Cloudy, With A Chance Of Email

The small but growing tech company I work for is in the latter stages of moving our slightly creaky Exchange 2003 server's duties to the cloud - Office 365 to be exact. So far, to be honest, it's working quite well. Most of us have a few year's worth of Outlook .pst files that we dutifully uploaded, and we are using our Outlook 2007/2010 clients to access the cloud servers. Of course we can also use the web-based Outlook client that is part of Microsoft Office 365, which appears to be much nicer that the relatively "old school" Outlook Web Access.

As a smaller company, we don't really have an IT department; we just sort of fix things ourselves. With that came the realization that if our Exchange box did go down, it would take quite a few precious man-hours to get things back up and running - and that's the main reason for our move, along with reasonable monthly fees and 25GB storage for each user.

One minor irritant, although probably understandable from Microsoft's perspective, was that the transition would have been much easier if we had been using Server 2008 with Exchange 2010. A lot the advertised ease of transition is only possible if you are already running on the current stuff on Active Directory - how may smaller office are so up-to-date, I wonder? As it was, some slightly hacky finagling was required to get everything in place (our CTO took most of that burden upon himself, stalwart fellow), but it's working.

The hope (and the promise) is that, at worst, we might be down for a couple of hours from time to time if the cloud breaks - we'll see.


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