Exchange Server 2007 Management and Maintenance Practices : Proper Care and Feeding of Exchange Server 2007

12/8/2013 8:25:03 PM

This section is not about how to perform common, albeit necessary, management tasks such as using the interface to add a database. Instead, it focuses on concepts such as identifying and working with the server’s functional roles in the network environment, auditing network activity and usage, and monitoring the health and performance of your messaging system.

With each new iteration of Exchange, Microsoft has greatly improved the tools and utilities used to manage the environment. Exchange 2007 is no exception. Exchange Server 2007 management can be done locally or remotely. There are new primary management interfaces, the Exchange Management Console and the Exchange Management Shell, and new tools and utilities to assist administrators in the upkeep of their environment.

Managing by Server Roles and Responsibilities

New in Exchange Server 2007 is the concept of role-based deployment, allowing administrators to deploy specific server roles to meet the requirements of their environment. Exchange 2007 provides five distinct server roles: Edge Transport, Hub Transport, Client Access, Mailbox, and Unified Messaging.

The Edge Transport Server Role

The Edge Transport server role is responsible for all email entering or leaving the Exchange organization. To provide redundancy and load balancing, multiple Edge Transport servers can be configured for an organization.

The Edge Transport role is designed to be installed on a standalone server that resides in the perimeter network. As such, it is the only Exchange server designed to NOT be a member of the Active Directory (AD) domain. Synchronization with Active Directory is provided through the use of Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM) and a component called EdgeSync.

Edge Transport servers can provide antispam and antivirus protection, as well as the enforcement of Edge Transport rules based on Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) and Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) addresses, particular words in the subject or message body, and a Spam Confidence Level (SCL) rating. In addition, Edge Transport servers can provide address rewriting—an administrator can modify the SMTP address on incoming and outgoing messages.

It is possible for an organization to avoid the use of an Edge Transport server completely and simply configure a Hub Transport server to communicate directly with the Internet. However, this scenario is not recommended because it exposes your Hub Transport server to potential attack. The Edge Transport server has a reduced attack surface to protect against these external threats.

The Hub Transport Server Role

The Hub Transport role is responsible for managing internal mail flow in an Exchange organization and is installed on a member server in the AD domain.

The Hub Transport role handles all mail flow within the organization, as well as applying transport rules, journaling policies, and delivery of messages to recipient mailboxes. In addition, Hub Transport agents can be deployed to enforce corporate messaging policies such as message retention and the implementation of email disclaimers.

Hub Transport servers accept inbound mail from the Edge Transport server(s) and route them to user mailboxes. Outbound mail is relayed from the Hub Transport server to the Edge Transport server and out to the Internet.

The Hub Transport role can be installed on the same hardware with any other nonclustered internal server role or as a dedicated Hub Transport server. It can not be installed on the same hardware as an Edge Transport server role.

Each AD site that contains a Mailbox server role must contain at least one Hub Transport server role.

The Client Access Server Role

The Client Access role is similar to the front-end server in Exchange 2000/2003. Users who are accessing mailboxes via Outlook Web Access (OWA), Microsoft ActiveSync, Post Office Protocol version 3 (POP3), or Internet Message Access Protocol version 4 (IMAP4) must connect to the Client Access server to gain entry. As a matter of fact, for a user to access an Inbox with any client other than Microsoft Outlook, a Client Access server must be installed in the Exchange organization.

The Mailbox Server Role

The Mailbox role will be the most familiar to administrators with previous Exchange experience. As the name implies, the Mailbox role is responsible for housing mailbox databases which, in turn, contain user mailboxes. The Mailbox server role also houses public folder databases if they are implemented in the environment.

The Mailbox server role integrates with the directory in the Active Directory service much more effectively than previous versions of Exchange allowed, making deployment and day-to-day operational tasks much easier to complete. The Mailbox server role also provides users with improved calendaring functionality, resource management, and Offline Address Book downloads.

The Unified Messaging Server Role

The Unified Messaging server role is responsible for the integration of Voice over IP (VoIP) technology into the Exchange messaging system. When implementing Unified Messaging with Exchange 2007, users can have access to voice, fax, and email messages all in the same mailbox, and these messages can be accessed through multiple client interfaces.

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