Exchange

NightShade03NightShade03 Member Posts: 1,383 ■■■■■■■□□□
How difficult is it to manage an exchange server? Example: We currently host our exchange to another company & BES as well. However we are large enough now where the yearly costs of hosting are more then it would cost to buy servers/licensing/CALs. The really question boils down to how hard is it to manage on a day to day basis.

Comments

  • aordalaordal Member Posts: 372
    I copped out and run all my external mail through Postini. Their service is decently priced and they offer alot of benefits (anti spam, AV, spooling of emails). I don't have to "manage" it much on a daily basis, other than making sure my backups run nightly.
  • phoeneousphoeneous Go ping yourself... Member Posts: 2,333 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Not difficult at all provided that you know what you are doing. Once its up and running it just flows. I'd say the hardest part is working with the dns provider to get everything setup with mx records and stuff. Dont forget about spam control. I suggest barracuda networks.
  • NightShade03NightShade03 Member Posts: 1,383 ■■■■■■■□□□
    We actually use postini for filtering services but then have everything forwarded to another company in Canada that hosts our exchange and bes. The costs we pay per year are insane compared to what it would cost us to out right buy exchange and CALs + BES. My boss won't do it because he says every company that he has ever had to work an over night for was because of an exchange issue.

    While I can understand that things break I can't image that Microsoft would design exchange that be that difficult to manage or troubleshooting (someone tell me if I'm wrong).
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
    How many accounts/domains?
  • NightShade03NightShade03 Member Posts: 1,383 ■■■■■■■□□□
    2 Domains and about 350 - 370 users. the second domain only has 10 users. Not sure if it makes a difference but we have 5 sites US, 2 Canada, and a handful of international users.
  • Daniel333Daniel333 Member Posts: 2,077 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Exchange isn't bad at all.

    It really boils down to what your goals are. BES/Blackberry Pro is alright too, once it's running although we have had some issues after patching lately. Honeslty though, there is a huge push toward hosting email now days. Counting your labor, downtime or a local server, electricity, backups, licensing..patching etc. Most clients we have found end up saving about 50% by switching or sticking with hosting.

    Well, lets get some hard numbers.

    How many users are we talking? (This will also determin how many exchange boxes you might need)
    How much per mailbox do you pay?
    How much are you being charged per gig over your limits?
    What kind of up time are your business units expecting?
    Recovery of messages policy?
    Security/audit requirements?
    -Daniel
  • HeroPsychoHeroPsycho Inactive Imported Users Posts: 1,940
    If you set Exchange up correctly, you usually won't have any major issues with it. The problem is a lot of people don't set it up properly from the get go.
    Good luck to all!
  • NightShade03NightShade03 Member Posts: 1,383 ■■■■■■■□□□
    HeroPsycho wrote: »
    If you set Exchange up correctly, you usually won't have any major issues with it. The problem is a lot of people don't set it up properly from the get go.

    That was my argument (with my boss) from the start, but of course he is never going to admit that he "misconfigured" something.
  • NightShade03NightShade03 Member Posts: 1,383 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Daniel333 wrote: »
    Exchange isn't bad at all.

    It really boils down to what your goals are. BES/Blackberry Pro is alright too, once it's running although we have had some issues after patching lately. Honeslty though, there is a huge push toward hosting email now days. Counting your labor, downtime or a local server, electricity, backups, licensing..patching etc. Most clients we have found end up saving about 50% by switching or sticking with hosting.

    Well, lets get some hard numbers.

    How many users are we talking? (This will also determin how many exchange boxes you might need)
    How much per mailbox do you pay?
    How much are you being charged per gig over your limits?
    What kind of up time are your business units expecting?
    Recovery of messages policy?
    Security/audit requirements?

    Originally we were saving alot of money by going with a hosted exchange solution but now just looking at the math we are paying WAY more then an install would cost us. I have some hard numbers at the office, will post them in the morning.
  • rsuttonrsutton Member Posts: 1,029 ■■■■■□□□□□
    How much exchange experience do you have? Are you comfortable with SSL certs and IIS?
  • NightShade03NightShade03 Member Posts: 1,383 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Me personally...none. I've done an install in a lab before but that's really it. My partner has done some exchange installs before. It may sound suicidal to try and run an exchange server with no experience, but I'm studying a little bit for it, if it happens and everyone has to learn sooner or later. Hands on is the best way in my opinion.
  • brad-brad- Member Posts: 1,218
    phoeneous wrote: »
    I'd say the hardest part is working with the dns provider to get everything setup with mx records and stuff.
    This is where I'm at right now...Godaddy has the best support though.
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Have you guys really had problems doing that? I can do that myself with Host Monster, and the other times I've had to do it, I just call up the hosting provider and tell them to create/modify an MX record to point at x.x.x.x.
  • NetAdmin2436NetAdmin2436 Member Posts: 1,076
    Me personally...none. I've done an install in a lab before but that's really it. My partner has done some exchange installs before. It may sound suicidal to try and run an exchange server with no experience, but...

    Nah, (as mentioned) as long as it's setup properly it's pretty easy to maintain. Out of college I had no experience and was able to run exchange with only 1 minor hiccup. I was being a ra-tard and uninstalled iis. Just don't do that and you will be fine. icon_smile.gif
    WIP: CCENT/CCNA (.....probably)
  • NightShade03NightShade03 Member Posts: 1,383 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Nah, (as mentioned) as long as it's setup properly it's pretty easy to maintain. Out of college I had no experience and was able to run exchange with only 1 minor hiccup. I was being a ra-tard and uninstalled iis. Just don't do that and you will be fine. icon_smile.gif

    Haha thanks for the advice. Well I'm pushing to get it installed by mid year. I don't think it'll be that bad. I think the hardest part is going to be setting up the BES to work with exchange and the migration all my users over.
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