A "typical" single-server installation includes the Mailbox Server, Client Access Server and Hub Transport Server roles. These three roles are generally sufficient for your mailbox storage, access by a variety of clients, and message routing and transport purposes.
The Edge Transport Server role is designed to sit on your organization's perimeter and handle email relay and smart host services for your Exchange Server organization. Historically, a lot of companies have used Sendmail or similar SMTP gateways to front end their Exchange Server environments. (Obviously Microsoft is hoping that you'll all start deploying Exchange Edge servers instead.)
The Unified Messaging Server role is designed to integrate Exchange Server 2007's new voice messaging and fax capabilities into your Inbox, and to provide integration with your company's telephony infrastructure.
If you're planning on installing the server roles on different machines as part of your Exchange 2007 deployment, you'll want to install them in the order that I've addressed them in this series -- namely Client Access Server, Hub Transport Server, Mailbox Server and Unified Messaging Server. The Edge Transport Server role can be deployed at any time.
Don't forget to take a close look at the Exchange Management Console (EMC) which provides command-level controls over all of the functionality I've discussed in this tutorial, and more!
I hope that I've managed to both whet your appetite for some the new features in Exchange 2007, and explained clearly what each of the different roles are and why you would need them.
While Exchange 2007 provides far richer functionality than any previous versions of Exchange Server have ever brought to the table, there is definite potential for substantial complexity in the many different deployment possibilities enabled by the different server roles I've addressed.
Careful planning and testing, disciplined migration and ongoing management are all critical factors in ensuring your organization realizes the immense potential wrapped up in Exchange Server 2007.
Finally, if you found this tutorial on Exchange Server 2007 helpful, you may also be interested in the following SearchExchange.com links:
TUTORIAL: A PRIMER ON EXCHANGE 2007 SERVER ROLES
Part 1: The Exchange 2007 Client Access Server (CAS) role
Part 2: The Exchange 2007 Hub Transport Server role
Part 3: The Exchange 2007 Mailbox Server role
Part 4: The Exchange 2007 Edge Transport Server role
Part 5: The Exchange 2007 Unified Messaging Server role
Part 6: Server role Installation caveats and supporting information
|ABOUT THE AUTHOR:|
| David Sengupta, Microsoft Exchange MVP
David Sengupta (firstname.lastname@example.org), based in Ottawa, Canada, is a Group Product Manager in Quest Software's Infrastructure Management group and a Microsoft Exchange MVP. He has contributed to Exchange Server books, magazines, and white papers; is a regular Exchange Server columnist and speaker; and speaks at Microsoft Exchange events, Tech-Ed and IT Forum conferences. .