ExchangeLabs Surpasses 1.5M Mailboxes on Exchange 14

Microsoft posted a job description on November 4 that sheds more light on its ExchangeLabs infrastructure than has previously been publicly released.

ExchangeLabs is Microsoft's way of testing "the next version of Exchange in high-scale services environments." To date, customers on the infrastructure are restricted to academic institutions with .edu domains. According to the posting, Microsoft has more than 1.5 million mailboxes hosted on ExchangeLabs today.

Standard end-user accounts come with 5GB of mailbox quota, which presumably means that Microsoft has allocated more than 7,500,000GB (7.5 petabytes) of storage for these users. According to the posting, Microsoft has been focused on "web-based management, integration with Live for provisioning and authentication, role-based management for administrators and end users, and seamless transition between on-premise Exchange deployments and hosted environments." And the posting also claims that Exchange "14" (code name for the next version of Exchange, which ExchangeLabs is running on) will provide the "first datacenter-ready web-management UI on top of Powershell."

Given Microsoft's $1.9B/year Exchange Server revenue stream, it is no surprise that Microsoft is investing heavily in SaaS -- what some are now confusingly calling "cloud computing." Microsoft is in a high-stakes battle over who will dominate the shift to SaaS.

Whatever way you look at it, there has never been a release of Microsoft Exchange with anywhere even close to 1.5M users running on preproduction code this early in the product lifecycle. And this number will undoubtedly increase substantially by the time Exchange "14" ships. Microsoft is clearly bent on winning this race; on the face of it, the numbers so far are impressive.

... David Sengupta

One Comment

  1. Mike Dodson
    Posted November 24, 2008 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

    Indeed, uncharted territory for a version of Exchange which is this early. Now for some nit-picking…

    Storage is normally over-subscribed so although they have the “potential” for using 7.5 petabytes, it’s unlikely they actually have that much storage sitting there waiting to be used.

    SaaS and Cloud Computing are two different things. Where do you see people mixing them up?

  2. Posted April 4, 2009 at 3:23 AM | Permalink

    Hi Terry – Correct, Exchange Labs is running on pre-release code for E14. Microsoft has now publicly stated that they are over 3.5M seats and growing fast.

    Will be interesting to see how many production users they have on E14 by the time they RTM. Will be an unprecedented number of users for launch time.


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