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Exchange Platform Package Deals

To help ease the pain of implementing Exchange 2000, leading vendors and Microsoft partners have positioned Exchange Server 2000 as key standalone products. Most divide their offerings between small businesses with fewer than 250 employees, medium-size businesses, and larger enterprises.

Hewlett-Packard Company of Palo Alto, Calif. (www.hp.com) offers Exchange 2000 packages on its Netserver Intel-based servers, integrated with its family of SureStore storage products. HP also offers management tools from its own OpenView messaging platform, which consists of a systems monitoring console. The OpenView console provides graphical visibility into site and group message flows and organizational maps. The system also incorporates a centralized backup feature. In addition, HP is currently offering Microsoft Exchange 2000 "rebate" as part of its platform offering. This consists of rebates of up to $1,700 on HP Netservers and up to $2,500 on storage products for a 250-license purchase of an Exchange package.

Compaq Computer Corp. of Austin, Tex. (www.compaq.com), HP's leading competitor -- and likely soon-to-be business unit -- offers a pre-configured Exchange bundle on its ProLiant Server line. Currently, Microsoft Exchange Server for Small Business is available for site with up to 250 users on a Compaq ProLiant ML370 server. Microsoft Exchange Server for Large Businesses is available for 500 to 1,000 users on a Compaq ProLiant ML570 model. Of course, if the company's acquisition by HP goes through, the future of this offering is uncertain.

Dell Computer Corp. of Round Rock, Tex. (www.dell.com) offers an integrated Exchange Server solution on its PowerEdge server line, along with its PowerVault storage arrays. Dell offers built-to-order Exchange 2000 configurations, based on a menu of configuration and management options. Dell's Exchange 2000 Server Infrastructure Accelerator includes pre-loaded and configured software for smaller systems using PowerEdge 2500 servers for up to 500 users, and PowerEdge 6450 for 1,500 or more users.

At the high end, Unisys Corp. of Blue Bell, Pa. (www.unisys.com) has incorporated Exchange 2000 into its mammoth multi-processor e-@ction server line. For example, Unisys' ES7000 supports up to 5,000 users with an eight-way processor architecture, and up to 20,000 end-users with a 32-way configuration. The offerings include RAID technology for backup and recovery, and an array of system management tools.

In a different kind of high-end approach, Marathon Technologies of Boxborough, Mass. (www.marathontechnologies.com), offers two versions of its fault-tolerant Marathon Exchange Server, configured on Compaq, HP, IBM or Dell machines. Marathon emphasizes the fault-tolerance capabilities of these "NoFail Email" systems, which are supported on two processors. The solution also includes fully mirrored RAID storage capabilities. Marathon Exchange Server 1000 supports up to 1,000 end-users, while the 3000 edition supports up to 3,000 users.

Since IBM Corp. of Armonk, N.Y. (www.ibm.com) sells and supports its own Lotus Domino/Notes messaging software; the company does not offer pre-configured xSeries servers with Exchange. However, the company does offer Tivoli Management Solution for Exchange, which includes a suite of performance monitoring and data protection tools for Exchange 2000 environments.

About the Author

Joe McKendrick is an independent consultant and author specializing in surveys, technology research and white papers. He's a contributing writer for ENTmag.com.