Introduction: Planning an Exchange Server 2003 Messaging System


A growing number of businesses today regard messaging systems as mission-critical systems. For this reason, companies place strict reliability and availability requirements on their e-mail systems. Equally important is the heightened demand for new messaging system features. An increasingly mobile work force and more geographically dispersed businesses mean that user requirements are continually evolving. All of these factors place demands on Information Technology managers and system architects, who are charged with designing highly reliable and consistently available messaging systems that meet users' needs.

To design a successful Microsoft® Exchange Server 2003 messaging system, you need to understand the capabilities and limitations of the software and hardware upon which you build your messaging system. Whether you are developing a new Exchange Server 2003 messaging system or upgrading from a previous Exchange implementation, you need to balance the limitations of your network infrastructure with the capabilities of your messaging system, operating system, and user software.

These topics help you with these challenges by guiding you through the process of evaluating your existing environment and pointing out the technical considerations that influence your design choices. Recommendations are given for designing an Exchange 2003 messaging system. Other topics also describe improvements in Exchange 2003, Microsoft Windows Server™ 2003 and Microsoft Office Outlook® 2003, and it identifies network infrastructure, hardware, Microsoft Active Directory® directory service, and administrative concerns. In addition, these topics discuss the considerations that help you design a highly reliable and consistently available messaging system, including storage technologies, clustering, server tuning, and configuration of client computers.

What Will You Learn from These Topics?

These topics provide detailed answers to the following questions:

  • What factors do I need to consider when designing or upgrading an Exchange 2003 messaging system?

  • How do new features in Exchange 2003, Windows Server 2003, and Outlook 2003 affect the way I design the system?

  • How do I integrate Exchange with my Active Directory infrastructure?

  • What are the recommendations for public folder and free/busy folder placement?

  • How do I use site consolidation tools to move Exchange data from servers in remote sites to a server in a central site? 

  • What are the recommendations for routing design and server placement? How can I optimize memory usage in my servers?

  • Based on my network infrastructure and requirements, to what extent can I centralize my servers? What are the scaling capabilities and limits of Exchange 2003?

  • How can I maximize the reliability and availability of the messaging system?

Who Should Read These Topics?

Information technology professionals who are responsible for planning and designing Exchange messaging systems for their companies should read these topics. Such professionals may be in the following roles:

  • System architects—those people who are responsible for designing the overall server infrastructure, developing server deployment strategies and policies, and contributing to networking connectivity design.

  • Information technology managers—those people who are the technical decision makers and who manage the Information Technology staff responsible for the infrastructure, the desktop and server deployment, and server administration and operations across sites.

  • Systems administrators—those people who are responsible for planning and deploying technology across Microsoft Windows® servers and evaluating and recommending new technology solutions.

  • Messaging administrators—those people who are responsible for implementing and managing organizational messaging.

What Technologies Do These Topics Cover?

These topics discuss messaging system and related technologies at a high level to point out features and limitations. For detailed information about specific technologies, you should refer to Windows, Outlook, and Exchange product documentation. The technologies that these topics cover include the following:

  • Microsoft Exchange Mobile Synchronization and Browse

  • Microsoft Office Outlook Web Access 2003

  • Microsoft Outlook 2003 Cached Exchange Mode

  • Microsoft Windows Server Active Directory forest and domain partitioning

  • Microsoft Windows Clustering

  • Redundant array of independent disks (RAID)

  • Remote procedure call (RPC) over HTTP (remote procedure call over HTTP)

  • Storage area networks

  • Volume Shadow Copy service

For More Information

The following technical articles, resource kits, and Microsoft Knowledge Base articles provide more information:

Technical Articles


Resource Kits

Knowledge Base Articles