New Exchange 12 Code Shows Off Clustering, Log Shipping

The Community Technical Preview (CTP) available to some 200,000 MSDN and TechNet subscribers will feature Local Continuous Replication and Cluster Continuous Replication, both of which promise 24 by 7 e-mail access even if a server fails.

"This is a huge thing. It will allow us have Exchange clusters spanning WANs and sites. What they're talking about is really log shipping. The cool thing is it works not only server-to-server as a failover, but on a single box…You can create a local copy on the same server," said Steve Bryant, an Exchange architect with Pro Exchange, a Peachtree City, Ga., expert in Exchange Server migrations and implementations.

IBM's rival Domino e-mail and collaboration software has long supported similar clustering, replication and failover capabilities, partners said.

Microsoft delivered the first beta code of "E-12" in mid-December. That beta stressed e-mail, calendaring and unified messaging and went to 1,400 testers including partners and customers.

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A Microsoft spokesman reaffirmed the company's stance that E-12 will be a 64-bit-only product. There have been recent rumors that Microsoft was re-visiting that decision based on the large installed base of 32-bit hardware still active.

The final product, part of the widely anticipated Office 12 wave, is due late this year.