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MS Exchange & AD Server Information Synchronization between two offices in different locations

Posted on 2007-03-27
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My existing office is in US and I am going to have another office in HK.  There is 1 x Exchange 2003 standard and 1 x AD server in my US Office.  I am planning to setup 1 x Exchange 2003 standard server and 1 x AD server in my HK Office too.  However,  I am not sure

(1) How can I synchronize domain information between two AD server ? Can each AD server backup each other ?

(2) How can I synchronize mailbox between two Exchange server ? Can each exchange server backup each other ?

As I am new to Microsoft environement, please try to explain in details or refer me to some document

thx a lot
Eric
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Question by:bigeric
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LauraEHunterMVP earned 63 total points
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Active Directory is designed to replicate information between multiple domain controllers. Assuming that you have physical connectivity and DNS name resolution between the US and the UK sites, you can add the UK DC as an additional domain controller within your existing domain, as a new domain tree within your existing forest, or as a completely separate forest (if you choose this last option, the two domain controllers will not replicate information to one another by defalt and users from one office will not be able to access resources in the other office.)

Similarly, you can add the Exchange server in your UK office as an additional server in your existing Exchange environment in much the same way.

If you are brand-new to Active Directory and Exchange, I would recommend taking a training course or familiarizing yourself with any of the titles on the following pages:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw/002-2785751-9457669?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=active+directory
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw/002-2785751-9457669?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=microsoft+exchange

For some free documentation and white papers to get you started, you can go to http://www.microsoft.com/ad and http://www.microsoft.com/exchange

Hope this helps.

Laura E. Hunter - Microsoft MVP: Windows Server - Networking
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by:bigeric
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Thx a lot for your advice.  I would like to know more about the failover issue.

(1)For the two AD servers,  they will be setup as two domain controllers under the same forest and data will be replicated between them.  let's say, in case the one in US fails, can end users switch to the AD server in UK, is the process transparent to user or user had to do something ?

(2)For the two Exchange servers,  data will be replicated between the servers.  However, how can I setup two servers to provide resiliency.  Will it be in Active/Passive or Active/Active ?  It is because I want users in two locations use their local server (UK users use UK Exchange Server and US users use US server).  In case there is any problem on either server, the remaining server can provide service for users in both US and UK.  Does client need to change any client setting or do I need to change the MX record for server switching ?

thx
Eric
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by:czcdct
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The users don't need to "switch" between DCs, the whole idea is that the boxes are multi-masters and have the same data in both places. To be honest I would stop with this proposal and learn Active Directory for the next six months before going near an Exchange CD.

The Exchange servers cannot replicate mailbox data between themselves. If you want the same mailbox in two places you need Lotus Notes. Based on what you need to learn about Active Directory you should think about learning Exchange 2007 towards the end of the year. There are some new books coming out soon so keep an eye out for them. Until then just learn Active Directory.

You need not worry yourself about MX records, they have nothing to do with client access.
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