Posts Tagged ‘exchange server hosting’

Exchange Server Hosting Service

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Microsoft Exchange server is an enterprise-class communication platform used by many businesses to simplify the way in which their employees communicate with each other as well as to encourage employees to manage themselves to a better degree. As Exchange Server is a Microsoft product, it is only capable of running on Windows servers, but a the same time this close tie between operating system and product allows Microsoft to deliver a more stable platform that will be capable of meeting the security needs that may represent a challenge for other email and collaboration platforms. The benefit to many businesses of using a platform such as Microsoft Exchange Server is that the data hosted on the platform is accessible from a number of different devices, allowing businesses to construct a central location for email, contact and calendar information; as well as using desktop clients, data hosted on Exchange servers can also be accessed through the Outlook Web Access web interface and a number of different mobile devices including iPhones and Blackberrys. Many businesses already running a Windows-based infrastructure are likely to be using Active Directory as a way of managing and authenticating users and so Exchange Server is able to tie in with this infrastructure seamlessly, allowing your users to use a single account to logon to Windows desktop computers and their Exchange environment. Even though Exchange Server hosting services may carry an additional premium when compared to using other collaboration platforms, Exchange Server is the only platform capable of offering you such a smooth service.

Benefits of Using Exchange Server Hosting

There are several different benefits to using Exchange Server hosting that you should be aware of, especially if you are considering any other collaboration and communication platform, as these could encourage you to use Exchange Server. Such benefits include:

  • Encourages communication – Exchange Server will encourage your employees to communicate with each other much more clearly using email as the system will provide your staff with a centralized point from which they can access their emails on any device – the issue with the communication structures in many businesses at the moment is that they are simply too basic and lack a number of different tools that would otherwise aim to enhance the experience and Exchange Server improves on many other collaboration platforms by providing you with a web interface as well as a system that you will be able to access on a number of different devices so that you are never far from your emails
  • Allows employees to manage their schedules – another major part of the Exchange platform is the calendar feature that is provided, allowing employees to manage themselves to a higher degree so that they can keep an eye on their appointments – as is the case with email account, Exchange Server calendars can be synced with a number of different devices and applications so that you can add a new appointment to your calendar whilst on the move, safe in the knowledge that the same appointment will be viewable in your calendar on your desktop computer when you return to the office
  • Integration into existing infrastructure – most businesses have an existing Windows IT infrastructure usually based around the Active Directory authentication system and Exchange Server can be integrated into your existing infrastructure with minimal work – the idea that employees can use a single username and password to access their emails and Windows desktop computer will simplify the management process for your IT department as it gives them one single platform to monitor the performance of – furthermore, it will mean that your staff will have fewer passwords to remember, thus reducing the chances them forgetting their login details – even though setting up a Windows infrastructure may be expensive, you can be sure that you will be provided with a secure and reliable infrastructure that will be more than capable of meeting your needs.

Disadvantages of Using Exchange Server Hosting

There can also be some disadvantages to using Exchange Server hosting services that you should be aware of, these could include:

  • Cost– the cost of implementing the Exchange Server platform when compared to other available options can be incredibly high which is why it may not be that appealing to smaller businesses that have smaller businesses and instead will be more suitable for larger companies – Microsoft sells commercial products meaning that you will need a license to use a majority of the premium applications sold by the company, including the Windows operating system – as a business, by choosing Windows as your infrastructure platform you are going to need to take on board the extra costs that are going to be associated with running your infrastructure than if you had chosen to use Linux servers as Linux is an open source platform
  • Windows-only compatibility – it is also important to take into consideration that Exchange Server is a Windows-only application meaning that if you are running an IT infrastructure that is based on any other platform, i.e. Linux, then you should consider a solution other than Exchange Server for your requirements – this means that for businesses which have never used Windows before, a significant investment in Windows servers is going to be required if they wish to make the most of Microsoft Exchange Server, on the other hand they could always choose a remotely hosted as this could be more cost effective and would take less time to setup.

In conclusion, an Exchange Server hosting service will allow you to provide your employees with a centralized communication tool that they can use to communicate with fellow employees and customers of your business. Although there are a number of alternatives available to Microsoft Exchange Server, no other platform is able to provide you with the accessibility features that are offered for a number of different devices; many employees are now on the move these days and use mobile devices such as Blackberrys and iPhones and in most cases will want to be able to access their emails.

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Anatomy of Windows Web Hosting

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

Windows is the world’s most popular operating system that is used on the desktop and in the server environment. As part of its role in the server environment, Windows is widely used by web hosting companies to produce web hosting plans that offer compatibility with Microsoft applications and technologies. Along with Linux, these two operating systems form the basis of the mainstream web hosting industry in terms of the web hosting plans that are offered and the features that are available.

