Moving to the cloud is a big step for a lot of schools, colleges and universities. “How do I manage Live@edu?” is one of the biggest questions asked by people unfamiliar with the cloud. A common misconception is that cloud services are zero-admin and that once you hand over responsibility of hosting to a cloud provider you ultimately lose control over your own data and services. Some people even view the cloud as a threat to their jobs. This could not be further from the truth…
While Live@edu doesn’t provide all the same management features as on-premise Exchange, that doesn’t mean it’s like a nuclear bomb to manage.
Live@edu is managed in a number of ways: via Windows PowerShell, the Exchange Control Panel, and the Service Management Portal. Some legacy functionality is still handled through the Windows Live Admin Centre, too.
Windows PowerShell provides a really great set of cmdlets to perform all the usual tasks and is often the only method to perform certain tasks (such as Dynamic Distribution Group management). The Exchange Control Panel provides web-based GUI access to a wide variety of tasks for day-to-day maintenance and the Service Management Portal provides access to managing your domain, accepted domains, co-branding and DNS settings.
Lots to do, but no tin to do it with…
By farming your users out to the cloud you reduce the number of physical (or virtual) servers you need to manage which in turns reduces your power consumption, and data storage requirements, while giving you more time to actually manage the service. With a 99.9% target uptime you can afford to spend more time doing the fun things.
So “how do I manage Live@edu?” – the answer is simple: largely the same way you manage your on-premise Exchange but without the worry of maintaining a box in your server room.