I am looking for good, uncluttered documentation on the management of Exchange 2000. I do not want to be an expert on migrations, deployments, etc. I just want to manage a system that has already been deployed. Here are some question that I am seeking answers to:
- How do I monitor the health of the database?
- What are some of the features that need to be running to insure a healthy database?
- Are the files that need to get backed up in case of a disaster being backed up properly?
- How do you test a recovery?
- How do I properly delete users, so that I do not get the endless string of events in the Event Viewer?
- How do I manage mailbox sizes properly?
All the books I have seen so far are so cluttered with the nuts and bolts on how Exchange works that I cannot easily find the day-to-day things I need to do.
All of the information you are looking for is documented...somewhere. The challenge is assembling the documentation into text that is both readable and germane to your environment. Some of the best places to look are often the ones most overlooked. So, let me start with some general recommendations:
You can also find a pretty good list of Exchange-related books at http://www.exchange-mail.org/books.html.
Now, as far as your specific questions go, I can offer some assistance with those, I think. The 'health of the database' is a bit vague, though. Do you mean maintaining database integrity or do you mean maintaining database performance levels, or both, or perhaps something else altogether? Whatever the case, there isn't a whole lot that needs to be done to maintain Exchange's databases because Exchange's database engine, the Extensible Storage Engine (ESE), is very good at maintaining its own databases. ESE can and does manage the database internals, including nightly online maintenance and defragmentation. Unless you are removing large quantities of e-mail from your information stores, you don't need to be concerned with any other maintenance.
In terms of making sure that all of the proper files have been backed up the answer is simple: back up everything every night. Absolutely make sure you back up all files, including all OS files, the Exchange data stores and the System State information. The System State is very important as it includes a lot of unique and critical information pertaining to that system, such as the IIS metabase, the COM+ class registration database, the system's registry, etc.
Use the logging facilities of your backup software to verify that your backups are successful.
To test a recovery, you simply perform the recovery according to Microsoft's disaster recovery procedures, and then try to access mailboxes, send and receive e-mail, etc. There's plenty of documentation on this, such as: KB article Q257415, KB article Q270838 and KB article Q241635, The Exchange 2000 Server Disaster Recovery: Worst-Case Survival Handbook and HOW TO: Reconstruct a Data Store If You Cannot Restore Database Files in Exchange 2000 Server
Here's also a good list of "How To" articles, as well.
To delete users, simply use the Active Directory Users & Computers snap-in to delete the unwanted accounts. You will be prompted and asked if you also want to delete their mailbox, as well. I'm not sure what you mean by 'endless stream of events in Event Viewer,' so I cannot address that.
To manage mailbox sizes, you can use Group Policy or the Mailbox Management Tools. If you have done any development work with ADO, you might find it easier to use that instead. (See KB article Q255992).