Exchange Unwashed Digest May 2013


May 2013 produced some thoughts about site mailboxes, CU1 improvements, planning tools, and even a Windows Phone application in the Exchange Unwashed Blog. Here’s what happened in detail.

Using an Office 365 free trial domain to test software (May 30): Sometimes it is just difficult to get all the parts aligned to allow new features and functionality to be tested. I certainly struggled with SharePoint 2013 when I wanted to play with site mailboxes. And then I twigged that an Office 365 trial domain was an excellent workaround because Microsoft does all the boring work of making sure that parts fit together correctly. Try it for 30 days free of charge. Nice!

The demise of the infamous FSW warning (May 26): Among the High Availability enhancements made in Exchange 2013 CU1 is the eradication of a bug that’s been lingering for quite a while. The bug occurs when you place the witness server for a DAG on a server that doesn’t have Exchange installed on it, in which case complaints are issued – sometimes unfairly.

UC Architects make a splash with their new Windows Phone App (May 23): Apparently the number of Windows Phone users is growing quite rapidly, albeit from a low base. Those who use Windows Phone (like me) can use the new UC Architects app to access the regular broadcasts from this eclectic group of Lync and Exchange consultants.

The rather splendid Exchange 2013 server calculator (May 21): After waiting so long for deployment planning tools to arrive, the provision of the Exchange 2013 mailbox server requirements calculator came as a blessed relief for those who wondered just what kind of hardware they would need in production. The answer is “more than you might imagine”. But hey, hardware is cheap, memory is plentiful, and storage is positively bursting in capacity, so it’s not really a problem.

Migration challenges await in City of Boston’s transition to Gmail (May 16): The fine folks at the City of Boston have selected Gmail and Google Apps instead of moving from Exchange on-premises to Office 365. I’m sure that careful technical and business consideration was given to this decision but I have some doubts as to how much the users will enjoy the migration. Time will tell.

New email features from Microsoft and Google prove the worth of competition (May 14): Competition drives innovation, a factor that is becoming more apparent as Gmail and Exchange Online swap announcements about new features. Gmail is certainly improving, but Exchange Online remains king of the feature heap – as long as you pair it with Outlook 2013.

Configuring site mailboxes: a candidate for automation (May 9). Site mailboxes mark an important point along the road to better co-operation between Exchange and SharePoint. Unfortunately the process of configuring all the bits and pieces that are necessary to make the two products talk together nicely is not straightforward. I regard this as a great automation opportunity for Microsoft. We shall see whether they agree.

The curious lack of Exchange 2013 hardware planning tools (May 7): A week before the server calculator (see above) appeared, I commented on the curious lack of planning tools made available by Microsoft to help on-premises administrators figure out the mysteries of hardware configurations. It just seemed strange to have no little knowledge available six months after product release. That’s all I’m saying…

Exchange Connections – Calling all speakers (May 2): We’re having what I hope will be the best independent conference covering all aspects of Exchange (on-premises, hybrid, cloud, and connectivity with other products) in Las Vegas (Oct 1-3) and needed some speakers. So we asked the Interweb to see who’d like to present and got over 80 submissions. The 20 selected sessions have now been announced and I am more than pleased with the set.

And so on to June…

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About Tony Redmond

Exchange MVP, author, and rugby referee
This entry was posted in Email, Exchange, Exchange 2013, Office 365, Outlook 2013, SharePoint 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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