Kool Tools: AppRiver's Microsoft Exchange Service
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Kool Tools: AppRiver's Microsoft Exchange Service

The secure hosted Exchange service from AppRiver (http://www.appriver.com) -- a provider of e-mail messaging and web security solutions -- is a gotta-give-it-a-look solution for those who want to improve mobile email performance.

Microsoft Exchange hosted services offer online tools to help your organization protect itself from spam and malware, satisfy retention requirements for e-discovery and compliance and encrypt data to preserve confidentiality. AppRiver is the only Exchange hosting provider to embed the Akamai global distribution platform into its service.

As a result of the Akamai partnership, AppRiver customers receive faster connectivity and more reliable performance from both wireline and wireless business e-mail at no additional cost. How fast? According to a recent evaluation using the mobile performance monitoring testing solutions from Compuware Gomez, data showed a link between the AppRiver-Akamai relationship and AppRiver's ability to provide businesses with fast, reliable hosted Microsoft Exchange. In particular, the results showed that AppRiver's Akamai-enabled Hosted Exchange service can improve mobile e-mail performance by up to 50%.

Gomez's mobile monitoring solution was used to test performance levels of communication to AppRiver-enhanced mobile devices with -- and without -- Akamai acceleration over U.S.-based mobile broadband networks. The series of tests simulated users with identical login-credentials, signing into their Exchange accounts, and running through a typical Exchange transaction. Response times were tracked at three designated U.S. mobile testing nodes (Boston, Chicago, and Seattle) within each major U.S. cell carrier's network. Among the findings:

° The amount of time it takes users to connect and sync with Exchange was reduced by half when using the Akamai-enabled AppRiver Secure Hosted Exchange solution.

° Connection speeds degrade the further away a user is from the origin server, leaving a network to lose up to 25% of data packets that transverse its links, causing mobile devices to hang or lose connectivity.

° AppRiver Exchange customers received clear, consistent e-mail delivery over a variety of wireless networks, regardless of their location or what was happening on the Internet.

What's more, the AppRiver-Akamai offering contributes to several strategic objectives for any enterprise, including:

° Mobile worker support. Mobile device users receive secure, on-the-go access to information, including e-mail, calendars and tasks. The AppRiver hosted Exchange allows for e-mail access, with no performance problems, regardless of how, or where, an end-user checks their messages. And it's iPhone compatible. Hosted Exchange users can synchronize their e-mail with their Apple iPhone device via the IMAP protocol. You can synchronize your Calendar, Contacts & Tasks with iPhone 2.0 software and Microsoft ActiveSync. This service is available at no extra charge.

° Secure e-mail delivery. AppRiver and Akamai privatize the connection between the user and the Exchange server(s) in order to create a high-speed, virtual private network for AppRiver customers. The private network acts as a “secure perimeter,” which eliminates public entry points to cloud infrastructures. AppRiver Exchange also provides the SecureTide Spam and Virus Protection, keeping users safe from spam, viruses and other malicious threats.

° Support. Mobile device users receive on-the-go access to information backed by 24/7/365 customer service.

° Unlimited mailbox storage. Unlimited mailbox storage means that clients of Secure Exchange Service don't need to manage user quotas or be concerned about billing surprises because of increased email activity. Now this doesn't mean that using Microsoft's Outlook and Exchange will work with an infinitely large email box. There are practical limits to how large a mailbox can be before performance becomes unacceptable. Nor does it mean that a mailbox can be defined as an "archive"; after all, that wouldn't be practical or consistent with archiving requirements.

So why would AppRiver eliminate mailbox quotas? The primary design goal of their Exchange Hosting architecture was to offer easy access to the rich email feature set of Exchange, while enforcing spam and virus protection, and making Exchange simpler for administrators.

What's more, Exchange hosting with AppRiver removes the complexity of a typical installation. An average Exchange server installation is a 10-step process:

° Buying server-class hardware;

° Installing and configuring Windows Server;

° Installing and configuring DNS and Active Directory;

° Installing additional Exchange prerequisites (IIS);

° Planning and installing Exchange Server;

° Managing Active Directory accounts with Exchange mailboxes;

° Handling Exchange Information Store growth;

° Securing SMTP and other protocols;

° Implementing an Exchange Backup and Recovery solution;

° Writing scripts to manage needs not available with current admin tools

By comparison, use of Exchange with AppRiver requires only one step: you log into the Shoreline control panel from a web browser. Many Hosted Exchange providers require support tickets or additional communication to accomplish the built-in features that Shoreline provides.

AppRiver Exchange hosting minimum requirements on the Mac are Mac OS X and Entourage 2004 or 2008. On Windows, its Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Windows Vista and Outlook 2003 with Office 2003 Service Pack 2, or Outlook 2007.

AppRiver provides the first 30 days of service free of charge to allow you to test drive it. After the trial, your account will be automatically renewed on a month to month basis at the then current monthly subscription rate. There's no minimum term of service. You may cancel the service at any time by contacting AppRiver.

AppRiver offers a one-year subscription option that includes a 10% discount. Details will be provided during the trial period. Clients choosing this option will be contacted approximately 30 days prior to the end of the one year subscription period with current options and renewal pricing.

 
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