Microsoft Releases Exchange 2000 RC2

Microsoft Corp. this month rolled out Release Candidate 2 (RC2) of Exchange 2000 Server, which the company heavily integrated with its Windows 2000 Active Directory.

Corporate Active Directory rollouts are not expected to begin in earnest until next year, but Microsoft ( took the opportunity of the Exchange RC2 announcement to try to nudge deployments along.

The RC2 unveiling was accompanied by momentum numbers and partner declarations reminiscent of Microsoft’s Windows 2000 launch campaign earlier this year.

Microsoft says 2,500 technology specialists at IT services firms have completed Exchange 2000 training and are helping end users worldwide deploy the e-mail and collaboration server. For internal corporate IT professionals, Microsoft is offering discounted Exchange 2000 Readiness Training. An Exchange 2000 Joint Development Program has 125 customer and partner participants.

Compaq Computer Corp., Dell Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., Data General, and Unisys Corp. joined Microsoft to disclose Exchange 2000 support plans.

Compaq is offering an evaluation pilot service and a planning and design service. The company is also packaging wireless solutions that integrate with Exchange 2000. Infowave for Exchange is an enterprise software package for laptop and Windows CE handheld access to Exchange over nationwide wireless data networks. Compaq is also reselling BlackBerry Enterprise Server for wireless e-mail access to Exchange.

HP and Dell both introduced consulting services for design, migration, and implementation of the new messaging platform, in addition to promising certified servers eventually preloaded with Exchange 2000. HP OpenView also will introduce Exchange 2000 management capabilities, including discovery and shared views of an organization’s entire Exchange environment and Exchange 2000 migration management.

Data General, which will also provide planning and migration services, committed to expand its Exchange-in-a-Box packaged solutions to support Microsoft Exchange 2000.

Unisys released Microsoft Application Program Interface (MAPI) Message Benchmark (MMB) response times of less than one second for some Exchange 2000-optimized e-Action servers: the ES5000 and the ES7000.

Running Windows 2000 Advanced Server and Exchange 2000 in an active/active cluster configuration, Unisys will offer configurations that support 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, or 40,000 users. An active/active cluster configuration allows the backup server to also run production applications. Customers can choose to back up the Exchange 2000 configurations with Unisys’ high-availability guarantee of no more than one unplanned hardware stop per year.