I have previously discussed cloud migrations, mostly from the perspective of Infrastructure-as-a-Service(IAAS) for mid-to-large-size companies, but what if you have have a very specific need for a migration that is not IAAS such as migrating to an outsourced Exchange provider?
Many SMBs are migrating away from their own Exchange server, but surprisingly it is not uncommon now for even large companies with thousands of employees who for years have been managing their own Exchange server within their facility and staff to move towards this model.
In this article I would like to discuss how internal Microsoft Exchange servers can be moved to an external outsourced Exchange service provider.
Microsoft Exchange is very popular among enterprises, it is the most common Enterprise mail standard. However, running a server in-house can be expensive and time consuming for your IT staff. A solution is hosting the information on the system of a vendor that specializes in outsourced Exchange services and management. Microsoft itself offers Exchange in the cloud through the Exchange Online program.
If you want to upgrade from Exchange Server 2003 to Exchange Online, as usual, you must be careful in selecting the company in charge of the migration. I have researched some providers and found a few companies who specialize in Exchange migrations. Also, I found some automated tools. It is important to choose a cloud computing provider who performs many types of migrations, since there are many versions of Exchange and many Exchange clients on multiple OS’s. Of course, the main issue with this type of migration is trust, as it seems to be with any kind of cloud migrations. The information to be moved is important, and if we are talking about a migration with tens of thousands of employees, there will be reluctance.
However, Microsoft has made many security improvements, and, if hosted on its servers, the data is safe even in the case of major natural disasters. Furthermore, people can connect to the server from anywhere securely as long as they have an Internet connection available.
Although in terms of very specific migrations to the cloud and specialists performing these types of migrations, there are not many experts that are concentrating on this, but I believe this situation will change soon, and I have run into one recently who helped with our migration whom we were very impressed with. The increasing interest from larger companies for Exchange migrations can only mean that this market will continue to be strong.