Why you Should Choose Hosted Exchange 2010 over Hosted Exchange 2007 Environments

Microsoft Exchange 2010 has moved ahead, leaps and bounds since the days of Exchange 2000 and Exchange 2003. Exchange 2007 introduced a whole new management interface and was the beginning of the end for Public Folders. Exchange 2007 also opened the doors for ASP and cloud services providers to be able to provide Microsoft Exchange as a hosted environment. Exchange 2010 is Microsoft’s newest advancement in the Exchange Server suite and has many more advancements and refinements which benefit hosted exchange providers and users alike.

The range of functionality advancements in Exchange 2010 were further refined with the release of service pack 1, which also greatly enhanced the products offerings to hosted exchange providers and end users. Microsoft’s development priorities are aligning with the requirements of cloud providers rather than keeping the cloud technologies in house.

Below are some of the key enhancements included in Exchange 2010 for hosting providers and clients, compared to what was originally offered through hosting providers with an Exchange 2007 backend.

More advanced web access – introduced into Exchange 2010 was a major advancement in the Outlook Web Access of Exchange 2007. Outlook Web App further aligned the web access look and feel with the latest of the Outlook client software. Introducing a larger range of user options, favourites in the navigation pane, enhanced search capabilities just to mention a few of the major steps forward. The Outlook Web App looks and drives just like Outlook 2010 with right click functionality, shortcut key inclusions and much needed performance improvements. These advancements improve the user experience as web access is no longer, really web access it is as Microsoft have named it an “Outlook Web App”

Easier Client Setup – Client setup and deployment is very simple in Exchange 2010, as it was with Exchange 2007. Although support for Outlook 2003 has been removed through the exclusion of Public Folders, the client deployment and setup of Outlook 2007 – 2010 and Outlook 2011 for Mac is very simple. Auto-discover is quite transparent, allowing users to configure their client software using only their email address, name and password for client applications utilising the Exchange AutoDiscover technology. Clients can now have a mobile device, desktop or laptop configured with their exchange 2010 hosted mailbox within minutes. Client configuration of multiple exchange accounts is one very valuable added bonus for users of Outlook 2010, Outlook 2011 for Mac and iPhones / iPads etc. This is much better than the old way of having to configure multiple outlook profiles for multiple exchange accounts.

Simple online account management – the introduction of Exchange 2010 SP1 bought along with it the Outlook Web App Administration Console, a brilliant web console for hosted account management. This is a simple web console where client administrators can create and manage user mailboxes, distribution lists, external contacts, resource mailboxes. As well as other account management functions such as resetting user passwords, managing roles and auditing and finally mail rules, journaling and delivery reports. This suite of online tools gives the user greater control over their hosted environment and reduces the need for hosting providers to manage simple day to day tasks for clients.

More resilient disaster recovery architecture –Exchange 2010 mailbox data is now more resilient with the introduction of Database Availability Groups. This new advancement in clustering and disaster recovery architecture gives hosted exchange administrators a wider range of options for creating high availability, clustering and disaster recovery. These advancements give hosted exchange users piece of mind that their data, being stored online, is safer with multiple levels of disaster recovery and the service can be offered in a more reliable way with site resilience and high-availability through server clustering.

As you can see, Exchange 2010 has a greater offering of hosted environment options as compared to Exchange 2007. With client centric features such as, easier and more functional web access, easier client setup, online account management and higher availability, Microsoft’s move towards developing server products for the cloud and multi-tenant hosted environments is going to benefit both end users and hosting providers.

To read more about Hosted Exchange 2010 and the way such services can revolutionise the way your business utilises its IT resources, visit AUS-IP Services.

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