Top Ten Reasons to Move to Exchange 2007

Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Here are some key features and technologies Exchange Server 2007 provides that make a good business case for its use:
  • Fault Tolerance -- Exchange 2007 offers several forms of fault tolerance, right out of the box:

    • Local Continuous Cluster (LCR) maintains a continuously updated copy of the active mailbox database on a different LUN to provide immediate failover capability if the active database becomes corrupt. The second copy is activated manually by the administrator.

    • Cluster Continuous Replication (CCR) is a local cluster model where each node maintains its own database and replication is performed using log shipping. In the event of failure of a service, the cluster services immediately failover to the passive node and continue servicing client requests, minimizing client downtime. CCR clusters can be stretched over distance, providing a geographically dispersed clusters.

    • Standby Continuous Replication (SCR) is similar to CCR, but the failover node resides in a different geographic location. It utilizes log shipping for replication and the Hub Transport servers "fill in the blanks" for messages that may not have replicated since the time the active node went offline.

  • Disaster Recovery -- Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007, along with the fault tolerance technologies listed above, provide a quick and easy disaster recovery strategy for nearly any outage. Outlook Exchange cached mode is another key technology to making disaster recovery as seemless as possible.

  • Mailbox Server Consolidation -- As a 64-bit messaging platform, Exchange 2007 is able to accommodate much larger mailboxes and mailstore databases than ever before. This allows you to greatly consolidate the number of mailbox servers needed to support the same number of users.

  • Exchange Edge Server -- Edge Server for Exchange is a non-domain server that acts as the SMTP gateway between the Internet and SCIF's internal network. It replaces both the current SMTP gateway and Interscan servers, saving both hardware and software costs. It provides anti-spam and anti-virus services for the organization. EdgeSync is a process that synchronizes the email addresses in AD and the user Junk Mail safe lists/block lists with the Edge server to reduce spam at the network edge.

  • Better Integration with Outlook -- Suspected spam that is not blocked by the Edge server is delivered to Outlook's built-in Junk E-mail folder. Users can choose to block or allow emails from users or domains directly from Outlook without the need for third-party software.

  • Forefront Security for Exchange -- Forefront antivirus is included with the Exchange 2007 Enterprise CAL. Forefront allows you to choose up to five different antivirus engines (from a collection of nine) that all emails are scanned against. This provides more defense in depth than previously possible.

  • Corporate Manage Folders -- Managed folders allow administrators to configure common corporate folders that will display in users' Outlook and OWA that have specific retention periods. For example, a folder named Legal may have a seven year retention policy. Any items in this folder older that 7 years will automatically be purged to maintain the company's corporate retention policy.

  • Improved Outlook Web Access -- Outlook Web Access (OWA) has been improved to provide much better performance and usability. The Private computer security setting now allows you to stay logged in for up to 24 hours. Calendaring and scheduling has been greatly improved. OWA now provides the ability to open another user's mailbox (assuming you have the appropriate rights to do so). Public Folders now open in the same OWA window. Searching for an email items takes only seconds, no matter how large the mailbox is.

  • Remote Access to Network Shares -- OWA provides the ability to "translate" UNCs to internal network shares. For example, if you click a link for //hofs01/share/CIOMeeting.ppt, OWA will fetch the document from the internal network (assuming you have rights to the document) and deliver it to you in OWA. You can also open a Windows SharePoint Services or file share by typing the address of the share to open directly in OWA.

  • WebReady Document Viewing -- WebReady Document Viewing renders common document types for you to view within OWA, even if the application is not installed on that computer. For example, if you want to view an Excel attachment from a machine that does not have Excel installed, click the "View as web page" link next to the attachment. Exchange 2007 will convert the spreadsheet to a web page for you to review.