Now that so many organizations are in the process of planning and deploying Windows 2000 and Active Directory, a number are also looking at a timetable for rolling out Exchange 2000. In addition to the many software issues that must be addressed prior to deploying Exchange 2000, an administrator must prepare the necessary hardware resources. To help with this task, we have created our “Exchange 2000 System Requirements Worksheet,” which shows Microsoft’s minimum system requirements for Exchange 2000, along with our real-world recommendations.

Download our Exchange 2000 system requirements worksheet

Before you look to upgrade, commission, or purchase hardware on which to deploy Exchange 2000, download our Exchange 2000 System Requirements Worksheet to help with your planning.

Interpreting and using this worksheet
As the title implies, this download is meant to be a worksheet that IT professionals can both reference and fill in with information about their own systems. In terms of being a reference, the worksheet lists Microsoft’s published Exchange 2000 system requirements and TechRepublic’s minimum recommended requirements, based on real-world scenarios.

Let me say a few words about these requirements. First, let’s take a look at the software requirement. Exchange 2000 Server and Exchange 2000 Enterprise Server have to be installed on a machine running Windows 2000 Server or Windows 2000 Advanced Server. If you are going to be using the more robust Enterprise Server, I’d recommend installing it on the scalable Win2K Advanced Server, which is better prepared to host enterprise applications since it supports more processors and larger allocations of RAM.

As with any network application, the most important hardware requirement for Exchange 2000 is RAM. Microsoft says that the minimum requirement is 128 MB of RAM and recommends 256 MB. However, I would never recommend running Windows 2000 Server in a production environment with anything less than 256 MB. When you add Exchange 2000, which is a serious memory hog, on top of Win2K, you do not want to settle for anything less than 512 MB, even in a small business or a remote office. In medium-size organizations and enterprises, you will want to have at least 1 GB of RAM on all your Exchange 2000 machines.

Of course, processors are the next most important hardware items involved in running network applications such as Exchange. While Microsoft recommends a minimum of a Pentium (or compatible) 166-MHz processor, I’d recommend against installing Exchange 2000 on anything less than a Pentium II-class processor of at least 300 MHz. Ideally, you’ll want a Pentium III 500 MHz or better or a server-class Pentium II Xeon or Pentium III Xeon processor. For enterprises, you’ll want multiprocessor machines.

In terms of our hard disk recommendations, we’ve mostly followed Microsoft’s basic requirements, with one notable exception: allocating space for user mailboxes. You’ll want to make sure you plan adequate disk space for user mailbox storage. I recommend calculating how much you need by multiplying your user mailbox quota by the number of mailboxes you anticipate needing a year from now. For example, if your user mailbox quota is 100,000 KB and you anticipate having 20,000 users by next year, you’ll need 2 MB of disk storage. Of course, if you plan to use public folders, you will need to make sure that you prepare space for them, as well.

Ultimately, the resource requirements for Exchange will depend heavily on the number of user mailboxes in use, the extent to which extended services are used (e.g., public folders, meeting scheduling, etc.), and the amount of message traffic flow in your organization. With these things in mind, hopefully this worksheet will help you get started in planning the systems on which you will deploy Exchange 2000.

Did you find this worksheet helpful?

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