Microsoft Exchange is a mail and calendaring server. It was introduced as Microsoft Exchange Server which ran exclusively on Windows Server OS. With the release of Office 365, Microsoft has included Exchange within the package as a SAAS (Software As A Service). Microsoft Exchange Server works on the premises of the organization with all its servers and data centers residing on premises. Therefore, it is known as on-premise Microsoft Exchange. We look at its advantages and disadvantages.
Control Your Data
The safety and integrity of your data depend on you. With on-premise Exchange, all your data is always stored on premises. You can choose from between using remote storage, online drives or tapes for backup. You decide on backup times and how backups should be stored or destroyed.
You maintain complete control of your hardware and email platform. Make configurational changes and perform upgrades and maintenance accordingly. You are completely responsible for the maintenance alongside the installation of regular updates provided by Microsoft. Provide mailbox sizes to your users according to your choice. Implement as many services as you want such as ActiveSync, Webmail, public folders and transport rules, etc.
On-premises, Exchange servers offer you more flexibility. It allows for easier and more versatile integration of third-party apps that can be connected easily to Exchange and other application servers if they are all hosted on the same local network.
Expenditure on Hardware and License
Apart from your initial investment in setting up the on-premise Microsoft Exchange Server for your business, maintaining your hardware and the resources required for applications requires an appropriate budget as well. The hardware requires being refreshed or replaced periodically and regularly. The licensing versions also require being updated continuously. With the release of new versions of Exchange, it sometimes requires different configuration and settings than its predecessors. For this purpose, administrators and workers looking after the platform need regular training to better handle the changes in technology and manage the new version effectively. Apart from the initial investment, all these costs need to be considered as well.
In the case of a security incident, it needs to be resolved immediately. This requires being vigilant and proactive in configuring your network, systems and Exchange platform to be able to deal with potential threats. This also requires you to hire more professionals and agree upon support contracts from your security solutions provider.
Uptime and Availability
Ensuring full availability and uninterrupted uptime is vital for any business. With on-premise Exchange, you are responsible for this. Guaranteeing full-time availability can be very costly and depends on how much you will invest in your system.
Cost of Data Loss
With your data stored on premises or in your hardware, you are responsible for its safety, backup, and recovery. In the case that your data is lost or destroyed, a data recovery plan needs to be in place as well as a business continuity plan. This has high costs depending on options you choose.