#Ensim: 5 Steps to Launch #Hosted #Exchange 2010

Taken from Ensim Blog

For the last several years, hosted service providers have used the Hosted Messaging and Collaboration (HMC) solution in order to support hosted Exchange deployments. With the release of Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 1, Microsoft has created a new way to support hosted Exchange deployments. Because of this, HMC 4.5 is the last HMC version that will be offered to hosted service providers.

Note: Microsoft will continue to support HMC 4.5 and HMC 4.0 through December 2011. HMC 3.5 will be supported for existing customers until July 2011.

1. Setup a New Domain
Even if you already offer EX2003 or 2007, this new version of HE2010 requires a New Standalone Environment with 64 bit machines.

2. Deploy in Hosting Mode
Exchange 2010 SP1 is the first multi-tenant ready Exchange Server version that includes hosting features that will allow hosted services providers to create and manage multiple organizations in the same Active Directory forest. Exchange 2010 SP1 can be deployed using a special “/hosting” switch that installs Exchange 2010 SP1 in “Hosting Mode”.

3. Select a Control Panel
Since Exchange 2010 SP1 in hosting mode doesn’t allow the usage of the Exchange Management Console (EMC), it’s recommended to use a third party Control Panel such as Ensim Unify SP to help with provisioning of organizations, administrators, users and resellers. The Ensim Unify Service Provider Control Panel supports non MPF for Hosted Exchange 2010.

4. Migrate
Migrating from HMC 4.5 to Exchange 2010 SP1Guidance on how you can migrate (there will not be a direct upgrade option) from HMC 4.5 to Exchange 2010 SP1 is complete and can be downloaded via this link to the Microsoft Hosting Partner Technical Advisor blog.

Note: Microsoft will not create any guidance on how to migrate from HMC 3.5 to Exchange 2010 SP1 running in hosting mode.

5. Licensing
The licensing model for hosted service providers remains consistent with the model used with previous versions of Exchange. That is a hosted service provider can license Exchange via the Service Provider Licensing Agreement (SPLA) which provides user/month pricing or via High Volume Sales (HVS) which provides SPLA at steep discounts based on volume.

The Architect, The Engineer, and a Hot Air Baloon

“…Architecture is an answer to a question. So many architects strive for accuracy in their “answers” (the architectural diagrams they produce), and we see countless discussions of the “correct” way to model this thing or that… but while accuracy is great, usefulness is so much more important…”

A Man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted a person below. He descended a bit more and shouted…

“Excuse me, can you help? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am”

The person thought carefully for five minutes, and then replied…

“You are in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You are between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude”

“You must be an engineer” said the Baloonist.

“I am” replied the person. “How did you know?”

“Well,” answered the Baloonist…

“you took a long time to respond, and everything you told me is technically correct, but it is of no value to my problem. I am still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help so far.”

The Engineer below responded, “You must be an Architect”

“I am” replied the balloonist, “but how did you know?”

“Well,” said the Engineer…

“you don’t know where you are or where you are going. You have risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise which you have no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it’s my fault!”

#VMware #VSPP3.0 Program Update

Information Provided by Insight

VMware has announced some exciting new updates to the VSPP program to respond to ongoing needs of the Hosting community and continue to expand the program offering. Key highlights of the changes are as follows:

 *   New Point value for the vCloud Premier Service Provider Bundle: the current point value of 15 points will be reduced to 7 points per virtual GB of RAM. Additionally, a cap of 24 GB per virtual machine will also be instituted.  This new point value will be effective for VSPP usage from May 1st 2011 onwards.   

 *   The vCloud Standard Service Provider Bundle will be repackaged to include vCenter Chargeback at the same current price of today, 5 points per gigabyte.   Additionally, the legal usage restrictions on vCloud Director in this bundle are being removed.  This change will be effective April 4th 2011.

 *   Version 2 of the cloud usage meter is also being released. This version includes enhancements to improve stability as well as the introduction of a GUI interface.  This new version is available for download effective April 4th 2011 and can be found at http://www.vmware.com/download/download.do?downloadGroup=UMSV2

 *   Zimbra Collaboration Server Business E-mail and Business E-mail plus are also being added to the VSPP portfolio.   These new products will need to be added into Aggregator billing systems.  These products will be available effective May 1st.  

Additionally, the current point value of the Zimbra Collaboration Server Professional edition is being reduced from 1.75 to 1.55 points per mailbox.  This reduction will be effective May 1st.

 *   Reduction in point value for vFabric Hyperic HQ EE product from 49 points per machine to 15.  This reduction will be effective May 1st.

 *   Effective now, when a new Service Provider signs up to a VSPP contract after the 20th day of the calendar month, the Aggregator (Insight) will not be required to bill the Service Provider for a full month minimum commitment until the following month.  Any product usage by the Service Provider between the 20th and the end of the month will need to be reported and paid, but they are not required to meet and pay for the minimum commit.  This flexibility is provided to the Aggregator (Insight) to use at our discretion should a Service Provider request this variance.  If an Aggregator (Insight) does bill the Service Provider for the minimum, the Aggregator (Insight) is still required to submit the minimum to VMware.

