Okay it’s time to look behind the curtains now. As said in previous couple of posts Exchange Server integrates with several components of Active Directory as well as the local machine where it is installed. This post will cover up some of these changes happening at the locations, AD and local machine.
When Active Directory is prepared to install Exchange Server 2007 the PrepareAD operation does some changes in AD you can see the screen shots below and read between the lines to understand these changes in AD.
Upon running PrepareAD in Exchange Server 2007 native mode organization setup starts extending the schema definitions and they look like above in your schema partition. It would be interesting to know that this operation is done using the simple command line tool ldifde.exe which can be used on any of the Active Directory Server. When setup starts inserting the schema definitions to Active Directory it uses ldifde.exe and the .ldf files from the setup media. These files are located at Drive:SetupServerRolesCommonSetupData. Files stored at this location on your setup medium do contain several .ldf files and they are bifurcated according to the nature of the setup you will be running. For an example if you are running the setup in a mixed mode Exchange 2003 organization the a set of files that will be picked up to extend the schema will appear as PostExchange2003_schemaXXXX.ldf
Now the next step is to setup correct permissions on the objects in Active Directory in order to run the Exchange Server correctly. This is a bit complex process that takes place during the setup because setup program sets a set of permissions of several objects. Few of these are machine accounts, Exchange servers, and Active Directory sites, almost all of the legacy Exchange containers if you are setting up the box in a mixed mode environment. Once these ACEs are set on the required objects correctly; domain naming context also undergoes some more changes, in fact additions. This includes modification in ACEs on AdminSDHolder container, MESO, Exchange Server security groups, etc.
Active Directory Users and Computers snap in looks a little bit similar to the screen shot below. So you can also observe new security groups created in a new OU. These security groups are a part of Exchange 2007 administrative model. I will try posting some more information on this in another post as it becomes difficult to write up everything in a single post and it also increases the length unnecessarily.
It was a brief that what Exchange 2007 setup changes in AD now coming back to the local computer where one or more roles will be deployed. The major changes that occur during the installation on some windows Server 2003 box are into the registry as Exchange 2007 does not completely rely on WMI as Exchange 2003. The location HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftExchangev8.0<name of role> is a set of registry values that give information about the role state installed on that particular box. And the values at location HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftExchange will describe the various components installed on that Server.
Again, I forgot to get my dumps from my labs copied to the host operating system and attach them to this post. I will get those dumps tomorrow morning and will post them with some more description on each of the setup phases. If you have any comments on this post please feel free to post them, they will be really helpful to improve on what I have been always missing on.