• United States

Two tools to make life easier

Apr 24, 20032 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMalwareMessaging Apps

* Microsoft and Kroll Ontrack separately produce tools for Exchange admins

Two recent technological advances should help to make things easier for Microsoft Exchange administrators.

Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, due to ship in the next few months, will add antispam and antivirus features that will enable partners to improve spam blocking and virus scanning.

Like SpamAssassin, the antispam capability in Exchange 2003 will work with Microsoft’s partners’ antispam tools to assign a score, the Spam Confidence Level, to incoming e-mail to indicate the probability that a particular e-mail is spam. Administrators can establish a threshold to route suspected spam appropriately.

The antispam tools in Exchange 2003 are meant to enhance the antispam and content-filtering capabilities in Outlook 2003; Outlook can block HTML content, assign points to incoming e-mail based on message content, create whitelists and blacklists, and save these lists on an Exchange server.

While the antispam capabilities of Exchange 2003 are unlikely to revolutionize spam blocking in Exchange environments, the enhancements will be a welcome addition to the tool set already provided by Microsoft and its antispam partners and should make life a bit easier for Exchange administrators.

Another set of tasks that can consume a significant amount of time is recovering old content from messaging backups. PowerControls 1.1, introduced several months ago, is an enhancement to Kroll Ontrack’s back-up recovery tool that is used by more than 100,000 mailboxes and is designed to significantly ease the process of recovering back-up content.

PowerControls permits an Exchange administrator to recover a single mailbox or a single message from an Exchange back-up database. Version 1.1 enhanced this capability by including the Extract Wizard, which allows an administrator to restore this database to any server with a network or local drive, not just an Exchange server.  This does away with the need to have a standby Exchange recovery server to recover backed-up information, and thereby speeds the recovery process.

While PowerControls cannot replace the functionality of a full-blown archiving product, it does provide a fast and inexpensive means of recovering messaging backup content.  Pricing for PowerControls Standard Edition Version 1.1 starts at $950 for one Exchange server and up to 100 users.