With Microsoft’s release of its latest operating system, Windows XP Service Pack 2, many companies have been forced to install and maintain their own computer Exchange Server (CAS) servers. While the basic platform remains the same as previous versions, you may find that there are significant differences in the types of email services available through CAS servers, and which ones you can host yourself.
The two major types of CAS servers are software-based and hardware-based.
Both have distinct advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to consider which type of server you will need based on your business needs.
If you have a new computer and do not yet have a dedicated email server, then you may want to consider the software option. The most basic version of software-based servers is the Microsoft Outlook Express Server, or MS-Exchange. This is one of the most popular choice among small businesses, as it provides a basic mail and email interface with which your employees can access their inboxes.
For larger companies with many different departments, though, you may be better off opting for the Message Tracking System or MS Exchange 2020. With this option, administrators can configure email addresses on different computers, and recipients can be directed to specific messages by searching for specific keywords in search results.
If you are looking for a custom features like bulk emailing or auto-replies, then you may want to look at the Hotmail Server, or Hotmail server. This is Microsoft’s most advanced version of a computer Exchange server.
Microsoft Exchange Server for Exchange Web Services (Exchange Web Services) allows you to host an entire Exchange server from a single website, whereas MS-Exchange needs a third-party Exchange hosting provider. The Microsoft Exchange Web Services Exchange server is becoming more popular among small companies who need the high-end features without the cost of a dedicated Exchange server.
The Microsoft Exchange Web Services Exchange server is the most expensive of the three CAS servers, but the benefits far outweigh the cost. It is the only server that offers high-level email services and complex search capabilities, including group-related filtering.
Another advantage of the Microsoft Exchange Web Services Exchange server
is that it can handle higher levels of email-on-demand, including auto-delivery, auto-forwarding, and email-on-reply functionality. It can also provide automatic account creation and mailbox backups.
The third type of CAS server is the third-party Exchange web service server.
While you may not have the custom features of the Microsoft Exchange Web Services Exchange server, it is by far the most affordable option, and offers much of the same email-on-demand features.
If you need the capacity and price of your own private hardware and software, then the third-party software-based Exchange server is the right choice for you. This option offers a broader range of mailbox management features and powerful search functionality.
You will still need to purchase your own hardware and software, although these costs are significantly lower than the Microsoft software-based version.
- With the Microsoft software-based server, you must buy the software and you can only use it on the company network.
- Regardless of the server you choose, though, remember that you will still need to purchase and maintain a Microsoft Exchange server.
- Make sure you understand how your own server will run, and how it can be managed and maintained by your IT department.