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Technical Interview Questions (Part 3/4)

[EXCHANGE SERVER]
Edited & Maintained by SYED JAHANZAIB / aacable@hotmail.com

Tell me a bit about the capabilities of Exchange Server.

Microsoft Exchange is a server that centrally stores a companys email, files, task lists, calendar and
contact information. General features of Microsoft Exchange Server are following:

Mobile access

Centrally stored information

Shared calendars

Shared task lists

Shared contacts

Outlook Web access

===========================================================
The Capabilities of Exchange Server is for Communicating through Emails,with the help of Exchange
Server one can configure OutLook and can communicate through mails. In Exchange Server POP3 and
SMTP Service plays vital Roles. POP3 Service helps in receiving emails and SMTP Service helps in
Sending Emails.
===========================================================
Microsoft Exchange Server is a client-server, collaborative application product developed
by Microsoft. Exchanges major features consist of electronic mail, calendaring, contacts and tasks;
support for mobile and web-based access to information; and support for data storage
===========================================================

Whats the main differences between Exchange 5.5 and Exchange 2000/2003?

What are the major network infrastructure for installing Exchange 2003?

What is the latest Exchange 2003 Service Pack? Name a few changes in functionality in
that SP.

The main difference between Exchange 5.5 and Exchange 2000/2003 is in Exchange 2000/2003 we can
assign full rights to Users to make changes to Exchange Server without Admin if we assign rights like
creation of Users , assigninig particular user particular right and this can be done with the help of
registry key goto HKCUSoftwareMicrosoft ExchangeServer and add a Dword key and assign a value
1.where as this is not possible in Exchange 5.5.
Exchange 5.5 does not integrate with the NT4 domain or the Windows 2000/2003 Active Directory in a
meaningful way. A single user could be associated with several different mailboxes. Exchange
2000/2003/2007 integrates tightly with Active Directory, and there is a 1:1 relationship between
mailboxes and AD user accounts. There are other differences, depending on whether you have a
standard or enterprise version as it relates to maximum database size, but the directory integration is
probably

the biggest difference.


The primary differences are
-Exchange 2000/2003 does not have its own directory or directory service; it uses Active Directory
instead.
-Exchange 2000/2003 uses native components of Windows 2000 (namely, IIS and its SMTP, NNTP,
W3SVC and other components, Kerberos and others) for many core functions.
-SMTP is now a full peer to RPC, and is it the default transport protocol between Exchange 2000/2003
servers.
-Exchange 2000/2003 supports Active/Active clustering and was recently certified for Windows 2000
Datacenter/2003.
-Exchange 2000/2003 scales much higher.
-It boasts conferencing services and instant messaging.
To Instal Exchange Server 2003 the major requirements are a system should be a Domain Controller
with ASP.Net Service started for successful installation of Exchange Server.
Latest Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack is service pack2 (SP2) adds improved mobile e-mail
capabilities, larger storage in Standard Edition, better protection from spam, enhanced security,
advanced mailbox fundamentals, and more.

What are the disk considerations when installing Exchange (RAID types, locations and so
on).

Exchange 2003 basically requires a server with at least 512MB though 1GB or more is recommended.
CPU is always an issue, but most servers and even workstations have enough CPU horsepower for
Exchange if youre not loading your server with anything else that is CPU intensive. Exchange supports
hyper threading feature available with Pentium 4 and other CPUs. If you need more CPU power you can
use Intel Xeon which can offer you more cache and multiple CPU support.
Today, 64-Bit support is available in some CPUs but is Not support by Exchange 2003 and will only be
available with the next version of Exchange, E12.
Disk configuration is a complex issue and is covered in my article:
http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Choosing-Storage-Exchange-Server.html
To make a long story short, today, you can choose either SATA disks for lower end Exchange servers or
SCSI disks if you can afford it. SATA disks can give you more disk space for less money but are generally
slower though by far better than ATA (IDE) disks. You will need some form of disk redundancy (RAID) so
disk failure will not bring you down. Hardware based RAID is recommended in most cases.

When planning for disk space it is best to leave room for a bit more than double the disk space
expected for the Exchange databases. 32GB or more for the Exchange database partition is
recommended for Exchange Standard edition.
Recommended Server hardware

Four 1 gigahertz (GHz), 1 megabyte (MB) or 2 MB L2 cache processors

4 gigabytes (GB) of Error Correction Code (ECC) RAM

Two 100 megabits per second (Mbps) or 1000 Mbps network interface cards

RAID-1 array with two internal disks for the Windows Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003

program files

Two redundant 64-bit fiber Host Bus Adapters (HBAs) to connect to the Storage Area Network

Why not install Exchange on the same machine as a DC?

well, this is not a good pratice to so and the reasons behind are :
1. Redundancy and Stability if the exchange server fails then Domain Controller also fails and it
concludes a big failure
2. Overload : It may overload your existing server and that can cause a significant performance
problem.
Alternate Answer is :
1-LDAP Port Conflict may Occured
2-Overload
3-Redundancy

How would you prepare the AD Schema in advance before installing Exchange?

