Replication of Exchange Email Heats Up

A growing number of companies provide replication for Exchange message stores, such as HDS, EMC, Mimosa, Neverfail, McData, and Cemaphore Systems. This enables companies to provide site failover. Now Microsoft is entering the fray with a "log shipping" solution.

Storage vendors replicate database disks to an alternate storage array. Alternatively, software and storage switch vendors use file system filters to capture IO destined for the Exchange DB. This is then logged and transferred to an alternate system. Some software vendors have the ability to replicate email selectively through MAPI logins to mailboxes. In all cases, the data can be restored in the event of a disaster.

As we recently noted, Exchange 2007 will incorporate its own replication technology. Its limitations include passing on logical corruption and viruses, and the potential for losing the last transactions. The limitations can be enhanced or circumvented with some of the other established vendors on the market. Microsoft's official support for those vendors' solutions in the next release is still unclear.

... Josh Maher

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