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jasgot

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IT consolidation with Geographically dispersed offices

I have been tasked with consolidation the IT Infrastructure for a company that has 4 geographically dipersed locations.

I am charged with e-mail consolidation, TS access to remote servers, Remote printing, remote file access.

Currently, email is handled by:
Office 1: Hosted Pop3
Office 2: Exchange (not sure wich version)
Office 3: Exchange (not sure wich version)
Office 4: No e-mail yet
Roming Users: Mostly yahoo and gmail.

I can't decide if I want a Geo Dispersed Exchange cluster, or have one exchange server and have Outlook use one server with OST files.

Each mail system above uses a different domain, we want to consoldate all e-mail to a new domain.

Please ask questions, as I am sure I have not given enough info.
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exx1976
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How many AD domains?  How many forests?

What is your budget?

What do the roaming users have for devices?  Are they only using laptops?  Are they using OWA from random locations?  Are they using OMA?  Is there a need for security?  Do Blackberries make sense?  How many users are we talking about?
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jasgot

ASKER

Three domains, three Forests...right now.
No budget issues, but I'm not interested in overkill either.

All laptops. I dn't think anyone uses OWA, but a few might. Many have balckberries, but they are not connected. Approx 100 users across 4 locations.
if it's all laptops, do the roaming users have vpns?  & no, no overkill, but there's a difference between no budget, & some budget.  Everyone wants something for nothing...  

is bes a fit?  This would at least get all company mail onto a compny mailserver & off yahoo & gmail...
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Will BES work with Outlook the way Exchange does? I like the ability to collaborate with calendars.
BES runs on top of Exchange.  It removes the need for OMA/EAS, and allows Blackberry devices to SECURELY communicate with Exchange (you don't have to open any ports on the firewall, and usernames/passwords are not transmitted).

You'll still need Exchange.


Now..  The whole issue of multiple forests, that's going to be a bigger deal.  who has been charged with AD consolidation?  With how tightly integrated Exchange is with AD, we'll need to know the propsed new AD layout before we can start making any recommendations here...
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I'm guessing it wouldn't be a disaster to start over. Most people are only logging on to get access to shares.

Lets plant a new Forest!
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exx1976
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And put a DC in each location, and tie all locations through VPN?
Oh, my apologies..  I had [improperly] assumed all locations were already connected...


VPN or leased lines will need to be determined by you, & what your bandwidth requirements are.

Pleacement of DCs and other things (file servers, etc) depends on the # of users in each site, what the connection is between each site, things like that.
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ASKER

It is okay to have a DC in all locations? Should the DCs replicate? This scenario will allow all users in all locations to log in even if they are temporarily disconnected from the other sites?
Yes.

They will replicate by themselves.

Yes, but do not let the "temporary disconnections" become a regular thing.  AD likes to be in constant communication with all domain controllers, and will throw errors and complain like mad when one goes away.
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Thanks. I'll be back for more info. But this takes care of my immediate needs.