Exchange Issues

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FIRST ? DOMAIN NAME CHANGE / EXCHANGE SERVER In about a month?s time, we?ll be changing domain names. Instead of optic-cc.org we?ll have opportunityjunction.org -- as our organization changes its name from OPTIC to Opportunity Junction. Anticipating this, there are some things I need to find out. Namely: what do we need to change when we migrate to the new domain name? As background: We have a primary domain controller named MINE; its fully qualified domain name is mine.opmine.optic-cc.org. From this, you can deduce that our domain is called OPMINE. Our primary domain controller is a Dell PowerEdge SC 1420, running Windows Server 2003 Standard and Exchange Server 2003 Standard. Our exchange server implementation is called OPMAIL. (so our X400 addresses are configured with c=US;a= ;p=OPMAIL;o=Exchange and so on). We have our site hosted at SBC Yahoo Small Business. Both of them, in fact. SECOND ? SETTING UP EXCHANGE ON OUR BDC We have a duplicate machine ? another Dell PowerEdge SC 1420, running Windows Server 2003 Standard -- that has not yet had Exchange Server installed. It has been promoted to a backup domain controller. I don?t have Exchange installed on it, and suspect that it may be interfering with some of the PDC?s functions. Specifically, when I add a new user and check the ?Create an Exchange Mailbox? option, the user is created, but their mailbox isn?t findable in the global address list. This problem doesn?t occur, apparently, when I simply turn the BDC off. I?m hoping that simply installing Exchange on that machine will remedy this. Are there any particular `gotchas? I need to watch out for when installing Exchange on the BDC of an existing Exchange setup? Do you know of a way to simply replicate a machine completely? Like Norton Ghost for servers? This would be ideal. THIRD ? INCONSISTENT BOUNCED EMAILS This is a very minor puzzle. One of our staff members, Jesse, has found that she doesn?t get bounced email notifications from our mail server. For instance, if she and I each send a message, from our Outlook work email, to a nonexistent domain ? john@yearehrlkwehrla.com for instance ? I get a message back from System Administrator: Thanks in advance for any assistance, --Alex
ASKED: October 13, 2006  10:04 PM
UPDATED: October 16, 2006  12:27 AM

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First, you can simply add the address to your recipient policy, and RUS will add it to all the mail accounts on the server. You can also set it as the primary address. Then, when youa re ready to make the switch, have your primary MX record point the server for mail, and give your current primary a lower preference, so mail can still be delivered under the old domain name (believe me that you will be recieving mail at the old domain for quite some time).

To you, you have a BDC. To Windows, it is simply another DC. It is not recommended that Exchange be loaded on a machine that has active directory installed, but it can be done, though you may have some problems with it, mostly little things that are of no real consequence. If youare indtending to use it as a backup server only, get a copy of DoubleTake or anothe replication software package that can replicate Exchange and install that on both servers and start the replication. However, this will not resolve your issue of creating amailbox when adding a user. What you probably need to do is to make the AD on the machine a Global Catalog. If you do go ahead and install Exchange, you will need to give the instal a different name, which ca be changed if you need to bring up this server as a replacement for your current Exchange server.

I do not know of anyone imaging a DC or Exchange server. A failure on either is usually handled with a rebuild and a restore from backup.

As for the lack of an NDR to a user, check that there are no rules enabled that may be acting upon recieved NDRs. I don’t know if you can use message tracking or not on NDRs, I’ve never tried it, but it may be worth a shot to see where the NDR is going.

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  • Dlevine
    Steve is right on how to handle incoming email for the new domain name... but just to be sure... Make sure that you add the new domain name to a policy in the Exchange System Manager's Recipient Policies container. This can be your default policy, or you can create a new one. Make sure that whoever is hosting your public DNS adds an MX record for the new domain and points it at your exchange server's public IP (or hopefully your SMTP relay host's IP address!) As for the second part... Active Directory does not have Primary Domain Controllers and Backup Domain Controllers. It is a multi-master topology - so all domain controllers have a read/write copy of the directory database. You do however have FSMO roles... one of which is the PDC emulator. Anyway - it sounds to me like you have a pretty small network - so I would not worry about installing Exchange on a second system.... especially if your system is another DC. Having 2 systems configured as domain controllers is good for any sized network. Make sure that each DC is running DNS & WINS, and make sure they are both Global Catalog Servers. It is also not a bad idea to have both running DHCP - but *make sure* that you split your scope up so that you do not have any overlap! This is handy if you have one of your 2 server systems go down - you will still have all of your basic infrastructure functioning as it should. Now - for Exhcange redundancy... if you have the money for the licensing costs and hardware costs, a 2nd installation of Exchange with DoubleTake is great. However, for a small network, I might suggest that you stick with the single install and just make sure that you have your backup and restore process well documented. If you have a couple of old workstation systems, you could even set them up as a test network and practive your recovery process there. In addition to making you more prepared for an actual event, you will also be testing the integrity of your backup media which is more valuable than you know... Put together a basic DR kit. Instructions on how to do the entire restore process, all required software media, all required lic keys, all required information, like domain names, org names, etc., unattended answer files, phone numbers to people who can help, etc... If you want to use something like Ghost to enhance your backup routines, that is great - just make sure that you do not install the Ghost client on any servers with hardware or software RAID configs... (trust me). Taking a monthly backup image of a system can be very useful in speeding up recovery times. Now - when you use the *Exchange version* of AD Users and Computers... are you running that from the 2nd Domain Controller or from your Workstation? (You did install the Exhcange Management Tools on your workstation, right?) Best of luck... --- David Levine
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