|Part of the planning process for deploying Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server in your organization is determining how to administer it. With the introduction of Active Directory, you can separate the administration of servers from the administration of recipients. Understanding this separation is important in deciding how to administer Exchange. In addition, understanding the new administration models is necessary to administer servers and recipients effectively.
This article provides an overview of administering Exchange 2000 Server. In addition, it includes an overview of hardware issues that are important for you to consider when planning a strategy for managing your servers.
You manage Exchange using Microsoft Management Console (MMC). MMC is a tool used to create, save, and open collections of administrative tools, which are called consoles. Consoles contain items such as snap-ins, extension snap-ins, monitor controls, tasks, wizards, and documentation for managing the hardware, software, and networking components of your Windows 2000 system. A snap-in is software that comprises the smallest unit of MMC extension providing administrative functionality. You can add items to an existing MMC console, or you can create new consoles and configure them to administer a specific system component.
Exchange permissions are based on the Windows 2000 permission model. You can assign permissions that a user or group has on an object and on the object's child objects.
The Windows 2000 Active Directory security model is extended in Exchange by using extended permissions. In earlier versions of Exchange, after a user is granted access, the user has access to all objects in that container. In Exchange 2000, you can specify user and group access by object class; for example, you can grant administrators permission to view the status of the mailbox store but not the size of a user's mailbox.
With the releases of Windows 2000 Server and Exchange 2000 Server, recipients are defined as objects within Active Directory and can take advantage of Exchange functionality. Recipients include Active Directory objects users, groups, and contacts. You create mailboxes, new users, distribution groups, and perform other related tasks in Active Directory Users and Computers because these objects are contained in and managed by Active Directory.
Interoperability with Earlier Versions of Exchange
Mailbox management includes creating, modifying, and deleting mailboxes, e-mail addresses, and related properties. In Exchange 2000, mailbox management is integrated with Active Directory recipient management. Exchange 2000 Server does not provide a separate mailbox management tool as earlier versions of Exchange do.
In earlier versions of Exchange, the Administrator program had to be connected to an Exchange server to extract configuration information from the directory service and make changes. With Active Directory, you can use System Manager to connect to any Windows 2000 domain controller and extract information from Active Directory.
In Exchange 2000 Server you administer all facets of Exchange configuration centrally through System Manager. System Manager is a saved console file that is launched from the Start menu after Exchange is installed. You can configure servers, connectors, public folders, address lists, protocols, and policies in System Manager.
Administrative Groups and Routing Groups
In Exchange 2000 there are two ways to organize servers: administrative groups, which are based on a logical grouping of servers for administration; and routing groups, which are based on a physical grouping of servers for routing. In earlier versions of Exchange, the concept of a site represented the boundary for administrative topology and routing topology.
Interoperability with Earlier Versions of Exchange
Exchange 2000 operates in mixed mode when you first install it. Mixed mode allows Exchange 2000 servers and servers running earlier versions of Exchange to coexist in the same organization. It allows interoperability between versions by limiting functionality to features that both products share.
Important If you change the operation mode of an Exchange 2000 Server organization from mixed mode to native mode, you cannot reverse the change and the organization is no longer interoperable with earlier versions of Exchange. It is important to consider this in your planning.
Exchange address lists provide a mechanism to partition mail-enabled objects in Active Directory for the benefit of specific groups of users. For example, if your organization is spread across a wide geographical area, you can specify an address list that extracts mail-enabled objects according to location. For a user who searches for users, groups, and contacts that reside within a common geographical area, providing a condensed version of Active Directory specific to location streamlines the user's search. Exchange address lists support Microsoft Outlook 2000, Outlook 98, and Outlook 97, but not Outlook Express.
You create custom address lists to help users who need a custom view of recipients within the Exchange organization. For example, you can create an address list that includes only employees in North America, or you can create an address list that includes only employees in the marketing department.
A policy is a collection of configuration settings that you apply to one or more Exchange configuration objects. Policies simplify the administration of Exchange by controlling the configuration of settings across servers or other objects in an Exchange organization. After you define and implement policies, editing the policy and applying the changes alters the configuration of all servers and objects the policy covers.
You can use System Manager to manage real-time collaboration components such as Chat Service and Instant Messaging.
A critical element of Exchange administration is maintaining your system. Before you install Exchange, you should create a plan for system maintenance.
Exchange 2000 Server uses the Windows 2000 Backup utility to back up and restore the Information Store. This utility enables you to protect data from accidental loss or hardware failure. It uses a storage device to back up and restore information located on any local server in your organization or over the network. Windows 2000 provides a System Monitor snap-in and a Performance Logs and Alerts snap-in you can use to measure the performance of computers on your network.
The examples in this section illustrate models of administrative groups and routing groups that relate to different organizational configurations. You can use these administrative group and routing group implementations as examples when planning your Exchange deployment.
The following illustration shows how the distributed management model appears in System Manager.
The following illustration shows how the centralized management model appears in System Manager. Note that the CorporateHQ administrative group contains all of the routing groups.
Centralized Routing Management
Another aspect of administering servers in Exchange is understanding the different hardware components and the considerations associated with them. You can install and run Exchange in a variety of physical configurations. Server capabilities and Exchange requirements can determine how you allocate your hardware resources.