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EMC Set to Ship Administrator Tool for Exchange

EMC Corp. announced it will ship in early October a plug-in to the Microsoft Exchange System Manager user interface aimed at simplifying management of e-mail, migration of data and managing storage area network resources, all from within the same tool.

Storage Administrator for Exchange 2.1 works with EMC CLARiiON AX and CX series networked storage systems. Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC is pitching the product as a way for both mid-size enterprises as well as small-to-medium businesses (SMB) to simplify Microsoft Exchange storage administration tasks and improve e-mail availability for customers with 3,000 or fewer e-mail accounts to manage.

Simplicity is the key. “In small businesses, you [often] have a jack-of-all-trades manager [whose role is not that of a dedicated IT manager] so we’re not requiring people to be conversant in a lot of storage-specific technologies and concepts,” says Katie Curtin-Mestre, EMC director of CLARiiON software marketing.

For instance, users can input Exchange requirements such as mailbox numbers, user quotas, and expected growth using Microsoft Exchange System Manager. Storage Administrator automatically creates the storage configuration and expands capacity as Exchange requirements grow. The software supports best practices from both Microsoft and EMC.

Or if an Exchange server fails, Storage Administrator can be used to reassign storage groups to an active server with just a few mouse clicks, according to EMC statements.

The company is also pitching Storage Administrator for Exchange as a tool to enable customers to more easily make the transition from local-attached storage to a network-attached storage model, as well as for migrating to Microsoft Exchange Server 2003.

“The value-add [of Storage Administrator for Exchange] is to ensure that a customer going from direct-attached storage to a storage area network is gaining all the capabilities of a SAN the first time,” Curtin-Mestre says.

Although the software is labeled version 2.1, this is actually the first major public release of the product – version 2.0 was a technology preview or incubator release. EMC acquired the technology in November 2004 when it bought out a smaller partner company, Allocity of Mountain View, Calif., to get its Live!Ex product – now renamed Storage Administrator for Exchange.

EMC Storage Administrator for Exchange is priced per array (Fibre Channel or iSCSI) with a starting list price of $2,000 when deployed with an EMC CLARiiON AX100 networked storage system. An AX100 starts at around $6,000, according to the company.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.