Live from Redmond - it's Geeks Argue!
I and 4,000 MVPs from around the world have accumulated in Seattle/Redmond this week. Where do we all go? To the bar, of course!
Last night, a few Exchange MVPs and the odd PowerShell MVP were sitting around discussing stuff I can't talk about here, when another MVP came to join us (who happens to work for a major storage vendor). Hey, we are open minded, no problem there!
Then, out of nowhere, he began to bash our beloved Exchange!
Interestingly enough, the basic complaint was this: Exchange degrades too gracefully. That is, you can configure Exchange in ways that are downright stupid, it will let you, and it will "sorta" run - until you finally hit that "straw that breaks the camel's back" and then it crashes.
Well, that's a valid complaint. Exchange goes to extreme lengths to allow your e-mail to go through - because e-mail is mission critical. This is what it should do, in my opinion.
And in doing this, if you want to put 1.2 million mailboxes on a single LUN of a SAN; well, it'll let you. Doesn't mean that it is the right thing to do! And it doesn't mean that Exchange is broken because it lets you do this!
There is nothing that excuses poor configuration. Whether it is Exchange itself, the storage subsystem, the network, whatever. The entire Exchange ecosystem, in large installations, must be planned and monitored.
Truthfully, in many small to medium installations, Exchange is so forgiving that you can do almost anything to it, and it'll continue to run. Most SMORGS don't have access to the technical expertise to do a proper design/rollout/support/etc. and with the hardware of today, that's ok. And Microsoft puts together packages of software to help this be OK (think Small Business Server and Essential Business Server).
But when an installation gets large than, oh, around 250 mailboxes - you best begin to take planning seriously. Planning, monitoring, and proper operations are a system administrator's ongoing responsibility.
Until next time...
As always, if there are items you would like me to talk about, please drop me a line and let me know!