Consolidate mailboxes and setup forwarding rules in Microsoft Exchange

Hello Experts

Here is something I need your help out here with. I have to consolidate my mailboxes and setup some forward rules. This is how my current setup is on Exchange. I have about 20 mailboxes that basically just forward email coming to them to another external address. the way emails are forwarded is, all the mailboxes have corresponding contacts with the external email addresses. there are forwarding rules setup in outlook, that basically take every email and forward it to the corresponding contact which in turn forwards it to an external email address ( i know it sounds insane, but this setup is for a reason ). Anyway, I would like consolidate my mailboxes because the number of these kind of mailboxes are increasing causing me to purchase licenses etc and managment wants me to do something about it.

Any ideas what would be the best way to accomplish this.
ashjuvAsked:
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sukhijavikasCommented:
Hi,

If its just forwarding, create contacts only no need of creating mailbox.
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debuggerauCommented:
to consolidate, you'd need to know what each one was for..

I'm guessing it is exchange 2007, and the mailbox forward thing is to rewrite the headers so the recipients get them? Because when you just forward from within exchange, they don't get to their destination?

Maybe increase the ruleset in a few accounts, so you can minimize the number of accounts that forward..

However some of those accounts will have descriptions for the 'type' of account use.

It is those types that will need consolidating firstly...
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ashjuvAuthor Commented:
No, it is Exchange 2003. And yes you are right, the forwarding via a rule to contact to the final external address is to rewrite the header other wise it will not work. the recipeint only excepts email from our domain, so when internal users send email they actually send to the forward address directly. But when external users send an email to these specific users, then as you said , the header will be diffrent. Thats why we ended up setting this lengthy method of mail deliveary.

But now these mailboxes are really growing in number and needs to be consolidated now. so now my question is 'what do you mean by increasing ruleset'. Also I was thinking along the lines of aliases as contacts and one mailbox to kind of to represent them all. Do you think it is doable if so what is involved..
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debuggerauCommented:
yes, you could use aliases and one mailbox could work, I'm not sure of your specifics, but if one account had various rules to forward based on sender/content/recipient basis, then less mailboxes with more rules was my recommendation..

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ashjuvAuthor Commented:
OK I tried that, one mailbox and several aliases. however when I send an email using the alias it resolves itself to the main mail account and therfore the rules never get processed..

I basically need to have a user send an email to let say alias1, then it should go to emailforward1 and alias2 to emailforward2 so on and so forth. However when I send and email to alias1 it gets resolved as the main email and therefore doesn't get forwarded anywhere.

any suggestions??
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debuggerauCommented:
yes, the aliases are not for holding separate emails rules, just for naming..

The rules themself are only relevant on the main account..

I thought you were going to have the emails 'sent' from external, to an 'internal' account, check the sender, or content and forwards to 'final external contact'..

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ashjuvAuthor Commented:
yes, that is correct. and I do want to set the rules on the main account. so if a user sends out an email to an alias, i want the rules on the main account to forward it to the correct external address depending upon the alias it was sent to
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debuggerauCommented:
And did you get those rules working?
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ashjuvAuthor Commented:
no, not yet
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ashjuvAuthor Commented:
the rule should be such that, if an email is sent to an alias address, the main mailbox rules should forward it to an external email address associated to that alias only. there are like 10 aliases that need be forwarded to 10 corresponding external addresses.
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debuggerauCommented:
you do realize that the rule will need to specify from which account to send from, which will make them appear to come from the same user..

To make then different, you can modify the message via rule, as the alias is only for your own convenience, not to send on..
How about placing the alias name within the message?
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ashjuvAuthor Commented:
yes I already specified that, the problem is it's resolving any inocming email to the alias address to the main account name, therefore the rest of the rules aren't getting processed.
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debuggerauCommented:
yes, the main account is the one with the rules..

The default address of this account will be the one that it will be sent out from, you'll need to adjust your subject or message to reflect its intention..
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debuggerauCommented:
How'd you go?
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ashjuvAuthor Commented:
sorry I didn't reply for too long. I am providing points to all the respondents, even though I didn't get much help out of this forum. the solution that I was lookinng for was as simple as using a rule from outlooks rules and alerts, 'if the message header contains the string'
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debuggerauCommented:
sorry to hear that, I thought we were talking about outlook rules all along..

However, since I didn't know the specifics of your rules, I couldn't really comment on how to implement any particular one.

But glad you've got it sorted now.

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ashjuvAuthor Commented:
I am accepting the answer because even though it didn't help me solve my problem, I learned some thing out of it.
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