Now that Office 365 has over a year under its belt and the new Exchange is around the corner, you may be considering upgrading your on-premises email system, moving to the cloud or a combination of the two with a hybrid deployment. We’ve invested heavily in providing you with an awesome email experience and the flexibility of choosing how you’d like to deploy it.
There are a lot of important factors to consider but these factors have changed with the introduction of the new Exchange. Here’s a summary of some key factors to consider between staying on-premises and moving to the cloud, as well as some feature areas where we’ve made enhancements to make it easier for you to go to the cloud while maintaining control.
You won’t need to worry about purchasing, upgrading and managing hardware with Exchange Online to help reduce the total cost of ownership of your email system. Updates, upgrades and 24x7 IT phone support is included.
It’s also important to note that onboarding to Office 365 doesn’t mean that you will no longer need to manage hardware altogether. Many organizations will maintain an on-premises Active Directory for example, and will want to maintain AD synchronization with Office 365 and optionally, ADFS.
We’ve continued to evolve the architecture and manageability of Exchange so that it helps reduce your TCO including supporting multiple databases per volume, layer 4 load balancing, a single web-based administrative interface, reduced overhead for high availability and more.
You still will need to deploy and manage Exchange software and hardware on-premises and will need to plan future hardware and software upgrades.
We’ve enhanced managing high availability. Managing DAGs is simplified with automatic DAG network configuration, enhancements to lagged copies and management cmdlets.
Based on our experiences with managing Exchange Online, we’ve added Managed Availability to help maintain a good end user experience – not just worry about server uptime.
Manage Exchange from a single, web-based administrative experience with the Exchange Administration Center which gives you rich capabilities and a streamlined experience.
Remain in control by testing out upcoming service enhancements via previews.
You get the greatest degree of control and customization on your configuration when you manage your on-premises servers including complete visibility into the deployment down to the level of server logs.
In addition, you can use Address Book Policies to provide different views of the Global Address List (GAL) to subsets of users within the same Exchange Organization.
Exchange Online includes the same rich feature set as Exchange Server 2013, including eDiscovery and DLP, so you can help enforce your organization’s compliance policies.
You can use transport rules and apply IRM protection with Azure Active Directory Rights Management.
You can help keep your organization safe from users accidentally sharing sensitive data with Data Loss Prevention (DLP) capabilities and allow compliance officers to run In-Place eDiscovery queries across Exchange, SharePoint and Lync from a single interface with the eDiscovery Center.
You can also use transport rules and apply IRM protection with your on-premises Windows Rights Management Services implementation.
Of course, it’s not an either/or choice when your organization is considering cloud vs. on-premises deployments. Exchange Online supports hybrid deployments to give you a lot of flexibility to have the cloud on your terms. You can opt to host archived mailboxes in the cloud with primary mailbox on-premises with Exchange Online Archiving or support users whose mailboxes are hosted on Exchange Online with other users hosted on Exchange Server 2013. Provide your end users with a seamless experience including sharing calendars and scheduling meetings between online and on-premises users with minimal user disruption when mailboxes are migrated across environments. With these hybrid capabilities, you can migrate over time to help meet your scheduling and business requirements or maintain a hybrid Exchange environment for a longer term. You can choose to deploy email based on business goals and not technical limitations – for example:
We’ve continued to invest in evolving Exchange - and to keep a long story short - you can choose Exchange on-premises, in the cloud, or both. There is no need to sacrifice the capabilities or control from Exchange no matter which deployment option you choose.