Microsoft Exchange receives “strong positive” rating in Gartner MarketScope

by Shijaz Abdulla on 02.09.2010 at 20:22

Matt Cain, vice president and lead e-mail analyst at Gartner, recently published the Gartner MarketScope for E-mail Systems, 2010 (Matt Cain, Gartner Research, Aug. 12, 2010), which evaluated the major e-mail vendors. Microsoft received a “strong positive” rating, and has purchased the reprint rights. To read the report, please click here: Gartner MarketScope for E-mail Systems, 2010.

The MarketScope included vendors such as Google, IBM, MiraPoint, Novell, Open X-change, VMware/Zimbra and Xandros/Scalix. It’s interesting to note that Microsoft is the only vendor that received a “strong positive” rating.

Exchange Server 2010 SP1 Beta and Exchange Server 2007 SP3 released

by Shijaz Abdulla on 08.07.2010 at 23:29

Exchange Server 2010 SP1 Beta incorporates a number of feature updates including archiving and discovery enhancements, a faster Outlook Web App (OWA), upgraded mobility features, and several improvements in the management UI. The SP1 beta is available to the public and can be downloaded today.

Recently, Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 3 was also made available to customers in 11 languages for both 32 and 64 bit. As highlighted in the recent post on the Exchange Server Team Blog,  this service pack was created in response to strong customer demand for Windows Server 2008 R2 supportability for Exchange Server 2007. In addition to the newly supported OS, this service pack also provides updates to a number of core components and the reintroduction of the password reset functionality within OWA for customers using Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

SMS text message integration with Exchange Server 2010

by Shijaz Abdulla on 06.01.2010 at 07:13

As soon as I got my hands on Windows Mobile 6.5, I decided to test the text message (SMS) integration feature in Exchange Server 2010 Unified Messaging. This feature basically allow SMS text messages on your phone to be synchronized back to the Exchange Server where they can be easily searched and archived.

Windows Phone home screen Windows Phone locked screen Windows Phone menu

You can set up your Windows Phone to synchronize text messages in the Activesync options:

ScreenShot1

The feature also allows you to compose and send SMS text messages from Outlook or Outlook Web App. Let’s take a closer look:

  • When I receive a text message, it (obviously) reaches my phone,
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  • It also gets synchronized with Exchange Server 2010 through Activesync and I can see the message in Outlook
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  • Notice that I can reply to the text message right here from Outlook or I can compose a new one. And I can add emoticons too.
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  • The sent items are synchronized both in Outlook and on the Windows Phone
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  • The same functionality is available in Outlook Web App too:
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You now have your voicemail, email, fax, SMS text messages, missed call alerts, missed conversations, all in one convenient location – your Outlook inbox. This is the power of Unified Messaging. 🙂

Exchange Server 2010 Mailbox Role Calculator

by Shijaz Abdulla on 12.11.2009 at 12:40

The Exchange Team has released Mailbox Role Requirements Calculator for Exchange Server 2010.

The calculator is broken out into the following sections (worksheets):

  • Input
  • Role Requirements
  • LUN Requirements
  • Backup Requirements
  • Log Replication Requirements
  • Storage Design

For more information, read the entry on MS Exchange Team Blog.

Exchange Server 2010 now available

by Shijaz Abdulla on 09.11.2009 at 21:10

Today, at Tech-Ed Europe in Berlin, Microsoft announced the worldwide general availability of Exchange Server 2010.

In a previous post, I explained some of the exciting new features in Exchange Server 2010.

Here are some quick facts that you should know, regardless of whether you are a customer or a partner:

  • Exchange Server 2010 already has over 15 million users worldwide, through our Live@Edu service.
  • Today, Forrester released "Total Economic Impact” study which concludes organizations can expect a payback period of less than 6 months with Exchange Server 2010.
  • UK-based NEC Phillips is experiencing email storage cost savings of 70% with Exchange Server 2010 [more]
  • US-based TriWest Healthcare Alliance is saving approximately $250,000 with Exchange Server 2010, by avoiding the cost of purchasing an independent archiving & retention system. [more]
  • Organizations such as Aon Corporation, Glaxo Smith Klein, Lions Gate Entertainment, McDonald’s Corporation, University of Ohio and many others are satisfied customers of Exchange Online.
  • Global Crossing is saying bye-bye Blackberry, and implementing Exchange Server 2010.
  • Subaru Canada and Nasdaq OMX are other early adopters that have benefited from Exchange Server 2010.

