Exchange 2013 Tech Preview – New Administration Console

Say goodbye to the EMC and get familiar with the Exchange Admin Center(EAC).

After Exchange 2013 has been successfully installed you might try to access the Exchange Management Console from Exchange 2007/2010 like I did, but you will not find it. Instead, you will have to access the new Exchange Admin Center that seems to have been built on the logic behind the ECP in Exchange 2010.

To access the EAC (Exchange Admin Center), launch IE and navigate to https://localhost/ecp.. screen shot below

Upon successful login to the EAC, you are presented with new administrative interface which is very different from pervious versions of Exchange.

The EAC defaults to the recipients view after login and provides access to various different recipients types. Navigating through the Admin center seems to take on the same flow
as the ECP did by starting on the left to select the function or area of Exchange to manage, Then the sub menu for the function or area select, and finally the action or tasks to invoke against the selected object. The below image shows this with some very ugly red boxes.

Another thing that is very noticeable is the promotion of Office365 and Hybrid deployments in the new admin center. Both the very top navigation bar and the bottom of the navigation pane on the left  show built-in integration for cloud based and/or hybrid deployments.

While selecting the “Hybrid” option in the left pane brings me to a Setup page where I can enable and configure my organization across both on-prem and O365, selecting “OFFICE 365” from the top navigation bar brings me to a help link on technet which has not yet been populated with data.

Lastly, one last item that jumps out is the built in integration for public folder management in the admin center rather than a separate console being part of the Exchange Toolbox as was the case in 2007/2010 Exchange environments.

Right away we notice the two items that we can perform administrative task on being

  1. Public Folders
  2. Public Folder Mailboxes

Microsoft has changed the way public folder work in 2013 to store content and hierarchy in something called a public folder mailbox. Not quite sure what that means yet but it does allow for public folders to leverage the built-in HA and resiliency that mailbox databases benefit from. Almost as if the public folders are now stored in a mailbox designed for folders and content and also not stored in a seperate database but contained in the same database as user mailboxes. I will be digging into this in more detail in another post but for now it doesn’t look like public folders are going away in this release of Exchange.

If you’re wondering, yes the Exchange Toolbox does still exist and contains the tools shown in the below screenshot. Where’s the ExBPA?

In a series of articles I will be digging into each area of Exchange 2013 to see how it differs from its predecessor. Oh and one more thing, right-click doesn’t seem
to work anywhere in the EAC….

What are your thoughts?

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