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An Evaluation of the Total Cost of Ownership of Email Security Solutions

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Exchange Availability: The Five Fatal Flaws of Traditional Replication Systems

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1. Commentary

- TechEd and Exchange Connections

2. Peer to Peer

- Featured Thread: Managing Exchange Database Sizes
- Outlook Tip: Handling Conflicting Items in Outlook 2003

3. New and Improved

- Target ILM Needs

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Editor's note: Share Your Exchange Discoveries and Get $100

Share your Exchange Server and Outlook discoveries, comments, or problems and solutions for use in the Exchange & Outlook Administrator print newsletter's Reader to Reader column. Email your contributions (500 words or less) to r2rxadmin@windowsitpro.com. We edit submissions for style, grammar, and length. If we print your submission, you'll get $100.

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==== 1. Commentary: TechEd and Exchange Connections ====

by Paul Robichaux, Exchange Editor, exadmin@windowsitpro.com

In the last week or two, we've seen the start of what I like to think of as the Exchange "event season." The computer and technology world has a variety of events, ranging from the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3--at which Microsoft is rumored to be announcing the successor to the Xbox) to Lotusphere to COMDEX to the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) conference. Most of us can't possibly go to every interesting technical conference; unless you have an immense appetite for airline food, a fat travel budget, and a high tolerance for darkened rooms full of strangers, you'll probably hit only the conferences that are most relevant to your job requirements or learning needs. (Personally, I really want to go to E3, but I don't think that's going to happen.)

In the old days, only one event mattered to Exchange administrators, architects, and developers: the Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC). My first MEC was in 1998, and the quality and quantity of Exchange-focused sessions blew me away. As Microsoft added other collaboration products and technologies, however, the conference lost its Exchange-only focus, and the company eventually decided to roll Exchange-specific content into Microsoft TechEd, its flagship conference for IT professionals (which, in Microsoft argot, includes administrators, developers, and system architects and designers).
TechEd 2005 ( http://www.msteched.com ), which will be held in Orlando, Florida, June 5-10, promises more than 400 sessions organized into 16 tracks. The messaging track has about 40 Exchange sessions as of today, although I expect that number to rise somewhat as Microsoft collects feedback from the community (see http://blogs.msdn.com/exchange/archive/2005/02/17/375383.aspx if you want to leave your own feedback). These numbers are a little misleading, however, because many of the sessions in other tracks (such as the security and portal tracks) would have been presented at MEC in the past.
Windows IT Pro saw an opportunity in MEC's demise and launched the Exchange Connections conference. This year's conference will be held in San Diego, California, from October 30-November 2 (an ideal time to visit San Diego, by the way). Whereas TechEd tries to cover the entire spectrum of Microsoft's server and OS technologies, from ASP.NET to Windows deployment planning, Exchange Connections concentrates on collaboration and communications technologies such as Exchange, Microsoft Office, Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server, and Microsoft Office Live Communications Server. The final list of sessions is still being assembled (please email me if you have topics you'd like to see included), but in past years the conference has concentrated on sessions that cover specific Exchange functional areas, such as antispam technology, mobility, and security. Microsoft is providing several speakers, but the ultimate choice of sessions is up to the conference panel, so we have more flexibility to talk about problems and solutions that don't neatly fit into TechEd's track structure.
How do you choose which conference to attend? Each show has its advantages and drawbacks. TechEd is like a huge buffet of technical information about Microsoft products. You can choose exactly the combination of sessions you're interested in from a broad range of topics. Because TechEd is a Microsoft conference, it's also the best place to get the official party line on best practices and future development of Microsoft technologies. TechEd is also the best place to directly engage the Exchange product and support team, because many of the developers, product managers, and support engineers either give presentations or work in the "ask the experts" cabana area. The sheer number of sessions can be a little overwhelming, however, as can the number of attendees; imagine walking around the Atlanta airport during peak travel hours for 5 days in a row, and you get the idea.
If TechEd is a huge buffet, Exchange Connections is more like the small corner restaurant where the staff recognizes you when you walk in. It's smaller, quieter, and less rushed. Because it's smaller and more focused, the presenters and attendees tend to have more direct engagement. The Exchange Connections presenter list draws more heavily on the broad Exchange community, with fewer Microsoft speakers and more consultants and MVPs. This year, because Exchange Connections falls after TechEd, Exchange Connections will probably have more Exchange 12 information than TechEd will. According to past conference attendees, the mix of how-to and architectural sessions is especially useful.
The bottom line is that both conferences offer unique advantages. If you can arrange and afford it, you'll get the maximum benefit from attending both conferences. Both Microsoft and Windows IT Pro offer early registration discounts, so start making your travel plans!

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~~~~ Sponsor: MessageOne ~~~~

Exchange Availability: The Five Fatal Flaws of Traditional Replication Systems

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==== Events and Resources ====

(A complete Web and live events directory brought to you by Windows IT Pro: http://www.windowsitpro.com/events )

Minimize the Likelihood of Downtime in Your Exchange Implementation

In this free, on-demand Web seminar, discover how to ensure continuous Exchange application availability. Learn how to take preemptive, corrective action without resorting to a full system failover. Or in extreme cases, discover solutions that perform a graceful, automatic switchover to a secondary server, ensuring continuous Exchange application availability. View the archive today!
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Knowing where to find answers fast to secure your systems against attack can often mean the difference between shutting the door to various threats (e.g., malware, viruses, Trojans) and declaring defeat. This free eBook provides you with quick answers to help you make the most of your security. Get the entire eBook and start securing your systems!
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Keeping Your Business Safe from Attack: Monitoring and Managing Your Network

Get the information you need to securely implement a network based around Microsoft products in the latest chapter of this eBook. Find out how to secure your network against threats, and learn about topics such as antivirus, VPNs, spyware, DMZs, content filtering, Browser Helper Objects, patching, quarantining, intrusion detection, and event notification. Get this eBook today!
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Get Ready for SQL Server 2005 Roadshow in a City Near You

Get the facts about migrating to SQL Server 2005. SQL Server experts will present real-world information about administration, development, and business intelligence to help you implement a best-practices migration to SQL Server 2005 and improve your database-computing environment. Receive a 1-year membership to PASS and 1-year subscription to SQL Server Magazine. Register now!
http://www.windowsitpro.com/roadshows/sqlserverusa/index.cfm?code=0221emailannc

==== 2. Peer to Peer ====

Featured Thread: Managing Exchange Database Sizes

Our forum readers are having a conversation about monitoring and managing the size of Exchange databases. To join the discussion, visit
http://www.windowsitpro.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=40&threadid=130249

Outlook Tip: Handling Conflicting Items in Outlook 2003

by Sue Mosher, exadmin@turtleflock.com

Q: In the Tools, Mailbox Cleanup dialog box in Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, what do the "Delete all alternative versions of items in your mailbox" option and the "View Conflicts Size" button do?

Find the answer (and links to more great tips) at

http://www.windowsitpro.com/microsoftexchangeoutlook/article/articleid/43147/43147.html

New Women's IT Forum

Join the Women's IT Forum, where we're discussing what it means and how it feels to be a woman working in a male-dominated profession. Find support, resources, community, and a darned-good continuing conversation. Both women and men are welcome.
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==== Announcements ====

(from Windows IT Pro and its partners)

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==== 3. New and Improved ====

by Angie Brew, products@windowsitpro.com

Target ILM Needs

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