#Cisco expands Fibre Channel over Ethernet support; adds multihop #FCoE

Orignally pubished on Search Storage here: http://bit.ly/g8eVMc

Cisco Systems Inc. took steps to fill in the gaps in Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) support today as part of its data center portfolio expansion.

Cisco’s launch of servers, switches and management tools included a handful of FCoE enhancements. It added FCoE support for the MDS 9500 storage switch and the Nexus 7000 data center director switch platform, as well as multihop FCoE support in its NX-OS operating system. Cisco is also moving to a common management tool — Data Center Network Manager — for storage-area network (SAN) and local-area network (LAN) devices.

Director-class, multihop support for Fibre Channel, FCoE, iSCSI and network-attached storage (NAS) gives Cisco the ability to make seven hops between Unified Computing System (UCS), Nexus and MDS devices, allowing customers to scale Fibre Channel over Ethernet networks without requiring the emerging Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links (TRILL) standard. Previously, Cisco only supported FCoE on its Nexus 5000 top-of-rack switch.

 “It’s not so much FCoE everywhere, as FCoE anywhere,” said Rob Nusbaum, Cisco’s product line manager for the MDS platform. “Each node running FCoE is no longer dependent on TRILL or Fabric Path. You can aggregate FCoE traffic in the SAN core and to other devices in the network.”

These enhancements come as people in the data storage industry continue to debate when FCoE will become prevalent in the data center, and whether it will even be the key protocol for convergence between Fibre Channel and Ethernet. The move Fibre Channel over Ethernet has come slower than Cisco anticipated when it first revealed its new data center strategy around Nexus switches and its Unified Computing System platform three ago.

Analysts agree that Cisco’s new additions could help ease the transition to Fibre Channel over Ethernet for enterprises looking to go that way.

“There have been restrictions until now,” said Wikibon senior analyst Stuart Miniman. “One of them was you couldn’t do multihop. This announcement from Cisco removes most of those restrictions. For Fibre Channel customers who want to take a slower path toward convergence, it gives them a path to do that.”

Rick Villars, vice president of storage systems and executive strategies at IDC, agreed that multihop capability makes Fibre Channel over Ethernet a better fit for FC shops.

“If you were going to do Fibre Channel and FCoE before, you were limited to having dedicated storage to the UCS platform,” Villars said. “Multihop capability lets you broaden the base to customers who have Fibre Channel storage. It’s also important as part of a disaster recovery strategy because it involves the full backup and recovery effort.”

Common management for storage and network teams

Data Center Network Manager is the first step toward common management of LANs and SANs for Cisco shops. It combines Cisco Network Manager and Cisco Fabric Manager for data storage management into one platform with integration with VMware vCenter for provisioning and troubleshooting. There are still two versions — Data Center Network Manager for SAN and Data Center Network Manager for LAN.

“This is a good step,” Wikibon’s Miniman said of Data Center Network Manager. “You don’t want to just allow the LAN and SAN guys to do the same things they always did. Having a single pane of glass can blur the lines between the LAN and SAN without scaring off the network and storage guys.”

‘Still torn’ on Fibre Channel over Ethernet

Is this enough to push significant adoption of Fibre Channel over Ethernet? Villars and Miniman said they expect 10 GbE to play a major role in a converged network, but FCoE’s place in that convergence remains unclear.

“We’re still torn on FCoE,” IDC’s Villars said. “We think it’s a matter of time on 10 Gig Ethernet, but whether it’s FCoE, iSCSI or a file protocol, that’s still up in the air. We see companies that are loyal to Fibre Channel going to FCoE, but others who are just as loyal to Fibre Channel want to look at file storage for their converged infrastructure. We’re still in the early stages where people are looking at a lot of options; it’s not just about the network protocol, it’s also about management for the converged environment.”

Wikibon’s Miniman said the next major piece of the FCoE puzzle will come when Intel releases its “Sandy Bridge” server architecture later this year that will be optimized for 10 GbE and drive more LAN on motherboards (LOMs) that support FCoE. Miniman said 10 GbE may drag Fibre Channel over Ethernet into the data center because when all the pieces are in place, administrators will feel pressure to use them.

“FCoE is not the driver for convergence,” Miniman said, “10 Gig Ethernet adoption is the driver. When you have all the pieces embedded, there will be pressure from management to say ‘Why pay for separate HBAs and Fibre Channel switches when Cisco tells me I have all these pieces already?'”

Cisco’s FC switch rival Brocade has taken a more conservative approach to FCoE, although it acquired network switch vendor Foundry Networks in 2009 to give it an Ethernet platform. Brocade supports FCoE, but remains more devoted to developing its pure Fibre Channel products than Fibre Channel over Ethernet.

“Brocade has not been showing up in FCoE deployments from what I’ve heard,” Miniman said. “Cisco has a broader portfolio of FCoE products and Brocade has the second largest, but Brocade does not seem as committed to FCoE. Brocade has an Ethernet business it’s looking to grow and a Fibre Channel business to maintain, but it’s not committed to merging them in a single platform.”

This article was originally published on SearchStorage.com.