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Exchange Server 2007 SP1 arrives with added replication

Time will tell if delivery of the first service pack for Exchange Server 2007 will set off a wave of migrations.

Exactly one year after the delivery of the Exchange Server 2007 messaging platform, Microsoft will release the first service pack for this platform, which adds new replication features and improved Web access for remote workers.

The company said it will make available Exchange Server 2007 SP1 by the end of this week. The most prominent feature it offers is standby continuous replication, or SCR, which lets IT managers replicate an Exchange Server to any location. In the event of a disaster, SCR has provided a copy of the server at a remote location, which can then be manually activated.

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This service pack gives IT managers more support for Windows Server 2008, which is due out early next year. It also has better integration with Office Communications Server 2007 and Forefront Security Server SP1, an improved GUI and an Office 2007 document converter.

The service pack adds some features for the Outlook Web Access, or OWA client, used by mobile workers to remotely access their email. The improvements include a larger calendar and being able to create and edit distribution lists. Exchange Server 2007 SP1 also lets IT managers confirm that data lost or stolen on a mobile device has been successfully wiped clean.

Separately, Microsoft has also made available the final beta of its capacity planning tool, System Center Capacity Planner 2007, or SCCP. The tool could feasibly help IT managers plan their Exchange Server 2007 deployments or expansions. The tool's "release candidate" version will be available by year's end, the company said.

SCCP is expected to help IT managers model, analyze and simulate individual scenarios of Exchange Server to ease rollouts during server migrations.

It also has beta versions of the tool available for SharePoint Server 2007 and SharePoint Services 3.0. Eventually, it will release a tool for System Center Operations Manager 2007 as well, the company said.

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