I'd always thought about getting an Exchange Box installed here, our current e-mail system works well but lacks a lot of other features (share calendars, proper AD integration, etc) and is getting on a bit. I'm aware of other products, but for now looking at Exchange.
New BM has also expressed concern that the e-mail system is lacking and wants me to start getting an Exchange Server in soon. I had planned for a Summer install and migration, but she wants it sooner but I need to plan it correctly.
So, not really looked at 2007, and had better start looking and one thing that pops to mind already..... How many servers do I need? From what Microsoft is telling me, I need an Edge Transport Server and then the 'main' server looking after all the other roles!!! Crikey, when did this get complicated? There was me thinking I would have just an 'Exchange Box'.
Question is, will Exchange 2007 go on to one box or do I have to split the roles over multiple machines? How are people running it your world? We've got approx 1200 pupils and approx 100 staff.
Also, in the ideal world you have a front-end and back-end servers for OWA. Is this still the case or again, are people running things quite happily all on one box?
Cheers in advance.
Exchange 2007 is a lot more flexible than previous versions, and can definitely be more complicated. That said, you can still run all the various roles on a single server (well, actually if you have a single server, some of the roles aren't required anyway).
We've got a couple of clients setup in that way, with probably a few hundred accounts on the server. Microsoft 'Best Practice' and what's actually feasible in a real-world situation aren't always the same thing :p
Also, it's well worth reading up on MS Powershell, as that's where a lot of the Exchange admin is done - the GUI only allows fairly basic management of the system.
Just Bumping this as I know I posted this over the Xmas period. Just would like to get a bit more feedback.
Don't need more than one server, just get a decent server.
We run 800 Student email accounts, and 300 Staff email accounts, Mcafee Groupshield and allow external access to email for all mail accounts and the server is hardly struggling at all.
Something else to bear in mind, and that's that Smoothwall School Guardian has an Anti-virus option (SmoothZap) that tends to work out a load cheaper than buying Exchange-aware anti-virus (which usually has to be licensed on a per-mailbox basis).
Obviously that'll only be a cheaper option if you're already using School Guardian!
Indeed you can run all of the various server modes off just one modereately well specced server with plenty of storage for your mailboxes (ours runs off our AX150 SAN). The interface and way of working is far better than with Exchange 2003 and since our transition runs sweet as a nut.
Please be aware that if you require external access and want to use all of the goodies you will need a 'Universal Communications Certificate' (a special type of SSL cert) and decent backup software as Windows backup won't cut it. I use Dantz Retrospect (actually EMC Retrospect) with the Exchange plugin. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.
I am setting up an Exchange box in a Lancs school. Is there any reason why I shouldn't be able to set up the send connector to point to the Lancs SMTP servers and send email, before I get the Westfield Centre to switch over so we start receiving email also?
in theory no, but you'll need to make them aware of the plans, so they allow the traffic
Well, I can telnet into their mail server from a cmmand prompt on the Exchange box. But any mail I send using Exchange (using OWA) gets stuck in the queue: "unable to connect".
Maybe I should bite the bullet and just hope it works when I get them to switch over!
well, they'll need to set up a receiver, as they've obviously some kind of auth error.
Have you let them know you want to do this...?
add as much ram as you can afford.. it's a beast..
Been running live with it since Jan last year, works a dream. Like above - clue up on Powershell, will save you a lot of time. So many things we now do from firing up PS rather than the GUI (eg banning student accounts!).
If you need any help, or want to take a look - PM me.
Thanks to all those who responded earlier.
The planning is going ok, I've been getting quotes in and deciding on the changes needed to the system to get this in place.
I've had the usual three quotes through now, although the third quote has thrown me a little bit.
While two have spec'd similar servers which seem quite high spec, the third has stated that it's OTT and has suggested two servers (one for backend and one for front end) but lower spec.
So, do you think a hp Compaq DL380 G5 with 2 x Quad Xeon 3.0Ghz with 8Gb RAM. Redundant PSU, HDDs will be 2 x 73Gb for the OS with the other six bays setup as RAID 5 with hot spare (can't remember the size at this moment) for the Data Stores. Cost of this server is in the region of £5.5k.
What do you think? Seems a lot of money for a server, but I like the idea of having something with a bit of grunt and I know that EX2007 can be a bit of a monster.
What are other people running it on?
Again, thanks in advance for any info.
The storage would seem a little ott for and exchange box.
I've been designing an Exchange box and its very similar to yours pete, we would have around 500-600 accounts on it, use the OWA extensivly (I would make students use OWA over Outlook, but SMT and Admin will use Outlook, not decided on teachers yet), and was looking at a HP DL380 with Quad Core Xeon (or two as they appeared to be on free double CPU offer), 8GB Ram, and then 6-8 146GB SAS 15K Drives for it. As I've run exchange at 2 previous schools I know that it can be a beast at times and does enjoy a good spec box, and 2007 is no exception to that, so I'd rather have it overkill and then find in 6 months that its not being utilised as much as I planned and then perhaps run a VM on that box, say a VM Print Server, or something that will not "harm" the Exchange part of it but will mean I get some more value out of the hardware as it were.