Microsoft Exchange Server is a widely used mail server and accounting server developed by Microsoft Corporation. It runs exclusively in Windows Server operating systems, using one server per logical partition. To share information among multiple users across the network, it creates a synchronic database, called the EDB (Exchange Database) and stores all messages, emails, attachments, and mailboxes in this database. The database is highly flexible, allowing it to be customized and modified according to the needs of the organization. Microsoft Exchange Server also offers several tools and features for managing email addresses, calendars, contacts, tasks, mailboxes, and the user’s profile. In short, it is used to manage all the aspects related to the organization’s business.
Microsoft Exchange Server helps organizations gain flexibility by enabling them to grow with the changing trends. One can easily add, modify, and remove messages and items from the mailbox database. The organization can set up multiple mailings and contact management procedures, which can be performed both internally and remotely. On the other hand, Microsoft Exchange Server can help in managing social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and many more. It provides the necessary functionality to manage marketing campaigns, customer information management, sales tracking and analysis, and so on.
A Microsoft Exchange Server is considered as a web-based service when it comes to managing emails, contacts, and mailboxes. These services are available either as a hosted or an on-site solution. As a hosted solution, the organization can access the email, contacts, mailboxes, and Microsoft Exchange Server from any location. An on-site solution requires the organization to install a specific application through the web browser or install plug-ins and add-ons through the Office software. On the contrary, a virtual server provided by Microsoft enables organizations to have access to the mailboxes, Microsoft Exchange Server, and other Microsoft applications through a remote site.
Microsoft Exchange Server is mainly two servers, which are separated through a network.
The company can easily deploy it to a number of locations through a connection to the internet. On the other hand, an on-premises option features Exchange Server running on physical hardware. In addition, it has the added advantage of support for multiple data types, which includes both file and mailboxes.
Clustering is a grouping of servers for performance optimization and maintenance. With clustered servers, users get improved scalability and increased capacity. Clustering allows users to divide a logical processing load, improving efficiency, and reducing cost. It also reduces system downtime, as there are fewer chances of data loss due to physical failures of individual servers. Furthermore, with a high degree of server health, it ensures the continuity of operations.
Microsoft Exchange Server was originally known as MS Exchange and was previously known as a Microsoft Lotus Domino Edition. The company gradually upgraded the software from the original version to the first version, which supports the features of Microsoft Outlook. The upgrade from the first version to the first version required a complete redesign of the interface and the database, and this made the exchange extremely complex and costly. With the new design and a faster processor speed, the company reduced the cost and made the exchange open to all users. However, despite these improvements, the Windows version is more popular than the first version.
Microsoft Exchange Server involves four main server models: Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Access, Microsoft Exchange Server 2021, and Microsoft Sharepoint. Microsoft SQL Server is the foundation of Microsoft Exchange Server, and this is the most widely used model. Microsoft Access is the primary database software, used to support back office functions. Microsoft Exchange Server 2021 has been updated to version 2021, which is the latest version. Microsoft Sharepoint is a collaboration platform, designed to be compatible with other Microsoft enterprise solutions like Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Sharepoint Team, Microsoft Business Solutions Online, Microsoft Intuit QuickBooks, and Microsoft Office.
Microsoft Exchange Server and its features have a number of advantages over the competitors.
The most prominent advantage is that it has a very extensive backup infrastructure, and this is the reason why many companies prefer to use this platform for their business communication.
- Another advantage is that the Microsoft Exchange Server can be hosted on the internet, which means that the companies using it do not need to purchase extra hardware and software, which can lead to significant cost savings.
- The third advantage is that the Microsoft Exchange Server can be run on a virtual platform, which can help reduce IT costs.
- Lastly, a hosted server is easier to administer and managed compared to a stand-alone server.