Upgrade Exchange 2007, Before It’s Too Late

In All by Mike Abbott

On April 25th of next year Microsoft Exchange will be turning 10 years old! While birthdays are generally happy affairs, it won’t be all celebrations for this widely adopted application. Sadly, extended support for this particular product ends 14 days prior, on April 11th. In other words, Microsoft will stop releasing security updates for that particular version of Exchange after April 11th– which means that hackers will have soon exposed or engineered exploits that allow them to infiltrate and tamper with this piece of software.

Very few businesses can afford to take the risk of allowing a random individual with a little bit of know-how to infiltrate their email server and extract data from it. What if some malicious prankster comes along and decides to post all of the content from your businesses mail server on the internet for anyone to see? What if the lack of security support for this software enabled a hacker to gain access to the rest of your network and begin extracting data from the files stored on your server? The longer you continue to run Exchange 2007 past its end of support date, the more likely it is that you will end up having to deal with some kind of scenario similar to those listed above.

Other Changes you may benefit from include:

Managed availability:

With managed availability, internal monitoring and recovery-oriented features are tightly integrated to help prevent failures, proactively restore services, and initiate server failovers automatically or alert administrators to take action. The focus is on monitoring and managing the end user experience rather than just server and component uptime to help keep the service continuously available.

Automatic reseed:

Enables you to quickly restore database redundancy after disk failure. If a disk fails, the database copy stored on that disk is copied from the active database copy to a spare disk on the same server. If multiple database copies were stored on the failed disk, they can all be automatically re-seeded on a spare disk. This enables faster reseeds, as the active databases are likely to be on multiple servers and the data is copied in parallel.

Collaboration:

Experience features like site mailboxes and Public Folders, which make data available to anyone who wants to use it. Did you create a form that your coworkers might want to use? Drop it into the public folder so they can quickly attach it to outgoing emails.

Shared mailboxes- Have a few people working together on a project? Allow any one of them to represent the entire team by sending and receiving email from a shared inbox. This is also a great means by which groups within your business can quickly and easily create a shared calendar.

Between Exchange 2010, Exchange 2013 and Exchange 2016, the three versions that have been released since 2007 was published, there are a number of under the hood improvements that improve speed, efficiency and data retention capabilities. I could write in great detail about mail flow/ the transport pipeline, high availability and site resilience or wax poetic about how passive search instances no longer need to coordinate with their active counterpart to perform index updates while at the same time reducing bandwidth requirements by 40% in comparison to previous versions of Excahange, but I really don’t want to go about administering sleep medicine en masse to the public. So, I will refrain.

Suffice it to say that if you are running Exchange 2007 and are unhappy about the fact that you have to upgrade your software in order to maintain a secure network, it isn’t ALL bad news. Not only are new features available that new employees will love and benefit from , but the software will run much more quickly and efficiently.

If you have any questions about why Exchange 2007 needs to be replaced or the features and benefits of Exchange 2016, don’t hesitate to reach out and give us a call!