Public Folders – Exchange 2013 Preview and Office 365 Preview

imageWith the release of Exchange 2013 Preview Microsoft did something awesome, which even going back Exchange Server 2007 I thought would never happen. Public folders, in my opinion have been re-elevated in importance. Gone are separate Public Folder databases as the new Public Folder Mailboxes have moved from multi-master to single-master using continuous replication in the DAG alongside other mailboxes on-premise or in the cloud.

Public Folder Mailboxes are now created to store public folder content, the first of which also stores the folder hierarchy. Not only does this simplify HA/DAG deployment, but also makes e-discovery easy. Coupled with Site Mailboxes I see a new chapter of sharing and collaboration opening up in Exchange Server, both can be easily managed using the new Exchange Administration Center (EAC) or EMS.

If you plan to migrate existing public folders you need to consider the following:

  • Exchange Server 2010 SP3 is a requirement.
  • You need to use the new *PublicFolderMigrationRequest cmdlets, new *OrganizationConfig parameters and PowerShell scripts:
    • Export-PublicFolderStatistics.ps1   This script will create the folder name to folder size mapping.
    • PublicFolderToMailboxMapGenerator.ps1   This script will create the public folder to mailbox mapping file.
  • Make sure you have validated Public Folder database backups before you start.
  • Use Get-PublicFolder cmdlet to list information about the Public Folder hierarchy for later comparison.

At the time of writing Microsoft have made pre-release information available for Exchange 2013 Preview here,