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Keep Exchange Servers or Move to Exchange Online?

Posted on 2013-05-31
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Last Modified: 2013-06-04
I am thinking about moving off our internal exchange servers and using Microsofts Online Exchange. We have 100 users, and maintaining the exchange servers is consuming much time. My goal is to get the e-mail system off our plate and free up more hours.
Are there any disadvantages to using Microsofts Online Solution?
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Question by:dheinmiller
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by:Stelian Stan
Stelian Stan earned 125 total points
ID: 39211650
To me is too expensive. If you have Exchange properly configured then you don't need that much work to be done. We have more than 1500 mailboxes and is not that much work to do daily.

A properly installed Exchange should last you at least 5 years with the necessary maintenance. Especially now when you can have it as a virtual machine.
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jhyiesla earned 125 total points
ID: 39211720
I agree with the other expert. I have an Exchange  2010 server with around 900 mailboxes. Would I like to get it into a hosted thing?  Sure, but not because it hits me in the head everyday. It's mostly from a DR perspective. If you've thrown the right resources at it and set it up properly, it shouldn't be something that negatively impacts your day, especially with only 100 users. The main issue I've seen is where a company wants to combine Exchange on a sever with other things like SQL or Domain controller activities or Sharepoint. Combining some of these heavy hitters can cause some performance issues.

I also agree that the MS solution is not a cheap solution. Having said that it may be worth the cost in savings for your daily sanity and to create a more efficient work environment.   Something that we are getting ready to play with is the possibility of abandoning Office and Exchange in favor of Google Apps.  It could be that would be a workable solution for you.
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 125 total points
ID: 39211895
You've got to do the math.

Do you have users with mailboxes that would be an extra fee on Hosted Exchange?  Do you like the idea that you are now putting your business on Microsoft's shoulders?  (You realize that hosted e-mail is nothing new... AOL did it in 1990.  And all other web based mail services are hosted e-mail.  I don't know how or why your exchange server is using up your time... in general, I don't do much with my client's exchange servers... they just work.  Check the backups and event logs but other than that... what's so time consuming?

Again, you need to do the math.  Also keep in mind Outlook 2003 (I don't think) works with Hosted Exchange.  If you're lucky, you're already on 2010 and/or 2007... but I believe Hosted Exchange is now running on 2013 - 2013 is not compatible with 2003 Outlook... which means if you switch to hosted exchange, there is a LOT of manpower involved in migrating and then you could be FORCED to upgrade your office installs if Microsoft decides that Outlook 2007 cannot connect to Exchange 2016 (or whatever the next version is).  Basically, you're putting yourself in Microsoft's hands and POSSIBLY forcing your IT department to do things you/they don't want to on a time table that would otherwise be unnecessary.  (Of course, the argument is you get the latest and greatest and new stuff should increase productivity... but those are intangibles that don't always hold true.
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LVL 13

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by:Mark Galvin
Mark Galvin earned 125 total points
ID: 39219050
hi

I feel huge benefits to moving to Office 365. Locking into Exchange XX on prem and Office XXXX on prem and paying more for it.

We moved in March 2012 and haven't looked back. 110 Mailboxes. Migration was easy (using a third party tool) and it has freed up IT to do more business improvement related projects.

Also, we found that integrating SharePoint was so costly when running in on prem we didn't bother and the business suffered . With Office 365 plan we are on we get SharePoint and Lync built in. chop and change licenses per month.  

I'm now running my own private consultancy that does Office 365 consultancy so let me know if you want more info!

Thanks
Mark
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