What to Do When Your Exchange Mailbox is Always Full

All of us use email for business communication, but it can actually be a very inconvenient way to communicate. For many years, people have used work email accounts to volley Word attachments back and forth, or distribute newsletters, images and PDFs. Each time a file is attached, it takes up space in every mailbox it lands in, and every mailbox it’s sent from. That causes everyone’s mailbox to fill up fast.

Running out of space is a hassle for everyone. Is it time we dropped email for good

CloudStorage Woes

You’re probably familiar with the ‘mailbox full’ messages that Microsoft Exchange throws out. That’s because Exchange mailboxes tend to be incredibly small. In Exchange Server 2010, the default storage size is 2GB. In a large organisation, the administrator may have set it even lower.

2GB used to sound cavernous, but these days, it really isn’t. Outlook will prevent you from attaching anything over 20mb, but that 20mb file could be forwarded back and forth for weeks. It only takes 100 big files to fill up a 2GB mailbox. If you have a 500mb mailbox – and many people do – you probably get a ‘mailbox full’ email every week or so.

For most businesses, increasing mailbox size isn’t an option, because every user needs an allocation, whether they fill it or not. Before long, you hit the mailbox storage limit, because your server has a physical limit.

What can you do?

– You can scrabble around looking for emails to delete – again

– You can drag files onto your local hard drive (and hope they don’t get deleted by accident)

– You can buy a new server, or extend storage, which will cost money

Sounds inconvenient and costly, doesn’t it.

But there is a fourth option.

A Modern Solution

Hosted Exchange offers a different solution. Instead of using your own server to store emails, you can purchase email as a service. Your email accounts are hosted by a third party, securely, in the cloud.

A hosted Exchange mailbox is an affordable way to max out the storage you can use, without investing massive amounts of money on equipment. The limits of physical servers are removed.

Cloud4 offers three tiers of hosted Exchange services. The Web tier offers a 10GB mailbox, while the top Pro tier can be upgraded right the way to 50GB. To put this in context, Google’s Gmail service is well known for its generous mailbox limit of 15GB. Cloud4 gives you the space for more than three times that amount, at the top end.

Imagine how convenient it would be to have a 50GB mailbox; enough to store 2,500 attachments at maximum size.

The other aspect is cost. If you were to buy the on-premise infrastructure to give everyone in your business a 50GB mailbox, you’d be looking at huge investment, and a lot of that space would never be used. The beauty of the cloud is that you only pay monthly, and you only pay for the mailboxes that you actually need. If more staff join, simply scale up your commitment and pay for a few more mailboxes. If staff leave, cut back any time.

The Many Benefits of Hosted Exchange

Scalable storage, and monthly payments, are just two of the things our clients love about hosted Exchange. If you’re ready to make the move, talk to Cloud4 about the many benefits of switching. Call us today on 0161 850 1264.

Why is Cold Storage a Hot Topic?

Have you completed your annual office spring clean? Chances are you uncovered all kinds of paperwork stuffed into files; things you’d ‘get around to’; certificates for all those courses you attended; perhaps a few photos from the Christmas party that would really be best forgotten. Most of our kids have shoeboxes full of photos, drawings and pictures – objects that they might want to look back on in their later years.

Archiving is something of a human instinct, whether it’s hoarding food or saving for a rainy day. The same is true of our digital habits. As we amass more and more data, we’ve started to run out of space on our hard drives, and all of those 1s and 0s get expensive – fast.

Cloud Storage Solutions

There are various types of cloud storage, and they’re not necessarily made equal. Choose the wrong one, and you might find that your data becomes a cost burden.

At Cloud4, we offer four services in the data storage market:

  • Business online backup, which backs up files and applications, and provides a version history
  • Synced storage for file sharing and easy access across devices; this is called MyOwnCloud
  • Network storage, a bulk storage option with a set cost per gigabyte
  • FTP, which is essentially a hosted storage option for large files, using the file transfer protocol

Across these four services, we can see some distinct use cases. Synced storage for sharing is unlikely to be suitable for a company that needs a huge amount of archival space. And storing the data on a server is not desirable if you plan to give out FTP details to that space.

Hot and Not

Cold storage is, as the name suggests, a deep freeze for your data. This is a perfect example of cloud technology coming into its own. It’s great for archiving documents, such as contracts, invoices, and your accounts for the last 10 years. It can also be used for personal storage, like the archiving of digital photos.

Cold storage is cheap because it’s not designed to be accessed often. Once you place data into a cold store, you have to pay to get it back out, and retrieval might take a few hours.

A key component of cold storage is the ability to back up incrementally. The first backup – when you send all of those documents to the cold store – might take days, or weeks. After that, you’re just going to top up the new stuff; the old files will not be transferred again. We compress data before transmission to make the backups as painless as possible.

Find Out More

If you’re currently using a mass storage solution like Dropbox, you’re probably putting your data at risk. For one thing, Dropbox isn’t a backup solution. And if you pay for it, it’s not cheap. You’d be far better off using a business grade cold storage solution for your files and slashing your costs in the process.

If you’re not sure what kind of cloud storage you need, contact us at Cloud4 today. We have a wealth of experience on our website, in our FAQs and via our Live Chat, and we’ll guide you through the different services to help you get the most from the cloud.

Do You Know Where Your Hosted Desktop Image is Stored?

All businesses have to comply with certain regulations and laws. In some industries – and continents – unmanaged compliance quickly becomes a burden on profitability. If the business doesn’t take its responsibilities seriously, it can end up paying fines and losing its hard-earned reputation.

If your business has its offices in the EU, you need to be careful about data storage. Cloud computing means your data could be stored literally anywhere if you don’t keep a close eye on the services you’re using.

What’s Special About Europe?

Globally, all businesses must meet compliance and governance requirements, and this has been a barrier to cloud adoption for many businesses. It’s not that compliance changes when you use the cloud – but the nature of the services you choose can affect its impact.

In Europe, there’s a law, the Data Protection Directive, which prevents the transmission of personal data to non-EU countries unless it’s dealt with in a compliant manner. There are 11 approved non-EU countries that are considered to be compliant; all others require special care.

Choosing a Provider Overseas

When storing data in the cloud, the business is responsible for that data. It cannot pass the buck to the cloud storage provider. You need to carry out due diligence and ensure your services are fit for purpose.

If you use a US provider, you need to make sure they are Safe Harbor members and regulated by the Federal Trade Commission. US and EU law actually conflicts in some areas, too. Don’t assume that the US is vetted and allowed for data protection compliance: it isn’t.

There’s the added complication of the Patriot Act: the law that lets US authorities gain access to any data held by a US company if they have good reason to do so. It doesn’t matter if the data was generated by a UK company, or is owned by a UK company. The fact is that it’s stored in US locations, so the Patriot Act is applicable.

The issue of compliance could fill a white paper, or even a book, but one thing is clear: it’s immensely complicated. While public cloud and private cloud services sound simple on paper, storing corporate data can be problematic… and storing your clients’ data very risky indeed.

Often, if you use a very large provider, your data may be stored in multiple locations without your knowledge. That makes it impossible for a UK business to know the risk.

Safe Options

As the data controller responsible for security and personal data, you are ultimately in charge of compliance. The fact that your provider does things you don’t know about is no excuse.

For UK companies, by far the safest option is to host data within the UK. This is a simple way to make sure your data is stored according to the laws applicable to you, so you have complete peace of mind. With your data in UK storage, your risk is mitigated and there are fewer fines to worry about too.