Microsoft’s Exchange Server 2010 is in the spotlight. What’s new in Exchange 2010 you ask? As always, Microsoft has evolved their product to align with current technology trends and added a number of features for both Systems Administrators as well as users. In the following article, we will take a look at just a few of these enhancements and what they have to offer.
From the administrator’s perspective, one of the most significant improvements has been to the storage architecture. Microsoft is boasting that Exchange 2010 provides an additional 50-70% reduction in disk I/O over Exchange 2007. In addition, Microsoft has replaced all the previous high availability solutions (LCR, CCR, SCR, & SCC) with their new Database Availability Groups (DAGs). DAGs are simple to configure and allow for Exchange database fault tolerance utilizing an underlying Windows Clustering service. Up to 16 mailbox servers can participate in a DAG, providing automatic database-level recovery from a database, server, or network failure. To support this improvement, Microsoft has eliminated “storage groups” and shifted databases to the Organizational level.
Another great addition is Role Based Access Control (RBAC), which replaces the standard permission model in Exchange 2007. While smaller organizations may not immediately see the value of RBAC, larger organizations with a variety of administrators in different roles will quickly see the benefits. Permissions are now based on Exchange tasks that a user needs to perform and the ability to control these features are now available within the Exchange management tools.
Anxiously awaited is Exchange 2010’s new Legal Hold feature which allows you to preserve the contents of an end user’s Exchange mailbox. End users can still utilize their personal mailbox in a normal manner, however, copies of all items are retained, even if the end user deletes them or if archived content has expired. A complementary feature to Legal Hold is the new multi-mailbox search feature, making it notably easier for organizations to perform E-discovery. As the feature’s name implies, multi-mailbox search allows a designated person to perform organization-level searches across end users’ mailboxes.
In summary, Exchange Server 2010 provides new levels of reliability and performance, simplifies administration, and adds numerous features to better the end user experience. As an added bonus, OWA now provides support for both Safari and Firefox web browsers.
For more information regarding Microsoft’s Exchange 2010 and how it can benefit your organization, please contact your Keller Schroeder Senior Account Manager.