Office 365 Best Practices Analyzer for Exchange 2013
Although the tool includes Office 365 in its name, it can also be used with on-premise Exchange 2013 deployments and hybrid (on-premise/365) deployments. Until the introduction of Exchange 2013, the Best Practices Analyzer was part of the Toolbox, where it did a solid job of pulling in Active Directory and Exchange configuration information and recommending adjustments to bring your environment into harmony with Microsoft "best practices." You'll need an Office 365 or Azure Active Directory user ID to download the tool, but not to run it.
Exchange Server Deployment Assistant
The deployment assistant is not a new tool, but it continues to evolve in response to product changes and customer feedback. The latest version consolidates two tools (one for 2010 and one for 2013) into one that starts with the scenario type first, not the platform. To begin, you indicate if you want to perform a deployment of Exchange on-premises, hybrid, or cloud only. From there, you can choose Exchange 2010 or 2013. As before, you answer a few questions regarding your specific deployment, then receive the easy-to-use checklist for your deployment.
Let's say you're gathering data for a site resiliency design. You'll need to consider the number of transaction logs generated by your existing production environment on an hourly and daily basis because those logs will start by replicating within your site (depending on your configuration), then branching out across sites. In turn, each additional database copy will increase replication traffic. This downloadable PS1 script, along with the Exchange Server Role Requirements Calculator (yet another free, awesome tool provided by the Exchange Team), can provide valuable assistance in the process.
This new PS1 script has two modes: Gather and Analyze, which respectively -- surprise, surprise -- gather and analyze log statistics. Gather runs at the top of every hour and takes snapshots of the current log generation. Analyze should be run after sufficient time has passed (two weeks is recommended), so it can determine how many logs are created for that period. That will help you determine if your infrastructure within and between sites is up for the design you're proposing.
Tools that let you do your job effectively and efficiently are always welcome. These five new and improved tools will help you do just that.
This story, "5 new and improved tools for Exchange and Office 365," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of J. Peter Bruzzese's Enterprise Windows blog and follow the latest developments in Windows at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.