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Number of Exchange Servers

Posted on 2006-06-27
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We have three physical office sites each connected to the internet with T1's and have VPN's running between each of the offices. We currently use Office 2003 Standard with an ISP pop3 solution. We need to implement an Exchange environment.

Site 1: 18 employees
Site 2: 5 employees
Site 3: 2 employees

Each site has its own DC with Site 1 having two. Each runs it own site in AD and DNS. The question I have is would it be better to implement ONE exchange server at Site 1 and just have the others connect over the VPN (btw, site 1 and site 2 will have a private T1 line installed shortly)? Or is it better to run an Exchange server at each site and get into multiple server sync issues?

I'd appreciate any additional background on the pros/cons of each.

Thanks!
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Question by:jeremy95926
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 700 total points
ID: 16994251
Your costs to support 25 users would be EXTREMELY high if you went with one server per site.  In many ways, this completely unnecessary.  I would just use one exchange server for the organization.
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itcoza earned 1000 total points
ID: 16994288
Yip. with the connectivity you have and also in light of the advancements of Outlook 2003 you should have no problem if you implement a single server in the office with 18 users and have the other offices access this site remotely.

Also, you will also be able to support roaming users using Outlook 2003 and RPC over HTTP from your central site.  Then you can even provide them access to their mail from home without having to provide different configurations and documentation for the different sites.
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by:Michael S
Michael S earned 200 total points
ID: 16994300
Install one Exchange server and set up site-to-site VPN's to where your users offsite can access Exchange as well as other resources.

Or install Exchange 2003 and set up RPC over HTTPs for the offsite users to access.

http://www.amset.info/exchange/rpc-http.asp
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by:Sembee
Sembee earned 100 total points
ID: 16995309
Just to chime in with the others...

That number of users - just one server would be required. Anything else would be an overkill.
The only time I would consider multiple servers would be in circumstances where the users are moving large amounts of email between themselves in their own office - despite what the IT department might say about using a shared folder.

Simon.
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Expert Comment

by:itcoza
ID: 16995677
Hi jeremy95926,

Do you need more information?

Regards,
M

;)
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