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Why consider moving your On-Premise Exchange to the Office365 Cloud?

Below are 5 reasons for any company to consider moving their on-premise Exchange to the Office 365 Cloud:

  1. Cost of Exchange Server Licenses and Cost of User CALs.
    • Exchange Standard (Open License) costs $862.00 (Note: Price is based on MSRP)
    • Exchange Enterprise (Open License) costs $4903.00 (Note: Price is based on MSRP)
    • You Need either Exchange Standard CALs $119.99 each or Exchange Enterprise CALs $72.99  (For 50 users that’s $6000 for Exchange Standard CALs).   (Note: Pricing is based on MSRP)
  2. Cost of purchasing server hardware every 4-5 years. This alone is a Capital Expenditure of $8,000-$10,000, not including Local Tape Backup or Cloud Backup costs.
  3. Cost of maintaining Exchange Servers, MS Patching, Software Updates (issues like Y2K). This is a daily, weekly and monthly cost.  With Exchange Online Microsoft takes care of all these issues.
  4. Downtime when rolling out new features, upgrading to a new Exchange version or worrying about Disaster Recovery.  With Exchange Online Microsoft takes care of all these issues and because its in the Office365 Cloud you have a perfect DRP solution should your office have a major disaster.
  5. IT Staff to manage, backup and maintain.  Running Exchange on-premise requires highly specialized skills and the average IT person with these skills has annual salary of 80K per year.  Once you move to Exchange Online managing your Exchange Online requires some IT effort but it could easily be handled by an MSP (Managed Service Provider) that is managing your entire IT Infrastructure.


What is Microsoft Exchange (on-Premise)?

Microsoft Exchange Server is a calendaring and mail server developed by Microsoft that runs exclusively on the Microsoft Windows Server product line.

Exchange Server was initially Microsoft’s internal mail server. The first version of Exchange Server to be published outside Microsoft was Exchange Server 4.0. Exchange initially used the X.400 directory service but switched to Active Directory later. Versions 4.0 and 5.0 came bundled with an email client called Microsoft Exchange Client. It was discontinued in favor of Microsoft Outlook.

The first release of on-Premise Exchange outside of Microsoft was Exchange Server 4.0 in March 1996 and it has since gone through at least 7 major releases, each one adding more features becoming more scalable, redundant and secure.

  • Exchange Server 5.0 – Released in March 1997
  • Exchange Server 5.5 – Released in November 1997 and came in two flavours Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition
  • Exchange Server 2000 – Released in October 2000.
  • Exchange Server 2003 – Released in October 2003.

Note: FYI Exchange 2003 mainstream support ended on April 14, 2009. Extended support ended on April 8, 2014.

  • Exchange Server 2007 – Released in December 2006 (First time it had to run on x64 server hardware). Unified Messaging is also a significant feature addition, integrating with Office Communication Server and PBX/VoIP systems.
  • Exchange Server 2010 – Released in November 2009.
  • Exchange Server 2013 – Released in October 2012.
  • Exchange Server 2016 – On October 1, 2015, Microsoft announced the general availability (GA) of Exchange Server 2016.


What is Exchange Online?

Microsoft Exchange Online is an email, calendar and contacts solution delivered as a cloud service, hosted by Microsoft. It is essentially the same service offered by hosted Exchange providers and it is built on the same technologies as Microsoft Exchange Server. Exchange Online provides end users with a familiar email experience across PCs, the Web and mobile devices, while giving IT administrators or small businesses and professionals web-based tools for managing their online deployment.

Exchange Server is licensed both in the forms of on-premises software and software as a service. In the on-premises form, customer purchase client access licenses (CALs). In the software as a service form, Microsoft receives a monthly service fee instead (see Microsoft Office 365).

Exchange Online was first provided as a hosted service in dedicated customer environments in 2005 to select pilot customers. The are two plans of Exchange Online Plan 1 and Plan2:

Exchange Online Plan 1 - Comes with Office365 Business Essentials and Premium. This plan comes with (50 GB Inbox) for all users.

Exchange Online Plan 2 - Comes with Office365 Business Enterprise Plans E1, E3 and E5. Main difference over Exchange Plan 1 is that it adds (unlimited Inbox, email encryption and eDiscovery/Legal Hold, DLP). Office 365 E3 and E5 users will get Office 365 Message Encryption at no extra cost - as it is included in Windows Azure Rights Management, which is already part of E3 and E4 plans.

What is In-Place Hold?  Use In-Place Hold to preserve deleted and edited mailbox items from users’ primary mailboxes and In-Place Archives)

What is Data loss prevention (DLP)?  Control sensitive business data with built-in DLP policies based on regulatory standards such as PII and PCI, which help to identify, monitor, and protect sensitive data through deep content analysis.

Note: This web link has a great comparison of Exchange Online Plan 1 and Plan 2  https://techjourney.net/office-365-exchange-online-plans-1-2-kiosk-differences-and-comparison/


What versions of Microsoft Exchange can be migrated to Office365 Exchange Online?

Exchange 2003, 2007 and 2010 – Mailboxes, Global Address Book, Resources (Rooms) and external contacts can all be migrated to Exchange Online.

 Note: If you have an on-premise Exchange 2003 server and your company uses Public Folders (according to Microsoft), these cannot be migrated from Exchange 2003 to Exchange Online but Quercus Solutions uses a special migration tool to accomplish this.


What if we use Google Mail or Lotus Notes, can those also be migrated to Office365 Exchange Online?

Yes, but there are limitations.  Only mailbox data can be moved (not resources/rooms or public folder)



If you didn’t know about Exchange Online or why you should consider moving your On-premise Exchange server to the Office 365 Cloud hopefully this blog has been helpful to you.

If you are interested in moving your on-premise Exchange to the Office365 Cloud by all means let us know at hello@quercussolutions.com and we will be happy to discuss your needs. Keep in mind Quercus Solutions has seasoned IT Infrastructure professionals with years of experience with IT Infrastructure and Various Mail systems (Exchange, Lotus Notes, Gmail, etc) .




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