The feature enhancements in Exchange Server 2010 enable providers to create new business opportunities via customer upgrades. But before providers can persuade customers to make the move to Exchange 2010, solutions providers need to know which areas offer the greatest improvement over Exchange 2007. The Exchange 2010 high-availability feature is a prime example: Exchange 2010 HA eases management, enhances performance and may draw customers seeking to migrate to Exchange 2010.
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Persuading customers to upgrade to Exchange 2010 also means knowing Exchange 2010 requirements inside and out and how they compare with customers' existing environments. These top 10 resources outline key considerations in an upgrade and the minimum prerequisites for processor, memory and disk space.
1. Upgrading to Exchange 2010
To take advantage of the business opportunities of customer Exchange upgrades, you need to understand the upgrade and installation processes as well as the ins and outs of migration from Exchange 2007. Before trying to install Exchange 2010, examine your customer's environment and identify whether it meets the minimum requirements, such as whether it includes a Windows Server 2008 computer. After a customer upgrades from Exchange 2007, you also need to choose a method to move customer mailboxes to the new server: You can use PowerShell's Move-Mailbox commandlet or the Move Mailbox Wizard in the Exchange Management Console.
2. New features in Microsoft Exchange Server 2010
In Exchange Server 2010, Microsoft included features that simplify tasks and augment performance. Because database availability groups (DAGs) include a framework to improve high availability and disaster recovery, an Exchange 2010 upgrade could mean greater cost-efficiency for customers. Other management-related enhancements include Exchange 2010, along with Outlook 2010, now support mailboxes larger than 2 GB.
3. Exchange Server 2010 requirements: Hardware, Active Directory
Solutions providers also need to prepare for an Exchange 2010 installation by reviewing all Exchange Server 2010 requirements, including those for hardware and Active Directory (AD). A thorough review of the minimum processor, memory and disk space requirements indicates whether Exchange 2010 is a good fit for customers. Exchange relies heavily on Active Directory, so it's critical to prepare AD for a migration and, where AD is already deployed, to understand the current environment. You should consider factors such as global catalog server placement in AD before deploying Exchange 2010.
4. Using an Exchange Server 2010 design document for upgrades
During the planning phase of an Exchange Server 2010 upgrade, solutions providers should generate a design document. The design document can serve as a checklist throughout the upgrade process and may include customer goals, background, the Exchange server design and a budget estimate. A planning document puts you and your customer on the same page by detailing each step up front and for reference purposes.
5. Exchange Server 2010 upgrade: Defining scope and goals
Helping a customer with an Exchange Server 2010 upgrade requires solutions providers to get a clear view of a customer's scope and goals. Once you know theobjectives, you can organize these objectives and create a statement of work. The upgrade process becomes simpler when you have defined a company's goals based on the environment.
6. Exchange Server 2010 server roles, prerequisites, high availability
Exchange Server 2010 server roles are beneficial because of their functions and because they can reside on a single servers for small environments or on multiple servers for large organizations. Edge Transport server roles, for example, may be important in a customer's environment because they establish perimeter security for Edge Transport servers, which can be used as the SMTP gateway for sending mail. Another key to installing Exchange 2010 in your customer's environment is having a good understanding of its prerequisites, such as Windows PowerShell V2 implementation.
7. Exchange Server 2010 role-based access control
Solutions providers cannot install Exchange 2010 competently without grasping role-based access control (RBAC). RBAC enables solutions providers to easily and flexibly control what administrators and users can access. The role (and the permissions associated with it) allows certain tasks to be accomplished, while the role scope determines which resources can be administered. Other built-in management roles in Exchange Server 2010 include organization and recipient management.
8. New high-availability features in Exchange 2010
High availability (HA) isn't a brand-new Exchange Server feature; on the contrary, Exchange 2007 included HA as well. But deploying Exchange 2010 high availability is easier for solutions providers than deploying the previous iteration because they no longer need to configure failover clustering at the operating system level. In addition to this flexibility, Exchange 2010 DAGs provide high availability at a more basic level and customer databases are no longer bound to a specific server.
9. No single-instance storage in Exchange 2010: What's a VAR to do?
Because Exchange 2010 doesn't offer single-instance storage, mailbox data may take up more space in Exchange 2010 than it did in Exchange 2007. So providers need to identify new ways to capacity-plan. If you haven't yet migrated mailbox data, the best approach is to calculate the volume of data to be migrated by using a formula that includes the volume of inbound and outbound messages and the mailbox quota size. In addition, consider factors such as the amount of white space, and content index size into consideration to determine the appropriate size of a mailbox database.
10. Using Exchange 2010 high availability to boost hardware sale
Exchange 2010 high availability has improved, but solutions providers should know how to take advantage of the HA feature to increase profit margins. Because a single database can now reside on up to 16 different servers within a DAG, you can emphasize this scalability with customers to increase hardware sales. Providers can also use DAGs to customize Exchange 2010 workload distribution and arrange mailbox databases; and the benefits accrue to providers and customers.If a provider correctly combines active and passive databases, a customer's environment is can be secured in the event of a failover and because each mailbox server needs proper hardware, the provider may encourage a server hardware sales boost.