ASP.NET Web Hosting

12 300x128 Anatomy of Windows Web Hosting

When developing websites that will make the most of the Windows operating system, the best option is to use ASP.NET as this is a scripting framework that has been developed by Microsoft for use exclusively with Windows. ASP.NET’s benefits vary and are limited, but include:

  • You will elevated access to the Windows operating system with additional support offered for developers utilizing the full feature set of ASP.NET as opposed to creating their own controls and components
  • All scripts should simply work with IIS and Windows if they have been developed correctly, without the need for any additional modifications to guarantee full compatibility, as this can be an issue when using certain scripting languages with the Windows operating system.

Microsoft SQL Server Database Hosting

The purpose of a database server such as Microsoft SQL Server is to provide your web pages and scripts with a common location that they can all access to enable them to process the relevant data for display. Databases can be used to store information of all types so that it can be re-used again and again, benefitting websites that rely on information that is submitted by visitors.

22 300x150 Anatomy of Windows Web Hosting

The benefit of using Microsoft SQL Server as your database backend is that it is relatively simple to create a cluster of MSSQL servers that can then be used to serve your content as required. By developing an internal network that can link multiple database servers together, you are creating a fail-proof solution that is also scalable to cope with growing demand on your website.

When compared to MySQL Server, the disadvantage of choosing to use a commercial database hosting alternative such as Micrsoft SQL Server is that you have to pay for the license to use it. The cost of MSSQL Server will depend on the version of the software that you choose to use as well as how many licenses you purchase, but for the most part the cost is justifiable through the means of the reliability provided by a commercial platform and the support that is available for when something goes wrong.

Microsoft Exchange Server Hosting

Businesses looking for corporate email solutions are likely to have Microsoft Exchange Server on their list of solutions to consider. Microsoft Exchange Server is a suite of applications that provides businesses with a central email, calendaring, contact and user management database that can be accessed through various means, although for the most part it is designed for integration with Microsoft Outlook on the desktop.

The main features of Microsoft Exchange Server include:

  • Access to the “Outlook Web Access” web client provides users with access to their email, calendars and contacts on the move through any web browser removing the need for constant use of the Outlook desktop application
  • The application can be hosted either on a single server or can be scaled to include multiple servers, allowing you to tap into resources provided by SANs (storage area networks) as well as those of additional servers through the means of a clustered configuration
  • An Active Directory based user authentication system allows you to provide users with a single login that will provide them with access to not only their emails, but also any Windows desktop computer within your business.

In conclusion, the anatomy of Windows web hosting provides you with an opportunity to experience new technologies include ASP.NET and Microsoft SQL Server to aid you with the development of your website. In addition to being able to develop newer and more functional websites, Windows is also the platform for businesses to use if they are looking to improve internal communications through the means of Microsoft Exchange Server, an application that is available as an optional extra with Windows dedicated servers.

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A Quick Guide to Email Hosting Plans

Friday, November 19th, 2010

E-mail hosting is where a hosting company offers to carry out e-mail functions for its customers. These operations can be as simple as sending or receiving mails and as complex as global searching and database processing. The hosting company that provides e-mail hosting plans to its customers will ensure that mailboxes stored on their servers are protected from viruses and hackers and also that they guarantee as good an uptime % as possible.

Email hosting is provided by all types of hosting firms both large and small. The services being offered usually include:

  • Webmail: a basic email program which enables clients to access their emails wherever they like, as long as they have internet connection
  • Microsoft Outlook: For customers who want a more robust and feature packed email program, the email hosting company will provide them with a mailbox which they can connect to using an email program such as Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Exchange: This is where a company has their own dedicated email server but it is housed at the hosting company’s data centre and not on their premises. Should you choose this email hosting option, the hosting company will custom design your email server to meet the exact needs of your business, take care of its full operation and ensure its always up and running. At Storm Internet, we offer Microsoft Exchange for small to medium sized companies.

Who benefits from email hosting?

Email hosting is designed especially for businesses that do not have the time, money or internal resources to build a suitable internal IT infrastructure for handling emails. Therefore by outsourcing email to an external company, costs are lowered and the employees get on with building the business safe in the knowledge that their emails are being handled by experts.

Appropriate storage space

When registering any e-mail account, you will be allocated a certain amount of space for each inbox depending on the email hosting package that has been purchased. Some companies will provide megabytes of space while others will provide gigabytes for every mailbox. It is always advisable to choose a solution that gives you the flexibility to upgrade your email hosting plan should your future storage requirements change.

Virus and spam filtering

A quality webmail hosting package will provide the user with the reassurance that harmful mails will be obstructed before they even enter the network. This is done through the installation of virus software and spam filtering. Spam filtering techniques include grey listing, white listing and blacklisting.

