Microsoft for Business Productivity Online (MBSO)

Hi,

We are looking at MBSO for the Exchange Online Services. I wanted to know if someone has done a migration from Exchange 2003 to MBSO and could share his/her experience.

Our organization has 2 OWA servers and 2 Exchange server (cluster). I would personally prefer to migrate to Exchange 2010 and keep the servers in the company but I have been told to look at the online service.

What are the downside of going to the cloud with Exchange? What can and can't be controlled? Limitation, incompatibilities? etc...

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The biggest criticism of running cloud-based Exchange is that servers are accessed over the Internet. If your Internet connection fails, Exchange becomes inaccessible. If Exchange was deployed on premise, an Internet connection failure would prevent email from traveling in and out of the organization, but users could still send mail to each other. They could also use their calendars, view contacts, etc.

We pay per device not per user so that gives us the ability to create unlimited number of mailbox.

The number of devices will be going down (computer) but the number of mailboxes perhaps will stay the same or it will increase.

With EX cloud we will pay per mailbox about 5$.

With Exchange in the cloud you have to pay for the Outlook 2010.

If you run Exchange on-premise, how long will it be before you upgrade to a new version? At list 7 years

If you subscribe to a cloud-based deployment, will the service provider raise your rates over time?

Are there additional charges for bandwidth or for excessive storage?

And although a cloud-based Exchange Server deployment may simplify administration, it can actually complicate Active Directory administration. All versions of Exchange since Exchange 2000 Server have depended on Active Directory; the AD requirement doesn’t just disappear when you run Exchange in the cloud. Organizations with an on-premise Directory likely will perform directory synchronization to the cloud .

Exchange in the cloud also has an inherent lack of flexibility. If you have a third-party antivirus, antispam or Exchange management product that you want to use, for example, you’ll have to ditch that product when you move to the cloud.

 
 
llaravaAsked:
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sunnyc7Commented:
I havent done a BPOS migration, but wanted to attempt some of the questions here..

What are the downside of going to the cloud with Exchange? What can and can't be controlled? Limitation, incompatibilities? etc...
>> Bandwidth. You are essentially running your outlook as a RPC/HTTPS. Some people would want their outlook to refresh faster. (again bandwidth)
Pay extra for iPhone / Blackberry / Android - per device (Most guys charge $10/month/device)
You pay extra for more than bare minimum antivirus and other services.
I think BPOS has a list of menu items with everything around $2-$3 extra per mailbox per month.
AV Scan / Archive Mailbox etc.
These costs can add up if you are considering 100-200 user migration.
Also you need someone to really keep track of what you are paying for and what you are using.

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The biggest criticism of running cloud-based Exchange is that servers are accessed over the Internet. If your Internet connection fails, Exchange becomes inaccessible. If Exchange was deployed on premise, an Internet connection failure would prevent email from traveling in and out of the organization, but users could still send mail to each other. They could also use their calendars, view contacts, etc.
>> You will be using a OST Cached mode.
They can still use calendar / views etc.
Send mail is moot without Internet access.

You can have a WAN Failover for $100 bucks a month (in East coast Cablevision has Optimum Ultra at 50 mbps downloads at $110/month)
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We pay per device not per user so that gives us the ability to create unlimited number of mailbox.
>> for BPOS you will be paying per user.

The number of devices will be going down (computer) but the number of mailboxes perhaps will stay the same or it will increase.
>> I am not sure if you can factor that in @ number of devices going down. It depends entirely on your business needs. I am not sure if BPOS can be responsible for number of computers going down, unless a majority of your employees start working from home / work remotely

With EX cloud we will pay per mailbox about 5$.
>> I suggest doing a serious feature by feature cost comparison.
http://www.microsoft.com/online/exchange-online.aspx#

With Exchange in the cloud you have to pay for the Outlook 2010.
>> Outlook is free with the service with most providers.

If you run Exchange on-premise, how long will it be before you upgrade to a new version? At list 7 years
>> Microsoft has a support lifecycle of 10 years with Exchange 2010
http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/?LN=en-us&x=14&y=13&p1=13965

If you subscribe to a cloud-based deployment, will the service provider raise your rates over time?
>> Cant comment on that.

Are there additional charges for bandwidth or for excessive storage?
>> I think BPOS has a mailbox of 25 GB, If you exceed the standard issue mailbox size you will have to pay extra.
I am not sure if you have extra charges for bandwidth.

