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Internal Exchange Mail Server (or suitable substitute) that has the capability offering cloud services

I have been asked this question by my boss, and I hope that I word this right.  We are getting ready to change our email here to "possibly" Exchange for our business.  I was wondering if the server offers some kind of cloud benefit for our offsite laptop users.  In other words, I am looking for something that will "not" require a VPN connection.  We want the email here internally, but it seems that most things are moving to a cloud based system.  So, in summary:  Purchase an internal mail server, used for all of us here at the business, but have an option to have our salespersons access there email by pointing to cloud based service and NOT through a VPN.    I hope this made sense.  Feel free to ask me any questions.  I am tasked to get some kind of email services for the company up and running.,  ALSO, but this might be another question  "are there suitable substitute mail server technology" that is as popular as MS Exchange.  Keep in mind, the boss does not want the brunt of email users to be hosted by anything outside.  Just hoping for the outside users, we could host are own cloud of sorts.    Thanks so much for taking the time.  I would hope that there is,  I am new here and you guys can really make me look good.    


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Avatar of Simon Butler (Sembee)
I do this with a client right now.
We have two Exchange servers. One is located in their office, the other is located in a data centre (on a VM with a domain controller in another VM). The two are linked by a site to site VPN. The remote users have their mailbox on the server in the data centre, the office users in the office. It appears as one big Exchange org. We use a cloud based backup solution to backup the data centre server and a NAS drive to backup the office. Works very well and as far as the end users are concerned it is fast.

All email comes in via the data centre and because I am just using a site to site VPN to connect them, if the link goes down I can use anything to get the link back up and the server queues the traffic in the meantime.

The connection from the client to the server is Outlook Anywhere, which is the default connection in Exchange 2013 and runs over port 443 using an SSL certificate.

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Excellent information.  Outlook Anywhere does look like a great option.  Have any of you used this?  When looking at the diagram on configuring the firewall (we use Astaro), do I actually need two servers 1. Client Access Server  &   2. Mailbox Server,,  Or am I looking at that diagram too  methodically?  We are a small company, no need for more than 200 email accounts.   Also must I use Outlook 2010?, and finally, configuring the clients Outlook to the configuration shown, what happens when they come to work, and click in their laptops locally?

You guys are great.  I was not sure on the site to site VPN connect, but I am sure if I saw it, I would get it.    Thank you so much for helping.  I hopefully can be an Exchange Guru.  My boss just said my job depends on it!!!!
Avatar of EEhotline

We only have a few users use that feature in our org, small company too. You don't really need 2 servers, it can be on 1 server (with all roles CAS-HUB-MBX).

I don't know what version of Office you are using, 2003/2007? We're using Office 2010 here.

Outlook 2003 and 2007 will work too
I just found out that he is getting our salesman 2013!  So I guess we are good there.  just one last question and I think I will write this up for his report. And thank you again.  And again,... So when I configure Outlook, to work with Outlook Anywhere,  when the salesman come in to their office and "click in"  their laptops, and now are locally connected, is there any reason why they would not see their email via LAN?
Dang,, Excellent links by the way!!
I'm not sure why Outlook doesn't get email when they connect locally in your case, in my case I have both check On the fast and slow networks. Try that, if it doesn't work, you might want to open another question and ask others with more details.
The primary reason why you wouldn't get email when on the LAN would be because the DNS doesn't resolve to the correct place. You would need to use a split DNS system so that the external host name resolves internally to the internal IP address of the server.

I have researched the slow and fast connection...  Basically http v.s. tcp/ip.  That is probably the set up option that I would need.  DNS will be my next match up.  Thank you so much.
Great links and info on the subject