Microsoft recently released the final version of Exchange Server 2007 SP1, bringing many features into production that didn’t make the cut for the original RTM. Some of the more notable enhancements include improvements to Outlook Web Access (OWA) and the management console and native IPv6 support. Arguably the most significant addition is Standby Continuous Replication (SCR). SCR enables organizations to replicate storage groups to stand-by servers or clusters at remote or secondary data centers. The SCR target can be manually activated if there is a failure at the primary data center. Existing disaster recovery (DR) solutions using native Microsoft tools were scarce and complex, especially compared to other platforms like Domino. To date, third parties like Symantec, NetApp, and Mimosa Systems have filled the gap for customers looking for true rapid failover in site-level failures, but some companies like to see more native options. SCR could be an interesting alternative for firms looking to balance cost and their recovery SLA's.
The element of piracy always presents Microsoft with a difficult choice in how best to protect its intellectual property. Measures that are too lax could contribute to an uptake in unlicensed deployments and lost licensing revenue while more draconian techniques could threaten adoption of their products and place an unnecessary management burden on their paying customers. The software giant always has a formidable task in finding a balance between the two extremes and determining the best course of action with regard to protecting their products. Take the example of a university with a compromised Windows Server volume license key, posted by a student administrator on to the Internet for “sharing.” Installations using the key pop up around the globe, forcing Microsoft to invalidate the key. Software pirates around the globe shrug their shoulders and move on to the next key on their list while the university is stuck cleaning up the mess resulting from having a now invalid key.
On December 10th, 2007, 3PAR announced a partnership with HP and VMware to promote a high performance infrastructure architecture that a group of large customers developed, implemented, and validated. Customer references include marquee companies Deutsche Bank, Hilton, Savvis, and Ariba. Coined “3CV,” which stands for “3” Par, HP “C” Class Blade Center, and “V” Mware, the architecture is said to reduce total hardware acquisition cost, cut power consumption, and increase the agility of provisioning, as well as enable consolidation through security at the virtualization layer rather than through physical separation.
The iPhone, a consumer powerhouse, has garnered a lot of interest among prosumers that leaves us wondering if it's quite ready for the enterprise. We've received a surprising volume of client inquiries over the past few weeks regarding whether large organizations should add the iPhone to their list of internally supported mobile devices. Forrester strongly believes that the first generation of the iPhone is not an enterprise-class mobile device. Limitations like its lack of support for push email and calendar, third-party applications, and disk or file encryption make the iPhone impossible to secure and manage. However, improvements are already being taken to make the iPhone more business friendly with a new generation that will support 3G networks and will be open to third-party applications.
Is there anyone out there that thinks we're off base here and that has welcomed the iPhone within the walls of your enterprise? If so, we'd love to hear your thoughts. Look out for an upcoming Forrester report on this topic as it is proving to be a hot one in the mobile enterprise space.