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Exchange 2013 options

Hi Experts,

I am looking for some information on deploying Exchange 2013 in a small business. We are also considering office 365, but have compliance concerns.

We are currently a groupwise shop and have less than 100 total /mailboxes(80G data)users and 5 remote offices.

I am not sure if a small SAN solution is a better option than purchasing 2 servers, or VM, any suggestions would be helpful.

thanks
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talltree
Asked:
talltree
4 Solutions
 
R--RCommented:
You can purchase a windows 2012 r2 with a good hardware and create multiple VM's and install exchange 2013 on it.
Create a DAG between two Exchange servers.
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CoSmismgrCommented:
I am not sure if a small SAN solution is a better option than purchasing 2 servers, or VM

Both! Implement a small SAN for the data, isolated from the rest of the LAN. Setup two new virtualization host servers in a cluster. Then have fun virtualizing everything, including Exchange. I don't see the need for database availability groups for 100 users.

As for software:
Datacenter 2012 allows for unlimited VM's. You'll need 2 licenses, 1 for each host server (VM's will be limited to 2 processor)
VMWare vSphere and vCenter Essentials
I use Veeam for backup and love it (it is for virtual servers only though)
I run Exchange 2013 and am happy with it, but I almost went the 365 route. I'm still not sure if I made the right decision or not - 365 business premium is hard to beat at 12.50/user/mo..

Good Luck!
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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
I wouldn't even consider a SAN for this scenario. I don't see the point in the additional complexity.
Do you already have the active directory infrastructure?
As for DAG - I have DAGs on sites as low as 25 users. If you need the high availability then it is the easiest method. Most of the DAGs I deploy in the smaller sites though are for off site replication rather than local HA.

The biggest question here I see is the five remote offices. What is the connectivity like between them? Outlook/Exchange are bandwidth hogs.
While you have compliance concerns for the cloud, one option you might want to consider is a private cloud. Your own kit in a data centre. This will give you excellent connectivity for the remote sites.

There is no correct answer to this. It is one of those ask the question to five people and get six different opinions. All of them are likely to be valid, and others will agree and disagree.

Simon.
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What does it mean to be "Always On"?

Is your cloud always on? With an Always On cloud you won't have to worry about downtime for maintenance or software application code updates, ensuring that your bottom line isn't affected.

 
Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
In this case, I would not deploy any additional Exchange servers in the remote office, based on the total number of users you are dealing with. I would deploy a Single Exchange server box (all roles), and deploy another Exchange server(all roles) in a close site to your hub. Having all of the users at the other sites get mail from the Hub site. Run DAG on both servers have 1 as primary and the other for secondary/failover.

I personally would not use vmware with the amount of infrasturture you are using. Vmware has great tools built-in but it is expensive if you are only utilizing it for a few VM's. You could however use hyper-v which is free with Windows Server.

Also agree with Simon, you do not need a SAN in this scenario too samll and SAN is great for central management but can be costly.

Will.
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talltreeAuthor Commented:
Hi Guys,

We currently do not have AD, but will be doing that first and may use VMware for it and was more thinking of a SAN or VSAN for vmotion. Of course if I have 2 servers for exchange that replicate we would not need to utilize virtual technology on exchange.

Our remote office's are on T1 and we need to upgrade the circuits. Office 365 was a concern security, backups, retention, but did not know of private cloud options.
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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
The free version of VMWARE will be fine - I have a number of clients on it.
I actually prefer the free version of VMWARE to HyperV, as I find it uses less resources and doesn't need to be rebooted every month.
With Windows 2012 R2 allowing two virtual licences per physical host on standard edition, which also allows the use of a DAG, you could easily have two machines, each with two VMs, one as a DC and one as Exchange. In effect a self-contained solution.

Simon.
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talltreeAuthor Commented:
thanks guys
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