Exchange server database synchronisation and customisation

Hello Guys,
I am trying to put together a requirement that will customize exchange server to work in multiple location using the same domain name. See below what i want to implement . Any suggestion will be appreciated.

1. The domain name "Company.com" will become the universal domain for the company with  two office locations .

2.       Email addresses will be split into:

 

a.       offices: office1@company.com and office2@company.com; and

b.      departments: operations@company.com, technical@company.com, accounts@company.com, insurance@company.com, etc.


Departments that are split between Offices1 and Offices2 should be sending and receiving from the same email address (or using the same email addresses), irrespective of where the specific individual is located.

 

3.       All people should be able to read and be able to send from all email addresses without having to log on and off each time.

 

4. Personal email addresses would also work alongside the departmental addresses.  In other words, everyone having access to the departmental addresses can also have their own personal email addresses .

5. I will also required to setup or integrate an internal messenger system (a bit like msn messenger) so that people can communicate internally without clogging up the mailboxes.

 I was however thinking in the lines of setting up the 2 exchange servers in the 2 offices as a POP3 server with a third party POP3 connector to download the same email into the different servers. They can also be configured to send email out as the same domain name "company.com".
I am also considering setting up a VPN between the 2 offices, have the server in the same domain or same organisational group, but i am not sure if the databases can synchronise accross the WAN as emails sent to various departments would be viewed from all the offices and if exchange server can allow multiple site and same organisation setup.

Your suggestion will be very appreciated.
T-oneAsked:
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Auric1983Connect With a Mentor Commented:
I should say, once you have active directory and the first exchange server setup, adding the second, third forth... etc. is quite easy.
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Auric1983Commented:
T-One,

How many users do you have to support with this?  

Depending on the number of users, you may want to look at some of the Hosted Exchange service providers ? They can provide you with a hosted Exchange capabilities.  

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Auric1983Commented:

Exchange will work across multiple active directory sites and accessed over the WAN.  

1. Do you have an existing WAN?
2. How many users will you be supporting?
3. Are the servers in the same domain currently?
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T-oneAuthor Commented:
Hi Guys,
I have over 40 users accross the two offices. Yes i have an existing LAN in both offices. If exchange can work accross multiple AD sites, how would this be setup (sites and organisation). Any knowledgebase to refer to?. The servers in the 2 offices are in different domains.

I have thought of the hosted service but its not supported by the company policy.
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Auric1983Commented:
T-One,

I'm guessing with two offices, and two seperate domains, sharing information between the offices is problematic currently?

If you had a VPN tunnel, or other permanent WAN link between the two offices (MPLS, leased circuit etc.) you would be able to configure both offices to run on the same AD domain, with Exchange installed at one or both sites.  You would also need another server (or VM) to host Lync which is Microsoft's business Instant messaging client.  

Along with that you would also gain benefits such as being able to replicate file shares between the offices using DFS-R, easy administration from one site or the other etc.

The one piece I think you will have problems with is the shared mailboxes.  Exchange supports shared mailboxes so users can receive mail as from "training@company.com" for example, but to send a message out as "training@company.com" it's a little cludgy.  Most times mail gets sent out as the user's proper email account.

Here is a quick overview of installing Exchange 2010: http://csolarz.wordpress.com/2009/11/04/exchange-2010-install-guide/



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T-oneAuthor Commented:

Thanks for your response. Please see also below some clarifications that may need to be made as i am still not very clear about the email replication and mailbox replication.
 

1. How would you configure the exchange server replication accross the WAN and can exchange server replicate accross multiple domain.
2. Will the mailboxes reside in one location?.

With regards to the DFS,

1. Cnn the DFS replicate accross or between multiple domains where a point to point  VPN exist between these  2 multiple domains?
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Auric1983Commented:
I think the best course of action would be to migrate to one AD domain with a domain controller at each site, as I said it is kind of a big job.

DFS-R cannot replicate across forests,  

To answer your questions though.

1. Assuming they are on the same domain, I would just configure the remote users Outlook client to connect to exchange using cached mode. Cached mode stores a local copy of their mailbox on the client to save bandwidth.  Great for laptop users & remote users.

2. Yes, you would really only need one exchange server for an organization this size.

One thing to consider though, is the bandwidth between the sites, when you start consolidating services like this you'll want to make sure the connection to the main site is reliable.  
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T-oneAuthor Commented:
Does Exchange 2007 or  2010 support replication of mailboxes across another server mailstore ?. Assuming you want to setup exchange and a failover server.
Any knowledge base on this?.

I think i will think in the lines of getting the WAN links to a reasonable bandwidth or look at having both servers on their own individual domain.

The only issue we have is really the email flow based on the scenario and also being able to allow both offices to share and view emails . I guess from all indications that the 2 offices network must be in the same AD domain for this to work?.

 Data can be managed when stored in different locations.

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T-oneAuthor Commented:
Another quick request is , If exchange server 2007/2010 is installed in the same organisation and not in the same site, will they still be able to share information or allow inter access and share of mail store.
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Auric1983Commented:
T-one,

If you want to have a failover / disaster recovery site you certainly can do this with Exchange 2010.  It's called a DAG or Database Access Group.  In this sort of scenario you could setup two servers, one at each site.  Each site will have it's own mailbox database, with a copy of the other sites mailbox db replicated.

If you want to share email between the sites, then the same Domain, would be the best approach.  No Domain trust issues etc.

I have 10 sites, with 5 email servers spread out around the world...  and we share mail like we were in the same building.
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T-oneAuthor Commented:
Cool. Please can you explain how you have configured this 10 sites with the mailboxe locations and the king of bandwitdth used in each site.
(I guess you have exchange server in each site. and all exchange server  installed in one organisation and different site?).
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Auric1983Commented:
Each of our larger sites is connected via a 6mbps MPLS circuit, our smaller sites have 1.5mbps (10-15 users?)

All of the sites are part of the same Active directory domain, and each site has it's own domain controller, and our larger sites have their own exchange server.

To be honest, T-one, if you have never setup Exchange or a multi-site AD structure etc.  you might be better off bringing in a consultant to help, at least with the planning.  This project is fairly small, but because of the number of pieces that need to be in place can be quite complex.



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T-oneAuthor Commented:
Sorry about y late response and closure. I was not available for very obvious reason
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