Benefits of Hosted Exchange 2010 in Comparison with Hosted Exchange 2007 Environments
Microsoft Exchange 2010 has moved ahead, leaps and bounds since the times of Exchange 2000 and Exchange 2003. Exchange 2007 presented us with a new advanced administration interface and started the phasing out of Public Folders. Exchange 2007 furthermore opened the doors for ASP and cloud services providers to be able to deliver Microsoft Exchange as a hosted environment. Exchange 2010 is Microsoft’s latest advancement in the Exchange Server suite and has many more advancements and refinements which in turn benefit managed exchange vendors and users alike.
The variety of functionality advancements in Exchange 2010 were further refined with the release of service pack 1, which also considerably enhanced the products offerings to managed exchange providers and end users. Microsoft’s development priorities have evolved in recent times and are aligning with the requirements of cloud providers offering multi-tenant environments designed for ASP’s. Below are a number of the key enhancements included in Exchange 2010 for hosting providers and clients, when compared with what was originally offered through hosting providers having an Exchange 2007 backend.
More advanced web access – introduced into Exchange 2010 has been a significant advancement in the Outlook Web Access of Exchange 2007. The Outlook Web App included in Exchange 2010 has mimicked the look and experience of Outlook 2010. Outlook Web App features a broader selection of user interface options, favourites inside the navigation pane and improved search capabilities. These are just a few of the key improvements, not forgetting the range of minor feature improvements. The Outlook Web App looks and drives much like Outlook 2010 together with right click functionality, shortcut key inclusions and much needed performance improvements. These developments enhance the consumer experience as web access is no longer, actually web access, it is as Microsoft have named it an “Outlook Web App”.
Easier Client Setup – Configuration of client software to gain access to Exchange 2010 is easier than ever, not too dissimilar to that of Exchange 2007. Although support for Outlook 2003 has been eradicated through the omission of Public Folders, the customer deployment and setup of Outlook 2007 – 2010 and Outlook 2011 for Mac is simple. Client software is configured utilizing the the rather transparent Auto-discover service, in which the consumer only requires their email address, name and password to setup access to their hosted exchange 2010 account. Clients can now have a mobile device, desktop or laptop configured with their Exchange 2010 managed mailbox within a few minutes.
Simple online account management – the installation of Exchange 2010 SP1 offered the Outlook Web App Administration Console, a web console for client management of their managed exchange account. The Outlook Web App Administration Console enables client account administrators to create and manage user mailboxes, distribution lists, external contacts, resource mailboxes. As well as some other account management features such as resetting user passwords, managing roles and auditing and finally mail rules, journaling and delivery reports. The suite of tools provided in the Outlook Web App Console, provides the managed exchange client greater control over their own account using a simple online web console, helping reduce the necessity for hosting vendors to deal with simple tasks for the client.
More resilient disaster recovery architecture -Exchange 2010 mailbox data is now far more resilient with the introduction of Database Availability Groups. DAG’s have improved the clustering and disaster recovery architecture of Exchange, enabling hosted exchange administrators with a more expansive range of methods to plan for network environment disasters as well as periods of extreme load. These improvements give hosted exchange customers piece of mind that their information, being located online, is more secure with multiple levels of disaster recovery and the service can be offered in a more dependable way with site resilience and high-availability by means of server clustering.
While comparing Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2007 you can realize that Exchange 2010 comes with a much better solution for the managed environment. With Microsoft’s direct attention to multi-tenant / hosting environment benefits and features for not only the ASP, but principally for the client including easier client setup, less complicated plus much more functional web access, online account management and higher availability, an Exchange 2010 hosting environment should really be your choice as a company searching for a managed exchange vendor.