Exchange Server 2013 Preview Release – at a glance

Microsoft announced its IT Pro review version of Microsoft Exchange; named Microsoft Exchange 2013. Just like other previous releases of the products; Microsoft seems to have maintained the consistency in drastic architectural changes to make the product more scalable and more efficient. Let us take a look at the high level changes that you will see in Exchange 2013 Preview.


Oops! I don’t see anything called Hub Transport, Unified Messaging and Edge Transport Server roles. Yes! You guessed it correct. There are no HT, UM and ET roles. Only two roles at the moment viz. MBX and CAS.

Mailbox Server role will handle the mailbox and unified messaging roles together with a improvements to the way mailboxes and information store databases are managed.

Client connectivity does not use RPC anymore. It will HTTPS traffic to and fro the CAS role.

Transport is an integrated component of the CAS role.  That means NO HUB TRANSPORT. A figure below that is copied over from Microsoft Website shows how it works.


Mailbox server role has a lot of improvements done too.



Microsoft Exchange 2013 Preview release uses a completely new GUI based management interface now called EAC. EAC known as Exchange Administration Center replaces the MMC based Exchange Management Console.

Another component of management interfaces, Exchange Management Shell now uses the WinRM 3.0 as a base to run the exchange server management snap in.

Public Folders:

Although Microsoft kept insisting on moving your public folder data to a sharepoint based website, they seem to have been continuing the support for public folders. Surprisingly, instead of deprecating the support for PFs MS has introduced few more changes to the PF database architecture that can support the HA. You may notice a significant difference between the legacy way of public folders and the way they are handled by Exchange 2013.

Storage Engine:

If you are an ESE lover, there is a good news for you. Exchange 2013 still sticks to the ESE as a database engine.

High Availability:

Mailbox Server High Availability = DAG has become and almost unwritten equation in industry by now. Exchange 2013 continues with the two very well known terms called DAG and CAS Array. DAG and CAS Array have been improved to support stringent RTO/RPOs of the organizations.

I personally liked Windows Server 2012 RC and hope Exchange 2013 along with it can do some magic to reduce administrative burdens and TCO for many organizations.


This is the first post on my blog about Exchange 2013. Stay tuned for the geeky insight of the product. It has just started, a long way to go 😉


Finally, here are few links that can help you:


CHM Help:

7 thoughts on “Exchange Server 2013 Preview Release – at a glance”

  1. That is a cool overview. We Exchange guys should be thankful to MS for keeping the trend of changing every 2 years and keep us in business.:-)

  2. Like Exchange 2000/3 front end / back end topology… In next version they will re-introduce separate directory structure for AD, Exchange and Lync 🙂

  3. Good overview…Thanks for the insight…Love the way Microsoft keeps going back and forth in its design and I am sure lot of things will change by the time E2013 is RTM’d…

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