Which is best for a small firm? MS Exchange Server or an Internet Service?

By SandAngel ·
In 2004, we installed MS SBS 2003 on the only server we had at the time. This past October, we setup a second server with MS Windows Server 2008 Standard. The first server still houses our email, users, security groups, etc. In the next couple of months, we like to retire the old server. My question is: Should we migrate our email to the new server (which would require the purchase of MS Exchange Server and the associated licenses) or should we migrate to an internet service?

We have 24 mailboxes. Two key pieces of information - we are required to retain all client related emails for 7 years. At this time, our mailboxes require about 27GB of storage.

Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

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Just an obvious question here

by OH Smeg In reply to Which is best for a small ...

Why do you have to purchase Exchange and the associated CAL's are you in some type of agreement to only use M$ product?

As for some form of Mail Hosting Web Service there are several things to take into account. The cost and the likely cost increases over the time you will need to use it. The Security of any E-Mail Sent/Received and the ability of the provider to meet your the storage requirements and the costs involved in doing this.

There are many options to exchange and while some require a different platform to run on many will run on the Windows Platform and do a very similar job to Exchange without all of the expenses involved with Exchange.

Basically Exchange isn't the only option here there are many others so why not consider these as well?

Also most of the Web Providers for this type of service simply do not use Exchange so if you have to use Exchange for some reason you are going to have to shop around for a suitable Web Host.


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Reponse To Answer

by SandAngel In reply to Just an obvious question ...

I really appreciate your insights. I didn't realize there were other options. Since the beginning of "email time", we've only ever used MS Exchange. We've had several different IT Network Admins over the past couple of years. The only options they've put forwarded were MS Exchange or Exchange Mail Hosting Web Service. I guess I should have realized there was something else.

Could you give me some "for instances"?


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Depends on features and costs

by ryan.gould In reply to Which is best for a small ...

If you want to stay in house a cheaper and reasonably easy option is to buy small business server 2011. You will get exchange 2010 and server 2008 r2 in one package. This is much cheaper than going with exchange 2010 as a standalone. Microsoft has a great whitepaper on migrating to sbs 2011 from 2003. Journaling (Email retention) is also very easy to setup in exchange 2010
If you go hosted , make sure you have a good high speed internet connection and the provider has things like email retention and (if used in your exchange organisation) things like shared calenders and contacts

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