While there’s been a lot of press recently about the new features in Exchange 2013, you should know that several key elements in previous versions of Exchange have been discontinued. I’ve listed some of the most noticeable discontinued features below:

1. Discontinued Server Roles

Hub Transport Role: When you fire up that Exchange 2013 Setup wizard, no longer expect to see the Hub Transport Server and Unified Messaging Server Roles. Mailflow has now been redefined via a new transport pipeline featuring the Front End Transport Service, The Transport Service and the Mailbox Transport Services.

  • The Front End Transport Service runs on all CAS servers and performs the role of a  stateless proxy for all inbound and outbound external SMTP traffic for the Exchange 2013 organization. Messages are filtered based on  connections, domains, senders, and recipients, but there is no message content inspection at this level. Filtering is a functionality intended to support communications with the Transport service on a Mailbox server, and doesn’t queue any messages locally.
  • The Transport Service runs on all Mailbox servers (You can think of this service as a replacement to the Hub Transport server role) and routes messages between the other transport services listed here. This service manages all SMTP mail flow for the organization, performs message categorization as well as message content inspection. Notice that the Transport Service communicates with the Mailbox Transport Service, which in turn communicates directly with the Mailbox Databases on any server. The transport service can also receive messages via a Receive connector, a pickup or replay directory on the Mailbox Server and through agent submission.
  • The Mailbox Transport Service runs on all Mailbox servers and can be further subdivided into the Mailbox Transport Submission service and Mailbox Transport Delivery service. Think of the Mailbox Transport Delivery service as the middle-man between the local mailbox database and the Transport Service on the mailbox server or even other mailbox servers. The  Mailbox Transport Delivery Service receives messages from the Transport Service via SMTP and connects to the local mailbox database via RPC to deliver the message. The Mailbox Transport Submission Service works in the exact opposite form, connecting via RPC to the Mailbox Database to retrieve messages and then submitting these messages via SMTP to the Transport service on the local Mailbox server or other Mailbox servers based on the same routing topology information available to the Transport service.

If you want to learn more about Mail Flow, click here.

Unified Messaging Role: In Exchange 2013, the Mailbox server has the same processes as the Unified Messaging server role in Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010. The Mailbox server runs both the Microsoft Exchange Unified Messaging service and UM worker processes. The Client Access server runs the Microsoft Exchange Unified Messaging Call Router service, which receives an incoming call and forwards it to the Mailbox server.

  • – The Microsoft Exchange Unified Messaging Call Router service runs on a CAS server and basically receives a call and forwards it to the mailbox server. The service redirects Session Initialization Protocol (SIP) traffic that’s generated from an incoming call to a Mailbox server. According to Microsoft, a media (Realtime Transport Protocol (RTP) or secure RTP (SRTP)) channel is subsequently established from the VoIP gateway or IP Private Branch eXchange (PBX) to the Mailbox server that hosts the user’s mailbox.
  • – The Microsoft Exchange Unified Messaging service and UM worker processes which used to run on the Unified Messaging Server in Exchange 2007 and 2010 now run on a Mailbox server.

More information on the new Voice Architecture can be found here.

2. No more MMC-based Administration

With Exchange 2013 comes the Exchange Administration Center (EAC), a web-based management console. It makes sense though. Microsoft needed to introduce an improved console that had the ability to integrate hybrid or coexistence environments that include on-premise as well as cloud-based implementations of Exchange spread across an Enterprise infrastructure. (Known as Cross-premises navigation) The good news is that EAC is fully supported over a number of browser types running from Windows 7 and Server 2012, this includes IE 8/9/10; Firefox 11 or later and Chrome 18 or later. For those Safari fans out there, you can still run a not as full-featured (Premium) EAC on Safari 5.1 or later.

For more information on the new Exchange Administration Center, read this.

3. Client Access via RPC

Microsoft has finally taken a bold move towards mobile web architectures by eliminating the traditional RPC client access model in favor of Outlook Anywhere, a.k.a. HTTP encapsulated RPC (RPC/HTTP) communications between an Outlook Client and the Mailbox Server. All calendaring and free/busy communications are now supported via the Autodiscover service, which means that Outlook 2003 is no longer supported in this edition of Exchange 2013 since that version of Outlook doesn’t support Autodiscover.

4. Linked Connectors

In Exchange 2010, you had the ability to connect a Send Connector and a Receive connector with the LinkedReceiveConnector command. This feature enabled a receive connector to bypass any routing logic and automatically forward all messages to the send connector to which it was linked. Very useful if you wanted to forward emails to an anti-spam appliance for processing before returning them inbound to your Organization for processing. I postulate that this feature has been removed primarily to account for architectural changes in how Exchange 2013 addresses message routing.

5. Managed Folders

In Exchange 2010, we used Managed Folders to control MRM (Messaging Retention Management). In Exchange 2013, we now use retention policies to manage the email lifecycle. The process of setting up a retention policy is fairly straightforward. Firstly, we create retention tags, add them to a retention policy and finally apply the policy to mailbox users.  Retention tags can be applied to an entire mailbox or a specific folder and  include actions such as Delete and Allow RecoveryPermanently Delete and Move to Archive as well as retention periods specified in Days.

Retention policies can be configured via EAC or scripted via PowerShell command. Check out this Technet article.


There’s a number of other features that have been discontinued in Exchange 2013. If you’d like to learn more, take a look at the following link here.