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Exchange Server best practices for administrators

Exchange Server errors are an unfortunate but often unavoidable reality for administrators. These tips will help Exchange admins maintain the security and health of their servers.

As is the case with most IT systems, Exchange Server requires monitoring and attention in several areas to prevent small errors from blossoming into a total meltdown. There are several areas where things can go wrong; lack of storage space, slow mailbox moves and failure to create and maintain a security plan can bring an organization to a standstill while Exchange Server administrators work to get things running again. Taking proactive versus reactive measures can ensure that servers run at peak performance.

These tips cover Exchange Server best practices for managing mailbox migrations, fighting spam and malware, and maintaining security.

1.      Plan your storage carefully

Because storage space on the Exchange server can fill up quickly, it's important to account for future growth. Before deploying an Exchange infrastructure, make sure it's sized properly by either calculating requirements manually or by using Microsoft's storage requirement calculator.

2.      Focus on security

Taking proactive versus reactive measures can ensure that servers run at peak performance.

Hackers are constantly developing new ways to break into environments; administrators should follow Exchange Server best practices to keep their systems secure and prevent data loss. Developing daily security habits, such as assessing Exchange-related risks and performing regular system monitoring, can help maintain the resiliency of the servers.

3.      Monitor mailbox health

Although moving mailboxes from one version of Exchange to another is a fairly simple process, there are several factors that can prevent a move from going quickly. Using Managed Availability during and after a mailbox move can provide more details about the server's health and pinpoint what factors are causing a migration to move slowly.

4.      Manage batch mailbox migrations

Moving mailboxes from Exchange 2010 to 2013 can cause error messages, but the migration reports in the Exchange Admin Center can provide more information about the problem's source. Administrators can also manage a large batch of migrations using the Exchange Management Shell.

5.      Protect against spam and malware

Email is one major point of entry for attackers who are constantly finding new ways to infiltrate users' machines and wreak havoc on their systems. Exchange 2013 comes with built-in antispam and antimalware tools, but administrators can also use third-party tools to protect servers from viruses and spyware.

Next Steps

Perform an Exchange security self-assessment

Calculate resource requirements for Exchange 2013

Free tools to assess an Exchange 2013 deployment

Dig Deeper on Exchange Server setup and troubleshooting