Microsoft’s Exchange Solution Reviewed Program — Helps Evaluate Storage Tech

It can be hard to evaluate Exchange third-party storage technology. Microsoft has an interesting program that may be a help, but care is needed.

Microsoft Exchange has always had a lot of storage size and performance requirements. Customers have satisfied these requirements from a growing list of vendors who understand Exchange's demanding needs. The customer's ability to validate vendor claims or compare vendors against each other has been hampered due to the lack of consistent information about the vendors.

Microsoft is addressing this issue with its Exchange Solution Reviewed Program (ESRP). It consists of a standard set of tests that the vendor must use along with a standard set of items the vendor must document. Microsoft claims to ensure that the vendors use similar techniques and provide useful submissions. However, Microsoft makes this disclaimer:

Non-Microsoft providers are listed ... for your convenience only. The information has been furnished by the respective companies and has not been verified by Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranties or representations with regard to their products or services.

First launched in 2005, the program now has sufficient backing from vendors to make it useful. This validation process is not completely new for Microsoft. However, it is new for Exchange and is certainly something customers should look at, as long as they don't mistake the word "reviewed" to mean, well, reviewed.

...Josh Maher and Richi Jennings

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