thinking about exchange server - many many questions. New territory

Hi
I work for a small company (15-20 employees), we currently run windows xp and have an old server.  What we want to do is setup shared calendars and contacts so the entire office can access them.  This is in Outlook.  
what I need to know before i go and spend $$ on a new server is, how can this be done?  
Do I need Microsofts exchange server to accomplish this?  
Does exchange server run on its own or do i need to setup server 2003 and then put exchange server on it as well?
Can this be done without a server (shared contacts and calendar)
What is exchange server exactly?  is it just an advanced mail server?
We also need to synchronize our palm piolts with the shared contacts and calendar.

sorry if this seems like basic questions but this is new territory to me and - gulp - im in charge of settig this up

thanks
0
lou1410 (1)
1/19/2004 6:11:24 PM
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Louis Ardolino wrote:
> Hi
> I work for a small company (15-20 employees), we currently run
> windows xp and have an old server.  What we want to do is setup
> shared calendars and contacts so the entire office can access them.
> This is in Outlook. what I need to know before i go and spend $$ on a
> new server is, how can this be done? Do I need Microsofts exchange
> server to accomplish this?

Simple answer: yes... it is by far the preferred method, and in an office
your size, would not be considered overkill by most people. There are some
third party apps that purport to allow sharing, but I can say for sure that
Exchange would likely be the best bet.

Does exchange server run on its own or do
> i need to setup server 2003 and then put exchange server on it as
> well?

Exchange requires an Active Directory (AD) domain - you might want to look
into SBS (Small Business Server) if you don't anticipate your company
growing much in size in the future. You don't need to install everything
that comes with SBS (and don't install anything you don't absolutely need).
Re hardware - I don't know what your "old server" specs are (nor what OS
it's running now) but you want decent quality server hardware - including
SCSI RAID for your hard drives to run this.

> Can this be done without a server (shared contacts and
> calendar)

See http://www.slipstick.com/outlook/share.htm - as mentioned above,
Exchange is going to do most of this a lot better.

> What is exchange server exactly?  is it just an advanced
> mail server?

It would be more accurately described as "groupware". For an overview of
Exchange, try www.microsoft.com/exchange

> We also need to synchronize our palm piolts with the
> shared contacts and calendar.

For that you'll need third party conduit software such as Chapura
PocketMirror Pro (not Standard). www.chapura.com

>
> sorry if this seems like basic questions but this is new territory to
> me and - gulp - im in charge of settig this up

I suggest your company look into engaging an experienced Exchange/AD
consultant to do the setup and ensure it is done properly and that your
network is protected - network security and Exchange-aware antivirus are a
must, as are proper nightly backups of Exchange (and other data). Once it's
been set up, maintaining it shouldn't be an enormous task, although you may
want to have said consultant drop by periodically for
housekeeping/maintenance and to make sure everything is running smoothly.


>
> thanks


0
lanwench (7567)
1/19/2004 8:40:35 PM
Reply:

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