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First Look at Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Beta

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the united-federation-of-mail dept.

Microsoft 274

snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Martin Heller takes a first look at Microsoft's Exchange Server 2010 Beta, noting several usability, reliability, and compliance improvements over Exchange 2007. Top among Exchange 2010's new features are OWA support for Firefox 3 and Safari 3; improved storage reliability; conversation views; mail federation between trusted companies; and MailTips, a sort of Google Mail Goggles for the corporate environment. 'Database availability groups give you redundant mail stores with continuous replication; database-level failover gives you automatic recovery. I/O optimizations make Exchange less "bursty" and better suited to desktop-class SATA drives; JBOD support lets you concatenate disks rather than stripe them into a redundant array.' Exchange 2010 will, however, require shops to upgrade to Windows Server 2008, as support for Windows Server 2003 has been dropped. Microsoft will release technical previews of other products in the suite, including Office 2010, SharePoint Server 2010, Visio 2010, and Project 2010, in the third calendar quarter."

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Now Let's Talk Pricing (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587403)

I found this part of the review especially helpful:

The invoice for this baby is pretty small compared to your normal MS Exchange Server, it's only 1. But that's not in dollars, that's in first born children. So I'm going to throw out a few strategies for coping with this.

  • Just squeeze one out with your wife/prostitute to get it out of the way. ProTip: don't waste money on shots or clothing, a transport blanket will do. Usually you you can convince your wife that the first one is like a test run anyway.
  • Order one of those adopted kids from some other country. Throw some cheap makeup on them to match your ethnicity, pick up some false documents and practice watering up your eyes for when you have to push the kid across a long empty room to Steve Ballmer waiting with a pair of handcuffs. They'll be slightly better off indentured to Microsoft than whatever country they came from anyway.
  • Shaft them and never have kids. This is probably the option that will come naturally to most software folks. Get a vasectomy, abstain, do whatever it takes. There's no clause against this in the licensing agreement I read--yet.

So, like pretending you're a college student, starving African or university staff to get cheap editions of Exchange 2007, there are ways to acquired 2010 at a relatively low cost and I hope this helps you cope with the extreme cost of owning Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 for your enterprise business.

Sure the costs don't stop there, you need to upgrade to Windows Server 2008 to use it and there are a few more things you'll need to upgrade if you want to keep the same functionality you have now ... but that's just the unspoken rule.

Re:Now Let's Talk Pricing (4, Funny)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588073)

Great. Thanks. Now I have to RTFA to find out if your serious or not.

Why do you hate /.?

Re:Now Let's Talk Pricing (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27588125)

Why do you hate using "you're" rather than "your"?

Re:Now Let's Talk Pricing (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27588145)

It's a good thing they don't ask for more than one first born child.

And all the admins ask... (2, Interesting)

mbourgon (186257) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587453)

What database engine is it using, and can we access it via SQL?

Re:And all the admins ask... (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587503)

dBase II. HAHAHAHAno.

Re:And all the admins ask... (3, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587603)

Nope.

MSFT is still retarded that way.

i would KILL to be able to data-mine the email in the company with a SQL script.

"here you are sir, 23 people in the office are boinking your Executive assistant."

Re:And all the admins ask... (4, Informative)

Amouth (879122) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587765)

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa142634(EXCHG.65).aspx [microsoft.com]

it isn't exactly normal SQL but it is alot closer than most things - and it does work.

Re:And all the admins ask... (4, Insightful)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588337)

Yea, it would be REALLY NICE if MSFT would put Exchange inside of something other than a Jet engine database... Then maybe I could have a high performance database that wasn't capped at 200GB for performance reasons, and I could have one big database per server cluster instead of 12-16... and I could front end that with a half a dozen exchange servers and have all 20,000 users inside of a single database and eliminate all the wasted space from single indexing!

For Chrsits sake, can't the Exchange people and the SQL people work together, and combine the log shipping asynchronous non-cluster replciation features of exchange with a REAL F*ING DATABASE ENGINE!?!?!?!

Re:And all the admins ask... (4, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587911)

"here you are sir, 23 people in the office are boinking your Executive assistant."

"Don't worry - I've already told the cleaners to give special attention to your desk, chair, phone, scanner, shredder, and your little wooden dinosaur sculptures with the very long necks."

Re:And all the admins ask... (3, Informative)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587731)

I've never used Microsoft Exchange Server in my life. Mostly because I'm more from a hippy FOSS type company.

Having read the Microsoft marketing crap, then the wikipedia article for a more neutral POV, I don't get it.
What is special about "electronic mail, calendaring, contacts and tasks; support for mobile and web-based access to information; and support for data storage."

I often hear exchange server quoted as THE reason why some companies can't diversify their software from Microsoft, but that lot doesn't sound too compelling to me.

