April 3, 2007

In this Issue:

  • Perspective: Is Exchange Administration Getting Too Complex?
  • Book Review Exclusive: Tony Redmond's New Exchange 2007 Book!
  • New on the Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP Forum
  • March 2007 Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP Articles in PDF
  • Coming this Month

Perspective: Is Exchange Administration Getting Too Complex?

Every month, I hear from dozens of messaging vendors about the latest developments in their products. Their pitches essentially always boil down to this message: Our product or service will make an Exchange administrator's job easier. Some areas of messaging administration, most notably antivirus/antispam management, have gotten so complicated that outsourcing these tasks to a service provider such as Postini or AppRiver's SecureTide makes sense and is practically a necessity for small businesses with bare-bones IT staffs. Antispam/antivirus services are the most familiar example of a function that's being removed from the messaging administrator's domain, but they're by no means the only one. Companies such as Azaleos and MessageLabs, as well as those previously mentioned, provide managed email services, such as archiving, backup and recovery, and high availability in addition to security functions. Other vendors provide appliances and/or services to handle specialized tasks, such as archiving and retrieval and disaster recovery/high availability. A third class of Exchange-management product automates troubleshooting—presumably so you can spend time on all those other tasks (those that you haven't outsourced or automated, at least).

When I talk to these vendors, I always ask, "Who's the ideal customer for this product?" For the all-in-one services, the answer is often small-to-midsized businesses or branch offices. For the more specialized products, the answer varies, but the assumption behind such products is the same: Exchange administration is getting too complex for IT to handle. It's a given, of course, that a vendor will work to convince you that you have a need that only his or her product can fill. But is administering an Exchange environment really getting too complex? And how does managing your messaging environment—servers, clients, mobile devices, and users—compare with doing so, say, a year ago and then five years ago? Are the vendors right: Do you now need outside help with certain messaging admin tasks that you used to handle easily in IT? Are there some tasks, such as security, that IT should simply let someone else handle? Email me and share your thoughts about this topic. I'll publish your comments in next month's Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP Update.

Have a great month!

Anne Grubb, Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP Editor

Book Review Exclusive: Tony Redmond's New Exchange 2007 Book!

A quick search on Exchange 2007 books on Amazon.com will show you a flurry of results—but no list of Exchange 2007 books is complete without one by Exchange guru Tony Redmond, one of our longtime Exchange contributors. Tony's new Exchange 2007 book, Microsoft Exchange 2007: Tony Redmond’s Comprehensive Guide to Successful Implementation, will be available at Microsoft Tech Ed 2007 in June. Brien Posey tells you what he thinks of Tony's book here.

New on the Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP Forum

Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP member ExchangeCanada writes: "I'm looking for a way to get a list of users who allow other users to have access to their calendar or other folders in their mailboxes. I'd also want a list of the users who have the access along with the folders that they have access to and what kind of permissions that they have been granted to access these folders. Is it possible, and if so, how would I go about it?" If you can help, join the discussion in the Outlook 2003/Legacy Outlook section here.

March 2007 Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP Articles in PDF

If you're someone who prefers your newsletters in printed form, check out this .pdf. It contains all the scheduled feature articles posted on the Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP Web site in March. Print and enjoy!

Coming this Month

"Exchange CDP" by Paul Robichaux
Many CDP solutions are available for Exchange, but they function in different ways. Understanding how they work—and what Microsoft supports—will help you choose the best protection for your organization.

"Outlook Tips & Techniques," by Sue Mosher
Learn about how to disable Cached Exchange Mode in Outlook 2007, prevent Outlook 2003 from copying public calendar items to a user's personal calendar, and enable the Contacts box in Outlook 2007.
Coming April 10.

"Windows PowerShell Transforms Exchange Server 2007 Management," by Tony Redmond
PowerShell lets you customize your Exchange 2007 management environment—but first you need to learn to speak the language. A consistent, logical syntax and extensive, accessible Help let you ease gracefully into the scripting world.
Coming April 17.

"Automating Shared-Mailbox Management in Exchange 2003," by Frank Houbak Kristiansen
Use a scripting-based solution to streamline administration of Exchange Server 2003 shared mailboxes.
Coming April 24.

Share Your Exchange Experiences

As a messaging administrator, meeting technical problems head-on is a regular part of your job. Share your Exchange and Outlook discoveries, comments, solutions to problems, and experiences with messaging-related products with your fellow Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP readers. Email your written solutions to r2r@exchangeprovip.com. Please include your full name and phone number. We edit submissions for style, grammar, and length. If we publish your submission, you'll get $100.