What is an Exchange SSL Certificate?

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What Exchange server certificates are how they’re used

Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Communications Servers are notorious for being difficult to install SSL certificates on. Or rather, they were difficult before some more recent updates caused them to start playing nicer. Still, this initial problem led to the creation of a very specific, purpose-made kind of SSL certificate called a unified communication certificate, or what’s known as a UCC. (Some people also call them Exchange SSL certificates, though most defer to using the acronym “UCC.”)

How Exchange SSL Certificates Differ from Traditional SSL Certificates

As we mentioned, a UCC is just a variant of an SSL certificate that’s designed specifically for Exchange servers.

Because of the way Exchange servers have traditionally run, a UCC can function as a multi-domain or wildcard certificate depending on how you need it configured. While UCCs can’t secure the 250 domains a standard multi-domain offers, it can still secure dozens of websites residing on the same Exchange server.

Purchasing a UCC is just as simple as purchasing any other SSL certificate: Simply pick the one you’d like and pay for it, then generate your certificate signing request (CSR) and private key on your Exchange server and send it along to the certificate authority (CA) you’ve chosen. Validation typically takes just a day or two, at most, then you’ll be able to install it and secure your websites.

Just as with other SSL certificates, installing a UCC on an Exchange server is a very straightforward process — one that can be performed in under 10 minutes simply by following one of our installation guides.

Granted, nowadays, you can also secure Exchange server with other, non-UCC SSL certificates, too. But for the sake of purity we still recommend deploying UCCs on Exchange and Microsoft Communications servers because they’re designed for that exact purpose.

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Protect your websites that reside on Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Communications servers with a certificate specifically designed for that task.

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