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Exchange 2013 Administration Center in Pictures (Part 1)

Alexander Zammit

Alexander Zammit Photo

A Software Development Consultant with over 20 years of experience. Many of his projects involved Exchange integrated applications, including a FAX server, a mail security product and anti-spam products.

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Exchange 2013 has a brand new administrative interface, the Exchange Administrative Center EAC. This replaces the Exchange Management Console with a web-based interface. Exchange can now be administered using the browser from any machine without having to install anything extra.

This change is consistent with Microsoft's cloud push. Administrators are able to work with the same interface whether they are running Exchange on-premises, online, or a hybrid setup. At the browser open the EAC from:
https://<Client Access Server>/ECP

Today we won't get into lengthy EAC discussions. Instead I have tons of screen grabs. As we shall see, although the EAC looks different anyone who worked with Exchange 2007/2010 will find the new interface very intuitive. So this visual tour is a good starting point for those having some experience with Exchange.

 

Recipients Category

The interface is organized into 11 categories accessible from the left navigation pane. This includes Recipients, Permissions, Compliance Management, Organization, Protection, Mail Flow, Mobile, Public Folders, Unified Messaging, Servers and Hybrid. Here is the top most Recipients category:

Exchange 2013 | Recipients | Mailboxes

For each category we get a set of tabs at the top, breaking down further the category settings. In this case we have Mailboxes, Groups, Resources, Contacts, Shared and Migration.

Creating a new mailbox will of course be one of the first things to do. So we just click the add button for Recipients | Mailboxes.

Exchange 2013 | Recipients | Mailboxes | New Mailbox

Creating a mailbox for the first time is likely to return: 'Error: Load balancing failed to find a valid mailbox database'. To avoid that, click 'more options' and set the Mailbox Database field with the database created at installation time. With that set, we complete creating our first mailbox.

Getting back to the main view and selecting a mailbox, the 'Details pane' exposes the item information. This pane also allows us to directly edit the selected item by clicking the various links it exposes.

Exchange 2013 Details Pane

Here is a dump of what the Details pane is showing in this case:

Administrator
User mailbox

Administrator@wtest-dom1.local
Title:
Office:
Work phone:

Master account:
Phone and Voice Features
Unified Messaging: Disabled

Enable| Edit details
Enable
Mobile Devices

Disable Exchange ActiveSync

Disable Exchange ActiveSync

Disable Outlook App for Exchange

Disable Outlook App for Exchange

View Details
Compliance
Archiving: Disabled

EnableEnable
Disable| Edit details
In-Place Hold
User is not under hold
Show Details
Email Connectivity
Outlook Web App: Enabled

Disable| Edit details
Disable
Move Mailbox

To Exchange Online
To another database

A very welcome addition is the Recipients | Shared (mailbox) category. Here we finally have a simple interface to create mailboxes that are to be accessed by multiple users. Moving to the Shared tab and clicking add we see how easy it is to assign users permissions over the mailbox.

Exchange 2013 | Recipients | Shared Mailbox

We can allow Full Access or Send As permissions simply by adding users to the correct list:

Full Access - Allows the delegate to log into this shared mailbox as a mailbox owner and the delegate has access to everything the mailbox owner has access to.

Send As - Allows the delegate to send email from this shared mailbox. From recipient's perspective, the email is sent by this shared mailbox.

The EAC also provides an interface for migrating mailboxes. So I select Recipients | Migration and hit add to see what the 'new local mailbox move' wizard looks like:

Exchange 2013 | Recipients | Migration

Exchange 2013 | Recipients | Migration | Mailbox Move

Exchange 2013 | Recipients | Migration | Mailbox Move

 

Permissions

At the Permissions category we have the interface to manage RBAC and OWA access policies. These are organized under Admins Roles, User Roles and OWA Policies.

Here are the Admins Roles and User Roles tabs:

Exchange 2013 | Permisions | Admin Roles

Exchange 2013 | Permisions | User Roles

This is what the default OWA Policy looks like:

Exchange 2013 | Permisions | OWA Policies

Exchange 2013 | Permisions | OWA Policies | Features

Exchange 2013 | Permisions | OWA Policies | File Access

Exchange 2013 | Permisions | OWA Policies | Offline Access

 

Compliance Management

The Compliance Management category groups In-Place Discovery & Hold, Auditing, Data Loss Prevention, Retention Policies, Retention Tags and Journaling.

Here is what the In-Place Discovery & Hold interface looks like when clicking Add:

Exchange 2013 | Compliance Management | In-Place Discover and Hold

Exchange 2013 | Compliance Management | Discovery Mailbox

Exchange 2013 | Compliance Management | Discovery Query

Exchange 2013 | Compliance Management | Discovery Hold

Auditing gives us a choice of reports. Quoting directly from the interface we have:

  • Run a non-owner mailbox access report
  • Run a litigation hold report
  • Run an administrator role group report
  • Export mailbox audit logs
  • Export the administrator audit log

Exchange 2013 | Compliance Management | Auditing

Data Loss Prevention is an interesting addition that will merit a dedicated article. This is how the sub-category is described: 'Use DLP policies to protect email messages with sensitive content and to enforce protection requirements'.

Selecting the Data Loss Prevention and clicking Add we get:

Exchange 2013 | Compliance Management | Data Loss Prevention

Exchange 2013 | Compliance Management | Data Loss Prevention Policy

Here we get a list of templates. Each of these is designed to identify a specific class of sensitive information. For example the template 'Financial Data - US' is described as follows:

Detects the presence of data commonly considered to be financial information in the United States. This includes information like credit card, account numbers, and debit card data in email...

Here is a quick peek at Retention Policies and Retention Tags:

Retention Policies

Exchange 2013 | Compliance Management | Retention Tags

And this is what a Journaling rule looks like:

Exchange 2013 | Compliance Management | Journaling

Exchange 2013 | Compliance Management | Journaling Rule

 

Final Tips

Today we started our Exchange Administrative Center tour. My goal is to cut the talk and let you see as much as possible of the new administrative interface.

The Exchange 2007/2010 configuration was structured to reflect the various server roles. Now that version 2013 did away with distinct server roles, the configuration is categorized by functionality. This is a lot more intuitive.

Today we looked at the first three configuration categories Recipients, Permissions and Compliance Management. Many of the configuration elements available in earlier Exchange versions are still there, but we also peeked at the interface of some of the new features being introduced in version 2013.

In the next part we will continue with our tour, readying ourselves for the new Exchange release.

 

References

Exchange 2013 Administration Center in Pictures (Part 3)

Exchange 2013 Administration Center in Pictures (Part 2)

Exchange 2013 Preview Installation

 

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