Coming up for air..

Had my head down in research most of today, putting together pricing proposals for a new ISP. As many of you may remember, our current internet connection at work is donated bandwidth, basically piggy-backing off another company’s network. Some higher ups aren’t happy with the level of service we’ve been getting (it’s free, sometimes that shows, ya’ know?) and want to know what all would be involved in moving to a pay ISP. We aren’t a small enough office to go with a simple cable or DSL shared connection, or to go with the 10 allowed email accounts most small office plans come with. (We have 23 employees, and several other generic email addresses in use, and we currently have a T1 connection, moving down from that will be a tough sell.) So I’m having to price out things like getting, installing and running our own Exchange server, buying and configuring a firewall solution, etc. I’m sure somewhere I’m going to miss an available option on how to do this, so how about it? How would you hook up an office with shared internet access for around 25 people and around 30-35 email addresses, and why?

Keep in mind that we don’t need web hosting right now, as that is outsourced, but if hosting our own website would be a side benefit to your idea, it’s something to keep in mind, no?

Right now I’m leaning toward recommending MS Small Business Server in order to get the Exchange server now and allow us to move into other things later, while staying with Microsoft products that people here know how to use. (Although I’ll be the only one who knows how to admin them, so maybe that’s not a big deal?) Of course we could always keep something similar to what we have, where the ISP admins the mail server and the internet connection on their end, but I’m not sure why we’d do that, as we’d still be dependant on another company, and we’d be paying for what we get for free now. Seems silly. 🙂

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