Exchange Server 2013’s New Public Folders

If you’ve been an Exchange administrator over the years, you know that Microsoft’s been telling you stop using public folders, primarily because they couldn’t take advantage of database availability groups (DAGs). And if you’ve had clients using public folders, you know they didn’t want to give them up unless they absolutely had to.

Well, Exchange Server 2013 may be the answer to your administration dilemma. Microsoft redesigned public folders so that users can still take advantage of them without the technical drawbacks that hampered them in the past. First, public folders now support DAG, a high-availability service that uses continuous replication.

Another update to public folders is they now no longer require dedicated databases, a boon to smaller companies with limited resources. The new public folders are technically treated like a regular mailbox, which allows them to coexist with Exchange’s mailbox databases. And while the backend functionality of public folders has changed, the client won’t know the difference. Public folders from the client perspective work the same as in previous versions of Exchange.

As an admin, you’ll use the Exchange Administration Console (EAC) to administer Exchange 2013, and public folders are managed directly with the EAC’s graphic interface. Because public folders now don’t require assignment to mailbox databases, management has been minimized and is a lot easier to maintain.

Although it’s not directly related to the new public folders, one thing to be aware of when considering Exchange 2013 is whether or not your network still contains any Exchange or Outlook 2003 installations–Exchange Server 2013 does not support them–so you’ll have to migrate those installations first.

If you’re looking to make the move to Exchange 2013 to take advantage of the new version of public folders, you’ll need IT support that knows it well, and Minneapolis-based IT support company OAC Technology can help. We’ve been helping small businesses with their IT needs for over 10 years and can help keep your business’s technology running smoothly. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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