We also have a domain name &&&&&&&.co.uk. As I understand it with the domain name registration company we can have up to 20 email aliases on the .co.uk address e.g.1234@&&&&&&&&.co.uk, 5678@&&&&&&&.co.uk etc etc.
From what I have understood so far everything that is sent to the registered domain name is redirected to the ISP address so it all falls into one pop3 server account. The way it has been explained is that the exchange server included with Small Business Server will pick up mail from the pop3 account and then distribute it within the company. There are some folks that benefit from emails at the moment that do not (and do not want) computers, so for some points I will still find myself receiving and printing email messages for them.
ok....you need to discuss this with your domain registration company...but...if you've got 20 email addresses available with the registrar.....then you can have 20 seperate mail boxes on their pop server...if they're doing hosted mail.....the normal method of delivering email is NOT to agregate email accounts into one mailbox.....
this may need some better investigation though.....when someone sends someone at your company an email do they send it to email@example.com or do they send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org etc.. and they all show up in email@example.com?...trying to understand this completely
MOST (if not all ISPs) offer hosted email...the same as hotmail.com or gmail.com or aol.com...and many of them allow you to use any domain name you choose for said email...is your DNS registrar the same as your ISP? are you paying for hosted mail through them?
The primary concern however is security of confidential data held on the servers.
I am also thinking now, do I need two servers, or if one can be seen from the other network (not currently possible with the Novell IPX network we have at the minute) can I manage with only one server? Would it be efficient with a broadband router to router VPN
extremely doable...through the VPN (controlled by your router) you've got site to site connection....in theory if it's set up correctly right now you should be able to ping computerA at officeA from computerB from officeB through the VPN...if you can't...it can be made to where that works with some relatively simple router configs
at which point a single server (either SBS or otherwise) could be accessed from either end of the wire..
ANOTHER solution (which may be easier for you to support in house rather than using contracted IT services) is a NAS (network attached storage)....a NAS is basically a box of hard drives with a network card in it....there are a lot of enterprise level NAS devices (http://www.tigerdire....asp?CatId=2672
) around that offer really large storage volumes as well as enhanced security...most enterprise level NAS devices allow for you to either create local authentication profiles, or tie in to domain authentication profiles (novel, microsoft's active directory, radius, ldap queries, etc..) which means you can create folders within the NAS root and assign user permissions to these folders....so userA can have access to folders A, B, and C, but not D etc.. they're usually really easy to manage as well...most of them have webmanagement portals that allow you to configure everything about the device etc... many of them also support FTP...either internal or external or both...you usually just have to make some routing rules and modify some ACLS in your router to make the thing accessible from the internet (and thereby the entire planet)
of course this is one solution...the other solution would be to have either one or two SBS servers that are hosting your files etc...i'm just concerned that the management of this equipment might be a little more difficult than something as simple as a NAS...you've got to know some prerequisite information to run an SBS server....and there's a big difference between running SBS in a workgroup or creating a domain (client/server) structure within your network....both options should be fully explored with regards to SBS...
in a workgroup environment (basically what you've got now)...all of the authentication takes place on the client...not the server...so you can have 12 users named JSmith if you've got 12 computers...but you can never be sure that they're all the same JSmith (one could be John one could be Joan)...this leads to certain issues...such as always having to enter a username/password when connecting to your file server...another disadvantage is the use of computer policies etc.. (like who's got the rights to get to what, what programs can they use, all the way down to what desktop wallpaper they have) are controlled by the local machine as well...so if you've got a broad sweeping change in policy you've got to go to each machine to change those settings by hand
in a domain environment all of the authentication takes place on the server...so you can only ever have one user named JSmith (JSmith would be John...if Joan wants a user she'd have to be JoanS or something to that effect) so you always know that that user (the user account not necessarily the person behind the keyboard) is who you think they are...which ties in to domain policies, file permissions, and local computer policies....if a computer is a member of a domain...you can make a policy change on the domain controller (main PC) and it will automatically make those setting changes on the client computers. for file access if you set folderA on the server to only allow userA to get in...then that's always how it will be no matter which computer userA logs in from
all of these options come with overhead and management costs (money or time)...so it's best to evaluate all the options....if you don't have a strong in house IT group that's capable of managing a windows server out of the box...you might try thinking smaller....with the small amount of people you're talking about in your office...a domain structure might be overkill (i've built domains for as few as 3 users...but thats for a specific project with a specific reason)...
my biggest concern at the moment is your email situation....if we can get the details on that straight the decision will become clearer