Do we need MS Exchange?

Posted on 2005-04-13
Last Modified: 2012-08-14
The company I work for has about 40 employees with email accounts. Currently we are using Merak
as our email server. There really has not been any problems with Merak, but the topic of moving
to exchange has come up. What would be the benefits? How many email accounts does exchange handle? What are some reasons to switch? What are some reasons to stay?
Question by:JRockFL
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    I don't know anything about Merak, but I can tell you about Exchange.  

    Some of the benefits of Exchange 2003 are the ability to share your calendars, contacts, tasks, etc....  Also, OWA (outlook web access), which allows you to access your email from anywhere in the world that you have an internet connection and a web browser.  OMA (Outlook Mobile Access) allows you to access your email from a web-enabled cell phone from anywhere in the world.  Exchange MAY be easier to admin than your current server (?)

    Some reasons to NOT go with Exchange: It's expensive!  You'll also need to purchase an exchange-aware backup solution and anti-virus solution too.    Exchange isn't easy for a newbie to pick up and run with.  You may have someone there who can administer the server already, but if you don't you may need to send someone to training!  The hassle of migrating to a new server is an annoyance!  

    Exchange 2003 has 2 different versions that you can purchase, Standard and Enterprise.  Standard does have some restrictive limits as to how much data can be stored (16 GB) in your mailboxs and public folders.

    Here's a link comparing the 2 versions:

    My company has less than 50 people and we went with Enterprise edition.  The 16 GB limit just didn't seem right for us!  We have some users with 5 GB's of email, so I didn't want to cut it that close!

    I hope this will help you!  Let me know if you have any other more specific questions!
    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    LVL 8

    Author Comment


    Thank you for your reply. Would we benefit spending the money to move to exchange if our current solution is working fine?
    LVL 6

    Accepted Solution

    It depends on what you want it to do for you?  We had a solution that was working just fine, too, and we switched to Exchange.  We were using just a POP3 linux server for our email before.

    The reasons we switched to Exchange was for backup purposes, ease of Administrations, Mobility, and "sharing".

    Backup - With a POP server, the email is stored on the server until it is download to each PC.  The PC's hard drive could crash and all the mail could be lost.  Or, the outlook PST file could become corrupt and again, email is lost.  With Exchange, all the email is stored on a server with RAID.  It stays on the server, which is backed up every day, also.  It would take a LOT for email to be lost!

    Ease of Adiministration - Exchange 2003 incorporates itself right into your current active directory domain (if you have one).  Exchange is easy to administer.

    Mobility - OWA and OMA are really nice to use!  We had a webmail system with our old POP server, but it was nothing compared to OWA!  You have to see it to understand how nice it really is.  This is a BIG selling point for most people.

    Sharing - Exchange users can share their calendars with others, along with their contacts or inbox if they want!  This is something some of our users really wanted, so it was important to us.

    -----It really depends on what's important to you in an email server.  Some people are sold on the "sharing" factor while others may be sold on the backup/reliability factor.  For a lot of companies, it is worth the expense to purchase exchange and scrap their old email server.  For us, it was worth it, but it may not be for you if you'r content with your current system.
    LVL 8

    Author Comment

    Thank you very much. You sold me! lol

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