Exchange Server 2007: Questions before business launch

by Bharat Suneja

As posted earlier, Exchange Server 2007 will be launched next week (Nov. 30th is the date, along with Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007). Unlike Vista and Office 2007, Exchange Server 2007 has not gone RTM yet, but won’t be too long after the business launch.

Q. What is RTM?
A. Release to Manufacturing – that’s the final version of a product, also known as the “Gold” version, and is almost identical to the final Release Candidate. This is the version that’s used to manufacture product media like CDs/DVDs – and therefore the term RTM – though the days of software shipping on such media may be numbered now that the web is quickly replacing such antiquated methods of distribution. For software that’s made available as free web downloads, the term is “Release To Web” or RTW. [Development Stage, Wikipedia]

Q. When will Exchange Server 2007 go RTM?
A. December 2006, according to David Lemson’s keynote at Exchange Connections earlier this month.

Q. Will 32-bit versions of Exchange Server 2007 be available?
A. Yes, but most likely won’t ship on the product DVD – the 32-bit version is strictly for testing/training purposes only.

Q. Can I use the 32-bit version for production? I understand Microsoft will not support it in production.
A. NO. Not only will you be embracing unwanted risk by ensuring you don’t get any support should something go wrong, but it will (most likely) be a violation of Microsoft’s licensing agreement as well.

Q. I am buying servers with 64-bit CPUs now to run Exchange Server 2003 – should I just install 64-bit version of Windows Server 2003?
A. No. Exchange Server 2003 is *not* supported on 64-bit versions of Windows Server. You can install 32-bit Windows Server OS on servers with x64 processors like Intel Xeon, Pentium D, and AMD’s Opteron and Athlon.

Q. Will Exchange Server 2007 run on “Longhorn” server – the next version of Windows Server?
A. According to Windows Server product roadmap, “Longhorn” server will not be released until some time in 2007. Exchange Server 2007 RTM will not support Longhorn server -it will most likely be available in (Exchange Server 2007) SP1 timeframe.

Q. Are in-place upgrades from Exchange Server 2003 to Exchange Server 2007 supported?
A. No, you will need to move mailboxes to a separate server running Exchange Server 2007 on a 64-bit Windows Server 2003 server.

Q. Will Exchange Server 2007 co-exist with Exchange 5.5 in the same Exchange Organization?
A. No. (… but are you *still* running Exchange 5.5? Seriously? :). You will need to migrate to Exchange Server 2003/2000 first.

Q. I have a single server running Exchange Server 2003 as a mailbox server, a bridgehead for the SMTP Connector, and the server clients connect to (using MAPI and OWA/IMAP4/POP3). Will I need more servers to run the different Exchange Server 2007 server roles like Mailbox, Hub Transport and Client Access Server?
A. No, you can run the Mailbox Server, Hub Transport Server, and Client Access Server roles on a single server. (Additionally, the new Unified Messaging Server role, should you decide to run it, can also co-exist with these roles provided your server is configured adequately). The only roles that cannot co-exist are: 1) Clustered Mailbox Server and 2) Edge Transport Server

Q. Do I require an Exchange Server 2007 server in the Edge Transport Server role?
A. No, it’s not a requirement. Think of the Edge server role as a SMTP relay host that typically resides in a perimeter network (aka “DMZ”). If you’re using a SMTP relay host today, you can either replace that with the Edge server, or you can have your Exchange 2007 organization exist with your current relay host. In the latter case, you lose some of the advantages that the Edge server role provides.

Also refer to the Exchange Server 2007 (Beta 2) FAQ.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous November 23, 2006 at 9:19 pm

That is some good information. Exchange 2007 not compatible with Longhorn until SP1…What the Hell?


Bharat Suneja November 26, 2006 at 11:52 am

Longhorn server will not be released or available till some time next year.


Anonymous February 2, 2007 at 6:42 am

Can the Edge Transport Server be installed on a 32 bit 2003 server or does it need to be on a 64 bit machine as well?


Bharat Suneja February 2, 2007 at 8:35 am

All Exchange Server 2007 servers in production need to be on 64-bit. The 32-bit versions are purely for evaluation/testing purposes. Microsoft will not provide support for 32-bit servers in production, nor can you count on getting timely service packs or hotfixes for it (if you get them at all).


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: