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3 Exchange 2K3 servers, 1 domain, 3 subnets...Routing groups, SMTP connector

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  • 3 Exchange 2K3 servers, 1 domain, 3 subnets...Routing groups, SMTP connector

    I have 3 2K3 servers, all running Exchange 2K3 fully patched in 3 separate locations connected via meshed site-to-site VPNs on 3 separate subnets.

    I am looking for some guidance on how to do the following:

    - which connector is recommended based on the fact that one of the sites has intermittent ADSL performance and connectivity issues due to its geographic location from the CO
    - have all users mail replicated on all 3 Exchange servers, for availability and redundancy
    - allow all users in all locations to log into a single instance of OWA on server 1

    Thank you for any advice in advance.

  • #2
    Re: 3 Exchange 2K3 servers, 1 domain, 3 subnets...Routing groups, SMTP connector

    Create one routing group.
    Enable OWA on one server only.
    Disable it on the others.
    [Powershell]
    Start-DayDream
    Set-Location Malibu Beach
    Get-Drink
    Lay-Back
    Start-Sleep
    ....
    Wake-Up!
    Resume-Service
    Write-Warning
    [/Powershell]

    BLOG: Therealshrimp.blogspot.com

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    • #3
      Re: 3 Exchange 2K3 servers, 1 domain, 3 subnets...Routing groups, SMTP connector

      Originally posted by Killerbe View Post
      Create one routing group.
      Enable OWA on one server only.
      Disable it on the others.
      Sorry, I totally disagree. In fact, you're totally wrong and have provided a bad advice to the original question.

      Disabling OWA will cause issues with ESM and will not allow users to log on to other server's OWA. Putting them all in one routing group will be a sure method of bottlenecking his already bad WAN connections.

      Last edited by danielp; 13th August 2007, 11:09.
      Cheers,

      Daniel Petri
      Microsoft Most Valuable Professional - Active Directory Directory Services
      MCSA/E, MCTS, MCITP, MCT

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      • #4
        Re: 3 Exchange 2K3 servers, 1 domain, 3 subnets...Routing groups, SMTP connector

        Originally posted by mpitfield View Post
        I have 3 2K3 servers, all running Exchange 2K3 fully patched in 3 separate locations connected via meshed site-to-site VPNs on 3 separate subnets.

        I am looking for some guidance on how to do the following:

        - which connector is recommended based on the fact that one of the sites has intermittent ADSL performance and connectivity issues due to its geographic location from the CO
        - have all users mail replicated on all 3 Exchange servers, for availability and redundancy
        - allow all users in all locations to log into a single instance of OWA on server 1

        Thank you for any advice in advance.
        For replication of the mailboxes you will need a 3rd party tool (Replistore, Xosoft, others), or switch to Exchange 2007 that has capabilities to replicate entire stores accross WAN links. Exchange 2003 does NOT have that capability built in.

        For a single point of contact for OWA you could use a fourth Exchange 2003 server that is placed in the HQ and configured as a Front-End server. Point all users to that server, and that'll allow them to get their mailboxes. However, since your lines are bad, you could face an issue when a user tries to access their mbx and their "home" server is inaccessible.

        In order to better control the mail flow I'd use 3 routing groups and connectors between them.

        I suggest you read a good book on the topic, or better, hire a consultant that'll help you design the topology.
        Cheers,

        Daniel Petri
        Microsoft Most Valuable Professional - Active Directory Directory Services
        MCSA/E, MCTS, MCITP, MCT

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: 3 Exchange 2K3 servers, 1 domain, 3 subnets...Routing groups, SMTP connector

          Missread the question.
          My mistake.
          [Powershell]
          Start-DayDream
          Set-Location Malibu Beach
          Get-Drink
          Lay-Back
          Start-Sleep
          ....
          Wake-Up!
          Resume-Service
          Write-Warning
          [/Powershell]

          BLOG: Therealshrimp.blogspot.com

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          • #6
            Re: 3 Exchange 2K3 servers, 1 domain, 3 subnets...Routing groups, SMTP connector

            Originally posted by danielp View Post
            For replication of the mailboxes you will need a 3rd party tool (Replistore, Xosoft, others).
            Is there one that you recommend over others?

            Originally posted by danielp View Post
            switch to Exchange 2007 that has capabilities to replicate entire stores across WAN links. Exchange 2003 does NOT have that capability built in.
            I have been avoiding 2007 as I am reluctant to be an early adopter! Regardless of MS's opinion, do you feel it's at the stage for production? I installed a production version a few months ago and felt uneasy with it's stability!

            Originally posted by danielp View Post
            For a single point of contact for OWA you could use a fourth Exchange 2003 server that is placed in the HQ and configured as a Front-End server. Point all users to that server, and that'll allow them to get their mailboxes.
            Unfortunately each location only has one server, which are all DCs, running Exchange, DNS, DHCP etc...not recommended, but no option.

            Originally posted by danielp View Post
            In order to better control the mail flow I'd use 3 routing groups and connectors between them.
            This was also suggested on a KB at MS, I set up 3 routing groups, site1, site2 and site3 with connectors between each site, i.e. site1 has a connector to site 2 and 3, site 2 has a connector to sites 1 and 3 and so on.

            Originally posted by danielp View Post
            I suggest you read a good book on the topic, or better, hire a consultant that'll help you design the topology.
            I am the consultant

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: 3 Exchange 2K3 servers, 1 domain, 3 subnets...Routing groups, SMTP connector

              Originally posted by Killerbe View Post
              Missread the question.
              My mistake.
              Regardless of your answer I appreciate the effort...thanks!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: 3 Exchange 2K3 servers, 1 domain, 3 subnets...Routing groups, SMTP connector

                All of the replication products are designed for disaster recovery. They are not designed for the data to be in the server closest to the user.
                For example I would have something like DoubleTake replicating to a server in a data centre, not replicating to a server in the US so that the US users have data that is closer to the users.
                Exchange isn't designed to work like that.

                It can be done with a GeoCluster, but you are looking at an awful lot of cash (think six digits in any decent currency (EURO, US$, UKú) and then four digitals monthly on bandwidth costs).

                Therefore you are looking at one of two scenarios.

                1. All email on one server and users connect to it remotely. That will also provide you with a single point of presence for OWA access.
                2. Each server is treated independently, with email located on that server, the users know which server to access for OWA etc.
                If you wanted a single URL for OWA then you will need to deploy a 4th server as a frontend server, but performance for the users on the other two sites will be poor if you are using ADSL while the data is pulled across the WAN.

                Exchange 2007 at its core is very stable. I have been using it for months. However from an admin and user point of view it is unfinished. Service Pack 1 (when it eventually is released) finishes the product off and at that point I expect to see deployment take off.

                Simon.
                --
                Simon Butler
                Exchange MVP

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