This post focuses on two aspects of Active Directory (AD) design for Exchange 2007:
Measuring AD Performance (Exchange Team Blog post) Active Directory Performance for 64-bit Versions of Windows Server 2003 (Windows white paper) Exchange 2007 Processor and Memory Recommendations (Exchange Team Blog post) Microsoft Windows Kernel Memory Management and Microsoft Exchange Server (Exchange Team Blog post) Best Practice Active Directory Design for Exchange 2000 (Exchange white paperâ??still highly applicable to Exchange 2007) Planning a Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Messaging System (Exchange white paperâ??also a good resource that mostly applies to Exchange 2007)Regardless of your GC processor platform, you should expect some increase in network traffic between GCs and Exchange 2007 servers. This increase may be sizeable if you are taking full advantage of all the new features and roles in Exchange 2007 (antivirus, anti-spam, legal compliance features, unified messaging and so on). At Microsoft, when all of these features are heavily used, the network traffic between AD and Exchange nearly doubles. While this is a substantial increase, it has not had a large practical effect. Historically, network bandwidth has not been a common bottleneck between Exchange and Active Directory. Nonetheless, you should check your current utilization and be sure you have enough network bandwidth between Exchange servers and domain controllers as you deploy additional Exchange 2007 features. Should I Use Dedicated Active Directory Sites for My Exchange 2007 Servers? The short answer to that question is, No, not if you're creating a dedicated site only for the purpose of domain controller load balancing. This is a different answer than for Exchange 2003, so it needs some explaining. In Exchange 2003, message routing and Active Directory site topology were independent of each other. The primary reason to dedicate an Active Directory site to Exchange was to prevent other services and applications from hogging domain controllers needed by Exchange. (Or, to take a less Exchange-centric view of the universe, to prevent Exchange from hogging the DCs needed by other services.) In Exchange 2007, message routing maps directly to Active Directory site topology. Your AD site topology should therefore make sense for message routing, not just for domain controller load balancing. You should avoid creating an Exchange-dedicated Active Directory site unless doing so makes routing better too. Fortunately, the extra headroom available with 64-bit GC servers makes it easier for demanding applications to coexist in the same site, further reducing the motivation to use dedicated sites for Exchange 2007. Let's define a "demanding application" as one that:
More about how to do this can be found here: Creating an Active Directory Site for Exchange Server (Ignore the first part of this paper and scroll down to the part about how to "Isolate Client Authentication Traffic from Exchange Facing Domain Controllers.")
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