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Configuring an Exchange Server

Configuring an Exchange server can be a simple task.

Configuring an Exchange Server
Adesh Rampat

It doesn't make any difference if you're installing a new Exchange Server or if you're upgrading the one you have. Do it right, and you'll get good performance and reliability. Don't, and you'll get performance that has users wondering where their email went. This tip offers some considerations on configuring an Exchange Server.


An Exchange Server with an Intel Pentium Pro Processor running at 200 MHZ successfully services approximately 160 clients, with an old processor that is no longer available. Any Pentium III available today can handle this load. Because Exchange runs as separate processes it takes advantage of additional CPUs, so get dual processors if you can.


Minimum memory configuration should be 256MB, but as with anything else Microsoft, the minimum is really that. Get more. And make sure the Exchange Server handles only Exchange-based applications.

Hard Drive Configuration

Use SCSI drives for speed and for security. Use hardware RAID for the Exchange databases, and disable write-back caching to reduce the risk of corrupted Exchange databases. (If the server goes down in the process of a write, and caching is enabled, the data that was stored in the cache is lost.)

The Exchange transaction logs should be on separate disks. Having them on single disks can reduce the lifespan of the disk.

Tape Drive

Use SCSI DLT tape drives. The tapes can hold more information than those with competing technologies, perform backups faster, and have a longer life cycle.

Network Interface Card

100MB per/sec. is your minimum speed. The network interface card should not be integrated on the system board but should be on a separate PCI slot. This way, if the NIC fails, you don't have to replace the entire motherboard.

Adesh Rampat has 10 years experience with network and IT administration. He is a member of the Association of Internet Professionals, the Institute for Network Professionals and the International Webmasters Association. He has also lectured extensively on a variety of topics.

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Related Book

Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Administrator's Guide
Author : David McAmis
Publisher : Prima Publishing
Published : Dec 2000
Summary :
Whether you are administering an Exchange Server for 10 users or 10,000, this book provides you with the technical information you'll need to successfully manage Exchange 2000 Server. This invaluable resource is perfect for you, the system administrator, who installs and manages the day-to-day operations of Exchange Server.

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