Sizing Exchange 2007 environments

I’ve had a couple of conversations with customers lately, looking for advice in figuring how to plan and size their Exchange 2007 design. In planning for something as potentially complex as a large messaging system, it’s easy to get dragged into deep technical discussions around the number of spindles of disk, the IO requirements, how…

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The lost art of the .sig

Whatever happened to elaborate and amusing ‘.sig’s? It used to be common practice to have a signature with some kind of witty/pithy quote appended at random to every email. Nowadays, the autosignature that most email programs can insert (such as Outlook’s ability to have multiple autosigs, which vary depending on which account is sending, or…

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Thread Compressor for Outlook – do you want it?

Here’s an appeal – nearly 8 years ago, I wrote* a little COM addin for the-then new Outlook 2000, which “compressed threads”. The idea was that it could take an email thread (eg a discussion over a period of time and a number of responses, from any number of people, and typically sent to a…

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Blackberry outage – worrying for mobile mail junkies

I just read news of an 11-hour outage in RIM’s Blackberry infrastructure on ZDNet – ouch. Not only did email stop flowing to the devices during the outage, but the backlog of mail which built up is taking time to clear. Without wishing to gloat (really), users of Windows Mobile devices for push email wouldn’t…

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Outlook 2007 update – performance improvement on large PST/OST files

I’ve been beta-testing this update for a little while and it seems to make quite a difference to the performance of Outlook 2007 (especially at startup) when you have large PST files, or a large offline cache of a mailbox. The Outlook team released it live, yesterday. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/933493 I’d highly recommend giving it a go -…

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When interaction design goes bad

For various reasons, I’ve been testing & driving several different cars lately, a process I quite enjoy – getting to know the foibles of the car’s cockpit, playing with the various toys and gadgets, as well as actually learning how to drive each one according to its size, performance etc. It’s really pleasing to find…

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Hosting of applications – the inevitable future?

I’ve been musing over some medium term IT trends lately and one idea that keeps coming back into frame is the seemingly inevitable trend towards hosting of applications. Take Exchange, as just one example… Hosted Exchange* has been available for years, from lots of different providers all around the world. The basic concept is that…


Is your email compliant with the (UK) Companies Act?

A semi little-known fact… as of the 1st January 2007, the rules for UK companies regarding business stationery changed. Just like every registered company is bound to include certain information (the registered office, the geography of registration (eg England & Wales) and its company registration number) on all its official letters & order forms, electronic…

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Shortcut to quickly set your voicemail greeting in Exchange 2007 UM

I love the Exchange UM system my voicemail is supplied by, though it can take a while to navigate using voice commands if all you want to do is set your voicemail greeting. I (like a lot of people in Microsoft UK) set the greeting every day to set expectations of what I’m doing, and…


Exchange 2003/2007 clustering & high availability

The Exchange development team have done a nice job of expanding the high availability options with the 2007 release. With Exchange 2003, the only real HA design was to use what is now known as a Single Copy Cluster (SCC) – ie. there’s one copy of the databases and log files, held on a Storage…

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