Re:And all the admins ask... (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587811)

Because most companies dont want to hire competent EMail admins. Any of the MCSE monkeys can administer the Exchange server. No they cant administer it correctly but they can administer it. You really do need a competent email admin staoff to use exchange, but it's not as daunting as the FOSS or other options out there to windows It staff.

I also dont understand the love affair with outlook, It's simply that some PHB's hate change and they used Exchange as the killing point to stop OSS infiltration.

Re:And all the admins ask... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27588509)

I agree with your point, but must say that your abrasive tone makes this AC understand why IT folks get such a bad rap. It's similar to why people dislike police so much. I consider myself a "competent" e-mail admin, but the several Exchange servers I administer only constitute about 3% of the servers I am responsible for, so I don't really have time to focus on them as much as I would like.

Re:And all the admins ask... (5, Interesting)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588529)

I was able to set up a working Exchange 2007 server in 2 days. I had never configured an e-mail server before. I'm not even an MCSA (well MCTS woudl be the new name for it)....really only about halfway to it.

So it's even easier than you say it is :-) But you are absolutely correct...you need a competent admin to do it right (I know I sure as hell didn't do it right...it was just a test box)...they don't necessarily have to be an "E-mail Admin" to do it right, they just need to be competent enough to follow best practice guidelines (and obviously have a basic understanding of how e-mail works...any of your 'MCSE monkeys' should have that).

And that is a big part of why Exchange predominates...it's easily administered, and it has features that nothing else offers on an equivalent level.

Also keep in mind that it's not just the PHB's being resistant to change that stops OSS...it's the fact that Microsoft does a good job of making sure that their stuff integrates with eachother very well (and they don't exactly go out of their way to make sure other stuff can integrate with their products). The reason Exchange was so easy to get up and running for me is due in large part to Active Directory integration, and ISA Server 2006 is basically preconfigured to allow an Exchange server the proper access just by telling it the IP address.

Re:And all the admins ask... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27587815)

Mostly because the user base is familiar with it, and Exchange connectors for mobile devices are plentiful and frequently "just work".

Don't underestimate the power of a C-level asking "why don't we use Exchange like everyone else?"

Re:And all the admins ask... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27587875)

Ease of use, integration, and scaling.

The funny part is, most hippies I've dealt with are hippies because all it requires is the ability to spout off at the mouth and a life long lust for lethargy. Well, I should explain: it's funny because hippies would normally take the easiest way out thus providing them with more quality time in which to express laziness, and in this case, Exchange Server is by far the easiest way out. Well, maybe I should explain further: it's funny because hippies are communists (though they often present themselves under false pretenses as soclialists) and FOSS vs. commercial is analogous to communism vs. capitalism.

So, much like I envision the Soviets' as having an inability to grasp the concepts of capitalism, I envision the same for you hippy FOSS types.

Re:And all the admins ask... (5, Insightful)

alen (225700) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587891)

if you have an iphone or winmo you can point your phone to a corporate email server and it will download all your email into the phone as long as you have a signal. and the IT department can manage all the phones remotely.

say your hippy marketing exec loses his or her iphone and it has all kinds of data on it. the IT people can just wipe it remotely not caring where it is.

say you have to keep all email for at least 7 years but you don't want it in anyone's mailbox. right now you have to buy a third party product. Exchange 2010 integrates it.

say you want failover to another city with all your company's email there. Exchange 2007 and later.

Even the FOSS Exhcange clones don't come close. For a medium to large business it's cheaper to buy Exchange with all the features than pay for add on software and more people to admin it

Re:And all the admins ask... (4, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588095)

support for mobile .. access

Bingo. This is the reason that we haven't moved away from Exchange. Windows Mobile connected to Exchange with DirectPUSH is a great combination for mobile users.. you can synchronise all your contacts, calendar, tasks and email with Exchange remotely. Email actually arrives on the mobiles a second or two before showing up in Outlook. Our Exchange server would be replaceable if it weren't for this. I almost replaced it with OpenExchange until I found out about this feature, which has now become essential to a lot of our sales team. If the blackberry network (and devices) weren't so shit then maybe I'd reconsider (the number of times I used to have our blackberry users blaming me for email not working when in fact it was the blackberry network, something which I have no control over.. eurghh..). There is a lot of room for a nice FOSS email client/server product on an open mobile platform..

Re:And all the admins ask... (1)

Nicholas Evans (731773) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588359)

Email and calendaring are hard when you get down to the nitty-gritty.

Re:And all the admins ask... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588393)

I've always wondered why email servers don't use database servers to store the email. It seems like an obvious idea. Personally, I think that even personal email clients should employ this type of technology. If everything was indexed, it would make search the email so much easier. Also, with SQL access, the could be many plugins for your mail client that would increase the value of the product.

