Messaging administrators who use Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition got a bonus when Microsoft said at last...
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week's TechEd conference that it will
Exchange Server 2003 SP2 is due out later this year. It will also include an updated Intelligent Message Filter, support for Sender ID and mobility enhancements that were also outlined at TechEd 2005. The increase in mailbox size for the Standard Edition had originally been promised for Exchange 12, the next major release of the messaging platform that is due out in 2006.
The Standard Edition of Exchange Server, which is the only version that has the current limitation, is mainly used by small to medium-sized business (SMB) customers. "The size limit was determined in a time when mailbox size was less of an issue," said Steve Bryant, president and CEO of Pro Exchange, an Atlanta-based integrator that specializes in messaging and Active Directory products. "But today, with spam and viruses, the 16 GB size is just impractical."
Artificial limits imposed to keep storage in check
To avoid unwieldy mailbox sizes, many businesses place quotas on individual mailboxes, which are typically 50 to 100 MB, said Erica Rugullies, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc., a Cambridge, Mass., consulting firm. "Some small businesses using this Standard Edition would need this [new] functionality," she said.
Companies that impose user mailbox size limits do so to keep their overall messaging storage in check. "For us, we limit the size to 500 MB since we don't have the disk space to handle more," said David Quine, an enterprise integration architect at Fender Musical Instruments Corp., in Scottsdale, Ariz. "If they all had 75 gigs of space, I'd have other issues to deal with."
At TechEd, David Thompson, Microsoft's corporate vice president for the Exchange Server product group, gave an overview of plans for Exchange 12, which was first discussed by the company in January. Some improvements to Exchange include 64-bit support, unified messaging, additional policy compliance, conformance to the Windows Server System Common Engineering criteria and improved calendaring features.
Thompson said Exchange 12 will continue support for public folders, and the service pack due out this fall will offer some enhancements to document management, browser-based client support, better search features, automatic notification of content changes and integration with Office applications, to name a few.
Microsoft has continued to recommend that customers who use public folders should investigate SharePoint products for new collaborative applications. The company said public folders will indeed be phased out by Exchange 13, a version of the platform that is only in its early stages of conception. However, with the company's current product lifespan policy, this means that customers will have public folder support for 10 years beyond the launch of Exchange 12 in 2006, Microsoft has said.