I have intentionally chosen a generic name for this post. In stead of writing different posts for the similar topics in different versions of Exchange Server it would be a good idea to cover up then in parallel so that the differences between two versions can be compared easily though the so called legacy exchange versions have a very different architecture as well as setup methodologies than the Exchange Server 2007. Yet, I will try to give out the best explanation.
Exchange Server 2003:
Basically, recent two posts were posted with an idea to cover up the general understanding of Exchange Server installation. As I stated previously the changes in Active Directory Configuration Naming Context appear as in below picture. When the ForestPrep and DomainPrep are run and finished inserting exchange schema as well as permission in AD the services container in configuration partition looks like below (The container marked in red is the exchange 2007 administrative group):
The container selected and appearing in blue color is the server name of Exchange Server where the Exchange Server binary files are installed. This container is created after installing Exchange Server binaries on some windows based box. This part of setup still interacts with the Active Directory to insert the server specific configurations in AD.
The next step is to integrate with WMI. WMI is Windows Management Instrumentation a very vast and interesting topic itself every administrator should know. Let me try out to write up something about the WMI in some other post. It is tough to write a detailed explanation about WMI though. So, what happens with WMI repository and structure when exchange binaries are installed on a windows server box?
Yes, Exchange Server setup adds its own classes to WMI repository and whole stuff works around the RPC and Remote Registry services on your exchange box. However the above figure does not apply to Exchange Server 2007 installed on Windows Server 2003. To troubleshoot some problems it’s always better to have a good understanding of WMI as well. If you are interested to know more about it you can read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Management_Instrumentation . They have tried explaining WMI really very good. Troubleshooting exchange installation problems also includes looking at the setup progress log file. This is always a good option after event log to see where it is failing. The file is located at the C: by default and named as Exchange Server Setup Progress.log This is the best place to start troubleshooting exchange installations. For Exchange Server 2007 there is a little modification made in setup logs. Now the Exchange Server 2007 setup creates different file under a folder C:ExchangeSetupLogs