CSC offers Microsoft Exchange 2010 in the cloud

CloudExchange puts your Microsoft e-mail into the cloud

CSC is now offering a cloud-based e-mail and collaboration service based on Microsoft Exchange 2010, even before Microsoft itself. 

CloudExchange, the availability of which is being announced today, “features Microsoft Exchange 2010 as-a-service, and includes planning, migration, provisioning and ongoing service-level management,” according to CSC. 

“CloudExchange provides for large-scale email services, including instant messaging and video, and collaboration services, including calendar, document sharing and spreadsheets,” and “accommodates the mobile workforce, enabling employees anywhere to work together to complete a presentation, proposal or contract in real-time while holding a video chat.”

Interestingly, Microsoft’s own cloud-based Exchange and SharePoint services are still running on the 2007 versions, as I mentioned in an article last week. Microsoft is gradually rolling out 2010 capabilities over the course of this year, with larger customers getting the first upgrades. 

"it just takes us some time to upgrade the data centers to the new versions of Exchange server and SharePoint server," Chris Capossela, senior vice president of Microsoft's Information Worker Product Management Group. 

A company called Intermedia already offers hosted versions of the 2010 Exchange and SharePoint servers. And now CSC has beaten Microsoft to the punch as well, at least for Exchange 2010. 

CSC made its announcement in conjunction with the Cloud Leadership Forum, a new conference hosted by IDG and IDC. CSC also made a few other announcements that might be interesting to business customers. 

The company said it has opened seven new “cloud-enabled” data centers in the United States, United Kingdom, Luxembourg and Australia to serve its various cloud customers. CSC is also rolling out what it calls CSC Gateway, “an e-commerce portal for hosting and cloud services clients that simplifies and speeds access to CSC solutions and includes self-managing features such as auto-provisioning, pay-per-use and electronic purchase orders.”

CSC is using the Gateway to deliver CloudLab, which provides development and test services via the software-as-a-service model. CloudLab features a self-service portal for provisioning and managing users, configurations, and templates; reporting tools; snapshots, and other features.

CSC will have plenty of completion in this space. Companies like Skytap already offer web-based virtual labs, and cloud services like Force.com and Amazon EC2 give developers other avenues to build and host web applications. So we’ll wait and see whether CSC gains any traction on this front. 

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Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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