Geographically Distant Exchange 2010 Edge Transport Server

Posted on 2011-10-16
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I manage several network infrastructures which are separated by large geographic distances (100+ miles) and low bandwidth (~ 512 kbit). We already have a ship sailing in the ocean with a network onboard, consisting of AD, Exchange 2010 mailbox/CAS/hub, and other servers. The ship has the ~ 512 kbps connection via satellite and often loses it for hours at a time. When this happens, email destined <to> the ship will bounce. I also manage another small network on an island which has better bandwidth (~ 3 Mbps). My intention is to build a "smart host" or "mail hub" or  "mail bagging" solution on the island to sit and collect email for the ship. Then the ship will "pop" the island mail hub for messages every 5 minutes or so. This will preserve internet continuity for mail flow, while keeping the Exchange mailbox server onboard the ship, which is very important.

I was wondering if I could use another Exchange 2010 server in the Edge Transport role, on the island, to act as the mail hub. It would collect the inbound mail, destined to the ship, and wait until the ship was available to "pop" the messages. This would mean the Edge Transport server was separated from the rest of the Exchange environment via many miles and low bandwidth. Is this a bad idea?

Question by:neilpage99
    LVL 74

    Accepted Solution

    What you are suggesting is that you would add an ET role to the ships Exchange organisation in another location?

    If so, then yes, it's certainly feasible, although you would need to ensure you have good connectivity whilst you are setting it all up so you can configure the Edge Sync.

    It wouldn't "pop" the ET would queue the messages until the HT role came back online.  However, if you currently have the system setup with a HT role then mail shouldn't bounce unless the server is unavailable for 48 hours.
    LVL 9

    Author Closing Comment

    Very well - thanks for the advice.

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