Microsoft announced the general availability of Exchange Server 2010 yesterday. For information & knowledge management professionals and for the productivity of information workers, there are five good reasons to upgrade:
- Much cheaper storage. Exchange 2007 introduced a new storage model, where the email server manages direct-attached storage. Exchange 2010 extends that capability and in the words of one beta customer, "We have reduced the overall costs for our storage by 30% while increasing the usable disk space nine times." This benefit comes from using cheap direct-attached storage in lieu of storage area networks.
- Support for much bigger mailboxes. Most firms limit mailbox size to 100-250 MB for good reasons: storage cost, nightly backup windows too short, eDiscovery hassles. Exchange 2010 has much faster I/O (Microsoft says 15 times faster than in Exchange 2003) and improved storage management that allows direct-attached storage and cheap disks. Net it out, and it becomes much easier to expand the mailboxes to 1-2 GB.
- Cloud or on-premises: you decide. Exchange 2010 is natively multi-tenant, which makes it easier to run in the cloud. A single administration console makes it possible for firms to run some mail boxes on-premises and some in the cloud. And with a price war going on with cloud-based email, the cost of an Exchange 2010 mailbox in the cloud just dropped to $5 with a big mailbox.
- High-availability and archiving features. In classic style, the company has enhanced Exchange to bring in features that were previously only available in third-party products. Site-level replication and basic archiving will displace some add-on products for some customers at least.
- Full fidelity with three different browsers. Not everyone uses Outlook, and even Outlook users sometimes need browser access to email. With Exchange 2010, Microsoft is delivering on its commitment to rich Internet applications on multiple browsers. As with the Office 2010 Web applications, Exchange 2010 supports IE, Firefox, and Safari.
Seen other things? Have concerns? Please comment.