The Hosted Exchange Reference Architecture for Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 service pack 1 (SP1) employs a standard-zoned server architecture. Zones divide the hosting network into 3 distinct segments, each with its specific security requirements:

  • Boundary - The outermost zone, interfacing with the public Internet.
  • Proxy - The Proxy zone houses the Exchange role servers for Unified Messaging, Hub transport and Client Access.
  • Datacenter - Back-end servers such as domain controllers and Exchange mailbox server clusters reside in the datacenter, which is the most secure zone.

The section entitled offers more detail on example Hosted Exchange deployments within a zoned platform.

Protecting and ensuring access to mailbox data is a central requirement of your messaging system. To meet this requirement, the Hosted Exchange solution calls for deployment of Exchange mailbox servers in a server cluster.

The table in Server Names and Roles illustrates system requirements for servers and services comprising a comprehensive deployment.

You cannot use Local Continuous Replication or Clustered Continuous Replication servers to store Public Folder databases. This includes any servers that host an Offline Address Book.


The Exchange Server 2007 SP1 documentation contains information valuable to IT professionals responsible for planning and deployment of Exchange Server 2007 SP1 in a service provider environment. The section targets the following two audience groups in particular.

Consulting Services Personnel

This section is prepared with the assumption that service providers will enlist outside consulting services to work side-by-side with them in planning and deploying a Hosted Exchange solution. Much of the information presented in the section is intended to aid consulting service personnel in this task. Examples of third-party consultants include Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS), Microsoft Certified Partners, and system integrators.

Service Provider Personnel

Service provider personnel - IT administrators, system architects, and business analysts- should be familiar with the information in this section in order to work effectively with support services personnel contracted to help plan and deploy their Hosted Exchange solution. Understanding this information will enable service provider personnel to shape a cost-effective Hosted Exchange solution that meets critical business objectives and requirements.

Assumed Knowledge

Planning for server deployment in a Hosted Exchange environment requires technical proficiency in the following Microsoft products and technologies.

Windows Server 2003

A working knowledge of Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition is important. It is assumed that the audience understands the following Windows Server components:

Active Directory

Because Exchange Server 2007 SP1 relies on Active Directory directory service, it is important that you are familiar and comfortable with this directory service design and deployment. You should understand Active Directory terminology, structure, and navigation.

Windows Clustering Service

The Hosted Exchange Reference Architecture calls for using Windows Clustering, a feature of Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition. The Windows Cluster Services is the software component that controls all aspects of Windows Clustering. When Exchange Server 2007 SP1 Setup is run on a node of a Windows Server 2003 cluster, the cluster-aware version of Exchange is automatically installed.

Exchange Server 2007

You should understand basic Exchange Server 2007 concepts such as Server Roles, Mailbox features, Security, Unified Messaging, recipients, and public folders. For an introduction to features in Exchange Server 2007, review the technical document Exchange Server 2007 Server Role Map.

Other Qualifications

Key individuals involved in the planning and implementation of a Hosted Exchange solution should be Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers (MCSE) on Windows Server 2003, and be experienced in data center implementation and operation.

General Assumptions

When planning for deployment of Exchange servers in the Hosted Exchange solution, you should assume the following:

  • Active Directory architecture is configured in a single, shared forest with a single domain model used for the customer environment.
  • Active Directory is in native mode.
  • Active Directory is in list object mode.
  • The entire platform, including Hosted Exchange, is located within a single physical data center.

Start and End Points

At the start of this section, you should understand how Hosted Exchange integrates into the larger solution.

At the end of the section you should be familiar with the following planning elements for deploying back-end Exchange servers in a Hosted Exchange environment:

  • System requirements
  • Deployment steps
  • Where to find scaling and performance test results
  • Configurations specific to Exchange Server 2007 SP1
  • Advantages of server clustering