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Single or multiple Exchange servers?

Posted on 2014-03-13
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I am looking for some info on best practice for a global Exchange setup.  My company has close to 40 offices in 35+ countries.  I work in IT in the US and our group IT Manager is in Europe.  Their consultant recommends we use a single Exchange server for the entire group.
We have about 1000 mailboxes.  

To me it makes more sense to have regional servers with the mailboxes for the users in that region.  I think it should make backups more manageable and local administration easier.  Not to mention the importing into Exchange.  (using an IMAP/POP solution right now)

I've done some reading on Microsoft best practices for deployment, but can't seem to find anything about this scenario.  
Any help would be appreciated.
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Question by:Lwaugh
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by:Jamie McKillop
ID: 39927435
Hello,

Best practice is to centralize your Exchange servers. This makes the environment easier to manage and allows you to minimize costs. Unless you have a very compelling reason to do so, you shouldn't be installing Exchange servers in branch offices.

Having a single Exchange server is a bad idea. You should have at least two servers in a DAG for redundancy. If you have two sites with good infrastructure and WAN connectivity, you can extend you DAG between site to add additional redundancy at the site level.

-JJ
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by:Adam Brown
Adam Brown earned 1000 total points
ID: 39927556
With your user base and accessibility needs, you'd probably have some performance issues with a single exchange server, so you would definitely want to have at least a 2 server DAG configured. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd638137%28v=exchg.150%29.aspx should give you a good rundown of the high-availability requirements for exchange.
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Simon Butler (Sembee) earned 1000 total points
ID: 39927679
There is no single answer to this and as such I don't think you will find "best practise". Ask Microsoft and they will only give you one answer - Office365, but that is their answer to everything.

I wouldn't use a single server for this, simply because of the number of users involved, so a DAG is a must. You could look at putting it in to a data centre. You might want to look at regional servers, so that if you did have an outage you aren't impacting the entire company. I recently did a job with four regional servers (each two server DAG) which were all in the MX records. Then email continued to flow for the other sites if one was down.

There is no single solution, and no single answer. You will have to find something that fits the business needs.

Simon.
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