How to plan your Microsoft Exchange 2016 Setup

Despite the rise of collaboration services, video conferencing, and social media, email remains the most important communication tool for organizations. Imagine what happens if email service is interrupted. Customers don’t receive order confirmation emails, sales can’t send proposals to prospects or quote them, and suppliers’ shipping requests are delayed. Even if your continuity plan is tested, it’s not possible to avoid outages. However, business suffers.
Cloud email services are being adopted by many organizations — Office 365, Gmail and others — for cost, reliability and the availability of new features. These services may not be the best option for all situations. Many organizations prefer to keep control of their email system on servers located in their own data centers, or virtual data centers.
In these cases, you will need to set-up, secure, manage, and maintain a Microsoft Exchange email account. You might also consider Ubuntu or Kerio Connect. Let’s face the facts, Exchange Server is the 800-pound gorilla. Microsoft Exchange had a 64 percent share in the on-premises messaging market and collaboration market as recently as 2014. An estimated 61% of all Microsoft Exchange Server deployments in 2018 were on-premises.
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Start trainingSetting up Exchange 2016 — You Are Not on Your Own
You have been assigned to set up Microsoft Exchange 2016 servers for your organization. This is a huge responsibility, given the mission-critical nature email. You’re also dealing with a complex system that has many parts, not to mention a user base with high expectations.
This task is not something you have to do all the time. Migration to Exchange Server 2016 has been a long-standing process. There are many resources, best practices, and tools that will help you make this process easier. Let’s take a look at the steps you should follow when setting up Exchange 2016.
Start Point
It is unlikely that you will be starting from scratch. You might have an existing email server, or an older version of Microsoft Exchange. You might be charged with unifying different email systems in the event of a merger.
Start by identifying your users and the devices they use for email. Are they using Windows laptops or desktops? Are they part of the mobile workforce that is becoming increasingly popular? Are they working from home and require a web client that can be used on their own computer? You get the idea.
The migration should be seamless for them. However, you will need to understand how Exchange 2016 supports their email client as well as what changes may be required. You will need to have a plan in place for announcing and rolling out a new client if there is a change of client.
You may need to migrate from an older version of Exchange (2007, 2010 or 2013), or vice versa. Are you using Exchange Public Folders They will need to be transferred — and how you do this depends on which Exchange editions you have. It’s a good idea to plan ahead. It is best to plan before you go.
Capacity and Feature Planning
Okay, you know where you are coming from. Now, where are you going?
How many users will your system need to support? What is the current email volume? How is it trending? Are there significant peaks and valleys, or groups of high-volume users? Are there Exchange 2016 features you are interested in using?
The product is mobile- and cloud-friendly and more user-friendly than Exchange 2010 or earlier versions. Outlook on the Web client supports many smartphones and tablets (including Android and iOS) that you will see in Mobile Worker or Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD). Exchange 2016 integrates easily with OneDrive, SharePoint, and Skype for Business so email users can share and archive files through embedded links instead of attaching files.
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