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Planning your Exchange 2000 Deployment

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Former Microsoft employee and three-time Exchange author Kent Joshi discusses the basic steps in planning an Exchange 2000 deployment in your company. This is step 1 in a 10-step plan.
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In this article, we will outline step 1 in a 10-step planning process that's intended to prepare you for an Exchange 2000 deployment. This entire process was created from the best practices of Compaq, Lucent, and Software Spectrum consultants, summarizing their knowledge from deploying millions of Exchange seats worldwide.

Before we step into the details, let's go over some fundamentals. First, the more time you invest in planning and testing, the better your deployment will execute, the happier your users will be, and the easier your life will be after your deployment is complete! Second, our recommendation is not to get bogged down in attempting to determine the absolutely precise fit for your company. Build a basic plan that will meet the majority of needs and fine-tune as you go. If you make proper fundamental choices (and test in the lab to verify), you can build in additional functions and tweak details later. Finally, this article focuses on planning a "pure" Exchange 2000 system, not migrating from an existing mail system.

The 10 steps are:

  1. Understand your users.

  2. Perform Windows 2000 integration.

  3. Define Exchange routing groups.

  4. Create a naming strategy.

  5. Establish Exchange connectivity.

  6. Design an information store architecture.

  7. Select hardware for Exchange.

  8. Design for Internet connectivity.

  9. Plan for administration of the system.

  10. Review your plan.

We will cover step 1 in this article.

Step 1: Understanding Your Users' Needs

As much as technologists might dislike it, the most important source of information about what your users are doing and what they believe they want to do in the future is from the users themselves. All other types of monitoring and extrapolation can provide only ancillary evidence to support what the users are actually doing,

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