ExchangeLabs Surpasses 1.5M Mailboxes on Exchange 14
Microsoft posted a job description on November 4 that sheds more light on its ExchangeLabs infrastructure than has previously been publicly released.
ExchangeLabs is Microsoft's way of testing "the next version of Exchange in high-scale services environments." To date, customers on the infrastructure are restricted to academic institutions with .edu domains. According to the posting, Microsoft has more than 1.5 million mailboxes hosted on ExchangeLabs today.
Standard end-user accounts come with 5GB of mailbox quota, which presumably means that Microsoft has allocated more than 7,500,000GB (7.5 petabytes) of storage for these users. According to the posting, Microsoft has been focused on "web-based management, integration with Live for provisioning and authentication, role-based management for administrators and end users, and seamless transition between on-premise Exchange deployments and hosted environments." And the posting also claims that Exchange "14" (code name for the next version of Exchange, which ExchangeLabs is running on) will provide the "first datacenter-ready web-management UI on top of Powershell."
Given Microsoft's $1.9B/year Exchange Server revenue stream, it is no surprise that Microsoft is investing heavily in SaaS -- what some are now confusingly calling "cloud computing." Microsoft is in a high-stakes battle over who will dominate the shift to SaaS.
Whatever way you look at it, there has never been a release of Microsoft Exchange with anywhere even close to 1.5M users running on preproduction code this early in the product lifecycle. And this number will undoubtedly increase substantially by the time Exchange "14" ships. Microsoft is clearly bent on winning this race; on the face of it, the numbers so far are impressive. ... David Sengupta