And although a cloud-based Exchange Server deployment may simplify administration, it can actually complicate Active Directory administration. All versions of Exchange since Exchange 2000 Server have depended on Active Directory; the AD requirement doesn’t just disappear when you run Exchange in the cloud. Organizations with an on-premise Directory likely will perform directory synchronization to the cloud .
>> They have cloud based AD Synchronization with your local AD
Check this
http://www.marcvalk.net/2009/06/setup-bpos-active-directory-synchronization/

Exchange in the cloud also has an inherent lack of flexibility. If you have a third-party antivirus, antispam or Exchange management product that you want to use, for example, you’ll have to ditch that product when you move to the cloud.
>> True.  You will have to go with the flavor provided by your hosted provider.

Hope this helps.

thanks
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llaravaAuthor Commented:
Hi,

Thanks for your comments. Are there any other caveats or issues that you are aware and that we haven't pointed out. I honestly don't feel like losing control over the the infrastructure and move this to the "cloud"

The biggest criticism of running cloud-based Exchange is that servers are accessed over the Internet. If your Internet connection fails, Exchange becomes inaccessible. If Exchange was deployed on premise, an Internet connection failure would prevent email from traveling in and out of the organization, but users could still send mail to each other. They could also use their calendars, view contacts, etc.
>> You will be using a OST Cached mode.
They can still use calendar / views etc.
Send mail is moot without Internet access.

They can access to their calendar but they will not be able to update shared calendars, or connect to new ones etc? How about check things like check the GAL in order words what do they get with OST or what happens if internet is down?

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llaravaAuthor Commented:
sunnyc7- you mentioned --Pay extra for iPhone / Blackberry / Android - per device (Most guys charge $10/month/device)-- I haven't been able to find this information.

If you have it can you please provide a link to this?

Thank you
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TandokudeCommented:
We actually moved our on premise exchange 2003 service to BPOS on April 2010, I am not in the stages to move it back on premises though as an exchange 2010 upgrade. After using BPOS for a year we decided to move it back on premise due to the many outages or poor performance we experienced over the year in certain services, these past three months have been the worst with an outage or poor performance every week. With the poor performance our email wouldn't reach our users for over 6 hours(not acceptable for business). Also the limited administrative capabilities were my biggest pet peeve, if there was an issue with being down or performance, i could forget about calling Microsoft cause I could never get through.

Also certain administrative tasks that use to be simple and quick to do, are now complicated and take a long time to implement. Such as email forwarding which use to involve just three simple clicks for me now take a day for Microsoft to process. Another one would be a request to disable email forwarding for a blackberry use, which i know I could do on our BES with a simple click, but Microsoft claims they can only remove the user to do that.  

I do agree BPOS has its placed, in particular small business who do not need there own servers, or business without a format IT department could really benefit from it.

Also for us the cost difference between paying a monthly fee for email compared with a one time cost was a big factor since we will recoup our cost in one year.  I will have to say Microsoft has not raised the price for our service over the past year but that may change with Office 365, also they did get rid of the extra cost for hosted blackberries, which for us cost an additional 250 a month.
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llaravaAuthor Commented:
I do agree with you.
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sunnyc7Commented:
@tankodude. Good points.
I do agree that there are some issues with hosted email.

We are test driving Office365 - it looks promising compared to BPOS.

About these issues
a) Such as email forwarding which use to involve just three simple clicks for me now take a day for Microsoft to process.
b) Another one would be a request to disable email forwarding for a blackberry use, which i know I could do on our BES with a simple click, but Microsoft claims they can only remove the user to do that.  
>> I think it might be a case of getting through the wrong support guy at BPOS. I have worked with other hosted solutions like Intermedia and Mailstreet - and email forwarding etc is 2/3 simple clicks.

I do understand that the support terms / numbers / details are not that well laid out for BPOS.

In the end as IT guys, there is also an element of control involved. We like to deal with things where the entire environment is under our control - so that we can fix things in case it goes down. Getting on a 3-hr phone call for a simple email forward doesnt augur well with sys-ads :)

Some of the reverse migration cases are on a case by case basis. It's hard to pin-down the root cause of it.
I have seen some significant cost savings and satisfaction for some -- and not so much for others leading to a reverse migration from hosted to on-premise.

Thanks for the post.
Good thoughts which illuminate the problem at hand.
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llaravaAuthor Commented:
After looking at pros and cons we decided to migrate to Exchange 2010 and use our ESX cluster. I tried to get as much information as I can and once I was ready I got MS on the phone and after speking with their tech and their sales guy we made our mind and decided to not go with BPOS. Basically we are 100% in agrement with Tandokude post, and we decided not to forward.
 
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