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Best solution for startup companies

Posted on 2009-02-09
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I have a domain setup for my current company. We have an Exchange 2003 server and two dc's and a fileserver and database servers amongst others and a couple of terminal servers.

My boss is going to be starting up a few smaller companies and I have to figure out the best and cheapest solution to getting them up to speed with a domain and email and login accounts.

My initial solution was to purchase a DC/fileserver and a terminal server for them. I would then create the domain as a child domain for it in my existing forest. I would then use the existing Exchange server to distribute email and create a new database on our existing database server for them to use .This would obviously require trusts between the domains in order to share the exchange servers. I have seen this solution work in my previous job but it was a pain to seperate them from the forest once they were big enough to go it solo.

I have since thought about purchasing Windows 2003 SBS for the startup company and have them in their own domain which has exchange already installed in the operating system and have them connect to their own terminal server. This to me sounds a better option but wanted opinions of others and maybe some one else has had a similar experience.

If I went for the second option of a seperate domain would I still be able to make it so that the CEO can have access to the startup companies information and fileshares from the comfort of his small office while still on our existing domain/forest. This formula would be used to roll out future small company startups. An would I be able to make it so that he startup company can access the oracle database we have setup on our server. The startup company has nothing really to do with my company other than they share the same shareholders so ideally would like them seperate.
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Question by:humancap
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LuvJesus2Day earned 750 total points
ID: 23590039
I would stick with your 2nd option of the individual domains and put in two way trusts so your parent company users (IE CEO) can access all the shares etc. necessary as well as your other domain level users have Oracle/AD authentication.  This will make things much simpler as well if one of these startup companies does not make it.  You do need to keep in mind the replication traffic that will be required with two way trusts.

A 3rd alternative that I don't see mentioned here is, why do you need a server at their site? Why not have the startup companies just Terminal server into the parent company? You could still separate them by OUs and deliver multiple domain's email to the parent forest.

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by:humancap
ID: 23590202
Could you explain your 3rd option a little more?

The startup company would be physically sitting in our office space in a seperate part of the office not remotely although remote access will be required ,which is not a problem to do. The seperate terminal server makes it easier for me to have the oracle frontend app configured. I already use Terminal server quite a lot as the entire user base uses it apart from key people with special apps like accounts and marketing and me. The only problem I have is the flow of email coming in. I use a spam mail filter which routes the mail to our mail server. Once I setup the domain in SBS will I be able to bridge the exchange server to allow mail flow between them so I don't change the current config. Not worried about out going mail as that would go out directly from the server.
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by:LuvJesus2Day
ID: 23590324
So it sounds like the OUs (3rd alternative) would be your best bet. I would definitely keep these users separate (if they are truly different employees)
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Author Comment

by:humancap
ID: 23590579
I still don't quite understand the seperate OU's option? What would I need to change to do this ? Would I still need a child domain but not have their own DC? Could you elaborate a little more with your thinking?
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by:ormerodrutter
ormerodrutter earned 750 total points
ID: 23590737
What system are you using at the moment? If you already using SBS in your company then you can forget Domain Trusts. This is a feature in SBS that do NOT support domain trust.

Another concern to you is that although Exchange can handle (i.e. receive) emails from various domain, it will always send using the DEFAULT email address. For example your CEO can receive emails sent to CompanyA.com, CompanyB.com,......., CompanyZ.com under your existing server, but when he composes or replies the new mail will always be sent as CEO@CompanyA.com. The only way to get round this is to use locol POP3.

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Author Comment

by:humancap
ID: 23590829
Current system is a 2003 domain all servers 2003 no SBS in the domain.

I have seen exhange work with multiple domain names and sending from specific domains was not a problem  as long as you set the default email address as the domain you want to send out as. The thing is I would much rather they didn't touch our systems at all. So  seperate domain would be ideal and SBS seems the cheapest option but you have said domain trusts are not supported in SBS which throws a dent in my plan.
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Author Comment

by:humancap
ID: 23590894
Oh sorry I read you exchange problem wrong so ignore my reply to it. I don't think the ceo will be sending from that domain anyway and if he does I will make him aware of the problem and possible create an account for him in the companyb domain.
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by:ormerodrutter
ID: 23591961
I think in your case the best way forward is to bring everything under your own domain, unless each business requires its own identify. The OUs style above could work well but be careful of the Email situation. If you separate them into various child domains you will end up with too many to manage. Beside, these new business is "small" anyone and do require a domain on its own.
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Author Closing Comment

by:humancap
ID: 31544460
Both responses would have worked it was just figuring out which was best to go with.
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