Part of the Exchange installation is to run ForestPrep. ForestPrep extends the AD schema by adding
Exchange-specific properties. If you just start the Exchange setup, it guides you right through this step.

What type or permissions do you need in order to install the first Exchange server in a
forest? In a domain?

How would you verify that the schema was in fact updated?

Exchange Full Administrator at organization Level and Local machine Administrator Permissions
You need Schema Admin, Domain Admin and Enterprise Admin Permission.
That can be check by accessing the Active directory. When you create new user, you can see four more
attributes or tabs in the user properties. That means the schema has been updated.

What type of memory optimization changes could you do for Exchange 2003?

How would you check your Exchange configuration settings to see if theyre right?

Add /3GB switch to boot.ini file and you can use upto 3GB memory instead of 1GB by default.
Once your exchange server configuration is done run the tool EXBPA.exc .This will give you the correct
ficture of your exchange organization.

What are the Exchange management tools? How and where can you install them?

Exchange Management tools are to monitor, analyze and troubleshoot the Exchange Server. By default
XGE 2K3 is not installed with XGE mgmt tools. we need to download from microsoft or xge setup and
install them.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb123850(EXCHG.65).aspx
you may install these tools directly on server not need to be XP client
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=21e5a788-5993-40a9-bd35b14d414e3e16&displaylang=en
These tools are install by default for 2007 Xge server

What types of permissions are configurable for Exchange?

If you modify the default permissions on Exchange Server 2003 mailbox stores and public folder stores,
make sure you maintain the following minimum permissions:

Administrators group Full Control

Authenticated Users group Read and Execute, List Folder Contents, and Read

Creator Owner None

Server Operators group Modify, Read and Execute, List Folder Contents, Read, and Write

System account Full Control

1)Exchange full admin full control over the exchange organization including permission
2)Exchange Admin Manage everything within the organization except org permission.
3)Exchange view only administrator read only administrative access to Exchange organization

How can you grant access for an administrator to access all mailboxes on a specific
server?

What is the Send As permission?

1. Start Exchange System Manager.


2. Drill down to your server object within the appropriate Administrative Group. Right-click it and choose
Properties.

3. In the Properties window go to the Security tab.


4. Click Add, click the user or group who you want to have access to the mailboxes, and then click OK.
5. Be sure that the user or group is selected in the Name box.
6. In the Permissions list, click Allow next to Full Control, and then click OK.
Note: Make sure there is no Deny checkbox selected next to the Send As and Receive As permissions.
7. Click Ok all the way out.
Send As allows one user to send an email as though it came from another user. The recipient will not
be given any indication that the email was composed by someone other than the stated sender.
Send As can only be granted by a system administrator. Send on Behalf of may be more
appropriate in many situations, it allows the recipient to be notified both who the author was and on
whos behalf the email was sent. (See How to grant Send On Behalf Of permission.)
The following procedure will allow system managers to grant users the ability to send as another:
1.

Log onto the server running Exchange.

2.

Run Active Directory Users and Computers.

3.

Under the View menu ensure that Advanced Features is ticked.

4.

Find the users account that you want to be able to send as, and open up the account properties.

5.

Select the Security tab.

6.

Click [Add ] (under Group or user names) and add the user (users or group) that is to be granted
permission to send-as this account.

7.

For each account added, highlight the account under Group or user names and in the Permissions
for window grant the account Send As permission.

8.

Click [OK] to close the account properties dialog.

==============================================================
============
Send As Permission means user A will be able to access the mail box of user B and reply back to those
mail. Even though user A has replied to the mail, the send address will display user b email.
==============================================================
============
Active Directory Users and Computers or the Exchange Management Shell to grant the Send As
permission for a mailbox. Use the Send As permission in Microsoft Exchange Server to configure a
mailbox so that users other than the mailbox owner can use that mailbox to send messages. After this
permission is granted, any messages that are sent from the mailbox will appear as if they were sent by
the mailbox owner.

What are Exchange Recipient types? Name 5.

The people and resources that send and receive messages are the core of any messaging and
collaboration system. In an Exchange Server organization, these people and resources are referred to
as recipients.
A recipient is any mail-enabled object in the Active Directory directory service to which Exchange can
deliver or route messages. This topic discusses the recipient types that are supported in Microsoft
Exchange Server 2007.
User mailbox
A mailbox that is assigned to an individual user in your Exchange organization. It typically contains
messages, calendar items, contacts, tasks, documents, and other important business data.
Linked mailbox
A mailbox that is assigned to an individual user in a separate, trusted forest.
Shared mailbox
A mailbox that is not primarily associated with a single user and is generally configured to allow logon
access for multiple users.
Legacy mailbox
A mailbox that resides on a server running Exchange Server 2003 or Exchange 2000 Server.
Room mailbox
A resource mailbox that is assigned to a meeting location, such as a conference room, auditorium, or
training room. Room mailboxes can be included as resources in meeting
requests, providing a simple and efficient way of organizing meetings for your users.
==============================================================
================
In exchange 2003,
1.Mail-enabled user
2.Mailbox enabled user.
3.DL
4.Contact
5.Mail-Enabled public folder

You created a mailbox for a user, yet the mailbox does not appear in ESM. Why?

