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Exchange 2010 Topolgy/setup recommendation .

Posted on 2011-03-01
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
HI.

I waned to get some expert input on a brand new installation of Exchange 2010.

We have 12 physical sites and each site has its own AD forest/domain.

There will be approximately 200 Exchange users/mailboxes between 'all' the AD domains.

There will be 12 different smtp domain names.

What would be the best topology to implement that would enable reliable performance for 'all' the sites??

What exactly would it entail as far as configuration goes??
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Question by:clesin
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Expert Comment

by:MichaelVH
ID: 35010509
Hi there,

I would say: only 200 mailboxes? ;-)

Seriously. I wouldn't go for more than one exchange-server centrally and host all the user's mailboxes over there. (Okay, maybe more server centrally if you need redundant connections). If your WAN/Internet links are fast enough you can provide users in other sites with either direct connections (RPC) to the servers or you can configure them to use Outlook Anywhere (TCP 443).

To my opinion that would be the most cost-effective way of deploying Exchange 2010.

However, since I don't know the environmental specifics there is one constraint: have a viable, reliable and fast enought (internet)link available on all the sites.

In such case, configuration would be pretty straightfoward and would easily allow you to have multiple email domains. You can than 'distribute' these emaildomains using email address policies.


Michael
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Expert Comment

by:MegaNuk3
ID: 35010555
For only 200 users why not go for BPOS (Microsoft's online exchange cloud)?
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Expert Comment

by:MichaelVH
ID: 35010593
Well that's a refreshing thought. BPOS. That's indeed an option as well. Might be worth looking into.
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Author Comment

by:clesin
ID: 35010615
MichaelIVH:

Please explain yourself: "Seriously. I wouldn't go for more than one exchange-server centrally and host all the user's mailboxes over there. (Okay, maybe more server centrally if you need redundant connections)."

Not sure what you mean by that.

Also my configuration question pertains to how to configure the relationships between all the different AD domains - not so much 'email' domains.
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Expert Comment

by:MichaelVH
ID: 35010659
Clesin,

I ment: If - for 200 users - you don't need a redundant setup. A single server with the HUB/CAS/MB-role will be enough.

If on the other hand you want to have a redundant setup (high-availability) you will have to "split" the roles onto multiple servers. Eg. 2x Mailbox 2x CAS/HT.

On the other hand, it seems that I misread your information. I thought you were talking about 12 sites and a single domain. Nonetheless what you could create is a centralized server in which you create linked mailboxes from all the other domains (which means you'll need to have trusts between them). A linked mailbox is actually a mailbox in one domain but that is linked to a useraccount on the other domain.

Grts,

Michael
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Author Comment

by:clesin
ID: 35010748
I actually 'do' need a redundant setup. I was planning on getting Exchange setup on a virtual machine (vmware) in site-A, then I would setup a fallback server in a secure data center.

Please note that I am considering keeping all the 'roles' on 'one' virtual server.

You would suggest I create Exchange in its 'own' forest or 'no' forest' and than just setup trusts??
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MichaelVH earned 500 total points
ID: 35010800
Clesin, if you're having 12 AD-Sites for 200 users, it's better to go for a so-called "resource-forest". That's indeed a forest in which only Exchange exists.
You'll have to create a trust between the AD's and the Resource-forest and create linked mailboxes.

I suggest you do some reading on this matter over here:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa998031.aspx

Michael
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Author Comment

by:clesin
ID: 35010903
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Author Comment

by:clesin
ID: 35010913
I guess the only question is: is one server made to handle 200 mailboxes and 12 trusts??
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Expert Comment

by:MichaelVH
ID: 35010969
Clesin,

200 mailboxes is a piece of cake for a well-sized server (even virtual). We've got customers running entirely virtual voor 500 mailboxes on a single server. So no worries there ;-)

Michael
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Author Comment

by:clesin
ID: 35011024
MIchaleIVH,

What about public folders, shared calenders, etc.?? how would I 'segregate' them between the different 'ad domains'??
 
Lastly, is this configuration recommended?? would you put up something like this?
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Expert Comment

by:MichaelVH
ID: 35011053
Clesin,

A resource forest is a supported environment and I already have implemented it before.
It all comes down to what your requirements are.

In your last post, I sence that you might need to seggregate the different domains. If you don't want each company to be able to "see" eachother, you can install exchange 2010 in a so-called multi-tenant mode. But than we're really of from where we started.

Michael
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Author Comment

by:clesin
ID: 35011099
So the setup we were discussing till now basically puts all my users (from 12 different company's) into one melting pot??

I would certainly need them to 'not see' each other.

Can you fill me in on this 'mutli-tenant' mode please?
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Expert Comment

by:MichaelVH
ID: 35011176
Clesin,

the multi-tenant solutions is basically creating a "hosted" Exchange.

For more information, please take a look at:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff923272.aspx
But beware that you might not be able to run this because of licensing restrictions.

Basically,

your setup can be done in different ways, but really depends on the budget and the requirements (seggregation/retention/high-availability/...).

If you can give us some more details, we might be able to give a more detailed approach to the design.

Michael
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Author Comment

by:clesin
ID: 35011233
MichaelIVH,

All my details are in 'question' post. I've got 12 companies (owned by one parent company) and would like to utilize 'one' exchange environment but would need to keep all the companies completely separate!
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Expert Comment

by:MichaelVH
ID: 35011266
clesin,

well, you don't mention High-Availability etc...

If you want to completely seperate the companies from eachother (no link at all), you'll have no option but to have different exchange-organisations thus different servers.

Simply put, if you want to consolidate, you'll have to bargain.
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