Microsoft Exchange is a customized solution for large scale organizations. While your company or group may not be using it, it is still rather common. You may someday deal with a group who has it, and you will want to know what to do in case a situation comes up. There are several topics that you should keep under consideration with Microsoft Exchange contingency planning.
Whether you use just part of Microsoft’s online services or you use their entire suite, the first thing that you will notice is that support is sometimes lacking. After all, in such a giant corporate structure there can sometimes be difficulty communicating. Continuity is one of the services that Microsoft prides itself on. Even if you own email hosting solution is down, Microsoft can pick it up and continue to provide you with service. This does not cost as much as making your own solution, and can last for as long or as short of a period of time as you need it to. Best of all, Microsoft does not charge through the roof like many of the other companies would! This is included with your Microsoft Exchange Hosting!
Best of all, Microsoft does all of this with their integrated service. Many other providers may nickel and dime you for each and every additional feature that you want with your hosting, including unlimited support and the like. While you might sometimes come across someone at Microsoft who isn’t the brightest, you will soon be able to get someone who can help you solve your problem and get on with your difficulties of normal business.
Getting back to the continuity of Exchange hosting. Microsoft does not require any client side installations, which is rather shocking to some. The other great feature that Exchange offers is backups. You are able to backup everything and keep multiple backups as well. This is great if you are simply trying to mess with some settings, upgrading the Exchange servers themselves, or have a massive meltdown on your corporate infrastructure. In order to truly know what you are doing you need to talk as a company. Setting technology goals for your business should be one of the first things that you do as an organization. What do you want the technology to be able to help you to achieve, when should it do it by and what tools should you use to do so. While Microsoft Exchange in and of itself is great, with a preset plan there is a lot more that can be done with it.
A contingency plan that plans for every eventuality will also have how long of a backup you would like with Microsoft Exchange. While in theory you could have an unlimited backup, this is just not practical due to the size of emails, and how many accounts are in your group/company/organization. You must decide on how long of a time period you would like to have and go with it. Otherwise, you are going to be backing up for hours upon hours, and never ending the backup!
Another important part of the Microsoft Exchange contingency plan will be what will happen in the case your Microsoft Exchange server dies/goes down. While this is highly unlikely, most of the time, Exchange automatically receives the email regardless because a backup picks up. However, you should make sure that your company is configured properly for this, otherwise you could lose some very important emails! Also, make sure that you can easily access the server in case of emergency either using SSH or another type of connection.
Exchange also has another great feature that lets you run command line functions. These are going to be your lifesaver if your server ever should go down. Not only will these tools help you to restore corrupted data and other problems with your Exchange database, but they will help you to find other problems with your Exchange server as well. The two command line functions are called ESEUTIL and ISINTEG.