Data Store Still in Works

While Exchange Server 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, company executives say Microsoft remains committed to unifying this with the SQL Server database store.

They just dont know exactly when yet.

Officials such as Terry Myerson, general manager of the Exchange Server product group, say there is more value in staying on JET, or Joint Engine Technology, in Exchange 2007.

"We are delivering incredible value around storage in Exchange 2007 and reducing costs with the 64-bit optimizations and building the applications database," said Myerson in Redmond, Wash.

Some customers join Myerson in saying its like comparing apples to oranges. Joel Stidley, a senior solutions engineer at Data Return, in Irving, 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. But subsequent improvements to JETs stability, performance and recoverability have made the matter less urgent.

Moving to the SQL store was prioritized against other management functionality the Exchange team was working on, like the new scripting shell, based on Windows PowerShell, which Myerson called "the most exciting thing weve done at Microsoft for management in a long time."

The new command-line interface, known as the Exchange Management Shell, will have more impact now on Exchange administrators than would switching the data store, Myerson said. "As we plan the next version of Exchange [currently code-named Exchange 14], it may be that the biggest breakthrough we can make for storage management is to switch to the SQL data store."