Microsoft Exchange Server: Hosted vs. On-Site

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010

Starting with version 2010, Exchange Server added the capability of being hosted in an offsite location or via a hosting service. Since then, many IT administrators have had to answer the question: Host Exchange via a hosting service or manage it all in-house? And which of those options is the most cost-effective and makes the most business sense?

In the hosted option, a third-party vendor typically hosts the Exchange Server for your company, much like how many websites are hosted off site in data centers managed by a third party. Your employees and Exchange users would connect to this offsite infrastructure, and typically the vendor would provide support and manage the server for you, potentially saving you in onsite IT costs. In addition to hosting Exchange, a vendor may offer additional services surrounding your hosted Exchange, such as backups, bandwidth options and support tiers.

With the onsite option, everything related to your Exchange Server is managed by you or your IT team. You deploy the hardware, manage the software and support the users. The upfront costs with managing your own Exchange Server are typically much higher than going the hosted route, since you have to purchase the software licenses and server hardware. In addition, you must invest in ongoing IT personnel costs in order to support the users and keep the server up to date, secure and online.

In fact, there would hardly be a time when hosted Exchange would cost less than an in-house solution. So why would you ever consider an in-house implementation? The main reason is control.

When managing your own Exchange Server on site, you have full control over things like the level of spam and malware filtering, the speed and availability of backups and archiving and performance. If your company is in a regulated industry that requires data compliance and a hosting vendor messes up, you could still be held liable for non-compliance. On site, you and your IT team are in full control of your data privacy and security.

If you are considering whether or not to make the move to hosted Exchange Server, you will need IT support that knows it well and can provide a solid recommendation based on your specific needs. Minneapolis-based IT support company OAC Technology can help. We have been helping small businesses with their IT needs for over 10 years and can help keep your business’s technology running smoothly. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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