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Couldn’t make it to MEC? I’ve got you covered

Orlando — For months, the Exchange community has been buzzing about what was dubbed “the lost conference.” The Microsoft Exchange Conference, or MEC, is finally here and I wanted to share a few insights with those not able to attend.

At this morning’s keynote, Michael Atalla — director of product management for Exchange Server and Exchange Online, as well as the morning’s MC — began by thanking the audience. He explained that without its strength as a community, the conference never could have been resurrected.

To that note, Atalla also announced the launch of the new I am MEC Web portal. This is all about the Microsoft Exchange community (hence the acronym); it’s all about giving Exchange Server pros a place where they can discuss ideas, view presentations, expert tips and more.  

Continuing with the theme of community, Julia White and Rajesh Jha spoke to the importance of MEC as an interactive conference.

“This community has helped Exchange go from underdog to market leader,” White said.

“We need your help to propel us forward to the next set of challenges,” Jha added.

Other keynote highlights included:

  • Karim Battish and Vivek Sharma talking about hybrid configurations and the Exchange administration center (and showing off an elaborate handshake),
  • Kristian Andaker demonstrating Outlook 2013 and OWA 2013 (the interfaces are really close), and
  • Asaf Kashi explaining new antivirus and antispam capabilities available natively in Exchange 2013, as well as the new data loss prevention feature.  

While there were many other highlights today — including Ross Smith IV’s presentation on Exchange 2013’s new and improved server role architecture — it would be impossible to recap them all here. Below you’ll find a few other choice tidbits from the show:

  • In his presentation on hybrid and migration on your own terms, Ben Appleby mentioned that Exchange 2010 SP3 should be out “early next year.” Exchange 2013 coexistence anyone?
  • Appleby also took the time to carefully describe cutover vs. staged cloud migrations. It seems to me that most folks still don’t have a solid grasp on cloud migrations or hybrid scenarios (more on that topic coming to the site soon).
  • Any and all high availability sessions were heavily populated.
  • You can control the size of .ost files in Outlook 2013.
  • There has been a 99% reduction in IOPS in Exchange 2013 from Exchange 2003.

Got any questions or comments regarding this blog or the show? Email me and let me know.


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