Internet and e-mail Infrastructure setup

Posted on 2006-05-29
Last Modified: 2010-03-18
I an supporting a small to meduim enterprize with a sql database server domain server etc and more or less 250 users .
Currently our e-mail and antivirus as well as internet access is hosted .I would like to know what would be considered the best or which model is being used the most in practise and if possible some information on what you are using or recomend using to get the abovementioned functions in house.

router-----firewall(hardeware or software)----DMZ(what would you recomend)----ISA Server(webfiltering etc)--Rest of network e-mail server would it be beter to use Microsoft Exchange 2003.

I would like to know if I take the model above how many functions i can consolodate in order to save on hardeware expenditure .
What would you consider as a reasonable speced server to run exchange for 300 users.
What would you consider as a reasonable speced server for a DMZ.  
What would you consider as a reasonable speced server for a ISA Server.
What would you consider as a reasonable speced server for a Firewall Server.
If you consider the abovementioned model lacking in detail of specifiec software or hardeware please le t me know.
I was considering using a astaro firewall on the outside with ISA server on the inside Microsoft echange 2003 on a ML350 prolaint server daul xeon processors with 4GB ram and 300GB of storage
Question by:Jurgen_Yamill
    1 Comment
    LVL 17

    Accepted Solution

    Many of the decisions you are about to make need to be driven by business needs.  For example, do you *need* Exchange?  If you are only looking to deliver e-mail to users, there are options that are far less expensive, both in purchase & set up cost, and in on-going maintenance.  We use Kerio mail server ( and get about 80% of the features of Exchange (mail, calendars, etc).

    A 'DMZ' is a segment of your network from the firewall, not a specific machines.  The firewall has at least two networks.  Your private network, and the Internet.  The DMZ is a thrid network is where machines that provide services that must be reachable from the Internet reside.  e-mail servers, FTP, Web, etc.

    You will need to get a static IP address from your Internet service provider.  Who is managing your Domain now?  More specifically, who's running your publicly visible DNS server?  Once set up and ready, you'll have to make changes there to point mail and web traffic to your internal servers.

    The server you mentioned should be more than adequate to run whatever mail server software you choose; just be sure it's set up optimally.  For example, how are the disks set up?  The disk channel is the most important piece of a mail server.  I have it on good authority (and have confirmed with observation at my site) that RAID 1,0 will give better performance than RAID 5, though there is a penalty in the total amount of storage made available.

    Having said all that, in your shoes, I would do this:

      1) get the Astaro software and load it on a 'baby' server or a beefed-up workstation; it seems to not be very fussy about hardware

      2) Decide if the benefit of exchange is worth the extra cost in software, OS licenses, hardware and administration.  Purchase e-mail software and install on the ML350

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