I have been involved in Exchange training and consulting for the past 12 years. I’ve seen Exchange progress from a decent messaging system in Exchange 5.5 to the present release of Microsoft Exchange 2010. There have been many improvements over the years. I am going to list some of the best features of Exchange 2010 for you to help you understand why you may want to implement Exchange 2010 with training at QuickStart Intelligence. Here you go: 

8 reasons to use Exchange 2010 as your messaging system:

  • Incredible storage improvements. From improvements to the Store Schema, Sequential I/O, Larger page file size with cache dehydration together provide another 70% reduction in disk I/O over Exchange 2007’s improved I/O. When you compare the I/O from Exchange 2003 to the I/O of Exchange 2010 there is a whopping 90% reduction!! This could allow tier 2 SATA storage for your Exchange Mailbox Database storage. I say could because there are many other factors to look at for your storage. Fiber Channel SAN’s and SAS storage still have many advantages over tier 2 SATA storage.
  • Role Based Access Control, which allows more concise administrative privilege assignment in Exchange 2010. It works because of the new PowerShell remote capabilities allowing for PowerShell commandlets to be tailored to exact administrative needs and sent remotely to an Exchange server. There are built in RBAC groups that have very specific privileges based on need and assigned specific PowerShell commandlets to execute without provided any unnecessary privileges. One example is the Discovery Management group having the privilege to perform multiple mailbox searches without any additional permission assignment.

 

  • Unified messaging has much tighter integration with Office Communication Server to provide a complete phone, video, and presence support. Also included with 2010 Unified Messaging is support for Voice to Text. Which will allow a voice mail to be viewed as text instead of listened to.

 

  • Conversation view in Outlook Web App and Instant Messaging support are great new features too. Also, Exchange 2010 supports all browsers with premium service. That means Safari or Firefox clients will get the same premium access to their mailbox as Internet Explorer clients.

 

  • Federated Sharing policies allow a 2010 Exchange organization to share calendar and contact information with another Exchange 2010 organization.

 

  • Email Archiving support by allowing users to have an additional mailbox (archive) to have their mail stored in as opposed to a PST. The new Archive mailbox is much more attractive with SP1 since it allows for the Archive to be in another Database other than the primary Mailbox is in. With the archive you can bring your users PSTs back in house and under your administrative control which will make any e-discovery much easier. This could also leverage the cheaper Tier 2 SATA drives as well.

 

  • In Exchange 2010 all mail clients connect to their mailbox through the Client Access Server. That means Mapi clients running Outlook, as well as all other clients will connect to their mailbox via the Client Access Server. Seems like a step backwards until you look at the benefits of doing this. One thing we get is the ability to move mailboxes while the user is online. The CAS server maintains a connection to the original location for the user and the user can send and receive mail the entire time the mailbox is being moved. After the last message is moved the CAS server disconnects the user from the old location and connects them to the new location. They will only experience a brief disconnect-reconnect and may need to re-open outlook. But the entire move didn’t affect the user at all while in progress.

 

  • Another benefit to having all mail users connect via the CAS is the Database Availability Group, commonly referred to as a DAG. My favorite new feature of Exchange 2010 is the DAG. The DAG is Exchange 2010’s version of log shipping that was introduced with Exchange 2007. Unlike 2007 however, the DAG is capable of failing over at the Database level. Which means the server itself will continue to provide all other services it is configured with, but the failed DB will automatically be failed over to another copy of that DB in the DAG. This happens automatically without any intervention from the Exchange Admin at all. Also, you can have other roles on the Mailbox server that is in a DAG. So companies that have fewer users could have 2 servers with all roles installed and be configured in a DAG and support high availability for all roles, CAS, HT and MB. Very cool.

 

There are many things to get excited about with Exchange 2010. Have you taken advantage of all the new features? What kind of experience have you had with Exchange?

 

Pat Utley, QuickStart Intelligence, Principle Systems Engineer, MCITP, MCSE, MCT

exchange 2010