Exchange 2010 Course Reactions - Day 1 of 5

I last used Exchange Server in a production environment on the 2003 SMB server, but really most of my experience is with Exchange 4.0, 5.5. and 2000 in Enterprises.

Why so old? Because back then, it was pretty awful compared to Notes. So I picked Notes, which gave me over a decade of work. Not a bad choice, I think...

Anyway, here's the first reactions to the course.

So many prerequisites!

Changes to AD which need to replicate out, Roles that the underlying Windows Server is required to have, and so forth.

Luckily, the installer is pretty slick, and checks for them all. Nice work there, but whilst the installer is slick I get the feeling that the whole experience could be slicker.

Oh yeah. At long last, some decent administration tools from Microsoft!

We spent quite a bit of time on Powershell, as those in the class upgrading from Exchange Server 2003 won't be familiar with it.

As someone who doesn't do Windows admin (we have other teams to do that for us), Powershell was something I was vaguely aware of but never had time to check it out. But from my first use of it today, I'm pretty impressed - it's just what Windows needs.

I'm not convinced it's going to be better than the lovely SSH/bash combination I use to administer various Linux boxes I have. It's got some pretty fundamental differences - and that's really what I want to say. Different to Linux, but better than Windows was.

I think me and Powershell are going to get along nicely...

Architecture and Mailbox Servers
We covered the basics of the Exchange 2010 architecture and then went on to configure mailbox servers and do some basic database moves/creations.

I wonder if there would be so many roles if Microsoft didn't sell Windows Server?

Hrm. That was a bit cynical of me! The architecture does make sense, though. We briefly covered the existence of Database Availability Groups, but not much more - hopefully we'll cover that later in the week.

Public Folders
These were supposed to have killed Notes by now. And yet amusingly, Sharepoint can't kill Public Folders. They're still there, still supported, and still rather limited.

There's even a slide on when you should use Public Folders, Sharepoint or Infopath - for both new and existing installations!

Yes, I do find this amusing.

Things I'm not going to be drawn on
Hardware requirements - we're working on VMs, and with tiny installations, so I can't really speak about it fairly.
The Cloud - the possibility of mixed-mode installs was mentioned, but we're doing local only for obvious reasons.
ESE - some interesting stuff about the database has been mentioned, but I want to cover Database Availability Groups before talking about this.

That's about it for the first day. One down, five to go!