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Understanding how Exchange Stores Information

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Exchange stores four types of data in Active Directory: schema data (stored in the Schema partition), configuration data (stored in the Configuration partition), domain data (stored in the Domain partition), and application data (stored in application specific partitions). In Active Directory, schema rules determine what types of objects are available and what attributes those objects have. When you install the first Exchange server in the forest, the Active Directory preparation process adds many Exchange-specific object classes and attributes to the schema partition in Active Directory. This allows Exchange-specific objects, such as agents and connectors, to be created. It also allows you to extend existing objects, such as users and groups, with new attributes, such as attributes that allow user objects to be used for sending and receiving e-mail. Every domain controller and global catalog server in the organization has a complete copy of the Schema partition.

During the installation of the first Exchange server in the forest, Exchange configuration information is generated and stored in Active Directory. Exchange configuration information, like other configuration information, is also stored in the Configuration partition. For Active Directory, the configuration information describes the structure of the directory, and the Configuration container includes all of the domains, trees, and forests, as well as the locations of domain controllers and global catalogs. For Exchange, the configuration information is used to describe the structure of the Exchange organization. The Configuration container includes lists of templates, policies, and other global organization-level details. Every domain controller and global catalog server in the organization has a complete copy of the Configuration partition.

In Active Directory, the Domain partition stores domain-specific objects, such as users and groups, and the stored values of attributes associated with those objects. As you create, modify, or delete objects, Exchange stores the details about those objects in the Domain partition. During the installation of the first Exchange server in the forest, Exchange objects are created in the current domain. Whenever you create new recipients or modify Exchange details, the related changes are reflected in the Domain partition as well. Every domain controller has a complete copy of the Domain partition for the domain for which it is authoritative. Every global catalog server in the forest maintains information about a subset of every Domain partition in the forest.

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

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