Exchange 2010 is Release 3.2 of the product. This is good news because it means that Exchange 2010 is the second release of the third generation of the product. Exchange 2007 was the first release for G3. This can be likened to Windows 2000 and Windows XP. Windows 2000 was a significant change from NT 4, but Windows XP was mostly about tuning and adding additional features (the same is true for Vista and Windows 7). If you're looking at starting a fresh deployment of Exchange the timing is perfect.
The Exchange 2010 code was actually developed first for Microsoft's live@edu program which is a hosted version of exchange for education institutions. While this may have been a bit bumpy for students it means that the on-premises version has run through some serious real-world testing in a very large environment. That is great news for everyone looking at deploying Exchange 2010, but is especially beneficial for sizable deployments of Exchange because one of the hardest things to test is real-world scalability.
Changes and New Features
There are a host of improvements and new features in Exchange 2010. We'll step through the most important changes and reveal some of the key enhancements.
1. High Availability
Microsoft has made significant changes to high availability. With 2010 you can easily replicate your mailbox databases to other Exchange servers. If there is a problem with the primary database Exchange can automatically switch to one of the backup copies. For example, you could replicate your mailbox database to a local server for high availability / business continuity and to a remote server for disaster recovery. If your primary database fails there are two copies to fall back on.
2. Store and Mailbox Database Changes
Improvements have been made to the Extensible Storage Engine (ESE) which Microsoft claims will reduce IOPS by 70 percent. This means that you may be able to save some money by using less expensive storage.
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