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Microsoft Exchange Mail-on-Demand

Microsoft Exchange can be used as a local mail server to handle intranet mail. It can also be configured to send and receive mail to and from the Internet. Typically, a dedicated Internet connection, including the purchase of a high speed line (T1), a router, a CSU-DSU, a firewall, DNS Servers, etc, would be required in order for clients on your Local Area Network (LAN) to send and receive Internet mail. The capital required to make such a commitment, in most cases, is far too high and prohibits small to medium sized businesses from integrating the Internet into their LAN or Intranet. Multiple dialup accounts with and ISP is also not an appealing long term or cost efficient solution. The Microsoft Exchange server (and other such email servers) offer an appealing alternative.

With the Microsoft Exchange server, you can have the server dial-up to your local ISP on demand, then connect to the mail service on your Blue Reef Virtual Server and download any stored mail. This allows you the ability to have continuous email support on your local intranet where traffic is heavier, in addition to being able to send and receive email to and from the Internet on a more periodic basis.

Because your Blue Reef Virtual Server is always connected to the Internet, it is always available for incoming mail messages and can store (or queue) these messages for you until you are ready to retreive them. The ability of the Microsoft Exchange server to perform dial-on-demand email retrieval allows your company to take advantage of the lower prices of a dial-up connection, as well as allowing you to only require one dialup account. This provides a more affordable Internet mail solution for your company. The information provided here should be easily adaptable for any other Mail Server, such as Novell's Workgroup Server.

The following diagram illustrates the theory behind the process. You and your fellow employees are located on your LAN or Intranet at Your Office. You use a dial-up connection through Your ISP to surf the web, read news, download files, and remotely administrate Your Virtual Server. You may have previously had both an internal LAN mailbox and a POP or IMAP mailbox on your Virtual Server. Using the Microsoft Exchange server (or equivalent software) you can now queue your Internet mail on your Virtual Server and instruct Microsoft Exchange to periodically connect to the Internet, download the mail from your Virtual Server, and then distribute it to your local area network mailboxes.

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