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using 1 domain name with 2 distant sites - exch 2003 & sbs2000

We have a single domain name, and 2 distant sites. Currently, all e-mails are sent to a single IP address, ie site 1 server. E-mail is then forwarded to the second (site 2) site using a pop3 connection. Mail from site 2 to site 1, is returned in the same way. Site 1 using 2003 exchange server, site 2 SBS2000.
We have employees at both sites, and some work at both.
We have had recent problems with our site 1 server being unavailable, and of course this means that any mail due for site 2, was also undelivered.
My question is, can we use one domain name for 2 sites, and if so, how would the mail be sent / collected to both sites. (mail currently delivered directly to site 1 using SMTP). Would it be easier to have 2 domain names ( we would prefer to keep just the one).
We have had complaints that just because our site 1 server is down, site 2 is alos affected, can this be avoided?

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nigelbeatson
Asked:
nigelbeatson
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2 Solutions
 
SembeeCommented:
Are they in the same Windows domain? If not, then things get complicated. It can be done, but would be better if they were in the same Windows domain and connected by a VPN.

If you don't want them in the same domain then you will need to use the Contacts method. Ditch the POP3 connector.

I have explained the method here: http://www.amset.info/exchange/twositesonedomain.asp
It does work, but does take some time to configure.

Simon.
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
I don't believe you've provided enough information to offer a solution.  

For instance, how many users are there in each location?  

What country is each loction in?

You say you have an Exchange Server 2003 at Site 1, but what other servers are running there?

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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nigelbeatsonAuthor Commented:
we have 2 sites, both in the UK.
The 2 sites evolved seprately and therefore are not on the same domain.
Both sites are single server installations, with approximately 30 users at each site, and approximately 6 workers who move between sites.
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Well, since SBS 2000 does not support domain trusts, you cannot replicate the Exchange stores.  But that may not be the best solution anyhow.

If the primary complaint is that server 1 is unavailable have you considered using a Hosted Exchange solution instead?  That might be much more economical and would cause no issues with your current setup.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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nigelbeatsonAuthor Commented:
Are you saying that even if the 2 servers were on the same domain, we could not sync between them as SBS 2000 does not support domain trusts?

If this is not he case, how easy would it be to change the domain of site 2, to match site 1?

Would this resolve our problem?

I am unsure as to what you mean by a hosted exchange solution. Is this where our ISP hosts the service? Does this not take away the whole concept of having exchange server?

As I understand it, the ISP who hosts our domain, can only forward mail to a single IP address. This we have chosen as site 1. Site 1, then forwards mail for users at site 2.
When site 1 server becomes unavailable (and this is a seperate issue, as its been blacklisted!!) mail does not arrive at site 2.

Am I missing something here? How do larger organisations go on where they have several sites, and all use one domain name? Surely they don't just rely on one single exchange server to distribute it all.

Any help you can give would be appreciated.

Regards, Nigel.
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
"Are you saying that even if the 2 servers were on the same domain, we could not sync between them as SBS 2000 does not support domain trusts?"

No, I didn't say that at all...

Let's first clarify that I'm talking about the Active Directory Internal Domains, not the Internet/Email domain name.  If the two servers were both in the same Active Directory domain, then the issue of trusts is non-existent... because there's no secondary domain .  

"If this is not he case, how easy would it be to change the domain of site 2, to match site 1?"

Not easy at all.  You cannot change the domain name of an SBS without completely reinstalling the server.


"I am unsure as to what you mean by a hosted exchange solution. Is this where our ISP hosts the service? Does this not take away the whole concept of having exchange server?"

A Hosted Exchange Solution would use the services of a hosting company that provides EXCHANGE SERVER... not just email service, but the full capabilities of Exchange that you have with the server now.  Actually more because you would most likely be hosted on Exchange 2007.  Here's a brief overview of what Hosted Exchange is all about:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/12/03/hosted_exchange/print.html.  Blacklisting would not be an issue with a hosted Exchange provider because its completely separate from any web hosting functionality.


"Am I missing something here? How do larger organisations go on where they have several sites, and all use one domain name? Surely they don't just rely on one single exchange server to distribute it all."

Larger organizations go about mail in many different ways, but much of it revolves around REPLICATION of the data amongst many Exchange Servers.

You can definitely keep them as separate AD Domains and receive email only for the users that are located at each site by following the configuration described in this KB article:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/321721  which is essentially the concept that Sembee already suggested to you with his link for TwoSitesOneDomain above.  The only hitch will be those six folks that travel back and forth, and there's a decent workaround for them... I would assume those folks use laptops?  If so, then they can either connect back to their "home" office with a VPN connection and open Outlook and work normally.  Or Outlook can be configured for RPC over HTTPS (if their home office is the Exchange 2003 site).

Once concern I have for you though... if Site 1 only has a single server then that means you're running Exchange on your domain controller?  This is no problem at all if the machine is an SBS because SBS has a number of additional technologies and safeguards that make it safer and more stable.  Putting Exchange 2003 on a Standard Windows Server 2003 that's a domain controller is a supported operation, it's still not considered to be a best practice.  So you should definitely review this blog article that has a lot of good pointers:
http://blogs.brnets.com/michael/archive/2005/01/24/319.aspx

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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