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Which Exchange to choose: 2010 or 2013

Hi fellow Exchange Experts,

I'm planning a new Exchange server for a pretty small network, just 10 users who need just plain mail, tasks, contacts, appointments - no Sharepoint, Lync, or such. No need for WebAccess, just a handful of iPhones to connect. Otherwise Outlook 2013 will be used on the desktops. So all in all nothing spectacular.

I'm now wondering if I should offer an SBS 2011 with Exchange 2010, or an Exchange 2013 (they will have a spare Windows 2012 Server license for that). Price-wise it wouldn't make a big dent in the budget if I'd go with the more expensive Exchange 2013 - but will it technically be worth it? I've checked the feature comparison and haven't found anything that thrills me that much...

What do you think? Stick to the well-known and established Exchange 2010 (saving a few bucks) or go with the new Exchange 2013 for the sake of having the latest version?

Thanks for your 2 cents... (I will probably split the points, if more than one reasonable input is given)

Thomas
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Staudte
Asked:
Staudte
3 Solutions
 
ecarboneCommented:
My opinion - if it were me and if this is a NEW exchange environment, I would go with exchange 2013 and server 2012, based on:

1. Microsoft discontinued small business server
2. Management of 2013 seems like it is easier than 2010 (less roles, web-based administration)

If you've researched 2013, you most likely came across this article, which states 2013 is not quite ready for prime time. That may be the case, but some issues (such as coexistence with 2010) have been resolved:

Exchange 2013 Article

Of course, another option is to go for Exchange 365 ... $48 per year per user. Full support for Outlook, webmail and smart phones.

My two cents.
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Manpreet SIngh KhatraSolutions Architect, Project LeadCommented:
Preferably go for Hosting with Office365 if only 10 users if not then .... if not then its best to have Exchange 2010 as its Stable and support will surely remain for some time

If you have some specific query do let know

- Rancy
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StaudteAuthor Commented:
Hi Ecarbone and Rancy,

thanks for the thoughts. Office365 is not an option - we won't hand company data to a 3rd party. Is 2013 really easier to administrate? (I mean in real life - it's natural that MS claims that it's easier, but they say the same for leaving out the Start menu in Win8...) I have gotten quite used to the MMC interface of 2010...

Tom
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Manpreet SIngh KhatraSolutions Architect, Project LeadCommented:
I would go with 2010 as i know that it is and support and life is easier whereas 2013 isnt that sure stable and has the Web console which i am not sure is how good as of now.

I would still bet on 2010 currently :)

- Rancy
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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
The major problem with 2013 is lack of third party support. Backup Exec for example still doesn't support 2013.
While SBS 2011 is approaching its end of life, you can still purchase it and it still fully supported. I have deployed two SBS 2011's in the last week, have another three scheduled over the next couple of months. If they are unlikely to go above the user limit then I would go with SBS 2011 - it is a rock solid product (if configured correctly using the wizards) and there is a lot of third party support, both applications and general assistance.

If you went with Exchange 2013, then you could still deploy 2010, using downgrade rights. You could then look at upgrading it later on once it is stable and third party support has improved.

Simon.
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StaudteAuthor Commented:
Thank you folks - your thoughts were very valuable. Actually, the downgrade rights put the final weight on the 2013's side of the scale. I'll buy and install 2013 - if for whatever reason I'm unhappy, I'll scrap the thing and install 2010 at no extra cost. That way I have both options (and can always try 2013 again at a later time).
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