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I am looking for some advice on the following situation..
We will have a Server based at our HQ (in South Africa) that will service the email requirements of people in Singapore,Portugal and Dubai.That is about 500 people will have a mail address of email@example.com, no matter where they are in the world.
What are the implications of this, what are the advantages and disadvantages of using this system.
Would it be better if the other companies got their own mail server and registered their own domains such as comapnyname.ae, companyname.pt,comapanyname.sg??
How would I set up the server so that it is Secure??
Setting up security depends on how your users will interface with the server. Will they be accessing browser based webmail or will they POP to the server? Will they be connecting via VPN or will it be public access?
The users would connect to the Server via POP, therefore there would be some sort of encryption and security. I understand that. What I am looking for is a list of the advantages of 300 users having 1 domain, or should I split the users over the 4 different domains for their country.
Example, one of the drawbacks for a single domain is that the bandwidth at the HQ will increase as the users connect to the server...etc
It seems you have multiple domains for the company covering the various registries. This is normal. For continuity purposes, I would keep everyone on firstname.lastname@example.org -- but that's just me.
POP/SMTP standard does not include encryption. There is various methods of using TLS or SASL for email. We happen to use SMTP/S and POP3/S (SASL) for email. This will ensure that people on untrusted networks (especially wireless) will not be susceptible to sniffing of their password. This is extremely important for infrastructures with integrated ID management systems such as LDAP.
Most importantly, obviously you have to keep unencrypted SMTP open for incoming mail from other systems, but do not allow untrusted networks to relay mail outside your domain. We have our system configured to allow relaying from untrusted networks only if a valid user is authenticated via SASL.
As for your second question of bandwidth usage, there are a few variables you should consider. First, there is time-zone separation. Figure how many users in each location and when they will be connecting the most. Is there any overlap? What is the volume of email -- and incoming email from foreign hosts?
Second, just because you have one domain doesn't mean you need to have one server. You can have multiple servers located in different locations handling the same domain. So, you can consider this option as well. But, 500 users on a properly setup system with quotas and attachment limitations (and the time-zone separation) will easily be handled by a minimal connection such as E1.
If you have a data center handling 500 users then you probably have at least twice that.