Exchange Server 2010 Administration Overview

If you thought Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 was a radical departure from its predecessors, wait till you get acquainted with Microsoft Exchange Server 2010. Exchange Server 2010 completely redefines the Exchange Server messaging platform, and right up front you should know that Exchange Server 2010 does away with the concepts of storage groups, Local Continuous Replication (LCR), Single Copy Clusters (SCC), and clustered mailbox servers.

In previous releases of Exchange Server, you used storage groups to group mailbox and public folder databases into logical units of management. In Exchange Server 2010, databases are no longer associated with storage groups. For mailbox databases, database availability groups can now be used to group databases for high availability, and mailbox databases are managed at the organization level instead of at the server level. For public folder databases, database management has been moved to the organization level, but the functionality hasn’t changed from how it was implemented in Exchange Server 2007.

To support these and other changes, relevant storage group functionality has been moved to the database level. Further, mailbox databases are now peers to servers in Active Directory. The Exchange store schema has been changed to remove the dependency of mailbox databases on server objects, and this reduces the Exchange store’s reliance on secondary indexes maintained by the Extensible Storage Engine (ESE).

Exchange Server 2010 integrates high availability into the core architecture by enhancing aspects of Cluster Continuous Replication (CCR) and Standby Continuous Replication (SCR) and combining them into a single high-availability solution for both on-site and off-site data replication. Exchange Server 2010 also provides for automatic failover and recovery without requiring clusters when you deploy multiple mailbox servers. Because of these changes, building a high-availability mailbox server solution no longer requires cluster hardware or advanced cluster configuration. Instead, database availability groups provide the base component for high availability. Failover is automatic for mailbox databases that are part of the same database availability group.

The rules for database availability groups are simple. Each mailbox server can have multiple databases, and each database can have as many as 16 copies. A single database availability group can have up to 16 mailbox servers that provide automatic database-level recovery. Any server in a database availability group can host a copy of a mailbox database from any other server in the database availability group.

This seamless high-availability functionality is made possible because Exchange Server 2010 disconnects mailbox databases from servers and assigns the same globally unique identifier (GUID) to all copies of a mailbox database. Because storage groups no longer exist, continuous replication occurs at the database level. Transaction logs are replicated to each member of a database availability group that has a copy of a mailbox database and are replayed into the copy of the mailbox database. Failover can occur at either the database level or the server level.
Although I discuss the architectural and administrative impact of these extensive changes throughout this and other chapters of this book, you need to know this information up front because it radically changes the way you implement and manage your Exchange organization. Why? With these changes, you might not need to use Redundant Arrays Of Inexpensive Disks (RAID) for your Exchange data and you might not need to ever perform routine backups of your Exchange data. Although these are radical ideas, they are possible—especially if you implement data- retention rules as necessary for regulatory compliance and remember to rotate Exchange data to off-site storage periodically to ensure that you are protected in extreme disaster recovery scenarios.

As you get started with Exchange Server 2010, you should concentrate on the following areas:
• How Exchange Server 2010 works with your hardware
• What versions and editions of Exchange Server 2010 are available, and how they meet your needs
• How Exchange Server 2010 works with Windows–based operating systems
• How Exchange Server 2010 works with Active Directory
• What administration tools are available

Source of Information : Microsoft Press - Exchange Server 2010 Administrators Pocket Consultant

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