OR All You Wanted to Know About Exchange 2007 But Were Afraid To Ask (Maybe)
Elsevier, 2007

In the preface of this book, Tony Redmond explains that “Exchange 2007 marks the boundary for substantial change within the product, so it is similar to the degree of change that we experienced when we moved from Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2000.” Because Exchange Server 2007 is such a complex product and so vastly different from its predecessors, bringing it into your organization involves a lot more than just inserting a CD-ROM and running Setup. That’s where this book comes in. Microsoft Exchange 2007: Tony Redmond’s Comprehensive Guide to Successful Implementation tells you everything that you need to know about migrating to Exchange 2007.

The book begins by providing some historical prospective. Chapter 1 chronicles the various versions of Exchange that Microsoft has released over the previous decade. What I found particularly amusing in this chapter was when Redmond reviewed Exchange Server–related predictions that he made in 1996 and compared them with today’s requirements for Exchange 2007. One of the best lines from this chapter is (in regard to Exchange Server 4.0), “Lots of people get hung up about the 16GB limit for the Information Store…. I don’t, because it’s a limit that most of us will never encounter.” Eventually this chapter gets down to business by talking about Microsoft’s goals in developing Exchange 2007.

In chapter 2, the book explains that “Exchange depends on a solid deployment of Windows to underpin the success of its own ecosystem.” The chapter explains how to create an optimal Active Directory (AD) deployment with the goal of supporting Exchange. Throughout the chapter, Redmond addresses issues such as Flexible Single-Master Operation roles (FSMO) roles, Global Catalogs (GCs), and AD replication.

Chapter 3 discusses the basics of managing Exchange 2007. In this chapter, Redmond guides the reader through the process of performing common management tasks, such as managing Distribution Groups (DGs), setting mailbox quotas, and moving users.

Probably the most significant new addition to Exchange 2007 is the Exchange Management Shell. Chapter 4 is designed to help the reader to become more comfortable working with the management shell. This chapter walks the reader through performing the same basic tasks as Chapter 3, but by using the command line rather than the GUI.

In Chapter 5, Redmond turns his discussion to the Exchange 2007 Information Store (IS). He begins by discussing changes to the IS's structure, such as the removal of the streaming database. The chapter goes on to discuss topics such as changes to public folder administration and Exchange 2007 backup techniques.

Chapter 6 begins by discussing the evolution of routing, but goes on to talk about all the particulars of Exchange 2007’s Hub Transport Server role and the Exchange 2007 transport architecture in general. This chapter isn't limited to a discussion of the Hub Transport role, though, but also discusses the Edge Transport Server role and message hygiene.

The book’s seventh chapter focuses on the client experience associated with Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 and Outlook Web Access (OWA). This chapter not only covers Outlook’s new features, it also addresses the question of whether or not Outlook 2007 is worth the upgrade.

Chapter 8 is related to user management, but not from the standpoint of managing mailboxes. Instead, the book talks about things like eliminating users' bad habits. This chapter also discusses transport rules and messaging record management, which is helpful whether you must address compliance with federal regulations or just want to get a better handle on the mail flowing through your server.

Chapter 9 is titled "Hardware and Performance" but is focused more on Local Continuous Replication (LCR) and Cluster Continuous Replication (CCR). In this chapter, Redmond breaks down the complexity of clustering in a way that most administrators should have no trouble following.

The book’s final chapter may very well be the most useful. It discusses all sorts of tidbits for working more effectively with Exchange 2007. In this chapter, Redmond discusses a wide variety of Exchange-related tools and utilities and even discusses various online references in which the reader can obtain more information about Exchange 2007.

All in all, I found this a very informative book, and Tony Redmond has once again outdone himself. By the author’s own admission, it was impossible to cover every new Exchange 2007 feature in a single book. Even so, Redmond has done a thorough job of covering the features that will matter the most to the majority of Exchange admins.

Tony Redmond's book will be released soon, with copies available at Microsoft TechEd 2007 in Orlando, Florida, June 4–8, 2007.