Whats the difference between Exchange 2003 Std. and Ent. editions when related to
storage options and size?

Generally, when you create a mailbox for a user. The users e-mail address will be updated in the GAL.
During the regular update interval. But in order for you to be able to view the mail box. The user has to
access the Exchange server (either through MS outlook or OWA). Then you will be able to view the
users mail box.
OR if you send a test mail to that id then the mailbox will be populated in the ESM

What are Query Based Distribution groups?

A query-based distribution group provides the same functionality as a standard distribution group.
However, instead of specifying static user memberships, you can use an LDAP query (for example, All
full-time employees in my company) to dynamically build membership in a query-based distribution
group.
This reduces administrative costs because of the dynamic nature of the distribution group. However,
query-based distribution groups have a higher performance cost for queries whose outcome produces
many results.
This cost is in terms of server resources, such as high CPU usage and increased memory usage. This
increased usage occurs because every time an e-mail message is sent to a query-based distribution
group, an LDAP query is executed against Active Directory to determine its membership.
Standard Edition
1.

One storage group

2.

2 Databases max per Server

3.

16 GB DB Size and 72 GB with SP2

4.

x.400 connectors not included

Enterprise Edition
1.

Four Storage group

2.

20 Databases

3.

16 TB DB size limited by hardware

4.

Clustering Supported

5.

x.400 connectors included

What are System Public Folders? Where would you find them?

In Exchange Server 2003, public folders can be used to share information between a group of users. In
smaller organizations where only one Exchange server is typically installed, one public folder instance
can exist.
Where there are multiple Exchange servers and you need to provide fast access to public folder
information, then you would probably have to create an additional public folder
instance.
Public folders can be created through:

Outlook 2003

Outlook XP

Outlook 2000

Exchange System Manager

Windows Explorer

Internet clients

Web browsers

To View
Click Start, All Programs, Microsoft Exchange, and then select Exchange System Manager.
Exchange System Manager opens. In the left pane, expand the Public Folders container. All
existing folders in the public folder tree are displayed.

What are virtual servers? When would you use more than one?

What is a Mail Relay? Name a few known mail relay software or hardware options.

Exchange Virtual Server is a clustered Exchange installation. When Exchange is installed on a Windows
Server 2003 cluster, it is configured as an Exchange Virtual Server that can be
passed between cluster nodes transparently to Exchange clients.
1. SMTP Virtual Server, 2. HTTP Virtual Server, 3.POP3 Virtual Server, 4. IMAP4 Virtual Server and so on
===========================================================
To access a network application or resource in a nonclustered environment, network clients must
connect to a physical server (that is, a specific computer on the network identified by a unique network
name and Internet protocol (IP) address). If that server fails, access to the application or resource is
impossible.

Through server clusters, Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition and Windows Server 2003,
Datacenter Edition enable the creation of virtual servers. Unlike a physical server,
a virtual server is not associated with a specific computer and can be failed over like a group. If the
node hosting the virtual server fails, clients can still access its
resources using the same server name.
A virtual server is a group that contains:
A Network Name resource.
An IP Address resource.
All other resources, including applications, to be accessed by the clients of the virtual server.
Other virtual servers.
exchange server uses protocol virtual server
1.smtp virtual server
2.imap virtual server
3.http virtual server
4.pop3 virtual server
Often referred to as an e-mail server, a device and/or program that routes an e-mail to the correct
destination. Mail relays are typically used within local networks to transmit e-mails among local users.
(For example, all of the student and faculty e-mail of a college campus.) Mail relays are particularly
useful in e-mail aliasing where multiple e-mail addresses are used but the mail relay forwards all
messages to the specified e-mail addresses to one single address.
A mail relay is different than an open relay, where an e-mail server processes a mail message that that
neither originates or ends with a user that is within the servers local domain (i.e., local IP range).
============================================
Often referred to as an e-mail server, a device and/or program that routes an e-mail to the correct
destination. Mail relays are typically used within local networks to transmit e-mails among local users.
(For example, all of the student and faculty e-mail of a college campus.) Mail relays are particularly
useful in e-mail aliasing where multiple e-mail addresses are used but
the mail relay forwards all messages to the specified e-mail addresses to one single address.
A mail relay is different than an open relay, where an e-mail server processes a mail message that that
neither originates or ends with a user that is within the servers

local domain (i.e., local IP range).


Mail relay Softwares:
1.NoticeWare Email Server 4.3
2. Flash Mailer 20.

What is a Smart Host? Where would you configure it?