Terrorist computer virus infects hospitals (-1, Offtopic)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587483)

A terrorist attack on the NHS has brought three London hospitals to a halt.

The terrorists, representing an organisation calling itself "Microsoft," apparently used insecure third-party contractors [today.com] to put a virus-running platform called "Exchange" into critical systems in the hospitals, in order to extort money from them on an annual basis.

It is understood that a large percentage of all businesses are infected with the virus, wasting up to 25% of employees' working time and opening the companies to further attacks from related criminal organisations demanding to see all their licenses.

The virus in question, W32.SHILL/ENDERLE, takes over the host's IT and office meeting booking systems, leading to aches, pains, nausea, vomiting, pumping out prodigious quantities of faeces and a terrible compulsion to spread the infection to others. The patient also walks with a shuddering stumble and asks for their hospital meal to include tasty, tasty brains. Recovery has commenced when they have an overwhelming urge to throw their computer out of the window. "Getting this stuff out of the system makes MRSA look like a walk in the park," said one cleaner, waving his shit-encrusted hands about for emphasis.

When the infection became known, ambulances were diverted to other hospitals. "We have maintained a safe environment for our patients throughout the incident," said a spokesman for Barts NHS Trust, "keeping them in the Clostridium difficile culturing lab rather than risking exposing them to 'Outlook.'"

striped? (1)

dj245 (732906) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587511)

JBOD support lets you concatenate disks rather than stripe them into a redundant array.'

Both of these options seem like terrible ideas to me if you care at all about your data.

Re:striped? (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587613)

Not if you're using DB level replication.

Re:striped? (0, Troll)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588169)

DB level replication does nothing about discs failing. Great you can go to another box, that probably has replicated the errors that failing drive introduced on its way out.

Re:striped? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587713)

What I find curious about that statement is that it seems to imply that JBOD support is an application level feature, rather than being handled by the OS or disk controller hardware. Am I missing something, or has Exchange started to gobble up OS functions now?

Re:striped? (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587903)

since exchange 2000 - it has replaced part of the file system i/o handeling in windows (for preformance reasons) i can only assume it is getting worse.

Re:striped? (3, Funny)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587995)

Am I missing something, or has Exchange started to gobble up OS functions now?

You must be new to Microsoft products.

Re:striped? (3, Funny)

Scott Scott (1531645) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587877)

Frankly, nearly every option I have ever heard containing the phrase "with Windows Server" has been a terrible idea.

It Figures (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27587515)

No doubt this incarnation of Exchange will break the MAPI support that Evolution has been working on ever since Exchange 2007 broke evo's OWA screen scraping. Linux will never be ready for the desktop when we still have to run Windows just to *effectively* use our corporate email systems.

Re:It Figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27588399)

...

Good idea. Blame the company making the server you're favorite client can't keep up with. ...or you could just create an OSS version of exchange server.

Isn't that one of the major benefits of OSS? (or is it just another excuse for you to whine about commercial software?)

Blah (2, Insightful)

slaker (53818) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587551)

I kind of like it when my mail server is, you know, just a mail server. Call me a nut but SMTP + IMAP do everything I need.

Re:Blah (5, Informative)

alen (225700) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587605)

there are these entities called corporations/companies. they are required to follow a lot of laws and in some cases retain all communications for many years. Exchange makes this easy because it centralizes everything for easier management.

2010 looks more like 2007 R2. Same engine but more features and support for it's new ActiveSync partners, Google and Apple.

the archiving and legal features look nice. right now you have to buy add on products from EMC and other companies. Integrating the SOX features into Exchange will save customers a lot of money.

Re:Blah (2, Interesting)

ender81b (520454) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587827)

The archiving feature alone really fixes a gap in Exchange server. Say what you will, but it's ridiculous that it doesn't have any archiving abilities (and no, localto workstation archiving doesn't count) that even remotely compare to notes.

Re:Blah (3, Informative)

TheCabal (215908) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588229)

Exchange has had support for mailbox journaling for a while now. It's not a new feature. Maybe in 2010, they just prettied up the process.

Re:Blah (2, Informative)

ender81b (520454) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588299)

Mailbox journaling is not archiving.

Here is what most people mean by archiving. On notes (and now exchange) there's a server side policy/program that runs and moves mail that meets a defined criteria (say.. mail that is over 6 months old) and copies them to a new mail file. The user's can then access their archive from inside the client or via the web by clicking on a link or something and it takes them right to it.

It's really nice from a system administration perspective as it keeps mail file sizes down (increasing performance) on your main servers and you can use a series of low cost/lots of disk space servers as archiving servers as most people will only go into their archive once or twice a year so the load is very low.

Re:Blah (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587895)

there are these entities called corporations/companies. they are required to follow a lot of laws and in some cases retain all communications for many years. Exchange makes this easy because it centralizes everything for easier management.

So does a server with SMTP+POP+IMAP+Jabber.

SOX requires you to disclose certain things, and to have policies in place to allow you to disclose certain other things on demand. In terms of SOX compliance, there are no serious barriers in your way when rolling a solution from FoSS; indeed, such a solution is provided for you turnkey if you like, by purchasing it from Red Hat or perhaps from IBM.

Re:Blah (1)

alen (225700) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588001)

do the FOSS solutions include failover, replication, archiving, integration with your company's telephone system and a long list of other features?

say you are a 5000 person company and NYC loses electricity again and you have 3000 people in other states that still need to work. with exchange 2007 and later you replicate your mail to a standby server.

It's like the IPhone. the basic parts of a phone are mature like calling, address book, voice mail, etc. it's the apps that make the iphone a killer phone

same thing with exchange. email, calendar and other features are mature. it's features like replicating your email to another city for failover that are killer features now. along with archiving and other legal requirements that are built into the box

if there is a disaster than POP and IMAP are useless and can result in lost data. today if you have a failover you can just check your email on your phone if your PC loses power

Re:Blah (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588033)

do the FOSS solutions include failover, replication, archiving, integration with your company's telephone system and a long list of other features?

Yes.

if there is a disaster than POP and IMAP are useless and can result in lost data.

If there is a disaster, you're fucked, because you're stupid. POP and IMAP are protocols. Bad implementations lead to lost data.

Re:Blah (1)

alen (225700) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588099)

so which FOSS solution includes all the legal features, DR, and mobile functionality? with Exchange you just point your phone or blackberry to your mailbox and you've got mail. someone loses his phone, you just wipe it remotely over the cell phone network

Re:Blah (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588277)

What cell phon that supports exchange doesn't include a web browser to get to a webmail account?

Re:Blah (1)

ender81b (520454) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588345)

Because using the web on a cell phone is SO EASY compared to a built in messaging/calendaring application.

Re:Blah (1)

Super_Z (756391) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588327)

OSS solutions like Zimbra, eGroupware, Open-Xchange, SOGo and Citadel all do most of the stuff Exchange does (except the MAPI part). AFAIK none of them has built-in site failover functionality but most of them support a HA setup.

Re:Blah (1)

TheOtherChimeraTwin (697085) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588503)

do the FOSS solutions include failover, replication, archiving, integration with your company's telephone system and a long list of other features?

Exchange doesn't do those things. At best, it has features that you would find useful in creating a complete solution. Just like FOSS. Either way, it takes a lot of hard work and expense to create a solid system that includes comprehensive DR.

Re:Blah (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27588463)

This kind of misses the point. In many cases of Microsoft products, you could weave and configure together a bunch of FOSS applications to do the same thing. But then you'd have a custom solution that only your now-very-valuable admin understands. On the other hand, Exchange is a one stop shop for all this stuff, and the admins are pretty much interchangeable, since the product is the same.

Mail servers for large corporations are not just, well, mail servers. For a 200 person shop, full Exchange is definitely overkill (which is why there's multiple versions you can buy). For a 300K person company, it worth the cost.

Re:Blah (4, Insightful)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587677)

Yeah, but you're not a large corporation. Exchange does all kinds of crazy shit that's nice to have in a very large environment. Calendaring, extreme scalability, integration with other systems, mobile messaging integration, spam filtering, encryption support, voicemail integration, auditing compliance. etc... and etc... and etc...

Exchange does a _whole_ lot of shit and integrates with other products that do a whole lot of other shit.

So if you have 50 employees and 40 computers, Exchange might be overkill. If you have 40,000 employees, it might be exactly what you need.

Re:Blah (4, Insightful)

adarn (582480) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587851)

People underestimate how important Exchange is.

The argument is always how Office is the real lynchpin and that if only a compatible document suite like Google docs or OpenOffice got a foothold Microsoft would be crushed but Outlook/Exchange is the REAL barrier to entry.

I work at a call center. EVERY corporate employee who calls me is using Outlook except the 1% of poor souls stuck with Lotus Notes and Domino.

Business relies on Outlook/Exchange.

Re:Blah (1)

roe-roe (930889) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587913)

There are many products that fall under the "groupware" environment that are more standards compliant and easier to maintain than MS exchange. Exchange has long flouted many mail standards, locked you into using Outlook, and among other things is a bear to maintain on a large scale. The unix philosophy of "do one thing and do it will" can, and does, work well to achieve the same functionality:

LDAP for addressbooks
Choose your own IMAP server
Choose your own MTA
Choose your content scanner
Choose your webmail package
Choose your calendar server
(do I need to continue?)

While I admit calendaring is a little shaky as of right now. Things in this arena have been changing drastically over the past 1 to 2 years. Looking at packages like lightning and chandler for clients, and davical, cosmo, Apple iCal server and others. There is a very powerful product that I have not explored yet that does bring all these pieces together called SOgo (Scalable Open Groupware). These options are not perfect but do follow standards and are easier to fit into your work process.

