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Managing multiple domain mailboxes

I have a Windows 2003 Enterprise install with Exchange 2003 Enterprise working successfully so far with only the original domain setup in DNS (exchange.demo.com). I'm able to log in either with Outlook Web Access or Outlook and see my public folders Outlook related information.

I'm basically getting the server ready to provide this same type of environment for different companies. It will be an Exchange hosting environment for multiple domains where they can have their own e-mail, and access to public folders and address lists for their own domain.

I would like to keep the domain mailboxes and public folders independent of each other. I've read that:

1. The multiple storage group is not the way to go because you can only have four and you would use that feature for much more complicated tasks.

2. I followed the article name "Shared Hosting with Exchange 2003 (part 1) available at http://www.msexchange.org but I had problems creating a separate public folder instance for those new users. All the users, regardless of the domain they were a part of, could see all of the available public folders. I didn't know if this were just a matter of creating different public folders and assigning users or groups to that folder via the permissions screen.

Do you have any tips on the best practical way to do this while keeping in mind I want to put many domains on one beefy server?

You'll need to create a new top level Public Folder (PF) for each company. So let's say you have three hosted companies. You will need top-level folders called (as an example) Company 1, Company 2 and Company 3. You'll have to create these all on the same Public Store. For the next step I'm assuming you have created groups for each company, along the lines of all@company1.com, all@company2.com and all@company3.com. For each PF you'll need to change the permissions (within Exchange System Manager) so that the appropriate all@companyx.com group has rights to read/write/etc. to the designated PF. You will then want to ensure that the permissions for the other two (in this case) groups have the "Folder Visible" security setting on the PF unchecked.

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