I would your suggestions for an effective solution for a person, who needs to access resources in two Windows domains and wants to use one computer. It's about our CEO, who has accepted a second position in another company.

Accessing files and folders isn't big problem. The greatest challenge I see is that he wants to conveniently access Exchange accounts in both companies; he would like to send and receive mail in single Outlook if possible (two profiles?) There is also a challenge with calendars: he would like to have one calendar for all activities from both Exchange accounts.

Creating a POP3 account for accessing second Exchange server is a last resort, because obviously there is a problem with scheduling meetings and other calendar related tasks.

Forwarding and receiving all mail/tasks on primary Exchange server is inconvenient because simple replying to original sender is disabled; and also when manually changing the recepient, he will receive mail from the wrong address.

We were considering Virtualisation, that is setting up an instance of virtual machine inside existing installation and then joining this virtual computer to a second domain. Then installing another MS Outlook. This would of course mean two different Outlook accounts, two different calendars, but would at least enable our CEO to access all information from a single laptop.

Does anyone have any other idea? I know setting up two domains on a single computer is a no-go (without much hacking at least), but effective workarounds are appreciate. The thing I am looking here is high usage/efficiency/productivity, but also as elegant solution from the administration point of view.

Thank you very much (if you managed to read this through, this is a good sign ^_^ )

  • I'd think you'd get better responses on serverfault.com – MDMarra Nov 12 '09 at 13:14
  • I'd use the Virtualization solution in your case. It's the easiest solution. – Wim ten Brink Nov 12 '09 at 14:00

Two machines (virtual might do fine) would be the way I would suggest, mostly because mixing two different companies' information in one machine seems dangerous and might involve breaching policies and generally losing control (this situation should already be answered in existing IT policies for the two companies)...

Are both companies under the same umbrella with the same IT department and so forth? If not, I would stay away from trying to mix them in a single machine.... wishing for a single machine is one thing, a single machine being a good idea is a totally different question ^^

If it was me, I'd have him use a second laptop issued by the new company and not have it touch anything in the old company except for connecting to the new company through a guest network and VPN when situated at the old office... and vice versa. But then again, I'm a bit paranoid about these things. He'd then possibly grow tired of this at times and just get by using web site access to one or the other company for the simpler stuff like handling e-mail and calendars? ^^


Having to Exchange accounts on one machine is possible if you use 2 separate outlook profiles and he selects the one he wants when opening Outlook. However they are always going to remain 2 separate accounts, he's not going to be able to have 1 calendar for each account, or merge the email from both account if he is using MAPI to connect to both.

You could as you say pull email from one account into the other using POP, but you're then intermixing the email from two companies, and you then become responsible for storing and backing up this email, which is not a great idea and it's only going to solve the email problem, not calendaring. It also means that he loses the ability to access the global address list, and use internal distribution lists, etc.

I would suggest keeping them in 2 profiles and switching between when needed. If he really has to have access to both at the same time, you could get him to use Outlook for one and Outlook Web Access for the other, or set up a VM so he could have 2 copies of Outlook running (all a bit of a kludge really).


Well, in Exchange you can give one user full access rights to another mailbox (from the Exchange Console), then from the local Outlook, you can load that additional mailbox. However with a cross-domain environment, I think this can only be accomplished by creating a Trust between the domains. You might have to research that part first.

  • I think you can only cross-trust domains that are in the same forest. If it's a seperate company it's most likely a different forest as well. – Mark Henderson Nov 30 '09 at 23:41

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