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I'm working in an organization where all users has a Standard Exchange CAL license, and Exchange Server Standard Server license is available. The organization has around 1000 users.

Can we use the Exchange server standard to cater 1000 employees? What are the limitations of Exchange Server standard? IT says it doesn't support clustering etc which is required to cater these many number of employees, any one has any experience in this?

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possible duplicate of Can you help me with my software licensing question? –  John Gardeniers Oct 24 '11 at 9:14

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

1000 users on a decent server is nothing. I think 10.000 is where you need an additional server. Clustering is more about - what do you do when your server fails? Wait?

1000 users FOR ME would mean enterprise license, not because it is technically needed, but because at the end I would want clustering on 2 machiens so that I can avoid downtime on a hardware failure. 1 hour downtime translates to 1000 hours lost productivity.

This is NOT A licensing question - a standard license can nicely handle 5000 users on modern hardware. It is totally about the busienss side. Can you live with the implications for downtime?

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You don't need Exchange Enterprise for CLUSTERING. You need Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise for CLUSTERING. Exchange enterprise vs Standard is only amount of DB's you can run. Where Standard is 5DB's and Enterprise is like 100. Where each DB is 5TB each or so (pefectly fine storage for 1000 users). –  MadBoy Oct 24 '11 at 13:26
    
Corrected - yes, you are right. Standard is more than enough here. –  TomTom Oct 24 '11 at 13:38
    
Do you really think 1000 users need Enterprise if all Enterprise can give you is amount of space? –  MadBoy Oct 24 '11 at 13:40
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Great answer here. Exchange does not require clustering (of whatever kind) to support 1000 users (I've got much more than that on one mailbox server myself). The business might require a version of exchange that supports some kind of high availability in order to meet the business requirements for availability, etc. so in that regard, the IT department might be correct in what they're saying, just poor at explaining why they've reached that conclusion. –  RobM Oct 26 '11 at 21:45
    
Thank you, accepted as answer. –  amazedsaint Oct 27 '11 at 16:02

TomTom is right about Exchange 2010 Standard being enough to support 1000 and even more clients but other then that there's other things you need to consider.

What you need to take into consideration if you want to go with only one Exchange 2010 STD or would you like to use DAG.

If you want to use DAG which means you can reboot one server while the other takes all the load and vice-verse and everything continues to run you need Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise and at least 2 licenses of Exchange 2010 Standard (each box would have to have all roles installed). You also need some kind of Load Balancer (hardware or software) that can direct traffic right.

Two or more Exchange Server 2010 Client Access Servers can be configured as a CAS array using NLB as long they are not also installed as Mailbox servers that are members of a Database Availability Group (DAG).

The reason is that DAG members utilize Windows Failover Clustering, which can’t co-exist with NLB.`

Exchange 2010 Enterprise doesn't give you more then amount of supported DB's (STD gives you 5, Enterprise 100 or so). Each DB can be 5TB in space so as long as 5TB x 5 is fine for you should be fine with Standard version. If you want DAG you need to buy Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise as it's uses it's clustering options.

Also you need to distinguish CAL's. There's STD CAL and ENT CAL. STD CAL covers all the basics of Exchange and it can be used (if you want to) to work with Exchange 2010 ENT. If you would like additional features (basically Archiving comes to my mind) then you would need Exchange STD CAL and Exchange ENT CAL (not just one, but both). So in other words you always stard with Exchange STD CAL whether you use Exchange 2010 STD Server or 2010 ENT Server. And the main difference is amount of DB's that are supported.

Also you perfectly fine to use Exchange 2010 STD and Exchange STD CAL + Exchange ENT CAL to get Archive functionality in Exchange 2010 STD.

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Load balancer? NLB not good enough? –  TomTom Oct 24 '11 at 13:39
    
Hrmms, I somewhere read you need hw load balancer but been setting up DAG myself last days and it works perfectly fine without it (for 1 user without much testing). But can't say for sure. I guess it just neeeds devices that support NLB then.. For example our Draytek was uncapable to deliver traffic from/to ip created for NLB. But our TMG 2010 can see it and traffic is flowing. –  MadBoy Oct 24 '11 at 13:41
    
TomTom .. just did some more testing and NLB is not enough when all roles are on 2 servers. If DAG is enabled on the very same servers as you have CAS roles .. it just won't work Client Access Server Array Pre-Requisites are Two or more Exchange Server 2010 Client Access Servers can be configured as a CAS array using NLB as long they are not also installed as Mailbox servers that are members of a Database Availability Group (DAG). The reason is that DAG members utilize Windows Failover Clustering, which can’t co-exist with NLB. –  MadBoy Oct 26 '11 at 21:26

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