A smart host is a type of mail relay server which allows an SMTP server to route e-mail to an
intermediate mail server rather than directly to the recipients server.
Often this smart host requires authentication from the sender to verify that the sender has privileges to
have mail forwarded through the smart host.
This is an important distinction from an open relay that will forward mail from the sender without
authentication. Common authentication techniques include SMTP-AUTH and POP
before SMTP.
1.Use for backup mail (secondary MX) services
When configured to be a backup mail server (not the primary MX record) a smart host configuration will
accept mail on behalf of the primary mail server if it were to go offline. When the primary mail server
comes back online, mail is subsequently delivered via the smart host.
2.Use in spam control efforts
Some ISPs, in an effort to reduce e-mail spam originating at their customers IP addresses, will not allow
their customers to communicate directly with the recipients mail
server via the default SMTP port number 25. In this case the customer has no choice but to use the
smart host provided by the ISP.A growing number of systems also verify the sending system against
known lists of cable modem and DSL networks and will not accept SMTP connections from these
systems to reduce the amount of incoming spam. Field tests have shown
this can have a sizable impact on the number of spam messages one receives and it is expected to
become more and more common
3.Use in centralizing email services
When a host runs its own local mail server, a smart host is often used to transmit all mail to other
systems through a central mail server. This is used to ease the management of
a single mail server with aliases, security, and Internet access rather than maintaining numerous local
mail servers.

What are Routing Groups? When would you use them?

A routing group is a logical collection of servers used to control mail flow and public folder referrals. In a
routing group, all servers communicate and transfer messages
directly to one another.
In a routing group, all servers communicate and transfer messages directly to one another, as follows:
1.

A user in your Exchange organization uses a mail client to send mail to another user.

2.

Using SMTP, the senders client submits this mail to the SMTP virtual server on the Exchange

server on which the clients mailbox resides.


3.

The Exchange server looks up the recipient of the mail message to determine which server

the recipients mailbox resides on.


4.

One of two things occurs:

If the recipients mailbox is on the same Exchange server, Exchange delivers the message to

the recipients mailbox.

If the recipients mailbox is on another Exchange server, the first Exchange server sends the

message to the recipients home mailbox server, and it is the recipients home mailbox server that
delivers the message to the recipients mailbox.
==========================================================
To accommodate varying network connectivity across servers.
To restrict the usage of a connector to users in a particular area.
USES OF THIS GROUP:
Allows scheduling and control of mail flow. You can restrict connector use to a particular routing group
or schedule the use of a connector.
Allows you to control usage based on message size or content by using connector restrictions.
==========================================================
Routing group is a logical collection exchange server.they communicate each other directly using RPC
protocl over SMTP but if Exchange server exist into two diffenent groups,then
communcation will take place b/n these groups,if one of routing group connector esixt b/n routing
groups mentioned below..
1 Routing group conncetor
2 Smtp Connector,

What are the types of Connectors you can use in Exchange?

What is the cost option in Exchange connectors? What is the cost option in Exchange
connectors? If you add a cost from 1 through 100 to any Exchange Server connectors Address
Space tab, any messages that use that connector take the new cost into consideration when e-mail
is routed.

Routing group connector

The routing group connector is the recommended connector for connecting routing groups that are in
the same Exchange organization. This connector uses SMTP to transfer messages to other servers
running Exchange Server 2003. The routing group connector can only be used to connect routing
groups.

SMTP connector

The SMTP connector establishes a messaging route between two routing groups or between a routing
group and a non-Exchange SMTP host. Although the routing group connector and the SMTP connector
use SMTP as the transport protocol, the SMTP connector provides additional functionality in that it can
be used to connect an Exchange organization with any SMTP server.

X.400 connector

The X.400 connector establishes an X.400 messaging route between two routing groups or between a
routing group and an X.400 system. Like the routing group connector and the
SMTP connector, an X.400 connector can be used to link Exchange routing groups. Generally, X.400
connectors are used only when connecting to other X.400 messaging systems.
Exchange Server 2003 supports the following optional connectors that you can use to connect the
organization to non-Exchange messaging systems:

Exchange Calendar Connector

Exchange Calendar Connector is used for exchanging free/busy information between an Exchange
organization and a Lotus Notes or Novell GroupWise messaging system.

Exchange Connector for Lotus Notes

Exchange Connector for Novell GroupWise

Routing cost typically ranges from 1 through 99. The default is 1. If the cost of a route is set to 1, other
routes are used only if that route does not work. If the cost of a route is set to 100, that route is used
only when all other routes does not work.
Lowest cost has Highest priority.

What is the Link State Table? How would you view it?
Every Exchange server maintains its own routing table, called the link state table, dynamically in
memory, based on Active Directory and link state information, as follows:

Routing-related Active Directory information. This information is stored in attributes of the

organization object, routing group objects, connector objects, and


server objects. These objects reside in the configuration directory partition and define the routing
topology of the entire Exchange organization.

Link state information This information specifies whether each connector in the routing

topology is available (up) or unavailable (down). Link state information is


dynamic and might change when a connector experiences transfer problems or when transfer issues
are resolved.
View Link state table
you can use to view Link state table in Exchange Server 2000/2003 WinRoute tool (Winroute.exe)

How would you configure mail transfer security between 2 routing groups?

