Exchange mailboxes on member servers

Posted on 2007-07-25
Last Modified: 2010-03-06
Hi there, I currently administer a server running SBS 2003, which is configured with exchange for our users. We have two office sites within our organisation, separated by around 600 Km.

The remote users have pop email addresses with a local provider and exchange on our SBS box is configured to auto forward email to the external pop accounts.

My question is this, we are looking at adding a server with 2003 configured as a member server at the remote site, and communicating with the SBS box via a hardware vpn solution, to facilitate domain participation and local logon to the main domain. For file share and terminal services access to an application server at the main site.

What therefore will be the best solution to eliminate the current pop email service, allow the existing users to make use of the main domain exchange features; such as shared calendars and public folders, and be able to quickly access their mailstore via outlook.

I guess i am asking if it is possible to configure the remote server to host the mailboxes for the users at that site.

Thanks in advance...
Question by:smangus
    LVL 29

    Accepted Solution


    If you are going to be accessing file shares from the remote site to the main site then your link between the two sites is probably going to be a fairly decent speed. If that's the case then you would probably be best to use the Exchange server in the main site to host the remote site mailboxes and have the users access via outlook using the VPN or you could also use RPC over HTTPs.
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    by:Malli Boppe
    I would recommend using DFs for file sharing and set the replication to happen after hours.
    To remove pop3 service  you can install exchange on the remote site and should be able to host mail boxes.
     or use rpc over https as advised by mass2612
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    If you need to run Terminal Service then you need to put the new server in the main site NOT the remote site. SBS do not support TS so you need additional w2k3 server running as a TS in the main site. As for exchange the guys above already mentioned RPC over HTTPS.

    Author Comment

    Ok, I am liking the idea of RPC over HTTPs, versus another license for exchange and another set of backups to configure and administer,

    Correct me if I am wrong;  directing the RPC traffic into the vpn tunnel instead of over open ip space, will purely come down to dns/vpn configs at each end, as such this solution will eliminate security concerns at the same time and effectively be a closed transperant solution from the client perspective, which will also allow failover with minimal reconfiguring should the link revert/drop into public ip space.

    DFs is one solution, but may not be the best solution as both sites currently maintain separate file stores, and the end solution is designed to provide access as required to files, not on a consitant basis, but this is to be further determined as we progress in the planning, your input is appreciated though,

    Lastly you are correct ormerodrutter:, TS will only run in remote admin mode on SBS, which is why we are migrating the applications to another server with specific licenses for that purpose. We encountered that issue in the early stages...

    Thanks to all though, really just exchange issues for the moment...

    Author Comment

    Sorry just read my orginal question, i should have worded the part about terminal services and file sharing a wee bit better... :)
    LVL 11

    Assisted Solution

    If you've got a VPN established and the remote site is just another Site in your Active Directory there's probably no need to use RPC-HTTPS.  Just connect Outlook to the Exchange server exactly as you are in the head office at the moment.  Assuming you have the VPN all setup to route traffic between the sites the Outlook traffic will just head into the VPN.  Obviously you'll want Outlook 2003+ in cached mode on the remote side so the only traffic across the link is syncing the mailbox with the local OST file.  You could use RPC-HTTPS if you want to of course, but I'm not sure if going over HTTPS adds or removes overhead?  Security shouldn't be an issue as the traffic is already in a VPN, so I'd only use RPC-HTTPS if there is a bandwidth saving.

    You haven't mentioned the number of users at each side or the connection you're thinking of between the sites?  This will have a big impact on how you do the file sharing.  If it's only the odd file every now and then DFS would be overkill and only adds a layer of complication.

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