Windows 2003 AD and Exchange 2003 Infrastructure

Posted on 2006-06-13
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-07-27
I am redesigning the network infrastructure of a company that has the following.

Corporate office - 40 to 50 users connected with a T1 1.5mb
Production Data Center - No users 10mb Connection.
Remote Office 1 - 2 to 4 users connected with DSL
Remote Office 2 - 2 to 4 users connected with DSL
Future Offices....
VPN Client connections

Should I locate the Exchange Server at the corporate office or at the Data Center? (Every user should have access to a full featured Outlook Exchange client) Is it possible to have a Production Exchange server at the datacenter which then replicates to an exchange server at the corporate office over a VPN tunnel? Ideally I would like users at the corporate office connect to the corporate exchange server then if that is down for some reason they will be directed to the Production Exchange server. All the other users (Remote offices and VPN Clients) will connect directly to the Production Exchange server. If this is possible what would be the best way to configure AD Forest/Domains and Exchange.

Thanks in advanced,

Question by:chadwick4321
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 16898203

My personal feeling it put the server at the data center and have all users connect using OWA, with the low user density offices connecting to the servers via Citrix.


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Accepted Solution

harleyjd earned 2000 total points
ID: 16899032
Using Exchange 2003, Outlook 2003 (you get a licence for it with each CAL) and Windows XP (SP2 for preference, but SP1 can be hotfixed to the required standard) you can use RPC over HTTP and Exchange Cached mode, meaning only changes to mailboxes need to flow over the WAN link. Put the Exchange server and one DC/GC in the data center.

I have a hosted exchange server with over 70 clients running on a 512/512 link, there's some latency at times, but generally it is very good.  http://petri.co.il/configure_rpc_over_https_on_a_single_server.htm

I'd set the system up as a single domain, with seperate GC's at the major locations if possible, but it won't be a big deal if you can't, provided DNS all points to your internal DNS server and not a public DNS server.


Author Comment

ID: 16912174
How would you go about setting up multiple GC's? How will the workstations know to use the local GC? (I am guessing that they will point to the local DNS server which will resolve the local GC)

Would it be possible to have and exchange server at the corporate office and one at the Data Center with them replicating to each other?
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 16912563
GC's are set up in the Sites and Services MMC under admin tools.

Basically, set up your sites, and assign subnets to them. Then move the appropriate DC's into each subnet and assign it as a GC on its NTDS settings properties. Then clients in each subnet know to use their own GC.


If you want more detailed instructions on setting up the sites I'll post some later, I'm about to go to bed...

You can't have Exchange "replicate" like I think you are asking. You can have exhange servers in each site, and have users homed on the appropriate server, but really, for what you want leaving it in the data center and using RPC over HTTP is going to see you fine.


Author Comment

ID: 16912794
I agree and understand:) Thank you very much. I may have questions later but now I have enough to get started.

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