Comparing Microsoft Exchange Server Versions: Which is Best for You?

Have you ever wondered about the differences between the different Microsoft Exchange Server versions? We’ve taken the time to break it down and compare them for you. At the end, we have some advice on which SSL certificates you should purchase to keep your mail and communication network as safe as possible.

Features of Exchange Server Versions

Below, we are going to look at seven different areas of Microsoft Exchange Server and briefly explain what you can expect from the three main versions of the software – i.e. Exchange 2007, Exchange 2010, and the latest Exchange Server 2013.

Simple Administration

Administering your Exchange Server setup is just as important as setting it up in the first place. When it comes to this aspect of the software, Microsoft has made it a lot easier.

  • Exchange Server 2007 – To use the Exchange Management Console, you needed to be sitting in front of the main server or accessing it remotely, which could be a bit clunky at times.
  • Exchange Server 2010 – Starting with this version of the software, Microsoft began to realize they needed to make it easier to manage an Exchange Server Setup.
  • Exchange Server 2013 – With the launch of Exchange 2013, Microsoft has moved all of the administration functions to one easy to use web based tool you can access anywhere.

For more information, check out Using the Exchange Management Console from Microsoft.

PowerShell Command Line Tools

Next up, we’re going to take a look at command line tools – aka PowerShell. This enabled you to write scripts to take care of common tasks – or use the thousands of scripts that are already available.

  • Exchange Server 2007 – This is the first version of Exchange Server to use PowerShell for command line access. The move by Microsoft to include it was praised by many.
  • Exchange Server 2010 – As they realized how popular it was for administrators, PowerShell continued to be part of Exchange Server 2010 – and even improved a little.
  • Exchange Server 2013 – With Exchange Server 2013, Microsoft has continued to support – and even improve upon – PowerShell.

Want to know more, check out the Windows PowerShell Team Blog.

Role Based Administration

Believe it or not, the ability to use roles to control access and delegate tasks in Exchange Server hasn’t always been available. It wasn’t until Exchange 2010 came out that this feature was available.

  • Exchange Server 2007 – In this version of Exchange, you were not able to use user roles to control access to the software – at least not easily.
  • Exchange Server 2010 – Staring with Exchange Server 2010, Microsoft made it possible (and easy) to use roles to delegate tasks and control access.
  • Exchange Server 2013 – With Exchange 2013, they smartly decided to continue to allow administrators to do their job easier using role based administration.

You might want to check out the Understanding Role Based Access Control in Exchange Server 2013 page at Microsoft if you want to know more.

Mobile Email

Back in 2007 (and earlier) email on mobile devices wasn’t as common as it is today. Remember all those people with a Blackberry who could check theirs while you couldn’t with your flip-phone?

  • Exchange Server 2007 – People had the ability to check their email through Exchange Server on a mobile device with this version, but it wasn’t as robust as it is today.
  • Exchange Server 2010 – By the time Exchange 2010 rolled out, it was becoming evident that more and more people wanted an easier way to check their email on their cell phones.
  • Exchange Server 2013 – With the launch of Exchange 2013, Microsoft finally upgraded Outlook so that it would look great when loaded on smaller mobile devices.

Microsoft has a nice page about how to Configure mobile phones to access email which you should check out if you want to know more.

Anti-spam and anti-malware

Spam and malware infected emails have been a problem since the very advent of email. Microsoft has been very good about ensuring they include anti-spam and anti-malware tools in Exchange Server.

  • Exchange Server 2007 – It’s relatively easy to turn on the anti-spam features found in Exchange 2007 so that you can protect your users from hurting themselves.
  • Exchange Server 2010 – With this version of Exchange Server, you get Connection Filtering, Content Filtering, Recipient Filtering, and more.
  • Exchange Server 2013 – Microsoft has improved their spam filtering with Anti-spam agents on Mailbox servers and Edge Transport servers.

Overall, Exchange Server 2013 is going to be your best bet for making it easy to stop spam from ever hitting the inbox of your users.

Data loss prevention (DLP)

Data loss prevention is important for businesses of any size. It wasn’t until Exchange Server 2013 that you could use built-in DLP rules to identify, monitor, and protect sensitive data. Even better, you can now inform users about policy violations before emails are sent.

  • Exchange Server 2007 – No data loss prevention features were included with Exchange 2007.
  • Exchange Server 2010 – No data loss prevention features were included with Exchange 2010.
  • Exchange Server 2013 – With Exchange 2013, Microsoft made it possible for administrators to easily protect a company’s sensitive data so it didn’t leak via outgoing email.

Over at MSExchange.org, they have a good three part series about the new Data Loss Prevention feature of Exchange 2013 that you can find online.

The SSL Takeaway

Whichever version of Microsoft Exchange Server you are deploying, it’s crucial to ensure you’re using an SSL certificate and that it’s set up correctly. The best way to do the latter is to run tests once everything is installed and set up on your network.

No matter which one you choose, you can rest assured that SSL.com is going to be there to help you secure your network. Even after you’ve purchased your SSL certificate, we’ll be available to assist you in ensuring you’ve got everything working okay.

Have a comment or question about the different Microsoft Exchange Server versions? Leave a comment below and let us know!