Switching from POP email to Exchange
December 29, 2006 1:35 AM Subscribe
We're making the switch from POP mail to hosted Exchange mail, and it isn't as much fun as it should be.
Our pop mail host had become undependable over time. Along with switching providers, we decided to switch to a hosted Exchange solution. I figured mail is mail, so I probably didn't do as much upfront legwork prior to signing up for the new service (with Mi8) as I should have. Now I'm knee deep in making the transition from POP to Exchange work and am having difficulty getting off the line with it.
The first challenge is making it work with Mozilla Thunderbird. I realize Exchange is made to work with Outlook, but one of the owners of our company likes and uses Thunderbird, so I need to make the effort. It doesn't help that he's out of town until next week, so it's dangerous for me to make an arbitrary switch to Outlook on his PC. I've managed to configure Tbird to retrieve incoming mail, but haven't cracked the outgoing settings. Most of what I've found via web search says you need to use a separate SMTP server for outgoing mail if you're using Thunderbird, but I need to verify this. Mi8's response is they only support Outlook, and they're not even willing to point me to other resources. I wish I had known that before signing on with them.
The second problem I'm faced with is understanding a basic concept of Exchange. Using Outlook with POP you are given the option to leave messages on the server or automatically clear them after X days. To simplify matters, all of our users' Outlook settings delete messages after 5 days and the users archive the inbox on their own. As everybody here lives in email and needs to keep old messages, they've ended up with archives going back a few years resulting in many large (+1gb) PST files, so keeping messages on the server for any length of time isn't practical (or economical). I cannot find IMAP settings in Outlook that will automatically delete messages from the server. Is the assumption with exchange that you use the server to store all of your messages, or that you will manually archive them off? Also, Mi8 provides software called fastinstall that creates Outlook settings to connect with their servers. Unfortunately, it accomplishes this by setting up a new profile in Outlook that doesn’t let you mingle your old mail with the new. If I manually set up the Outlook clients, is there a reason I can’t just add the Exchange settings as a new email account in the existing POP profile?
And finally, does anybody have any good public web resources for Exchange administrators?