Multiple Websites on 2008 R2 with Exchange 2010

We are a small business with a 2008 R2 server enterprise with 2 quad core processors.  Our server is our file server, print server, web site, ftp server and Exchange 2010 server.  When everything is running, our CPU usage rarely goes over 2%.

Our accounting system vendor just informed us that they are moving to a web-based interface.  It currently uses the native Sql Server 2008 for its database.  They claim that their updated software will not run on a server with Exchange Server running as the default website on the same server.

Shouldn't it be possible for their software to run on the default website as a virtual directory or as a second website on the same server?

Everything is running very well on our existing equipment including the current accounting software.  I don't want to have to buy a new server, server OS, backup system, etc. unnecessarily, particularly if it is due to a lack of programming expertise on their part.

I am very interested in your thoughts and recommendations.

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Possible, sure. Recommended, no. You can run multiple websites on IIS, and in fact Exchange itself does exactly this to serve up it's various web services like autodiscover, owa, etc.

But in practice - Exchange has got its fingers so far into IIS that trying to make changes to it or shoehorn your own web application in without breaking things is very difficult, and the results can be unpredictable.  It is not recommended and It's understandable why a third party company refuses to support such a configuration. You run a high risk of breaking your Exchange server, and of the accounting system's web application will have unexpected issues due to side effects from the configuration changes that Exchange has made that wouldn't have been present on an unmodified IIS server.

You will be much better off having a dedicated web server (even if it's a virtual machine).

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Are you sure the software uses IIS?  Maybe there software has its own embedded web server and it automatically binds port 80 on any available IP address on the machine where it is installed.
ArchitectChuckAuthor Commented:
I just talked to the software tech support staff.  Because we have Exchange 2010 on the server, the server is set up as a 64 bit operating system.  Their system is set up to use a Microsoft one-click system.  Apparently that system is only available as a 32-bit system and will not work on a 64 bit website.

They explained that it is complicated, but I would either have to set up Exchange to work on a website that is not the default website, or I would have to figure out some redirection.  Apparently one click requires ports 80 and another port.  However, a 64-bit website will not recognize a request from a 32-bit system.

Does that make sense?

Why would Microsoft have software that requires you to go back to an old format??
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ArchitectChuckAuthor Commented:
Thanks so much for your responses.  I hope my last comment offers some clarification.  I think Frosty555 was closest to the correct answer and clarifies some of the potential problems.  I think a virtual machine will probably be the best answer.  I think my current backup system can handle that.

I will have to figure out how to create a 32-bit website on a virtual machine?

Thanks again for your help.
Chuck - is your accounting system Sage? I've had this precise issue with a client of mine who was having this issue trying to get the Sage ACT! Premium For Web working on their Exchange Server

Technically, you CAN set up a separate Application Pool that it IS possible to have the system run the 32-bit libraries on a 64-bit machine, but it isn't easy and requires a fair bit of configuration in IIS. We did eventually get it working but it wasn't fun... I definitely wouldn't do it for my next client with that issue.
ArchitectChuckAuthor Commented:
Thanks Frosty

The software is Ajera by Axium, and I agree that it is too much work to make a program function.  Then you have to spend time making adjustments every time there is an update.  Again, too much work with too many opportunities to make a mistake.

I think a virtual machine is the way to go.  But then again, too much work to make someone else's software work.
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