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How to make a Hosted Exchange Enviroment?!?

ITFORUM
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Last Modified: 2010-03-06
Hi!

I have one server running Windows 2003 Server Standard R2 and Exchange 2003 Standard.

The quetion is, how can I make a Hosted Exchange Solution, containing different calenders,adress books and public folder, for each domain??

The users has to connect to it using RPC over HTTPS in Outlook 2003, I am familiar with that, but how can I make the Exchange server differ between the users, their calendars and public folders, which have to be different from the many domains.

Regards Martin
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skca54Senior Engineer

Commented:
Tread very carefully as sembee says. I have looked into this before. Decided it was cost prohibitive - mostly due to the cost of licences and bandwidth.

Author

Commented:
Thanks for you answer Simon...

We alreade have the correct meter licenses regarding hosted exchange from Microsoft, I only need to know how to onfigure the server correctly now, with the AD and Exchange, with seperate calendars a.s.o.

Can you tell me further about that??

Martin
Expert of the Year 2007
Expert of the Year 2006

Commented:
Unless you are an ISP or a web host with lots of bandwidth, or have a very good business model and can generate the customers (which is pretty much those who have been doing it for years) it is very difficult to make any money from it.

When One and One sell mailboxes for US$7 a month, you need a lot of customers to pay the bills. For newcomers it is very high outlay. Plus you will probably have to replace it all in six months with E2007 servers to stop people migrating tot he hosts that are offering E2007.

Simon.
skca54Senior Engineer

Commented:
OK. I think you will need the Enterprise Edition of Exchange Server 2003 This will remove some limits imposed by Standard Edition and will allow multiple domain setups.
Expert of the Year 2007
Expert of the Year 2006

Commented:
There are certain things I don't share on EE, and I am afraid that is one of them.
It is very complex and is a very good earner. That is a good two weeks consulting to setup correctly and I have to pay the bills.

The KB article I provided above will give you the grounding. There are also packages that you can buy off the shelf that will do a lot of the work for you.

Finally if you have signed up with Microsoft for their hosting licensing then you have access to their hosting tools and documentation.

Simon.

Author

Commented:
We are an ISP and we have the customers and we have lots of bandwith, that is not the problem...

I just want some tips / tricks to avoid making to many failures with this :-)

I not sure that Exchange 2003 Enterprise is needed for this...

I just need to know how to set up a solution a la One and One's..

Martin

Author

Commented:
Okay Simon, I understand your problem, regarding paying your bills, but I hope that I can find other people in here, who are willing to share the knowledge with me, even though it is a difficult task, many has done it, so there has to be more people who knows how to set this up and make it work.

Thanks...

Martin
Expert of the Year 2007
Expert of the Year 2006

Commented:
Did you read the article that I posted above?
It provides the basic grounding.

If you are serious about hosting, you will not be doing it on Standard edition. Unless you are going to offer customers small mailboxes, you will get at most 50 mailboxes on standard edition. I wouldn't consider a hosted Exchange solution unless I had at least 1gb mailbox limits, and standard edition only allows 75gb maximum store. Allowing for overhead and other bits and pieces, around 50 maybe 60 users on a standard edition is going to be the most you can get away with.

Have you considered management interfaces?
Frontend servers, clustering?
People taking hosted Exchange have rather different expectations than what you can get away with for internal email - like zero downtime. The only way you can get close to zero downtime is with clustering.
Then they want to manage their users themselves, not have someone else do it for them. SO you will need a management interface.

How are you going to add new users? You will need full procedures for setting up a new client.

I don't really think you have thought this through. Where I have done this before, it has been three to six months of development time before it is released to the public.

Simon.
Expert of the Year 2007
Expert of the Year 2006

Commented:
Search this site - you will find very little on hosted Exchange. Those who support hosted Exchange do not share their secrets. I have had to develop things myself, or buy off the shelf. In the most part the Exchange world helps each other out, that is because it is corporate email. However once you get in to making money - the world closes up. They don't help. I have seen very little assistance on hosted Exchange questions - and that isn't just here, but on other sites.

