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Email Solutions for corporate network migrating from Exchange

Posted on 2009-12-21
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I'm working for a company that currently has all of their email handled by MS Exchange 2007.

However, the plan is to move away from the exchange server.

Google Apps seems like a great solution however it is $50/year per user = about $4/month
Google apps has a nice feature of being easy to integrate with blackberries and mobile devices.
The plan is to get Google Apps for anyone in the company who uses a mobile device for email.

For now we are using a test account to test Google Apps.  So far so good.
However eventually we will have to change the MX records for the domain.

This is where my question comes in.  If we change the MX records to point to Google's Servers
they would also want us to delete any old MX records.  This would mean I assume that we could no longer use our pop email addresses included with our web site hosting plan.  Is that correct?

Is there a way to use Google Apps for some email addresses and have other email addresses on the same domain be hosted by another 3rd party?  Say we had 5 google Apps users and we had 10 other email addresses with the same domain but hosted via another 3rd party?  Is this possible?  The reason I ask is because there are 3rd party email hosts out there that don't cost as much as Google Apps.  

If it's not possible then I guess we havethree options:

A: Get Google Apps for all employees

B: Get Google Apps for some employees and keep using Microsoft Exchange for others.
(I'm not sure if this one is possible either in all honesty)  Feedback is appreciated.

C. Find another email solution that does everything we want but doesn't cost as much.
(One reason exchange doesn't do everything we want for all employees is mostly due to security configurations that make it so that users who aren't sitting at a networked PC can only check their email via webmail.  Another reason to move away from Exchange is due to  spam.)

I know this is kind of a whole bunch of questions lumped together but please let me know if you have answers to any or all of them.

Thank you,

The NEW IT guy
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Question by:kellyputty
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LVL 12

Accepted Solution

by:
LingerLonger earned 336 total points
ID: 26100231
You're not going to be able to split your domain between multiple solutions. The MX will point to someone, and all mail for that domain will be sent there. If the address doesn't exist, it will generate an NDR. One way around this would be to have different email addresses for the different segments of the company. Perhaps IT gets rebranded, and can go to another solution, etc.
As you mentioned, your POP accounts with your hosting provider would basically be useless, as the MX would be pointing elsewhere (Google Apps, for instance). Of course, if you chose your hosting provider as your mail solution, then they would still be usable.
So, you've basically got it all correct, it's just a matter of picking which works best for you.
Good luck!
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Assisted Solution

by:Alan Hardisty
Alan Hardisty earned 332 total points
ID: 26101055
I am not going to comment on the Google Apps part - I have no experience of it so cannot comment from knowledge so will leave it alone.
I am going to address your concerns with respects to Exchange:
  1. Users who aren't sitting at a networked PC can only check their email via webmail
  2. Another reason to move away from Exchange is due to spam
My comments:
Users who aren't sitting at a networked PC can only check their email via webmail
Exchange 2003 with HTTP over RPC properly configured allows any user to use Outlook anwhere in the World as long as they have a working internet connection (and all is well with the Exchange server(s) ).
There is absolutely no reason why remote users have to use Webmail as the ONLY solution outside of the network.  This is built-in to Exchange in 2007 and 2010 (called Outlook Anywhere) and I have been using this for the past 4-5 years.  All that needs to be configured is TCP port 443 and ideally a 3rd Party Trusted SSL certificate, although it can be done with a self-certified certificate, but there is more work involved.
In addition to HTTP over RPC / Outlook anywhere there is Activesync which works very easily with Exchange 2003 Service Pack 2 / Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010.
Another reason to move away from Exchange is due to spam
Spam is also not a problem for me and my customers.  I have installed a very cost-effective solution called Vamsoft ORF (www.vamsoft.com) which costs $239 per server, so there is minimal outlay and the software is only 4mb in size but packs a mighty punch.
There is no user limit, so you can have hundreds of users as long as they are all on the one server for $239.
In terms of spam, I have only had 8 spam in 3½ months as opposed to 4-5 a week with Vamsoft installed - a 90% reduction overall.
Vamsoft is also a set-it-and-forget-it solution.  There is no quarantine and it has extremely low false positives (most of which are down to poor mail server configuration / poor domain configuration on the sender's part).  It's greatest feature is the Grey-Listing feature which rejects mail from unknown email addresses the first time it connects and then if delivery is re-tried, allows it through to it's checking phase.
There are some advantages to be had by outsourcing your mail, but you lose a degree of control and have much less flexibility.  You are also totally reliant on the 3rd party to resolve issues as and when they appear and depending on how good their support systems are, this could be a good or a bad move.
Anyway - that is my $0.02 worth.
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LVL 65

Assisted Solution

by:Mestha
Mestha earned 332 total points
ID: 26104470
Do you think Spam is an Exclusively Exchange problem?
If so then you are wrong. It isn't.

Spam doesn't care what you are using.

If you are looking at Google Apps, then why not use Postini to protect Exchange?
That will ensure that you don't throw away your investment in Exchange.

I see a mention of POP3 accounts - are you therefore using a POP3 connector with Exchange? If so the problem may well be that whoever is hosting your email isn't doing any spam filtering. POP3 connectors usually bypass most antispam implementations, so you will get all the spam in the mailbox.

Given the current economic climate, throwing away the significant investment you must have made in Exchange 2007 would seem foolish when a corrected deployment and spending some time with a good quality Exchange consultant may well resolve your issues.

Of course some people just want to kick Microsoft, and no one gets fired for suggesting moving to the darling of the IT industry IBM... sorry Google.

Simon.
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Author Closing Comment

by:kellyputty
ID: 31668739

All comments were extremely informative and very helpful.  Thank you experts this not only helps me but also others in the Knowledge base.
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