Microsoft Exchange Server 2019

PDF version of this report
You must have Adobe Acrobat reader to view, save, or print PDF files. The
reader is available for free

Exchange Server 2019

by Faulkner Staff

Docid: 00016412

Publication Date: 2103

Report Type: PRODUCT


Microsoft’s Exchange Server is a messaging and collaboration software server
platform that features email, calendaring, and contacts, and also supports
mobile and Web-based applications. The original Exchange Server was released in
1996, with the most up-to-date version being Microsoft Exchange Server 2019,
which was released in October 2018. Recently Exchange Server has been the target
of ongoing attacks from both state-sponsored and independent hacking groups,
taking advantage of multiple vulnerabilities. Despite Microsoft’s patching of
the exploited flaws, unpatched systems remain high-profile targets. This report
reviews the key features and functions of Exchange Server 2019, along with its

Report Contents:


[return to top of this

Related Faulkner Reports
Company Profile
IBM Notes Product

Microsoft Exchange Server 2019 is the foundation for Microsoft’s Unified
Communications platform and is designed to lower messaging costs, boost
productivity, allow access to business communications from any location,
and provide security and compliance to protect important business
data. The newest version of Exchange Server, which was released in
late 2018, offers SHA-2 compliant S/MIME in Outlook on the Web, 17
additional languages, and an improved download package. Starting with CU1,
it is now packaged as ISO files instead of a self-extracting EXE file.

Exchange Server manages all business communications including email,
voicemail, and instant messaging from any platform, Web browser, or

In March 2021, Microsoft announced it detected multiple zero-day exploits
being used to attack on-premises versions of Exchange Server in limited and
targeted attacks. The threat actor used the vulnerabilities to access
Exchange servers, which accessed email accounts and allowed for
the installation of additional malware to facilitate persistence in the victims’
environments. Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC) attributed the
campaign to the Hafnium group, a state-sponsored actor supported by the Chinese

While Microsoft quickly issued emergency fixes for the identified exploits,
the company soon reported that multiple other actors were also taking advantage
of unpatched systems to launch their own attacks on organizations with
on-premises Exchange Servers. In response, Microsoft issued a number of tools
to help both incident response teams and customers who do no have dedicated
security or IT teams identify indicators of compromise and apply the updates that will remediate and defend against the associated attacks.

Figure 1 displays Exchange Server 2019’s Web-based admin center

Figure 1. Exchange Server 2019 Admin Center

Figure 1. Exchange Server 2019 Admin Center

Source: Microsoft

Name: Microsoft
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052-6399
Phone: (425) 882-8080
Fax: (425) 706-7329
Type of Vendor: Operating System and Application
Software Provider
Founded: 1975
Service Areas: Global
Stock Symbol: MSFT (NASDAQ)

Among the key new features offered in Exchange Server 2019 are:

  • Improved search infrastructure
  • Faster, more reliable failovers
  • Metacache database
  • Modern hardware support
  • Dynamic database cache
  • Calendar – Do Not Forward
  • Calendar – Better Out of Office
  • Calendar – Remove-CalendarEvents cmdlet
  • Assign delegate permission via PowerShell
  • Email address internationalization (EAI)
Table 1. Microsoft Exchange Server’s Key Features
Exchange Server Technologies Features
Cloud Transition
  • Exchange allows for onboarding to the cloud overnight and
    management of hybrid deployments with both online and
    on-premise mailboxes. Users can share calendars and schedule
    meetings regardless of environment.
Exchange Administration Center
  • Through the web-based Administration Center, users can
    manage Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and site mailboxes. It
    provides role-based access control, letting help desk and
    specialist users perform tasks without requiring full
    administrative permissions.
Exchange Online Protection
  • Exchange Online Protection provides security features
    deployed across global data centers to help streamline
In-Place Archive
  • Users can keep email in their primary mailbox or move items
    to an In-Place Archive. Flexible retention policies gives
    users the ability to take control of storage and compliance
    demands while maintaining productivity.
Site Mailboxes
  • Through site mailboxes, users can collaborate and share
    information. SharePoint offers co-authoring, document storage,
    and versioning.
Web-based Apps for Outlook and Outlook
Web Apps
  • Exchange lets users provide plug-in access to web-based apps
    within both Outlook and Outlook Web App. Single sign-on is
    offered for multiple apps, which helps reduce complexity.
Voicemail with Unified Messaging Voicemail with Unified Messaging is
designed to reduce the administration required to manage voice
messages. Within this feature, Microsoft offers:

