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Tip of the Day
Language: Microsoft Exchange
Expertise: Beginner
Dec 20, 1999

Is Exchange the Answer?

Question:
I am setting up a new post office SYS. We have five sites over the United Kingdom. Is Exchange the right product to use?

We would require replication of all addresses on each site. Each site would have to administer its own address, although it should be possible to administer from one location if needed. All internal e-mail should stay in the WAN; all external e-mail should go out to a Web site hoster, who would have all 500 addresses set up. Also, there might be one or two sites outside the UK, which would also need to replicate their addresses to the UK site through the Web. Can you offer any help? (We have Windows 95/98 and Windows NT on Novell.)

Answer:
Difficult questions to answer. Exchange certainly does support multiple site locations, remote administration, replication of folders and addresses, and so forth, so it would meet your requirements there.

I think the place to start, however, is with your users: what application will they have? Just simple messaging, groupware, or what? Also, do they have a preferred client? And how fast are the links between the sites? All of this is a consideration.

I'm a bit biased, perhaps, but I certainly would consider Exchange to be my preferred solution for this kind of problem, although each situation is unique and there could certainly be scenarios where I might look at something else like Lotus Notes or even a simpler solution.

Start with the people and you can't go far wrong. What do they need to do, what do they want to do, what's the best client software to support that, and what server platform does the best job, on the back end, of enabling that?

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