Mailbox Server

Mailbox Server Role :-

This part includes all the information on Mailbox Server Role options introduced in Exchange Server 2007.

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1. What is Mailbox Server Role in Exchange Server 2007?

Mailbox Server holds the Mailbox database and Public folder databases for your organization. It only retains the mailbox and it won’t transfer your mails. Transferring mails between your mailbox server are handled by Hub Transport servers. The mailbox server roles will be introduced only after the installation of Hub Transport Server and Client Access Server Roles. If we are installing Mailbox server with the clustering options Like CCR, SCC, or SCR, then no other server roles to be installed with this server role.

The Mailbox server role hosts mailbox databases, which contain users’ mailboxes. If you plan to host user mailboxes, public folders, or both, the Mailbox server role is required. The Mailbox server role also improves the information worker experience by providing richer calendaring functionality, resource management, and offline address book downloads

2. What are the planning considerations for Mailbox Server?

Sizing the database – When planning for the size of your databases, you should also plan for how you will enforce limits on database size, either at the database level or at the individual mailbox level

Planning for public folder – Exchange Server public folders are intended to serve as a repository for information that is shared among many users. You should use public folders when your business requires data replication to multiple servers. Make sure your organization needs Public Folders

Co hosting with other server roles – Provided that you are not deploying clustered Mailbox servers, the Client Access server role, Hub Transport server role, Mailbox server role, and Unified Messaging server role can coexist on the same computer in any combination. When considering what combination of server roles to deploy, you should base your decision on capacity and performance planning and on your security and availability requirements

Planning for clustered Mailbox server Role – The decision to deploy clustered Mailbox servers should be based on the availability goals and the available resources of your organization. Exchange 2007 offers two clustered solutions for Mailbox servers: CCR and single copy clusters (SCC).

3. Which server roles can be installed in a clustered environment?

Only the Mailbox server role can be installed in a failover cluster. Therefore, if you plan to deploy a clustered Mailbox server, you cannot install any other server roles on the same computer as the Mailbox server role.

4. Name the manageable features related to Mailbox Server?

In exchange Server 2007, we can manage the following things in mailbox server

  • Resource scheduling
  • Meeting item
  • Out of office assistance
  • Storage groups and databases
  • Public folders
  • Mailbox databases
  • E-mail address policies
  • Exchange Search
  • Offline address book
  • Address list

5. How mailbox server interactions will happen if all the server roles are installed in a single server

1. The Mailbox server accesses recipient, server, and organization configuration information from Active Directory.

2. The Store driver on the Hub Transport server places messages from the transport pipeline into the appropriate mailbox. The Store driver on the Hub Transport server also adds messages from the Outbox of a sender on the Mailbox server to the transport pipeline.

3. The Client Access server sends requests from clients to the Mailbox server, and returns data from the Mailbox server to the clients. The Client Access server also accesses offline address book files on the Mailbox server through NetBIOS file sharing. The types of data that the Client Access server sends between the client and the Mailbox server are messages, free/busy data, client profile settings, and offline address book data.

4. The Unified Messaging server retrieves e-mail and voice mail messages and calendar information from the Mailbox server for Outlook Voice Access. The Unified Messaging server also retrieves storage quota information from the Mailbox server.

5. Outlook clients that are inside your firewall can access a Mailbox server directly to send and retrieve messages. Outlook clients outside the firewall can access a Mailbox server using remote procedure call (RPC) over Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).

6. The administrator-only computer retrieves Active Directory topology information from the Microsoft Exchange Active Directory Topology service. It also retrieves e-mail address policy information and address list information.

6. What are the permissions available in mailbox database?

You can configure the following mailbox permissions:

  • Full Access
  • External Account
  • Delete Item
  • Read Permission
  • Change Permission
  • Change Owner

You can configure the following extended rights for a mailbox-enabled user in Active Directory:

  • Send As
  • Receive As
  • View Information Store Status

7. What is Send on behalf permission in Mailbox database?

Granting the Send on Behalf permission to other recipients allows those recipients to send e-mail messages on behalf of a mailbox user. Specifically, recipients who are granted this permission can enter the mailbox user’s name in the From field for the messages that they send.

8. What is Send as Permission in Mailbox Database?

Granting the Send As permission to other recipients allows those recipients to send e-mail messages as that mailbox user. Like the Send on Behalf right, recipients who are granted this permission can enter the mailbox user’s name in the From field for the messages that they send.

9. What is full access in permission in Mailbox Database?

Granting this permission to a user for a mailbox allows that user to log on to the mailbox and gain access to the contents of the entire mailbox. Users with the Full Access permission to a mailbox cannot send messages as that mailbox.

10. Explain the storage and Database features involved in Exchange Server 2007 Standard and Enterprise Edition?

Feature Standard Edition Enterprise Edition
Storage groups Five storage groups are supported. 50 storage groups are supported.
Databases Five databases are supported. 50 databases are supported.
Single Copy Clusters Not supported. Supported.
Local Continuous Replication Supported. Supported.
Cluster Continuous Replication Not supported. Supported.

