Exchange Server in the cloud

A topic that comes up in conversations I have with customers from time to time has to do with all of the different ways Exchange can be consumed as a service.  Well… m’colleague, Mark Garcia has just blogged on this here: http://blogs.technet.com/ucedsg/archive/2009/03/10/what-are-my-choices-for-exchange-server-in-the-cloud.aspx.

… and does an effective job of it I think!

I would add a few things in connection with what Mark has said:

An additional ‘cloud’ option: you can also consume Exchange through a partner/outsourcer-hosted service.  This has been available for a while… and I guess that in this shiny ‘new’ cloudy world you can easily see how service providers in this game could re-label what they are already doing 🙂

An additional consideration when comparing Outlook Live with other offerings: One thing that institutions that enroll with Live@edu/Outlook Live benefit from is that Mailbox and MailUser objects are associated with a corresponding and hard-linked LiveID.  With this LiveID, users can use services, aside from Outlook Live, that employ LiveID as an authentication mechanism; services such as SkyDrive and Office Live Workspaces.  This is not to say that you cannot create LiveIDs for Exchange users on other services; you can.  Simply create MailUsers for external contacts on another service in Outlook Live using an Accepted Domain.

I would be interested in hearing from you on any questions you might have, either here, or in response to Mark’s post.  As you can see, we offer a lot of flexibility in our deployment options, and as we are really only at the genesis of offering Exchange in the cloud, you can expect to see a lot more from us in the future that simplifies decision making.  The best thing to do is have a conversation with us, or your chosen trusted Microsoft partner, so that you can build out a solution that exceeds your expectations 🙂

Jonny

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