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Face Off Domino vs Exchange On Premises


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How do Exchange on premises and the various Outlook clients line up against Domino on premises and its clients? In this session we'll look at the configuration options and management interfaces for each server as well as the client options and client behaviours. We'll also discuss the general ecosystems, considerations for migrating or co-existing and lessons learned. A great session for Domino admins who want to know more about the other side.

Presented at in Brussels May 2019

Published in: Software
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Face Off Domino vs Exchange On Premises

  1. 1. Gabriella Davis - IBM Lifetime Champion Technical Director - The Turtle Partnership Brussels May 14th 2019 FACE/OFF DOMINO VS EXCHANGE ON PREMISES
  2. 2. • Admin of all things and especially quite complicated things where the fun is • Working with the design, deployment and security of IBM technologies within global infrastructures • working with the real world security and privacy aspects of expanding data ecosystems • Stubborn and relentless problem solver • • • IBM Lifetime Champion
  3. 3. WHY THIS PRESENTATION? • As a Domino admin managing on premises Domino you may not know much about the Exchange environment • Much of my work is spent on integrating Domino and Exchange environments • Many of us have to support Outlook to some degree • Let’s review how Exchange on premises works and differs from Domino • The goal is to provide you with a whistle stop tour of an Exchange environment • and to show you how we work with Exchange 2019 on premises • which is essentially unchanged since Exchange 2010, 2013, 2016 etc
  4. 4. We can all agree that Domino is a better solution for on premises mail so that isn’t the goal of this presentation I am going to talk about Exchange and Domino and hopefully help you understand how to work with Exchange
  6. 6. OPERATING SYSTEMS Exchange 2019 • Will not install on any but Windows 2019 Domino v10 • AIX 7.2 • RHEL 7 • SLES 12 • Windows 2012 R2 • Windows 2016 • IBM i 7.2/7.3
  7. 7. PRE-REQUISITES Exchange 2019 • Active Directory Domain Controller • Forest must be upgraded to 2003 or later • Internal DNS server • IIS • The required individual dependencies and features are many Domino v10 • None
  8. 8. WORKING TOGETHER • Exchange architecture assigns behaviour to each dependent feature or application • IIS handles the web front end for services such as the Administration Center and Outlook Web Access • It’s a regular IIS server so technically can be used for other websites and services • Active Directory handles all the user accounts, computer accounts and authentication • Internal DNS handles client server and server to server communications • Countless other seemingly unrelated dependencies • for example kerberos key distribution center service which needs to run on every directory server or outbound mail may stop delivering
  10. 10. EXCHANGE ADMINISTRATION • The Exchange Admin Center is the graphical interface for managing your server through a browser using https:/hostname/ecp (not “eac” which you might expect) • There is no “console” to see second by second behaviour • There is no single log to show you activity • Let’s look at the Exchange Administration Center
  11. 11. EXCHANGE MANAGEMENT TOOLS • Most changes can be made via the Administration Center however I have found the Exchange Management Tool commands are more immediate • these are Exchange specific powershell commands • • documentation refers to both EAC and EMT configuration instructions • both EAC and EMT can be run remotely to the server • EAC can run through https on most browsers • EMT (Exchange Management Tools) can also be installed on a client running Windows 10
  13. 13. ADMINISTRATION • Exchange admin commands are often not immediate and require a restart of the impacted service before they will take effect • Making mass changes to multiple mailboxes usually requires using the command line and referencing an OU or group to act on so if you want to apply a setting to 5 random users it is usually quicker to apply the setting 5x individually • Having the ability to use a command line instead of a graphical interface is useful but much more complicated and so easier to make a mistake • There is little on screen feedback once a command is submitted • The Domino Admin client is more granular and less technical than the command line • The ECA through a browser provides 90% of the day to day functionality but it’s really designed for single mailbox or server wide actions
  14. 14. LOGS • Logs are text files stored on the file system • The server log locations are defined in the server configuration in the EAC
  15. 15. MESSAGE TRACKING • If Message Tracking is enabled messages can be tracked from within the EAC
  16. 16. ..OR THROUGH THE EMT • Get-MessageTrackingLog
  17. 17. MAILBOXES
  18. 18. STORAGE • The Exchange server stores all its data in a Exchange database file that sits on the Exchange servers • There are usually multiple mail database files for an organisation but each contain multiple mailboxes • You can’t open and look at a single user mailbox they way you can see and change a single user mail database in Domino • To access an Exchange user mailbox you need to use an Outlook client and will need an account with delegation rights, you can then open the mailbox via that client • Moving mailbox from Server A to Server B is simple if the servers are in the same Active Directory Forest, otherwise it’s not because the servers use AD trust relationships to find and communicate with each other
  19. 19. SERVER RULES • Exchange server rules are extensive and extremely granular allowing settings to be applied to users, OUs and management teams • moderation, content review, custom disclaimers, auto bcc, redirection and rights protection
