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Configuration and architechture for hosted active directory

Posted on 2010-11-13
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi.
I am looking for information relative to setting up a hosted active directory environment with exchange in my data center.  I will be using server 2008 enterprise and exchange 2010.

We are going to be hosting most of our clients form our datacenter.  Instead of having each client with it's own domain controller I'm looking to have 1 big DC that could support multiple companies' domains and intergrate with exchange as well.  Is this possible? If so, what are some of the way I could build it?

Wes
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Question by:hmcnasty
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Expert Comment

by:George Khairallah
ID: 34128551
AFAIK, there is no way that you can host multiple AD forests on one DC.
Exchange, on the other hand, is different, and is completely independent from AD. so you can host as many SMTP domains on an exchange server as you can get away with.

If you have a data center, you may be able to leverage virtualization, to host the DCs as virtual machines, and create your forest that way for each of your companies.

with all this, I'm assuming, that you do want each company (client) to have their own separate forest)
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Author Comment

by:hmcnasty
ID: 34128672
Your right, we are virtualizing.  So its not too bad building vm for each of the clients' domains if thats the only way.

Can you elaborate a bit on how to we would configure the exchange architechture for multiple domians?

If you want me to open additional questions for more points let me know.  There may be  alot of questions to follow.

Wes
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Author Comment

by:hmcnasty
ID: 34128682
Yes We would want each clent to have thier own forest.  

What if we had a single DC with multilple subdomains that began with the client's name and then ended with whatever domain we created on the DC  ie  the domain woudl be mycompany.com and the sub domains woudl be x.mydomain.com, y.mydomain.com etc and then use containers to sort about the policies and permission?  or am I way off?
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George Khairallah earned 500 total points
ID: 34128947
I will elaborate a bit more on exchange when I'm at my workstation, as I need to look up some info regarding this.

As far as the domains, you can absolutely do what you are thinking, though, this may be something that you want to discuss with your clients to see if they would be ok with your domain name existing.
One thing you would want to ensure is that the trust relationships exist on a one way basis, as you don't want these domains to be traversing across between your clients, as you may face logistical issues with this scenario.

Ideally, I would much rather have the separate domains, as it would save you potential headaches, but in theory, what you want to do is definitely possible.

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Author Comment

by:hmcnasty
ID: 34157928
Are you going to elaborate a bit more on the exchange configuration?
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Author Comment

by:hmcnasty
ID: 34157929
Are you going to elaborate a bit more on the exchange configuration?
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Expert Comment

by:George Khairallah
ID: 34162056
This article would give you step by step instructions on configuring Exchange 2010 for multiple SMTP domains.
http://blog.shareef.info/2010/06/02/configuring-multiple-e-mail-domains-in-exchange-2010/

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Author Comment

by:hmcnasty
ID: 34175183
Thanks for your help.   One more thing, echange 2010 won't install wihtout AD present right?

Wes
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Expert Comment

by:George Khairallah
ID: 34175416
That's correct. You do need an AD environment present.
You can refer to this for more info as well:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa996719.aspx
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