We have a Windows 2003 SBS whose hardware has reached end of life. I'm currently testing to see which is the better option for the small [20 user] network.
Customer uses Exchange for email. To adhere to Microsoft's recommended setup, we don't want to install Exchange on the same machine that will run Active Directory services.
I've tested Office 365 and have integrated Windows 2012 Essentials with the Office 365 account. Apart from some management tasks that can be done from a single location, I'm not seeing a huge benefit from integrating Essentials with Office 365. Am I missing any other extravagant feature? For a small network it would be management heavy to simply create users via Microsoft's site.
Besides the startup cost of 2 servers why would I not want to simply go with Windows AD + Windows w/ Exchange, and avoid monthly recurring costs?
Any input would be greatly appreciated.