Tuesday, June 7, 2011

When Do You Need the Enterprise Edition of Exchange 2010?

I've run into a lot of confusion lately about when you need to Enterprise versions of Windows Server 2008 and Exchange 2010. It's actually very straightforward to decide. You need to ask two questions:
  1. Will there be more than 5 databases on a Mailbox server? If yes, you need Exchange 2010 Enterprise edition.
  2. Will you have a database availability group (DAG)? If yes, then you need Windows Server 2008 Enterprise edition for each Mailbox server in the DAG.
That's it!

The only difference between Exchange 2010 Standard edition and Exchange 2010 Enterprise edition is the number of databases supported on each Mailbox server. There are no other differences. Database physical size is unlimited for both versions. DAGs are also supported on both versions.

A DAG requires the failover clustering feature that is only available in the Enterprise edition of Windows Server 2008. Failover clustering is configured and managed by the Exchange management tools, but it needs to be there.

It's worth noting from a design perspective that if you have a DAG and at least three copies of the database, then you can consider going backupless. In which case, you will likely use fewer large databases. Consequently, you often do not need the Enterprise version of Exchange Server building a DAG.

There is also an Enterprise Client Access License (CAL) for Exchange 2010. This CAL is required for all users accessing premium features. This includes unified messaging, the new personal archive feature, per mailbox journaling, and a number of other things. The Exchange Management Console identifies features that require an Enterprise CAL. A reference is here:
Finally the new retention policies and personal archives require not only Outlook 2010, but specific versions of Outlook 2010. Retention policies are implemented on the server side, but user tagging is unavailable with the incorrect version. Personal archives are visible only in the correct version of Outlook 2010. A version reference is here:

No comments:

Post a Comment