Some Exchange news this week, reasonably big news!
Firstly on Wednesday NZ time at the IT Forum in Spain it was announced that Exchange "12", which should RTM next year will be x64 only. This is significant for Exchange and for the wider market especially the x64 ecosystem - its about time for x64 to go mainstream.
From the PR: "Microsoft® Exchange Server “12,” Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003, Windows Server™ “Longhorn” Small Business Server, and Microsoft’s infrastructure solution for midsize businesses, code-named “Centro,” will be exclusively 64-bit and optimized for x64 hardware. In a future update release to Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Server “Longhorn” operating system, code-named Windows Server “Longhorn” R2, customers will see the complete transition to 64-bit-only hardware, while still benefiting from 32-bit and 64-bit application compatibility."
64bit Exchange will have significant performance benefits. By taking advantage of the additional memory available on x64-based systems, E12 is able to reduce the IOs per second which results in performance gains. Internal testing has shown nearly a 75% reduction in IOs per second versus Exchange 2003. What this means is that we can support nearly 4X the number of users on the same disks or require 1/4 the disks to support the same users from a throughput perspective. This reduction is important since it will proportionately decrease the investment in storage which accounts for ~80% of the capital cost of Mailbox servers. So we can have larger inboxes, more storage and less Servers.
For trial & beta purposes, there will be both a 32 bit and 64 bit version of Exchange 12. Its also useful to note that when you're upgrading to 64bit Exchange 12 you won't need to upgrade your global catalog servers to 64 bit as well. It's a good idea to do the upgrade though and take advantage of the massive IO reduction. And as E12 will support mixed 32 bit and 64 bit environments including 'legacy' Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2000 servers. You can also connect to either 32 bit or 64-bit Outlook.
Next we've put up a Channel 9 video interview and First Look at Exchange 12 up on http://channel9.msdn.com/Showpost.aspx?postid=137234 some great info on Exchange 12, particularly OWA (which really was the first AJAX app back in the Exchange 2000 days)
Lastly Exchange 2003 has been awarded Common Criteria Certification EAL 4.
The Microsoft commitment to Security is directly reflected in the successful effort to design Exchange Server 2003 to meet and exceed the EAL4 security requirements specified for commercially available systems.
For additional information see -
The main public web page is at https://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/2003/e2k3cc.mspx Top story on Exchange public website, http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/default.mspx Highlighted on Exchange technical center, http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/default.mspx Exchange 2003 product evaluation site, http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/2003/pe.mspx Exchange 2003 security web site, http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/2003/security.mspx