Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Exchange 2007 on a single server. Not quite...

Over the last few nights (for kicks) I've been trying to put together a test machine to have a look at Exchange 2007. Found that a spare Pentium D I had can run Windows 2003 x64 and thought that I had already done all the hard work when I installed Windows, AD and Exchange. After all, there may be 5 roles in Exchange but you can have just one server manage to actually send and receive an email, right?

Well, nearly. Nearly being another way of saying no of course.

The problem is the Edge Transport server role. The ET role ("email home"? Sorry...) is the unpopular one of the group. No-one wants to be near him. He can't be on the same server as the other roles, not even on a domain machine. So, the minimum hardware for an Exchange system with all the elements installed is TWO 64 BIT SERVERS!? Am I the only one who thinks this is excessive? I only discovered this because emails could not be received as they were not authenticated - basically without the Edge Transport role your server's Hub Transport role does the donkey work, assuming you have one. Role that is, not donkey. And the Hub Transport role does not allow anonymous email by default and doesn't scan for spam unless you tell it to.. So, here are the inevitable couple of Powershell commands to make it work...

  • Set-ReceiveConnector -Identity "" -PermissionGroups AnonymousUsers
  • cd C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\Scripts
  • install-AntispamAgents.ps1
I suspect there might be more to do to "harden" the Hub Transport role so it doesn't get an anonymous remote kicking from some spammer on the internet though...