Bigger is better when it comes to mailboxes, Microsoft says

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 promises to let end users store more e-mail content locally, thanks to smarter use of storage on the back-end.

The key to happy e-mail end users, according to Microsoft, is more local storage, which the software giant says it is able to offer with Exchange Server 2010 because it provides improved performance and reliability of large mailboxes at lower costs.Tech Debate: Google Gmail vs. hosted Microsoft Exchange More storage at lower costs would prevent end users from receiving those pesky requests from IT about offloading old messages to local PST files. (Admittedly this e-mail end user had two large PST files on the desktop, which were never easily accessed or used much after being created.) But Microsoft says it could do more than ease end users' bulging inboxes. “We see organizations that struggle with mailbox size that results in end users moving and deleting messages just to stay under quota or to save space,” says Michael Atalla, director of product management at Microsoft. “When that knowledge is deleted or put somewhere that is inaccessible, end users ultimately create content that they already have, which drains productivity.”Microsoft this week previewed the first service pack for its Exchange Server 2010 release, expected later this year. And the vendor also detailed its "large mailbox vision" in a recent white paper. According Atalla, the latest version of the company's back office mail server software will help IT organizations store data in line with compliance regulations as well as provide end users with easy access to e-mail. Microsoft's white paper explains that large mailboxes can reduce data loss risk, improve regulatory compliance and increase productivity among both end users and IT workers."End users really want to have the information they have created at their fingertips, not stored in PST files, which are stored locally on laptops distributed across an organization, not backed up or discoverable -- posing a potential disaster when it comes time to find the information for compliance purposes," Atalla says. "Now large mailboxes can be both low cost and large disk. The storage industry has allowed us to do that, and now we are seeing organizations reduce backup costs by decreasing backup frequencies and capitalizing on the lower-cost storage."Microsoft took advantage of changes in disk technology, getting more storage at lower costs, as well as updated how Exchange accesses storage, making the process more efficient and enabling the company to offer increased mailbox size at reasonable prices, Atalla says."By taking advantage of the increasing capacity in disk technology and combining it with the Exchange Server 2010 performance reductions, organizations can reconsider their Exchange storage options and provide large mailboxes for their users without breaking their budgets," the white paper reads.And the evolution in Exchange 2010 will help end users and IT staff work more easily with other Microsoft products, according to Atalla. He says Exchange 2010, part of Microsoft's Unified Communications portfolio, was reworked to simplify the end-user experience, much like other products accessible via the Web as well as mobile devices."We have worked hard in talking to customers about large mailboxes. We are helping IT deliver a simplified experience for their end users while also simplifying their [IT's] own experience," Atalla says. "It is a fundamental paradigm shift, and it is absolutely necessary for the future of collaboration."Posted by Denise DubieDo you Tweet? Follow Denise Dubie on Twitter here.

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