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Do we really need Front End Server in order to get mobile phones connect to exchange to read emails? What is the economical and easiest solution? Please advice on this matter

Thank you Noureddine

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Depends on the phone. In every case expect for Blackberry devices, you'll need an internet-exposed connection point of some sort; it's up to you whether it's exposing IMAP or ActiveSync, and whether it's exposed via something like a front-end device or whether you NAT connections directly in to an internal server.

Now, there's a difference between what you can do and what you should do; the level of risk you take on depends on your organization's security policies. Generally speaking, more layers of security in between the internet and your internal infrastructure is better (thus; front-ends = good, more services than needed = bad, direct NAT to servers hosting mailboxes = bad).

On that subject: if you are using IMAP, force encryption. This cannot be overstated. Unencrypted IMAP will compromise your users' accounts.

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