Woes of the Email Server …

A couple of weeks ago, I had to rebuild a server because of a crash. Over the course of rebuilding the server, I learned a couple of lessons (although I would’ve preferred to learn it before the crash).

  • When you purchase a new server from manufacturers like HP or Dell, they typically come partitioned. The root had 2 drives mirrored (RAID 1), each drive had 36GB. Dell decided to allocate only 12GB for the C:\ drive, leaving the 24GB unallocated. The person setting it up didn’t format the 12GB partition and left the 12GB as the root. The C:\ slowly filled up with updates and SPs. Lesson: Don’t assume people know basic Exchange requirements; give the C:\ as much space as possible.
  • This server was promoted to DC. I was speaking to a MS guy recently and he mentioned to NEVER make any Exchange server a DC. There are lots of reasons for this, one of them is that the Exchange will never query other DCs for information. Since its a DC itself, it will only rely on its own information, even though its wrong. Always ask for the latest best advice.

Is that all I learned? I’m sure there was more than 2 points but it was because these 2 points that I had to rebuild an entire server. I was wondering why this information isn’t put in writing anywhere. I mean, the Exchange books discourage DCs to also function as Exchange Servers, but never gave any reason why. If I knew the reason why, I would’ve voiced my opinion more heavily and prevented all of this. …

In the end, life is still good. All my Exchange servers are happy campers and they’re waiting for a new friend to join the fun.

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