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Need to purchase Exchange, and need some answers

Posted on 2007-11-23
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Last Modified: 2011-09-20
Hello,
100% of the servers in our production environment are running Windows Server 2003.
I need to purchase Exchange Std. Edition. for a production environment.
It appears that it only works on a 64-bit processor for a production environment.
Do I have to buy a server with a 64-bit processor.
What is the difference between an x64 and x86 system?
Does x64 = 64-bit?
Does x86 = 32-bit?
Please provide some concise responses to all questions above.
Thanks,
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Question by:cliffordgormley
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Sembee earned 342 total points
ID: 20340938
Basically all of the answers to your questions is yes, except for the differences question.
The differences are in the way that the processor works and how much memory you can put in to the machine. All that you need to know is that Exchange 2007 is 64 bit only and cannot be installed on 32 bit OS.  

I don't think it is possible to buy a server that is not 64 bit now, unless you are buying very low end kit. The only thing you have to do is ask for 64 bit OS, which is often optional.

Simon.
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Expert Comment

by:ATIG
ID: 20341123
I dont think you sleep Simon :)

Exchange 2007 now has a 64 bit requirement, this allows for the messaging system to now be able to use more than 3 gb of memory and helps improve performance of Exchange.

I would recommend if you looking at 2007 you get a good book to help you through the transition.
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by:mikemsd
ID: 20341440
I didn't see in your question, where you stated any particular requirement for Exchange 2007. If you can get away with Exchange 2003, this can operate fine in a 32-bit environment (actually, it only works in a 32-bit environment). If you need Exchange 2007 however, both Sembee and ATIG are correct, you will need 64-bit.
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Expert Comment

by:SteveH_UK
ID: 20342026
Another thing to consider is whether you are planning to move to virtual server technology.  Virtual Server 2005 only supports 32-bit virtual machines, but Windows 2008 Hyper-V will support 64-bit virtual machines.

Since with Exchange 2007 you should consider a minimum of two servers (Edge + the rest), this may be relevant to you.
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Expert Comment

by:SteveH_UK
ID: 20342029
Also, if you are looking at more than 2GB of RAM then x64 technology works far better.  You can make x86 work with 4GB of RAM with Exchange 2003, but there are some limitations.  If you can use Exchange 2007, then that would be my recommendation.

If you buy Exchange 2007 with Software Assurance you get downgrade rights included.

However, if you are a green-field site, then it would be better to go straight to Ex2007 unless you have previous experience with 2003.
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Author Comment

by:cliffordgormley
ID: 20354337
Thanks for your answers so far,
What is a green-field site?
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by:Sembee
ID: 20354362
Greenfield usually refers to a site/domain where there is no Exchange already in place - so all licenses are purchased fresh.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:cliffordgormley
ID: 20354492
cool.
Can I install Exchange 2007 on only ONE server?  I do not have the $ for a separate front-end and back-end.

Also, does anybody know if a Dell 1950 or 2950 will work with Exc. 2007?

Thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 20354783
There is no frontend / backend in Exchange 2007. The closest you will get is CAS - Client Access Server. You can deploy Exchange 2007 on one server - that is supported and does work. All of my deployments to date have been single server deployments.

As for hardware - if you can get a Windows 2003 64 bit license for those machines from Dell, then they will be fine. If you are talking about existing hardware then that depends on what processor they have inside. Most servers from the last 18 months have been 64 bit.

Simon.
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Expert Comment

by:SteveH_UK
ID: 20356014
Both of those DELL models support 64-bit Intel Xeon processors, including recent quad-core models, so no problem there.  Simon is right in pointing out that you'll need a 64-bit server licence.

You'll not be able to use the Edge server role on a single server solution, which may be a problem if you want some of the built-in filtering systems it supports, but not having an Edge server role is a typical small installation.

You will need all the other roles on the one server.  You will also need an Active Directory infrastructure.
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