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Installing  Exchange 2003 from scratch. Single Machine

Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I'm setting up Exchange 2003 on server 2003 for the first time. I am not very familiar with AD or any of the other components I will need in relation to Server 2003 (DNS, Global Catalog Servers, Domain Controllers). I've got myself a stack of books here and I've  installed a demo version of Server 2003/Exchange 2003  on a Lab machine to do my testing with.
I realize no one question here is going to tell me all I need to know, But I did want to cover a few basic questions about my infrastructure.  I'm reading these books and they all talk about  Exchange as running in large organizations with many machines hosting different aspects of it (One machine is a DC, one is a GCS, another is the Exchange server, etc...). Then they go into Domains and Forests. I'm getting buried in details about things I don't think I need to know about, do I?

Here's the thing. My situation is much simpler. I have one dedicated machine, yes, just one. It's running at a hosting company. It's dual processor with 4Gigs of RAM. Based on my readings I think my hardware is fine.  Here's one other thing. This machine that Exchange is running on will be connected to solely on the internet and it will ONLY be used for Exchange. No shared printers, no file sharing. Nothing else. Just email. The majority of my users will all be using OWA (I think that's the correct acronym; I mean the web client), with just a few using Outlook 2003.

I'm looking for a good how-to or a detailed explanation of how to deploy this configuration.
Some specific questions.
1. How to install/configure AD for a setup such as this, with only Email in mind.  (The box has a fresh install of Server 2003. No AD installed yet)
2. How to set up DNS, Global Catalog Server, Domain Controller.

Have I missed anything?

The more I'm reading the more it seems as though my setup won't be all that complicated.

One other thing, I'm not migrating from any older version of Exchange, Novell or anything else. This is brand-spanking new email solution.

Couldn't get any simpler! Could it?

I thank you for your guidance and any comments.


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Brian PiercePhotographer
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Top Expert 2008

Ok lets start with where to put Exchange. Ideally Exchange should not be put on a domain controller, it should be put on a member server in the domain. This makes management far more simple. If you have not got a Domain already you will need to create that first, install the Exchange machine as a member server and then install exchange on it.

http://www.computerperformance.co.uk/exchange2003/exchange_2003_install.htm has a very stright forward guide while http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb124186.aspx has step-by-step procedures.



When you say EX should not be put on a domain controller, you are saying the domain controller should be on another machine entirely? In order to do this I would have to purchase a second machine from my Provider and pay the monthly fees. Since this would  double my monthly cost I need to know exactly why I should do this and whether the extra cost is worth it.  You said it made management far more simple; in what way? Is this just a general rule of thumb or are some management tasks just much more difficult with a DC on the same machine and if so, which things are much more difficult?

Jeremy WeisingerSenior Network Consultant / Engineer
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Thanks for the good advice! It's helped a great deal. I'm sure I'll be back asking more about Exchange. Until then....

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