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Microsoft Hosted Exchange

Posted on 2014-10-28
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Last Modified: 2014-10-30
Hi,
 
 I have a network with SBS2011. This network's static/public IP address gets black-listed from time to time due to virus infection (on one of the computers on the network).
 I am tired of submitting "Delist Requests" to these organizations because it takes hours and days. Today their emails are getting rejected by Hotmail.com along with a few others.
 
So I am thinking about using Microsoft Email Service called Hosted Exchange Service for $4 per month per user. (please see the link below)

http://products.office.com/en-us/exchange/exchange-online

 If I do that, then even if the network/IP address is black-listed, we should be able to send email out from OUTLOOK because emails go out from Microsoft Mail Server (in the cloud) rather than from the exchange server in SBS2011. Am I right?

 I would like to hear from experts who have used Microsoft Hosted Exchange.
 What are the pros and cons between MS Hosted Exchange and On-Prem Exchange other than the cost of $4/month/user.
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Question by:sglee
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9 Comments
 
LVL 63

Accepted Solution

by:
Simon Butler (Sembee) earned 100 total points
ID: 40409773
If you are getting blacklisted because the workstations are getting compromised, then change your router to something that will allow you to block port 25 outbound for all traffic. You could go one step further and have your server configured to send all email out through another service - like a commercial SMTP service, an anti-spam provider or your ISPs SMTP server.

Otherwise you are correct with how a hosted Exchange provider operates. The cost is the major factor, but so is the lack of freedom and ability to integrate. Personally if you have made the investment in the SBS 2011 server I would be looking to retain it and just configure the network appropriately to protect again blacklisting.

Simon.
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LVL 5

Assisted Solution

by:ReneD100
ReneD100 earned 200 total points
ID: 40410328
I agree completely with Simon, adding to that:
Block all unneeded ports for clients in the network, except the server. If that is too complicated, then block at least the most common 'problem' SMTP ports like 25/586 (unencrypted), 587 (TLS) and 465 (SSL).
It could be that your ISP (either the one that supplies your connection or the one where the domain is registered) already offers a SMTP server to be used. In that case you don't have to make any changes other than use a forward host in Exchange vs the DNS delivery you use now.
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LVL 35

Assisted Solution

by:Cris Hanna
Cris Hanna earned 100 total points
ID: 40410329
Hosted Exchange means you give up all control over email.  All email will come in to the Hosted Exchange and go out the same.  Good luck trying to troubleshoot missing email or anything else.  And of course you're at their mercy regarding down time.  You'd be better off setting things up as Simon suggested, so your IP reputation is protected.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40410376
Thanks for the recommendations and I will consider them. But first I like to know if there are experts who have used hosted exchange service from MS.

@Cris,
"Missing emails and downtime"

Can you elaborate on them? It is MS system. What do you mean by "downtime"?
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LVL 5

Assisted Solution

by:ReneD100
ReneD100 earned 200 total points
ID: 40410389
I have two clients running on Hosted Exchange - actually Office 365 Biz with hosted exchange included. It's a pain to get  Outlook configured without autodiscover records, so the best is if you can transfer the nameserver(s) to Microsoft as well if you decided to use that.
It does feel like overkill to me to have SBS 2011 with all the options and then go for mail hosting elsewhere, only because your local network is not protected correctly.
I can relate to Cris -  I like to keep as much as possible in-house as well. Let's say a mail is missing, who are you going to contact to find out what happened? Downtime probably won't be so much of an issue, but if it does, you are completely at the mercy of MS.
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Cris Hanna
ID: 40410444
@Sglee   Even Microsoft's systems have failures.   There have been outages of up to eight hours in the past.   This doesn't happen often, but it does happen.   Or their connection to the internet can be disturbed.     And all email systems have mail go missing from time to time.
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LVL 12

Assisted Solution

by:profgeek
profgeek earned 100 total points
ID: 40410485
I use MS Exchange 365 and haven't had a bit of trouble with it.  But then I don't have a ton of users on it either (less than 25).
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:ReneD100
ID: 40410503
@profgeek: and you use Outlook locally? Or 365?
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:profgeek
ID: 40410827
I primarily use Outlook as part of Office 365.  I also use android devices without any problems.  Some users have used the web interface and it seems to work OK for them (no complaints, anyway).

Most users have multiple different PCs and/or devices they use to access their exchange account.
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