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Cloud Services Thread, Live@Edu - Some Advice in Technical; Sorry if this is the wrong place to ask this - We are looking at splitting our students onto live@edu ...
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    MichaelM's Avatar
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    Live@Edu - Some Advice

    Sorry if this is the wrong place to ask this -

    We are looking at splitting our students onto live@edu whilst filtering and archiving staff mail on a separate service. In order to do this I need to build a case for live@edu as SMT are not convinced.

    Can anyone help - mainly looking for assurances of the live@edu service and how suitable it is for student email?

    The other question I have (and excuse me if I am being dumb) but we only have 1 domain, how will I send student mail to live@edu whilst still filtering the rest of our mail through the other service?

    Thanks in advance
    MM

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    plexer's Avatar
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    I find it strange that people wonder if an education focused offering for hosted mail is suitable for education?

    Ben

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    Don't worry about Live@Edu any more, Office 365 is the route to go down if you're putting the system in from scratch.

    It uses a different authentication system so no point using the old LiveID-based logins, go straight to 365 with ADFS that links straight into your AD

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    MichaelM's Avatar
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    I couldn't agree more but that is the issue I am faced with!

    That said I have used things aimed at education which have fallen well short of our expectations in the past so something being education focused doesn't in itself make it the right option.
    Last edited by MichaelM; 25th May 2012 at 11:39 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    I find it strange that people wonder if an education focused offering for hosted mail is suitable for education?

    Ben
    Considering how much educational software is apparently coded by a blind drunkard who wears boxing gloves to type code, I don't think it is that strange to question the suitability of anything that claims to be for education.

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    zag
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    The biggest advantage we had was the fact that it just works (never have to worry about the server or any maintenance) and the increased storage.

    I still don't understand why people keep teachers on exchange as you loose the main advantage of server reduction and a common easy to use interface.

    Also it integrates with skydrive, is reliable, easy to setup mailboxes over the web, fast, works from anywhere, easy to setup on mobile devices. I could go on
    Last edited by zag; 25th May 2012 at 11:52 AM.

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    One of the thing that often puzzles me is how confused people are with words like 'hosted', 'cloud', 'virtual' and 'external'.

    I know there are some good explanations of what parts of the IT sector mean by the above, but what sales reps, the media and Joe/Jen Public understand can be different.

    Hosted - everything is hosted ... it means a service such as email sits on a box somewhere. It can be locally hosted / school hosted. It can be centrally hosted. These are just descriptions of the physical location of the box, to some extent. A locally hosted box has good and bad points and there are a number of threads in place about that already. A centrally hosted box might be provided by your LA, RBC or academy group. It tends to refer to one that sits on that sections of the shared network (e.g. the LA or RBC data centre) but it could even be outside of the network somewhere. Cloud tends to be a buzzword to mean something not hosted locally ... but a private cloud (also referred to as internal cloud or corporate cloud) can still be on the same network or be part of a controlled and managed section of some external hosting. Public cloud tends to be 3rd party cloud services that are purchased or used as needed.

    And it all gets a little blurred when you have Centrally Hosted services which are actually external hosted and purchased from a 3rd party. If you buy an externally hosted email service from someone like Capita then you might be using their hosted service in a data centre, or you might be hooking into their wraparound for Live@Edu (other vendors do similar and you are free to run it yourself and use other hosted email services). It is still a hosted solution. One is in an MS cloud and the other in a Capita cloud. But if you take EMBC hosted email at the moment ... that is in a Centrally Hosted email ... from Capita ... but in EMBC's data centre, not Capita's ... and seeing as they actually use the same physical data centre then what is the difference?

    And then you have email as part of VLEs and other Learning Systems. Some of the people on the new IMLS framework offer hosted email as part of the system. Hosted in *their* data centre, not on your LA /RBC / Academy network ...

    The main considerations around externally hosted email is around security, functionality and reliability. If you are happy with these then the criteria have been met ... whether it is Live@Edu, Google Apps for Education, RBC provided email or tied in with your VLE / LP.

