cortana improvements
- Continuum for Windows Phone
- Hello feature
- Skype for HoloLens
- Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics
- Operations Management Suite
- Device Guard
- Azure Rights Management and Data Loss Prevention
One message from Satya’s presentation was very clear.[Read more…] about Microsoft Ignite : Did your 2016 just get busier?