  • Voicemail preview – Allows users to read their voicemail
    messages much as they would emails. 
  • Outlook Voice Express – Lets users access their inboxes with
    a telephone keypad or voice inputs from remote
  • Message Waiting Indicator – MWI lets users know that
    voicemail messages are waiting and how many there are. 
  • Unified Messaging Auto Attendant – Enables users who don’t
    know the extension for a particular individual to navigate to
    that person. 
  • Protected Voicemail – This enables control over voicemail
    messages. Using Active Directory Rights Management Services,
    Exchange can apply Do Not Forward permissions to voice
    messages that are designated either by the sender (by marking
    the message as private) or by administrative policy. Protected
    voicemails cannot be forwarded in a playable form to
    unauthorized person, regardless of their email clients. 
  • Call Answering Rules – Provides custom greetings, options to
    find the proper person within the organization, and call
    transfer options. The rules can be based upon conditions such
    as caller IDs, time of day, and Exchange free/busy
Mailbox Resiliency To support disaster recovery, backup,
and high availability, Exchange can handle high volumes of mail
through the following features:

  • Database availability groups – Consists of a set of mailbox
    servers that continuously replicate to update database copies,
    communicate to manage failures, and provide automatic recovery
    from failures. 
  • Database-level failover – Provides automatic failover at the
    database level without traditional clustering.
  • Site resiliency – Offers a simplified process to extend data
    replication between data centers for site failover.
  • Transport resiliency – Manages both on-site and off-site
    data replication and mailbox servers. 
  • Built-in mailbox recovery – Provides up to 16 replicated
    database copies for high availability purposes. 
  • Ease of deployment – High availability can be added to the
    Exchange environment without reinstalling Exchange.
  • Integrated administration – Handles all high availability
  • Single item restore – Administrators have control over how
    long deleted and edited email is kept in the Recoverable Items
    Folder, allowing for the recovery of accidental deletions.
  • Online Mailbox Moves – Mailboxes may be moved within
    databases without the need to bring files offline.
  • Storage IO reductions – Reduces Disk IO over earlier
    editions of Exchange Server. 
  • SATA Disk Optimizations – Optimizes IO patterns to prevent
    disk writes coming in bursts. 
  • Automatic page restore – Automatically detects and repairs
    minor disk errors. 
  • JBOD Support – Can be deployed with up to 16 replicated
    copies of each mailbox database. 
Mobile Email with Exchange ActiveSyncI The mobility features within Exchange
Server enable users to have access to their communications on
various compatible devices. These features include:

  • Conversation view
  • Free/Busy lookup
  • Nickname cache
  • Reply state
  • New user interface
  • SMS sync
  • Unified Messaging card
  • Global address list photos
  • Voicemail preview
  • Installable client
  • Allow, block, and quarantine control
  • Rights protected managing
Outlook Web App With Outlook Web App, users can access
email, voicemail, instant messages, and SMS text messages through
all major Web browsers. Outlook Web App features:

  • Nickname cache
  • Conversation view
  • Filters
  • Search
  • Single page of messages
  • MailTips – Warns users when they are about to take an action
    that could be damaging such as sending attachments that are
    too large to distribute
  • Voicemail preview
  • SMS sync
  • View/set status
  • Instant messaging
  • Calendar sharing
  • Calendar publishing and printing
  • Themes
  • Optimized user interface
  • Multiple browser support
Management Tools Microsoft Exchange Server’s management
tools were created to help reduce the need for administration to
handle common tasks. The management tools feature the following:

  • Role-based access control
  • Moderated distribution groups
  • Exchange control panel
  • Distribution group management
  • Message tracking
Information Protection and Control To prevent unauthorized or accidental
data distribution, Exchange Server can supervise email and apply
appropriate levels of control based on each message’s sensitivity.
Such controls include:

  • MailTips
  • Transport rules
  • Transport rule conditions
  • Dynamic signatures
  • Moderation
  • Message classifications
  • Transport Protection Rules – Enables administrators to apply
    Information Rights Management (IRM) protection to email after
    a message is sent
  • Outlook protection rules
  • Protected voicemail
  • IRM in Outlook Web app
  • IRM in Exchange ActiveSync
  • Transport decryption
  • IRM search
Email Archiving, Retention, and
Since so many organizations have vast
amounts of email messages, Exchange Server provides archiving,
retention, and discovery capabilities which enable such data to be
stored yet found quickly. The new features include:

