Dell Offers Lifeline For Exchange Migration

Customers concerned about where to turn once Microsoft ends support for its Exchange Server 5.5 collaboration and messaging server needn’t worry, according to Dell .

The Round Rock, Texas, company said it is throwing Exchange 5.5 users a lifeline by offering server, storage and software packages for businesses upgrading to Exchange Server 2003 before support for the older e-mail engine ends Dec. 31.

Implemented through a Dell migration service, the pre-configured packages are geared for businesses with anywhere from 100 users to up to 5,000 mailboxes.

Exchange Server allows users to send and receive electronic mail and other forms of communication through computer networks. Exchange Server 2003 operates on fewer servers to help customers save money, but it also features significant improvements over version 5.5, including better performance, security and mobile access.

Better performance and security for e-mail has always been on the general to-do list for corporations. But compliance regulations and increased security breaches on e-mail servers on other clients are forcing customers to take a harder look at improving their messaging servers.

That’s where Exchange Server 2003 fits the bill and why Dell is hoping to capitalize. Dell said Exchange Server 2003 running on Dell PowerEdge 2800 and 2850 servers can help customers run to 3,000 more mailboxes per server than Exchange Server 5.5.

In one package scenario, a company with more than 4,000 mailboxes may choose a bundle of two PowerEdge 2850 servers, a Dell/EMC CX300 with PowerVault 136T storage and Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise Edition.

In another, a smaller business with 150 users might choose a PowerEdge 2800 server with the entry-level AX100 Dell/EMC storage array and Microsoft Windows Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition.

Starting at $5,000, each migration package will include software training and three-year support.

IDC analyst Mark Levitt said that at the end of 2004, there were 41 million users of MS Exchange 5.5 worldwide, 13 million of whom are expected to move off of Exchange 5.5 (mostly switching to MS Exchange 2003 but some to competing products) by the time Microsoft stops supporting it.

“Having a pre-installed, pre-configured Exchange 2003 server with storage will attract those customers that have delayed making the move this long and want to make the migration as smooth and easy as possible,” Levitt told

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