Skip to content

Begin thinking now about Exchange’s future

by  Scott Lowe
The changes due in Exchange 12 may affect the way you plan on doing business.
While Microsoft’s development cycles have increased in recent years, one thing is certain: Microsoft will eventually release Exchange 12, and there will certainly be some things that you need to consider before rolling out an upgrade. Yes, it’s early to be thinking about Exchange 12, but a little forethought now may help you a whole lot when the time comes when you organization needs a whiz-bang new feature found only in Exchange 12.
First, if your server’s processors are of the 32-bit-only variety, you’re going to be out of luck when Exchange 12 rolls off the production line. Microsoft recently announced that Exchange 12 will be supported only on 64-bit platforms, along with an eventual release of Longhorn Server R2. If you’re currently making plans to replace or add hardware to support your Exchange infrastructure, make sure whatever you buy is capable of handling a 64-bit operating system. Any currently shipping x86-64 (or a 32-bit processor with 64-bit extensions) will do.
When it comes to public folders, there have been rumors that public folders as you know them will be phased out in Exchange 12, with SharePoint picking up the pieces in some form. However, I doubt that this will be the case in Exchange 12. That said, Microsoft will likely soon to begin to push SharePoint for tasks currently handled by public folders. From everything I have read thus far, you can expect Exchange 12 to be the last version that supports public folders. Do bear in mind that everything is subject to change! Why do I mention this? If you’re considering planning a significant business process around the use of Exchange public folders, consider using one of the various versions of SharePoint instead. By doing so, it’s less likely that you’ll need to undertake a project to revamp the process in the next few years.
Microsoft has big plans for Exchange. With a little foreknowledge and planning, you can make decisions that will save you a little pain in the future.
Microsoft’s new command line shell, known as Monad, will make its first appearance in Exchange 12. The scriptable shell can be used for automating tasks, essentially providing command line control of Exchange that goes beyond the standard Exchange System Manager.
Microsoft hasn’t yet set a final release date for Exchange 12, giving itself a window of late 2006 and early 2007. Because the new Exchange will be 64-bit online, it will require Windows Server 2003 R2 x64 Edition or the 64-bit version of Windows Server "Longhorn," which is due out in late 2007.
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: