Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Some Questions about AD & Exchange

I have decided to put some basic Exchange questions together and share with all my students and friends
I have been interviewing people for where I work since last couple of weeks. Most of the positions are for senior Windows administrator and Senior Exchange administrator positions located in Washington DC.
I have to be honest, I am surprised to know most people seem not to know even basic stuff related to Active Directory and Exchange server, mostly Exchange 2003.
Normally interview starts with another classic question,
Where do you see yourself, your skill set in Active Directory 2003 environment?
If you have to rate your own skill from 1 to 10 what score would you think you would give it to yourself?
I have been hearing people rating themselves as minimum 8 in Active directory and 8 to 9 on exchange 2000 and 2003.
Honestly it was exciting to hear these high scores and I understood quickly , most people has very little knowledge in general.

Here is my golden advice to those who is missing Active Directory knowledge. Go to link below
Active Directory Inside Out (Michael Murphy)
And watch or listen all webcast series at least three times, I think Murphy is one of the best ever,
I have enjoyed every single webcast series he has done, incredible web cast library, great and smooth teaching technique., what more to say (-:
Most of my questions on the real life come out of same concept
Here is some advice,
When someone ask precise questions, give short answer back

For instance, I often find myself asking to a person who has 8 years Active Directory experience
------Question: What is active directory?
The answer should be
--------Answer: It is a database
What is Domain?
-----Answer: Boundary of authentication, Boundary of DNS name space (watch or Listen Michael Murphy)
I often see people in front of me spending, at least 6 minutes to explain what an active directory is, and not getting a solid answer.
I see people are not being able to tell me the difference between HUB and Switch, or spending more than 5 minutes to explain
What is an IP address
What is Subnet Mask?
What is primary function of subnet mask?
IP address class range
Private IP range
What is Active Directory?
What is Domain?
Difference domain controller and Stand alone server
I love this answer, Stand alone sits by itself (- :
How to install Active directory
Here is the hard one, where AD database gets installed by default
What is the name of the database ( here is my thinking, if a person telling me , he or she has 10 years AD experience, and has not idea about NTDS folder, or Ntds.DIT database, I assume that person has never done, DCpromo,
Because it is do hard not to see where it is getting installed if one opens his eyes.

Let’s move on
What is Schema?
What is attribute?
How many partitions in AD 2000 database?
How many partitions in AD 2003 Database (I told you watch Michael Murphy)
Here is the link again
Active Directory Inside Out (Michael Murphy)
Operation masters?
Pay attention to PDC emulator, Michael won’t mention a lot on Active Directory Inside Out (Michael Murphy); believe it is on 4th one.
Name FSMO roles, why we need them
How may Frost wide
How many Domain Wide
If you have 12 domains how may FSMO roles do you will have in your Forest
----------Answer: 38
Now Exchange
Versions Exchange 2003
how many databases each version support?
Where are log files located?
Installing exchange, what is prerequisite
why or why not you install exchange on Domain controller?
How can you convert a server into Domain controller, where exchange is running on top? )-: Tricky one
Can you rename Exchange server? Why or Whynot?
what is different online and offline defragmentation
what is Eseutil
what is Isinteg?

What is the difference Then?

ESEutil checks and fixes individual database tables and
ISinteg checks and fixes the links between tables.

To better understand the difference between ESEutil and ISinteg, let's use a building construction analogy.
Running ESEutil is like having a structural engineer check your house's foundation. The engineer doesn't care what's inside the house. The engineer cares only whether the underlying structure is sound.

Running ISinteg is like having an interior decorator come inside your house to check the way you've laid out your furnishings. The decorator doesn't care about the house's foundation. The decorator cares only whether the rooms' layout and decor meet with their approval.

As you can see from the analogy above, both ESEutil and ISinteg are vastly different utilities, but they are complimentary and in some ways dependent upon each other to provide proper Exchange maintenance. In the next section, we will provide a more in-depth description of these two Microsoft Exchange utilities.
Taken from


Now here is the hard one
What event log shows up on the Exchange servers, shows available white space

-----------------> 1221
Many people won’t get this right


To be honest if a person can hang in so far, he or she very well deserve the position in my opinion


Miguel said...

Great blog Oz. I have been a student at Insyte since March last year and have learn a lot about the different technologies since. I have a lot of respect for Oz and would like to thank gim for everything you've taught me. I feel I've learn a lot from you and think a make a good decision to attend Insyte. I hope you keep doing the same job you have been up to now, it's been nice knowing you as a teacher and as a friend. Keep it going.

Oz Ozugurlu said...

Thanks a lot for the complements,
Please let me know if there is any information not clear, I will try to make it better