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Need Advice On Rolling Out A W2K Server on Point-to-Point Network

Posted on 2003-02-24
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We have a point-to-point network from our central location to 5 remote locations.  Each location has it's own set of network addresses.  We have about 80 total clients spread fairly evenly across the 6 locations.  We are planning to roll out a Windows 2000 Server with Exchange Server on it.  We want to allow each user the ability to have access to a common drive area as well as have a personal drive area on the server.  We have no existing file servers of any kind at this time and the only other server we have is a Linux email server - so there is no existing PDC.

Here is what I need to know.

1) How do I setup the PDC to work across my existing LAN/WAN?  The PCs at all remote locations can ping into the central location with no problems and the central location can ping out to the remote PCs with no problems.  Do I have to run DHCP?  Right now all IPs are static and I would prefer to stay static.  I know I'll have to setup Active Directory (or at least think I should).  Can the remote PCs login to the central PDC by using the IP address only?

2) If you think I need to know something that I have not mentioned here - please let me know!!!

I have setup a PDC on a LAN before, so I know the basics of doing that and I am not looking for specific advice on how to accomplish that.  What I am looking for here is the BEST way to set this up across a WAN.  I am just in the planning stage now and looking for "gotchas" before they happen.

One last thing (and I don't think this will matter) - I have full T1 connections to each of my remote locations - so there is plenty of bandwidth.

Thank you in advance for any help or advice.

dmcoop
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Question by:dmcoop
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matthewjones earned 2000 total points
ID: 8009853
You do not have to run DHCP. Not at all.
That dedicated T1 means alot and was important info.

Questions:
1) Is there going to be a server at each location (BDC)?
2) What type of response times do you get with the pings?
3) Will the Exchange Server be accessible for OWA (Outlook Web Access)?
4) Is the Exchange Server going to run on the PDC?


Assuming no server at each location:
1) Active Directory MUST be set up (with DNS) before installing Exchange 2000. BE SURE THIS IS WORKING RIGHT!

2) FORESTPREP and DOMAINPREP should be run before running Exchange setup (this allows the AD Schema to be modified as required).

3) Install Exchange 2000 and configure as required.

Note: Without a Server at each location the users will be authenticating to the PDC.  This will increase network overhead.

If a server will reside at each location:
1) Install all servers.
2) Install AD on PDC with DNS.
3) Install AD on remote Servers.
4) BE Sure all is working.
4a) Backup Server(s).
5) FORESTPREP and DOMAINPREP should be run before running Exchange setup (this allows the AD Schema to be modified as required). ALLOW TIME FOR UPDATES TO PROPOGATE. Backup.
6) Install Exchange 2000 and configure as required.
7) Have a wonderful time.

Note: If you have not installed AD, DNS or Exhange 2000 before I really recommend that you do as much white paper reading as you can.  If you have a test domain (Great idea) I would really, really do everything there first.

Good luck.
Keep us posted...

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by:dmcoop
ID: 8009980
matthewjones -

Answers to questions:

1) Is there going to be a server at each location (BDC)? No.

2) What type of response times do you get with the pings? I'll check this and get back to you.

3) Will the Exchange Server be accessible for OWA (Outlook Web Access)? Good question.  At this time no, but we hope to do it one day.  It's not a priority.

4) Is the Exchange Server going to run on the PDC? Yes.

I plan on doing a test domain first - thank you for confirming that idea.  I have installed AD before and DNS, but not Exchange.  It has also been awhile since I setup AD.  

Thank you,

dmcoop

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by:dmcoop
ID: 8010031
One more thing I need to add.

We want everyone to have access to a common folder on the server (PDC) and everyone to have a "personal" folder on the server (PDC).  I plan on mapping these drives as P: for the personal and S: for the shared/common drive.

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Expert Comment

by:smadaras
ID: 8046482
That is a tiny environmect but you should look into getting a consultant for build AD/Exchange. It is easy to setup but equally easy to screw up.

Here is a good Whitepaper. http://www.microsoft.com/technet/treeview/default.asp?url=/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/exchange2000/deploy/depovg/sixsteps.asp


PS you Should use DHCP.
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by:dmcoop
ID: 8065669
matthew jones -

I get 5ms average ping times from the branches back to the main and the same going out from the main.  The ping times from branch to branch are 10ms average.

dmcoop
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by:cempasha
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