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Microsoft Exchange Server has been a champion of email and calendar services for a business. It has a maximum market share compared to other professional servers, and Microsoft has constantly updated it with newer features and better control, security, and management.

Additionally, the previous decade has seen the emergence of cloud platforms. Microsoft has the most advanced cloud services in its Office 365 plans. There are home, student, business, and enterprise versions, that provide various cloud applications. Office 365 has covered Exchange and bundled it with several other cloud services like SharePoint Online, MS Office, Access, OneNote, Skype for Business, and many others.
So, if you are in a dilemma about which platform is better and suitable for your organization, then here is a detailed list of features, pros, and cons of both platforms.

Understand the requirements of your business

You can choose Exchange Server on-premises or Office 365 as both platforms are from Microsoft. But, before making your selection, you need to understand the requirement of your business. So, several factors can give you the answer to which type of Exchange Server will be better for your business:

  • What is the total cost for managing the on-site resources?
  • What type of business does your organization run?
  • What is the total expenditure on hardware and software resources?
  • What kind of benefits will Exchange Server on-premises or Online give?
  • How long do you need the application?
Exchange Server (On-premises)

Exchange Server (on-premises) is available for purchase along with client access licenses. You only need to deploy sufficient hardware and install Exchange and clients as per your needs.

Advantages of On-premises Exchange Server
  1. The organization has total authority over the hardware and software of the Exchange. You can easily configure the specifications or settings and manage the mailboxes and mail flow.
  2. You have total control over system updates, backup, and restoration of the data. The on-premises environment enhances the quality of data management.
  3. You can integrate many other business applications with the Exchange Server.
  4. You can archive the emails at the desired location and use advanced search facilities.
  5. You can easily upgrade your security plans.
  6. Due to the proximity of the Server, the throughput and access time for the mailbox is quite high. Any bad network connection can be easily fixed.
  7. The Public Folder shares the single mailbox with multiple users. It makes the storage efficient.
  8. The security is high and offers multi-level control and management.
  9. Durability, accessibility, and maintainability of on-premises mailboxes is almost 100%.
  10. It is easy to meet organizational and regulatory compliances.
  1. Maintenance and upgrade of the hardware and software are expensive.
  2. An on-site Exchange administrator should be responsible for managing the mailboxes, stopping unauthorized access, and recovering the deleted/corrupt mailboxes.
  3. The initial installation requires a high investment.
  4. To implement an Exchange Server, you need expertise in multiple IT skills like DNS Services, firewalls, and Active Directory.
Microsoft 365 (Office 365)

Office 365 or Microsoft 365 is a subscription-based cloud platform from Microsoft. There are multiple plans to which you can subscribe based on your needs. Office 365 is available in different plans like Office 365 Home, Office 365 Personal, and Office 365 Education.

  1. You can get many essential services like Exchange Server, Skype for Business, OneDrive for Business, SharePoint, Skype, etc.
  2. All the facilities are available instantly.
  3. You do not need to pay for any updates.
  4. Microsoft does all the hardware and software updates at their end, and it does not affect the business functioning.
  5. Cloud platform reduces your on-site expenditures, which you can invest in other resources.
  6. Offers accessibility from anywhere (any device or any location).
  1. You are unaware of the location of your data. Microsoft has data centers in different parts of the globe, and you are completely unaware of the location of your data.
  2. Manual data migration requires third-party assistance and is quite time-consuming.
  3. Integration with the on-premises applications is difficult.
  4. There are no proper archiving abilities in Office 365.
  5. Meeting organizational and regulatory compliances will be difficult, at least in some geographical locations.
Can professional tools help you overcome the limitations of Exchange/Office 365?

As you have seen, both Exchange and Office 365 have many advantages and many limitations. How is it possible to overcome the limitations after you have chosen a platform? The answer is simple – use third-party tools that support your specific requirements. We have many professional solutions that help you perform Exchange or Office 365-related tasks very efficiently and accurately.

For example, Kernel Migrator for Exchange helps you perform quick Exchange and Office 365 migrations without data loss. Similarly, Kernel for Exchange Server helps you perform recovery and small-scale migrations. With Kernel Office 365 Backup tool, you can backup Exchange/Office 365 data without errors. All these tools help you overcome the limitations of your email management tools.

Final words

When you compare both the platforms (Exchange Server and Office 365), it would be quite hard to find which one is better. It all depends on your professional needs. The Kernel has multiple tools to meet the requirements of Exchange and Office 365 users – to recover corrupt Exchange databases, migrate to different platforms, and back up data. For such requirements, you can try tools like Kernel for Exchange Server, Kernel Migrator for Exchange, Kernel Office 365 Backup & Restore, etc.

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