Azaleos to offer managed e-mail on a blade

E-mail management provider Azaleos this week will introduce Blade-mail, a highly available, remotely managed Microsoft Exchange appliance running on IBM blade servers.

The company has designed the platform to ensure that e-mail is always available to users on a network, on the Web or through mobile devices, and to help lower the cost and complexity of managing Exchange.

Blade-mail also incorporates storage technology from Network Appliance and uses the Boot From Storage Area Network (SAN) technology Microsoft unveiled in April that allows Windows to be booted from a SAN using iSCSI technology and standard network interface cards.

With the SAN boot technology, an iSCSI-attached SAN provides the source for operating system, applications and data, which obviates the need for local storage on blades.

Blade-mail runs on IBM BladeCenter hardware loaded with diskless blades supported by an IBM System Storage N3700 and Network Appliance's NetApp FAS270 storage device. The Blade-mail configuration will support up to 14 blades.

Azaleos develops a dedicated appliance called OneServer that provides an active/passive, fault tolerant and clustered Exchange platform for corporate messaging. The company combines OneServer with its OneStop Subscription Service that includes round-the-clock remote monitoring. The platform also provides maintenance and management of the appliance, covering the hardware and patch management for all installed software including Windows, Exchange and third-party applications.

Blade-mail is expected to ship in September with support for Exchange 2003. The Exchange 2007 version will ship later this year or in early 2007 after Microsoft releases Exchange 2007.

The Exchange 2003 version is designed to support up to 17,500 users on a single BladeCenter chassis. The 2007 version will support 70,000 users.

In addition, Azaleos is developing technology for in-place upgrades to 2007. Users can insert a Blade-mail chassis in their existing Exchange 2003 environments and migrate their entire Exchange platform, including mailboxes and public folders, without changing any hardware in their environment, according to Azaleos.

"This will dramatically reduce the cost of an Exchange migration," says Keith McCall, CTO of Azaleos.

The Blade-mail server will be priced at US$30,000 and carry a per-user cost starting at US$7.

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