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Routes Emails To Correct Exchange Server

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  • Routes Emails To Correct Exchange Server

    Good Morning,

    I have a scenario that I need urgent help and I’m just not sure on how to implement it and was hoping I could get help from you.

    The current situation is that I have a Windows 2003 Server with Exchange Installed on it which of causes does all the sending and receiving of emails which clients connecting directly to the exchange using Outlook.

    Now our company has grown quite large now and they are going to be having Offices in all countries Ie; Africa, Europe…

    I am having a CISCO plan implement which is going to connect all our offices together using IPSEC or VPN.

    Now my question to you if that the directors require Exchange servers to be setup in each of these country’s for sending and receiving of email. They want to keep the domain name the same for all users no matter where they are located Ie; @company,com not Ie;

    From my research I think the best way to do this would be to get a main exchange server that all mails would be received and then from there mails would be routed to the correct exchange server. Ie; Main server receives the email and sees that user1 is located in the US using the Active directory and routes the email to the correct exchange server that has that user on it.

    From what I can see the best solution for this would be to setup the main server initially then all the other servers I would connect them to the domain as additional servers then install exchange on each additional server. Then routing would be possible as the main server will see all the servers and see which user is located where and route the email to that server…???

    My question is that am I on the right path or is there a much better solution that I can implement? Someone suggested using Sites and services and replicating all mail and settings across the network… But that wouldn’t work as well cause it would be a over kill of data and no emails would be live as it would have to replicate first…

    Please could you help me in this respect I would like to implement the best possible solution?

    Thank you for your time

  • #2
    Re: Routes Emails To Correct Exchange Server

    I think you are on the right lines.

    It helps that your first office (i.e., your office) has the domain name as the domain for your Windows server in your office.

    Your Exchange server is also installed in your domain, and mailbox users have the [email protected] email address. So that's all good and you and your users are receiving mail addressed to [email protected].

    As you plan to add additional overseas offices, you'll 'physically' connect the office up via VPN. The overseas office will install the first DC, and this DC must join the domain, as it connects to your office. Once the DC has joined the domain, Active Directory will need to be replicated over to the new office.

    Once the DC is installed, and AD replication is complete, the overseas office will then be able to install Exchange. The new Exchange Server will be able to join your Exchange Organization. New users in the overseas office will also be able to
    have [email protected] addresses.

    That's the overview on how all offices will get connected and obtain their email addresses.

    In terms of how mail will get around the offices, again you are on the right lines. If you've already got good email connectivity via your ISP, then I wouldn't change that. So mail will come in for the whole company via the setup you already have, where you have no doubt set up an SMTP connector. Once mail gets to your Exchange Server, it may need to route mail onwards to one of your overseas offices, and you just need to set up a Routing Group Connector between your office and the overseas office.

    Active Directory Sites and Services does not replicate mail around the network, by the way.

    That's it. You'll be fine. In use, your VPN solution will work fine, even with offices that have poor VPN connectivity of 128Kbps! You should plan this as well as you can, as the above is only a rough outline. In places I've worked with similar setups, the biggest bugbear is when you have to move a large mailbox from one office to another..! That can be a pain.



    • #3
      Re: Routes Emails To Correct Exchange Server

      Simply put, as long as all the Exchange servers are part of the same Org (which if you are putting all the servers in the same forest) then email can be delivered to any server in the org and it will be routed to the correct server automatically by Exchange. You just have to ensure that the servers can see each other.

      Therefore if you had country specific domains as well as your global .com domain, then you could route the country specific domains to each country via MX records on the internet, with email for the .com going in via your primary site.
      You could also use another site as a backup MX record site - just ensure that it has the same level of AV and antispam connection.

      What you cannot do is replicate email to other servers in the org - email can only exist in one place for each user.

      Sites and Services is an AD function and has nothing to do with Exchange email delivery up to Exchange 2003.
      It is used by Exchange 2007 for routing of email.

      If you are planning an international expansion then I think you could benefit from some time with a good AD/Exchange consultant who can help you plan the AD and Exchange structure. If you do that from the beginning, with a plan to grow built in then it will not become a problem later on when you have to change the structure as the company outgrows what you have put in to place.

      Simon Butler
      Exchange MVP

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