Review: Exchange upgrade earns mixed grades

* But mammoth code release falls down on immature antivirus, antispam wares

Exchange 2007 hits on management, system security and availability.

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Microsoft's recently released Exchange 2007 package is huge, literally. The reviewer's guide comprises 26,000 words, and the list of new features is 28 pages long. In this Clear Choice Test, we opted not to test every bit of code, but instead to dive deep in several critical areas important to large-scale deployments.

Overall, we found Exchange 2007's management and availability extensions are improved dramatically, and new architectural maneuvers have beefed up security, especially in the areas of compliance and e-mail policy management.

However, when we enabled Microsoft's new antivirus and antispam software on our Exchange 2007 deployment, we found they require more engineering effort to compete with established vendors in those markets.

Exchange 2007 is sized for the largest enterprises, because it requires 64-bit hardware. That signals that the product will need substantial hardware, software, network bandwidth and operations resources. We didn't run strenuous, repeatable benchmarks on Exchange 2007 for this features-based test.

For more on this test, please click here.

Snyder is a senior partner at Opus One, a consulting firm in Tucson, Ariz. He can be reached at Henderson is a principal at ExtremeLabs in Indianapolis. He can be reached at Thayer is an independent security consultant. He can be reached at

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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