Exchange server is software by Microsoft, designed to manage emails, tasks and contact information. It functions exclusively on Windows Server operating systems and provides services such as sending emails, scheduling, calendaring, and voicemail transcriptions.
Exchange Server features
Task management – Organized filing eases collaboration and version control. Back and forth emails are laid out in a conversation view. Documents can also be sent as SharePoint links and be viewed side by side with emails.
Calendars – Share your schedule with others, and view other people’s schedules. Make appointments and reminders for important events or day to day business meetings.
Contact Management – An automatically updated address book stores contact information for future use and simplifies bulk messaging.
Security – Integrated leakage protection and archiving helps to retain sensitive information.
Mobility – All Exchange Server’s features can be accessed worldwide including emails, and voice mails providing that an internet connection is available.
Exchange Server Syncing
Exchange Server can be synced with other email providers, and also to your mobile phone. For example, you can set up an Android Exchange server, a Gmail Exchange server, or an Outlook Exchange server. There are plenty of guides available online to guide you through the process.
Versions of Exchange Server
The latest version of Exchange Server is Exchange Server 2019 This version differs from other Exchange Server products such as SharePoint as it can only be installed on Windows server 2019. However, for the first time ever, Exchange server can now be installed onto Windows Server Core.
Another point to note is that Unified Messaging has been removed from Exchange Server which means that users have to find alternative ways of communicating through voicemail, for instance Microsoft Teams. Other options include Exchange Online which offers the unified messaging feature as a part of the Exchange Plan 2 option, or to stick with Exchange Server 2016 where the feature is still present.
Exchange online vs. Exchange server
When it comes to distinguishing the difference between the online version and the server version of Exchange: Exchange online offers an almost identical experience to the server version, but operates as a cloud-based version of the service. Exchange server is installed locally, whereas online is offered with Office 365 along with its other cloud based applications.
Whilst Exchange Online and server may be similar in terms of functionality, their differences lie in terms of reliability, maintenance and potential business costs. Maintenance and updates for Exchange Online are handled by the service host (Microsoft) instead of manually, which can often reduce costs. Conversely, an in-house version requires purchase of new licenses for every new update of the system. Furthermore, running the server requires maintenance and backups.
Exchange Server Price
Exchange server runs on a server license/ CALS basis. Server licenses come in either Standard or Enterprise options.
Server licenses have to be held for every separate version of the software that is implemented. The Standard edition is ideal for small to medium sized businesses and supports 1 to 5 mailbox databases. Exchange server enterprise is for large-scale businesses who potentially need the larger capacity of 1 to 10 mailboxes.
On the other hand, CALS are licenses which must be held for any user or device that wishes to access the software. CALS also come in standard or enterprise edition. Exchange server enterprise CAL comes with a few additional features such as archiving and strong data protection.
How to use Microsoft Exchange Server
Collaborate – schedule appointments and view documents
Communicate – send emails back and forth in a conversation view
Organize – store emails and content efficiently