Installation Prerequisites

Although I won't be covering the installation process in detail here, several prerequisites must be performed before the installation and configuration of Exchange 2003 in an organization is initiated. Completing a preinstallation checklist will help ensure a smooth, efficient, and successful installation of Exchange Server 2003 in your organization. Let's take a look at some of the items you should review before beginning an Exchange installation.

Network Requirements

Before you start your Exchange installation, be sure that your network has a general good bill of health with a working DNS and WINS installed and configured in your domain. Double-check that your servers (domain controllers, global catalog servers in the AD topology and the domain) are running Windows 2000 SP3 or later or Windows Server 2003 and that Active Directory is healthy and is being replicated throughout your network environment without any errors. Use ExDeploy to easily verify your server health against a checklist using tools and utilities to confirm that your server and organization are ready for the Exchange 2003 installation. The Exchange Server Deployment tools and documentation are complete and easy to use and will lead you through an entire Exchange Server 2003 installation or upgrade.


The latest version of ExDeploy can be located by searching the Microsoft Download Center at


Determining the proper hardware required for your Exchange 2003 server can be tricky. You must take into consideration the organization's size and number of users, bandwidth usage, daily patterns of email usage, and the organization's requirements for messaging system availability and reliability. At a minimum, select a computer with the following components:

  • Intel Pentium or compatible 133MHz or faster processor.

  • 256MB RAM.

  • 500MB free drive space on the disk containing Exchange 2003 (200MB system drive).

  • VGA or higher resolution.

  • Keyboard, mouse, or other compatible input device.

  • Disk partitions must be formatted for the NTFS file system, not the FAT file system.

  • CD drive.

For a single server setup or prototype/lab situation, these minimums might be fine; for large organizations they will be not be sufficient. To better gauge an organization's hardware needs, check out some of the hardware-sizing tools available for Exchange Server 2003. Unfortunately, Microsoft's Exchange Capacity Planning and Topology Calculator is no longer available, so I recommend that you use the following supported tools for help with correctly sizing your Exchange Server installation:

  • The Exchange Server Load Simulator 2003 (LoadSim) tool This tool simulates the performance load of MAPI clients and tests how a server running Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 responds to email loads.

  • The Exchange Server 2003 Jetstress Tool Useful for both Exchange Server 2003 and Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server, this tool simulates disk I/O load on a test server running Exchange Server and verifies the performance and the stability of your disk subsystem.

  • Exchange Server Stress and Performance (ESP) 2003 Using this tool, administrators can simulate large numbers of client sessions by concurrently accessing one or more protocol servers; included modules simulate a variety of protocols and the loads incurred by multiple client machines.


In addition, because most hardware vendors work closely with Microsoft Hardware Quality Labs to endure maximum compatibility, reliability, and performance, hardware vendors such as Hewlett-Packard and Dell are able to develop their own tools that assist customers in sizing the minimum requirements for their Exchange 2003 servers. Hewlett-Packard has a seven-step web-based tool called HP Proliant Sizer for Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 (registration required, go to Dell has a tool named PowerMatch for Microsoft Exchange 2003 that can be downloaded from its website at for offline use.

Network Operating System Requirements

When installing Exchange Server 2003, you have a server platform choice of Windows 2000 Server SP3 or later or Windows Server 2003. Although Exchange 2003 will operate just fine on Windows 2000, where possible, it is recommended that you install Exchange 2003 on a server running Windows Server 2003. Then you can take advantage of additional reliability and performance features available only with this server combination, such as the Volume Shadow Copy Service and the Windows Cluster Service with up to eight-node clustering capability. Other advantages of using Windows Server 2003 include a highly manageable release of IIS, Kerberos authentication, and IP Security (IPSec) for communication between front-end and back-end servers.

In addition to installing the correct version of the server software, you must make sure that certain core services components are installed and configured before initiating the installation of Exchange 2003. You can check whether they are installed in the services applet with the administrative tools on the Start menu. The core services components are as follows:

  • Internet Information Services (IIS)

  • Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP) service

  • Sample Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) service

  • World Wide Web Publishing Service

The enabling of these components is handled differently, depending on the version of server software installed. When installing Exchange 2003 on a Windows 2003 Service Pack Three (SP3) server, you must install IIS, the World Wide Web Publishing service, the SMTP service, and the NNTP service manually before starting the Exchange installation.


The Exchange setup wizard checks for these components and will fail and error out if they are missing. If the components are installed, the Exchange wizard will continue and automatically install the ASP.NET and Microsoft .NET Framework.

If you are installing Exchange 2003 on a Windows Server 2003 server, none of these are installed; they are disabled by default. Each component must be installed manually before you start the Exchange Server 2003 setup program.


Be sure to review what services are enabled after the installation is completed. Servers that are being upgraded may retain previous service settings. For security reasons, disable services that are not being used, such as NNTP, POP3, IMAP, and so on. In new server installations, only the required default settings are enabled.

Sams Teach Yourself Exchange Server 2003 in 10 Minutes
Sams Teach Yourself Exchange Server 2003 in 10 Minutes
ISBN: 0672327244
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 130
Authors: James Walker © 2008-2017.
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