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Exchange Server Hosting

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Microsoft Exchange Server is a popular email and collaboration system offered by Microsoft to larger businesses that wish to provide employees with a way in which they can manage themselves from one central point. Exchange Server is a popular choice because it can be integrated into other applications such as Microsoft Outlook whilst it also provides a very intuitive web interface that provides users with access to their calendars, contacts and emails. Although Microsoft Exchange server can only be used on Windows web hosting servers, there is the added benefit of it being integrated into your existing infrastructure as it is based on the Active Directory user authentication architecture meaning that if you are running an AD based network, your users will be able to use their existing login details to use Exchange Server without the need for you to do any additional work. Exchange Server also has built-in spam controls so that if any spam emails are sent to any address hosted on your email server, Microsoft Exchange Server will be able to filter out these emails before they reach the intended recipient because you don’t want to find that yours and your users’ inboxes are getting filled up with spam.


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Mail Hosting

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Mail hosting is a feature that is standard to all shared and reseller web hosting packages as when using such web hosting services one of your basic requirements is likely to be the need to host email accounts under any domains that you choose to host. When using VPS server hosting or dedicated server hosting you can choose to have a mail server application installed on your server as you are provided with a dedicated web hosting environment that you can customize as per your requirements. Email is one of the primary methods of communication over the internet these days and is utilized by businesses and individuals for a wide variety of purposes ranging from basic conversations all the way to the marketing of new products and services. Web hosting companies have realized the importance of email to their customers and usually offer many different mail hosting options. As well as being able to choose from basic email hosting packages, some web hosting providers are able to offer email hosting on collaborative platforms that can offer a larger number of features such as Microsoft Exchange Server and the Zimbra platform. As mail hosting is a form of web hosting offered by most web hosting companies, it makes ensuring that you choose the right web hosting package and web hosting provider highly important.

Email as a method of communication has been around for a long time and has been embraced by companies for a long time now; although it was thought that email would eventually be replaced by instant messaging services, these were unfounded as instant messaging as a platform has seen a steady decline in recent years whilst the use of email has been on the rise. Desktop email clients are available with most operating systems by default whilst most web hosting companies will also provide you with access to a webmail interface from which you can check your email accounts on the move. The use of mobile email is also on the rise with the use of smartphones such as the iPhone and Blackberrys becoming ever more common.

In terms of web hosting, email accounts are now a standard feature of any shared web hosting account meaning that regardless of the shared web hosting package you choose for your requirements you will be able to use it to setup email accounts for use under your domain name. This is probably the best way to use email services as by using your own domain name you will be able to portray a professional image to your own clients with ease, something that is of the utmost importance if you are running a medium to large sized business and are dealing with corporate customers. A shared web hosting package will be able to provide you with all of the email features that you would expect from a mail hosting service such as direct POP3 and IMAP access to your email accounts so that you can use them in conjunction with desktop and mobile email clients; along with that webmail access will also be available so that you can check your email accounts from a computer that you may not necessarily have them configured on for use in an email client.

If you are able to justify the cost of a VPS server or dedicated server and have the skills and knowledge required to allow you to manage a server properly then there are further benefits to be had since you will have free reign over your choice of mail server application. As a larger business you may find it beneficial to make use of more complex and scalable applications such as Microsoft Exchange Server and the Zimbra platform as either of these mail server applications will be able to provide you with a wide variety of features that will help to enhance how your employees communicate with one another. Similarly, more complex applications can also provide cluster facilities that will allow you to use a number of different servers for your email hosting services in a single cluster meaning that if one of the servers fails, there will be at least one other server available to take up the role of the server that has crashed.

Companies such as Microsoft and Google are able to offer free third-party email hosting services through their offerings such as Windows Live and Google Apps meaning that mail hosting is available without having to pay a penny for the service itself, although you will require a domain name that you can use in conjunction with these services so that you can setup email accounts. In some situations using these services can benefit you as they can provide you with larger amounts of storage space for your emails than a traditional web hosting service may be able to – these levels of reliability offered may also be greater.

Making the most of mail hosting can either be easy or hard depending on the type of mail hosting that you choose to use. Simple mail hosting services are easy to use since they will only offer you the basic features that are pretty easy to implement in most situations. If you have chosen to use a mail hosting service that is Exchange or Zimbra based then you may find it harder to make the most of the features that you are offered since there are so many complex features available for different purposes.

In conclusion, mail hosting is a standard in the web hosting industry for shared web hosting services and is one of the many features that you will be able to use as you wish. Dedicated mail servers are available from web hosting companies that can offer dedicated server hosting, although you should only really take up dedicated mail hosting if you are able to justify the cost of the dedicated server and will be able to set it up properly and manage it appropriately. As there are many mail applications to choose from, you should make your choice wisely as in some situations an open source mail server may be able to suit your requirements more so than a commercial piece of software.

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