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Hosting email on premises vs. migrating to cloud hosted email services

Image of envelope on top of a cloud

For over 20 years Microsoft Exchange was arguably the best software to host your company email and collaboration suite. Both businesses and consultants like us invested countless hours and significant training resources on implementing and managing Exchange. It was a great environment which we formally would recommend to businesses without a second thought.

As most know Microsoft reached the conclusion several years ago that recurring subscription revenue is the future of software development and that of their business. Nearly all companies followed their lead and admittedly Microsoft has achieved a great deal of success with this pivot in their business model. As much as we may not like the decision to adopt the subscription model it is likely here to stay.

On-premises Exchange is still offered to businesses but on financial terms far less favorable than opting for hosted Exchange and paying a per-user monthly fee. Specifically, the cost of reliable on-premises servers and storage has skyrocketed and the licensing fees charged by Microsoft for both Windows Server and Exchange is quite high. That reason alone may cause many businesses to take the plunge and migrate to hosted Exchange.  

But does Microsoft support on-premises Exchange like their main priority hosted Exchange? Some would say Microsoft has intentionally made on-premises Exchange more difficult to manage and updates provided may not fully mitigate the security concerns present in today’s Exchange product. In fact there have been several incidents where Microsoft stated on-premises Exchange was vulnerable to an exploit with no patch available while simultaneously claiming their Exchange online hosted product was not vulnerable. Even major providers who offer a hosted Exchange product of their own have had issues managing security for their environment which have resulted in customer data loss.

For that reason, except in rare circumstances, we would recommend against implementing new or continuing to maintain existing on-premises Exchange servers. In addition to the reason referenced above on-premises Exchange requires third-party message filtering and expensive security and intrusion defense solutions in order to equal the security provided by Microsoft with Exchange online. And by the way, should your business consider migrating to Google Workspace?

Stratus has migrated countless mailboxes to both Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace. If you want to move your email to Google Workspace or instead want to stay with the Microsoft product suite but still move to the cloud and hosted Exchange, please give us a call. We offer flat rate migration services and are experts in the process. This process is one where experience is quite valuable.

Stratus Management

Experts in cloud migration and management