Microsoft Exchange Server for small workgroup

Hi all,

I am currently running a small workgroup (5 client machines) hanging off windows server 2008. At present we are using Kerio Mail Server for workgroup email. Kerio is configured to pull messages down from our web server (hosted offsite) via pop3. Kerio is not publicly accessible via pop3 or smtp, and we are using the web server smtp for outgoing mail (copies of all outgoing messages are stored in Kerio however).

We are looking at switching to Exchange Server 2007 for better integration with Outlook, our iPhones, and also so that we can integrate our internal web apps with Exchange using .NET.

Can Exchange Server be set up to function in the same manner that we are using Kerio for at the moment?

I would prefer to keep our internal email server non-public-facing if possible, as our internet connection/site power etc can be unreliable, and we do not want messages bouncing back to people that are emailing us. Further, our web server (which handles mail) is fully managed, so we dont have to worry about security etc, which we would have to manage if we had a public facing email server on site.

I've been told that Exchange requires a lot of configuration, a domain controller, dns servers, etc. Is this true in all cases? Is this going to be too difficult to set up / overkill for our purposes?

Any other thoughts and suggestions much appreciated!
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Rajith EnchiparambilConnect With a Mentor Office 365 & Exchange ArchitectCommented:
It is better to have SBS2008 on a physical server, as it will be doing too many roles. Unless you have enough and more resources to give in your VM environment.

You don't have to have the server as internet facing. Put a firewall in between like ISA which comes free with the premiun edition. You need to be able to get to the box through a firewall for emails to work. You can use it as a file/print, sql server in your internal network.

Rajith EnchiparambilOffice 365 & Exchange ArchitectCommented:
The best ting for you will be to buy an SBS 2008, which comes with Exchange 2007.
It is cheaper in licence as well, but has a max 75 user limit.

Manpreet SIngh KhatraSolutions Architect, Project LeadCommented:
I would go with Rajith and even SBS would be better of working with POP3, You can also avail the other features of High availability LCR with it.
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Rajith EnchiparambilOffice 365 & Exchange ArchitectCommented:
It is not hard to implement as you hae heard. It is much easier than full fledged servers.

It will be a single server which can be used as a file/print, exchange server. You can even have ISA as a firewall on the same box if you buy the premium edition.
SBS 2008 is the way to go here. However if you want to make full use of the product you should have email delivered directly by SMTP, not pulled down by POP3. You will also need a static IP address or some kind of dynamic DNS system so that the remote devices can connect to the server.

satellite428Author Commented:
Hi all,

Thank you for the replies so far. A couple more questions based on your replies:

1) Is SBS2009 able to be run on a Hyper-V VM? I was planning on running Exchange on it's own VM to improve resilience / simplify backup etc.

2) Which features of SBS2008 will be unavailable if we don't have it publicly accessible? We are on dynamic DNS at the moment.
MesthaConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I do all of my SBS 2007 deployments in to virtual machines. I haven't done one yet on to physical and have no intention of doing so. My tool of choice is VMWARE ESXi, so I ensure that the hardware can take it, but if not then I use the free Hyper-V server instead. I prefer VMWARE as I don't have to reboot that once a month.

If you want to use iPhones etc then the server needs to be publicly available. It is possible to run SBS 2008 on a dynamic IP address, I have two sites doing that now. I use a dynamic DNS service to provide the underlying host name and then map a host in their own domain on to that with a CNAME. I can then get SSL certificates etc issued to their own domain and the dynamic DNS address is unknown to anyone else.

While you could use ISA, I personally find it is a little complicated for basic deployments. A netgear/linksys router is usually fine for small sites. Just make sure that you turn off the DHCP functionality and let the SBS server do that.

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