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Lotus, Set the Record Straight

On several occasions during the last couple of months, Lotus has taken various comments and points I have made in this column (or those Tony Redmond has made in his articles in the Exchange Administrator newsletter) and used them out of context to develop competitive arguments to the detriment of our friends at Microsoft. If you go to the Lotus Web site ( and search for Cochran or Redmond, you'll find numerous hits that illustrate my point. It's important to set the record straight here.

The first notable occurrence dates back to April when Lotus published a note on its site titled "Exchange UPDATE Editor Appreciates R5." This piece included one-liners from my column comparing Domino R5 to Exchange that Lotus took out of context to support the company’ claims. In particular, Lotus’ conclusions about Exchange Server based on my discussion of strengths and weaknesses in the areas of performance, scalability, availability, and clustering were off base. If you read my entire column, you find a fair comparison of Exchange Server and Lotus Domino R5 that, in the end, landed more in favor of Exchange than Domino as Lotus would have you believe. My conclusion was that Domino R5 plays catch-up with Exchange Server in many areas such as transacted storage, raw performance, and scalability. In other areas, Microsoft recognized areas for improvement and will take a giant step ahead with the Platinum release.

Another incident occurred in recent weeks when Lotus published a note called "The Truth about 99.9% Reliability," in which the company drew conclusions such as Exchange Server’s transacted store being unreliable or that Exchange Server typically only supports 250 users per server. In my experience, most companies deploying Exchange Server have no problem supporting 1000 to 2000 users per server. In ironic contrast, Lotus recommends customers only deploy 250 to 500 users per server in the Domino environment. Research data from Creative Networks and the Radicatti Group will back this up. Also, whereas transacted storage is one of Exchange Server’s greatest long-time strengths, Lotus has only recently included this feature in Domino R5, thereby legitimizing the technology. Again, Lotus has misused information to further its marketing goal.

It's important to understand that I have no problem being quoted or defending my conclusions. However, Windows NT Magazine’s Exchange Server UPDATE and other publications such as Exchange Administrator seek to provide readers fair, unbiased, and technically accurate material. When an individual or an organization misuses this material to support bogus competitive arguments, it does a great disservice to our readers. In the future, I hope Lotus will refrain from this practice so that the information we bring you will have the desired value. For my part, I’m committed to bringing you fair assessments and updates for Exchange based on legitimate technical arguments. <soapbox off>.

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