Microsoft has made some big storage-related changes in Exchange Server 2010. Specifically, it's now easier to afford a high-availability Exchange infrastructure by using existing or inexpensive commodity hardware (SATA in some cases)—rather than expensive, new SAN devices, for example. So, what's the safest and most economical storage approach for the next generation of Exchange Server?
I recently spoke with Azaleos's Lee Dumas, a Microsoft Ranger and a leading Exchange authority outside of Microsoft. In the past, Dumas has written for Windows IT Pro about storage basics. We talked about how today's companies—stretched thin by the economy, or just looking for a more manageable approach to a highly complex back-end technology—can best handle the changes that Microsoft has made in Exchange 2010’s storage architecture.
"Exchange 2010 is the most stable version of Exchange yet," says Dumas, "but it comes with extra complexities. At a time when companies just want to lower their costs, that's a difficult pill to swallow. Yes, Exchange 2010 has made it possible to achieve lower-cost storage. Don't throw away your SAN! Microsoft is saying you can take advantage of that low-cost storage. But you still need management and alerting. The complexity is still there."
Azaleos is taking a unique approach to the challenge by offering a hybrid solution that's essentially a managed-service product. The data stays in-house, and management occurs from afar. The company's patented technology remotely monitors Exchange 2003, Exchange 2007, or Exchange 2010 wherever it resides, sending key data points to Azaleos's Network Operations Centers, where certified Exchange experts proactively manage the environment on a 24x7x365 basis. "Our software lets us manage data remotely," Dumas says. "Software sits on both sides. We've invested a lot in our operations team. We're all Azaleos employees; there's no outsourcing."
Azaleos offers a comprehensive, reliable set of remotely managed services for Exchange messaging, SharePoint Server, and Office Communications Server. Azaleos is offering four different Exchange 2010 storage configurations designed to decrease hardware costs and meet each organization’s unique business requirements. Depending on the configuration chosen and the type of infrastructure already in place, companies can reduce their deployment costs by up to 40% when migrating from Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2010, and even more when switching from Exchange 2003.
For more information, visit the Azaleos website.