Wednesday, 8 August 2012

The Exchange Best Practices Analyzer: Exchange 2007 Readiness Check

The Exchange Best Practices Analyzer:

Exchange 2007 Readiness Check

In this video we will look at The Exchange Best Practices Analyzer: Exchange 2007 Readiness Check.
The Exchange Best Practices Analyzer helps monitor and troubleshoot an Exchange configuration by analyzing the servers and Active Directory environment to see if best practices are being followed.  The tool has many purposes which will be further discussed in other clips, though we are specifically interested in its ability to perform a readiness check.
When used for this purpose, the Exchange Best Practices Analyzer will sound an alarm if it is not configured properly for Exchange 2007 to be deployed within an Exchange 2000 or Exchange 2003 environment.  Examples includes checking to ensure that the schema master is Windows 2003 Server in native mode and it that the global catalog servers are also running Windows Server 2003 SP1 or later.
When starting the Best Practices Analyzer tool, note that it will first check for updates, which can be cancelled.  It’s probably a good idea to let it finish in order to obtain latest version of the tool, however.  Note that the tool will use the account that is currently logged in to Active Directory.  Switching to a different account is possible by choosing “Show advanced logging options” to change the login information.  Though other tests are available and which will certainly be useful throughout the lifetime of an Exchange deployment, be sure to select the “Exchange 2007 Readiness Check” to determine if your organization is ready to install Exchange 2007.
A report can be viewed once scanning is completed, which divides discovered problems into Critical Issues, All Issues and Informational Items.  Critical issues are those that will prevent installation from going forward, and will obviously need to be addressed.  In the situation where the domain is not in native mode, this can be rectified by opening “Active Directory users and computers.”  Select the pertinent domain from there, and choosing “Raise Domain Functional Level” to initiate the change.
In conclusion, the Best Practices Analyzer is an excellent tool for determining if our organization is ready to install Exchange 2007 and is especially useful the middle of trying to transition to Exchange 2007.

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