Exchange Data Store Change Still in the Cards

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-07-20 Print this article Print

Microsoft says it remains committed to unifying the Exchange database store with the SQL Server database store going forward. They just don't know exactly when yet.

Editors Note: This is the first in a series of articles that looks at how Microsoft plans to meet the enterprise needs of the mission-critical e-mail, calendaring and messaging market. While Exchange 2007, the upcoming e-mail, calendaring and messaging server from Microsoft, is still based on the Extensible Storage Engine, a derivative of the Jet database store, the company says it remains committed to unifying this with the SQL Server database store going forward.
They just dont know exactly when yet.
Officials such as Terry Myerson, the general manager of the Exchange Server product group, argue that there is ultimately more value for customers by staying on the Jet engine in Exchange 2007, the second, public beta of which is expected to ship as early as late July, with the final product likely in late 2006 or early 2007. Read more here about how Exchange 2007 is expected to have something for all. "We are delivering incredible value around storage in Exchange 2007 and reducing costs with the 64-bit optimizations and building the applications database. These are features that are done a little differently in SQL Server and are optimized for Exchange," he said. Theres more value from Microsoft keeping Exchange 2007 on Jet than if it had moved to SQL but, he said, it would have been different value if it had moved, "so its comparing apples with oranges." Some customers agree. Joel Stidley, a senior solutions engineer at Data Return, in Texas, which provides strategic enterprise IT operations services and is an early adopter of the product through the Exchange TAP (Technology Adoption Program), said that when the rumors started years ago about the possibility of Microsoft ditching Jet for the SQL back end, the promise seemed exciting. "Over the years though, the improvements that have been made to the stability, performance and recoverability of Jet have really reduced the importance of moving to the SQL engine. I am sure there can be more benefits gained from moving to SQL, but along with that will be a number of technological hurdles to overcome," he said. To read more about early concerns that extensive retraining and high costs would be involved in moving to Exchange 2007, click here. The decision to moving to the SQL store had to be prioritized against all the other management functionality the Exchange team was working on, like the new scripting shell, based on Windows PowerShell, and "which I think is the most exciting thing weve done at Microsoft for management in a long time," Myerson said. Next Page: Challenges and breakthroughs.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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