Brace for Exchange hurdles

I'm waiting until SP1 hits the streets before I run with Exchange 2007

CES is over, I'm 41, the Jesuits have gone home, and I'm sick as a dog. It's been an eventful week.

Today, I'm taking some potshots at Exchange 2007. Later on, you'll be able to find a feature article I did on Vista deployment issues. One of the main issues, ironically, seems to be that it's not just about Vista; it covers Office 2007 and Exchange 2007, too. My experiences in the labs have borne out that Office 2007 is a good bet for prime time, but it's turning out that Exchange still has some issues.

Overall, Exchange 2007 offers some great benefits; the bundled security tools, for example, of which the anti-spam tools will be hugely important in the coming year. Then there's the mobile overhaul, which can turn a Windows Mobile device into a pretty good imitation of an in-house BlackBerry. Tack on a sexy new Outlook Web Access interface that looks pretty close to Outlook 2003, plus some new management utilities aimed at making IT admins' lives a bit easier.

All that is true, and it certainly reads well, but the platform still has issues. And those issues are making me think it might be best to delay deploying Exchange -- at least until the full arrival of Longhorn. First, there's the hardware issue. Exchange 2007 wants 64-bit hardware, and that's that. No workarounds. That means a new server. I have trouble buying a new server today running Windows Server 2003 and taking the time to deploy a next-gen e-mail server, only to have to upgrade the OS a few months later. Problem No.1.

Strangely enough, this 64-bit problem gives rise to a bunch of other problems. For one, even though Exchange 2007 and Longhorn are both 64-bit environments, there are reports coming out that the one still isn't compatible with the other, even on the latest Longhorn builds. We just got those disks and we'll give the thing a test run on Longhorn, but the reports say that the chief problem surrounds Active Directory. Without fixing this problem, you'll need to keep separate Longhorn's AD and any AD trees containing Exchange 2007 servers. Problem No. 2.

And we're still not done with the 64-bit issues. Both an upgraded version of Windows Server 2003 and the upcoming Longhorn OS will make much deeper use of virtualization, and Microsoft has been working hard on upgrading its virtualization toolkit over the last year. Only trouble is that Exchange 2007 doesn't run on these latest virtualization versions, due in part to the fact that Microsoft's present virtualization toolkits can't handle 64-bit operating systems. The sad part for Microsoft is that its chief rival in this department, VMware, has no problems running any of this. See, that needs to be addressed. Problem No. 3.

Because Exchange 2007 is a next-gen e-mail server, we decided to run Exchange's management tools. That fizzled fast. Turns out that Exchange 2007 and Vista don't see eye-to-eye in that department. That means you're managing your Exchange 2007 servers via Windows XP or remotely. Problem No. 4.

What's it all add up to? Exchange 2007 Service Pack 1, that's what. Microsoft has a lot of fix-its to supply in that little release; so if it's me, I'm waiting until SP1 hits the streets before I run with Exchange 2007. Larger enterprises can probably manage the problem overhead associated with the new Exchange, but for smaller and mid-size companies looking to run streamlined operations, these problems can prove more trouble than they're worth -- especially since an updated version will likely be available before the end of the year.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Oliver Rist

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?