To configure security setting in routing group get a certificate from the CA you install it on the IIS server
which runs on Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. The certificate can also be used for secure Web Outlook
session. Once you successfully install the TLS\SSL certificate, you can precede with TLS configuration on
the Exchange 2003 SMTP server

What is the Routing Group Master? Who holds that role?


When you create a routing group, the first server in that routing group is assigned the role of routing
group master.
The routing group master keeps track of the link state information and propagates it to the other
servers in the routing group, and other servers communicate back any changes in link state.
For example, if a member server tries to contact another server over a connector, and this link is
unavailable, the member server immediately notifies the routing group master.
Likewise, when a non-master receives new link state information, it immediately transfers the link state
information to the master, so that other servers can receive the information about the routing change

What is DS2MB?

Metabase update service, also referred to as the directory service/metabase synchronization process, or
DS2MB (because this process is implemented in DS2MB.dll) is a component in
Exchange Server 2003 that is used to synchronize several Exchange configuration settings in Active
Directory with counterpart settings in the IIS metabase. The function of DS2MB is to replicate
configuration information from Active Directory to the local IIS metabase.
==============================================
DS2MB is short for Directory Service to Metabase and the purpose of this process is to transfer
configuration information from Active Directory to the IIS Metabase. The

configuration is stored in the IIS Metabase instead of the registry mainly for performance and scalability
reasons. The DS2MB process is a one-way write from Active Directory to the IIS Metabase, which means
that the Metabase never writes back to Active Directory

What is Forms Based Authentication?

Exchange Server 2003 has greatly improved the Outlook Web Access (or OWA for short) experience
when compared to older Exchange versions. Instead of entering the username and password in an
annoying pop-up screen, when configured with Forms-Based Authentication (or FBA for short), OWA will
display a logon screen that enables the user to select various options and get a generally better look for
the logon process.

How would you configure OWAs settings on an Exchange


server? http://www.petri.co.il/configuring_forms_based_authentication_in_exchange_2003.htm
What is DSACCESS?

It is a exchange process to communicate with AD


DSACCESS: Means also communicate with Acdive Directory in Exchange Server
DSAccess implements a directory access cache that stores recently accessed information for a
configurable length of time. This reduces the number of queries made to global catalog servers
Its very simple answer is that when exchenge clients send request to access his/her mailbox ,that time
exchange sent cliets request for authentication to dc and for this it maintains a dsaccess profile in
which it maintains the name of DC and GC server and according to this profile it sends authentication
request to clients nearest dc means dsaccess is a process which works as bridge between exchnage
server and dc to pass AD releated query from exchange server to Domain controller.

What are Recipient Policies?

When you install Exchange for the first time, it determines the format of the SMTP address youll want
for your users based on your organization name and the DNS name of your
domain. It places the result into an Active Directory object called a Recipient Policy
A recipient policy that manages e-mail addresses has the following characteristics:

It applies to a selected group of recipients.

It always contains information about the address types that are to be applied to those

recipients.

It is given a priority, so that administrators can control which address is applied as the

primary address to a recipient that may appear in more than one policy

What is the RUS?

RUS (Recipient Update Service) is responsible for making updates to e-mail addresses, and it does this
based on recipient policy changes. These updates are made at a specific interval that is defined for the
service. You can view the update interval and modify it as necessary.
RUS works hand in hand with GAL (Global Address List). Together they generate the list of addresses

that users see in Outlook. I think of Exchange 2003s RUS as a little engine which runs an LDAP query,
the results are to build or update the Users property sheets and the Address Lists.
Here is a list of the jobs that RUS performs:
Updates proxyAddresses attribute controlled by recipient policies.
Initializes the homeMDB, homeMTA and msExchHomeServerName attributes. Also the
legacyExchangeDN and msExchMailboxGUID if appropriate.
Sets the showInAddressBook (or hideDLMembership).
Sets the ACL on the Microsoft Exchange System Objects (Check with ADSI Edit)
Populates the group called Exchange Enterprise Servers in Active Directory.

How can you create multiple GALs and allow the users to only see the one related to

them?
This step-by-step article describes how to create Global Address Lists and how to set security levels on
the Global Address Lists so only specific groups can view them.
When you use Exchange 2003 in a hosting environment, you must create multiple Global Address Lists.
The address lists typically have different user accounts listed in them based on the Lightweight
Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) filter that you create. By default, all the users in the Exchange 2003
organization can view all the defined Global Address Lists. This may not be acceptable in some
situations; for example, it would not be acceptable at a company that that serves as an e-mail host for
other companies. However, you can restrict access to a particular set of users for specific address lists.
For more step by step guide, look into
http://web.archive.org/web/20041121012214/http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=822940

What is a Front End server? In what scenarios would you use one?

