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Cloud Services Thread, Live@edu vs. Exchange? in Technical; Hi folks, Couldn't find a specific email/Exchange forum, so am asking here: We're currently using the rather basic Hants CC ...
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    Gongalong's Avatar
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    Question Live@edu vs. Exchange?

    Hi folks,

    Couldn't find a specific email/Exchange forum, so am asking here:

    We're currently using the rather basic Hants CC provided email system, which is primarily a webmail system but with nothing other than the ability to create simple accounts that do not interact with each other e.g. no groups, no address book.

    The plan is to move this forward, and the two obvious contenders are Exchange and Live.edu. Has anyone else out there been in the same or similar position, and if so what did you decide and are you happy with the decision?

    The obvious advantages of (self hosted) Exchange are that (a) you own it and (b) you can still use it on the LAN if the Internet goes down, but it will require some consultancy for the install and setup. The advantages of Live.edu are that (a) it's free and (b) seems to have a similar if not identical feature set to Exchange, but it's not available if there's an Internet issue and does not connect in to our current AD.

    As above, thoughts appreciated, particularly by those who've been through this or a similar process.

    TIA
    Last edited by Dos_Box; 27th June 2012 at 02:18 AM.

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    Also look at Google Apps for education - it has a much richer feature set than live.edu

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    teejay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    Also look at Google Apps for education - it has a much richer feature set than live.edu
    Such as?

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    These are the features that get linked to Google Apps domain accounts, some are not so useful, but things like sites, picassa and docs are fantastic education tools:

    Contacts
    Gmail
    Google Calendar
    Google Docs
    Google Groups for Business
    Google Sites
    Google Talk
    Google Wave
    Marketplace Apps
    Aviary Design Tools
    Gantter Project
    Blogger
    Chrome Web Store
    DART for Publishers
    DoubleClick Customer Resource Center
    DoubleClick DART Enterprise
    DoubleClick for Advertisers
    DoubleClick for Publishers
    DoubleClick Search
    DoubleClick Studio
    FeedBurner
    Google Ad Planner
    Google AdSense
    Google AdSense for TV
    Google Advertising Professionals
    Google AdWords
    Google Affiliate Network
    Google Analytics
    Google App Engine
    Google Base
    Google Bookmarks
    Google Books
    Google Checkout
    Google Chrome Sync
    Google Code
    Google Custom Search
    Google Finance
    Google Friend Connect
    Google Groups
    Google Hotpot
    Google Latitude
    Google Map Maker
    Google Maps
    Google Moderator
    Google News
    Google Places
    Google Public Data
    Google Reader
    Google Sidewiki
    Google Squared
    Google Subscribed Links
    Google Translator Toolkit
    Google Voice
    Google Webmaster Tools
    iGoogle
    Mobile Test Tools
    orkut
    Panoramio
    Picasa Web Albums
    Shopping List
    User Managed Storage
    Web History
    Website Optimizer
    YouTube
    YouTube CMS
    YouTube Partner Syndication
    YouTube Promoted Videos
    Theres also third pary apps that plug into the same accounts. The active Directory integration is pretty good too.

    https://www.google.com/enterprise/marketplace/?pli=1

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    adhutton's Avatar
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    We've been using LIV@EDU for the best part of this year and in general we think its really good.

    It does have some Pros and Cons:

    Pros:

    Its FREE and fairly easy to set up
    Its hosted 'in the cloud' so is available via a web browser from anywhere
    It has a lot of similar features to full Outlook/OWA
    Its easy for users to get to grips with and to do basic stuff like adding folders, auto-replys etc.
    It cuts down on in-house administration and backup worries
    You can use lots of Powershell scripts to change stuff

    Cons:

    The Microsoft support is fairly slow/rubbish
    Its quite hard to integrate with AD or other on-site servers
    It does seem to struggle when receiving emails from some senders who use email filtering (small number)
    It doesn't work very well with IE9 and the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader

    In the main we are very happy with it and when compared to the rubbish Fronter email system this school was using, its a million times better

    Andrew

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    Gongalong (9th November 2011), IT_Man_Dan (15th November 2011), zag (9th November 2011)

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    You need to gather the requirements and then see if live@edu can meet these, more than likely Exchnage on-prem will. Installing the on-prem Exchange can be difficult and at the same time it can be as simple as you want.

    Depending on the requirements, you can probably setup Exchange yourself, if you have detailsed requirement from the users/school, then post/pm me and we can give you ideas on how to do this.

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    Gongalong (9th November 2011)

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    glennda's Avatar
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    I use Exchange on Prem and if you want to come and see it and look at how we have setup in school you can.

    Am around the Horsham area just inside West Sussex if you are close.

