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Discussion Q -- When do you put in additional Exchange sites?

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  • Discussion Q -- When do you put in additional Exchange sites?

    I've been having some discussions with my fellow admins re additional Exchange sites -- basically, I want most stuff centrally, they want it distributed. Environment is Exchange 2007, c. 300 mailboxes, with plans for up to 1000. Central site has 20Mbps bandwidth, other sites have 2-4Mbps

    As I see it the arguments for a central site are:
    Lower hardware, OS and Exchange Server license costs
    Central archiving / journalling possible
    Single OWA and RPC/HTTPs address
    All incoming mail will flow through the central site anyway
    A local server will speed up mail within that site only, not mail to/from other sites

    So I would be interested in suggestions (from practical experience) for:
    More benefits for centralisation
    Benefits of distribution
    The sort of user numbers where distributed email becomes a must
    Issues to consider if OWA & Outlook Anywhere are distributed
    Tom Jones
    MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
    PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
    IT Trainer / Consultant
    Ossian Ltd
    Scotland

    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

  • #2
    Re: Discussion Q -- When do you put in additional Exchange sites?

    It usually comes down to two points.

    1. Speed.
    Do the users email their own sites or other sites most often? If more email goes out of the site than stays in, then centralisation is usually the winner.

    2. Backups.
    My usual win for centralisation. How are you going to backup the store at the remote sites? Changing tapes? Pushing up the data overnight?

    Central archiving and single URL for OWA and RPC over HTTPS can be achieved whether the users are centralised or distributed. It is all proxying.

    As for numbers - consider this. There is an impression within some quarters in some companies that no one with less than 100 mailboxes should be hosting their own email, it should be hosted. Therefore if you have sites with less than 100 mailboxes on that argument, they should be centralised.

    Simon.
    --
    Simon Butler
    Exchange MVP

    Blog: http://blog.sembee.co.uk/
    More Exchange Content: http://exchange.sembee.info/
    Exchange Resources List: http://exbpa.com/
    In the UK? Hire me: http://www.sembee.co.uk/

    Sembee is a registered trademark, used here with permission.

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    • #3
      Re: Discussion Q -- When do you put in additional Exchange sites?

      Sounds good to me!

      Anyone else want to stick in their $0.02 ?
      Tom Jones
      MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
      PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
      IT Trainer / Consultant
      Ossian Ltd
      Scotland

      ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Discussion Q -- When do you put in additional Exchange sites?

        Personally if the links are reliable I would go centralised. Are the fellow admins at the remote sites perchance?
        cheers
        Andy

        Please read this before you post:


        Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Discussion Q -- When do you put in additional Exchange sites?

          Surprisingly enough, yes!
          Tom Jones
          MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
          PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
          IT Trainer / Consultant
          Ossian Ltd
          Scotland

          ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Discussion Q -- When do you put in additional Exchange sites?

            Their judgement is possibly clouded by the chance to get their own kit to play with. How many users is it roughly?
            cheers
            Andy

            Please read this before you post:


            Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Discussion Q -- When do you put in additional Exchange sites?

              30 to 40 users, but the site is also the main site for the country, with about 100 users over 4 locations.
              From some checking, it looks as if at least half the email is external and some of the rest is out of the country but internal
              Tom Jones
              MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
              PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
              IT Trainer / Consultant
              Ossian Ltd
              Scotland

              ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Discussion Q -- When do you put in additional Exchange sites?

                From personal experience I would vote for centralising on few servers as long as the speed and reliability of the links is sufficient.

                As an example of somewhere where it woudn't work that well - we currently host 6 Exchange servers to cover 8 sites. In at least 4 of those sites with Exchange servers could have a sufficiently quick and stable internet link installed then I see no reason to host their own servers locally. However 2Mb SDSL lines are just not up to the job when you've got huge engineering drawings / models being fired about the place via e-mail

                When / if I find myself in a situation akin to yours, I make sure I take a step back and look at it from what is best for the business as a whole and then try and chose a technical solutation which best fits that. Afterall, we're in the business of supporting the rest of the company not the other way around.
                This message represents the official view of the voices in my head

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