Preparing to Administer Your Exchange Server 2003 Environment


Topic Last Modified: 2005-04-21

Before you start managing Microsoft® Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1), it is useful to understand the administration architecture that Exchange Server 2003 uses and how this architecture influences the tools that you can use to manage Exchange. Exchange 2003 interacts with and depends upon data in the Microsoft Active Directory® directory service. It also stores and retrieves data from other places, including the mailbox store, the Microsoft Windows® registry, and the Exadmin virtual directory. To access and manage Exchange data, there are two Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-ins—Exchange System Manager and Active Directory Users and Computers—where you will spend the majority of your time as an administrator.

After understanding Exchange administration architecture and the tools that you can use to interact with Exchange, the next step is to determine how to efficiently use those tools. You might decide to set up a dedicated management station. You can then manage multiple servers in the organization by using this station. You might also decide to create a customized management console that combines separate MMC snap-ins in one console. You may even want to automate additional administrative tasks using the Exchange Software Development Kit (SDK).