FQDN on a new inst.all of 2008 r2

I am installing AD on a Server 2008 R2 box. It is a clean install and is intended for a small business(10 users). The intention is to install exchange 2010 on the server.

My predicament is what to define the fqdn as. I have heard conflicting advice as to whether to use a 'real' domain or a .local. I have also heard that changing it later is troublesome. I am after some advice to guide me through this selection so I don't end up a cul-de-sac.
If there are any other pitfalls I shouldbe aware of please don't hold back :)
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splantonAsked:
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Neil RussellConnect With a Mentor Technical Development LeadCommented:
ALWAYS unles you KNOW of a very demanding reason not to, go with the local domain suffix. The number of problems you will have with using your full external FQDN as your internal domain name are too many to mention.

ALSO

Only go with a single part domain name before the .local
i.e.
Use domain.local   OR  Mydomain.local   or AnyDomain.local

BUT NOT My.Domain.local or Any.Domain.Local
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Svet PaperovConnect With a Mentor IT ManagerCommented:
Having .local as domain makes the network more secure and easier for management.

Exchange CAS has so called external URL that can be used in such environments.

I would go with split DNS of .local and .com for the external URL
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Lee W, MVPConnect With a Mentor Technology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Is this Server 2008 R2 and Exchange 2010 or are you using Small Business Server (SBS) 2011?  I hope you're using SBS - the licensing for Exchange and Server alone is close to $2000 + $90+per CAL for 5 additional CALs - SBS is about $72 per CAL if I remember correctly.  MUCH cheaper to use SBS.  In addition, SBS provides features like Remote Web Workplace, and basic network monitoring and management capabilities that are not in standard editions.

I would definitely recommend using .local - and using a simple internal domain, for example, if your company's name is All About Widgets, then name the domain AAW (netBIOS) and AAW.LOCAL for the FQDN.  The publicly visible DNS domain can be something entirely different and Exchange can be EASILY configured to handle multiple domains with any name.
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Aaron TomoskyTechnology ConsultantCommented:
Personally I started using .LAN when I have osx (macs) to deal with on my network. .local is special with those things, kinda like a workgroup. I done have any supporting documentation, but it seems to work without any issues. Ignore this if you dont habe any macs, and If any other experts have reason to disagree, please correct me. This is a new thing I've tried only recently but it seems to work.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
There were problems with OSX 10.0, 10.1 and I think 10.2 ,but I thought with 10.3 and later those problems were resolved... and nowadays, I would imagine if you still have 10.2 or earlier, it would be like running Windows 2000 on a workstation - they are that old.
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splantonAuthor Commented:
Thanks for a prompt reply to this question. I had a feeling that the answer was to go .local but many 'step-bystep' guides do not mention best practases for FQDN allocation in AD.

I hope you don't mind the points split.

Many thanks.
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