Fault-tolerant Database Availability Groups
Exchange 2010 enhances system uptime by introducing Microsoft's new database availability group (DAG) model. A DAG is a set of mailbox servers that can recover automatically from disk or server breakdowns and continually backup Exchange 2010 databases to local or remote disk storage for fast restoration in case of a disastrous failure. A database availability group can have as many as 16 mailbox servers and can be configured without the need for additional clustering software. In case of a hardware breakdown, unassisted failover takes less than half a minute. Exchange 2010 also allows IT managers to move mailboxes to new servers without bringing down the system and disrupting productivity.
In addition to eliminating the cost and hassle of external clustering solutions, Exchange 2010's built-in clustering support allows you to achieve fault-tolerant redundancy with only two servers, half as many as Exchange 2007 requires. For ultra-high availability, Exchange 2010 also enables geographically separated datacenters by allowing site-to-site failover. Management of Exchange 2010 database availability groups is simpler than managing functionally equivalent clustering platforms and can be performed remotely to reduce administration costs.
Support for Low-cost Disk Drives
Exchange 2010 now supports SATA disk drives, the low-cost hard disks used in most personal computers. SATA disk support is possible because Exchange 2010 has dramatically accelerated its I/O architecture so that it can achieve acceptably high performance from commodity storage devices. Exchange 2010 offers unprecedented flexibility in configuring fault-tolerant disk subsystems by supporting storage area networks, direct attached SAS drives, or ultra-affordable Serial ATA disks.
The advantage of inexpensive disk storage is not simply that it allows businesses to save money on equipment. Low-cost drives mean that users can have substantially larger mailboxes without breaking their company's IT budget. Larger mailboxes, in turn, reduce the amount of time administrators spend trying to enforce stingy size limits, the productivity users lose trying to weed out non-critical messages, and the opportunities wasted when partners attempt to contact people with full mailboxes. Large mailboxes also set the stage for multi-media unified messaging which enhances productivity by centralizing access to email, IM, voice mail, faxes.
Improved Outlook Web App and Smart Phone Synchronization
In the area of client email software, Exchange 2010 supports Microsoft Office Outlook 2010 as well as previous versions of Office Outlook and Entourage for Mac. Exchange 2010 also includes a vastly enhanced release of Outlook Web App, Microsoft's renamed version of Outlook Web Access. This new edition of OWA allows users to benefit the advanced features of Office Outlook 2010 via any popular web browser including Firefox and Apple Safari. OWA also allows users to synchronize from virtually all smartphones including the RIM BlackBerry and the Apple iPhone.
A major enhancement to Outlook Web App is the display of every message in a folder on one web page. OWA users no longer have to go through the drudgery of repeatedly loading new pages in order to scroll through all the message in a large folder. OWA also supports Exchange 2010's new Conversation View, which automatically groups messages from the same thread. Conversation View makes it easy to locate the latest message in a thread and allows users to manage threads the same way they manage individual messages. All the messages associated with the same conversation can be saved, deleted, moved, and copied as a group, even if the messages within the group are in different folders. By eliminating excessive scrolling and offering Conversation View for
dealing with message threads, OWA increases user productivity and improves business results. With Outlook Web App, users spend less time searching for vital messages and are less likely to overlook, forget, or lose important email.
The new version of OWA supported by Exchange 2010 further centralizes your messaging environment by utilizing Microsoft's ActiveSync to allow users to send SMS text messages. In addition, SMS messages that have been sent to a smart phone through EAS can be read from the Outlook Web App inbox.
Outlook Web App includes a variety of additional features designed to save time and improve collaboration. Advanced queries make it easy to find critical messages, enhanced calendar sharing and side-by-side calendar viewing simplify scheduling, and message filtering is easier thanks to convenient drop-down menus that include the most commonly used filtering options. You can also can integrate OWA with Skype for Business or Microsoft Lync Server, formerly Office Communications Server (refer to Skype for Business support and Microsoft Lync Server 2013 integration) so users can easily find out whether colleagues are available and decide the most efficient way to communicate with them.
Advanced Voice Mail Capability
Exchange 2010 offers breakthrough features that make it possible to replace a legacy PBX system and voicemail service with an integrated all-software solution, offering savings Microsoft estimates to be as high as 40%. Exchange 2010's new Speech to Text Preview automatically scans voice mail messages and converts them to text, allowing users to use their Inbox to scan their voice mail the same way they scan text messages. This eliminates the time that would otherwise be lost opening audio files and listening to voice mail only to find that it is inconsequential, and also prevents crucial voice mail from being ignored because the recipient is in a rush and only has time to glance through text messages. Exchange 2010's ability to convert voice mail to text messages also allows users to manage their voice mail as efficiently as they manage email by making it easy to sort, store, move, copy, and delete voice messages.
