Analyst Firm Lists Exchange Headaches

Ferris Research, an analyst firm and consultancy focusing on messaging and collaboration, on Thursday released a list of the four biggest headaches for Exchange 2000 administrators.

The culprits, according to Ferris Research, are mass updates of mailboxes, recipient policies, distribution list management and interorganizational use of Exchange.

Most analysis of Exchange 2000 to date has dealt with the difficulties of migrating from Exchange 5.5 to Microsoft's latest messaging and collaboration platform, especially the planning aspect due to Exchange's dependency on the Windows 2000 Active Directory.

Ferris analyst Greg Deckler instead focused his research bulletin on some of the problems organizations face once they get to Exchange 2000, which has been on the market since September 2000.

While noting that Exchange is an intuitive product, Deckler details several points of pain.

The problem with mass updates of mailboxes in Exchange 2000 arises when an administrator needs to turn on a specific feature such as instant messaging. "An administrator must learn to write code for either Active Directory or LDAP to perform mass changes, which raises the skill level required to effectively administer Exchange," Deckler writes.

Deckler also asserts that:

  • Microsoft did insufficient engineering work on Recipient Policies. Deckler says this technology for setting up e-mail addresses for Exchange users is likely to shut down and have to be manually restarted if it creates a duplicate address, among other problems.
  • Exchange 2000 sorely needs automated tools for managing distribution lists.
  • Microsoft's public folder synchronization tools for interorganizational use of Exchange don't work between Exchange 5.5 and Exchange 2000. "Using Exchange between organizations is nowhere near as easy as in [Lotus] Notes, which is no cup of tea," Deckler says.

  • About the Author

    Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.