Exchange 2007 (Edge) – Gotcha’s

Today was install our Exchange 2007 Edge server day.  A few weeks back, our primary Exchange 2003 server started showing her age, and we expedited our 2007 migration.  While we had Exchange 2007 prepped in our labs, due to our dependence on Exchange and signs of fatigue, we sped up the deployment, originally without the Edge role, which by the way worked just fine.

It’s probably important to note, Edge is an *optional* role, while it’s a best practice, you can technically run an Exchange 2007 environment with one server (having multiple roles.)  Since we depend heavily on Exchange, in a high-volume capacity, Edge helps us to optimize our environment and incorporate some advanced anti-spam/virus protection by moving the Edge server/role into a DMZ, reducing exposure to our primary Exchange mailbox store.

Today, I wanted get things wrapped up and finally got some time to devote to it.

First off, our install didn’t go according to plan.  It’s important to follow guidance on this, in this order:

  1. Verify DNS Settings prior to Exchange (edge) installation:  http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-10878_11-6183045.html
  2. Next, you might want to review some deployment tips: http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-10878_11-6187455.html
  3. Now we can begin, verify all the pre-req’s are complete:  http://techrepublic.com.com/2415-22_11-190647.html
  4. Here’s a more exhaustive review of the installation process: http://searchexchange.techtarget.com/generic/0,295582,sid43_gci1262392,00.html

If all goes well, you’ll soon be routing messages through your new Edge Server.  If they didn’t go well, you might want to review these:

  1. Understanding the Sync Process: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb232180.aspx
  2. Sync Problems (DNS): http://www.techtutorials.net/articles/edge_transport_server_subscription_problems.html
  3. Finally, manual removal of Exchange Edge: http://atkjedi.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!26E709F49F3BFBB3!554.entry UGGH!
  4. Try it all over again…
  5. Note: After you create your edge subscription, you can force a sync using: Start-edgeSynchronization from the Exchange Management Shell, if you don’t want to wait 24 hours.  You can test synchronization process by: Test-edgeSynchronization from EMS.  Also, once sync is complete, you should see Send connectors on the Edge Transport.  Lastly, be patient.  For me, the edgeSyncronization wasn’t initally working, throwing 10104 errors in eventLog, but after some time passed (and my frustration grew, thinking I had certificate errors) – the sync occurred!  To wrap your head around Exchange Certificates, check out: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb851505.aspx

Hopefully, if you read the documentation thoroughly, you’ll get it right the first (or second) time. 🙂  We’re now live with all the Exchange Server roles and things seem to be operating very smoothly.  Next up, is Forefront.. stay tuned.

*Update.  While finalizing firewall rules, if you also host Outlook Web Access and/or Mobile clients, you’ll need distinct routes into your organization, with default SMTP routes in/out of your Edge server, and OWA/Mobile traffic going to your CAS role.  Good luck, Exchange 2007 does take some time to digest..

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