Robert’s Rules and Challenging Complexity

Challenging complexity is what this blog is all about. Challenging complexity in Exchange designs and keeping things simple for as long as possible is what Robert is advocating, and for that we feel that Robert’s series of posts deserve to be called out.  

We often get asked where people can find really good technical content on Microsoft Exchange, and one of the very best is the Exchange Team Blog, and particularly the Robert’s  Rules series.

Robert Gillies is a Microsoft Certified Master and Microsoft Certified Architect, working in the Public sector space for Microsoft. Dealing with Government, Robert architects and oversees larger projects than the average architect. One of the other things Robert does is blog about Exchange, specifically designing, building and running Exchange 2010.

In a recent post, Robert discusses a rather interesting approach to designing Exchange; specifically, keep the design as simple as possible for as long as possible and take the opportunity to challenge additional complexity at every turn. What does this mean for you and I?

In a previous two part series titled Give your SAN to the SQL team parts one and two, we discussed using SATA based disks as the primary storage medium for Exchange servers, as opposed to Expensive Tier 1 SAN storage. Robert takes this approach one step further, advocating the use of Multi Role Exchange Servers – where CAS, HUB and Mailbox roles are deployed onto the same hardware – along with SATA disks.

Robert discusses and, more importantly, advocates a number of technologies along with their context. When we think of designing Exchange and knowing what we should or should not be doing, this is critical. In this post, Robert covers a number of areas, including rack space, storage, when virtualisation makes sense, how to save hardware, all from the experience he has as an architect in this space, which is invaluable to those desigining, operating and running exchange environments.