The cloud is inevitable. Everything is moving to the cloud. Embrace the cloud or go the way of the dinosaur. Computing someday will be a utility providing dial tone service. Put your applications in the cloud or perish. The cloud is the future of computing. If you don't embrace the cloud, your business will be crushed under the weight of your IT capital expenditures.
That's what I hear about the cloud these days. Not that I believe any of this, but it indicates that there may be something to cloud computing, and that there might be areas where it will pay off to invest in a cloud based solution.
The fact is that you already depend on a number of Internet based services, or if you consider an extended version of a definition of a cloud solution, you already use virtualization to reduce capital and operation expenditures for onsite "private cloud" deployments.
Regardless of cloud futures, one service that's found a niche in the cloud is email. This makes sense, as email is not a bandwidth or latency bound service. However, you might not want to put your actual email storage in the cloud for security reasons. That doesn't mean you can't take advantage of cloud economics to add security to your email system.
This is where Forefront Online Security for Exchange comes in. With Online Security for Exchange, you get all the advantages of spam and anti-malware filtering, while at the same time offloading the bandwidth and processing hits your system takes from spammers and malware filtering. Companies using any version of Exchange can benefit from the protection provided by Online Security for Exchange without disrupting a current Exchange deployment.
I've had a chance to look at this offering and was really impressed on how easy it was to setup and configure. You only need to set up your MX records to send to Online Security for Exchange Servers and then configure your own firewall to accept SMTP messages from the Online Security for Exchange Servers. What you get is the mail you want, letting Online Security for Exchange do the heavy lifting. The web based configuration interface is simple and easy to work with - you'll be up and running in less than two hours.
Check out Forefront Online Security for Exchange over at:
Thomas W Shinder, M.D., MCSE
Sr. Consultant / Technical Writer