45 Tips for Exchange 2003

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Tips & best practices Exchange 2003

Exchange 2003 is the current version of Microsoft Exchange Server and it is quite compatible with Windows 2003 and Windows 2000 Server though some of these features work only with Windows 2003. Given below are certain tips for exchange 2003:

 1. Documentation: It is one of the most important tip as the person themselves would be in the best position to cover all the possible scenarios regarding the complex infrastructure as compared to any other person including the technical staffing.

 2.           Remove the obsolete Exchange 2000 tuning parameters: This is important because some of the Exchange 2000 seem no longer active for the latest 2003 versions thus they should be modified.

 3.  Optimization of the Exchange memory utilization: It is the next tip that needs consideration as Exchange has a lot to do with memory and the store.exe procedure is highly responsible for all such behavior as it grabs as much memory as it finds.

 4. Implementing an effective storage design: Storage designs are extremely important due to the fact that the disk subsystem bottlenecks are known to cause more performance issues as compared to the memory deficiencies or the processor.

 5. Working on disk geometry: This further helps in improving the storage performance. There are tools available such as Diskpar that allow aligning of the disk tracks with the sector tracks.

 6 . Keeping the databases and the Exchange transaction logs stored on different disk volumes so that a better data protection as well as efficiency can be maintained.

7. Calculating the total numbers of spindles: It is required for providing the essential IOPS

8. One must sue Diskpar if their hardware vendor recommends doing this.

9. Ensuring fast access to AD: Exchange needs Active Directory that stores the configuration settings along with providing the   permissions, authentication, directory information, and management.

10. Know the spacing: Spaces taken by the email folders must also be taken care of.

11. Empty the deleted items folder: Deleted items to use storage thus they should be removed permanently on frequent basis.

12. Deleting unnecessary mails: The mails that are not required should be deleted from the account.

13. Using personal folder for file storage: Following this tip helps the users maintain the storage by keeping the emails under personal folders, the emails get stored on the work computer rather than the email server.

14. Usage of the Mailbox Cleanup Tool: This tool is available in Outlook 2003 and helps in viewing the sizes of the email folders, search for old and larger emails, auto archive the email account, and empty the deleted items folders.

15. Insisting on test Exchange 2003 network regarding the troubleshooting. The machines have chances of doubling as the spare server during the routine maintenance.

16. Checking out GLOBAL SETTINGS which is actually a forgotten folder in the Exchange System Manager.

17. Have ample numbers of spindles and disks. The .edb files on separate disk spindle should be put from the transaction logs.

18. Putting Queue directory on some separate disk as this helps in reducing the queue length.

19. Freeze suspected messages: Instead of blocking all the emails, freezing should be done in terms of the suspected messages so that the other emails flow much faster.

 20. Leaving circular logging as one of the defaults is another very important tip that should be kept in mind.

 21 . Buy new processors: using hyper threading along with getting new processors would help increase the performance.

22. Add more memory: this along with migration to some faster storage system is another way of improving the performance.

23. Install this server on some test machine so that one can practice the changing settings without getting scared about upsetting the users.

24. Start from the edition of the registry and then the Show Security Page should be added. This page displays the Security tab under the Exchange System Manager.

25. Planning the Gal names before creating and deciding upon the things such as the format, first name, surname, and format.

26. Take time configuring Notifications and Status in the Tools folder.

27. Ensure placing of the mailbox on the server nearest to the workplace.

28. Practicing the move mailbox feature.

29. Creating multiple storage groups on different disks ensures better performance.

30. Index the Store database: This enables faster search on Outlook.

31. Setting of the mailbox limits help especially with the system policies.

32. Staggering the maintenance schedules for the various mailbox stores needs to be done.

33. Checking out of the Exchange 2003 junk mail server.

34. Running Performance Monitor for creation of a baseline before logging on.

35. Exploring the Exchange properties with the Windows Server 2003 support folders.

36. Configuring OWA for the basic access in terms of the Mozilla or UNIX clients.

37. Replacing the RPC or VPN over HTTP.

38. Disabling unnecessary services on the Front end servers.

39. Reviewing the physical server security as this needs to be installed.

40. In order to stop spamming with the Exchange 2003 server, there are several tips to be followed out, of which, the most important one includes purchasing an anti spam solution for the Exchange Server.

41. Open System Manager and then go to Servers followed by the Servers Name. Select Queue and then check Freeze unwanted SMTP connectors. By doing so, the spammers get deactivated and they are no longer capable of syncing the existing SMTP connectors that are usually sent by the spammers for attacking the Exchange Server.

42. Usage of the aqadmcli.exe tool in order to remove the queue from the queue list manually helps a lot. It is basically a cmd based tool that is available freely for download from the official website of Microsoft.

43. The Exchange Server must be updated with the Service Pack 2.

44. The spam confidence level needs to be increased and set to either 6 or 7 numbers.

45. Blocking the blacklisted domains which seem to be a feature available with the IMF while installing the Exchange Server 2003 helps in preventing spam.

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Regards Sharath Reddy

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