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Multiple Exchange Servers on Different Sites

Posted on 2007-10-21
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Last Modified: 2010-03-06
We have two sites which will be connected via a branch office VPN using a leased line connection. There will be a Windows 2003 Advanced DC and Exchange 2003 Advanced Server on each site  and both will be on the same Windows domain ouroffice.local.

Core Features
- DFS between each file server
- Each person to be on the same email domain name@someplace.com
- Ability for people to view each others calendars regardless of which office they are in. All must happen in real time.

I've implemented for other clients, a DC on each site and both sites access an Exchange 2003 Standard which is on one site. The access to emails can be slow. Any ideas?

Is it possible for Messagelabs to send specific emails for specific users to one mail server? This hopefully can split the load. If this is possible then the only traffic going through the VPN is internal emails.

If Exchange Servers are in different forests can users view each others calendars?


Many Thanks
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Question by:mail2clk
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LVL 104

Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 20117744
If the Exchange servers are in different forests then calendar access is difficult to do. You would have to use the Microsoft MIIS product, which requires Enterprise edition of Exchange and Windows.

You need to ensure that you are replicating public and system folders to both machines. The system folders are important as they contain the calendar information. That could be the cause of poor email performance because Outlook is having to pull information from the other server.
On both sites ensure that there is a global catalog.
You also should look at AD Sites and Services to ensure that is correct and probably using routing groups in Exchange to manage the traffic flow.
All of the above is documented on Technet at Microsoft.

Simon.

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Expert Comment

by:Stacy Spear
ID: 20117831
In addition, if you want your calendars to have real time updates, then you need to have 1 in the enterprise. Of course this will defeat the speed issue for some as you will have to reach back to that one server. Otherwise, it will be as up to date as any other public folder. You can make the updates real time on that particular folder, however, experience has shown that this isn't much better than the default.
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Author Comment

by:mail2clk
ID: 20117853
Can I have two exchange servers in the same forests but in different locations?
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Expert Comment

by:Stacy Spear
ID: 20117870
Yes, even the same domain different locations.  Definitely don't overlook Simon's comment about Sites and Services! It can break you down hard. :)
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Author Comment

by:mail2clk
ID: 20117964
Thanks

If they are in the same forest would they both talk to each other for replicating private & public folders?
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LVL 104

Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 20118176
You have to configure replication yourself - it isn't done automatically. However as long as they can see each other you can set replication and the data will flow between the servers.

Simon.

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Author Comment

by:mail2clk
ID: 20118705
I know how set replication for files and folders. Is it possible to replicate within exchange itself rather than having two email domains?
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Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 20118790
It is a configuration setting on the Exchange server. You have to go in to the properties of the Public Folders under ESM, Folders, Public Folders to configure the public folders. To set the replication of the System Folders right click on the Public Folders and choose View System Folders.

Simon.

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Author Comment

by:mail2clk
ID: 20118805
What about private folders ? My main concern is whether users in the same domain with exchange servers in the same forest, would be able to see each others calendars. There will be two sites. Users in site A must be able to see another users calender in Site B.

Many thanks
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LVL 104

Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 20119122
You don't replicate private information. That stays on the same server.
When you are looking at another person's calendar to book meetings you are actually looking at free/busy information. That is published to system folders which need to be replicated.

Simon.

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Author Comment

by:mail2clk
ID: 20119208
Does that mean remote users cannot view someones email at a remote location?
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Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 20119278
Where did you get that idea from?
There are a number of methods of being able to see email from a remote location - OWA, Outlook over a VPN, RPC over HTTPS. To see email you do need some kind of connection.

Simon.

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Author Comment

by:mail2clk
ID: 20119290
What I meant was the ability to view someone's shared inbox who is located on another site (Their own DC Exchange Server) from within their own Outlook (connected to DC Exchange server in a different site).
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Accepted Solution

by:
Sembee earned 2000 total points
ID: 20119398
As long as both servers are in the same Forest (So therefore the same Exchange org), the user can see the other Exchange server and has permissions to the other mailbox then there is no problem with opening another inbox. It maybe slow because the data is coming across live from the other server - so is dependant on the speed of the connection between the two servers.

Simon.

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Author Comment

by:mail2clk
ID: 20119400
Perfect. Simon Thank you so much for the insight.

Chris
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