Announcing the Release of the Exchange Server Pre-Deployment Analyzer

Published Feb 24 2010 03:33 PM 5,802 Views

Today I am pleased to announce the release of the Exchange Server Pre-Deployment Analyzer (ExPDA).

You can use the Exchange Pre-Deployment Analyzer to perform an overall topology readiness scan of your environment. When you run the Exchange Pre-Deployment Analyzer, it provides a detailed report that will alert you if there are any issues within your organization, which could prevent you from deploying Exchange 2010. For example, the Exchange Pre-Deployment Analyzer will notify you if you haven't deployed the minimum required Exchange service pack on all your existing Exchange servers.

The checks performed by ExPDA are similar to the pre-requisite checks implemented (via Exchange Best Practices Analyzer) in the Exchange 2010 Setup program; in fact ExPDA is based off the Exchange Best Practices Analyzer (ExBPA) engine. However, unlike Exchange 2010 setup, this tool focuses only on overall topology readiness and not the ability to run Exchange 2010 on the local computer. The scan also performs a deep analysis of each existing Exchange 2003/2007 server to verify that it has the necessary updates and configuration in-place to support Exchange 2010. The end report is structured as follows:

  • Critical - A configuration problem that will prevent Exchange 2010 from being deployed in the organization. For example, the Active Directory Forest is not operating in Windows Server 2003 Forest Functional Mode or higher.
  • Warning - A configuration item that may prevent customers having the best possible experience with Exchange 2010. A warning may also reflect some functionality that is not available in Exchange 2010.

ExPDA is another component in our vision to provide a seamless upgrade experience that reduces the complexities in deploying Exchange 2010. To start planning your upgrade, please utilize the Exchange Deployment Assistant. The Deployment Assistant allows a customer to create Exchange 2010 on-premises deployment instructions that are customized to their environment. The Assistant asks a small set of questions, and based on the answers, it provides a finite set of instructions that are designed to get a customer up and running on Exchange 2010Running the Exchange Server Pre-Deployment Analyzer is now a recommended step within the pre-requisites section of the Deployment Assistant.

You can download ExPDA at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=88b304e7-9912-4cb0-8ead-7479dab1abf2&displa....  ExPDA is supported on Windows 7, Windows Vista with Service Pack 2, Windows Server 2008 with Service Pack 2, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 2.

Q&A

  1. Does this tool replace the Exchange Deployment Assistant?

    No, ExPDA is merely an additional tool that can be used as a step within the upgrade experience. The Exchange Deployment Assistant will walk you through all aspects of the upgrade, namely how to coexist properly with Exchange 2010 and legacy versions of Exchange, whereas, ExPDA is one step within that process and ensures that the environment is ready to have the first Exchange 2010 server deployed.

  2. I ran the scan and have questions about the results. What should I do?

    If you'd like to read more about the requirements of Exchange 2010, please see the Planning for Exchange 2010 section on TechNet.

  3. I ran the scan and received unexpected results. If I think there's a bug, who can I contact?

    If you need assistance, please visit the Exchange Server Deployment Forum or you can send mail to exbpafb AT Microsoft DOT com.

  4. Is this new functionality available in all languages?

    No. ExPDA is only available as a U.S. English version.

  5. I'd like to know if my organization is capable of running Exchange 2007. Can I use ExPDA to check this?

    No, ExPDA only verifies if an organization is ready to have the first Exchange 2010 server installed. If you need to determine whether your organization is ready to have Exchange 2007 deployed, you can utilize ExBPA v2.8 and the latest Exchange 2007 ExBPA.Readiness.xml:

    1. Install ExBPA 2.8 and the last ExBPA 2.8 Update.
    2. Download the latest Exchange 2007 service pack rollup. At the time of this writing this is SP2 RU2.
    3. Extract the rollup binaries using this command: msiexec /a filepath to MSI file /qb TARGETDIR=filepath to target folder
    4. Copy the ExBPA.Readiness.xml to the \en folder.
    5. Launch ExBPA.

  6. Where can I look at the list of checks made in this new scan?

    If you're familiar with the BPA XML files, the new check is wholly contained within the ExBPA.Readiness.xml file located within %Program Files%\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\ExPDA\en folder.

    • Reporting the number of Active Directory trees, domains, sites, admin groups, routing groups, Exchange 5.5 servers, Exchange 2000 servers, Exchange 2003 servers, total mailboxes, Windows 2000 Active Directory servers, Windows Server Active Directory servers, Windows Server Active Directory servers. Report how many Active Directory domain/sites have Exchange servers installed.
    • Verifying that the Schema Master is Windows 2003 SP1 or later.
    • Identifying Active Directory domains that are not in native mode.
    • Identifying Active Directory sites that do not have a global catalog server running Windows 2003 SP1 or later.
    • Verifying that there are zero Active Directory Connector servers in existence.
    • Identifying any SMTP site links in existence.
    • Verifying that the Exchange organization is in native mode.
    • Identifying any non-standard proxy address generators.
    • Identifying whether you have any ambiguously defined email addresses in your recipient policies.
    • Identifying any non-MAPI public folder hierarchies (a.k.a. AppTLH's) in use.
    • Identifying Routing Groups that span Active Directory sites.
    • Identifying any Active Directory sites that span Routing Groups.
    • Identifying any Routing Group Connectors that have specialized settings (activation, max size, accept/reject lists, restrict message type/priority).
    • Identify ing any SMTP Connectors that support non-SMTP address spaces.
    • Identifying any SMTP Connectors that use inline domain-wildcarding for address spaces (e.g. *foo.com instead of *.foo.com).
    • Identifying any X.400 Connectors in the topology.
    • Identifying any EDK-based Connectors in the topology (excluding Notes).
    • Verifying that any servers running Exchange 2003 have SP2 or later.
    • Verifying that any servers running Exchange 2007 have SP2 or later.
    • Identifying any SMTP virtual servers that are not using port 25 for incoming/outgoing.
    • Verifying that all Exchange 2003 servers have SuppressStateChanges set.
    • Identifying any Exchange 2003 servers that have active NNTP newsfeeds.
    • Identifying any Exchange 2003 servers that use the Event Scripting service.
    • Identifying any Exchange 2003 servers that have the ExIFS (a.k.a. M:) drive enabled.
    • Identifying any parts of Active Directory that have Access Control Entry inheritance disabled.

Thanks for your continued support. Feel free to post feedback in comments of this blog post, or visit the Exchange Server Deployment Forum.

- Ross Smith IV

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