What's the cheapest way to host my own Microsoft Exchange server?

JimR123b used Ask the Experts™

I have a Windows XP Professional machine running as an internet server.

I would like to have my email (and possibly calendars) managed by Microsoft Exchange because I have several devices (computers, Android phone, iPhone, etc) which can sync with Exchange.

I know that there are Exchange internet providers, which provide access to an Exchange account on their server, but I would prefer to host the data on my own server, for security reasons.

I gather from the Microsoft site that Microsoft Exchange 2003 needs to be installed on a Windows Server machine (Server 2000 upwards, I think).

I only want 2 users on the Exchange server. I'm not intending to offer this as a paid service to anybody else, other than myself and my partner.

What would be the cheapest way to host Exchange server on my own server?
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IT Specialist
The cheapest way to have exchange server just after the hosted mailbox is some server hardware with Windows SBS... But it can be 100x more expensive that hosted mailbox... (you need to manage backups, power and so on...
I have several hosted mailbox, if you arent CIA you wont be worry...
Top Expert 2012

Hosting your own Exchange would be just like purchase Exchange and CALs for a business there is no difference. So, first you need to purchase Exchange or SBS then purchase a domain name to host your Exchange name on. Second purchase CALs for your Exchange users.
Jan Vojtech VanicekIT Specialist

Try to find DELL Power Edge T100 with Windows SBS 2008 standard OEM... It is best value by my opinion... If you know how to configure it...
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BitsBytesandMoreNetwork Operations Manager
Top Expert 2009

I would agree with the above. The companies that host exchange servers and provide this as a service have a reputation to keep, they are not going to risk it. They would probably have a better firewall in place and more constant maintenance and monitoring than you would ever have (or want to do). It is very time consuming, especially for only a few accounts.
So, unless you really have something to hide and are already someones target, no one is going to bother to hack into 2 accounts just to see what they can fish.... It is just too much work.
Bits ...
Small Business Server standard = $1,089, includes 5 CALs

Server 2008 R2 = $1,029
Server CALs = $199/5-pack
Exchange Server = $699
Exchange CALs = $67/each

That's the legal way to do it on your own hardware.  That's why hosted accounts are a good option for small numbers of users...especially when there isn't an admin to install/maintain.
Jan Vojtech VanicekIT Specialist

but it is OEM, you must buy the hardware also...
>but it is OEM...

What is OEM?  This is MSRP.  OEM versions of SBS would be cheaper.

>...you must buy the hardware also...

You can install this on physical hardware or into a virtual machine.  You don't need new hardware at all.
Jan Vojtech VanicekIT Specialist

What is MSRP? OEM is licence bouht with new hardware... It is usable in small bussiness without OpenLicence or Volume licencing...
Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Pricing

OEM is sold from Microsft to computer integrator (like Dell), then sold to customer with limited licensing rights.

OEM is cheaper than volume licensing, but limited.  Also requires hardware purchase, which isn't always necessary.

Small businesses can buy volume licensing. Nothing stopping them.

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