Taking the Reins of MS Exchange
Oliver Rist, senior contributing editor for the InfoWorld magazine, published this excellent article about how Microsoft Exchange servers are currently positioned in the mail server market and what Microsoft is doing to keep on top of their competitors. He also writes about how you can manage an increasingly old and complex messaging environment with the help of third-party tools, all of this in order to add up missing functionalities to your aging mail server and let you postpone a costly upgrade to a more recent version of Exchange.
Guess who he interviewed to write this article? Me!
"While the range of tools and add-on functionality available for Exchange Server is broad, the next biggest concern for many Exchange managers is cost, especially for SMBs. That’s one reason many Exchange installations, even by Microsoft’s own calculations, still run Exchange Server 5.5. Third-party tools can add life to venerable Exchange installations, delaying the need to move to a new Exchange version and sometimes eliminating the need for an upgrade entirely.
“The migration cost [is] simply too high,” says Yan Fortin, senior network administrator at xxxxxx, a large commercial property management company. xxxxxx is still largely based on the Windows 2000 Server platform, so upgrading to Exchange 2003 means upgrading the entire server infrastructure to Windows 2003 Server to ensure reliability.
While biding his time, waiting for management to approve an upgrade, Fortin instead looks to beef up Exchange 2000’s functionality with third-party tools like GFI Software’s MailEssentials. “It’s a great tool,” he says. “It handles not only anti-spam duties (which aren’t native to Exchange 2000) but also does archiving, disclaimers, and more; and it does this all centrally, so I don’t have to run around to every client station. It gives us the reliability we need, but costs only a fraction of a whole platform upgrade.”
Using MailEssentials and a few other third-party tools allows Fortin not only to extend xxxxxx’s investment in Exchange 2000, but possibly to skip the expense of migrating to Exchange 2003. “It’s a long shot, because we almost never buy [the initial release] of any Microsoft product,” he says, but adds that if he can hang on until Exchange 12 Service Pack 1, a leapfrog from Exchange 2000 may be in the cards."Taking the Reins of MS Exchange (Full article)