Should You Host Email On Your Server?

I bumped into this blog today and read the post concerning whether or not you should host your own email. Barring the fact that the post offers very little information besides email hosting options, the question remains; should you host your own mail server? The post mentions the dangers of spam in today’s age as well as the complexities of hosting your own mail server. In short- is it truly a sensible idea to outsource?

To be honest- I’m not entirely sure. Having only set up a mail server in the past, I can’t tell you too much about its administration; I can, however, tell you that it wasn’t too difficult to set up. Spam can be blocked by Bayesian filters; programs like spamassassin work well for that (I’m also told of an anti-spam device called Barracuda; I don’t know much about it). For anyone who’s competent with Windows or Linux system administration, I don’t see that it’s too difficult to maintain your own mail server.

However- I also don’t know enough about mail administration to really come down on whether or not 15$/month for each Exchange mailbox is worth it. On the surface, it seems pretty reasonable, especially for a smaller outfit. 15$/month includes licensing fees, probably, but if you’re more than five or six people that can get pricey. At ten people you’re almost at the cost for another dedicated server; it might be worth it simply to host your own mail server as your userbase grows.

This one’s interesting, and I certainly welcome feedback concerning it. Should you outsource your email? I like the managed aspect of outsourcing, but the price tag seems costly- is it worth it for small-to-mid size companies just to use open source email solutions and host their own mail servers? I’ll keep researching it, but let me know what you think!