Configuring Exchange 2000
In this section I have concentrated on how Exchange 2000 has changed from Exchange 5.5. There are plenty of tips on practical configuration. You will find independent advice on how and when to use the Exchange Organization objects.
Mixed v Native Mode
‘Litmus Test’: Some Amateurs think that ‘Mixed mode’ means Windows 98 clients, others think it refers to Outlook 97 clients, both are wrong. Professionals know that Mixed mode means that Exchange 5.5 co-existing with Exchange 2000, while Native mode means no Exchange 5.5 servers in your organization.
Physically changing the mode is easy, but you do need to remember that you are burning your boats, and cannot revert to mixed mode. Go to the Organization Object, Properties and select – Native Mode from the menu.
Displaying Hidden Objects
While you are in the Organization object properties, there are two other options to check. The Routing Groups and Administration Groups are hidden by default, to turn them on select the Organization Object, Properties, then check the two ‘Display Group’ boxes.
Displaying Security Permissions
In order to see the Security Tab and so adjust permissions, you need to add ShowSecurityPage to the registry. Personally, I have always thought it unusual and there is no ‘Show Hidden Settings’ option. That said, I know many of you love every chance to hack the registry!
One of the best decisions you can make with Exchange 2000 is to buy the Enterprise version and so avoid the meagre 16GB mail store limit of the regular Exchange 2000 product. Now that you have unlimited storage space you may have a different problem, the stores become very large and unwieldy. Microsoft has the answer with multiple storage groups.
The philosophy with multiple storage groups is divide and rule. With many small storage units your backups will be quicker. If there is a problem you can isolate to one store while the rest of the organization carry on as normal.
Storage groups are created by right-clicking the server object and selecting ‘New Storage Group’. At present there is a maximum of four storage groups per server. If you find this restrictive, then you can divide each storage group into five stores. You have probably guessed how to do this, right-click the Storage group, new Mailbox Store. Technically each store in the group shares the same log files, remember this when you backup the log files.
Amateurs use circular logging all the time; professionals turn off circular logging and only use it in emergencies when they are short of disk space. My point is because the logs are vital for recovering backups, you do not want them overwritten, which is what would happen with circular logging.
Routing Groups are a direct replacement for Sites in Exchange 5.5. Once again, creating the object is straight forward providing you make the container visible at the top of the tree. (Remember right-click the Organization object.) You need to configure one end of the connector at each site.
Note Directory Service connectors are no longer required since all the directory service information is replicated through Active Directory.
There is a wonderful tool called Winroute to help understand you how mail moves between your servers. I also use it to check queues. Winroute is supplied on the Exchange CD.
In my opinion, Administrative Groups are only needed in really big companies who have separate teams of Exchange administrators. The Administrative Groups concept is transparent and is reflected in the name; the idea is to allow delegation of objects within the Exchange organization.
This is where you check the queue when you suspect mail is not getting through. This powerful and important object is hidden away beneath the Server object, Protocols, SMTP, Default Virtual Server. There are lots of properties and menus so right-click and examine each of the objects as you navigate the tree.
Windows 2000 Group Policies have transformed the way in which you can control the desktop. Microsoft has extended this philosophy to Exchange 2000.
Here are some reasons why you would create policies:
- Setting storage limits on Mailboxes or Public Stores
- Full text indexing of the Mailboxes
- Message tracking and maintenance on the Server
- Controlling replication intervals and limits on the Public Store
When you first investigate System Policies they seem strange, even counter intuitive. However, once you get the idea of creating the policy FIRST, then connecting the Mailbox store, to the policy, you will find all is plain sailing. To summarise, create your policy, then right-click the policy and select Add Mailbox. Once you have mastered the Mailbox, you can repeat the procedure and create policies for Public store and Server objects.
Another strange feature of policies is the ability control which tabs you want on your policy. In other words you can extend or limit the scope of your policy.