SUBJECT LINE: Exchange & Outlook UPDATE, Exchange Edition, May 16, 2003
Exchange and Outlook UPDATE, Exchange Edition--brought to you by Exchange & Outlook Administrator, a print newsletter from Windows & .NET Magazine that contains practical advice, how-to articles, tips, and techniques to help you do your job today. http://www.exchangeadmin.com
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May 16, 2003 -- In this issue:
- Exchange 2003 Airlift
- Get the eBook That Will Help You Get Certified!
- Cast Your Vote in Our Annual Readers' Choice Awards!
- XCON: How to Control Non-Delivery Reports Using Exchange 2000
- Featured Thread: Popup Problems
- Results of Instant Poll: Dealing with Spam
- New Instant Poll: Server Hardware
4. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Monitor and Track Exchange Performance
- Submit Top Product Ideas
5. CONTACT US
See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
* EXCHANGE 2003 AIRLIFT
Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a technical airlift event that Microsoft hosted to educate some of its key partners about Exchange Server 2003. These events (which get their name from the fact that attendees fly in from all over the world) are legendary for providing a lot of hard-nosed technical details about new products. Last week's event drew a mix of authors, trainers, partners, and consultants and featured some interesting tidbits about Exchange 2003 features and deployment.
Kevin McCuistion, group program manager on the Exchange team, opened the event by explaining how Microsoft is positioning Exchange 2003 in the messaging market. Not surprisingly, McCuistion's presentation included a long list of features that administrators have asked for and that appear in Exchange 2003. These features include backup and restore improvements (including Recovery Storage Groups, which I discussed in last week's column); new and more muscular clustering support; better migration tools for clients moving from Exchange Server 5.5; and better security. McCuistion claimed that Microsoft won't support Exchange 2000 on Windows Server 2003 because that OS (particularly the Internet Information Server--IIS--component) contains so many security and architecture improvements that reengineering Exchange 2000 to take advantage of them all would be prohibitively expensive. My favorite takeaway from the talk was the welcome revelation that Microsoft will offer per-device and per-user licenses for Exchange 2003. Depending on how Microsoft prices those licenses, one license that lets a user use any device (or several devices) to access Exchange might be a significant cost saver.
Other speakers revealed interesting tidbits during their talks, too. For example, I learned that Microsoft's early-adopter program, the Joint Development Program (JDP), puts beta and release candidate versions of Exchange into production at major enterprise customers. JDP customers have more than 93,000 mailboxes in production, to say nothing of the tens of thousands of users at Microsoft who now use the product. Part of the reason for this broad deployment is the Exchange product team's focus on ensuring Exchange 2003’s manageability. The news that the Exchange 2003 management pack for Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) will be included free with Exchange 2003 was also welcome (although you’ll still need to buy a license for the MOM product).
Another revelation was the breadth of Exchange 2003's spam-fighting approach. A fascinating synergy exists among several Exchange 2003 components:
- Exchange 2003 provides support for real-time block lists, which help block email from the IP addresses of known spammers and spam-friendly ISPs. These lists provide a first line of defense.
- A new filtering feature lets you specify recipients and domains from which to block or accept email, then apply those settings on every server in your organization. This feature provides a second layer of defense.
- Updated transport event-sink interfaces give more capabilities to third-party antispam products; vendors are already updating their products to take advantage of these capabilities.
- Outlook 2003's excellent junk-email filter (derived in part from the MSN 8 client's filtering technology), lets users mark messages or senders as junk. Clients can tag any spam that gets through the block lists, filters, and third-party products, and you can use that information to strengthen the servers' filtering list.
Microsoft was coy about the exact nature of future antispam improvements, but it's safe to say that the company has a few surprises up its sleeve, and developers who want to strengthen the integration between spam-fighting components will find plenty of fertile ground. Imagine a tie-in between server-side Exchange spam filters, Outlook, and third-party services such as the Distributed Checksum Clearinghouse (DCC). Clients could mark a message as spam and automatically block other copies of the message (or messages from the same sender) at the server.
In addition to the product-information presentations, the event featured solid labs with a strong focus on migrating to Exchange 2003 from Exchange 5.5. (By some estimates, about 55 percent of deployed Exchange mailboxes still run on Exchange 5.5.) The new ExDeploy toolset (and excellent accompanying documentation) will help ease this process. My favorite lab, though, demonstrated how to deploy Exchange 2003's Outlook Mobile Access component, which offers access to Exchange data from a variety of devices, and used a Pocket PC emulator to test the service. Look for more details about this component as I explore it in the weeks to come.
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* GET THE EBOOK THAT WILL HELP YOU GET CERTIFIED!
The "Insider's Guide to IT Certification," from the Windows & .NET Magazine Network, has one goal: to help you save time and money on your quest for certification. Find out how to choose the best study guides, save hundreds of dollars, and be successful as an IT professional. The amount of time you spend reading this book will be more than made up by the time you save preparing for your certification exams. Order your copy today!
* CAST YOUR VOTE IN OUR ANNUAL READERS' CHOICE AWARDS!
Which companies and products are the best on the market? Tell us by nominating your favorites in the annual Windows & .NET Magazine Readers' Choice Awards survey. Click here!
* XCON: HOW TO CONTROL NON-DELIVERY REPORTS USING EXCHANGE 2000
Each week, Microsoft posts several Exchange Server how-to articles to its Knowledge Base. This week, learn how to disable nondelivery reports (NDRs) in Exchange 2000 Server.
* FEATURED THREAD: POPUP PROBLEMS
A forum reader is trying to solve a problem for an Outlook 2002 Service Pack 2 (SP2) user who encounters dozens of popup ads when responding to an email address within a message. To offer your advice or join the discussion, go to the following URL:
* RESULTS OF INSTANT POLL: DEALING WITH SPAM
The voting has ended in the Exchange & Outlook Administrator Web site's nonscientific Exchange Instant Poll for the question "How do you deal with spam?" Here are the results from the 161 votes:
- 40% We use an appliance- or server-based solution
- 7% We use a client-side filter
- 9% We subscribe to a hosted antispam service
- 12% We rely on Exchange Server plugins
- 32% We don't take any specific antispam measures
* NEW INSTANT POLL: SERVER HARDWARE
The next Exchange Instant Poll question is "Which server does your company most commonly use?" Go to the Exchange & Outlook Administrator home page and submit your vote for a) HP/Compaq, b) Dell, c) IBM, d) Unisys, or e) Other.
* MONITOR AND TRACK EXCHANGE PERFORMANCE
Argent Software announced Argent Exchange Monitor, software that can monitor and track Exchange Server performance. Features include real-time scanning and tracking, automatic scheduling of report distribution, full ActiveX and Crystal Reports integration, and optional agent installation. You can currently monitor as many as 2000 Exchange servers that can be located anywhere. Argent Exchange Monitor supports Exchange 2000 Server and Exchange Server 5.5 environments. For pricing, contact Argent Software at 860-674-1700 or [email protected]
* SUBMIT TOP PRODUCT IDEAS
Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Do you know of a terrific product that others should know about? Tell us! We want to write about the product in a future Windows & .NET Magazine What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions to [email protected]
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Thank you for reading Exchange and Outlook UPDATE, Exchange Edition. __________________________________________________________ Copyright 2003, Penton Media, Inc.