Exchange Server

Posted on 2005-04-20
Last Modified: 2010-04-14
Hello All.

I work at a small non-profit with a two person IT department. We're currently looking to change our email provider, or possibly bring it in house (currently outsourced). Due to our non-profit status, we're able to get a SIGNIFICANT discount on Microsoft Server. However, we're concerned about managing the software. Is it very complex? Is there a need to constantly monitoring it (more than any other server)? What would you say is the day to day burdensome tasks associated with it? We only have about 70 users in house, but we have a fairly quick turnover rate, so we'd be setting up new accounts/deleting old accounts fairly often.

Thanks for any info.
Question by:celcius233
    LVL 95

    Accepted Solution

    Exchange is very easy.  But I'd send at least one of your people to a class.  In addition, while it's very easy to use, IF something goes wrong it CAN be very difficult to fix.  I use Exchange on my own domains and it works great and I rarely if ever have to do anything with it.  And it IS reliable, just that if something happens (disk fails or something) your recovery COULD be very difficult.

    If people are living on their e-mail (it's vital to them), then you're probably better off leaving e-mail in the hands of someone else or look into a hosted exchange setup.
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    Get Small Business Server 2003 (SBS2003).  That is exactly what it is intended for.  It is intended for organizations that have small IT departments that don’t necessarily have a lot of Technical Expertise (No criticism intended).

    SBS2003 comes with Exchange built in and is extremely easy to setup and configure.  Right out of the box it will ask you a few easy questions and you will be up and running in no time.

    The only issue you might have is the number of users.  There is a limit on the number of user accounts and email boxes that you can have.  I think the number is 75 but that may be wrong.  Check the product documentation.

    Some other requirements is that the SBS server has to be the first domain controller in your organization (don’t know how you are set up).

    I have installed a few of these systems and they are quite easy.

    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    Don't get small business server.  If your organization grows beyond 75 people (you said you have about 70) you'll have problems.  That's why I didn't suggest it.

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the info. IMO, it looks like the best thing to do is go with Exchange Server. We can set it up. We usually set up on a RAID installation, meaning mirroring, but if there is a problem we have a contract with a support company that helps us at times with project work, etc; They can assist with recovery should it become necessary.

    Author Comment

    BrownMattc: Thanks for the suggestion. We have the possibility of growing beyond that limit. Not much more, which is a rub. Oh well.

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