Monday, November 9, 2009

ROI for Exchange 2010

On November 9, Microsoft will make Exchange 2010 available for general release. This, of course, creates on more decision that CIOs and CTOs will be considering in the upcoming year. Of course, there is rarely a tangible return on what is almost always a significant investment when it comes to in-place upgrades. The incremental benefits of the new system usually are not compelling enough, by themselves, to justify the disruption, risk and expense.

Exchange 2010 might be an exception, however. Microsoft claims that Exchange 2010 has 70% less disk I/O requirements than Exchange 2007. This makes viable the slower, cheaper disks of DAS (direct-attached storage), freeing up more expensive SAN storage for other, more I/O intensive systems. This is an area that has great potential for savings, as organizations are creating and keeping more and more content, and therefore increasing the need for storage.

My recommendation is to carefully consider setting aside budget to evaluate Exchange 2010 in the first quarter of next year, with an eye towards executing the upgrade during the second half. This will provide some time for Microsoft to fix the inevitable bugs and for the market to either prove or refute the I/O claim.

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