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How to maintain Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition running three Domain Controllers and one Exchange 2003

Posted on 2007-03-21
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Last Modified: 2008-03-04
I got three domain Controllers and one Exchange all running on Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard, How should I maintain those Windows Servers? What are the must do's? So far the only thind I do is run dcdiag every week on the three server, I am a new Network Administrator and would like to ask for recommendation in maintaining Windows Server 2003. Thank you very much.
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Question by:toptop777
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LauraEHunterMVP earned 200 total points
ID: 18765736
You are on the right track by running dcdiag on your domain controllers.  Here are some other useful steps for preventative maintenance: (I recommend that you create scheduled tasks to automate some of these checks, rather than needing to run them manually over and over again

[1] Run dcdiag, netdiag, and repadmin on your DCs
[2] Run the Exchange Best Practices Analyzer (ExBPA) against your Exchange Server on a regular basis, which you can download here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=dbab201f-4bee-4943-ac22-e2ddbd258df3&DisplayLang=en
[3] Use the Server Performance Analyzer (SPA) against all of your servers, which you can download from the Microsoft website.

If you have a few dollars to spend on a monitoring tool like MOM Workgroup Edition (http://www.microsoft.com/technet/mom/2005/evaluate/wrkgrpoverview.mspx, will monitor up to 10 nodes), much of this can be automated for you.  (If you're going to purchase MOM, however, be sure to purchase Software Assurance so that you can obtain the new version that's currently in beta, or else wait until the new version comes out.)

Hope this helps.

Laura E. Hunter - Microsoft MVP: Windows Server - Networking
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by:poweruser32
poweruser32 earned 150 total points
ID: 18765741
back up is important -for a start you can make sure you are doing a system state back up on your main DC as this backs up the configuartion information in AD
for exchange make sure that you have an exchange agent like backup exec,NT or veritas that does a full information stote back up of the databases,this is essential for disaster recovery
some sites like to do brick level back ups as well as full IS for ease of restoring individual mailboxes
keep the machine sup to date with the correct service packs as well
you might consider an wsus and group policiesfor updates i am not sure of your set up
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by:Jay_Jay70
Jay_Jay70 earned 150 total points
ID: 18767617
if you are new to the company then check this out

http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Server/2003_Server/Q_22114306.html

I asked this some time back for general ideas around the place, I now have a fat Audit document based on this (With a few additons of course) and it works a charm on finding out what the setup and its flaws are...mine is about a 15 page audit document
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Author Comment

by:toptop777
ID: 18781568
This response is for Laura E Hunter, Would MOM Workgroup Edition, do all of the three tasks you mentioned easier?
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Author Comment

by:toptop777
ID: 18781998
This response is for poweruser32:,

We are using Symantec Backup Exec 11D

and  Backing up nightly the following:

1) Domain Controller 1: Drives C, D and System State, Shadow Components and Utility Partition
2) Domain controller 2: Drives C and D System State, Shadow Components and Utility Partition
3) Domain Controller 3: Drives C and D System State, Shadow Components and  Utility Partition
4) Exchange Server: Drives C and D, Microsoft Exchange Mailboxes, Microsoft Exchange Public Folders, Microsoft Exchange Information Store, System State, Shadow Components, Utility Partition

Am I missing important files or folders listed above? Thanks.
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by:LauraEHunterMVP
ID: 18782142
MOM is designed to do proactive monitoring/alerting of all aspects of a server's health, including CPU/RAM performance, Active Directory replication, monitoring Exchange stores, etc.  It will continuously monitor servers and alert you via email/pager/pop-up etc. if it detects any critical errors or performance thresholds that have been exceeded.
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Expert Comment

by:poweruser32
ID: 18788896
your back up looks perfect to me
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Author Comment

by:toptop777
ID: 18794949
Thank you so much guys, You helped me a lot LauraEHunterMVP deserves more points because she responded first but you deserve points as well because all of you put me on the right track. Thank you so much guys
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by:Jay_Jay70
ID: 18796666
thank you!
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