Important Dates to Remember

June 11, 2014

End of Life Support for these Microsoft Products:

Windows XP ……………………….. Apr 8, 2014

Office 2003 ………………………… Apr 8, 2014

Exchange Server 2003 …………. Apr 8, 2014

Windows Server 2003 ………….. Jul 14, 2015

Solid State Drives are More Affordable

June 11, 2014

Solid state drives (SSD) have come down in price and their use is gaining momentum.  Although they are not yet as cheap as traditional drives, they are worth the cost, especially in laptops.  Not only do you gain performance in access the drive, but solid state components use considerably less power than a traditional spinning disk, saving on your laptop’s battery life.

Traditional hard drives contain a metal disc that spins around very fast and an arm that reads & writes data to and from the disk.  The precision demanded with this operation makes them the most likely part on any computer to go bad.  If you are looking for something to upgrade on your laptop, consider replacing your hard drive with a solid state drive.

Maintaining Solid Email Infrastructure

June 11, 2014

Microsoft has for some time now publicized Exchange 2003 will reach its end-of-life support on April 8, 2014.  After this date Microsoft will no longer provide any support for this product.  The effects of this are already showing in that Outlook 2013 cannot connect to an Exchange 2003 server.  There are still many instances of Exchange 2003 being used.  If you are one such organization, it is essential to take steps to keep your email infrastructure reliable.  There are a number of possible solutions:

A) Migrate to Exchange being hosted at an Internet Service Provider.   Many Internet service companies offer hosted Exchange, allowing clients to have complete Exchange functionality without having to be concerned with the work of managing the hardware or software of a server.  This will have a monthly fee to the Internet service provider, usually something like $10 per mailbox per month, but that includes upgrades moving forward.
B) Migrate to Google Apps hosted Email.  Google continues to be a competitor to Microsoft and as such Google offers a hosted email solution called Google Apps.  It gives the most common functions of email including shared calendaring, contacts and more.  Although you can use Outlook for Google Apps email, most people prefer to use a web browser to access their email, calendar and contacts.  Google charges $50 per mailbox per year but for non-profit organizations, Google  offers this completely free of charge.
C) Upgrade an Existing Server/Infrastructure.  If current hardware in place can run a newer version of Exchange, that is the simplest path forward.  One advantage of running your own server is that you have complete control – over the size of mailboxes, size of attachments, etc.  And with your own server you don’t have to worry about an Internet company reading your email for marketing or NSA security purposes.
D) Add Hardware to your Infrastructure.  A server can be added for the sole purpose of hosting your email.

If you have questions or wish to discuss options for your organization, contact Emerson Technologies and we will be happy to discuss your situation.