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Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

White papers And so to the Reg Library for our occasional plunder of the Whitepaper shelves. Today we are diving into the perennially popular topics of email management and security and have selected three vendor papers for your perusal. Registration is, as per, required.

Email continuity. You don't know what you've got til it's gone

This MessageLabs paper kicks off with a choice quote from James, an stressed-out email manager for a law firm, whose job keeps him awake at night. “It’s like swans on the lake,” says James. “I’m serene on the surface but underneath I’m paddling like crazy...“Email’s a bit like a phone system. You never get a pat on the back for keeping it running, but you risk the sack if it stops.” If only email was as simple as it looks to the end user. Or perhaps James should look for another job...

This is not the prognosis of MessageLabs, even as it recites a litany of all the things that make James's working day, umm, crap. MessageLabs also summons all the good things about email - remember those, before the spam and the viruses and the tedious round-robins polluted your inbox. It ends this invocation with a modern day curse for people like James: "Because email is ubiquitous, necessary and convenient, it cannot be allowed to fail."

The cure, according to MessageLabs, is a managed email and security system, as provided by MessageLabs. Dear reader, you knew this already. But we pitied liked James, and the paper is an effective advocate for out-of-house managed email. Worth a visit for anyone who needs to compile a business case for such a service.

Exchange 2007 risks and migration strategies

So we thought that running Microsoft Exchange was a pain for small businesses. According to this Dell white paper about Exchange 2007, it can be a pain for everyone.

Acknowledging that Exchange 2007 provides a solid platform for corporate email, Dell argues that Exchange is now "tasked to deliver capabilities that it has historically not included, such as site resiliency, business continuance, compliance support, remote access, anti-virus and anti-spam, and legal discovery support.

"Yet during an outage or failure, Exchange 2007 provides minimal continuity functionality". Exchange 2007's high availability options are limited and expensive and the software does not include 'archiving capabilities adequate for most organisations. Also upgrading to Exchange 2007 can be very expensive, requiring upgrades to server hardware and software and increased licensing costs.

Dell offers five tips for evaluating Exchange 2007 risks and investments and finishes with a soft-shoe pitch for its own solution to augment Exchange, Dell Email Management Services (EMS). This paper is a good overview and a recommended read for anyone thinking of upgrading to Exchange 2007.

50 things to ask your Microsoft Hosted Exchange service provider

Noting that "hosted exchange" on Google UK yields 224,000 results, Cobweb Solutions sets out to sort the wheat from the chaff. Or is that the other way around. In this guide, The Microsoft and Messagelabs reseller has penned 50 questions to ask prospective Microsoft Exchange providers. Not a scintillating read by any means, but this is a useful checklist for anyone seeking to move to hosted Exchange, or indeed, change their current supplier. Cobweb, self-described as "Europe’s leading Microsoft Hosted Exchange provider", ticks all the boxes, which comes as no surprise.

Any more questions one should ask a Hosted Exchange provider? (Sensible) answers below, please.

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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