WHITE PAPER SPON. The Case for Hosted Exchange. Published May 2013 SPONSORED BY. An Osterman Research White Paper. sponsored by. - PDF

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WHITE PAPER N The Case for Hosted Exchange An Osterman Research White Paper Published May 2013 SPONSORED BY SPON sponsored by sponsored by Osterman Research, Inc. P.O. Box 1058 Black Diamond, Washington
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WHITE PAPER N The Case for Hosted Exchange An Osterman Research White Paper Published May 2013 SPONSORED BY SPON sponsored by sponsored by Osterman Research, Inc. P.O. Box 1058 Black Diamond, Washington USA Tel: Fax: twitter.com/mosterman EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Because and other messaging capabilities are so critical to the communication, collaboration and file transport capabilities of most organizations, they have in some respects become a utility like electricity. For example, the typical information worker spends 165 minutes per day doing work in their client/interface, making it the most important single tool that the typical user employs. Moreover, is so critical to the operation of any organization that it no longer provides any substantive competitive differentiation between companies. Like other utilities, then, the goal is to a) ensure that service remains available as close to 100% of the time as possible while b) simultaneously being provided as inexpensively as possible. For many organizations, managing internally is a thing of the past, just like producing one s own electricity is a concept of the past. For example, as shown in the following figure, a growing proportion of users will be served by a hosted solution over the next few years. Proportion of Users Served by Cloud Delivery Source: Osterman Research, Inc. For many organizations, managing internally is a thing of the past, just like producing one s own electricity is a concept of the past. A growing proportion of users will be served by a hosted solution over the next few years. THE GROWTH OF HOSTED EXCHANGE A growing number of organizations are finding that the way to accomplish lower costs and better management of is through the use of Microsoft Exchange as a hosted service, a model in which a remote third party provider manages all backend services for a flat monthly per user fee. The advantages of this approach for organizations that want to realize the benefits of Exchange are that uptime of the Exchange infrastructure can be very high and the cost of managing Exchange can be reduced significantly typically more than 50% compared to on-premises management, as shown in the following table. Further, the use of a hosted Exchange service allows an in-house IT staff to be deployed to other projects that will provide more value to the organization as a whole, enabling organizations to realize more value from the IT staff members Osterman Research, Inc. 1 Monthly TCO per Seat On-Premises and Hosted Microsoft Exchange 10 Users 100 Users 1,000 Users On-premises $ $48.76 $21.46 Hosted $27.51 $13.50 $9.40 $ SAVINGS $ $35.26 $12.06 % SAVINGS 94% 72% 56% ABOUT THIS WHITE PAPER This white paper discusses the benefits of managing Exchange in the cloud. It also lays out the detailed costs of managing a hosted versus an on-premises Exchange environment. Finally, it provides information on a leading provider of hosted Exchange services that has sponsored this white paper, Rackspace Hosting. WHAT IS HOSTED EXCHANGE? Microsoft Exchange Server is the leading business-grade messaging system employed in North America and is currently used by 170+ million people worldwide. Exchange offers a number of capabilities, including , calendaring, task management, address lists, and access to shared document repositories, and other functions. Exchange was originally introduced in June 1996 and has been upgraded several times since to include additional and enhanced features. The current version is Exchange 2013, released in late ENTER HOSTED EXCHANGE Hosted Exchange has been offered for several years by a large and growing number of providers around the world and, more recently, by Microsoft itself. There are more than 100 providers of hosted Exchange services worldwide, although these vendors vary widely in terms of their capabilities, the number of users they support, the ancillary services they provide, their pricing, etc. Osterman Research anticipates continued uptake of hosted Exchange in its various forms, as shown in the following figure. Proportion of Exchange Users Served by a Hosted Service, Hosted Exchange has been offered for several years by a large and growing number of providers around the world and, more recently, by Microsoft itself Osterman Research, Inc. 2 WHO IS THE IDEAL CANDIDATE FOR HOSTED EXCHANGE? There is a perception that hosted Exchange is intended only for small businesses, while on-premises Exchange deployments are better suited to larger organizations. This is no longer the case as many larger organizations are realizing the benefits of migrating to a hosted Exchange model. BENEFITS FOR IT WHAT BENEFITS CAN YOU EXPECT? Why should your organization consider migrating to hosted Exchange? There are a number of important reasons to consider doing so that are focused on direct costs, opportunity costs, security and other benefits, as discussed below. LOWER COSTS Many decision makers believe that an internally managed Exchange deployment is less expensive to deploy and operate than hosted Exchange. While in some cases that perception is accurate, very often it is not. Osterman Research s cost models have demonstrated that an on-premises, 100-seat Exchange deployment costs nearly $49 per seat per month over a three-year system lifetime, while a 1,000-seat deployment costs just over $21 per seat per month 1. Given that hosted Exchange offerings are priced substantially less than this, the direct cost savings from using hosted Exchange are substantial. It is also important to note that leading providers of hosted Exchange include the licensing costs as part of their service, further reducing the cost of hosted compared to on-premises Exchange. MORE PREDICTABLE COSTS Further, a hosted Exchange deployment provides more predictable costs than onpremises deployments because the cost per seat is fixed over the lifetime of the contract with the hosting provider. This predictability of costs manifests itself in two important ways: Unforeseen problems can create additional costs for an on-premises deployment, including natural disasters, power outages, moves to new facilities and other events that can add to the cost of managing on-premises Exchange in a somewhat unpredictable manner. An organization that continually adds users will, at some point, reach the maximum number of users that its infrastructure will support and will then have to add servers and other infrastructure to support new users. This creates a step function in the total cost of ownership for an Exchange environment can drive up the cost of Exchange management dramatically. Many decision makers believe that an internally managed Exchange deployment is less expensive to deploy and operate than hosted Exchange. While in some cases that perception is accurate, very often it is not. REDUCED OPPORTUNITY COSTS Among the more important issues that any organization should consider is that of the opportunity cost of IT staff members or, in smaller organizations, individuals who are charged with maintaining on-premises systems. Most decision makers understand that finding and retaining qualified IT staff is not particularly easy. As a result, inhouse IT staff members should be used in a manner that allows them to provide maximum benefit to their employer, while also giving them a satisfying work experience that will motivate them not to go elsewhere. Using hosted Exchange frees IT staff members from the requirement to constantly monitor the servers to ensure continuous uptime, freeing them for work that is not only more interesting to them, but also more compelling for the business. With hosted Exchange, IT staff can be deployed on projects that offer more competitive value to the organization and can also result in greater IT job satisfaction. For example, if an IT staff member can manage a messaging capability 1 These costs include IT labor to manage the Exchange infrastructure Osterman Research, Inc. 3 very well, he or she provides some level of value to the organization. However, if the same staff member spent the same amount of time implementing new CRM capabilities that could convert a higher proportion of prospects into customers, it is very likely that much greater value could be realized from the same level of effort. ACCESS TO EXCHANGE EXPERTISE Although Exchange is an easy system for users to employ, it is not a simple system to manage internally. It requires expertise in a number of areas, particularly when deploying a new version of the system, it requires expertise in each of the several server roles that comprise the Exchange platform, and it requires expertise in various other technologies that are integral to the Exchange ecosystem. The cost to develop this expertise can be high and, for smaller organizations, often prohibitive. In contrast, the use of a hosted Exchange provider can offer access to well-trained technical support staff that are available on a 24x7 basis that can typically resolve problems quickly and with minimum expertise from their customers. The service aspect of hosted Exchange should not be overlooked when considering a provider of the service. Because few companies operate on an 8-to-5, Monday through Friday schedule, it is just as critical to have access to Exchange expertise at 11:00pm on a Saturday night as it is during normal business hours. This allows users to have their issues resolved in a timely manner without the cost and burden of maintaining in-house staff to manage a help desk, etc. In short, a specialist will virtually always offer better service and support when resolving Exchange-related problems. ROBUST BUSINESS CONTINUITY AND DATA BACKUP One of the more compelling benefits of hosted Exchange is the fact that a third