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Branch exchange server reccomendation

Posted on 2014-03-24
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Last Modified: 2014-04-27
Hi Experts,
Currently I have exchange2010 DAG (3 members)  configured in HO.

One of the branch is expanding and users are increasing day by day.

I would like to have an exchange server locally there to reduce traffic.
As of now all are connected to HO exchange.

Your recommendations/suggestions highly appreciated
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Question by:-MAS
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Expert Comment

by:vmdude
ID: 39950424
I would start by asking a few high level questions of the branch site

-One of the first things to consider is connectivity to the branch site. What is the connection speed, is there high latency etc.

-How many users are at the branch?

-Are there domain controllers that are also global catalog servers in the branch?

- If Exchange is deployed, how with the mailboxes be backed up/protected?

These are a few things to consider as a first point of call
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Author Comment

by:-MAS
ID: 39950524
-->-One of the first things to consider is connectivity to the branch site. What is the connection speed, is there high latency etc.
VPN connection (4MB on both end)

-->-How many users are at the branch?
Around 75 Users
but the email address will be prefixed with the country code
e.g. India branch email address is user@in.domain.com
       Pakistan branch email address is user@pk.domain.com
       HO country users email address is user@domain.com

-->Are there domain controllers that are also global catalog servers in the branch?
As of now there is additional domain controllers of HO domain.
I decided to install as per the discussion with EE experts 2 years back.

--> If Exchange is deployed, how with the mailboxes be backed up/protected?
I am not sure of the answer.
Is it possible to create another DAG for branch servers in the current exchange forest?
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Accepted Solution

by:
Simon Butler (Sembee) earned 500 total points
ID: 39950682
You can have as many DAGs as you like, however a server can only be a member of one DAG. Therefore if you want to have an off site replica for that DAG it will need to be on a new Exchange installation.

The only other advice I can give you is DO NOT install Exchange on to a domain controller, as that will cause you may problems with your existing environment. Otherwise it comes down to the same kind of planning as you would do for a migation, with the scaling of the server. Ensure that you have an RPC CAS Array setup for the second site so when you move users to it they get that address.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:-MAS
ID: 39950703
@Simon
You mean I will create a new DAG with 2 new servers in the remote site in the same domain and create another CAS Array points to the databases in the new servers in the remote site?

Do you recommend to have another domain/Child domain in the remote site or the same domain?
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Assisted Solution

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
Simon Butler (Sembee) earned 500 total points
ID: 39950711
RPC CAS Array is AD site specific. You should have that second location in its own AD site, so another CAS Array will be required.

If you want a DAG for that second location, then you will have to create a new DAG. That isn't a problem, Exchange is quite happy with that. I have a site with 15 DAGs.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:-MAS
ID: 39950721
I tried to install a server one of the branch and there was some issue.
All the emails flowing through the exchange server in branch i.e. emails taking too much time to deliver even within HO bcz emails flowing through branch server
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Author Comment

by:-MAS
ID: 39950723
So you suggest to install 2 servers and configure DAG and CAS array for the new servers?

Only thing we have to configure the AD site. Am i right?
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Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 39950736
If you don't have the office in its own AD site, then that was probably your problem with email flow. If AD sites and services is not setup correctly, then Exchange will treat all hub transport servers as equal and use the servers in the remote office, even for email going between two users on the same mailbox server.

So get your AD sites and services configured first, with a new site, subnet etc. Then install Exchange and do the orther configuration.

Simon.
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LVL 24

Author Comment

by:-MAS
ID: 39952359
It was configured before and still there was mail flow problem. May be my configuration mistake.
Finally I removed that server from cas array.

It was like a standalone exchange.

What about installing a new domain/forest and configure mail flow between ex.servers.
You recommend this?
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Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 39952749
You must be doing something wrong, because if Exchange was configured correctly then email flow would not go through another site. Do ensure that the main site is fully up to date so that the new installation is not to a later version of Exchange. Exchange is completely AD site aware and the main reason I see for unexpected mail flow is a misconfiguration of AD Sites and Services, usually with the wrong subnet configuration so the new Exchange server thinks it is part of the main site.

I would not recommend a new forest for this implementation, that will significantly complicate matters and is completely unnecessary.

Simon.
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Author Closing Comment

by:-MAS
ID: 39963212
Thanks
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Author Comment

by:-MAS
ID: 39972216
I forgot to ask you about mailbox movement.

How to move these 70+ mailboxes  to the branch exchange server after installation?
Branch is connected by 1MB DSL.

I appreciate if you could help/guide
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LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 39972525
Just move the mailbox in the usual way. It will take some time to move though.

The other option would be to stand up the new server in your main office, do the build and move mailbox on to the new server. After doing a backup, take the new server to the actual office, reconfigure it and then let it run.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:-MAS
ID: 39972651
Appreciate it.
I was thinking to install as VM in HO and move the required mailboxes and move the VM to the branch and attach it there
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Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 39975586
That would be another option. If you do then take a backup of the server beforehand, so that if the VM doesn't move properly you can restore it.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:-MAS
ID: 40014105
@Simon
Appreciate if you can attend this question
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/Email_Servers/Exchange/Q_28417229.html

Please let me know if there is mistake in my plan as well.
Appreciate your support/guidance
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