By Dean Steadman – HP Worldwide Product Manager (focused on unified storage solutions for Microsoft applications)
I spoke about the challenges IT organizations face when architecting and deploying new Exchange systems in my previous post. Today, HP and Microsoft are announcing our first purpose-built messaging system: the E5000 Messaging System for Microsoft Exchange. I set three goals for our team as we designed the product: complete, simple and agile.
It must be a complete solution including highly available servers, storage, networking, Windows licensing, support, services and all of the Exchange 2010 best practices compiled between the HP and Microsoft teams. The E5000 systems come with built-in high availability by combining HP hardware redundancy with Microsoft Exchange Server’s Database Availability Group feature-set. It will include three years of 24x7 HP support that covers everything top to bottom - both the hardware and all of the software including Exchange Server. E5000 customers can sleep at night knowing that their high availability, performance tuning and capacity planning was designed by the industry experts.
It must be easy to deploy and manage. To start with, we pre-configure as much of the system in the factory as possible. The systems will ship with Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition pre-loaded and with all of the storage formatted and configured; saving you more than a day’s worth of deployment time. Then we add on custom quick deployment tools to speed integration the system into your existing Windows infrastructure and to install Exchange. And finally, the system integrates into your favorite management suite like HP SIM or Microsoft System Center.
It must suit the requirements for varying architectures as well as to expand to meet changing business needs. We knew that a one size fits all approach wouldn’t work for Exchange, so we designed the system to work in either single site, stand-alone deployments or for customers with multiple datacenters or branch offices. Up to eight E5000 Systems can be clustered together for either additional high availability or to support an increasing number of mailboxes. And finally, we designed the system to make adding storage capacity as easy as plugging in an additional disk-shelf.
You’ll notice that I’ve been a little light on the hardware specifics. That’s because the E5000 Messaging System will be available in March and we’re keeping some of the cool geeky details to ourselves for just a bit longer. I’ll blog about those in detail as we approach the launch.