  • Personal archive
  • Retention policies
  • Legal hold
  • Multi-mailbox search
  • Role-based access control (RBAC)
Deployment Exchange offers tools in an effort to
make deployment simple. These include:

  • Online move mailbox
  • Outlook Autodiscover
  • Exchange Best Practices Analyzer
  • Exchange Remote Connectivity Analyzer (ExRCA)
  • Exchange Deployment Assistant
  • Server roles
  • Exchange federation
Security  In an effort to protect data and the
overall messaging system, Exchange has implemented security
features to deflect malware, control access to information, and
guard against other types of attacks. The features are:

  • Data Loss Prevention (DLP) capabilities
  • Outlook policy tips
  • Intra-organizational control
  • Inter-organizational encryption
  • IRM support
  • S/MIME support
  • Edge Transport server – Deployed at the network perimeter as
    a standalone server, the Edge Transport server supervises all
    Internet-facing mail flow and is equipped with anti-spam
    agents and anti-virus capabilities
  • Safelist aggregation
  • Anti-spam filtering agents
  • Forefront Online Protection for Exchange (FOPE)
  • Forefront Protection for Exchange Server (FPE)
  • Anti-virus scanning
  • Anti-virus integration
  • Anti-virus stamp
  • Edge Transport rules


[return to top of this

Microsoft touts Exchange Server as a full messaging system that utilizes
security features to meet the challenges like deployment, administration,
and compliance that enterprises face daily. Exchange Server has been used
by companies in a variety of markets which include financial, automotive,
systems integration, and food and beverages.


[return to top of this

Exchange Server requires:

  • Processor
    • x64 architecture-based computer with Intel processor that supports
      Intel 64 architecture (formerly known as Intel EM64T)
    • AMD processor that supports the AMD64 platform
    • Intel Itanium IA64 processors are not supported
  • OS
    • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard or Datacenter
    • Windows Server 2012 Standard or Datacenter
  • Memory
    • Mailbox 8GB minimum
    • Edge Transport 4GB minimum

    Hard Disk Drive

    • At least 30 GB on the drive on which you install Exchange
    • An additional 500 MB of available disk space for each Unified
      Messaging (UM) language pack that you plan to install
    • 200 MB of available disk space on the system drive
    • A hard disk that stores the message queue database on with at
      least 500 MB of free space
  • Drive – DVD, local, or network accessible
  • File Format – Disk partitions must be formatted for
    the NTFS file system


[return to top of this

Users can access support for Exchange Server via the support section of
Microsoft’s Exchange Server Web page. The Microsoft technical team has
posted various options for self-service help like documentation, blogs,
videos, files, and photos. Interested customers can also take a test drive
of Exchange Server’s features without a complete installation. The
Exchange Learning Portal, another sub-section of the support page, is
equipped with training resources that can assist users in learning about
and creating new applications for Exchange. A Support Contact section
links users to Microsoft’s local or worldwide Support Services Web site,
where they can view a list of Microsoft Professional Support phone
numbers. Microsoft also offers various support packages in tiers depending
upon the level of help that businesses need. 


[return to top of this

For Server licenses and CALs, Exchange Server 2019 is offered in both a
Standard and Enterprise Edition. The Standard Edition is designed for small
to midsized organizations and supports one to five mailbox databases. The
Enterprise Edition supports 1 to 100 mailbox databases in large enterprises.
Exchange online costs $4.00 per user per month. Exchange online, which
offers unlimited storage and hosted voicemail, costs $8.00 per user per
month. Table 2 compares licensing for Microsoft Exchange Server 2019.


Table 2. Microsoft Exchange Server 2019
Product Feature
Server Licenses
Standard Edition Enables creation of up to five
databases per Mailbox server role.
Enables creating up to 100 databases
per Mailbox server role.
CAL Licenses
Standard CAL Required for each user/device gaining
access to the server, and entitles access rights to both editions
of Exchange Server.
Standard plus Enterprise CAL Provides access to Unified Messaging
and advanced compliance.


[return to top of this

Exchange Server’s main competition comes from HCL’s Lotus Notes and
Domino, and Google Apps. 

[return to top of this

[return to top of this