It’s time to throw a retirement party for Exchange 2003!


Exchange Server 2003 came into this world on September 28, 2003. It brought with it a host of new features, including improved migration tools to ease the transition from older versions of Exchange, enhanced heuristic message filtering to help direct spam into the Junk folder, and, if you had Service Pack 2 installed, a database size limit of 75 gigabytes. This was unimaginably large for the time.

That was eight years and eleven months ago. In that time, we have also seen Exchange Server 2007 and Exchange Server 2010 come into the mix as well. If your organization is still running Exchange Server 2003, here are some reasons why it is time to upgrade.

  1. Microsoft created a handy chart to break down the differences between Exchange Server versions.
  2. Modern desktop mail clients like Outlook 2010, Outlook for Mac 2011, and Apple Mail all require Exchange Server 2007 or later, and they won’t talk to Exchange Server 2003 at all. So if you get a new Windows machine with the latest version of Office or one of those shiny new Macs, those users will be stuck using Outlook Web Access webmail to access email, calendars, and contacts.
  3. Outlook Web Access on Exchange Server 2003 forces browsers other than Internet Explorer to use “Light” mode, which just means that many of the features and options beyond simple sending and receiving email are disabled or invisible to anyone running a different browser (such as Firefox, Chrome, or anyone on a shiny new Mac).
  4. The 75 gigabyte size limit I mentioned before applies only to Exchange Server 2003 Standard, but there is a lot more email being sent today than there was 9 years ago. It does not take very many users with large mailboxes to hit that size limit, and when you do Exchange Server 2003 will shut itself off to prevent database corruption or data loss. That means no more email until the size of the database is reduced. The newer versions of Exchange Server do not have this limitation.
  5. If the software package is nearly 9 years old, chances are that the hardware running it is on its last legs too. While it might be running just fine, it is most likely out of warranty and may even be in End Of Life status, making replacement parts hard to find, making disaster recover more difficult, and increasing costs and downtime.
  6. The prospect of replacing an Exchange server can be a daunting one, costing many thousands of dollars. One way to avoid this expense and to simplify your office network is migrating to a hosted Exchange system in the cloud instead. By getting rid of your old office server, your business can keep running if there is an internet service failure or power outage in your building. Take a look at Everon’s own cloud email and business continuity solutions.
If you are considering retiring your old server hardware running Exchange Server 2003, there has never been a better time. And Everon can help you do it. Call us at 888-244-1748 if you have questions about server migrations or our cloud email solutions.

No matter what the crisis, smart companies have a plan


Earthquakes, hurricanes, and fires clearly have the ability to negatively impact your business; most companies realize this and take the appropriate precautionary measures. However, you would be surprised how many companies fail to recognize that man-made disasters can also ruin their business. Unexpected data loss, an employee tampering with high security information, faulty servers – the list goes on.

Not all catastrophes stem from stereotypical causes. That said you must prepare to be ready for anything. Although it is virtually impossible to anticipate every single type of disaster; you can bunch different potential issues into categories, and then write out brief, clean-cut plan of attacks on how you would handle them each of them. Put the following disaster recovery planning advice into practice at your company today.

Write it out - Put everything on paper. Make sure that you establish a well written policy that details how various types of disasters will be handled. When a crisis strikes, people typically go into “freak out mode.” This is a natural reaction, but being well prepared can help to diminish panicking. Minimize the disturbances your company incurs during and after an emergency. Practice makes perfect – Why do you think children have fire drills at school? Just as children have practice drills, prepare your employees for these types of situations as much as possible.

Review and Revisit - Even the best plans get stale and potentially completely outdated with time. Make sure you are reviewing your plans bi-annually (or at least annually) to ensure they will still work for your company. As your company grows, it will also outgrow some, (if not most!) of your past plans.

If it hits - don’t panic! - This piece of advice is more difficult to follow than all of the others. When a disaster hits, it is human nature for us to completely freak out. However, if you have sufficiency prepared for the possibility of this, you are in better shape than you even think. Take a deep breath, remind yourself that you can handle it, and just stick to the plans you worked so hard on creating when you were in a solid, frazzle-free state of mind.

Don’t be too hard on yourself – If something unfortunate happens to your company, allow yourself enough time to get back on your feet. Setting unreachable expectations; both time-span wise and commitment wise on you and your staff will only end up hurting everyone. Rushing through the process of restoring everything back to normal will not only be stressful, but will just end up causing ripple effect problems down the road.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help – People specialize in disaster recovery consulting for a reason. If your budget allows, reach for help with this daunting task. You may not like the thought of dishing out the dough in the moment, but when you factor in how much time, money, and frustration you can save in the end, it is very well worth it.