Contrary to what you thought, email and email servers are part of the cloud. As stated in episode one (1), in my opinion the Internet and the cloud are one in the same. Therefore, your email server is connected to the Internet and your email transits the Internet and hence is in fact, part of the cloud.
Now, having stated the above, let me elaborate. I am specifically referring to Hosted Email servers such as POP Mail Servers and Hosted Exchange Servers.
First lets examine the difference between the two.
POP Email is defined as “Post Office Protocol”, it is a protocol used to retrieve email from a mail server. Smaller and startup companies normally start with POP email, it is a basic email server with no frills. There are two versions of POP. The first, called POP2, became a standard in the mid-1980’s and requires SMTP to send messages. The newer version, POP3, can be used with or without SMTP. Email is stored locally on your computer, although some newer POP Email Servers can now save a copy of your email on the server too.
SMTP – Short for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, a protocol for sending e-mail messages between servers. Most e-mail systems that send mail over the Internet use SMTP to send messages from one server to another; the messages can then be retrieved with an e-mail client using either POP or IMAP. In addition, SMTP is generally used to send messages from a mail client to a mail server. This is why you need to specify both the POP or IMAP server and the SMTP server when you configure your e-mail application.
Exchange Server – Microsoft Outlook-Exchange is popular due to its user-friendliness and its advanced features, which boost productivity, it is Up-to-date: meaning Exchange stores everything centrally, so you always see the latest version of your email, files, calendar and contacts. It is mobile – Exchange is the software that powers email for handhelds like the latest BlackBerry, Treo or Windows Mobile devices. It also offers sophisticated Web mail, so you will always be synced with your team. It allows for Shared calendars: Lets employees see colleagues’ availability to schedule or rearrange meetings, book conference rooms, and plan projects. Plus you can share task lists: Allows ‘to do’ lists to be created and assigned, then shared with team members. Managers can check off items as they are completed. You can also share your contacts.
So – why Hosted Exchange?
Basically it is about the costs of Exchange Server. Cost is the major reason why hosted Exchange is rapidly growing in popularity. Upfront costs are several thousand dollars for even the most basic setup, putting in-house Exchange beyond the reach of smaller businesses. Ongoing costs for in-house Exchange are also high. Either companies need to hire IT staff or pay consultants to fix each problem, adding thousands more dollars in annual costs.
Besides cost savings, what else does Hosted Exchange gives you?
If you chose the right cloud partner you get expert, technically certified support staff available 24×7. A migration team to securely transition the information in your on-premise servers or current cloud provider. Total control of your services and security options through our intuitive web-based control panel and mobile apps. Mobile freedom with support for email, calendar and contacts on virtually any smartphone or tablet – from iPhone and iPad through Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and more. Enterprise-grade security in world-class datacenters and a 99.999% uptime service level agreement and timesaving, business-protecting “.
In Summary – Hosted Exchange/Email eliminate the need to expensive hardware, software and a staff to configure, manage and maintain it. You get business class functions and services for a fraction of the normal cost.
In closing – Email Servers are part of the cloud. They most likely are the precursor to what we know as the cloud today. Email servers have been around longer than the Internet itself, at least as we know it today. There are many types of email servers that function on one or several platforms. Email has historically been the quintessential “cross-platform”. Think in terms of interoperability, which is defined as a property referring to the ability of diverse systems and organizations to work together (inter-operate).
If you would like, we provide a free technical assessment. This can be beneficial to new and startup companies that are not sure where to start. Raven Cloud computing provides all of the above mentioned services; you can find these here at our website Cloud Computing. For the above mentioned samples of cloud servers or online storage.