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Exchange 2016 SP1 to run on Linux!

April 1, 2016 | Uncategorized | No Comments

Ever since last month’s announcement that Microsoft SQL Server will be coming to Linux, quiet rumors have been floating around that some of Microsoft’s other Enterprise Products, such as Exchange Server, may follow suit. With this week’s announcement at the Build conference about the popular Linux shell “BASH” coming to Windows, I decided it was time to see what the Exchange team has planned for Linux, if anything. Today I caught up with a member of the Exchange team that wishes to remain anonymous to get the inside scoop on Exchange 2016 SP1 and support for installing it on Linux!

FixTheExchange: Are there any plans to make Exchange run on Linux?

Microsoft Spokesperson: Originally, no.  We started thinking about it after the Azure team released the Azure Cloud Switch, which is based entirely on Linux. Then when the SQL team announced their product would run on Linux by mid-2017, we knew we had to take the idea more seriously.

FixTheExchange: Does this mean Exchange will run on SQL when it arrives on Linux?

Microsoft Spokesperson: No! Why does everyone keep asking if Exchange will run on SQL?  SQL can’t keep up with us! It’ll still run on ESE, we’ll just be bringing ESE over to Linux along with the rest of our code.

FixTheExchange: Why Linux?

Microsoft Spokesperson: If you think about it, it makes sense. The Office team has made Outlook and the rest of the Office Suite available across several platforms. Outlook on the Web works on browsers across multiple platforms. If our client side is cross-platform, why shouldn’t the servers they connect to them be?

FixTheExchange: When will Exchange be available on Linux?

Microsoft Spokesperson: When it’s ready. 😉 Just kidding, it’s already there. We’ve started testing it in Office 365, just like we would any other new feature for Exchange.

FixTheExchange: Wow, that was quick! What about On-premises?

Microsoft Spokesperson: We couldn’t let the SQL team beat us to it. Our ability to roll changes out quickly in Office 365 really gives us the advantage. We’ll have it ready for on-premises by Service Pack 1, so 4th quarter of 2016.

FixTheExchange: Will there be support for mixing Exchange running on Windows and Exchange running on Linux in the same DAG?

Microsoft Spokesperson: Seriously? Do you think we’re some sort of fools? No. We don’t support mixing versions of Windows in the same DAG, why would we support completely different operating systems within the same DAG?

FixTheExchange: You know it had to be asked… How will Exchange be administered when running on Linux?

Microsoft Spokesperson: We’re working on porting the Exchange Management Shell over to BASH. With the Windows team adopting BASH, you should be able to administer Exchange from either a Windows or Linux desktop.

FixTheExchange: What about PowerShell?

Microsoft Spokesperson: We’re not abandoning PowerShell, just giving administrators more options.

FixTheExchange: Looks like we’re out of time… thanks for sharing this exciting information!


You heard it here first folks, not to be outdone by the SQL team, Exchange will reach Linux first!



A month in advance of the Ignite Conference, an anonymous source within the Exchange Product Group tells us Exchange 2016 is being built on, and will run entirely inside of, Minecraft.  Check out my exlusive interview below!


FixTheExchange: Why Minecraft?!

Anonymous Exchange Product Group Person: We were really excited when Microsoft bought Minecraft. We'd seen how a few players had built working Word Processors and even Hard Drives inside of Minecraft, and thought it would be fun to build the next version of Exchange entirely inside of Minecraft. With the improvments to Managed Availability we've made since introducing it in Exchange 2013, Exchange practically runs itself.  Systems Administrators are getting bored, we wanted to make Exchange fun and challenging again.  We also thought that by building it entirely within Minecraft, we might attract a younger generation of coders to join our team, keeping Exchange fresh and exciting for years to come.

FixTheExchange: What challenges did you face building such a complex product within Minecraft?

Anonymous Exchange Product Group Person: It was slow going at first.  We weren't quite sure how to go about things.  We tried to build the first version on "Survival Mode", which is the default mode.  It took a really long time to gather the materials needed, and our hard work kept getting blown up by "Creepers".  One of our developers almost quit when a Creeper blew him up along with a section of the new Transport Pipeline that he'd been working on for days.  We ended up starting over on "Creative Mode" after that, and things went a lot smoother from then on.

FixTheExchange: What about Office 365, doesn't everything start there before going On-Premises now?

Anonymous Exchange Product Group Person: Yes! We haven't changed that.  In fact Office 365 is literally built in the clouds!  We built it near the block limit.  When you enter the Exchange 2016 Minecraft world, Office 365 can be seen looming everywhere above you at all times.  Hybrid is even easier than ever, you just build a ramp from your on-premises deployment on the ground up to Office 365 in the clouds.  The ramp contains 2 minecart tracks, 1 for inbound traffic and 1 for outbound.

FixTheExchange: How will you administer it?

Anonymouse Exchange Product Group Person: That's the fun part!  For example, if you want to provision a mailbox for a person, you have to actually build them a mailbox, the same way you'd build a house if you were playing Minecraft.

FixTheExchange: What's your favorite new feature?

Anonymous Exchange Product Group Person: Hololens integration!  It's an incredibly immersive experience.  Imagine sitting in your datacenter, you put on your Hololens, and your instantly transported into your Exchange 2016 environment.

FixTheExchange: Sounds awesome!  When will it be released?

Anonymous Exchange Product Group Person: When it's ready.

There you have it, you heard it here first!