Top Three Exchange Server 2007 Deployment Scenarios: Essential Reading


Topic Last Modified: 2007-07-25

By Jill Frank

Deploying Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 in a brand new organization and in a simple topology is fairly straightforward and, as the name implies, simple. Plan, prepare, run the Setup wizard, and start adding users.

But you know as well as I do that a brand new, simple installation is not the most common scenario. Almost everyone who deploys Exchange Server 2007 already has an e-mail system in place, so you have to think about either a migration or coexistence scenario. And very often, the real-world topology that you intend to deploy is anything but simple. There are so many things to consider before you get to actually install Exchange: the existing domain structure, the administrative model for managing servers, the permissions that are required; how to plan for high availability; how to prepare Active Directory; what hardware will best fit your company's needs; how to plan for upcoming organizational changes such as mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and at the same time, keep e-mail running to meet service level agreements during the transition. This is no easy task!

To help you, the Exchange Server TechCenter has a ton of information and learning tools to help with your deployment. But to be honest, finding the right information for your situation is often no easy task either. Many customers end up calling Microsoft Support for help in sorting out the details that make real-world deployments of Exchange so tricky.

This article focuses on the top three deployment scenarios about which real-world customers have called Microsoft Support. For each of these scenarios, many of the answers to questions posed by these real-world customers are already available on the Exchange Server TechCenter. Therefore, my goal is to help you avoid making that call by pointing you to information that will help walk you through these three common but tricky Exchange 2007 deployment scenarios. First I'll explain each scenario and describe why it can be tricky to deploy. Then, for each scenario, I'll provide links to the essential reading so that you'll have all the technical knowledge necessary for a successful deployment.

In this scenario, you have a single forest with existing Exchange 2003 or Exchange 2000 servers, to which you will add Exchange 2007 servers. Eventually you plan to decommission the older Exchange servers, but until then your organization will be in a coexistence state.

The tricky part of this scenario is understanding the details of how Exchange 2007 coexists with Exchange 2003 or Exchange 2000 in the same organization. There are several things you must be aware of:

  • Routing differences between Exchange 2007 and previous versions of Exchange

  • Administrative differences between Exchange 2007 and previous versions of Exchange and knowing where and how to manage features in your coexistence environment

  • The order in which you will install Exchange 2007 servers

  • How to move mailboxes from previous versions of Exchange to your new Exchange 2007 servers

The following documentation will help you when deploying Exchange 2007 in a coexistence environment:

In this scenario, you have a single forest with existing Exchange 2003 or Exchange 2000 servers. You plan to add new Exchange 2007 servers, but instead of adding them to the existing forest, you will create a new forest and install Exchange 2007 only in the new forest. The end result will be a cross-forest topology.

The tricky part of this scenario is managing Exchange across two forests. A couple of key points to think about are keeping your global address lists (GALs) synchronized across the forests, and configuring cross-forest administration, particularly if you have administrators in one forest that must manage Exchange in the other forest.

The following documentation will help you when deploying Exchange 2007 in a cross-forest topology:

In this scenario, you have an organization with clustered Mailbox servers. This could be a new organization, or a transition from an existing Exchange organization. You might choose to deploy cluster continuous replication (CCR) or single copy clusters (SCC), depending on your requirements.

The tricky parts of this scenario are first, understanding the best high availability solution given your requirements and constraints, and second, understanding how to configure and deploy clustered Mailbox servers.

The following documentation will help you when deploying clustered Mailbox servers in Exchange 2007:

There you have it! If you are deploying Exchange 2007 in one of these scenarios, and, after reading the essential documentation, you still have questions, Microsoft Support will be more than happy to help you answer them. And the writers on the Exchange team will be more than happy to fill in any blanks in the documentation. All you have to do is send us feedback. In the meantime, happy reading!

e6db51a8-8aa8-4c0c-9728-897979e8d258 Jill Frank - Senior Technical Writer, Microsoft Exchange Server


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