Are you tiering your Exchange and Outlook users?

I met with a company yesterday that didn’t understand what tiering their Exchange users would do…

In their company:

  • Everyone had the same mailbox limits – some mailboxes up to 7GB!
  • Anyone could get a Blackberry (good for users, 3.64 IOPS multiplier for the Exchange server).
  • Lots of Entourage (with Exchange 2003 it’s known to be “special” on IOPS).
  • They didn’t offer single item restore because they don’t do brick-level backups or use Replication Manager.
  • Recovery Times were “best effort” and often beyond 24 hours (they admitted this is bad, this was the point of the meeting).

In speaking with a lot of customers each week, I find that the above is pretty common.  A lot of companies aren’t necessarily optimizing their environment. 

A really nice, simple way to balance user needs with business objectives is to gather round the table and jot out a list of requirements for various parts of your business.

Believe me, I know there are all sorts of hurdles like political pressures, top down management styles, and weird people you want to avoid but it doesn’t seem too difficult for most companies to at least organize a single meeting where storage / network / server / Exchange / virtualization teams all sit in the same room and discuss requirements with the goal of finishing a matrix of offerings.

Need help?  Maybe ask a business person in your company.  Or ask your favorite vendor to help.  Maybe ask EMC 🙂   We actually have all sorts of quick services to map all of this stuff out for you.

If you’re interested, here’s a REALLY simplified version to borrow from.

tiered-requirements

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