Exchange 14 Addresses Storage Management

Our sources tell us that the next version of Microsoft Exchange, “Exchange 14,” will have major improvements to its storage management.

One of Exchange’s biggest problems is that the mailboxes are often now large–1 or 2 GB or more. This translates to poor performance and backups that take too long.

Two key technologies will be used to support large mailboxes:

  • Low-cost, high-capacity SATA disk drives. These new high-capacity disks are perfect for storing email long term, except that their performance is lacking compared to the high-performance SCSI disks that Exchange typically uses.
  • Storage tiers. Under policy management, Exchange can move email based on age and size to a second tier of storage, while maintaining mailbox consistency.

Can anyone contribute further information? If you want anonymity, email david.ferris@ferris.com.

Bob Spurzem

One Comment

  1. Posted February 16, 2009 at 10:51 PM | Permalink

    I liked your comments about Exchange storage. I hope that the next version of Exchange can truly manage large mailboxes and a tiered storage approach makes a lot of sense.

    Two additional areas of Exchange that I want to comment on are retention and discovery.

    First, regarding email retention, recall that Exchange 2007 introduced new Managed Folders for retention, but the user could easily move email out of the managed folder; thereby, making the feature for all purposes useless. I do not foresee that this situation will change in Exchange 14; but who knows, maybe the engineers will see the value in making retention tamperproof.

    And secondly, regarding email discovery I do not believe Exchange 14 will make major enhancements to search, but it will continue to provide basic full-text search tools. Customers who require a rich, full email discovery solution will continue to be served by 3rd-party applications.

  2. Posted February 18, 2009 at 4:55 PM | Permalink

    I second what Bob said!
    Microsoft has all the technology to do archiving in their portfolio: Bitvault and MS Storage Server, FAST Indexing, Sharepoint for future legal workflows, etc.
    But I seriously doubt they’ll be able to put this all into one consistent system that fulfills more than just basic needs.

    Probably there will be customers pulling PST content back into Exchange, but at some point they’ll need to properly manage, index and discover the data.

    Apart from the technical side, I would rather consider the market impact of this happening. If MS takes on storage management for smaller accounts, there will be quite a few victims in the SMB archiving space. Some vendors will definitely vanish, especially the European ones that have less focus on discovery and made their money with PST migration projects.

    I can only highlight how important a decent installed base of larger accounts is for the long-term availability of any archiving solution. If you plan to buy an archiving product soon, make sure you choose a market leader: After Exchange 14 there is no way that 50+ solutions will still be actively developed. Ever migrated an archive? No fun!

    Daniel

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