If you use Exchange 2007, it’s time to make a move…
With Microsoft announcing the End of Life for Windows 2003 server, I’ve seen a lot of questions about other products that may be reaching End of Life. My world has always been Microsoft Exchange and recently, I’ve seen a lot of Exchange upgrades from customers.
Why are people upgrading? Well, simply put – Exchange 2013 has a lot of features that the 2007 version doesn’t have. Let’s look at a few:
Exchange 2013 Features to Make You Upgrade:
- Exchange 2013 uses a single web based interface for all services that makes Administration easier than all previous versions.
- Microsoft decided to make Exchange a role based administration and allow roles to delegate tasks.
- Exchange 2013 has more cloud based capabilities so you can have an online system and combine it with your on-premises Exchange server.
- More managed availability was added to Exchange 2013. Now you have an integrated HA solution that monitors and manages service availability end-to-end across all roles and services.
- You now can get e-mail that works with either touch or mouse control.
- A new conversation view is available which lets you view and avoid undelivered or misdirected email with MailTips. Also, you can declutter email with inline compose and reply.
- Exchange 2013 now comes with App support so you can easily write apps for Outlook and Outlook Web App with web technologies and then control and deploy them from within Exchange.
- Exchange is now more integrated with other products. You can get access to project information from SharePoint and Exchange, all from within Outlook using Site mailboxes. (You would need to make sure you have the same version of SharePoint.)
- With Exchange 2013, you have a new DLP so that you can use built-in rules to identify, monitor and protect sensitive data and inform users about policy violations before emails are sent.
Yet given all these advancements, some businesses were still not convinced. In those cases, I like to point out Microsoft’s road map. As of April 10, 2012, Exchange 2007 SP3 RU11 went into extended maintenance mode. This means that you’re only covered for security patches. Now really MOST of the time, you’re able to just set Exchange up and it takes care of itself (with some minor tweaks you make to keep it running). However in the event of a large problem with Exchange 2007, you would have no support at this point.
Also, in April 2017, Microsoft has decided that Exchange 2007 will reach its End Of Life. That may be 24 or so months away, but this must be looked at as time that you have to upgrade, not procrastinate. Upgrades like this take time and thought, so you may want to start now with the discovery phase – especially if you have a large organization.
In starting the Discovery phase, you need to look closely at what you have and what you need. You’re going to want to get a detailed report as to what you currently have and what you believe your business needs will be in the future. Personally, I would use the Exchange Profile Analyzer to gather this information. This can give you most of the information you would need like size limits, Transport and CLA configurations, plus third party appliance information.
When it’s all boiled down, you really have a choice to make: Move to Exchange 2013 or move to Office 365.