Thursday, October 27, 2011

Leveraging Converged Infrastructure To Deliver Microsoft Exchange 2010

The Critical Communications Tool
While we hear a lot about new communications technologies for most of us email is the tool that we use everyday. For end users email is still the most efficient way to communicate globally but for the IT department email can be a difficult application to deploy and manage. Guaranteeing performance and availability for an increasingly mobile workforce, while keeping costs in check is a challenge. Organizations are challenged with the time required to manage email delivery systems. Time is spent on installation and configuration of software and the supporting infrastructure. Much of an organization staff can be consumed by routine tasks driving up the cost of ownership. It can be difficult to determine what infrastructure is required to scale up as the number of users increases. As email becomes more feature rich supporting large numbers of power users creates increasing demands on the systems. Organizations want predictable operation and support for their entire solution. They want to be sure that they are maximizing system resource utilization and eliminating server underutilization while delivering a superior user experience.

Making the Move to Exchange 2010
With Exchange Server 2010, Microsoft has made significant changes in the architecture to address the growing need of businesses to increase mailbox quotas, drive down storage and IT costs, provide a high degree of availability, meet regulatory requirements for data retention and compliance, and enhance the productivity. To take advantage of the new HA, DR and archiving functionalities, IT organizations may have to look at a new platform, and re-architect the Exchange environment. Changes in how storage is managed creates the incentive to change the storage infrastructure. The new database availability group (DAG) functionality requires Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition, requiring an upgrade to 64-bit server hardware. The Single Instance Storage (SIS) feature that reduced redundancy by storing only a single copy of an email or attachment has been eliminated increasing storage requirements.