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Mailbox Upgrade

Microsoft Exchange 2010 was released last month. If you’re still running Exchange 2003, this would be a good time to break that old arbitrary rule about always staying one version behind:

  • Those ever-increasing requests and associated problems concerning e-mail archival and retention are now built-in with much more capability than previous versions and without third-party software.
  • Voice mail preview may delay or lessen that upcoming phone system upgrade as a new unified messaging feature.
  • New information protection features gives you much more ability to prevent leakage of confidential information.
  • Exchange 2007 is on year 3 of 5 for standard support and leaps in technology are now happening every 18-36 months.
  • The x64 hardware requirements are nearly identical and corresponding x64 server software is well beyond being mainstream.

Now each user can have their own archive mailbox with retention automatically defined by the organization and that is also available from Outlook Web Access. You have much better ability for compliance and legal hold. The web accessibility is just one example of improved user self-service. The new Role Based Access Control can allow users the ability to do their own message tracking. Mailbox resiliency as a whole is much better with Database Availability replacing Continuous Replication and the capability to move mailboxes without taking users off-line.

While you still must implement Rights Management for full information control, administrators may automatically notify users of potential confidential leakage and receive alerts of such actions. Windows Mobile 6.1 users will also receive new conversation views.

As with most line-of-business applications today, Exchange 2010 requires x64 hardware and operating system. Active Directory may be 2003, but the Exchange OS should be Windows Server 2008 and a Domain Controller role is not supported. Exchange may be readily virtualized, but this configuration is not supported with Unified Messaging and there may be some performance decrease when using advanced networking like ISCSI because large packets are not supported by virtual interfaces. Purchase only Standard Client Access Licenses, unless you will utilize Microsoft Exchange Hosted Mail Security. Exchange was never meant to be a document repository, so you’ll either need to move public folders to resource mailboxes or file shares.

Even though the media hypes Google as a threat to Microsoft, Gmail is still geared toward individuals. If you are a small business and haven’t investigated, Exchange On-line will offer the new 2010 features with much more capability than Google at about half the price per year ($24 vs. $50 per user per year).

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