by Michael Bell
Well, as promised last week, we are going to start off this week by finishing our look at Forestprep and Domainprep. After that, we will actually start through an actual installation of Exchange 2000 and see what’s new in the installation program. In case you have forgotten, you might want to look back at last week’s article for a quick review of how to run setup with either of these switches, as well as what each does.
Michael Bell’s latest article in the Learning Exchange Server 2000 in 15 Minutes a Week series wraps up a discussion on two pre-installation utilities, ForestPrep and DomainPrep, and walks the reader through an installation of Exchange Server 2000.
When we were talking about Forestprep, we mentioned that this process was responsible for extending the AD schema for the introduction of the first Exchange server into our organization. The requirement to run Forestprep was to have both Schema admin and Enterprise Admin permissions. But in a smaller organization, you might be all of those things, as well as the Domain Administrator and the local administrator to boot. If this is the case, then you might not want to run forestprep as a separate process, but instead just run the installation program directly. You can do that, of course, but just be aware that the installation program will appear to take a long time to run, and it is because it will be running forestprep in the background. There is no way around extending the schema before introducing the first Exchange server into your Windows 2000 environment; the forestprep switch actually makes over 1800 changes to the schema of AD! It is simply a question of whether you want to run forestprep by itself, or run it during the installation of the first Exchange 2000 server.
The same could be said for running domainprep. If you are a member of the Domain Administrators group, you wouldn’t have to run domainprep separately. By launching the installation, you will run domainprep as part of the installation process. However, there is one situation where you would want to run domainprep as a separate process. This would be the case if you wanted to have mail-enabled recipients in a domain where no Exchange 2000 server existed. In this case, you run domainprep to create the Recipient Update Service (RUS) object. This allows users in a domain where no Exchange 2000 server is installed to still take advantage of the messaging capabilities of Exchange 2000.
One last thing worth mentioning here. Exchange 2000 comes in 2 different flavors, Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition. For our purposes, we will be discussing Enterprise Edition in this series. However, I do want you to be aware of the major differences between the two, so I will enumerate them here. First of all, the Standard Edition has a database size limited to 16GB. It does not allow for multiple databases per server, and you cannot implement active/active clustering. Chat is not available as a product option, and you cannot configure a front-end/back-end configuration with Standard Edition (although the Standard Edition can act as a back-end server to an Enterprise Edition front-end server.)