party is managing the entire backend infrastructure, thereby minimizing the impact of major and minor services outages and the ensuing loss of that can impact any business. For example, a hurricane or tornado can knock on-premises systems out for days or even weeks, while less serious problems like power outages or storms can bring down messaging capabilities for hours or even a few days. While these events can also impact providers of hosted Exchange services, leading providers will back up their customers , allowing uninterrupted receipt of for customers until they can come back online. This is something that a non-technical staff member or senior executive can do. Further, in the event that a customer s facilities are made unavailable for any length of time, employees can still access their hosted Exchange accounts from anywhere using a Web browser, a mobile device or a copy of Outlook or Entourage on their home computer. RAPID DEPLOYMENT AND SCALING One of the chief benefits of hosted Exchange is the speed with which services can be deployed. For example, deploying hosted Exchange typically requires little more than the modification of an MX record and a change in the configuration of local clients. Adding new users to an existing hosted Exchange deployment normally requires just some simple modifications in a Web-based administration tool. This makes it easy to add or eliminate small numbers of users, or even entire business operations, which is particularly important when integrating merged or acquired companies into an Exchange infrastructure. One of the more compelling benefits of hosted Exchange is the fact that a third party is managing the entire backend infrastructure, thereby minimizing the impact of major and minor services outages. DEPLOYMENT FLEXIBLITY A hosted Exchange capability allows organizations to be more flexible in the way that they deploy to their employees. For example, a company may opt to manage Exchange in-house for its corporate headquarters, but provide hosted Exchange to each of its field offices that do not have an in-house IT staff. This allows the organization to provide highly available messaging services that provide a consistent user experience across the entire organization, but at much lower cost than if the IT staff was used to manage the satellite offices Osterman Research, Inc. 4 RELATIVELY PAINLESS MIGRATION TO NEW EXCHANGE VERSIONS Migrating from one version of Exchange to another is just that a migration, not an upgrade. Because Exchange does not allow an in-place upgrade to a new version, the cost of migration can be very high and even prohibitive for smaller organizations. Using a hosted Exchange provider, on the other hand, minimizes or even eliminates the cost of migration, since some providers will migrate their customers to a new version at no charge. Not only does this minimize the IT pain and the time required to migrate, not to mention the potential for downtime in the system, but it also dramatically reduces the overall cost of Exchange management over the long term. MINIMIZING THE IMPACT ON THE INTERNAL NETWORK Another important benefit of hosted Exchange is that much of the network traffic that would normally take place with an on-premises deployment of Exchange is transferred to the hosting provider. For example, a hosted Exchange provider that also offers anti-virus and anti-spam filtering will eliminate 75% or more of the that would normally come into the network as spam, only to be quarantined and eventually discarded by end users. This saves significantly on both bandwidth and storage, costs that are growing exponentially and unpredictably in smaller organizations. ROBUST PHYSICAL SECURITY Virtually all leading hosted Exchange providers operate very secure physical facilities that include video surveillance capabilities, multiple employee access points using multi-factor authentication, tracking and monitoring tools and other capabilities that protect their customers data from being compromised. In most cases, the security provided by hosted Exchange providers exceeds the security that their customers could afford to deploy. Measures, such as SSAE 16 audits or WebTrust certification, can provide an extra level of assurance for customers. SSAE 16, for example, is a set of professional auditing standards that assesses the internal controls that a provider uses, as well as the auditor s opinion on the effectiveness of these controls. THE ABILITY TO DEPLOY A HYBRID SOLUTION Many organizations will want to maintain at least some part of their Exchange infrastructure in-house. The use of a hosted Exchange provider allows this sort of hybrid solution. For example a corporate headquarters with thousands of users could have Exchange deployed in-house, while remote offices that do not have dedicated IT staff or specialized Exchange expertise could use a hosted solution. This permits all users in the company to have the same experience with Outlook or Entourage and with their mobile devices, while at the same time driving down the cost and complexity of managing Exchange. While IT