Exchange 2010 offers automated voice mail attendants to permit users to make customized menus to answer callers and guide them through navigation options. Users can also define answering rules to handle call transfers or to filter incoming calls by checking Caller ID or contact information. To deal with missed calls, Exchange 2010 can automatically send text messaging alerts to advise people of new voice mail. Exchange 2010 can enhance the security of your voice mail solution by allowing you to use Active Directory Rights Management Service to block protected voice mail from being forwarded to recipients who do not have authorization.
Improved Data Protection and Compliance
Messaging has traditionally been the area most vulnerable to security attacks in any OS platform, and Exchange 2010 builds on the strong security foundation developed for Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2007 to provide a messaging environment with a powerful array of options for delivering world-class protection. Exchange 2010 now allows you to automate a range of security policies that can be applied to messages based on the sender, the receiver (including recipient lists), or the contents of the message. Options include the ability automatically to encrypt messages, route them to additional personnel, postpone delivery pending approval, block them outright, or allow messages to go through but appending to them special headers or disclaimers to mitigate liability. You can also configure Exchange 2010 to search for specified keywords or patterns like credit card numbers or social security numbers in the message itself or in attachments.
Exchange 2010 makes it easier to achieve or validate compliance with industry or government security and audit standards and to speed up costly search processes such as legal discovery. A new mechanism for defining and enforcing data retention policies enables managers as well as end users to automate the process of saving messages and folders for specified periods. To facilitate auditing, Exchange 2010 provides a simple but powerful web-based tool that allows authorized users to conduct searches across multiple mailboxes.
How Progent Can Help You with Exchange Server 2010
Progent's Microsoft-certified Exchange experts can assist you to evaluate the costs and benefits of adopting of Exchange 2010 and help you create and carry out an affordable plan for upgrading to Exchange 2010 from Exchange Server 2007 or from the two most popular Exchange platforms no longer supported by Microsoft: Exchange 2003 or Exchange 2000. Progent's seasoned email migration consultants have the experience to design and implement an upgrade process that minimizes productivity loss, boosts security, improves fault tolerance, increases throughput and capacity, lowers operational and equipment costs, simplifies administration and support, and enhances the business value of your information network. Whether your move to Exchange 2010 is routine or complex, Progent has the knowledge to complete the job quickly and economically.
Progent offers a variety of consulting services to help you get all the benefits of upgrading to Exchange 2010. Progent's engineers can show you how to configure Exchange 2010 and Active Directory to enforce your security policies, deploy Exchange 2010 for non-stop operation, create a disaster recovery strategy that incorporates the advanced backup and restore features of Exchange 2010, and provide mobility consulting by offering services such as iPhone and iPad integration, Android phone and tablet consulting, and RIM BlackBerry expertise to make sure your mobile users have seamless access to all of Exchange 2010's messaging features. Progent can also provide consulting services for migrating from Exchange Server 2010 to Exchange 2013 or migrating to Exchange Server 2016.
Office 365 Integration with On-premises Exchange
Microsoft has made a strong effort to enable seamless hybrid environments that integrate Office 365 Exchange Online and local Exchange deployments. This allows you to have specific Exchange mailboxes hosted at your corporate datacenter and other mailboxes hosted by Office 365. Progent's certified Exchange consultants can assist you with any phase of planning, implementing and debugging your hybrid Office 365 network. Progent's Exchange specialists can deliver as-needed support to help you resolve challenging technical issues and also offer extensive project management outsourcing to make sure your hybrid Office 365/Exchange solution is completed on time and within budget. For more information about Progent's consulting expertise for hybrid Office 365 and on-premises Exchange systems, see Office 365 integration solutions with on-premises Exchange.
Progent's World-class Online Consulting and Technical Support Services
Progent's expert engineering team specializes in delivering remote consulting and technical assistance in order to provide enterprise-class network support services at a price small businesses can afford. Remote support eliminates travel costs and improves business productivity by fixing problems quickly. Progent has been perfecting online support techniques for more than a decade and has delivered successful results to businesses in every state in the U.S. (Check out Progent's nationwide customer testimonials.)
Another important factor contributing to Progent's effectiveness is breadth of expertise. In addition to being a Microsoft-certified consulting firm, Progent has assembled an engineering staff that includes one of the world's largest independent teams of Cisco-certified CCIE network engineers, allowing Progent to resolve even the most complex issues involving network infrastructure. Added to this strength is Progent's team of CISA, CISSP, GIAC, CISM, and ISSAP certified network security engineers who can provide a wide range of remote services that include low-cost security inventories to evaluate the vulnerability of small business networks to both external and internal threats.
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