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    Gongalong (9th November 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gongalong View Post
    The obvious advantages of (self hosted) Exchange are that (a) you own it and (b) you can still use it on the LAN if the Internet goes down, but it will require some consultancy for the install and setup. The advantages of Live.edu are that (a) it's free and (b) seems to have a similar if not identical feature set to Exchange, but it's not available if there's an Internet issue and does not connect in to our current AD.

    As above, thoughts appreciated, particularly by those who've been through this or a similar process.

    TIA
    Live@Edu can connect to your AD but it requires quite a bit of jumping through hoops installing FIM etc. Currently working on this now - wish I hadn't bothered!

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    Gongalong (9th November 2011), zag (9th November 2011)

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    You can't really beat Exchange on premises if you want best flexibility, internet independence (internally), ownership, easy integration with AD, straightforward backups and good integration with mobile devices. Not to mention unified comms if you have a suitable phone exchange.

    Same offer goes here if you want to see one in action - we're in Ascot.

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    Thanks all for the really helpful replies, and the visit offers.

    The slight negatives I'm hearing about Live.edu have me thinking that Exchange is the better route.

    We already own all the licenses required to deploy Exchange, it's just the technical barrier to getting it installed. As mentioned on previous posts, I completed an MCSA course in 2006, but my skills are pretty rusty, and of course it didn't cover "engineer" (install) type tasks, just administration.

    The crux of it is that we have to set it up for around 1,500 people (staff and students), across two domains, with OWA as well through the Hants CC firewall.

    The vague setup process as I see it:

    1. Setup of 2008 R2 server (we use Hyper-V, and already have a template)
    2. Install and setup of Exchange (I'm not sure of the detail here) including OWA and configuring of DPM
    3. Opening of ports in Hants CC firewall (for a nominal fee)
    4. Redirection of MX record, presumably to NAT'd address that routes to server

    The devil is really in the detail here. I'm not sure what is required to setup Exchange, or the port and TCP/IP NAT details. This is why I was thinking it would be better to go the consultant route.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gongalong View Post
    Thanks all for the really helpful replies, and the visit offers.

    The slight negatives I'm hearing about Live.edu have me thinking that Exchange is the better route.
    Just out of interest, why are you discounting Google off the bat when you were prepared to look at live@edu ? I appreciate live@edu isn't all that good with respect to AD integration and support compared to google. Had you already decided on exchange? We replaced our exchange with Google, and it has been a breath of fresh air not having to worry about another server.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    Just out of interest, why are you discounting Google off the bat when you were prepared to look at live@edu ? I appreciate live@edu isn't all that good with respect to AD integration and support compared to google. Had you already decided on exchange? We replaced our exchange with Google, and it has been a breath of fresh air not having to worry about another server.
    We wanted to stick with Microsoft because of the familiarity students will have with the apps, and also because Live.edu seems to have generally had a better reception than the Gooogle equivalent (significantly more accounts out there). Google have pulled several services that haven't been popular.

    tbh though Exchange really seems like the way to go because of server ownership. I would even be wary of MS pulling Live.edu in years to come which means we have to start over.

    None of the options stand head and shoulders above the others though, which makes the decision difficult. And it has to be justified to senior staff here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gongalong View Post
    We wanted to stick with Microsoft because of the familiarity students will have with the apps, and also because Live.edu seems to have generally had a better reception than the Gooogle equivalent (significantly more accounts out there). Google have pulled several services that haven't been popular.
    That's the bit I have trouble reconciling, people choose MS because they already have MS even though the competition may have better support, better features and be cheaper.
    I'm not just talking google apps here; take for example KVM or windows file sharing EVERYBODY seems to have a windows fileserver, yet a Redhat one costs less, can be setup in 30 min, has an annual support contract and has a bunch of features windows doesn't support. It's crazy.

    for what it's worth; if your worried that students won't cope with google change, you can still use outlook, MSoffice and use google apps as a repository/mail server.

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    Gongalong's Avatar
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    Although this doesn't cover the issues of the take up of Google's equivalent, nor Google's pulling of services with low take up.

    I've not raised the post though to debate Google vs. Live.edu (or other services). My key issue here is comparing Live.edu with Exchange, and more so perhaps what would be involved in setting up Exchange. Feel free to create the other issue as a new post on the forum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gongalong View Post
    Although this doesn't cover the issues of the take up of Google's equivalent, nor Google's pulling of services with low take up.
    I didn't bite because it's not correct. By March 2010 there were 25Million Google apps users, but nearly a year later MS only mustered 15Million @edu acounts
    Microsoft details Office 365 for education plans | Microsoft - CNET News
    Official Google Blog: 25 million people have gone Google

    Most of the services google ditch such as wave, postini get integrated into their other products plus and gmail

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