A fornt-end server is a server which is for load balancing / user security purpose. this server doesnot
hold any mailbox stores or public folders. using this fornt-end server we can increase limitation
ie.firewall, where other than users or admins cannot handle mailbox stores since these mailbox store
are kept in back-end servers.
front-end servers handles in coming client connections. in large org. front-end servers simplifies admins
with UNIFIED NAMESPACE, FIREWALL, AND REDUCED OVERHEAD SSL.
Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server support using a server
architecture that distributes server tasks among front-end and back-end servers. In this
architecture, a front-end server accepts requests from clients and proxies them to the appropriate backend server for processing.

What type of authentication is used on the front end servers?

1. Basic Authendication
2. NTLM Authendication

When would you use NLB?

NLB is used for network load Balancing when there is a heavy information flow and network traffic. I can
also be useful for applications which interact with users or database.
like Oracle, SQL, Exchange, etc.
A single computer running Windows can provide a limited level of server reliability and scalable
performance. However, by combining the resources of two or more computers running one of the
products in the Windows Server 2003 family into a single cluster, Network Load Balancing can deliver
the reliability and performance that Web servers and other
mission-critical servers need.

How would you achieve incoming mail redundancy?

One can configure two routing group connector with different cost. Lets say primary with 10 and
secondary RGC with 20 and both are pointing to different bridgehead servers. We can then setup a rule
in smart host that if primary bridgehead server ip not reposing, start delivering emails to secondary
bridgehead server.
==========================================
There is an option in the mailbox store of the first routing group in the server that contains the mail box
of a user. Drill down till the sorage group, right click and
select properties, in general tab, you can find Archive all messages sent or received by mailboxes on
this store. create a mail box enabled account called master (or anything you may like ;-)) and select
the account by browsing the accounts. so that user collects all the sent and received mails thrugh this
store. Create a outlook account in a seperate machine for the user and bingo u have all the mails.

What are the 4 types of Exchange backups?

1.normal
2.copy
3.incremental
4.differential
5.daily

What is the Dial-Tone server scenario?

See if a Database gets corrupt and if it is large, it would take hours to restore it and this would mean
downtime. WIth Dial Tone recovery method what you do is, create an empty Database, for mails flow to
continue and in the meantime use RSG to recover DB from backup. Once recovery is done, you merge
recovered DB and new DB into one, this means no mail is lost.
For more info, see http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Exchange-Dial-tone-Restore-Method-Part1.html

When would you use offline backup?

OFFLINE BACKUP is simply flat file copy of the .edb and .stm file {database]
its taken when your stores are down and you have no other option except for hard repair to get the
database clean

How do you re-install Exchange on a server that has crashed but with AD intact?

If you have multiple DCs then you can reinstall it using the disaster recovery switch. This will pullup the
information from AD and reinstall it the way it was before after that you will have to restore the back up
If this was the only DC+Exchange Server than you will have to restore from backup (SYStem state
bakcup) .

What are the e00xxxxx.log files?

E#######.log are the secondary transaction logs. They are number sequentially starting with
E0000001.log using the hexadecimal numbering format and are 5MB in size.
E##.log is the current transaction log for the database. Once the log file reaches 5MB in size it is
renamed E#######.log and a new E##.log is created. As with the checkpoint file the ## represents
the Storage Group identifier. While the new E##.log file is being created you will see a file
called Edbtmp.log which is a template for Exchange server log files.

What is the e00.chk file?

The E##.chk file maintains the checkpoint for the Storage Group. The ## represents the Storage Group
number with the First Storage Group file called E00.chk. This checkpoint file keeps track of the last
committed transaction. If you are ever forced to perform a recovery, this file contains the point at which
the replaying of transaction logs starts.

What is circular logging? When would you use it?

In order to understand Circular logging, perhaps it is best to understand Exchange server Transaction
logs in general.
Exchange uses transaction logs to add information such as e-mails, users and changes to the relevant
database files on the disk of your Exchange server. In a default Exchange installation you will find them
in the C:\program files\exchsrvr\mdbdata folder (they look like EBD.log and Edb0xxxxx.log), the
other files in that folder are typically the Priv1.edb/Pub1.edb and Priv1.stm/Pub.stm files (Exchange
Database and Streaming file plus the equivalent public folder databases) and an Edb.chk (checkpoint)
file more on this later.

