Exchange 2003 backend mail store on global catalog server

Is it neccesary to have exchange running on all the global catalog servers in order to use them as mail stores?

I am looking for a way to parcel out my mailboxes to servers near the users, however the hardware at the remote locations would be severely taxed by trying to run exchange not to mention the added costs would likely place me well out of budget. I do not want to have to use my vpn for all the clients to connect across the country using cached mode but this is my last resort option so any tips with that would be appreciated.
Oh and if anyone has a good idea of how to have a remote OSX user connect seamlessly to exchange2003 whether on or off the network. Microsoft says the rpc over ssl feature is only for outlook 2003 users. :(

Network: Pix's at each location with vpn between them. W2k3 SBS server running exchange and iis as the front end server running RPC proxy at corporate office. Win2k AD controllers at 4 remote locations running as GC's. Mixed 2000/xp clients. laptops all XP desktops will be moved over in time.
ajcal225Asked:
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marc_nivensConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Well I would be able to do what i want having the mail store located on the remote computer and replicated via dfs if I werent running the standard version of exchange 2003 which is limited to a single mail store.

This is not true.  This will not work and is completely unsupported.  You either need to have clients go accross the WAN, or install an Exchange server at the remote location.  Even if you could put the DB on a local machine, the client still gets its data through the Exchange server so it wouldn't save bandwidth anyway.
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Chris DentConnect With a Mentor PowerShell DeveloperCommented:


You would need multiple Exchange Servers installed to distribute / spread out the Information Stores (Mailbox Stores).

The Global Catalog part isn't really a restriction for this, Exchange doesn't need to run on a Global Catalog at all.

Afraid I can't help with the last bit, as you say... Outlook 2003.
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ajcal225Author Commented:
Ok so maybe I would be better off asking how to point certian clients to look fo rhteir remote mail store in a specific location and then using dfs and multiple mail sotres based on users group enrollment move the mail for those users local to them.

Im currently using the microsoft document: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/techinfo/overview/advmail.mspx to work on doing this.

Im open to better ideas...
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Chris DentPowerShell DeveloperCommented:

You won't be able to do that with Exchange (the document describes the Internet Mail Service that is part of IIS), if you're happy with that then I'm sure it can be set up.
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ajcal225Author Commented:
Well I would be able to do what i want having the mail store located on the remote computer and replicated via dfs if I werent running the standard version of exchange 2003 which is limited to a single mail store.
I am gonna have to give up at this point unless someone comes up with something crazy.
Ill check back in a few days.
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Chris DentConnect With a Mentor PowerShell DeveloperCommented:

Yep, Marc is correct.

The only configurations Exchange supports for it's databases are Local or Storage Area Network (iSCSI or Fibre Channel I believe). There was talk of Network Attached Storage support, but it's not there yet and no sign of when / if it will be.

You'll find that the Storage Device used will be a dependancy for the System Attendant, it wouldn't be happy working without dedicated storage.

Anyway, not only would that configuration not save bandwidth, but it would increase bandwidth usage because Exchange would have to first collect data from the Information Store, then pull it to itself, then send it back down to the client again.

The only way you can really distribute Exchange is with multiple E-mail Servers.

The same applies for any mail server really, just some are cheaper than others when it comes to wanting lots of them.
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