Exchange to host or in-house?

Hey guys,

I wonder what your take on that.  I have a small CPA firm (15users) and sounds like they live in the fantasy world.  They want 100% guarantee that no financial information will leave their office and go out to the internet?  That is their standard.  They have numerous international clients and they market their services as "impossible" to hack into the system and get client data.   They think if Hosts go out of business and there goes their information.  They want to maintain control of all our information and data etc etc.  Even the backup is done there on site and then she/he carry it to a safe place off site.   They dont even do blackberries or activesync outside for security reasons.

So the putting an Exchange 2010 in house, vmware, hardware, backups, and so on.  Pretty Expensive setup for 15people firm.  I agree it is more secure in-house.   However, don't the hosting companies guarantee the security and so on?  

What do you guys think of that?
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No one guarantees security, however large hosting companies have great firewalls and secure servers set up. It's actually much easier to hack into an in-house server for a small business than into one of the hosting companies. Here's a list with some reviews:

I'd say that it's way more secure to go with a major Exchange hosting company that guarantees uptime then to try to run their own server. Plus if their own server goes down, they are up a creek without a paddle until it gets restored, where as the hosting comanies run redundant servers.

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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
In addition, information walks out on USB sticks, it walks out in paper files (that can be copied); it walks out in emails; and it walks out in people's heads. The CPA firm has its head stuck up its butt not looking. Sorry, but that is the very harsh reality of the situation. ... Thinkpads_User
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
So why aren't they using SBS?  They must have Exchange 2010?  Because that would be a lot more cost effective.
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In-house is the most secure way. What you can do to reduce the costs is to go to a hosting provider and see if they offer SPLA on premise basically rent the software instead of buying it out right i.e. per user per month.
Look at the Microsoft Exchange Online Services, 25gb per mailbox for around £3.36 per month and its with Microsoft directly, this has to be secure right...

Only downside i've found it there's no allocation for Public Folders

Just  thought.
Tiras25Author Commented:
roger, have you used MS Exch online?  I am wondering what's the customer service like?  Have  you tried to contact the customer/tech support over the phone or email? Are they resonsive?
So you saying they don't provide a public folders option?
Hi Mate,

Try it, try it & try it, they have a free 30 day trial.

I'm a reseller and to be real cant belive how good and cheap the service is.

Phone support is great, but the main idea is once it's setup you manage it all your self, you only need support for major issue's.  I've cut over around 9 on my small clients (20 users and under) and its fantastic.

My only problem is i dont understand why its so cheap, compare the prices for yourself and see what you get.  Not sure how and why they are doing it but i'm sure once it gets going it will start beating other hosters.

Public Folders is not a option, you just can have them, they dont exist.

Remeber also each user gets 25gb of space, so no archiving is needed.

There's not a single firm that will guarantee 100% security and neither does an inhouse setup.
There are al lot of pro's and cons to each solution.
Three option. 1. in-house 2. microsoft hosted 3. third party hosted.

microsoft hosted looks like the best option here. They don't offer public folders but here in Belgium they do offer sharepoint in the same package. If you're thinking of using public folders for files this is a better solution.
You van however use a global adress list with hosted exchage. For all other instances we just use an extra user for the global tasklist, calender and email-storage.
Tiras25Author Commented:
I think I will go with Sherweb (3rd party hosted Exchange).  Clients like to use Public folders for shared company calendars.  So they look into there and see what's going on in the company...
Unless there is another option to have a public company calendar..
Public folders tend to be a bit slow. We use an additional user for the public task-list and calender. Just as easy but we get a much quicker resonse when someone updates a task.

The mayor plus a hosted solutions provider uses is uptime and security. It is posseble to set up your own server and then place it in a high security data center. Its your server, your access but you have the uptime and security of the datacenter.

Here in Belgium you can rent rackspace in the same data-centers as some mayor banks. Such datacenters have armed guards, and full backup as far as diesel generators and satelite uplink in case of major disaster. You can't get any safer than that.

It all comes down to the price tag!!
Tiras25Author Commented:
Thank you all!
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