Exchange Server 2010 gets green light

by Shijaz Abdulla on 12.10.2009 at 23:31

Microsoft released to manufacturing (RTM) Exchange Server 2010 last Thursday. The full release/public availability is scheduled for next month during TechEd.

Now would be a good time to have a quick recap on some of the new features in Exchange Server 2010:

 

  • Change in Permissions Model: 

    ADMINISTRATORS can define extremely broad or extremely granular permissions, and can manage permissions by adding or removing users to role groups.

    USERS can change their own personal information, contact information, join or leave a distribution group/mailing lists, etc on their own, if the administrator has allowed it.

  • New Admin features:

    You can now remotely manage Exchange 2010 servers over the network using Windows PowerShell thanks to the Windows Management Framework.

    Administrator audit logging allows logging of all administrator actions for later review.

  • IRM integration with Active Directory Rights Management Service (AD RMS)
  • Cool new transport features, including MailTips (example below):

     image

  • New High Availability (HA) features:

    – Failover clusters invisible to the administrator,
    – Ability to create a cluster without on an existing installation without having to uninstall Exchange,
    – Ability to co-exist other roles on mailbox clusters to ensure overall availability of transport and client access roles.
    – Each mailbox server can have as many as 100 databases, and each database can have up to 16 copies
    – Online Move Mailbox operations supported
    – Database Availability Groups
    – Shadow Redundancy feature provides redundancy for messages while in transit.

  • New Outlook Web App (previously Outlook Web Access) features

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    Search folders
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    Ability to set categories from Outlook Web App
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    Grouping message threads (Conversation view): This saves time, and helps you delete or move a whole thread in just one quick step.
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    Chat integration in Outlook Web App
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    Side-by-side calendar view in Outlook Web App:
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    and many more new features.

  • Unified Messaging & text messaging enhancements
    I will cover these in another post.
  • Client Throttling
    Ensures that users don’t choke the system intentionally/unintentionally by enforcing client connection bandwidth limits.

Exchange Server 2010 also gives organizations the flexibility to host their email servers on-premises, or through a hosted services provider or have a mix of both.

Which Exchange 2007 High Availability Solution should I choose?

by Shijaz Abdulla on 14.05.2009 at 16:06

For those of you still upgrading to Exchange Server 2007 or consolidating your Exchange Servers, and are considering some of the High Availability solutions, I have a clear recommendation:

Avoid Single Copy Cluster (SCC); Use CCR (Cluster Continuous Replication) or SCR (Standby Continuous Replication) instead!

Why?

  • SCC is not a complete HA solution. There exists a single point of failure – the shared storage! In CCR or SCR, there are two replicas of the same data.
  • You don’t need a shared storage for CCR or SCR
  • You don’t need third-party replication software (such as Double-Take) to span the database over two data centers.
  • Improved failover behavior when compared to SCC.
  • Installation is easier than SCC, and you do not need to perform additional hardware validation because shared storage is not required.
  • Easier to manage.
  • Improve backup performance, by letting backups to run from the passive copy of the data
  • Single Copy Cluster (SCC) is being discontinued in Exchange Server 2010

So, for all future Exchange 2007 HA designs, please keep this in mind!

Fig 1. (below) Single Copy Cluster

Fig 2. (below) Cluster Continuous Replication

Instant Messaging inside Outlook Web Access

by Shijaz Abdulla on 26.04.2009 at 13:53

Outlook Web Access in Exchange Server 2010 offers integrated instant messaging capability right from the browser.

Check this out:

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You also see presence information against each contact in an email header.

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You can also change your status from the top right corner of the OWA page:

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Exchange 2010 Beta

by Shijaz Abdulla on 26.04.2009 at 13:44

Home

The public beta of Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, part of Microsoft’s unified communications family, is now available. Exchange 2010 is the first server in a new generation of Microsoft server technology designed and developed to work on-premises and as an online service, and introduces a new integrated e-mail archive and features to reduce costs and improve the user experience.

New features in Exchange 2010:

Download the beta today at: http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/2010/en/us/trial-software.aspx

NOTE: Exchange Server 2003 is already out of mainstream support as of April 14. If you are running Exchange Server 2007, you should *really* consider upgrading!