Exchange Team Broadens Beta 1, Releases a CTP

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-03-01 Print this article Print

Updated: The first beta of Microsoft's upcoming Exchange 12 product, which offers calendaring and unified messaging, is private.

Microsoft has broadened the group of testers for the first beta of its upcoming Exchange 12 e-mail, calendaring and unified messaging server product, announcing March 1 that it had released a community technology preview build to its 200,000 global TechNet and MSDN subscribers. "The CTP is a beta one release, which is still a private beta, which means that testers are bound by a Non Disclosure Agreement and cannot share the build with anyone else. However, while they can talk about those features we have announced and made public, they are not allowed to talk about their experience with working with the code and which features do and do not work. "This is very early code and not at the point where it should be reviewed," Megan Kidd, a senior product manager for Exchange, in Redmond, Wash., told eWEEK.
However, the second beta for Exchange 12, due this summer, will be publicly available and anyone can then review and talk about the code, she said, adding that are no current plans for another CTP release.
The Exchange team has received a good deal of feedback since it released the first beta for the product last December, particularly around two features: local continuous replication and cluster continuous replication. To read more about the first Exchange beta release, click here. Ray Mohrman, a technical product planner for Exchange, said these features are essentially high availability solutions and are designed to meet the IT demand for increasing availability of their systems. Messaging solutions like exchange are becoming increasingly core to the way companies conduct business, and they are always looking at ways to make sure that system is always available, he said. "In Exchange 12 we took an approach of being able to provide a scalable solution that could fit a number of customer requirements. "So, looking at local continuous replication first, this is really bringing affordable, enterprise ready continuity for our small and mid-market customers, those rich failover solutions that larger companies have implemented," he said. "This is a way that we can do some log file shipping, create a replica database of a real production environment so if there is any disk failures or possible corruptions or hardware problems, it will be able to fail over to a copy really quickly," Mohrman said. This is far easier and quicker than having to restore from a backup, where users have to find their tapes, mount them and restore them. "With this system, users can just flop right over to the second copy," he said. Click here to read more about why contributing editor David Coursey doesnt want to wait for new Exchange features. This solution is also integrated into the Exchange System Manager, which is the console used to manage everything in Exchange. Next Page: Integrated solutions.

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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