Shared Server & Dedicated Server: Know the difference in Exchange hosting services

Microsoft Exchange hosting is continuing to grow. This service has been one of the hot selling on the “SaaS” business models since Exchange Server 2003 release. With the release of Exchange 2007 Hosting, more application service providers (ASPs) will start offering these services to small business sector. If you look back, the two breaks through features of cached mode and remote procedure call “RPC over HTTP” in MS Outlook 2003 spurred the Hosting Business to next level.

Small and medium sized companies will take advantage of it with competitive offering as more exchange hosting providers continuously developing and defining this market. In general, small companies have an option of choosing the two different categories for Exchange hosting: 1. Shared Server Exchange Hosting and 2. Dedicated Server Exchange Hosting

With Shared Exchange Hosting, many companies share one Microsoft Exchange Server. This is the most cost effective for most companies in the SME sector. When the number of mailboxes exceeds the defined limit by the hoster it will need to be migrated to Dedicated Exchange Hosting. Though Shared Exchange Hosting is less expensive, this would be more suitable for smaller business whose number of mailboxes is not growing exponentially.

With Dedicated Exchange Hosting, minimum an Exchange Server is required to be installed for one company. Depending on the needs and specific requirements from the customer, you can customize these dedicated servers to offer greater flexibility, stability, reliability & high availability.

The comparisons provided in this article tend to be a generalized view, because the value added services from each Exchange Hosting Providers could be unique to some extent.

Below is the table in capsule form which helps you understand the differences at a glance.

Dedicated Exchange Server

Shared Exchange Server
Organizations must invest in hardware (Leased/owned). Apparently, the obligation is there by signing a minimum period of contract to stay with the provider. 1 year minimum period makes sense in my opinion. No contract required. Easy check in & check out.
Irrespective of the mailbox volume, you own the server with full control. Also, no sharing of mailboxes with other companies. Many organizations will be there to share mailboxes.
You are given the space in your own server. Make a good plan, then design and deploy it. There will be restriction on the mailbox sizes. Please check the plan with your service provider.
Since you have full control, you can create the policies to maintaining and managing the mailboxes for your users. Very limited administrative control of your organization’s mailboxes.
Uptime assurance is better than dedicated (this is subject to many factors in the infrastructure) Mostly stays at 99.xx% (I hope that everyone can provide > 99.5%

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