System Center Influencer Live Meeting – Managing Exchange 2010 with System Center

I really enjoyed the live meeting on managing Exchange 2010 through System Center. Actually I thought the presenters had much more things to tell than they had time for unfortunately. I have to say that time passed by too fast during that small hour. So, even if it has been a few days since the meeting already there are still enough things I can remember from it I guess. The session was hosted by Leslie Kitz (SC product manager for Exchange and system center integration, hope I have this description right). Presenters were also Jon LeCroy who has been working on the Exchange 2010 management pack and Jason all-backed-up-Buffington B)
The improvements in the SCOM 2010 MP are notable. A lot of improvements have ben made to avoid the alert noise that happens whenever anybody touches an exchange server 😉 In order to provide for intelligent alerting towards a root cause the creators of the new MP have put lots of effort into working with the health model to determine root cause alerts and show them first. They are using a new service called the Correlation Engine. Alerts have been reclassified into three categories: Key Health Indicator, Non Service Impacting and Forensic. Also improvements have been made into the reporting field. Notable was that the reports are more of what we were looking for. So report on the service more than the servers, mailflow statistics (in demand by managers) and exchange aware availability modeling.
Next in line was our backup friend Jason Buffington on DPM. Because of the big changes in Exchange the existing DPM 2007 can not backup exchange 2010. The new DPM 2010 however can do that. It fully supports DAG. DPM 2010 is still in the beta stages, but will probably be available in final version around the end of Q1 2010. One interesting remark was that the next RC version will also support machines outside of the domain. This is used to backup a few workgroup and dmz machines for instance. Great feature and much asked for.
On a personal note: Since a few weeks I have a exchange 2010 only implementation and I can say my DPM 2010 beta is performing very well. By the way, it also was doing a great job against the system state, exchange 2007, sharepoint, hyper-v, sql, file shares etc. SO good going with this product Jason and crew!!!
The session went on to give some virtualization advice on exchange virtualization. Some things I can remember are Unified Messaging role not being supported for virutalization. Doesn’t mean it won’t work, but it will probably give performance issues on larger deployments. Advice to use passthrough disks or fixed VHD files of course. Heavy used servers are best not virtualized.
Probably this session could have been stretched across 3 hours, because there was so much to say. But of course the 1 hour sessions are much easier to schedule for everybody. So solution is to have many sessions on lots of subjects.
The next session will probably be 5 January 2010 and be on virtualization subjects. I can’t wait. Thank you very much Leslie Kitz for the exchange and system center session!
Bob Cornelissen