Microsoft unveils its Exchange 2000 in Dallas

Microsoft Corp. formally unveiled the Exchange 2000 product line – Exchange 2000 Server, Exchange 2000 Enterprise Server and Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server – at the Microsoft Exchange and Collaboration Solutions Conference 2000 (MEC 2000) in Dallas.

According to Microsoft, Exchange 2000 is a platform for messaging and collaboration that brings people and knowledge together.

“Customers upgrading to Exchange 2000 see immediate benefits such as improved scalability, reliability and manageability,” said Gord Mangione, vice president of the Exchange Business Unit at Microsoft. “Since our own deployment of it, we have reduced the number of servers that host our 30,000 Redmond users from 35 to eight, while tripling average users per server to 3,000 and doubling the mailbox size.”

Exchange 2000’s new features include integration with the Windows 2000 Active Directory for lower cost of ownership, single-seat administration with MMC, unlimited database size for maximum scalability, multiple message databases for fast restores and flexible data management, two-way active clustering, distributed services for hosting millions of users, policies for changing a wide range of objects quickly, fault-tolerant SMTP routing and native MIME content storage for increased Internet mail performance.

In addition to the release of Exchange 2000 and Exchange Conferencing Server, Microsoft release its document management server, code-named Tahoe, in beta form.

The Tahoe server is designed to allow users to search for related documents across databases. Russ Stockdale, vice president of Microsoft’s Knowledge Worker Solutions Group described Tahoe as an information portal.

“Tahoe will allow users to search multiple repositories for disparate types of data files, better manage documents, and serve as a collaborative applications platform,” Stockdale said.

Microsoft also unveiled Office Designer, a tool that will ship with the next version of the Office productivity suite, now referred to as Office 10. The tool will let developers leverage Exchange 2000’s Web Storage System to build and deploy collaborative applications, the company stated.

Microsoft plans to release both Tahoe and Office 10 in the first half of 2001.

The Exchange 2000 Hosting Pack for ASP (application service providers), is a set of services that enhance the manageability of hosted Exchange servers. The services will automate the process of registering users and provide ASP customers with self-service provisioning and management capabilities via the Web, manage system resources and automatically allocate them to customers and users, enforce security to prevent users from improperly accessing resources, and log service provisioning for billing purposes.

Stockdale and Mangione showed several product demonstrations that stressed mobile and wireless use.

“We want you to bake the Web into everything you do with Exchange,” Mangione said.