Exchange Online—Evaluating Software-plus-Services

This guide was last updated in December 2010 but the basic principles still apply when planning your Exchange Online infrastructure. This guide will not continue to be updated. For the latest information, please visit the Exchange Online product group page .

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About This Guide

The Infrastructure Planning and Design (IPD) Guide for Microsoft Exchange Online—Evaluating Software-plus-Services is a new type of IPD guide written to help you make the best decisions for your organization from both a business and a technology point of view. This first scenario guide provides a clear comparison of e-mail technologies across on-premises, standard hosting, and dedicated hosting scenarios. Use the guide as a framework for evaluating the technical feasibility of Microsoft Exchange Online. An overall scoring assessment is provided for each option, identifying key mail services and requirements for your organization. Understand the impact of adopting software-plus-services, weigh the importance of each topic to your organization, and learn which offering will serve you best.


Figure 1. Decision flow chart

In More Detail

The Infrastructure Planning and Design Guide for Microsoft Exchange Online—Evaluating Software-plus-Services includes the following six-step process:

  • Step 1: Client Experience. This step addresses the messaging capabilities that most significantly influence the client experience.

  • Step 2: Impacts to Mail Flow. This step addresses some of the impacts to mail flow resulting from changing to an Exchange Online environment.

  • Step 3: Data Management and Security Implications. This step explores some of the data management and security implications of storing data either on-premises or under someone else’s control.

  • Step 4: Ramifications on Business Operations. This step involved evaluating some of the business-level concerns of a migration to Exchange Online.

  • Step 5: Provisioning and Planning Concerns. This step discusses provisioning mailboxes, distribution groups, and contacts within a system.

  • Step 6: Evaluate Results. This step involves comparing ratings for each topic that will be tallied so that a logical decision about which solution will best fit the needs of the organization can be made.


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