Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Exchange 2010 Beta Available

Michael over at pointed out that Exchange 2010 (Exchange 14) Beta is now available.  I haven’t followed Exchange 14 development much beyond thinking it was going to be released around Q2 of 2010.  The website lists a generaly availability for Exchange 2010 being the second half of 2009. Being an Exchange shop, the guy who gets to plan and do the upgrades, I decided to do some reading.  You can find the Exchange 2010 Overview here but the points that really stuck out to me, in my small exchange environment, follow.

Up to 50% IOPs reduction in exchange databases from Exchange 2007.  If this is accurate and realistically attainable it alone could justify an upgrade.  Two significant things come from this:

1)  Support more users per IOPs of storage (Storage $$/More Users = good)

2)  Use less expensive storage while maintaining service levels (Lower Storage $$ = good)

Up to 16 replicated copies of each mailbox database.  If I’ve read this right, Exchange maintains multiple copies of each database allowing for quick failover.  So throw in a couple of JBOD underlying storage arrays instead of just one Raid 10/6/5 and you could have improved storage reliability for less cost if done properly.

Outlook Web Access improvements: Cross browser consistent experience (IE7+, Firefox 3+, Safari 3+), improved search (THANK YOU), and more.

Archiving and Retention add two features as well that previously were significant pains and/or required 3rd party solutions to accomplish well.  First off, the “Personal Archive”.  I think of this in terms of a server side PST (I’m not yet certain on how it is pulled off). This appears to be a long overdue, integrated solution to user PSTs floating around on local / network drives.  Searches can be done simultaneously against both Personal Archives and the “Inbox”.  So an organization can now potentially keep all email inside its Exchange environment and not need a 3rd party application to effectively archive / vault / retain messages.  Can Personal Archives be set as “check in but never check out”?  The second item which is a must if Personal Archives are to be a true archiving solution is Multi-Mailbox Search.  Authorized persons may perform searches across multiple mailboxes and personal archives.  Note that “Authorized Persons” can be people outside of Exchange administrators!

Needless to say I’m quite interested to find time to kick the tires on Exchange 2010.

In addition to this being news specifically about Exchange Server, a few conjectures can be made if things happen as they have in the past.  First Windows Server 7/2010 will be released near or at the same time (Hold off on those Server 2008 deployments!).  And secondly, Office 2010 will show up near or at the same time.

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Alex said...
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