Smart Indexing in the New Exchange

One of the big shifts that continues to reshape the software industry is the rapid drop in the cost of storage. These costs are dropping so rapidly that in addition to the absolute costs dropping rapidly there is also a rapid shift in the relative cost of storage with respect to other physical resources or sources of hardware cost.  Yes, CPU and memory are becoming much less expensive pretty quickly but the cost of storage is dropping at a rate that dwarfs all of the other inputs. 

In principle that means that there should be opportunities to redesign systems to take advantage of the changing ratios.  In this video we look at a pretty cool example where the design of Exchange Server 2013 does exactly that.  Specifically, how we used some extra storage to reduce a bunch of redundant calculations to reduce the TCO of the system by changing the way we perform indexing operations in Exchange.

A couple of side points:

1)  In previous releases, the TCO of the system was lower because the space savings were worth the extra calculation time.  It is only now that these 'wasted' calculations are a net loss. 

2)  The TCO win is enabled not just by lower disk storage costs but also by a replication based backup/data protection paradigm.  Without the investment in Exchange HA this approach would probably still not be a net TCO win.

The changes to search are not just about TCO changes. With the change to the underlying search engine, search is faster, there are new user experiences, as well as new features which enable eDiscovery across Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync. Related to the eDiscovery improvements there are also new in-place hold improvements which enable you to specify which items to hold by using query parameters such as keywords, senders and recipients, start and end dates, as well as specifying a duration for items on hold.

Keep watching and let me know if you have questions, or other topics you want me to talk about.

- Perry

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