When I went through my MCSM rotation, back in June, Neil Johnson (MSFT) – who was one of the instructors – mentioned he, along with Nathan Winters (MSFT) and Nicolas Blank (MCM, MVP), had a book coming up shortly. Knowing all three of them personally, I immediately understood this book couldn’t be bad. Seems that I was right.

“Microsoft Exchange Server 2013: Design, Deploy and Deliver an Enterprise Messaging Solution” isn’t the typical Exchange book that you would expect. Usually, most Exchange-related books cover the (deep) technical aspects in one way or another. I’m not saying that is a bad thing, in the contrary, but the focus of this book is more about explaining how to go about when deploying Exchange 2013.

In my years as an Exchange-consultant, I have seen some pretty good and – unfortunately – pretty bad implementations of the product. Usually the bad ones were the result of a lack of understanding of how to tackle an implementation; they were not necessarily bad because of a lack of technical understanding of the product.

Below you’ll find the chapter list from the book:

    • Chapter 1: Business, Functional, and Technical Requirements
    • Chapter 2: Exchange Design Fundamentals
    • Chapter 3: Exchange Architectural Concepts
    • Chapter 4: Defining a Highly Available Messaging Solution
    • Chapter 5: Designing a Successful Exchange Storage Solution
    • Chapter 6: Management
    • Chapter 7: Exchange 2013 Hybrid Coexistence with Office 365
    • Chapter 8: Designing a Secure Exchange Solution
    • Chapter 9: Compliance
    • Chapter 10: Collaborating with Exchange
    • Chapter 11: Extending Exchange
    • Chapter 12: Exchange Clients
    • Chapter 13: Planning Your Deployment
    • Chapter 14: Migrating to Exchange 2013
    • Chapter 15: Operating and Monitoring Exchange Server 2013

As you can see from the different chapters, the authors take you through the process of preparing for, designing and deploying a messaging solution based on Microsoft Exchange 2013. Although many of the things in the book seemed natural to me, I definitely picked up a few new things which I will be using in my day-to-day assignment. They [the authors] not only manage to convey what the key differentiators in Exchange 2013 are, but also perfectly explain when and how certain Exchange 2013 features can be used to solve specific business problems – instead of just explaining what they do.

If you’re looking for a book that goes beyond explaining how the bits and the bytes work in Exchange, this one’s definitely for you! The book itself is well-written (even for non-native English speakers it’s easy to read), and I enjoyed reading it from start to end.

Definitely worth the purchase!