Microsoft announced this week that it had deployed Exchange Server 2000 internally before releasing it to the public, in a show of commitment to the new product. So it wasn't until Exchange 2000 was deployed as the messaging backend at Microsoft that it was declared "golden master" and released to manufacturing. Mike Huber, the general manager of Microsoft's Messaging and Collaboration Services Group, says that Exchange 2000 is more than just email. "If you look at how we viewed Exchange in the past, it was primarily email," Huber says. "But when we looked at Exchange 2000 and the types of things it enables, we decided to organize more broadly around messaging--both email and voice messaging--as well as collaboration services. So to email we add things like instant messaging, conferencing and unified messaging."
Exchange 2000 integrates with the Active Directory in Windows 2000 and features increased reliability, scalability, and performance, while adding a number of compelling new features, such as native Internet mail support, a Web Storage System for messaging, collaboration, rich document storage, and Web applications, Web integration, and instant messaging.
Microsoft's deployment of the software is vast. "Globally, we have more than 52,000 mailboxes, and 100 percent of those are now on Exchange 2000," Huber says. "Our messaging sites range from small offices like the one in Quito, Ecuador, with 25 employees, all the way up to our Redmond campus, supporting over 25,000 employees. We do about 4.3 million messages per day, with 1.2 million to the Internet. So it’s in the ballpark of 100 messages per person per day. We have a very, very high volume and Microsoft may be one of the most email-intensive companies in the world." Huber also notes that Exchange 2000 scales far more efficiently than the previous version, Exchange 5.5. "With Exchange 5.5, we had a maximum of about 1,000 mailboxes on a particular server," he says. "By comparison, we have more than 3,000 mailboxes on an Exchange 2000 Server. It’s a lot easier for our IT team to manage eight email servers than 35."
Evaluation versions of Exchange 2000 Enterprise Server and Conferencing Server are currently available from the Microsoft Web site