Uncovering the Exchange 2007 Edge Transport Server (Part 2)

If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:

 

 

 

Introduction

 

In the first part of this article series, we took a look at Microsoft’s vision with the Edge Transport server role as well as talked about why you might want to consider deploying it in your organization. In this part we will go through the steps necessary in order to deploy a single basic Edge Transport server in an Exchange 2007 based messaging infrastructure.

 

Prerequisites

 

In order to follow along with the deployment steps in this article, you need to have the following ready in your lab environment:

 

 

  • An Exchange 2007 SP1 organization where you have deployed at least one Hub Transport server
  • Have a Windows Server 2003 SP1 or Windows Server 2008 Standard edition ready (the server on which we will install the Edge Transport server role)

 

Installing required components and configuring the server

 

Okay so before we can install the Edge Transport server role on the server, there are several steps we must complete first.

 

Creating a DNS Suffix

 

Before you can install the Edge Transport Server role, you should make sure you have created a DNS Suffix on the server. Be sure to pick the right NetBIOS name as well as DNS Suffix the first time as its not supported to change these once the Edge Transport server role has been installed. In addition, the readiness check will fail if a DNS Suffix cannot be located. Creating the DNS Suffix is a very simple process; you can do so by logging on to the server with the Administrator account, or another account with administrator rights. Then click Start and then right-click My Computer and select Properties in the context menu On the system property page, click the Computer Name tab and then Change (see Figure 1).

 


Figure 1: Computer Name Tab

 

Now click the More button and then enter the respective DNS Suffix (see Figure 2). Click OK four times.

 


Figure 2: DNS Suffix and NetBIOS Computer Name

 

Click Yes to reboot the server, so the changes takes effect.

 

Since the Edge Transport server role uses ADAM directory service as the repository for the replicated configuration and recipient data from Active Directory, it should come as no surprise that we’ll need to install the ADAM component before we can install the Edge Transport server role. If you plan on installing the Edge Transport server role on a Windows 2003 R2 server, you can install the component via the Add or Remove Programs | Add/Remove Windows Components| Active Directory Services, here you need to tick Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM) as shown in Figure 3, then click OK twice.

 


Figure 3: Adding the ADAM Component

 

Like is the case with any other Exchange 2007 Server role you also need to install both the .NET Framework 2.0 component as well as Windows PowerShell 1.0.
SMTP Transport Stack

 

As most of you might recall Exchange Server 2000 and 2003 extended and made use of the Windows Server 2000 or 2003 SMTP and NNTP services, and thus required you installed both the Windows NNTP and the SMTP component (which both are part of IIS) prior to installing the Exchange Server product itself. Since NNTP is one of the features which aren’t supported in Exchange Server 2007, you need to make sure this component isn’t installed on the server, if it is the Exchange Server 2007 Readiness Check will fail. In addition because Exchange Server 2007 no longer makes use of the Windows Server SMTP service, but instead has its own transport stack, which has been written from the ground up in managed code, you also need to make sure the Windows Server SMTP component isn’t installed on the server. Like with NNTP the Exchange Server 2007 Readiness Check will fail, if this component is found on the server. Some of you might ask why the Exchange Product group replaced the Windows SMTP component with their own? Well by doing so they have reduced the risks that are associated with denial of service attacks as well as eliminated the dependency on IIS as well as reduced the work which is required to properly secure the server for deployment in the perimeter network (aka DMZ or screened subnet).

 

Name Resolution

 

It’s important that the Edge Transport server and the Hub Transport server in your Exchange 2007 organization can resolve each other’s FQDN NetBIOS names. In order to accomplish this, you can create the necessary host record in a forward lookup zone on the DNS server used by the Edge Transport server (typically a DNS server located in the perimeter network) and the Hub Transport server (typically an internal Domain Controller with DNS installed). Note that in order for the Hub Transport server to see the Edge Transport server, you must create the necessary forward lookup zone and name record on the DNS servers as shown in Figure 4.

 


Figure 4: DNS Management MMC Snap-in

 

You may also choose to simply add the FQDN NetBIOS name and IP address of the Edge Transport server to the local hosts file on each Hub Transport server, and the FQDN NetBIOS name and IP address of any Hub Transport server to the local hosts file on the Edge Transport server in your Exchange organization. Although this is a perfectly supported solution, I don’t recommend you use it unless you’re dealing with a small shop which probably got one Edge Transport server and one or perhaps two Hub Transport server. If you’re a messaging administrator/consultant in a large Exchange organization, which contains multiple Edge Transport servers as well as several Hub Transport servers, it’s far better to keep the name resolution centralized on dedicated DNS servers.

 

Installing the Edge Transport Server Role

 

Okay, we can now begin the actual installation of the Exchange 2007 Edge Transport server role. As is the case with all the other Exchange Server 2007 roles, you install this role by performing navigating to the Exchange Server 2007 source directory (DVD media or the network share containing the Exchange Server 2007 binaries) and double-click on Setup.exe. When the Exchange Server 2007 setup splash screen appears click Step 4: Install Microsoft Exchange.

 

When the Exchange Server 2007 Installation Wizard has initialized, click Next then accept the End User License Agreement (EULA), then click Next again.

 

You now have the option of enabling Error Reporting (which is recommended, so that the Exchange Product group receives information about any issues you encounter, which in the end gives us a better product). When you have decided whether you want to enable error reporting or not, you can click Next.

 

Since we’re going to install the Edge Transport server role, you now need to choose Custom Exchange Server Installation, then click Next (see Figure 5). This is also the screen where you have the option of changing the path for the Exchange Server installation (in the bottom of the screen).

 


Figure 5: Installation Type Setup page

 

Tick Edge Transport Role (see Figure 6), then click Next.

 


Figure 6: Selecting to install the Edge Transport Role

 

When you have selected the Edge Transport serve role as well as the installation path, click Next. If the Readiness Check completes without any issues, you can begin the installation by clicking the Install button. The Installation Wizard will now copy the required files then begin the installation. Since the server on which Edge Transport role is a stand-alone machine, which doesn’t belong to an Active Directory Forest, and since this type of installation is pretty small, the installation process will complete relatively fast.

 

When the installation has completed, click Finish.

 

Summary

 

In part 2 of this article series covering the Edge Transport server role, I took you through the steps necessary in order to deploy an Edge Transport server properly. In the next part, we will verify that the Edge Transport server role was installed correctly as well as create the Edge subscription.

 

If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:

 

 

 

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