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Local versus remote Exchange hosting

Posted on 2007-07-27
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We currently host our exchange server locally in the Netherlands.  We are investigating managed hosting where all software/hardware would be located in London.  The 3rd party is offering a system where all Outlook clients will access the platform via the Internet utilising RPC over HTTPS with a secure sign in.  SSL and Kerberos based authentication will be used.

Has anyone seen this type of setup?  My main concern is that there may be sluggish outlook access here in the office.  Also, if the internet connection goes down there would be no internal email.

Any thoughts?
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Question by:ara99
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jwphillips80 earned 800 total points
ID: 19582044
I think you are on the right track with your thoughts.  The only reason you would want to consider maanged hosting would be if you didn't have enough people to support your Exchange environment, or if you could realize significant cost savings.   As all your mail traffic would now require external bandwidth, you are going to see bandwidth utilization increases.  Do you currently set policies to limit message size and attachment limitations?  I can see the value in hosting a failover exchange server in another geographical area to provide you with high availability, but unless you have distinct reasons as  mentioned above (limited support personnel or extreme cost savings), I wouldn't consider it as a viable option.
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by:ormerodrutter
ormerodrutter earned 400 total points
ID: 19583014
I agree with jwphillips. Since you are already hosting exchange yourself you must have the technical skills to manage it, so why would you consider hosting it by a 3rd party company? OK they will back up your emails daily but that shuldn;t be difficult to do yourself?

Apart form "slow" access, you are right about you internet connection as if its down you won't have any email. Basically I won't like anyone else have access to my emails.
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by:Ted Bouskill
Ted Bouskill earned 800 total points
ID: 19632025
I guarantee you will experience sluggish access.  I worked with a firm in Vancouver BC, Canada that had a small company with only 10 users.  We shared a large office with other companies.  Our services were financial so rather than spending money securing servers onsite we stored our servers at a larger hosting datacenter in downtown Vancouver only a few blocks from our office.

The team could then logon to the domain and/or Exchange using VPN or our RPC like you are proposing.

Performance within Vancouver was sluggish.  One of our team members in nearby Seattle Washington find it almost usable at times.  It was easier to use the web client.  However, based on our companies needs to sluggish response was cheaper and safer than hosting the servers on site.

Exchange is a very chatty system.  Even in private WAN's it can be slow if you don't use WAN accelerators that optimize the traffice.

I would strongly suggest you do a trial run first but if it was my company I'd host the servers myself as close as possible to your office.
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