11. What are the high availability features involved in Exchange Server 2007 for Mailbox servers?

The following are the high availability features supported for Mailbox server

  • Local Continuous Replication
  • Cluster Continuous Replication
  • Single Copy Replication
  • Standby Continuous Replication

12. Explain the file structures in Exchange Server 2007?

.CHK – check point file, keeps track of which transactional logs moves into database files. Keep on check the log file entering the database in a current order

.LOG – 2 types of transactional logs –

1. Current Transactional log – eoo.log file which write the current transactions into transactional logs. If it reaches 1 MB, it will rename the log file into E00000001.log

2. Transactional log – If Current Transactional log reaches 1 MB , it will rename the log file into E00000001.log

.EDB – Stores the database files

Temp.EDB – Temporary database file, which will process the transactional logs that are to be to write in .EDB Database file

.JRS – Reserved Log files – if the size of the disk is full and you can’t write any mails as transactional logs these files will help into action

13. Suggest a good Storage solution for Exchange Server?

Operating System: System files to be backed up. RAID 0 or RAID1

Database Files: if we move the database to different disk and if you are making backup the transactional logs will be added into the Backup. Provides better recoverability, RAID5 (Stripe set with Parity)

Transactional Log Files: in order to handle load, it’s good to have Transactional log files in different disk. If both the log file and database file are in same disk, increase performance and reliability. RAID1 (Mirroring)

14. Explain the Transactional Log files in Exchange Server 2007?

5 MB for 2003 and 1 MB for 2007

Before changes are actually made to an Exchange database file, Exchange writes the changes to a transaction log file. After a change has been safely logged, it can then be written to the database file.

One of the most important components of Exchange server is the transaction logs. Exchange server was designed to write all transactions to these log files and commit the changes to the databases when the system allows. Users can send and receive messages without touching the database thanks to this write-ahead method of logging.

When a message is sent, the transaction is first recorded in the transaction logs. Until the transaction is committed to the Exchange database (EDB), the only existence of this data is in the system memory and the transaction logs. In the event of a crash, you lose the contents of the memory and all you are left with is the record in the transaction log. These transaction logs are crucial to the recovery of a failed Exchange server, whether it was a minor crash that required a reboot, or a more catastrophic failure requiring the deployment of your disaster recovery plans. The same goes for other transactions such as received messages, deleted items and messages moved to different folders

15. What are the recommendations for configuring Storage Groups and Databases?

Following are the recommendation consideration for storage groups and Databases

Database Sizing – Smaller databases are generally better because they can be backed up and restored more quickly than larger databases. However, database size should be balanced against other factors, especially capacity and complexity

Recommended Database per storage Group – We recommend that you place each new database in its own storage group until the maximum number of storage groups is reached. This recommendation allows you to spread the load of mailboxes across as many databases and storage groups as possible. It also creates an Exchange storage topology that can be managed more easily.

Disk Configuration – Because I/O to log files is sequential and I/O to database files is random, for increased performance, we recommend placing log files on a separate disk from database files. By using one log file for many databases, you can reduce the number of disks that are required. However, there are two disadvantages to this approach:

  • If the disk that contains the log files fails, multiple databases are corrupted or lost instead of just one.
  • Recovery from log files takes longer because the logs replay data for more databases.

16. What is Retention Period?

The retention period specifies how long Exchange will keep items that users have deleted. Upon deleting an item, Exchange marks the item for complete removal based on the retention period. The default retention period is set to 30 days

17. What is Managed Folder Mailbox policy?

A managed folder mailbox policy is a logical grouping of managed folders. When a managed folder mailbox policy is applied to a user’s mailbox, all the managed folders that are linked to the policy are deployed in a single operation, thereby making the deployment of messaging records management (MRM) easier.

18. What is Managed default Folder?

A managed default folder is a default folder in the mailbox (such as the Inbox, Calendar, or Contacts) that is linked to a managed folder mailbox policy. If a default folder in the mailbox is not linked to a managed folder mailbox policy, then the “entire mailbox” policy will apply to that default folder

19. What is E-Mail Address Policy?

For a recipient to receive or send e-mail messages, the recipient must have an e-mail address. E-mail address policies generate the primary and secondary e-mail addresses for your recipients (which include users, contacts, and groups) so they can receive and send e-mail. By default, Microsoft Exchange contains an e-mail address policy that specifies the recipient’s alias as the local part of the e-mail address and uses the default accepted domain. The local part of an e-mail address is the name that appears before the at sign (@). For e-mail address policies, you define how the recipients’ e-mail addresses will display

20. What is a Managed Content setting?

Managed content settings are applied to the managed folders in users’ mailboxes to control the retention and journaling of messages for messaging records management (MRM). Managed content settings define when messages that are no longer needed are to be removed or journaled (copied) to a separate storage location outside the mailbox

Managed content settings help you control how the contents of managed folders are handled. By applying managed content settings to managed folders, you can control the contents in ways that are not possible with folders that do not have managed content settings. For example, the managed content settings that you apply to a user’s Inbox folder could specify that its contents should be automatically deleted or moved to another folder after 60 days.

21. What is managed custom folder?

A managed custom folder is a managed folder that is created by an Exchange administrator and placed in a user’s mailbox for messaging records management (MRM) purposes. The retention and journaling of messages in managed custom folders are controlled by managed content settings that are applied to the folder.

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