Exchange Online

  • By Shubham Baghel
  • May 1, 2021
  • Cloud

In this article, we are going to discuss what is Microsoft Exchange Online, how it works, and will try to understand the different features and roles inside it.

Here we will start with the basic understanding of SMTP, IMAP, and POP3. These are mailing protocols. Let’s see the example that will make you understand how they are used.

 

 

When user Abhilash with mail id [email protected] sends mail to user Nisha with mail id [email protected], first it will be transferred to Abhilash’s mail server that is a Gmail server using SMTP(Simple mail Transport protocol).

Now mail server will read the recipient address and try to contact the recipient server i.e in this case yahoo.com. One mail server can communicate with another server using SMTP.

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When the message is forwarded to the yahoo server it will store it in Nisha’s mailbox. User Nisha when checking mail it will be reflected in his Inbox. Here it will be transferred using IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) or POP3 (Post Office Protocol version 3).

 

This is a simple flow of mail from one user to another user. You also need to know the port numbers of SMTP as 25 , IMAP as 143 , POP3 as 110. 

 

When we use Gmail or Yahoo  they provide public email services. But organizations need to have their own mailing system / application that can be managed totally by the organization and used for the purpose of intranet mailing.

 

In order to build a mailing system, Microsoft provides two options. Organizations can build their own on promise Exchange mailing server or else it can rely on a cloud-hosted service that is Exchange online.

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Microsoft Exchange Online is a cloud solution for on-premise Exchange servers that most organizations used for their internal mailing. In today’s time, many organizations are relying on cloud services as they offer great reliability in terms of management with high uptime. 

 

Microsoft Exchange allows the users in the company to access their emails, use calendar, contacts, and tasks from their system,  as well as mobile devices. The exchange server is fully integrated with Active Directory and it stores configuration and recipient information within the Active Directory and retrieves it whenever needed.

 

Features of Exchange Online:-

 

  1. Anti-Spam/Anti-Malware: Built-in spam and malware filtering capabilities
  2. Hybrid Deployment: A hybrid deployment allows organizations the ability to extend the administrative control which they have with their existing on-premises Microsoft Exchange organization to the cloud.  It allows some mailboxes hosted on-premises and some mailboxes hosted in Exchange Online.
  3. Exchange Online Archiving Features: The user gets a feature of archiving mailbox which can be used para; el with a primary mailbox.
  4. Recovery of deleted items:– Unintentionally deleted items can be restored with the archived item recovery option.
  5. Recovery of deleted mailbox: Deleted mailbox can be recovered within 303 days. 

 

When a user tries to connect to his mailbox created in office 365, this process involves the use of MX records which are created in DNS for your domain. We need to have a public DNS name with an MX record pointing towards the office 365 service.

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Email in Office 365 needs several different records. The three primary records that all Exchange online organizations should use are the Autodiscover, MX, and SPF records.

 

The Autodiscover record enables the client device to automatically find Exchange and configure the client properly.

 

The MX record tells other mail systems were to send an email for your domain. When we change our email to Office 365, by doing changes in our domain’s MX record, ALL emails forwarded to that domain will go to Office 365.

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The TXT record for SPF is used by recipient email systems to verify if the server sending your email is one that you approve. This helps avoid problems like email spoofing and phishing.

Now lets understand what is the Exchange Admin Center. The Microsoft 365 admin center is a place from where administrators can manage user accounts and their corresponding application settings for their Microsoft subscriptions.

In this Article, we will be discussing Exchange Online briefly.

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In order to   manage exchange online just visit the Exchange admin center and you will find the following options on the page:

  1. Recipients: This is an option from where you can view and manage mailboxes for users as well as shared mailboxes,  groups, resource mailboxes, and contacts.
  2. Mail flow Used to Trace messages, create rules, manage remote domains and accepted domains, add connectors, manage alert, and alert policies.
  3. Roles:     It is all about defining permissions for different users. 
  4. Migration Migrate mailboxes from Exchange server or another email system.
  5. Reports on the number of inactive mailboxes, the size of each mailbox, mailbox usage statistics, shared mailboxes, public folders, mailbox permission changes, and mail traffic.
  6. Insights Use the recommendations to discover trends and/or insights and take actions to fix issues related to the mailbox and mail flow.
  7. Organization Manage organization sharing and apps for Outlook.
  8. Public folders is one of the many features within Microsoft Exchange. Its purpose is to allow Outlook users access to common folders for sharing information.

 

What is mail flow?

 

Mail flow describes the transportation mechanism in Microsoft Exchange. We will understand how mail flows/routed in and out for Exchange server organization.

In order to understand Mail flow, we should know what a transport pipeline is. Transport Pipeline collectively defines services, components, and queues that work together to route messages.  

 The rules defined under mail flow are similar to the Inbox rules in Outlook; you can use them to identify and take action on messages flowing through your Office 365 organization. For example, sometimes when mail claiming to be received from executives and managers is seen to be spoofed , these mail flow rules help us to identify mail that arrived from outside of your organization. 

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Enabling Archive Mailboxes

Administrators were taking backup of user mailbox in the form of PST backup. Storing and maintaining such a large number of  PSTs was a burden. 

Archive user mailboxes used to fix this problem. Each mailbox has the option of an archive mailbox where older mail can reside on cheaper storage. That way, older mail is available for reference, and at the same time, the size of the primary mailbox can be kept under control which leads to improved performance.

 

Questions :

 

  1. What are the types of mail accounts in exchange?

Answer: There are several types of mail account defined in exchange and these are as follows:

User Mailbox  

Group 

Resource 

Contacts 

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  1. What is Shared Mailbox?

A shared mailbox is a mailbox that multiple users can access and send email messages in the organization. For example, sales team seven mentor can have mailboxes like [email protected] where all the inquiries about courses can be read by sales executives who can have access permission to shared mailboxes.

 

  1. What is Outlook?

Outlook is a mail client software installed on a user computer. Users can check mail messages stored on local devices even if they are not connected to the internet.

 

  1. What have accepted domains?

 Answer: Accepted domains is a namespace for which your organization can be allowed to send and receive mails.

 

  1. What is a Distribution Group?

Answer: The distribution group creates mail addresses where the messages received on this address can be forwarded to all recipients listed under this group. Example message received on [email protected]  mail address will be delivered to all HR Executives in the company.

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  1. What is MAPI?

Answer: MAPI is a client protocol that allows users to access their mailbox by using Outlook

Author:-
Vanarase, Anuradha

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