Exchange 2013’s Admin Center: A Walk-through

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Exchange 2013 introduces administrators to the web-based Exchange Admin Console, a more streamlined, efficient and user-friendly management interface for controlling Exchange.

Of course the best, and most powerful tool for managing Exchange remains the shell but for performing simpler administrative tasks the EAC does quite nicely.  Also, the EAC provides a common control interface for hybrid deployments (i.e., combined deployments of on-premise and Office 365 Exchange).

In this post, we’ll review the EAC’s various feature panes, describing the actions you can take in each.

But before we get to that, let’s take a comparative look at the first level screens of  Exchange 2010’s Management Console and Exchange 2013’s EAC.

 

First, Exchange 2010’s Management Console (click on the image to enlarge):

exchange-2010-managemet-console

In the above, control of various Exchange elements (such as send connectors, CAS configuration and database management) is divided across function areas defined by organization, server and mailbox management sections. It takes a bit of getting used to and can’t be called intuitive.

Now, let’s look at Exchange 2013’s Administration Console (click on the image to enlarge):

Main Page

Here, feature panes are organized according to globally defined tasks, eliminating the sometimes confusing redundancy of the Exchange 2010 Management Console and the need to use many clicks and sub-clicks to accomplish your goal.

Let’s review each feature pane’s details (quotes are from this Technet article about the EAC – and the environment from which the screenshots were taken was built on Amazon Web Services as described by me here).  Click on images to enlarge.

The Recipients Pane:

recipients-tab

This is where you’ll manage mailboxes, groups, resource mailboxes, contacts, shared mailboxes, and mailbox migrations and moves.”

The Permissions Pane:

permissions-tab

This is where you’ll manage administrator roles, user roles, and Outlook Web App policies.

The Compliance Management Pane:

compliance-management-tab

This is where you’ll manage In-Place eDiscovery, In-Place Hold, auditing, data loss prevention (DLP), retention policies, retention tags, and journal rules.”

The Organization Pane:

organization-tab

This is where you’ll manage the tasks that pertain to your Exchange Organization, including federated sharing, Outlook Apps, and address lists.”

The Protection Pane:

protection-tab

This is where you’ll manage anti-malware protection for your organization.

The Mail Flow Pane:

mail-flow-tab

This is where you’ll manage rules, delivery reports, accepted domains, email address policies, and send and receive connectors.

The Mobile Pane:

mobile-tab

This is where you’ll manage the mobile devices that you allow to connect to your organization. You can manage mobile device access and mobile device mailbox policies.”

The Public Folders Pane:

public folders-tab

In Exchange 2010, you had to manage public folders by using the Public Folder Management Console, which was located outside of the EMC in the Toolbox. In Exchange 2013, public folders can be managed from within the public folders feature area.”

The Unified Messaging Pane:

unified messaging-tab

This is where you’ll manage UM dial plans and UM IP gateways.”

The Servers Pane:

servers-tab

This is where you’ll manage your Mailbox and Client Access servers, databases, database availability groups (DAGs), virtual directories, and certificates.”

The Hybrid Pane:

hybrid-tab

This is where you’ll set up and configure a Hybrid organization.”