Re:Blah (1)

Super_Z (756391) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588101)

As an aside, Companies that want extreme scalability go for products like Sun JES, CriticalPath Memova or simply Postfix/Cyrus/Apache/WebDAV. When you pass 500.000 users, you dont want a server that does "all kinds of crazy shit" - you want something that is rugged and easy to debug :-)

ever used a calender? (1)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588201)

I get an invite for a meeting and click "accept". (first and only mouseclick) It auto-syncs to my phone and 15 mins before the meeting, I get reminded of topic and room number. Ever tried that with SMTP?
Most big corporations will pump their outgoing mail through a real SMTP server before letting it loose on the net, and use a real SMTP to filter the incomming turdstream before it is allowed to hit Exchange though. And as far as standard complience goes, well I can send and receive VCards and VCals in Outlook/Exchange, try THAT in GMAIL...

Re:ever used a calender? (3, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588267)

I'm fairly sure OpenGroupware.org (or, SOGO, at least) supports everything you've described, and does so via open protocols like CalDAV, IMAP, SMTP, LDAP, and so on.

Re:ever used a calender? (2, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588591)

Exchange has evolved a lot. Take Exchange 2007 for example. On an internet-facing server, it is quite easy to enable anti-spam rules. Even better, they get updated weekly directly from MS. You can also add your favorite antivirus utility (you will end up paying "enterprise prices for it) to scan incoming and outgoing mail for CYA reasons. You also can add server to server connectors between companies so E-mail between your company and a customer never touches the Internet in the clear.

There is one thing I do wish Exchange 2007 had built in, and that would be some sort of application level backup mechanism for mailboxes. As of now, if you want to back up users, you will need to spring for a third party utility such as Backup Exec, Retrospect, or Microsoft's own Data Protection Manager.

Maybe the suggestion of making the backend of Exchange a SQL Server database is a good one. This way, mailboxes can be handled with the ton of DB tools available.

Get off my lawn! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27588329)

Everyone should use PINE to read email and lynx to browse the web.

Of course, real men just telnet to the port and issue commands directly, then base64 decode the results in their head.

In all seriousness though, if all you want is e-mail and you're not managing thousands of users then exchange is overkill.
Exchange only gets sexy when you team it with outlook and use the more advanced features.

But does it run... (2, Funny)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587581)

Oh nevermind :-)

Re:But does it run... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27587859)

Let me guess... Windows? :)

Spam To Be Canned By 2006 (2, Funny)

gregg (42218) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587589)

No mention of junk mail in the article. I'm still waiting for Bill to deliver on his promise of a 'spam free world.'

Re:Spam To Be Canned By 2006 (2, Interesting)

theSpitzer (1504349) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588193)

Get yourself a barracuda or two. I know our College's barracudas blocked 12 million emails last year and only let 2.5 million (ideally, legit ones) through. And we STILL get spam in our inboxefrom time-to-time. Awfully hard to catch when they embed their garbage in images as opposed to text.

Re:Spam To Be Canned By 2006 (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588303)

Yup, they're great. Email to my editor with my latest article? Clearly spam - in the bin with it. Another email from a journal telling me a paper had been accepted? Spam, throw it away.

If your recipient is using Barracuda, send them an IM to let them know you've got an email, just to be on the safe side.

Worthless review... (2, Insightful)

iamhigh (1252742) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587717)

His first point is you can use it with FF and Safari. Nice, but not a really big deal to most admins.

Then his second favorite feature is that you can do database level real time replication - you know, without having to know about all that REALLY hard stuff, like RAID, or what this SCSI crap is, or backups.

Re:Worthless review... (5, Insightful)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588323)

His first point is you can use it with FF and Safari. Nice, but not a really big deal to most admins.

For sysadmins who want their users to stick with Firefox or something else not named Internet Explorer, an improvement to OWA may not be a huge deal but it's still nice. OWA on alternative browsers blows pretty hard. It works, but it blows.

Re:Worthless review... (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588471)

RAID isn't replication, and it isn't backups. SCSI is just an interface for talking to disks. You really need something at a higher level to be able to get true replication. Backups can be it, but you need to be sure that you get a consistent image of the DB. If you just naively copy bytes, it's very easy to not get this. If you just naively lock the file while you back up, you kill Exchange. Doing something that isn't one of those things either needs COW support from the OS or it needs cooperation from the actual application (Exchange).

Exmerge (1)

Kyn (539206) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587729)

But does it have Exmerge? Command lines are nice and all, but the biggest feature we miss as a small/medium sized business is the Exmerge utility.

Re:Exmerge (2, Informative)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588063)

Exmerge has been depreciated for years, primarily due to it not supporting the new PST formats.

In keeping with Exchange 2007's newfound love of PowerShell, you should use the Export-Mailbox [microsoft.com] and Import-Mailbox [microsoft.com] cmdlets to replace Exmerge.

Re:Exmerge (1)

Kyn (539206) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588309)

Yeah, that's what we do. However, we really miss the Exmerge GUI which let us see folder sizes and easily only export certain date ranges.

non-outbreak client support? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27587755)

Wake me when they release some kind of server-end support for clients like thunderbird/sunbird, evolution, etc. It shouldnt be the job of a major project like that to reverse-engineer MS's garbage.

Or just publish the specs and comply to the related standards... but let's not ask for the moon AND the stars, eh?

Re:non-outbreak client support? (3, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588111)

Just enable IMAP support on the Exchange server, and it will work with any IMAP email client.

Re:non-outbreak client support? (1)

ender- (42944) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588447)

Just enable IMAP support on the Exchange server, and it will work with any IMAP email client.

Until you get a couple thousand emails in your mailbox. Then Exchange's IMAP server gets ugly and useless. At least that's been my experience.

so we're (2, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587801)

bundling the operating system? thats what it sounds like if the OS is a requirement....bad move on the part of redmond to make this mandatory in a recession.

this is the part where customers ask the question: if linux users dont have to install a new OS to get the latest mailserver/groupware...why the hell do i???

Re:so we're (2, Insightful)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588103)

If you want what Microsoft offers, you have to play by their rules. If the product is good and the rules are not onerous, then there's no problem. Proprietary software, despite its drawbacks, has been a useful and successful means for delivering value for over 50 years.

On the other hand, if the product is lacking and/or the rules are onerous, then you need to go with another vendor.

As much as I love a chance to bash Microsoft, I really don't see this as being an "onerous" requirement, especially since it probably helps the poor schmoes who have to write and maintain the code (although that would certainly have been much more compelling when the likes of Windows 9x was the OS no longer being supported), which hopefully means more stable and robust software.

If you are looking at the expense and effort to use Exchange, I imagine dropping another thousand (or whatever a Windows Server license costs these days) to upgrade the OS is pocket change in comparison to the Exchange licensing and dedicated hardware and support personnel you need to run the thing. We're not talking Office or IE here... or even SQL Server.

Re:so we're (1)

mweather (1089505) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588379)

I imagine dropping another thousand (or whatever a Windows Server license costs these days) to upgrade the OS is pocket change in comparison to the Exchange licensing and dedicated hardware and support personnel you need to run the thing.

Sure, if training your employees on the new OS were free.

OWA Support for Firefox and Safari (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587831)

Finally. Sheesh. No reason why this couldn't have been implemented years ago instead of relegating them to OWA Lite.

Re:OWA Support for Firefox and Safari (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587935)

I saw OWA when it first came out. It was built with ActiveX. So there couldn't be FF or Safari support until it was completely rewritten. And then I'm sure there were compatibility issues as they focused on IE 6 support and less on standards.

Re:OWA Support for Firefox and Safari (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587937)

Finally. Sheesh. No reason why this couldn't have been implemented years ago instead of relegating them to OWA Lite.

Yeah, no reason except that it's just one more reason why your desktops don't have to run Windows...

Re:OWA Support for Firefox and Safari (2, Insightful)

FunkyELF (609131) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588027)

I use OWA with FireFox on Linux.
Its not all that rich but it works just fine. Don't know what this is all about.
Are they going to make the experience the same for both IE and FireFox?

Re:OWA Support for Firefox and Safari (2, Informative)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588203)

The FF experience sucks in comparison to IE. The OWA experience is almost exactly like the application itself when you're using IE. In FF it's more like a bad version of Gmail. Sadly I'm forced to use IE for my banking and for OWA. That's it. I'm actually excited to see FF support coming down the road.

Re:OWA Support for Firefox and Safari (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588499)

That was my point. FF and what not always worked, just in a way that was a significantly degraded workspace experience.

Decent OWA?! (3, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587857)

Wow, it's kind of hard to believe, but there's actually something in this update that sounds like it'd be helpful. I think it's the first update to a Microsoft product in... I don't know... about 8-9 years where the update actually offers me something new that would actually be useful for me.

For those who don't already know, the webmail that is built in to Exchange is actually fairly good, and is one of the early web applications to actually use something like AJAX to give you the feeling of using a desktop application. The only problem is that it has only ever really supported IE, and if you use any other browser, it reverted to a crappy version which was... ok. Not really very good, but yes, it worked.

Anyway, it's possible that I may consider buying an upgrade someday!

Re:Decent OWA?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27587997)

IETab plugin in firefox filled that gap for me. I *hate* the crappy OWA version that non IE browser are forced to use. Luckly IEtab makes it so you can use IE inside firefox for specific webpages.

It works great for the two pages I like better in IE (sharepoint and OWA)

Re:Decent OWA?! (2, Informative)

et764 (837202) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588559)

For those who don't already know, the webmail that is built in to Exchange is actually fairly good, and is one of the early web applications to actually use something like AJAX to give you the feeling of using a desktop application.

I think OWA (or whatever it was called at the time) was actually the first AJAX application. A while back, I was talking with someone from the Exchange team, and he said the team developed the XmlHttpRequest object that makes AJAX possible for the purposes of making OWA.

Unfortunately for Microsoft, no one really noticed until Google made GMail.

Will it work nicely with Thunderbird? (2, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587879)

Exchange Server 2007 gave the bird to Thunderbird. Will Server 2010 support Thunderbird or Seamonkey? Or will Linux desktops be second class citizens in an Exchange Server corporate setup?

That's the only feature of interest to me...

Re:Will it work nicely with Thunderbird? (2, Informative)

ejdmoo (193585) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587945)

Exchange works great with IMAP, even if it doesn't exactly follow the delete/expunge model of deletion (but then again, neither does Gmail).

I've used Thunderbird with Exchange 2007 with no problems.

Re:Will it work nicely with Thunderbird? (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588087)

I've used Thunderbird with Exchange 2007 with no problems.

I don't believe this. With Thunderbird, Exchange 2007 simply refuses to work at all. The reason I tried using Thunderbird was to compose HTML mail on Linux desktops, and it was a miserable failure. OWA Lite is a very poor buggy cousin of OWA which works even on IE6, but not on FF3!

Re:Will it work nicely with Thunderbird? (3, Insightful)

ejdmoo (193585) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588181)

Perhaps IMAP was not enabled in that Exchange setup...it definitely works, though.

However, to answer your original problem (Firefox and HTML mail), Exchange 2010 does support Firefox (and Safari) using all the features of OWA that IE does, including HTML mail compose.

Re:Will it work nicely with Thunderbird? (3, Insightful)

bunratty (545641) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588039)

Exchange works with any IMAP email client, but the email admins need to manually enable IMAP on the Exchange server. The question I ask is, "Will Thunderbird 4 or SeaMonkey 3 support Exchange's default MAPI protocol?" That way, Mozilla email clients can work with any Exchange server. Then individual users can easily migrate away from Outlook without the prior consent of the email admins.

Re:Will it work nicely with Thunderbird? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588139)

When MS publishes the whole MAPI spec in a useful way they will.

Re:Will it work nicely with Thunderbird? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588149)

maybe the old MAPI versions. every product cycle MS improves MAPI and adds more features

Re:Will it work nicely with Thunderbird? (0)

jkrise (535370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588209)

Exchange works with any IMAP email client, but the email admins need to manually enable IMAP on the Exchange server.

This has to be done on a per-mailbox basis and cannot be done system-wide. But even if IMAP is enabled, Exchange 2007 breaks with Thunderbird, but works well with Outlook Express however. It does indeed appear that Thunderbird was broken beyond repair with 2007.

The question I ask is, "Will Thunderbird 4 or SeaMonkey 3 support Exchange's default MAPI protocol?" That way, Mozilla email clients can work with any Exchange server.

MAPI is a proprietary API and it is nonsensical to expect Mozilla to support MAPI. It is like asking Blender to move away from OGL to work with the Direct X 10 quicksand. Working with proprietary protocols has never benefitted the users, and keeps them fragmented and divided for ever. It will soon resemble the messy multiple .doc and .docx saga we are seeing with Office. Which MAPI will Mozilla support? What if the API changes without notice, in a Service Pack, breaking it yet again.... the worls is better off supoporting IMAP than MAPI.

Re:Will it work nicely with Thunderbird? (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588411)

Evolution supports MAPI. I suppose you can be an idealist and say that FOSS should not support proprietary protocols, but in my opinion that policy just drives users away from FOSS products. I also think it's good that OpenOffice can open .docx documents. It would be the death of OpenOffice if it couldn't.

Concatenation a feature?!?! (1)

Fishbulb (32296) | more than 5 years ago | (#27587953)

JBOD support lets you concatenate disks rather than stripe them into a redundant array

Uh, WHAT!? Seriously, Microsoft? You're selling concatenation as a feature?

Anyone who thinks concatenation is a good thing, much less better than striping, needs to have whatever certifications they bought revoked.

Re:Concatenation a feature?!?! (2, Interesting)

TopSpin (753) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588161)

Anyone who thinks concatenation is a good thing, much less better than striping...

Concatenation, by itself, would certainly be unwise. I'll give Exchange admins the benefit of the doubt and assume this "concatenation" is in addition to whatever redundancy features are provided.

From the story:

JBOD support lets you concatenate disks rather than stripe them into a redundant array

I find that statement confusing. Why is Exchange, a mail server/collaboration platform/etc., managing storage devices? Is the story conflating Windows Server 2008 features with Exchange, or is Exchange directly responsible for storage devices (like Oracle ASM)?

Re:Concatenation a feature?!?! (1)

Scott Scott (1531645) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588177)

Uh, WHAT!? Seriously, Microsoft? You're selling concatenation as a feature?.

You seem surprised. Did you entirely miss the release of Vista or something?

Re:Concatenation a feature?!?! (3, Insightful)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588311)

You misread... That's for the REPLICATED copy. i.e. You keep your live database on RAID 1/0, but you keep the realtime replicated copy on JBOD. With EXCH 2007 microsoft began (for very good reasons) recomending DAS instead of SAN (due to application and database high availablility features of Exchange 2007). Now, half of your DAS modular array units don't require expensive controllers, further reducing your costs without detracting from availability. Since the server fron end no longer needs to be a microsoft Cluster as well, Enterprise Server is no longer a requirement either.

We recently deployed a 20K user solution under Exch2007. We lobied for a modular extensible DAS storage solution, but instead upper management insisted on big iron SAN chassis (2 of them). We spent $450K on disks where we could have spent less than 100K and had the same performance and reliability simply because upper management (and apparently you) have not read or do not understand the new database architecture proposed in Exchange 2007. 2010 improves upon that by removing some server side hurdles while maintaining the same data reliablity.

You're keeping 2-3 local, active, asynchronously replicated (with real time log rollback) copies of your exchange system, with 30 second or less automatic failover that does not disconnect users in the process. Why keep them all on RAID 10 if you can simply fail from one over to the other? The only reason to keep any 1 of them on RAID 10 is simply to keep from failing over the first time! (and you'll recover and be back on the RAID 10 in 24-48 hours and you still have redundancy in log shipping, offsite server replication, and traditional backups to supplement that, all without clusters!

Cool feature: Phone call rules (3, Funny)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588091)

You can setup rules for phone calls. Freaking awesome.


if (Status == b0rking_hot_secretary)
{
    if (caller.phonenumber == contacts.wife.phonenumber)
        call.redirect("/dev/null");
    else if (caller.phonenumber == contacts.otherHotSecretary.phoneumber)
        Send3WayInvite(caller);
}

But in all seriousness, it'll be nice to have a rule that auto-directs calls to my cell when I'm out of the office.

   

Re:Cool feature: Phone call rules (1)

Windowser (191974) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588409)

But in all seriousness, it'll be nice to have a rule that auto-directs calls to my cell when I'm out of the office.

You can do that with Asterisk [nerdvittles.com] and some imagination

Horrible Application Platform (2, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588115)

I joined an MS consultancy in 1998 because they were supposedly the foremost developers in NYC of MS Exchange applications. Once I settled in, they told me they were expert enough in Exchange as a platform to know never to develop any apps on it, because it was so awful to develop for and to support. A piece of crap. I've never seen any evidence since then that Exchange got any better as an app platform.

Any clue as to whether the 2010 version will be any better? If it were, I'd expect Outlook/Exchange to take over the Internet. But that was possible over a decade ago, and MS totally blew it since then.

Re:Horrible Application Platform (2, Informative)

TheCabal (215908) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588291)

Big difference between Exchange 5 and Exchange of today. I've had issues with Exchange 5.5 servers and their quirkiness. I've also been running Exchange 2003 clusters that have been absolutely rock solid and almost completely bulletproof.

Re:Horrible Application Platform (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588367)

I'm not talking about their stability in their "out of the box" featureset operation. I'm talking about APIs, programmability, etc, as an app platform. I don't see many Exchange apps built on an Exchange platform, so I'm guessing everyone realized it wasn't really an app platform, despite MS pitching it to developers that way.

MAPI/CDO (2, Interesting)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588189)

These were depreciated in Exchange07, and I'm presuming that they're still depreciated, but not altogether gone (in 07 you had to install them manually).

There's still a lot (okay, well, some) that depends on MAPI and CDO being available in Exchange.

Depreciation (2, Funny)

Petersko (564140) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588485)

"These were depreciated in Exchange07, and I'm presuming that they're still depreciated...i>

Yeah, I hear MAPI and CDO lose 40% of their value the first time you use them. Never treat them as an investment.

Re:MAPI/CDO (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 5 years ago | (#27588515)

Just because you have to manually install does not mean Microsoft has deprecated it.
Starting with recent products they are now taking the stance of just installing the very basic items by default and if you want anything else you have to install it.

This is why I love slashdot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27588243)

Man Exchange is AWESOME! The only thing I love more is Lotus Notes.

Thanks, slashdot, for bringing this important and interesting update to my attention. Truly, news for nerds, stuff that matters.

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