  21. 21. MAILBOX ANALYSIS • Most analysis is done via the Exchange Management Tool for example • Get-MailBoxFolderStatistics -Identity -FolderScope Inbox produces a report on my inbox including number of messages , sizes, quota restrictions • In the majority of cases you will want to output these commands to a text file so you can review the results • mailboxfolderstatistics?view=exchange-ps • The Exchange Admin Center gives you a simple way to set and review things like quota, storage and permissions for individual mailboxes but doesn’t provide any detail on things like folders, message count etc
  22. 22. USER PROFILES • All Exchange mailbox users must have an Active Directory account • To open a mailbox on a workstation you must first set up a profile in Windows control panel • Microsoft assumes you are logged into AD and using internal DNS for Activesync to find the mail server and complete the setup of your profile • A lot of things are assumed • Profiles can be set up remotely but require considerably more configuration on public DNS and often the workstation itself • The Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer is your friend •
  23. 23. USER PROFILES • The authentication into Outlook is automatic once the user logs into Windows • Enabling Kerberos will also let the user access Outlook on the Web without further authentication • The personal data in Active Directory such as location and manager is important to maintain as it’s used for security and workflow in Exchange
  24. 24. CLIENTS
  25. 25. CLIENTS • Outlook 2013 or higher • Microsoft typically has a N-2 support model so Exchange 2016 supports Outlook 2010 and higher etc • Outlook for the Web (previously OWA) • Activesync enabled mail clients • Outlook for iOS and Android
  26. 26. OUTLOOK DESKTOP • Outlook desktop when run in Windows uses a local profile to determine which mailbox to open • By default the profile configuration will be in cached mode which means working locally and syncing to the server • This isn’t the same as a local replica, only most recent and commonly used items are synced • Folders will often declare themselves “empty” when data is on the server but not locally • Outlook desktop accessed from different machines could look different if they each use cached mode
  27. 27. OUTLOOK WEB • https://hostname/owa opens Outlook for Web • this isn’t the same as VOP on premise even though you are accessing the mail file directly on the server via a browser not all messages will be visible • Exchange supplies the messages it consider most recent or used to the browser client • Often folders will show empty and require a refresh to get even old messages from the server • In other words the only way to check what the mail file actually looks like is to disable caching in the desktop profile and look at it through outlook desktop
  29. 29. CHANGING THE UI • There are many Outlooks themes that control the colour and font etc of your mail file that are available to the clients • These themes can be modified by users to give the custom look they want • The Outlook clients store themes locally as part of the client in html files • Outlook for the web pulls themes from the server where they are stored as CSS files • There is no simple way to modify an out of the box theme for an entire company across all clients - the focus appears to be primarily on empowering users to customise their themes • Users can also modify their layout and create their own views but those too are client specific
  30. 30. MAILBOX RULES • Rules are primarily user created and driven so there are a lot of options and ability to run them in sequence • There are also sweep rules created by the user that can perform inbox cleanup on a regular basis
  32. 32. CHECKING RULES • Since Inbox rules are created by the user directly there’s no simple overview of what rules are in place - use Exchange Management Tools • Get-InboxRule • New-InboxRule (to create) • Disable-InboxRule
  33. 33. SHARING CONTENT • The primary method for sharing content is to empower the user to share directly • A user can create a folder or a calendar and then send links to other people who would add those links to their own Outlook profile • There are also shared mailboxes as well as shared resources (such as meeting rooms and equipment)
  34. 34. PUBLIC FOLDERS • Exchange has the concept of public folders which are shared hierarchical folder storage that can hold posts, attachments and calendar content • Most of that is controlled by the server Administrator who can delegate permissions to users to create additional folders, add and delete content • Content is very unstructured and is not intended for collaboration • Not all features of public folders are available on Outlook for Web
  35. 35. SHARING CALENDARS • Sharing a personal Exchange calendar to another user is a one to one process - you create a link and send it as an email the user has to click on • Adding an iCal to Outlook will work for both Outlook desktop and Outlook Web but Microsoft only support checking the iCal source every 48 hrs • Let me tell you a story about trying to recreate a Domino shared calendar with custom colours triggered by dates in Exchange • Long story short.. what was a simple thing to do in Domino was not in Outlook • date triggered colour changes are possible but only by user profile • iCal integration is possible but Microsoft’s only guarantees updates every 48hours
  36. 36. SHARING CONTACTS • There is a contacts area on the server where contacts can be added by an Exchange Administrator • these contacts are visible to everyone on your server • To share contacts a user would have to create a new contacts folder and share that with another user, similarly to how they would share their calendar • This isn’t designed to be a collaborative solution
  37. 37. • Exchange on premises isn’t O365 • On premises Exchange requires very specific additional software and configuration that must all work together, it also tends to be backwards compatible to N-2 • if something stops working there are a lot of places to check • The design focus is on enabling the user to work the way they want which means lots of individual settings in the user mailboxes but potentially less administration • Log files are hard to find and read • A good grasp of Powershell syntax will help you a lot • The focus in Exchange on premises is not on collaboration
  38. 38. QUESTIONS?