Email has long been a critical means of communication for business. If you currently host your own email server, host with someone else or still use a public email service (e.g., Hotmail) to run your business, get in touch with us. We can show you several new options that could potentially save you money and provide additional benefits including Hosted Email. For example, we can set up your own Microsoft Exchange server, migrate you to one of Microsoft’s hosted Office365 offerings, migrate you to Amazon’s WorkMail solution or service your existing email server.
When it comes to email services, you have several options to choose from. The easiest way to make the right choice is to create a list of business requirements your company absolutely must have. Second, create another list of items your company wants but doesn’t necessarily need. Having a predefined list of wants and needs ensures your company chooses the product with the best fit and not the product sold with the most pressure or fancy advertising. Below are some topics to think about while creating a list of requirements and deciding if you want to host email on premise or in the cloud. When you’re ready, we can provide a cost comparison between hosting on site and in the cloud. Our company provides consulting and support for both options.
On premise email services
Do you want to host your own email server or go with a hosted solution?
Hosting your own email server gives you the most control over how the email server is administered, where data resides and how the overall infrastructure is configured. However, hosting your own email server for a business has a few requirements that inflate the overall cost of ownership, such as providing your own server, internet connection with static IP address, routers, switches, software, virus scan, malware protection, backups for disaster recovery, etc.
Do you have the resources to host your own email server?
The target of many hackers, email servers typically get inundated with malware, viruses and other malicious code, so it is critical to keep your email servers patched and protected. Some patches and updates require a restart of the email server in order to finish installing. Most companies don’t want their email servers restarted during the day, so updates are typically scheduled at night when the impact is minimal. Companies that cannot afford to have their email servers go offline invest in redundant servers to carry the load while the other servers are offline.
Do you have a disaster recovery plan in case of an outage?
Hopefully a disaster never happens, but if it does, you want to have a backup plan in place. Many things could cause your email server to fail or go offline: A backhoe working near the street could cut the internet cables running to your building, a storm could cause the power to your building to go out, etc. Common disaster recovery plans may include adding a second internet connection to your location, purchasing a battery backup system for your servers or bringing another email server up at a different location. Another option, depending on your business, is to go without email until the issue is resolved.
Cloud-hosted email services
Hosted email providers such as Microsoft, Amazon, Rackspace, etc., offer redundant data centers around the world with staff dedicated for patching, backups, disaster recovery and so on. Microsoft and Amazon have a guaranteed availability/uptime of 99.99%. If they fall below their guaranteed uptime, the customer can request a credit to the account. The other main benefit of cloud-hosted email is that the customer is not responsible for managing and maintaining the email server and the infrastructure to support it.