The most recent transactions (data changes) are held in the Edb.log file when this file reaches around 5
MB in size another file called Edbtmp.log is created which temporarily takes over from
the Edb.log accepting new changes to the database whilst the Edb.log is renamed to Edb00001.log.
After the Edb.log file has been renamed, the Edbtmp.log is renamed to Edb.log and then the process
continues at every 5 Mb interval. got that? nope clear as mud I guess, think of it this way when
the Edb.log file gets to 5 MB another file comes in that takes over from it, whilst Edb.log gets a new
name, then the interim file becomes the new Edb.log.
Exchange uses a process which is called read ahead transaction logs, this means that each
transaction is placed within the log, the database cache and then into the relevant database itself.
When the operation is written to the database the checkpoint (Edb.chk) is incremented which signals
the position in the log files where the database is in a consistent (or clean) state more on that in a
minute.
This means that any amount of your transaction logs can be considered either active (not committed)
or inactive (committed), if for any reason the store service is terminated (crash, power cut etc)
Exchange will automatically recover the next time the server starts this happens by Exchange rolling
forward all of the transactions in the logs which bring us up to the marker in the checkpoint file
(Edb.chk).
Logs will continue to be created until a full online backup of Exchange has been completed (using
NTBackup or another vendors product) where the process of backing up will commit all transactions to
the database in the log files, and then flush (delete) the files and then the system is ready to start
again. It is at this point that I will say that UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU EVER
MANUALLY DELETE THE TRANSACTION LOGS it is possible to identify unused logs but it is much
easier to allow a backup product to do it for you.
Ok, I hear you ask, but what is Circular Logging?, well when Circular logging is enabled Exchange
behaves in exactly the same way but the key difference is when the checkpoint file is incremented the
inactive part of the transaction log is overwritten by new transactions (rather than a new log being
created). Now this in some aspects is Ok as you are still fairly protected in regard to hardware and
software failures, but, you are not protected against media failures.
It is still possible to see more than one transaction log in the directory (for example if a large number of
large sized mails are being sent each log can only be 5 MB so if a 6 MB mail is sent that will produce
an additional log) and again these logs will not be cleared until a full online backup is completed.
However generally speaking when Circular logging is enabled less log files are created.
Consistencies;
If a database has not closed down gracefully it is said to be inconsistent. When this happens the
database believes that it is still in communication with the transaction logs, however not all of the
information from the logs may not have been committed to the database.
When the Database next starts up this situation is noticed, and the STORE process will attempted to
commit the missing data from the logs (this is called replaying). If however the some logs that are

required are missing the Database will not mount, and you will be left in the situation of having to use
ESEUTIL to recover the database or return to a recent backup where the database was consistent (this
is beyond the scope of this article but I will cover it at some point).
Summary;
Circular logging may at first glances seem like a bad idea, but it does have its uses in some Exchange
environments for example Front-End Servers (where there is no mailbox data) and relay servers (again
no mailboxes) can make great use of it however, for Database servers it is essential that Circular
logging is not used as it will put you in the position of not having full control over your restoration
processes.

Whats the difference between online and offline defrag?

Online defrag is an automated process which runs daily. The process rearranges mailbox store and
public folder store data more efficiently, eliminating unused storage space. Online defragmentation
makes additional database space available by detecting and removing database objects that are no
longer being used. The defragmentation process provides more database space without actually
changing the file size of the database.
http://www.petri.co.il/defragment_exchange_2000_2003_server_databases.htm
Offline drag is a more complicated process. It compacts the exchange database and shrink to its right
size. It is a time consuming process too. You usually do it when your exchange database is growing to
its limits.
http://searchexchange.techtarget.com/tip/0,289483,sid43_gci1086459,00.html
http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Defragmenting-Exchange-Database.html

How would you know if it is time to perform an offline defrag of your Exchange stores?

You need to do offline defrag only when needed.. in some issue like the database size limit exceeding to
the max. when you do offline defrag.. it cleans up the white space on the database and hence helps to
create large amount of space this takes a very long time and runs at a speed of 4-5GB /hr

How would you monitor Exchanges services and performance? Name 2 or 3 options.

Exchange Monitor 2003 Tool


SolarWind Exchange Monitor Tool

What is Direct Push? What are the requirements to run it?

Direct Push provides end-users by providing close to real over the air (OTA) push technology.
The DirectPush technology keeps your mobile device up-to-date by delivering e-mail, Calendar,
Contacts and Tasks directly to your device, allowing you to react quickly to changes in your mailbox.
AUTD v1 did the same thing but DirectPush offers several benefits.
The cool thing about the DirectPush technology is that it maintains an HTTPS connection between the
Exchange server and the mobile device, a session which is kept alive by using heartbeats. This way the
Exchange server can notify a mobile device whether or not theres a change in the associated mailbox,
and if a change occurs in the mailbox, the server can initiate a synchronization. Since the device keeps

an open session to the Exchange server, some of you might think this could become rather expensive.
But fear not because the device simply sits there and waits for a response, it doesnt send or receive
any data when its in this pending state. Said in another way, no data will travel over the wire, unless a
change is detected in the mailbox, or the heartbeat expires.
http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Exchange-2003-Mobile-Messaging-Part1-Microsoft-DirectPushtechnology.html
Requirements:
Server-side
As the DirectPush feature is a new technology included in Exchange 2003 SP2, its required that you
apply Exchange 2003 SP2 at least on the Exchange 2003 front-end servers in your organization. Note
that I say front-end servers, because your back-end servers can run anything from Exchange 2003 RTM,
SP1 to SP2 as long as you have one or more front-end servers with SP2 applied. But although
DirectPush doesnt require it, I still recommended you upgrade the back-end servers to SP2 as well, not
because you will gain any advantage out of doing so when it comes to the DirectPush technology, but
because the service pack is packed with new great features and improvements as well as a lot of bug
fixes. You can read more about the stuff included in Exchange 2003 SP2 in a previous article of mine.
Note:
In addition to the above requirements its highly recommended you adjust the time-out values for
HTTPS connection in your firewall (more on this later in the article).
Client Side:
Another requirement in order to make use of the DirectPush technology is that the mobile devices need
to run Windows Mobile 5.0. In addition the devices need to have the Messaging and Security Feature
Pack (MSFP) installed. Although Microsoft shipped firmware that included the MSFP to mobile device
manufactures back in October 2005, new firmware releases with the MSFP included have been heavily
delayed. But March 2006 seemed to be the month where things started to kick off. Both imate and Qtek as well as Orange have finally released new firmware updates with the MSFP included,
although so far only for their newer models.
Note:
The Messaging and Security Feature Pack (MSFP) is also known as the Adaption Kit Update 2 (AKU2)

