One more white paper from MS IT Showcase published:
Enterprise IT organizations, including the Microsoft Information Technology (Microsoft IT) group, deal with service level agreements (SLAs) and power users accustomed to high levels of performance, availability, and responsiveness. The 180,000-plus users at Microsoft send over 15 million internal e-mail messages a day from more than 150 offices worldwide, as well as from home and while on the road. At Microsoft, many business-critical communication processes depend on the availability of messaging services provided through Microsoft® Exchange Server 2010.
Managing the complex Microsoft IT infrastructure is a team effort that involves many different groups, such as the Datacenter team, the Network Infrastructure team, the Active Directory® team, and the Exchange Messaging team. Overall, Microsoft IT manages two distinct environments: a pre-release production environment to test new product versions and upgrades prior to their release to manufacturing (RTM) and a corporate production environment to provide IT services to Microsoft users. Within these environments, the Microsoft IT Exchange Messaging team handles all Exchange-related operation, management, administration, and process optimization. In that role, the Exchange Messaging team works with many other peer teams at Microsoft IT, sharing its operations and process optimization expertise to help those teams implement efficient and reliable operations processes.
The Messaging Operations group within the Exchange Management team must meet several reliability, availability, and performance targets (such as 99.99 percent availability of Exchange services). To meet these targets, the Messaging Operations group makes use of industry-standard methodologies such as Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF), Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF), and Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). For example, the operations model that the Messaging Operations group implemented based on the ITIL framework relies on structured incident management, problem handling, configuration management, and change control processes. These processes enable the Messaging Operations group to capitalize on Exchange Server 2010 administrative features, such as the Exchange Management Console (EMC), to reduce operations costs and ensure efficiencies.
The key to success in daily operations is the right combination of technology, people, and processes. For example, the Messaging Operations group uses technical tools, such as the built-in product features of Exchange Server 2010 and Microsoft System Center Operations Manager, combined with a clear team structure and work processes that facilitate collaboration. Built-in product features of Exchange Server 2010, such as Database Availability Groups (DAGs), help the Messaging Operations group meet 99.99 percent availability and performance targets. New tools and software features, and optimization opportunities gained through customer feedback, enable the Messaging Operations group to analyze and implement changes when necessary to keep pace with the innovative and agile business landscape at Microsoft.
This white paper is for business decision makers, technical decision makers, and operations managers. It assumes that the reader has a working knowledge of Microsoft Windows Server® 2008, Active Directory, Exchange Server 2010, and Microsoft System Center Operations Manager. Because many of the principles and procedures discussed in this paper are based on standard operations methodologies, a high-level understanding of the MOF, MSF, and ITIL models is also helpful.