Originally Posted by swetha100
I have little knowledge about Exchange Server 2003. I need help in installing, configuring, integrating Exchange Server 2003 into Hosted Exchange control panel and make it available to our resellers. I have googled for this and also searched in some posts for Exchange servers in this WHT but couldn't find any proper solution and wasted my time. What I am looking is step by step instructions in setting up Exchange Server 2003, integrating into Hosted Exchange control panel and make it available to resellers. Exchange experts please treat me as a novice and just provide me the steps, docs and I'll follow the rest. Sorry for the rush as we want to make the server live on 6th October.
This should give you a start:
The site also covers setting up Exchange Server 2007 for a hosted environment and is a superb resource generally for learning about properly administering Exchange Server. It really makes no sense to use Exchange 2003 if you're setting up a brand new environment anyway. I've used their guides for my hosted Exchange 2007 environment and while not 100% bullet-proof it works well overall.
Let me just say it since I know someone will: It is simply foolish to try to bring up a live production Exchange Server that is designed for hosting when you have zero experience. Depending on which metaphor you prefer this is either like being told to sit down in the Captain's seat of a 747 and told to take off or to steer the Titanic when you've never been on the water. Exchange is a huge, complex server animal that, while not terribly difficult to bring up in a basic configuration, certainly gets complicated when you want to host outside users with multiple domains, OABs, GALs and so on involved. There are deep client issues as well - Outlook 2003 vs. 2007 (2003 needs public folders, for example), OWA, Outlook Anywhere (RPC-over-HTTP), autodiscover, cached Exchange mode, Unified Communication SSL Certificates, and other issues.
Then there's design of your Active Directory to accommodate hosted users (OUs, GPOs, etc.); Message Database Stores (and thus storage capacity in general); recovery options - you do have to back it up of course; mailbox policies; domain controller redundancy; patch and anti-virus management for your servers (this IS Microsoft we're talking about, after all, the 800# gorilla that has a huge bullseye on its back); spam control (E2K7 has its own spam control Edge Transport now, which has to run on its own server); and the list goes on.
You're talking about integrating with a control panel, which I assume either refers to your own homegrown solution or perhaps Microsoft's HMC, which in itself is also very complex to implement.
Yes, you can "wing it" and hope for the best, but you can be the smartest sysadmin in the world and you will miss something and probably several very major components in the environment. I can almost guarantee it.
My advice: Tell your boss it will take you at least 2-4 months to stage and test a production Exchange environment properly for hosting purposes. You need to get your hands dirty for a while, QA and test multiple scenarios (for example, the requirements for non-domain joined Outlook clients--which will be 99.999% of your clients--are different than domain-joined clients), pound and load test on the servers, test email delivery internally and externally, test total failure and disaster recovery scenarios, test optimization suggestions, test your Exchange database maintenance, and so on. To bring it online in 4 days after getting a few servers up in my opinion is not wise at all. This isn't a slight against your abilities: Exchange is a hugely complex piece of server software that can test the competency of a lot of great admins.
All that said - best of luck in your endeavor :-)