What are the issues with connecting Outlook from a remote computer to your mailbox?

To connect Outlook from remote computer, you can have several issues depending on how you are
connected to the exchange server. You have to be specific with your setup.
Some issues could be,
1. Network connectivity The remote computer must be able to communicate with the exchange server
2. Password Issues If using RPC over HTTP, the system keeps prompting for the User password.

What is RPC over HTTP? What are the requirements to run it?

RPC over HTTP/S is a cool method for connecting your Outlook 2003 client to the corporate Exchange
Server 2003 from the Internet or WAN, without the need to establish a VPN session to the corporate

LAN and/or needing to open many ports on your corporate firewall. The only ports youll need to open
on your firewall are TCP 80 and, if using SSL, TCP 443.
In the past remote users where forced to use a VPN to connect Outlook to the corporate Exchange
servers or be forced to use the limited features available in Outlook Web Access. With the release of
Exchange 2003 and Outlook 2003 a new connectivity option was introduced: RPC over HTTPS. RPC over
HTTPS tunnels remote procedure calls through an HTTPS connection allowing you to connect to the
Exchange server when outside the corporate LAN without needing to establish a VPN connection. To
understand how to troubleshoot issues, you need to be aware of what is going on when an RPC
connection is made.
Server requirements
RPC over HTTP/S requires Windows Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003. RPC over HTTP/S also
requires Windows Server 2003 in a Global Catalog role.
Client requirements

The client computer must be running Microsoft Windows XP Professional Service Pack 1 (SP1) or
later.

What is S/MIME? What are the usage scenarios for S/MIME?

S/MIME: Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions. S/MIME provides Digital Signatures and Message
Encryption, as SMTP is inherently not secure.
Please Refer: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa995740(EXCHG.65).aspx

How do you enable SSL on OWA?

Outlook Web Access (or OWA for short) is one of Exchange Servers best features, allowing you to
connect to your corporate mailbox from virtually any spot on earth as long as you have an Internet
connection and a decent web browser.
You can read more about OWA in the featured links at the bottom of this article.
OWA transmits traffic to and from the web browser in HTTP (based upon TCP, port 80) and in clear text,
meaning that anyone could potentially listen to your talk and grab frames and valuable information
from the net.
To secure the transmission of information between Exchange Server 2003 and Outlook Web Access
clients, you can encrypt the information being transmitted by using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer).
For step by step Guide, Follow this link
http://www.petri.co.il/configure_ssl_on_owa.htm
What do you need to consider when using a client-type AV software on an Exchange server?
First thing, make sure your anti-virus is exchange aware or just exclude the databases from the realtime scan.

You need to make sure that it doesnt scan any of the following:
1. EXCHSRV folder
2. INETSRV
3. INETPUB

What are the different clustering options in Exchange 2003? Which one would you choose
and why.

Windows Clustering technologies can help you achieve scalability, availability, reliability, and fault
tolerance for your Exchange 2003 organization. A cluster consists of individual computers (also called
nodes) that function cohesively in a Cluster service. These computers act as network service providers
or as reserve computers that assume the responsibilities of failed nodes. Depending on how you
configure your cluster, clustering can simplify the process of recovering a single server from disasters.
In a clustering environment, Exchange runs as a virtual server (not as a stand-alone server) because
any node in a cluster can assume control of a virtual server. If the node running the EVS experiences
problems, the EVS goes offline for a brief period until another node takes control of the EVS. All
recommendations for Exchange clustering are for active/passive configurations. For information about
active/passive and active/active cluster configurations, see Cluster Configurations later in this topic.
A recommended configuration for your Exchange 2003 cluster is a four-node cluster comprised of three
active nodes and one passive node. Each of the active nodes contains one EVS. This configuration is
cost-effective because it allows you to run three active Exchange servers, while maintaining the failover
security provided by one passive server.
To create Exchange 2003 clusters, you must use Windows Clustering.
Windows Clustering is a feature of Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition and Windows Server 2003,
Datacenter Edition. The Windows Cluster service controls all aspects of Windows Clustering.
When you run Exchange 2003 Setup on a Windows Server 2003 cluster node, the cluster-aware version
of Exchange is automatically installed.