Moving Exchange Server to the Cloud: Points to Consider
Cloud computing – it is a business model that many organizations are using, or thinking about using. If moving functions, such as Exchange server, to the cloud, a business must consider the advantages and disadvantages before undertaking any major infrastructure change.
Some reasons why a business would consider doing this include:
Better security: Having Exchange server in the cloud means fewer machines where virus protection software needs to be installed, upgraded, and tested. This lets an IT department apply updates and fixes more often, and gives them more time to focus on monitoring and troubleshooting issues when they occur. For a business overall, this means better and more current security for Exchange server itself as well as for highly confidential and sensitive information it transmits.
Increased flexibility: With fewer machines to manage, an IT department has more time to investigate new or improved solutions to apply in the cloud computing infrastructure. More flexibility not only leads to greater productivity, but to increased employee satisfaction as well.
Reduced expenditures: Though it may take time initially to implement Exchange server in the cloud, in the long-term, an organization will save time in many areas. For instance, fewer machines means reduced capital costs, and less resource time spent on monitoring and resolving problems means more time spent on revenue-generating projects..
There are other points that a business should consider before implementing such a change, which includes the following:
Planning: On paper, moving Exchange server to the cloud sounds worthwhile, but would it actually work within the current business model? Can the current infrastructure support such a move?
Migration and transition issues: Moving Exchange server is a large undertaking, one that needs a full understanding of migration requirements, the ability to research potential issues, and resource availability to resolve issues that will creep up. Is the transition to the cloud worth the time, effort, and cost it requires?
Upfront costs: While moving Exchange server to the cloud can save on expenses in the long run, a business needs to know if they can handle the short-term costs. These include: researching possible solution structures, assigning resources for planning and performing the migration, troubleshooting issues, updating physical machines, and more.
There are reasons both for and against moving Exchange server to a cloud computing model. But before any implementations are started, make sure that due diligence is performed, either to minimize disruptions, or to realize that the transition is not in practical for the business at this time.
By Walter Bailey
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