Simon.

Author

Commented:
Yes - I read it, I can see that there is a lot of work to do, and that the things you are telling me is correct. But We only have to get a 50 users on this server MAX. we are not providing this service to customers around the world, but we have several small companys how cannot afford a server, they maybe have 1-7 users or so, they have to use this server, without the need of a management interface, we will do all the work that has to be done.

all I need is only how to set up this Exchange 2003 server Standard, knowing its limitations...for hosted exchange..

User 1-3 connect to dmain1.com

Users 4-9 connect to domain2.com

a.s.o.

But they all have SEPERATE calendars, public folders, aso.  

No cluster, no frontend servers..

Martin

Author

Commented:
>Search this site - you will find very little on hosted Exchange. Those who support hosted Exchange do not share their secrets. I have had to develop things >myself, or buy off the shelf. In the most part the Exchange world helps each other out, that is because it is corporate email. However once you get in to making >money - the world closes up. They don't help. I have seen very little assistance on hosted Exchange questions - and that isn't just here, but on other sites.

Yea - you're absolutely right, I know that people keep silent because they do not want to exchange their knowledge, because it did cost them money in the beginning, but sometimes you're lucky, finding someone to help, regarding money or not, and that was why I posted the question in EE, maybe it is the wrong place, but one has to try :-)

Martin
Expert of the Year 2007
Expert of the Year 2006

Commented:
On that small number of users I wouldn't even bother with developing your own service.
A number of the major hosters offer a white label service, which you can then label as your own. No additional outlay on hardware, no development time. You can have everything up and running in hours.

The article I posted above explains how to run virtual orgs - that is the basics of having everything split. It is all based around a split GAL. You then simply need to set the correct permissions on public folders to separate everyone out.

If you do get anyone to provide you any information on deploying Hosted Exchange, then you will be very lucky. There are very few people who can do it well and they don't share their information. I have been working with Exchange heavily for the last four years and I have yet to see a question that is related to hosted Exchange be answered with any kind of depth.

Look at this way... if you can charge UKĀ£1000/US$2000 for setting it up, would you give that knowledge away for free?

Simon.
skca54Senior Engineer

Commented:
I am no where near as knowledable as sembee but I wouldn't try hosting Exchange with only Standard Edition and a few users.

Sembee - A question - I believe Enterprise Edition is required to host multiple complete domain setups.

Author

Commented:
I understand completely Simon, but for testing this Scenario, it would be enough for us to start with 50 users and Exchange 2003.

So just let us close this one for now, I get the point, I will try testting with whatever I can find :-)

Regards Martin
Expert of the Year 2007
Expert of the Year 2006

Commented:
skca54 - you could be right on the Enterprise requirement. I have never tried it on Standard because I need to use Enterprise edition to get it working in the way that is required.

ITFORUM - I don't like being overly negative, however I also do not want you to get your hopes up. I have been active in the Exchange community for some time, and what I have posted above is what I have seen for myself.

I expect it will only get worse once E2007 establishes itself, as a number of features in E2007 are targeted at hosted Exchange providers (Autodiscover and the emphasis on scripting are two that immediately spring to mind). Some are even saying that any company under 100 users should be looking at hosted Exchange unless they want the unified messaging features.

Simon.

Author

Commented:
Well I asked for an Experts oppinion and got one, I am glad you helped me with this, and maybe we should go into other directions with this, or use a provider already running hosted exchange, I don't know, but I can surely se that there is more to it than that..

Thanks!

I want to accept your answer, but not all the 500 points, i am new to EE, how do I do this and keep the rest for my self??

Martin
skca54Senior Engineer

Commented:
Interesting note about E2007. Thanks Sembee.

Author

Commented:
Okay - On the other hand, you helped me a lot, so you get the points :-)

Martin
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