Long time no post...

Currently, we're running a GW 6.5 system at a single location in Texas. We've recently opened up remote offices in Christchurch, New Zealand, Cairo, Egypt and San Paulo, Brazil. Each location only has 2-3 people and our current method of accessing our GW server in Texas, USA is not working out. We're subject to slower links and latency in those countries and we are constantly getting connection drops. The users there swear the connection to everything else (GMail) is great it's just our HQ that is bad. I know that Google has 200k+ servers all over the world so that explains their availability, whereas we have 3xT1 connections that are great for us. Anyway....

We're upgrading to GW 8 here in Texas sometime in the coming months and I am investigating ways to help my GW users abroad. The first thing that comes to mind is renting a virtual server in each country, or it's closest well-connected neighbor, and setting up GW domains and POs there.I have a few questions as to how we should do this but I also have some concerns.

Here is a list of what we're looking to accomplish:

1. Global address books. I want all my users, no matter where they are, to have address books that see the entire company.

2. Domain name continuity. If we're user@abc.com, I would like my users in other countries to also be user@abc.com. I am not totally against user@nz.abc.com.

3. Data continuity. If I have a user that moves from HQ to Brazil, I'd like to move them to that new domain/PO/MTA and have them keep their e-mail when they connect to the server in their location.

Now, my questions...

1. With remote servers connecting back to HQ, would TCP/IP links be secure?

2. Most Windows-based virtual servers are in the 512MB RAM range. Would this be enough, realistically?

3. How difficult is the setup of additional domains, POs and MTAs?

4. Would all the systems share an address book?

5. Can we move users around to different domains as they move? Would their e-mail follow?

I know this is a long post. Any help or experience is greatly appreciated.