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Messaging Thrill begins now!!

Posted by Milind Naphade on 13/09/2008

Here and onwards we will cover up the exchange server part now. I have intentionally written exchange server because exchange server 2003 which is the most stable application is not the only version of Microsoft Exchange Server. It is followed by Exchange Server 2007 (E12) SP1 which is the latest release and off course E14 (code name) which is yet to be launched. E14 beta versions are available for download yet.

Unlike any other enterprise application we need to have powerful hardware to accommodate Exchange Server. Let’s have a look at the minimum and recommended hardware configuration which is defined by Microsoft officially.

Hardware

Microsoft Exchange Server 2003

Microsoft Exchange Server 2007

CPU

733-MHz or higher processor

x64 architecture-based computer with Intel processor that supports Intel 64 architecture (formerly known as Intel EM64T)

 AMD processor that supports the AMD64 platform

 Intel Itanium IA64 processors not supported

 Intel Pentium or compatible 800-megahertz (MHz) or faster 32-bit processor (for testing and training purposes only; not supported in production)

Operation System

Windows Server 2003

Windows Server 2003 x64 (Use of 32 bit OS is not supported in production environment)

Physical Memory (RAM)

512 MB of RAM and maximum of

Minimum: 2 gigabytes (GB) of RAM

 Recommended: 2 GB of RAM per server plus 5 megabytes (MB) of RAM per mailbox

Disk Space

You need:

500 MB on the hard disk where you install Exchange Server 2003

200 MB on the system drive

At least 1.2 GB on the drive on which you install Exchange

An additional 500 MB of available disk space for each Unified Messaging (UM) language pack that you plan to install

200 MB of available disk space on the system drive

In Exchange 2007 RTM, a hard disk drive that stores the message queue database on an Edge Transport server or Hub Transport server with at least 4 GB of free space

In Exchange 2007 SP1, a hard disk drive that stores the message queue database on an Edge Transport server or Hub Transport server with at least 500 MB of free space

File System

Disk partitions must be formatted for the NTFS file system, not the FAT file system. This requirement applies to:

System partition

Partition storing Exchange Server binaries

Partitions containing transaction log files

Partitions containing database files

Partitions containing other Exchange Server files

Disk partitions must be formatted for the NTFS file system, not the FAT file system. This requirement applies to:

System partition

Partition storing Exchange Server binaries

Partitions containing transaction log files

Partitions containing database files

Partitions containing other Exchange Server files

 Once we have the hardware ready we are ready to take the next step which is the software requirements and the architectural requirements. Apart from all above prerequisites we need to maintain the 4:1 CPU ratio for Exchange Servers and Global Catalogs (GCs). This means if you have an exchange server box installed 4 core CPU installed you must have at least one global catalog server installed a CPU with a single core. If this step is missed by any chance this may result in numerous issues in future such as RPC choke ups and RPC disconnections.

Being very precise on this, if you have a widespread active directory topology and your exchange servers are also spread across different active directory site then you must follow the 4:1 ratio in each site because exchange server always hits the nearest available global catalogs.

Installation of Exchange Server 2003 consists of 3 major steps.

1.   Preparation of Active Directory Schema, Configuration and Domain naming contexts.

2.   Installation of software prerequisites.

3.   Installation of Exchange Server binary files.

I will cover up all these 3 steps in details.

 

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