Applies to: Exchange Server 2007 SP3, Exchange Server
2007 SP2, Exchange Server 2007 SP1, Exchange Server 2007
Topic Last Modified: 2009-07-06
Operations management involves the administration of an organization's infrastructure components and includes the day-to-day administrative tasks, both planned and on-demand, that are required to keep an IT system operating smoothly. Typically, operations management tasks are covered by written procedures. These procedures provide all support staff with the same standard tools and methods.
In a Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 environment, typical system administration tasks include creating mailboxes, backing up and archiving mailbox and public folder data, monitoring logs, maintaining and recovering mailboxes, and updating antivirus scanners.
Several resources can help you define what standard procedures are required in your organization and how to perform them. For more information about how to administer your Exchange organization, see Operations. Because each organization is unique, you will have to customize and adapt these resources to suit your requirements.
Standard procedures will change, and documentation will occasionally need to be revised. As changes are made, your change management process should identify how each change is likely to affect how and when administrative tasks are performed. Use the change management function to update and control the documentation.
The tasks that need to be performed can generally be separated into the following general categories:
When preparing documentation for operations management, having fully documented server installation procedures and operations management checklists are useful to help make sure that required tasks are performed at the appropriate time. For detailed information about preparing server documentation and operations checklists, see the sample server installation documents located in Server Installation and Automation Guides and sample operations checklists located in Operations Checklists.
Frequently, change management takes over where system administration finishes. If a task is covered by a standard procedure, it is part of the system administration function. If there is no standard procedure for a task, it should be handled using the change management function.
Centralized Versus Decentralized Administration
Roles and responsibilities for performing system administration tasks depend on whether the organization follows a centralized or decentralized model, or a combination.
Centralized Model In a centralized model, one or several controlled administrative groups maintain complete control of the Exchange system. This administrative model is similar to a data center where all administration tasks are performed by a single information technology group. Roles and responsibilities within the team should be defined according to experience and expertise.
Decentralized Model Decentralized organizations are located in several geographic locations and have Exchange servers and teams of administrators in different locations. For example, there may be local administration staff and one or more Exchange servers for each office in each country. Alternatively, there may be a cluster of Exchange servers and an administrative team for North America and one for Europe. Sometimes, you may want administrators to be responsible only for their own geographical area, and that they do not have permission to administer resources in other areas. In Exchange 2007, you can do this by using the Add Exchange Administrator wizard in the Exchange Management Console or by using the Add-ExchangeAdministrator cmdlet in the Exchange Management Shell.