Update (4nov2015): You can block creating mixed DAGs using Cmdlet Extension Agents, I blogged about that here.
Today, the Exchange Team reached a milestone for the On-Premises by releasing Exchange Server 2016. The official announcement contains information on new features and enhancements.The version number of Exchange 2016 RTM is 18.104.22.168. After extending it, the schema version should report 15317, and the forest and domain versions after preparing Active Directory should read 16210 and 13236, respectively.
Much of what’s new or requirements for coexistence scenarios were already announced during the release of the Exchange 2016 Preview, a little over 2 months ago. I did a write-up on that here. However, some features didn’t make it for the RTM release. For example, the feature that makes Search Indexer use Passive Database Copies for indexing, instead of copying indexes from the active copy, is to be expected in a later Cumulative Update. Also, the auto-expanding Archive feature, available in the Preview, has not made it in the RTM version.
Also make sure you read the Release Notes, which contain important information on potential issues. For example, Exchange 2016 does not prevent you from adding Exchange 2013 Mailbox servers to an Exchange 2016 Database Availability Group, or vice-versa. This ability is also not blocked by the Exchange Admin Center console. This is totally unsupported (the database structure is different), but more importantly also puts your data at risk. Just don’t.
Some links to get you started:
- Official Announcement
- Release Notes
- Exchange Server 2016 Product Guide
- Exhange Server 2016 Online Documentatation (TechNet)
- Exchange 2016 Active Directory Schema changes
- Download the Exchange 2016 RTM bits here.
- UM Language Packs for Exchange 2016
The first Cumulative Updated is to be expected in Q1’16.
Accompanying the launch, Microsoft also published a number of videos highlighting certain aspects or features. One of them is the ever charming Greg Taylor talking about Exchange Server 2016 – Performance, architecture and compliance updates:
Other videos from the Exchange Team and Office Garage: