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News from Tech-Ed 2004 Tuesday - Part 3

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I attended the session entitled: “General Session: Exchange Server Today and Tomorrow”.  Most of the presentation covered what was called the 9 most frequently asked questions.  I know that I don't get asked these questions that much, but that may explain why this session was a level 200 session.  There was some good content so I will share...

9.  How do I know that I can trust Exchange 2003?

  • Exchange worked with the Windows team and Office team tightly on this product.  It shows.  Just look at how well Outlook works with RPC over HTTPS and how much OWA looks like Outlook.
  • Microsoft constantly is running the newest code on their servers and updates them every week.  It is not released until it is done and ready.

8.  How can I better manage my infrastructure?

  • Backup and Restore (Snapshot  and Recovery Storage Groups)
    • Microsoft's internal IT has been able to restore 158 GB set of 5 databases in 2 minutes and 1 hour to play through the logs.
  • System Management
    • Enhanced ESM - Queues management
    • Exchange Management Pack for MOM in Exchange 2003 - Used to cost $795 now free.  Exchange is the biggest MOM customer

Service Pack 1:

  • In Testing got 99.975% uptime before RTM.
  • Updated tools for Exchange 5.5 Cross-site mailbox mailbox moves
  • RSG Wizard
  • VSS can now do differential or incremental snapshots
  • Easier RPC/HTTP setup and configuration

Separate SP1 Downloads:

  • Outlook Exchange Profile Update tool
  • OWA Web Admin tool
  • Enhanced Journaling (Compliance Support)
  • Management Pack Config Wizard
  • Domain Rename Fix-up (XDR-Fix-up)

Demo of RSG Wizard
Allows you to merge data or copy data.  Copying the data will create a folder with the name “Recovered Data (Date)“ that allows the end user to pull the items that were accidentally deleted.  Merge would be useful in a Dial-tone restore scenario.

7.  How can I effectively fight Junk email and Viruses with Exchange?

Exchange 2003  
 VSAPI 2.1
 Protocol Level Spam filtering

IMF
 Server side
 Based on SmartScreen Technology
 Examines and applies SCL (spam confidence level) rating
 Works with 3rd Party Solutions

Edge Services (2005)
 Email protection security at boundary of network
 Extensible Platform
Caller ID advertises in small XML blob in DNS and interprets if the sender is a legitimate address.

DEMO of IMF:
To set up IMF got to Global Settings in ESM / Message delivery properties
There you will see the IMF tab.  Here you set two places for SCL to be filtered.  One is at the server level to archive messages, the other is at what level to put message in the Junk Mail folder on the client.  At the server level on the gateway you will see a folder in the file system called “UCE Archive” where you can view the archived spam if you choose to archive it.  On the client level, if legitimate mail gets put in the Junk Mail folder, you can add the sender as a Contact or safe users list.
IMF is now available for all customers.  This was initially going to be available to Software Assurance customers only, but hey its security right?  All of us need this.

6.  Best way to deploy Exchange 2003?

  • Prepare well
    • Download documentation
    • Evaluate possible partners
    • Do technical review to assess infrastructure impact
    • Design AD together with Exchange and plan deployment
    • Test migration scenario
  • Deploy Correctly
    • Deploy AD
    • Upgrade to SP3 and SP1 (then move mailboxes)
    • Upgrade Supporting infrastructure and incorporate new technologies

5.  Does Active Directory add any value?

Top benefits according to customers:
   Centralized, streamlined network management
   Tighter user account security and single sign-on
   Centralized directory and Exchange integration

Overall 94% of customers are satisfied with AD

K2 Sports reduced IT teams' workload by 50% with implementation of AD.

4.  How do I provide Cost effective communications and collaboration?

Exchange 2003 is part of the Windows Server System, which means that it is “Trustworthy, Familiar, Cost-effective.“

DEMO - Integration between Exchange and other servers
When you add new recipients to messages in Outlook you get smart-tags that pull information from various sources like AD, Free/busy, etc.
When you insert a document you have the option to insert it as a shared attachment on a SharePoint Server instead.
When you create a meeting request you can also create a meeting workspace on SharePoint Server as well.
Search capability SPS can search Public Folders.

3.  I'm a Lotus Customer: Should I consider Exchange?

Exchange has the best Outlook server and Office integration
Exchange easier to administrate and has a lower TCO than Notes/Domino
Best Application integration with Windows Server
Partners offer broad range of solutions on Windows Server System
SP1 has R6 Connector and Notes App Analyzer

2.  Who else is deploying Exchange 2003

Wragge and Company
Siemens
Ren Ci Hospital
Hyundai and Kia
Pacific Life Insurance

Top reasons:

  • Remote Access
  • OWA
  • Site server consolidation
  • Windows Server System ("better together")
  • Active Directory
  • System Stability

1.  Future Exchange Expectations?

Coming in 2005
Best practices analysis tools for Exchange
Edge Services

Future
Enhanced calendaring
Email lifecycle management
Enhanced mobility
Enhanced security and anti-spam
Improved TCO and manageability
Longhorn server support
64-bit
WSS Common engineering criteria
Web Services and Web Parts

Comments
  • Any ideas on what the enchanced calendaring is???

  • The only bullet item I had on that one was improved scheduling of resources.