- More Site Consolidation
2. News and Views
- RTC Server to Join Microsoft Office System
- Microsoft Launches Virus Information Center
- Back by Popular Demand--Windows & .NET Magazine's Security Road Show!
- New--Test-Drive Our Performance Portal!
- ADM: Exchange Records Event 1016 in the Event Log For Both Valid and Invalid Mailbox Access
- Featured Thread: Synchronization Problem
- Windows & .NET Magazine Web Seminar
6. New and Improved
- Print Attachments Without Opening the Related Message
- Submit Top Product Ideas
7. Contact Us
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
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==== 1. Commentary: More Site Consolidation ==== by Paul Robichaux, News Editor, [email protected]
In last week's Exchange UPDATE, I talked about server and site consolidation and mentioned that Windows Server 2003, Exchange Server 2003, and Outlook 2003 work together to create significant possibilities for site consolidation. To better understand how you can improve site utilization through consolidation, let's look at some of these products' new features.
Microsoft engineers products to work well together (hence the "better together" motto), and deploying these three products together creates significant synergies. Although Exchange 2003 can run on Windows 2000 Server, some of Exchange 2003's most compelling features depend on the new OS. Furthermore, Exchange 2003's site-consolidation benefits depend to a great extent on OS-level features.
For example, clustering in Windows 2003 is hugely improved over the corresponding functionality in Win2K. You can now build four- and eight-node clusters without using the Datacenter edition, and the new /USERVA parameter provides a great deal of flexibility in configuring RAM usage on machines with more than 1GB of RAM. As a bonus, new support for IP Security (IPSec) security associations in clusters means that you can use IPSec to secure front-end/back-end communications without imposing an extra 5-minute delay on cluster failovers. Clustering might not seem to have much to do with consolidation, but it lets you put more users on clustered mailbox servers to increase both storage and server utilization. You don't need to cluster to achieve effective site consolidation, but the data from Microsoft's internal deployments and early adopters indicate that active/passive clustering can help. Consider Microsoft's deployment: In each cluster, the company uses five identical servers (four active, one passive) plus two smaller auxiliary servers for performing backups. The smaller servers can accept some user load, but that isn't their primary purpose. This architecture, backed by a beefy Storage Area Network (SAN), supports about 4000 users per active node, or 16,000 users per cluster. That's a consolidation success story.
Of course, clustering alone isn't sufficient to drive site consolidation. Windows 2003's Remote Procedure Call (RPC) subsystem also provides several key improvements that support consolidation. (The RPC channel that Exchange and Outlook use is part of the Windows infrastructure.) In Windows 2003, the RPC subsystem can compress or shape RPCs (i.e., arrange the contents of RPC packets) to make best use of the available bandwidth. This ability improves network efficiency on the server, which is key to effective consolidation. Of course, Windows 2003 also provides the ability to tunnel RPC packets over HTTP--an ability that provides a terrific user experience for roaming or mobile users.
Now, on to Outlook. Cached mode is the default for Outlook 2003 for an excellent reason: This mode effectively insulates users from momentary (or longer) network interruptions. As a happy side effect, cached mode reduces the amount of work that the server must do. The Outlook client includes a component that consolidates requests from various Outlook threads and services (e.g., the address book, the mail downloader) whenever possible. Doing so reduces the overall number of connections that the server must deal with.
The future for site consolidation looks good. Microsoft isn't saying just yet what its recommendations are, mostly because it's still gathering data from its (and others') deployments to find out what ratios and sizes are reasonable. However, the basic improvements in Windows 2003's and Exchange 2003's manageability, maintainability, scalability, and security all contribute to your ability to consolidate. Expect to hear a lot more about consolidation at TechEd in Dallas next week; if you get a chance, drop by my session (SEC306, "New Security Features in Exchange 2003") and say hello!
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==== 2. News and Views ==== by Keith Furman, [email protected]
RTC Server to Join Microsoft Office System
The new Microsoft Office Real-Time Communications (RTC) Server 2003 (formerly code-named Greenwich) offers enterprise-level Instant Messaging (IM) services. RTC Server is now considered part of the newly formed Microsoft Office System. For more information, go to
Microsoft Launches Virus Information Center
Microsoft, Network Associates (parent company of McAfee), and Trend Micro have formed an initiative called the Virus Information Alliance (VIA). The initiative is well timed; a new network worm called Palyh is spreading quickly. For details, go to
==== 3. Announcements ==== (from Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)
Back by Popular Demand--Windows & .NET Magazine's Security Road Show!
Join the Windows & .NET Magazine 2003 Security Road Show (a free in-person event), and hear Mark Minasi and Paul Thurrott detailing how to attack your security problems head on. You'll learn 12 tips for securing a Windows 2000 network, discover the future of Microsoft's security strategy from Windows Server 2003 and beyond, and more! Register today!
New--Test-Drive Our Performance Portal!
The Windows & .NET Magazine Performance Portal site is an online service that lets IT professionals test client/server scalability and application performance of client/server database, workflow, streaming media, and office productivity applications. Check out this innovative service at
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==== 4. Resources ====
ADM: Exchange Records Event 1016 in the Event Log For Both Valid and Invalid Mailbox Access
Each week, Microsoft posts several Exchange Server how-to articles to its Knowledge Base. This week, learn how to distinguish between success and failure events when auditing mailbox access.
Featured Thread: Synchronization Problem
A forum reader is having a problem in which users with new Outlook profiles can't synchronize Offline Files or access public folders. To offer your advice or join the discussion, go to the following URL:
==== 5. Events ==== (brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine)
Windows & .NET Magazine Web Seminar
How can you reclaim 30% to 50% of Windows server space? Attend the newest Web seminar from Windows & .NET Magazine, and discover the secrets from the experts.
==== 6. New and Improved ==== by Carolyn Mader, [email protected]
Print Attachments Without Opening the Related Message
Sperry Software announced two upgrades to its line of Outlook add-in solutions. The Print on Demand add-in now adds two buttons to the Outlook toolbar, one to let users print selected email messages with attachment information and one to print only the attachments without opening the messages. The Insert Date/Time add-in now lets you specify as many as eight date and time formats and now provides a hotkey option. Print on Demand costs $17.95, and Insert Date/Time costs $9.95. Contact Sperry Software at 904-343-7408 or 800-742-1913.
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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