    If people are getting mangled with buzzwords then do not use them, or give people the definitions to use instead.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roberto View Post
    Considering how much educational software is apparently coded by a blind drunkard who wears boxing gloves to type code, I don't think it is that strange to question the suitability of anything that claims to be for education.
    That I completely understand but there is a bit of a difference between one man band ex teachers coding something and a microsoft cloud hosted service.

    Ben

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    zag
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    The main considerations around externally hosted email is around security, functionality and reliability.
    Thats a very good point and well explained.

    We have found live@edu to be:

    More secure: anyone remember relay and hacking issues with exchange in the past?
    Better functionality: We upgraded from 2003 server. Integrated forefront protection, bad word filters and easy to setup disclaimers were also a big feature upgrade on live@edu.
    More reliable: So far 100% reliability. Never had any downtime, our old server sufferered from the odd electricity outage or service pack patch downtime

    It has been a significant improvement in all areas. And thats not even mentioning that its totally free saving us money and also doesn't need backing up freeing up those resources.
    Last edited by zag; 25th May 2012 at 01:25 PM.

  10. Thanks to zag from:

    MichaelM (25th May 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    I still don't understand why people keep teachers on exchange as you loose the main advantage of server reduction and a common easy to use interface.
    We've done exactly this, for two reasons:

    1. Staff send huge amounts of attachments via email, despite my protestations. We don't have a leased line, so having those emails go out to a datacenter in Ireland only to have to come straight back again would introduce an unnecessary delay to mail delivery.

    2. I have several months worth of backups of our local Exchange server. That length of retention is not currently available in Office 365. If someone accidentally deletes stuff at the end of the Summer term, and doesn't notice until the Autumn term (this has actually happened), that data would not be recoverable on 365. It would be recoverable on our own server.

  12. 2 Thanks to AngryTechnician:

    MichaelM (25th May 2012), zag (25th May 2012)

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    MichaelM's Avatar
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    Hi Zag & Angry,

    Those are exactly the responses I was looking for, really appreciate you taking the time to respond.

    Grumble,

    I was aware of everything you have said but the way you have consolidated the information is something I think even our SMT may understand.

    My final outstanding question (if anyone can help) is we have a single domain, does anyone know how I can send the student mail to Live@edu and the staff mail through our other service?

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    Live@Edu has a mixed mode which can do this. Being an old stick in the mud I shudder at this ... it is a very old prejudice aimed at getting people to use child domains if they want to split such services ... but from talking with others it can be done and works well. the MS UK Live@Edu blog has some examples and articles around this. I know that @jamesbmarshall is also happy to chat with folk around things like this.

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    zag
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelM View Post
    My final outstanding question (if anyone can help) is we have a single domain, does anyone know how I can send the student mail to Live@edu and the staff mail through our other service?
    Yes you can. Just setup a sub doman like .student.maindomin.co.uk

    But again I really would just migrate the users to a new domain so the changeover is really easy. Our staff loved the fact we choose a new shortened the domain on the switch over to live@edu. It also had the added benefit of making spam disappear overnight.

    Basically its all possible, no mater how you do it.

  16. Thanks to zag from:

    MichaelM (25th May 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    That I completely understand but there is a bit of a difference between one man band ex teachers coding something and a microsoft cloud hosted service.

    Ben
    Yes, but due diligence is never an entirely bad idea. Consider the effort of applying it to suppliers that probably don't need it so much as a rehearsal for applying it to those who do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryTechnician View Post
    2. I have several months worth of backups of our local Exchange server. That length of retention is not currently available in Office 365. If someone accidentally deletes stuff at the end of the Summer term, and doesn't notice until the Autumn term (this has actually happened), that data would not be recoverable on 365. It would be recoverable on our own server.
    Yes it is!

    If you need to do something today - as in literally right now - then go for Live@edu; otherwise wait a short while and you'll be able to go straight onto Office 365 for education directly. There's lots of planning you can do as well as any infrastructure prep in order to be ready.



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