Exchange 2010 Archiving: How Microsoft Sees It

Exchange 2010 archiving is not the solution to everyone's archiving needs, and it is wrong to suggest that Microsoft sees it as such. Here's our understanding of how Microsoft views the situation:

  • Long-term, Exchange should be largely independent of the types of storage it uses.
  • Long-term, Exchange stores should be of arbitrary size, without sacrificing performance.
  • About 80% of Exchange users don't have archiving. Microsoft's archiving will seek to address the (simpler) needs of this market for the foreseeable future.
  • Exchange archiving will gradually grow in sophistication. As it does, the market for third-party archiving solutions will slowly diminish.
  • However, there will probably be a long-term need for specialized archiving solutions from partners.
  • Short-term, Microsoft's archiving solution won't meet the needs of today's buyers of archiving, who have pressing storage management, compliance, and e-discovery problems that are best addressed by third-party tools.
  • Short-term, Microsoft's archiving solution will meet the needs of many new types of archiving buyers, who have lesser storage management, compliance, and e-discovery problems.

Storage management, and the need to keep Exchange stores as small as possible, is a very pressing, practical issue. Nevertheless, we are inclined to think that Microsoft is right to adopt the first two bullet points above. The company has worked hard, and continues to do so, to improve Exchange I/O and scalability. Major investments were made in E2007 and E2010 in this regard. In principle, it's clunky and undesirable to have to yank out message store content and put it into separate repositories, for the sake of performance.

... David Ferris

One Comment

  1. Martin
    Posted August 12, 2009 at 1:04 AM | Permalink

    It is nice to see that Microsoft is starting to clarify their positioning with this solution a little bit but leave out a few details.

    1. Exchange 2010 archiving isn’t free. You need the eCAL which is priced at 36 USD a mailbox and you need Office 2010. You’re probably out of luck with earlier versions of Outlook.
    2. Microsoft keeps saying they will grow in sophistication for archiving, but they forget that the archiving industry has long moved on beyond just serving Exchange. File System and SharePoint archiving is functionality that you should simply expect from an archiving solution. Since Exchange just serves .. Exchange .. it will never be able to create a solution that will be able to compete at that level and the gap will only get bigger as ‘business archives’ grow more sophisticated for pretty much the same price of an eCAL.
    3. They want to address the simpler needs of this market .. but later on say that their solution doesn’t even meet the most basic storage management, compliance and eDiscovery problems.

    Its not that I appreciate Microsoft’s attention to this industry as their interest really validates that this is a concern that many organizations face.

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment. To comment, first join our community.