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Exchange Server / Backup web host / Local network

Posted on 2005-04-04
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-30

i'm a web developer of a small company in england. we have a server for hosting in the states, and we need to implement a few changes to our network (office), basically i want to set up a backup server in case the one in the states goes down, exchange server for company email, and of course a file server.

we currently have this hardware:
2 Dell server windows 2003 - 1 for Exchange Server and Local Network and the other just for web host backup.
5+ - Workstations
1 - Netgear ADSL modem
1 - Netgear Router

and thats it i need to set up a network that i can do all this. i'm just a bit afraid that i set up anything wrong.

my idea is the following
The server for host backup will not belong to any active directory it will be a DMZ Server.
The other one will be a DC/exchange but my main problem is how to set up DNS properly because some workstation are in other locations and they will need to access exchange.

does anyone have a possible suggestion for how to configure the network?

thanks for your help.
Question by:JunkMan
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Accepted Solution

simonenticott earned 1040 total points
ID: 13697315


so many questions and lots of different possibilities !

if i were in your situation this is what i'd do -
setup the network using the 2 servers as domain controllers, the master domain controller running Exchange the other controller running the webserver  

I'd then get a decent hardware firewall in place, i'd recommend Watchguard Firebox they're easy and robust.

Then you can forward port 80 (or whatever ports you need for your webserver to work) to the webserver, forward port 25 to the Exchange server.  

Setup VPN for your remote machines (the firebox has built in VPN server), that gives them full access to the network so exchange,

if you cant get a firebox firewall, then you can probably do it wth the kit you have  -
I'm guessing your ADSL modem and router is home user type kit ?
You should be able to setup the port forwarding on the ADSL modem, i wouldn't put anything in the DMZ with one of those routers (all ports not otherwise forwarded are sent to the DMZ which would be bad).

Dont worry about DNS, if you run through the Active Directory wizard it will install DNS for you as you go through it.

As an alternative to VPN you can use the Exchange built in web client, its called OWA (Outlook Web Access) and is pretty good.  You could use a different port for this, say 81 and forward that to the Exchange server.


Author Comment

ID: 13697380
Hi Simon,

thanks for your reply, it is really helpfull.

my router/firewall (forgot to mention) is a netgear FVL328 so i don't think i would need the Firebox but this horrible piece of hardware doesn't work well with VPN at least i followed the manual and never managed to set it up, but i'll try for the 10000 time.

just one question why should both servers be DC any particular reason?


Expert Comment

ID: 13697562

if you have two domain controllers then both can do the domain controlling tasks as they'll both have a copy of the Active Directory.  If one domain controller was to fail the second one would carry on being the domain controller and most of the network would still work (except for what was on the crashed server).

If you only had one domain controller and it crashed you wouldn't be able to logon on or authenticate to anything, Exchange would stop working as its relies heavily on Active Directory and wont run without it.

the spec of that FVL328 looks ok, but yes they can be pigs to get working though netgear tend to be better than some of the kit i've played with ..

good luck,


Author Comment

ID: 14346397

sorry about the delay on this but unfortunately i was seriously ill...

simonenticott: thanks for your help and once again sorry about the delay

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