Getting Ready for Exchange 2007 – where to start…
So Exchange 2007 was released to market at the end of last year. Realistically most customers will not be transitioning to Ex2007 for some time so in the meantime what can you do to get ready….?
1. First of all I would download Microsoft Virtual PC 2004. It’s free and is available here; http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtualpc/downloads/sp1.mspx
2. Download the 32-bit evaluation version of Exchange 2007 and install it onto a VPC image. Consider a W2003 DC\GC with Exchange 2003 installed. Introduce a new Windows 2003 Server into the domain and install Exchange 2007 into the environment. ..you’ll learn a lot about what Ex2007 requires just by following this process. (Once you’ve got it set up have a play with LCR and if you have the resources consider configuring a lab where you can test SCC and CCR. You can still use the 32-bit eval version of Exchange for these tests.)
3. Get used to the ‘Exchange Management Shell’. Administering Exchange can be done through the administrative GUI as before but can now also be done through commandlets via the Exchange Management Shell. This is built on Windows Powershell and is incredibly powerful. I believe that this will become the preferred method for administering Exchange as it allows you to potentially script an entire transition, and should automate a lot of common administrative tasks. It is also very powerful as a medium for producing statistics about your environment. As this is such a powerful way to administer Exchange a common concern is security as there is the potential to do a lot of damage if your permissions are not tied right down. This makes it even more important that administrators are comfortable with this way of working.
Have a look at the Cmdlet List here; http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/e2k7help/8d6a9bd6-2233-4fba-9926-4323d392e1e3.mspx and practise running them in the lab.
Exchange Management Shell http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/e2k7help/c05a8c55-fbb3-4eb6-ad02-ea5430f03132.mspx
Windows Powershell http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/technologies/management/powershell/default.mspx
4. Practise using some of the tools that are designed specifically for Exchange 2007; http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/articles/toolsupdatese12.mspx. For example the Exchange Load Generator (to replace LoadSim). Some of these are very close to being released now.
Here are some other places to look for info:
Frequently Asked Questions about Exchange Server 2007
Microsoft Exchange Server 2007
Welcome to the Exchange 2007 Beta Community Wiki!
The Microsoft Exchange Team Blog