Microsoft Exchange Server is a web-based email server and e-mail calendar server developed by Microsoft Corporation. It runs on Windows Server operating systems exclusively. The first version to be released was known as Exchange Server 4.0. To put it simply, it is the upgrade of the previous service pack to the current one.
Microsoft Exchange Server offers various features that are not available in its competitors like Google, Yahoo, etc. This is what makes it distinct – the ease of use and the advanced features that have been added by Microsoft to make it more attractive and convenient to use. For example, you do not need any technical knowledge to install it on your computer, neither you are required to be a technology wizard to run it. All you need is basic knowledge of the Microsoft Exchange Server environment, such as how to connect to it through a web browser or a special program like Outlook Express to access the contents of your mailbox and what mailboxes you can create.
There are two versions of the Microsoft Exchange Server: Microsoft Exchange Server 2021.
The upgrade from the previous version requires little effort, if any, because the upgrade is done through the “appliance update” process that is provided with the download of the latest MS Exchange Server 2021 software. In fact, the upgrade serves as a sort of preventive maintenance for Microsoft Exchange Server. However, if you wish to upgrade to the latest version of MS Exchange Server, there are certain requirements. The requirements include a working Internet connection and a Windows Server running on the Microsoft Certified Server (MCS) platform.
Microsoft has announced some new steps that will facilitate migration to the MS Exchange Server running on Windows Server with the help of high availability and migration services. These steps include a new feature known as Microsoft Office Replication which will allow users of Microsoft Exchange Server 2021 to work on the same database and file in MS Exchange Server 2021. The High Availability module in MS Exchange Server 2021 offers various tools for migration and support and includes support for cross-site scripting, data duplication, and auto recovery and also a centralized admin tool for tracking user contributions.
Microsoft has announced two options for the migrations: On-demand and Full-time. The first option will allow small businesses to make use of the services for a small period of time and then turn it over to Microsoft when the requirement has been fulfilled. This option has a number of benefits including the provision of support for the Microsoft 365 subscriptions that are offered by the MS Exchange Server. Another benefit of this server is that the MS Exchange Replication feature can be implemented while the MS Exchange Server is running on the cloud. The service is available for free on the MS Cloud Server site and the Server Manager tool offered by MS is also available for free on the MS Business Solutions site. With this server running on the cloud, the costs involved are significantly reduced.
On-demand or server-based option includes the provision of Microsoft SharePoint services on the MS Exchange Server. This would enable business people to access, store and manage various kinds of information in an easy and convenient manner. These services are provided on the basis of an agreement between the client and the MS SharePoint company and with the help of Microsoft Office 365 subscriptions; the users are able to access and store various documents, calendars, email messages and other information on MS SharePoint sites.
MS Exchange Server also provides the client access to the MS SharePoint Online and MS Calendar online.
However, the MS Exchange Server will be used as a part of the on-demand MS SharePoint services while the MS Exchange Server role would be used for managing the MS SharePoint site. MS Exchange Server can be managed in various ways including the following: as a stand-alone server role, a replicated server role, a hybrid model (with the client accessing it over the internet and as a dedicated server), or as a client Access database. All these options make the MS Exchange Server the most popular choice among the companies that use MS SharePoint as their main communication platform. In addition, the ease with which it can be managed also makes the MS Exchange Server an ideal choice for businesses with a small or medium sized budget.
Now, let’s discuss how Microsoft Exchange Server can be better managed through the use of third-party applications such as Microsoft Office Outlook and Google Docs. With on-demand MS Exchange Server, the MS Outlook application and other documents are hosted on a remote web server provided by the third-party vendor. The user will have to install the required plug-ins and the necessary runtime libraries on his/her computer for the outlook application to run properly.
- If the user has a good internet connection, then he/she can easily access the documents stored in the remote server over the internet.
- Similarly, when the user wants to store documents in the Microsoft exchange online, he/she has to sign up for an account on the MS Exchange Server and create a home for the new mailboxes.
- Thereafter, he/she will be able to access and use the MS Exchange Online that he/she had created.