222 4.5 Leveraging storage technologies
hire and retain qualiﬁed staff; it will research the market for the best
players and attempt either a strategic partnership to build a joint ven-
ture and achieve a particular initiative, or simply acquire and merge
the two companies to create a stronger, more capable conglomerate.
From an IT manager’s perspective, this work involves integrating
servers, organizations, assets and application processes, and only stan-
dards can help to ease this particular job. Your ability to present these
abilities and to demonstrate them in action can help you in getting
support for further investments and create a real business advantage
that your CIO will be proud to present to his CEO and Chief Finan-
cial Ofﬁce (CFO).
4.5 Leveraging storage technologies
The trend for Exchange storage is one of continuous growth, even though
many companies attempt to control the size of the information by enforcing
quotas and maintaining user mailboxes by removing unwanted messages.
As companies strive to reduce their infrastructure and operational costs,
they are moving to server consolidation and centralization, aiming at reduc-
ing the number of servers that they have to manage.
You may take the problem one way or another, but you should always
keep in mind that in any consolidation scenario, data remains; typically it
doesn’t reduce in size and will quite probably increase in terms of availability
requirements. As you were planning to redeploy a computing infrastructure
to reduce costs, you have to increase your investment in the area of storage,
so important for the mission-critical applications such as messaging.
As companies evolved into creating large data centers that host massive
quantities of computing power and are built around high-speed network-
ing accesses, the concentration of data has to be addressed in three per-
spectives—cost, performance, and availability. Apart from these three
criteria that should shape your ﬁnal technology solution and strategy, the
manageability of this information is growing important. Today you can
build a server that serves 1 TB or even 1 PB of data, but making this data
manageable is another problem. This was ﬁrst addressed with Microsoft
Exchange 2000 by allowing for a single Exchange server to serve more
than one mailbox store: instead of gathering a large quantity of informa-
tion into a single ﬁle database, you can now create more than one of these
databases, all managed and processed by a single server.
4.5 Leveraging storage technologies 223
This is a serious scalability advantage of Exchange 2003 and a big
improvement compared with Exchange 5.5, one that can lead to more ﬂex-
ible designs that take advantage of new technologies.
When building any Exchange 2003 server, you must ﬁrst determine
how much space you should plan for hosting the user mailboxes and
optionally, shared information (public folders). In short, you will have to
build storage solutions that implement to various degrees the following
Throughout this chapter, we will return to those key aspects, because
they represent the roots for any storage design decisions you make. As we
cover the storage technologies you can (and you cannot) use with Microsoft
Exchange, you will quickly realize that there is an advantage in having a
sound storage strategy for your enterprise, both from a management per-
spective and from a storage platform acquisition standpoint.
It is generally a good idea to appoint as part of your administration staff
a storage administrator who will be responsible for looking up these issues,
not only across your Exchange 2003 environment but also across your
Windows Server environment (including ﬁle and print services), and prob-
ably beyond the Windows Server platform by including such environments
as UNIX or other high-end operating systems (not that Windows Server is
not a high-end operating system).
I mentioned earlier how storage embraced the networking paradigm: do
project yourselves into the past and think about how networking was intro-
duced in IT infrastructures, how it evolved and how it is run today. With
Storage, you will ﬁnd the same pattern of server speciﬁc components, which
then get deployed in an interconnected way. Then you need to address the
redundancy and performance and security of the interconnecting compo-
nents and links. Finally, you will need to address a level of multi-vendor
interoperability, which is best addressed by standards implementation.