Email hosting for Azure Websites - Custom Domain Live

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Microsoft Live Custom Domains is shut down lately. I have been using this service for e-mail hosting for all my Microsoft Azure Websites, but now it is gone and no viable replacement is in sight. 

Do you have some idea what alternative approach exist for hosting multiple mailboxes for multiple websites hosted on Azure?

May 22, 2018 in Azure by null_void
• 3,220 points
102 views

2 answers to this question.

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You can try the below two ways to implement the same:

  1. Find a hosted Exchange type solution. This has the advantages of any hosted solution. It is managed for you. You can get started with around 50 USD / user / year and services are provided by the likes of Microsoft, Google and Rackspace, like stated in the other answers.
  2. (Which is the route I chose) Host your own Exchange server on AWS EC2 or Azure. Thanks to Microsoft License Mobility, you can install an Exchange license on a cloud server and provide email addresses for your customers` domains yourself. This will allow you to share the cost of the Exchange license between all your customers and if you reach the critical mass, this can save a lot compared to the pay-per-user-per-month models for most hosted solutions.

We are still on the lookout for a free alternative, but have yet to find one that can match the features that were available in the free version of Google Apps.

answered May 22, 2018 by club_seesharp
• 3,450 points
0 votes

Your cheapest option is to have one (single) google apps account which will cost you around $5 per month. Make it something very general like mail@yourdomain.com. Then in the google apps dashboard make it a catch all address. This will make the single inbox catch all email for accounts such as Sales@, support@ bob@ or whatever at your domain.

Then you can set Gmail filters to sort (label) each incomming message based on who it was sent to. For example you can have messages sent to frank@ automatically labeled as frank.

Next you want to create regular old gmail accounts for all of your individual users. I am going to follow the example of creating a box for frank@company.com for this instance.

  1. Create Google Apps primary account (catch all) as mail@company.com
  2. Create Gmail account for frank.company@gmail.com (regular gmail account)
  3. Create filter rule on Google Apps account for all messages sent to frank@company.com to be forwarded to frank.company@gmail.com. You can further mark them as read or delete them upon forward.
  4. In the frank.company@gmail.com create a sending alias as frank@company.com. Google will give you a 4 digit code, and now when logging in as frank.company@gmail.com i can both send as frank@company.com and recieve all email since its forwarded to this account.

Also make sure to set default reply:to addresses in case you send from the frank.company@gmail.com address.

Using the technique above you can get all the benefits of having a pro google apps account (dkim, spf, 25gb inbox) and with a little bit of configuration you can setup multiple gmail accounts which run off the single account. We use the technique above and it works flawlessly. The only thing that doesn't work is mailbox delegation, which is not that great.

If you wanted to save the $5 you could get away with using something like GoDaddy free email forwarding, but then you would be limited to godaddys 250 message limit per day.

The approach above just works.

answered Aug 20, 2018 by Priyaj
• 56,160 points

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