Guides
  • Everything you need to know about OWA

    Employees today are often mobile and remote, so it's important to keep a tight grip on Microsoft's OWA. Mastering Outlook Web Access and Outlook Web App 2010 is daunting for administrators who must tweak various configurations and do what they can to keep company data secure. We've compiled our best OWA tips and tutorials to give you everything you need to be an OWA expert.

  • Exchange Server virtualization 101

    Exchange Server virtualization provides flexibility, lower operational costs and has other benefits, but virtualizing this mission-critical application makes some administrators nervous.

    If you’re intrigued by Exchange Server virtualization, but not sure where to begin, you’ve come to the right place. This guide provides information for every skill level -- from server virtualization basics to tips and tricks for optimizing virtual Exchange 2007 or Exchange Server 2010 environments.

  • Your guide to our Exchange explained series

    Exchange Server is a complex product that includes a multitude of functionalities, technologies and terms; all of which may seem daunting to the inexperienced administrator. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

    Whether you’re brand new to Exchange Server administration, or an old pro looking to brush up on commonly used technologies and terms, this guide is for you.

    If you have a suggestion for our next Exchange explained series installment, please email us.

    Follow SearchExchange.com on Twitter @ExchangeTT.

  • Admin's guide to configuring Gmail in Outlook

    Recently, I’ve seen a lot of users in corporate environments using Microsoft Outlook as their interface to Gmail. Outlook is meant to serve as a universal inbox for many different kinds of mail services, so using Gmail in Outlook with other email accounts is definitely in line with Outlook’s intended use. However, using Gmail in Outlook can be tricky, especially since there are various ways to do it.

    If anyone in your user base is using a mix of Gmail and Exchange, and using Outlook as an interface to both, you should know how the two can be configured if you’re ever called in to fix anything. It’s also possible you will be asked to set up this type of arrangement for less technically-savvy users and even those high enough on the totem pole to demand it.

  • An Exchange admin's guide to SharePoint 2010

    It should come as no surprise that many organizations that rely on Exchange Server and Outlook for email also rely on SharePoint -- Microsoft’s collaboration platform -- for document sharing and workflow reports. What is surprising is that many of these same companies do not use all three products in tandem, thereby failing to realize the numerous benefits such a setup offers.

    This guide offers expert advice on what administrators can accomplish when leveraging Exchange, Outlook and SharePoint 2010 in concert, as well as other helpful tips on SharePoint 2010.

    Check out all of our expert SharePoint tips and follow SearchExchange.com on Twitter: @ExchangeTT.

  • Guide: Tightening Exchange Server security

    Every administrator, regardless of experience, knows that securing an Exchange Server deployment is critical. After all, what’s the point of having a mechanism to send and receive email if it’s not properly protected from outside hackers, attackers and spammers?

    There’s even more expert advice and tips on our Exchange Server security topic page.

    To help you best protect your environment, we’ve compiled our best Exchange Server security tools, best practices and other resources. Have a look, there may be several you haven’t thought about yet.

  • Economic implications of Exchange virtualization

    As virtual server technology has improved, virtualizing Exchange Server has become both a cheaper and less risky option. It’s no longer an experiment with your infrastructure but rather a sensible way to consolidate server costs. What’s less clear is what you stand to gain from moving Exchange Server to virtual machines.

    Using virtual machine (VMs) to host Exchange in your organization -- as opposed to running it directly on physical machines -- opens up a range of new management options. For example, you can dynamically provision CPU and memory so that you can respond more quickly to changes in your Exchange environment.

    That said, measuring the dollars-and-cents savings from virtualizing Exchange isn’t always clear. The following three aspects have the most serious economic implications for Exchange Server virtualization.

  • Mastering Exchange 2010 server role management

    Once you have Exchange Server 2010 up and running, you shouldn’t think of it as something you provision once and forget about. Apart from the usual day-to-day maintenance, which is inevitable with any server, each Exchange server role needs long-term management.

    In addition, you should learn to use PowerShell, if you haven’t yet done so. Many important management tasks for Exchange should be accomplished with PowerShell -- not just because it’s faster than using the graphical user interface (depending on your typing speed), but also because it’s often far more powerful.

    As you grow more comfortable with Exchange 2010, you may find places in your organization where you want to rework your implementation. Here we'll discuss best practices for managing the five Exchange Server roles and what to expect from each as you expand your use of Microsoft’s product.

  • Exchange Server spam and virus tool considerations

    When you consider that the majority of email transmitted over the Internet is unsolicited, it’s negligent for an Exchange manager to implement an email system without adequate spam and virus protection. Organizations must evaluate the technologies that can help safeguard them against an onslaught of junk mail and malicious attacks.

    While Exchange Server has come a long way in terms of wrapping spam and virus protection within the product, there is a long history of third-party spam and virus protection software and hardware technologies for the product, as well as a mature partner ecosystem. Shops considering how to best secure Exchange Server must weigh compatibility concerns against the possibility of more mature, third-party options.

    As an Exchange admin, you’re under pressure to meet compliance, archiving and e-discovery requirements on top of basic system security dictates. Therefore, other considerations for native Exchange tools versus third-party ones include whether the product combines antivirus and antispam protection functionality, as well as whether it incorporates protection and compliance technologies.

    As you weigh your options, note that third-party vendors tend to not only have more mature products, but also that their security suites feature higher consolidation levels to encompass a broader range of risk management solutions that integrate together. For example, you can purchase a third-party suite that encompasses email, Web, instant messaging and data-protection features.

    In this guide, we examine some of these options and review the features available to prevent security hazards or email gluts from propagating throughout an Exchange Server-based organization. This is insight you need to make a sound buying decision.

  • Guide: Troubleshooting Exchange Server 2010

    After three years on the market without any significant problems reported, it is now safe to say that Exchange Server 2010 has proven to be a technically sound product. However, much like earlier versions of Exchange Server, this round is not without its share of quirks and headaches. There have been reported issues involving public folders, trouble moving mailboxes and much more.

    When things go wrong, it's your job to know how to fix them quickly and, even more important, correctly. Below you'll find information to troubleshoot Exchange 2010 issues, from the obvious to the obscure.

  • Guide: Exchange Server virtualization and Hyper-V

    Although many shops choose VMware's vSphere to virtualize Exchange, Microsoft's Hyper-V is picking up steam -- and with good reason. Many admins like the familiarity of using two Microsoft technologies in concert, and Hyper-V was recently enhanced in the Windows Server 2012 release.

    Whether you're interested in a shiny new virtualized Exchange Server deployment with Hyper-V, or considering a move from VMware, this guide has what you need. Get the most out of your deployment by learning all about potential cost savings, best practices, and new and improved features.

  • Your hosted Exchange email prep guide

    With all the hype around Microsoft Office 365, many administrators and IT decision makers are now more seriously thinking about moving their email to the cloud.

    Still, IT pros are wary about using Microsoft to host their email. The company is relatively new to the services game, and many IT shops are skeptical when it comes to Microsoft's "my way or the highway" approach to hosted email via Office 365. But Microsoft isn't the only game in town. There's a multitude of players in the hosted Exchange email market.

    There's no denying that hosted Exchange email has its benefits. Cost savings are touted the most often, but there are others as well. For example, by offloading email management to a vendor, administrators can focus on more strategic decisions and not worry about such tedious tasks as troubleshooting or patching on-premises Exchange servers.

    This guide is aimed at IT pros and decision makers who are planning a move to hosted Exchange email. Here you'll find helpful explanations, what to expect when shopping for providers and pertinent questions to ask before committing your email to the cloud.