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  • Extensive Exchange 2010 question

    Hello all,

    I came in to an organization that is growing rapidly to be a part of the IT staff (growing the staff to 2), and am in the process of trying to wrestle some aspects of their Active Directory / Exchange 2010 setup into a better configuration.

    We started out as a company in one physical location, grew to two locations, and recently this year have become four locations. I came on when the company was two locations. At that time, the current AD structure was about as default as you get - no OU organization, everything configured as one site, and some basic GPO stuff. We have something on the order of ~350 mailboxes spread between all four locations.

    Currently, we run our exchange 2010 setup with a main server on one location with HT, CAS, and MBX. Our mailbox is in a DAG with multiple other mailbox servers - one in the same primary location, and another in our second location.

    As you might suspect with our current setup, there are a variety of single points of failure that take down email for the entire organization at all sites. I have done an extensive amount of reading about what a proper exchange 2010 setup should look like in a multisite environment, and I feel pretty comfortable with what the end product should look like.

    My question is how to get there. I would like to get HT, CAS, and MBX servers in each of our four locations. I need to get the AD configured properly so that each physical location is a different site in AD.

    My concern is this: based on what I read, each AD site requires a CAS. If I go and separate out the sites in AD, will I break my Outlook connectivity with the original CAS? It seems like I need to break the sites up properly first before I set up a CAS in my other locations, but will Outlook clients still connect to the CAS that is now in a different site?

    From what I understand from this forum and others, I unfortunately have some legwork ahead of me in repairing profiles, etc. on Outlook in order for those clients to connect to my new CAS. I am fine with that. But I would like to be able to separate the sites and bring up the second CAS without interrupting current service.

    Then there wlll be work with setting up more HT's, possibly some edge transports, and some rearrangement of mailbox databases and what not. But right now I want to get a good idea on what the proper steps might be. I to all the gurus here, who I am sure must have great ideas

  • #2
    Re: Extensive Exchange 2010 question

    Each site that has a mailbox server requires a CAS. You don't need a CAS in an AD Site if you don't have mailboxes there.

    What is the bandwidth in each location like? The way that most implemenations are going now is server consolidation. So put two servers in a data centre, with a DAG, HW load balancer and have everything centralised.

    Deploy an RPC CAS Array now, it has zero impact but will make it easier to change things later.

    Don't bother with Edge, waste of money.

    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: Extensive Exchange 2010 question

      Thanks for the reply.

      I've thought about the datacenter option. I haven't even begun exploring that from a cost perspective, but I may. We have a decent bit of available infrastructure in house, so I have been leaning to do it inside because I have stuff to work with.

      Two of our sites have a high bandwidth wireless connection, as they are not that far from each other. Our other two sites have a single T1 each connected back to our main site at present.

      So if I understand you correctly, if my mailboxes are mounted in site A, I need a CAS there. I could go ahead and separate out a site B (with their mailboxes in A), without fear of disrupting anything. I could build my site B CAS and everything else in preparation for moving mailboxes of site B to site B. then when all is ready, I could do the fun task of moving mailboxes and redoing outlook profiles.

      From a 10,000 foot view, what am I missing?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Extensive Exchange 2010 question

        The biggest problem you have is getting the Outlook clients updated to use the local servers. I would suggest that you deploy an RPC CAS Array per AD Site, so that changes can be managed a little more efficiently in the future.

        The other main headache with distributed servers is maintenance and recovery. You have to back them up, have antivirus and antispam, ensure that they are secure etc etc. It is a lot more efficient to centrally locate everything and then have DAG protection and load balancers - if the bandwidth is up to it of course.

        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.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Extensive Exchange 2010 question

          The bandwidth would potentially be up to it, although my experience thus far with doing site to site VPN tunnels with our watchguard firewalls is that the VPN tunnel speed is markedly slower than the actual bandwidth available at any given point. That is definitely an entirely separate thread, though.

          Let me do a little bit of parsing about your suggestion. I understand the allure of the datacenter option, and how it simplifies things. It brings me to other questions, mainly about how you set up what you have in each site to interact with the datacenter. But let me do some research and reading before I ask.

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          • #6
            Re: Extensive Exchange 2010 question

            If the data centre is part of your domain, and there is no reason why it shouldn't be, then there is nothing special to setup, as the information is all in the domain.
            If you decide to complicate matters with another Forest, then you are looking at Outlook Anywhere.

            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.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Extensive Exchange 2010 question

              no no, I wouldn't do that. It would definitely be a part of our domain.

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