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Multiple Sites - How to have Exchange work accross VPN.

Posted on 2006-10-27
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I have two sites.  Site A(Los Angeles) has Active Directory, Site B(San Diego) has a DC that is aprart of forest but configured on different sites for replication purposes.  Site A has Exchange Server 2000.  Site B does not.  

My main problem is that when the VPN or Internet goes down on either side, email users on Site B are down.  How can I configure Exchange to work on Site B?  Do I install Exchange Server on the Site B site? But how, how would I configure them to share the same DB?  Please be specific and detailed as I will raise the points.  

Also would it be the same if I upgraded to Exchange Server 2003.  Would there be any benefit? I would rather stay with Exchange 2000.  
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Question by:BygRob
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by:Sembee
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Why do you want to stay with a product that is seven years old? Exchange 2003 brings lots of benefits, particularly in remote access. If you are on standard edition of Exchange 2000 by moving to Exchange 2003 you get the increased information store limit, up from 16gb to 75gb.

Furthermore you cannot purchase licences for Exchange 2000, so a new license would be for Exchange 2003.

The way that I would deal with this is to have an Exchange server in both sites. They cannot share the database unless you are prepared to spend a lot of money on a geo cluster. Therefore you would need to have backup procedures on both servers. The users would then connect to the server that is closest to them. You will need to have a global catalog domain controller with the other Exchange server, but if you are already using sites and services then you probably already have this.

By having a second Exchange server you could also add that server to your MX records and have dual points of entry. In the event of the "other" site going down, the site that is still live would receieve all email, deliver its own and queue email for users on the other server. When the other server comes back up again, email would be delivered.  

Simon.
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by:BygRob
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Because everything is Windows 2000 and Exchange 2000 already.  I don't see the owner wanting to upgrade.  His thing is "don't fix something that don't need fixing".  The impression that I am getting is, if it takes upgrading to fix the email problem, "go away IT guy, we will deal with it".  So I figured, I can get a solution going with creating Exchange sites.  

The store limit for these guys is not a benefit they care about, their current size is about 5GB and they've had the system in place for 5 years.  

So I can just setup Exchange Sites?  
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by:BygRob
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Did not know that about the points.  I thought I could give more.  Sorry!
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by:Sembee
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Exchange sites?

The only thing you can do in Exchange is routing groups. That controls how email flows between the servers. If the email traffic is relatively small then they can over complicate matters.

Simon.
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by:BygRob
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There has to be a way to have Exchange Servers across multiple sites like Active Directory.  Is the only way going to be what you noted above?
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by:Sembee
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You simply install Exchange on to servers located in the physical locations. The closest you get to Sites in AD is using routing groups.

Simon.
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by:BygRob
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Okay.  So is there a microsoft article or something I can follow to set it all up.  I know I can probably do it.  But wold like to have some document to follow.  Unless you feel like typing a "how to"? :)
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Sembee earned 500 total points
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Most of the decent Microsoft stuff is written for Exchange 2003.
There isn't much to it.

Build server add to domain.
Install required Windows bits for Exchange.
Install Exchange.

Configure replication of public and system folders.
Wait.

Move mailboxes.

For assistance with the replication part, take a look at this article on MS KB - http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=307917

It deals with removing the server. Therefore do the parts about rehome public and system folders, but ignore the bits about removing the replica and ignore everything else that doesn't cover public and system folders.

Simon.
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