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Windows Thread, Hosted Exchange - Recommendations please in Technical; ...
  1. #16
    somabc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    5 users is like £50 per month. I fail how to you can really say getting a exchange license can really be cheaper.

    Ok, if you need DC, paying the extra few £ to get SBS makes sense. Otherwise, you've got the licenses, the additional power, the additional spamfiltering etc.
    I think for hosting there comes a point where the number of mailboxes you are paying for it becomes cheaper to host it yourself.

    For 5 users hosting is definitely cheaper.
    For 20, it becomes more of a grey area.
    For 100 as nadeem asked your yearly hosting costs would far exceed the cost of buying a server and licences, then in year 2/3/4 you would save £££'s by running it in house.

    100 users at £5 per mailbox per month is £6000 a year. You could buy some really good servers and software with a backup solution for less than £2000. (cheaper with educational discounts). If you are willing to use your time to administer it then there is no extra salary cost

    The only reason I can see to use hosting for a large(ish) no of users is if you are not technically confident of running a mail server or you do not have the time to do it yourself and do not want to hire someone to run it in house for you.

    You can save even more money by ditching exchange/outlook and running zimbra or similar.
    Last edited by somabc; 8th January 2009 at 12:17 PM.

  2. #17

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    Well other things to consider are stuff like

    a) some idiot digging outside in the road cuts your internet link [happened loads of times at a previous university I worked at]
    b) are people seriously trying to tell me that no additional time/expense needs to be undertaken in order to learn how to properly administer an Exchange 2007 server?
    c) we have limited [people] resources to run anything IT related
    d) I still might continue to run the email server in house

    I'm basically trying to say that the cost (for us) also has to factor in the Opportunity Cost of not outsourcing

    [just as a by the by - I didn't say what email server I was currently running - it might have been exchange 2007 in the first place ]

    I am grateful for the input, though unfortunately for me it looks like no one has actually used a hosted exchange provider

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by nadeem View Post
    Well other things to consider are stuff like

    a) some idiot digging outside in the road cuts your internet link [happened loads of times at a previous university I worked at]
    b) are people seriously trying to tell me that no additional time/expense needs to be undertaken in order to learn how to properly administer an Exchange 2007 server?
    c) we have limited [people] resources to run anything IT related
    d) I still might continue to run the email server in house

    I'm basically trying to say that the cost (for us) also has to factor in the Opportunity Cost of not outsourcing

    [just as a by the by - I didn't say what email server I was currently running - it might have been exchange 2007 in the first place ]

    I am grateful for the input, though unfortunately for me it looks like no one has actually used a hosted exchange provider
    Sorry I was not trying to give you specific advice, it was aimed at people who are trying to decide whether to go down the hosted route.

    a) this can happen anywhere even in data centers although they will be able to fallover the connection quicker.

    b) yes time/expertise is required, if you do not have this and cannot hire someone to do the job do not host it yourself, it will all end in tears. If you already employ capable IT people then they can administer the server for no extra outlay.

    c) If you have limited resources then outsourcing can be every helpful. However if you have large(ish) requirements such as hundreds of users then you will need more resources either way. Given the choice of £500+ monthly bill for hosted exchange I would rather use hosted google services for free.

    d) I did not know if you already had an email solution.
    So basically to sum up -

    Large no of users - run your servers with dedicated staff in a proper data centre, ie the University I work for has 10,000+ users with a dedicated email team and multiple front end/back end servers in our own data centre with multiple network peering.

    Medium no of users - depends, examine your costs & resources.

    Small no of users - hosted is probably cheaper.

    I looked into hosted when working for a charity but it turned out they already had the servers needed and had bought the licenses for exchange (at large discount) so they just needed someone IT literate to administer the servers which I was happy to do along with my other IT related tasks. So even though hosted could have been a good move if starting from scratch we were able to run email in house at little extra cost saving hundreds of pounds a month in hosting charges. My salary was a 'sunk cost' for them it would have cost them the same whether I ran in house email or not.
    Last edited by somabc; 9th January 2009 at 12:25 AM.

  4. Thanks to somabc from:

    nadeem (9th January 2009)

  5. #19

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    I've used 1and1 hosted email, reason I've stopped. I hate outlook webmail, whatever it's called.

    Don't get me wrong, in a 100+ users network using windows it's great, but using it on a one man band (or a small group) it's pretty much useless, plus no unix guru likes getting outlook email, there email client doesn't like html emails.

    I think the service 1and1\fasthost\etc provide for outlook is fine for upto 5-10 users after that, SBS after that full exchange.

    I personally like Google Apps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by somabc View Post
    Medium no of users - depends, examine your costs & resources.
    Thank you again for all the helpful pointers - I think I feel that I'm in this middle category.

    Also as others have said - I'd be okay with having my personal hosted exchange with someone like fasthosts/etc but not somthing a bit more critical than that.

    Well having had no other recommendations I'm off to use the 3 suppliers I've identified and see if the cost/benfit calculations do/don't work!

  7. #21
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    Have a look here intY The Internet Security Company

    We don't use the exchange service but they offer that and sharepoint.

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    I was previously in the host it yourself camp for e-mail especially with the stability and feature set now in Zimbra but this year after research into our proposed upgrade of e-mail I've switched camp.

    When you really start adding it up financially and with regard to security and accountability external hosting is looking very strong.

    The 2 big realisations for me were that its not as expansive as you think. When you get into it and start talking to hosts there are some really big discounts being offered for bulk clients especially schools. The break even point for self hosting is actually at much larger user numbers than what most of us have in UK schools. We're talking multiple thousands 3K users +

    Secondly with the current climate and emphasis on availability, privacy, accountability and security. Self hosting is risky. In terms of uptime its risky we have limited redundancy of equipment and connectivity compared to a colocation center hosted solution. My UPS system does around 20mins, Internet connectivity is redundant only in terms of ISP it all goes into the same cable to the same exchange. Likewise I have a spare PSU and hard drive for the mail server but if it blew a processor or a motherboard downtime could be 24-48 hours possibly much worse. For a small business 1 ADSL line a DC running sharepoint, e-mail, printers, webserver, antivirus is the norm and drop in replacement parts wont even have crossed their minds. Security wise I'm not confident I could harden a server windows or Linux to a level suitable for an outward facing system containing potentially very sensitive personal and financial information. I'm confident I could impliment good archival, tracking and accountability features but on what timescale?

    After weighing up the options my final report to our board will recommend a fully hosted external system for all staff and pupils to be offered for tender. Or a tired system with fully hosted mail for business critical staff e-mail and an internally hosted system for pupil e-mail with a SLA type policy document stating the limitations of that system in terms of security and privacy to pupils and parents.

    Rather topically Ars Technica has a nice piece on this today too.

    Gmail about one third as expensive as hosted e-mail

  9. #23
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