Exoprise's Free Tool Assesses Migration Costs from Exchange 2003 to Office 365
Exoprise is offering a free tool that measures the costs of moving from Microsoft's Exchange Server 2003 to Office 365 Exchange Online.
Access to the Exoprise CloudReady Insight tool, which originally costs about $1,000, is being sponsored by Microsoft. Use of the free tool is a limited-time offer that's good through May 31. U.S.-based organizations, as well as Microsoft's partners, are eligible to use it.
The CloudReady Insight tool compares data from the customer's Exchange Server 2003 environment with the use of Office 365 solutions. It produces a cost assessment estimate for an organization, which can include the migration costs, as well.
The tool runs on the customer's premises and tracks various data, such as end-user patterns with Outlook and Exchange Server. It also tracks the use of document attachments in e-mail and provides a recommendation on whether the use of SharePoint Online might be helpful for managing document exchanges. It also checks on mail storage patterns.
Supposedly, the fields within the CloudReady Insight tool are modifiable. So, it's possible for organizations to plug in their actual costs to get a more reliable overall assessment. Exoprise makes that point in its video description of the CloudReady Insight tool, which can be accessed at this blog post. The tool also works with Exchange Server 2007 environments, according to the company.
Exoprise also licenses a CloudReady Monitor service for Microsoft Office 365 that can be used to assess the performance of both SharePoint Server and SharePoint Online.
Exchange Server 2003 fell out of Microsoft's "extended support" product lifecycle back on April 8, along with Windows XP and various other Microsoft products. Organizations running Exchange Server 2003 are said to be running "unsupported" software. The product doesn't get security patches from Microsoft unless an organization can secure a pricey "custom support" agreement with the company.
Migrating away from Exchange Server 2003 can be a challenge for organizations. Upgrading to the newest Exchange Server 2013 product is not so easy because it involves carrying out a "dual-hop" migration. Migrating to Office 365 Exchange Online sometimes can be easier for smaller organizations with less than 1,000 mailboxes via a so-called "cutover migration" approach.
Organizations moving to Office 365 get put on an annual subscription plan, typically with monthly payments. That's different from the "perpetual licensing" plan used with Exchange Server 2003 and other Microsoft server software. Microsoft has argued that its subscription model lowers the upfront capital expenses for organizations compared with buying the hardware and perpetual licensing for the software.
In the near future, buying enterprise software by subscription could be the only option. At least that appears to be the view of Amy Konary, IDC's research vice president for software licensing, provisioning and delivery, in an IDC research note. Konary doesn't mention Microsoft specifically in her Q&A, but it does describe the changes happening with cloud-based subscription models, which is a path Microsoft is following.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.