New Exchange 2013 features may help simplify migration decisions

By Andy Grogan,

In versions of Exchange prior to 2010, a hosted Exchange infrastructure was a rather unappealing proposition. Scalability was limited by the product itself, as well as the hosting providers' capacity to deliver large, feature-rich environments with Exchange 2003 or Exchange 2007.

While a hosted email arrangement is a suitable setup for small organizations that don't require a full set of Exchange Server features, companies with an Exchange environment of more than 1,500 users need to bear the cost of provisioning dedicated hardware in the provider's environment to cope with that level of demand. In the past, hosted offerings also tended to reduce functionality for users, as the shared infrastructure model was immature and required the removal of certain features for the application to perform adequately.

But Exchange 2010 made strides to address these limitations, enabling Microsoft to develop Office 365, Microsoft's more scalable and feature-rich cloud-based offering. Office 365 accommodates more than 50,000 users, offers a subscription-based payment model and allows for more applications (such as SharePoint, Lync and Office online) to be added as business requirements grow.

As such, Office 365 poses fewer tradeoffs for IT in terms of providing necessary functionality while also serving environments with many users.

With Exchange 2013, Microsoft has continued to develop the core-product features. New Exchange 2013 features also emphasize Microsoft's "better together" roadmap, which ostensibly provides improved integration among the company's own suite of products, as well as with third-party tools.

For Exchange shops, there are now viable on-premises and cloud-based messaging options. So the question becomes which road to choose.

Stay on-premises or move to the cloud?

For organizations that want to move from their on-premises Exchange 2007 or Exchange 2010 deployment and upgrade their version of Exchange, the biggest decision to confront is whether to opt for Office 365 or Exchange 2013.

For various reasons, some organizations may be hesitant to adopt Exchange 2013 directly. Many companies have just moved from Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2010, so the cost of another migration does not make sense. In other cases, organizations are evaluating a full move to the cloud, and on-premises Exchange 2013 does not figure into their plans.

Finally, many IT shops avoid deploying Microsoft products before the first service pack arrives.

For companies that have just gone through an Exchange 2010 migration and are hesitant about another, a hybrid deployment may be a valid option. With some mail in the cloud, and more secure mail behind the firewall, companies can safely evaluate cost and functionality before making a full commitment.


To read the full article, go to: SearchExchange

Use Ctrl+Shift+R to “Reply all” to the selected message.


Will tablet and Smart phone use be a big part of your OWA 2013 deployment?