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Email in house or out source?

Currently, our email is hosted by our web site host.  Our IT company thinks it would be best to host it in house on a new Exchange server.  The main reason given is viruses.  Is this the best idea?  Is this necessary?  We are a not for profit, so the best, cheapest way is the way we'd like to go... Thanks in advance!
3 Solutions
In my opinion a simple mail filter would work, or if you're that paranoid you can create an e-mail whitelist, so you can only accept e-mail from people from a certain domain (ie; @mycompany.com) or more specifically, full e-mail names (john@mycompany.com).

This would save you from managing, buying(?) or dedicating a server of yours to exchange, which is a resource monster.
My company is also a non-profit, so budget is almost always the deciding factor. We also had the option to outsource our mail to the same company that's hositng our website for a VERY good price. It was extremely tempting for me, as I had just gone through a TON of email related issues, and I was fed up with email at that point. However, the only reason I opted to keep it in house is the fact that the only way I learn new things is through hands on....basically by having things break and hope I can fix it within a reasonable amount of time.

By keeping it in-house, you have TONS more control over it. Often, (from my experience) companies that host ask that you give them around a day or two (one company even told us up to a week) after submitting changes to them when the changes would be implemented. Same goes for other issues as well, espeically if your having any DNS or IP problems that require a change to be made for email.

Besides budget (which is a big factor), it basically boils down to whether or not you want full control over your system including when changes will be made, but that also means that you have to deal with the email headaches that go along with it....which can be quite daunting sometimes. Good luck.
Oh, and you can get viruses just as easily in-house as you can hosted if your clients/employees are not instructed about the dangers of email attachments.
Unless you're above 100 users, I think it's almost always more cost effective to get hosted. Most hosting providers spend lots of money making sure that their clients get the best virus and spam filters and the quality of a hosting providers system including the environment it's housed in (data center) will always be too expensive for most businesses to implement.

By hosting, you're looking at an OP.EX. vs a CAP.EX which could be easier for your non-profit to stomach.

Don't go Exchange, it's not necessary unless you have specific requirements that only Exchange can satisfy. A far more cost effective email system would be something like Zimbra which is open source and widely deployed to many non-profit organizations.... largely higher education.

You can do Zimbra in-house for about half the cost of Exchange.

Hope this helps.
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