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Cloud Services Thread, Office 365 and high availability in Technical; Are there any options for high availability with Office 365? I'm thinking of a situation where you somehow sync the ...
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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Office 365 and high availability

    Are there any options for high availability with Office 365?

    I'm thinking of a situation where you somehow sync the cloud server with an on-premises Exchange server.

    I know it's possible if you do your own thing with Exchange, but we'd like to take advantage of O365 as a kind of backup / externally available mail store.

    I know there is the hybrid / relay option but all that does is control mail flow for separately stored mailboxes. We want all mailboxes on site but also available externally, say for example when it rains the the internet goes down for a week, which could happen any time now....!

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    I don't know but it is something I'd be very interested in, best of both worlds.

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    Just cached mode for now :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post
    I know it's possible if you do your own thing with Exchange, but we'd like to take advantage of O365 as a kind of backup / externally available mail store.
    Office 365 is highly available. It isn't possible to configure it in the way you've described. What's the scenario you're trying to avoid?

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesbmarshall View Post
    Office 365 is highly available. It isn't possible to configure it in the way you've described. What's the scenario you're trying to avoid?
    Users dealing with the cripplingly slow internet that seems to exist everywhere that is not the Google or MS offices. A local server allows for fast local usage while the cloud stuff allows for the fastest - possible - external speeds too.

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    jamesbmarshall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    Users dealing with the cripplingly slow internet that seems to exist everywhere that is not the Google or MS offices.
    Have you used the Internet in Microsoft's offices?

    I understand the constraints that broadband connectivity presents in education - I don't think it's fair to say that either Microsoft or Google is ignorant of that. I guess it depends on your priorities, technical skills and budget. While you can't configure Exchange Online to behave in the way you suggest you might want to look at some of the hybrid options which would allow you to keep your staff local (fully configured using Outlook client, local access, etc.) and move your students to the cloud.

    There are speed test tools available that would give you an idea of how your connection would perform and I would wager that, while some schools do have very poor connections, the majority have more than enough to move their mail (if nothing else) to a cloud provider.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    From our point of view if the internet goes down we dont want to loose email as well. This is why we are sticking with a local server for now. It would be nice to have an offline copy stored in a local site.

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Well the Qs directed at me have basically been answered.

    They're right, internet speeds are not good enough to warrant using it directly, so i'd need to have them local. However on the same basis, during hols or when staff travel, it's much better if they can access an external, reliable, and highly available source, that is in sync with the local exchange. I guess we're looking at kind of a DAG or something.

    I'm pretty confident that if i was in the UK it would be fine, but here it is not only slow, but it's unreliable. I've got a sharepoint site set up and it's painfully slow to do anything with it.

    I've looked at Hybrid mode with students in the cloud, but there are way more students than staff and with BYOD and site wide WIFI, it's just not workable. It would make more sense for teh staff to be in the cloud, except of course when the 'net really dies and then we can't access our archive.

    OWA is also slow and laggy. I tested live@edu access via Outlook / pst and it was pretty abysmal though if that's the only option then i'll try again. is that what was referred to as 'cached' ?

    I know some of the problems are with our setup, and the QoS needs tweaking, but at the moment even 3G around the area is pretty poor, when we could usually rely on it as a backup.

    I wonder if it's possible to have O365 set up with a different domain, as it is, and forward all mail to that so it's there as a backup / archive. I think the problem is with the reply address being different. I've added or on-prem domain as an accepted domain and on the couple of accounts where i've made it primary / reply-to address it's fine, except, when those accounts now send mail to eachother, it doesn't reach the on-prem server as it sees it as local and only stays in teh cloud. If there's something there we can tweak, that would be a good workaround. Coupled with directory sync.

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