An Exchange installation question over a WAN
Posted on 2007-08-02
We are a charity and a following a kind donation from Microsoft and a benefactor, we are having Microsoft Exchange installed within our organisation, along with other things. Our benefactor has also kindly organised for an IT Engineer to install our equipment but he has admitted that Exchange isn't his area of expertise and so I would just like to check that we aren't going to do something disastrous without hurting our Engineer's feelings.
Basically, we will have a main Exchange server installed in our Central office. Each of our regional offices will also have their own exchange servers. Our central office is connected via VPN to each regional office (but the regional offices are not connected to each other). As we have no license concerns, it was decided that each regional office would have their own server which would act as a file server, domain controller and exchange server. Each region only has about 10-15 staff and so I am sure that the new kit can handle this. We decided upon this structure as sometimes the regions have unreliable broadband connections (or at least the regional managers feel that they have unreliable connections) and we did not want them to be completely lost if their connection to a central server was lost.
However, I want to check that we get our settings right. I read about things like Bridgehead servers and I wondered whether we had to ensure that certain things were in place or can we rely on the way that Exchange installs itself at each region, as we add each server to the organisation. For example, how will a staff member in Region A email to a staff member in Region B if there is no direct VPN link. Will Exchange work out that it has to route via our central server.
All advice will be gratefully received