can benefit significantly from a hosted Exchange deployment, so can end users. Another variant of the hybrid approach can be to offer hosted Exchange for some users and a less feature-rich offering for other users whose needs are not as sophisticated. For example, an organization could deploy hosted Exchange for office workers while deploying an -only, non-exchange solution for workers behind retail counter or on a factory floor. BENEFITS FOR END USERS BENEFITS FOR END USERS While IT can benefit significantly from a hosted Exchange deployment, so can end users. Among the many user benefits associated with the use of hosted Exchange are those discussed below. A VARIETY OF ACCESS OPTIONS 2012 Osterman Research, Inc. 5 A hosted Exchange account can be accessed via Microsoft Outlook on Windows or a Mac, as well as from any leading Web browser. This permits users to access their , calendar, tasks, address lists, Exchange public folders and other content and data sources from virtually any desktop, laptop, netbook or other platform. In addition, an Exchange account can also be accessed from any POP or IMAP client, including VMware s Zimbra desktop client. WINDOWS AND MAC SUPPORT While Apple Mail, the mail client that comes with Mac OS X, has allowed users to access Exchange for many years as a POP or IMAP client, OS X began providing full support for Exchange in August 2009 with the introduction of Snow Leopard. Exchange support is also built into ical, the default Mac calendaring application; and Address Book, all of which come standard on a Mac. While lacking some of the features of Outlook 2011 for the Mac, Mail, ical and Address Book provide robust and native functionality for hosted Exchange users. MOBILE ACCESS In addition to a variety of desktop and browser-based platforms, a hosted Exchange account can also be accessed using BlackBerries, iphones, Android smartphones, ipads, Android tablets and Windows Phones, among other platforms. This is a critical issue, since a large and growing number of users consider their mobile platform to be an essential component of their access for some users, it is their primary platform after hours. Also in the context of mobility, for organizations that employ BlackBerry devices a hosted solution can provide further cost savings, since it eliminates the need to manage a BlackBerry Enterprise Server infrastructure on-premise. Exchange currently offers full BlackBerry support in contrast to Gmail, for example, that does not officially support IMAP access on BlackBerry devices 2. SYNCHRONIZATION ACROSS ALL PLATFORMS One of the key benefits of hosted Exchange is that users who create content in Exchange will see it automatically synchronize across all of their access devices. For example: A user can create an appointment in Microsoft Outlook on their desktop and it will appear very shortly thereafter on any mobile devices connected to Exchange. An can be created using Outlook Web Access on a laptop and then appear in the Sent Items folder in Outlook on their desktop at home. A hosted Exchange account can also be accessed using BlackBerries, iphones, Android smartphones, ipads, Android tablets and Windows Phones, among other platforms. SUPPORT FOR BIG M MOBILITY Mobility in the context of being able to access , calendars, etc. on mobile devices is important. However, Big M mobility the ability for individuals to work from any location on any device is becoming more important as fewer workers have a permanent location assigned for their work. For example, a growing proportion of organizations allow employees to work from home and come into the office only when necessary, thus providing significant savings on facilities leasing costs, power, HVAC and taxes. Hosted Exchange is a key enabler of this capability because it allows workers to have access to their , calendars, address lists, task management tools, etc. regardless of where they might be working be it from home, a hotel room or a client s conference room. This can further add to the cost savings provided by a hosted Exchange deployment far beyond the IT-related savings that it provides Osterman Research, Inc. 6 2012 Osterman Research, Inc. 7 The Case for Hosted Exchange COMPARING THE COST OF HOSTED VS. ON- PREMISES EXCHANGE As noted earlier, hosted Exchange can significantly reduce the per-seat cost of an Exchange environment. As shown in the following three tables for organizations of 10, 100 and 1,000 users, the cost of hosted Exchange is significantly lower than for an on-premises deployment of Exchange. Three-Year Cost of Ownership for Hosted and On-Premises Microsoft Exchange 10 Users HARDWARE Primary server (Dell PowerEdge C1100) $0 $3,059 Secondary server (Dell PowerEdge C1100) $0 $3,059 Barracuda Spam & Virus Firewall (Model 200) $0 $3,647 PowerVault MD1200 $0 $3,609 BACKUP SYSTEM Dell PowerVault TL2000 $0 $5,439 CommVault Express $0 $2,000 LICENSES Microsoft Small Business Server $0 $1,089 Microsoft Exchange $0 $1,416 Microsoft Outlook $0 $1,000 Windows Server 2008 CALs $0 $200 Exchan
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