Monday, April 26, 2010

Upgrading to Exchange 2010

As soon as a new version of Microsoft Exchange comes along, there would be an immediate clamour for an upgrade/migrate request from customers. "Save us from Exchange 2007" they said (probably hoping that Exchange 2010 will be less PowerShell-centric; tough luck).

Its a very typical scenario here in Malaysia as we have assimilated the kiasu-ness that we have only just recently abhored and stuck our tongues at. Thankfully Microsoft have a clear migrate path for 2007 users.
Not so straightforward for 2003 and below users; or for people still stuck with Windows 2003 Server systems.
And realy vague on migration from non-Exchange platforms like Lotus Notes, IMAP/POP3 systems and yuck: Oracle Collaboration Suite :(

Let me be frank. Exchange 2010 is a pretty damn good software; cutting-edge. Better than 2007 and waaaaaayyyy better than 2003 or for that matter 5.5. But do you really need the functionalities that it has to offer or you just need the prestige (and bragging rights on who's running 64bit and who's not)?

- Consolidating MAPI access on CAS roles rather than on Mailbox role servers in 2007 (Public Folders are still accessed directly on Mailbox roles; onus for Sharepoint upgrade path).
- 2 server + 1 load-balancer makes a fully (single-site) redundant system.
- Database Availability Groups replacing the messy Cluster groups (however, there is still an IP resource cluster required for 2010)
- Consolidating CCR and SCR with DAG simplifies failover scenarios. Inter-server or inter-site ? DAG supports it.
- Advent of EWS Managed API which extends Exchange related tasks into PowerShell scripts which works with 2007 SP1 too :)
- Among other performance and database related capabilities.

In my next posts, I would be detailing a more intimate going-ons on the migration works relevant to Exchange 2010.

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