With the formal release of Exchange 2019 the Exchange world was shaken up (yet again), and the main question most of us have is why? Since upgrading Exchange in your environment isn’t exactly a small task, why should you jump to the new, fancy flavor? Well, let’s hop right into that!
Exchange 2019 is the first flavor of Exchange that fully supports deployment on Windows Server Core. How’s that a security improvement? Well, since Core is lightweight, containing only the essentials, there’s a drastically reduced attack footprint.
Not sold on Core? How about this; Exchange 2019 out of the box will only use TLS 1.2.
We talked about Core, right? Well since it doesn’t install features and components that are not absolutely necessary (Internet Explorer?, Media Player?) there are fewer patches to be deployed, and fewer still that require reboot. Assuming you follow the preferred architecture when you deploy there should be no problems with rebooting, but why chance it when you don’t have to?
Not only that, but with major enhancements to search indexing the catalog fails over much, much faster and who isn’t a fan of that?!
With Exchange 2016 there were scalability struggles. Manufacturers started producing larger physical servers and Exchange supportability flat out didn’t cover those, which lead to complicated virtual deployments and customers working outside of supportability guidelines. Exchange 2019 now supports up to 48 (physical) cores and 256GB of RAM.
Search was also drastically changed to leverage Bing technology causing failovers will happen more quickly and reliably. How, you ask? By storing the search indexes within the databases themselves and changing index data to be shipped along with database log shipping.
SSDs! For the longest time they were supported, but not technically recommended due to cost and capacity. Well, the read latencies of spinning disks haven’t improved at the same pace as physical capacity did. The struggle here is that it’s tough to read TBs of data fast enough on disks that are only 7,200RPM. How was that addressed? MCDB (MetaCache DataBases)! Basically, part of the most actively accessed data is stored on the SSDs so it improves performance drastically. Since MCDB is entirely new and a little complicated I’ll come back later and write about it in detail soon.
Up next is a two part about preparation and installing!