Introduction to the Exchange 2003 Technical Reference Guide


Topic Last Modified: 2005-05-23

Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Technical Reference Guide is for Exchange experts who require detailed information about the architecture and interaction among core components of Microsoft Exchange Server 2003.

This technical reference guide presents a system architect's view of Exchange Server 2003. It includes a general overview of Exchange Server 2003 messaging system design, together with more specific details, such as services dependencies, Active Directory directory service integration, Exchange System Manager architecture, routing architecture, SMTP transport architecture, X.400 architecture, Exchange store architecture, and cluster architecture. This information will help you design, maintain, and troubleshoot an Exchange organization and also develop custom solutions for administrators.

This detailed reference guide is not for beginning administrators and does not show you how to implement or maintain Exchange Server 2003. Instead, this guide is for Microsoft Certified System Engineers (MSCEs) and Exchange experts who want to take their knowledge about Exchange Server 2003 to the next level. See "What Should You Read First?" later in this topic for a list of books that you might want to study before reading this technical reference guide.

This technical reference guide is structured according to the key components in Exchange Server 2003, so that you can choose the chapter that interests you. For example, if you are troubleshooting Active Directory communication problems, go to Exchange Server 2003 and Active Directory, or if you are having issues with the SMTP service, go to SMTP Transport Architecture. This guide provides detailed answers to the following questions:

  • How does Exchange Server 2003 architecture compare to the general architecture of a client/server messaging system?

  • How are the various Exchange Server 2003 components integrated with the operating system?

  • What are the services dependencies of each Exchange Server 2003 component?

  • Which components in Exchange Server 2003 communicate with Active Directory and in what situations?

  • With what types of domain controllers does Exchange Server 2003 communicate, and for what purpose?

  • What are the components and communication dependencies of Exchange System Manager?

  • How does Exchange Server 2003 handle message transfer and routing?

  • What are the internal components of the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) service that Exchange Server 2003 replaces or extends to implement Exchange-specific functionality?

  • How exactly does the SMTP service communicate with the Exchange store for inbound and outbound message transfer?

  • What is the role of the Exchange message transfer agent (MTA) in the message transfer architecture?

  • What are the technical implications of deploying an X.400-based messaging backbone in an Exchange Server 2003 organization?

  • How does Exchange Server 2003 provide connectivity to non-Exchange messaging systems, such as Lotus Notes and Novell GroupWise?

  • What is the general architecture of Exchange Development Kit (EDK)-based connectors?

  • How does Exchange Server 2003 support Internet-based messaging clients?

  • What is the architecture of the Extensible Storage Engine (ESE) that Exchange Server 2003 uses to maintain the Exchange store?

  • What are the responsibilities of the Exchange store?

  • How does Exchange Server 2003 replicate public folders between servers in the same Exchange organization?

  • What components enable you to deploy Exchange Server 2003 in a server cluster, and how does Exchange Server 2003 integrate with the Microsoft Windows Cluster service architecture?

This guide contains valuable information for readers who want to learn more about Exchange Server 2003. As mentioned earlier, this guide is for experienced messaging consultants, system architects, administrators, and troubleshooters who are already Exchange experts. Detailed technical knowledge will enable these Exchange experts to implement solutions that go beyond the standard product capabilities or to solve bottlenecks and other problems.

This guide was designed for the following types of Exchange experts:

  • IT Architects who design and deploy Exchange Server 2003.

  • IT consultants who assist customers who deploy and maintain Exchange Server 2003 organizations.

  • Messaging administrators who operate an Exchange Server 2003 organization.

  • System administrators who troubleshoot messaging systems.

  • System developers who create messaging solutions that go beyond the standard capabilities of Exchange Server 2003.

Readers who are new to Exchange Server 2003 should read Windows, Microsoft Office Outlook, and Exchange product documentation, in addition to the Exchange online books, before reading this guide. Exchange documentation is available at the Exchange Server TechCenter.

Exchange Server 2003 Technical Reference Guide assumes that you have read the following books: