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Get organized: Display your administrative groups

Whether you choose a centralized or decentralized organization as you set up your Exchange 2000 or 2003 infrastructure, you need to enable the display capability first.

Depending on the structure of your enterprise, you have several choices on how you can organize your Exchange 2000 or 2003 infrastructure.

For example, you can have a centralized organization in which people in one central location administer the whole Exchange setup, no matter how far-flung and decentralized the company organization is.

On the other hand, you could use a decentralized organization, in which each region of the company administers its own Exchange assets. This might work, for example, for a company that has operations in four regions of the U.S. or even worldwide. Then the overhead of administering the Exchange setup is much more contained locally than would be the case if there were a centralized organization. Remember that diversifying management activities can result in more problems creeping into the system, so you need to have competent people in place managing the disparate Exchange locations.

There is also another organizational option, which contains some of the attributes of both the centralized and the distributed administration. Any of the three has its advantages and disadvantages, and the one you select depends on your company's organization, culture and other factors.

But whichever you choose, you have to be able to see what your management structure looks like. And, oddly enough, when you install Exchange 2000 or Exchange 2003, that doesn't happen by default (unless you install Exchange 2000 or 2003 into an Exchange 5.5 shop, in which case, each 5.5 site will appear as an administrative group). So you have to enable that display capability, after which you can create new administrative groups and begin to organize the Exchange setup the way you like.

To display the groups is a simple matter. Open your Exchange System Manager, and right click on your Exchange organization, whatever you have named it. Click on Properties to get the properties dialog box. On the general tab, you'll see a checkbox for Display administration groups, on which you should click. OK your way out, and then restart your Exchange System Manager for the changes to take effect.

Microsoft goes into much more detail in the Exchange Server 2003 Administration Guide, available for download.


David Gabel has been testing and writing about computers for more than 25 years.

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