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Among the documents Microsoft has published to help Exchange Server 2003 administrators, one of the simplest and most direct is a set of worksheets called the Exchange Server 2003 Operations Checklists.
These are lists of tasks that serve as guidelines for Exchange 2003 admins for what to do, when to do it and what to follow it up with. Each worksheet is in Microsoft Word format.
They are not intended to be dogma, just good advice. So an administrator who comes up with additional suggestions that are relevant to his scenario can edit them freely to include new tasks as needed or drop tasks that don't matter in his particular setup.
The five checklists in the package each cover a different aspect of Exchange administration:
Daily Operations: This covers everything that needs to be done daily with an Exchange server: environmental checks (is the server running too hot? is it physically secure?), backup inspections, CPU, disk and memory use, event logs (including IIS, which is especially important if you're using Outlook Web Access), Exchange database health, mail queues and security logs.
Monthly Operations and Weekly Operations: These cover other regular tasks for each week and each month. Included are highlights for capacity planning, security updates and hotfixes, report generation and antivirus maintenance.
Disaster Recovery Preparation: A point-by-point breakdown for setting up and executing good, continuing strategies for dealing with failure: backups, staving off disaster and backup practices.
Summary Checklist: A meta-list that covers all of the major tasks detailed in the above checklists; the "30,000 foot view" version of the checklists.
The entire package of checklists can be downloaded here.
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This was first published in December 2004