Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Active Directory and Exchange Questions part-1

I have decided to put some basic Exchange questions together and share with all my students and friends out there.

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, not in Bahamas unfortunately

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 , mostly Exchange 2003.Normally interview starts with another classic, boring 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 is exciting to hear these high scores and I quickly, undestant most people have very little knowledge in general but generous in rating themselves. 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 and listen all webcast series at least three times, I think Murphy is one of the best MCSE instructor in the community,

I have enjoyed every single webcast series he has done, incredible web cast library, great and smooth teaching technique. What more to say , thanks for the great resources and good knowledge.

Most of my questions on the real life comes out of same concept, I recommend getting the knowledge from Murphy

Here is some advice, when someone asks 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 the differences are.

  • 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
  • How to uninstall AD

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)
  • What is Multi master Replication, what is single master replication?
  • Operation masters? FSMO
  • Why do we need FSMO, where did it come from, what is the logic having FSMO
  • Pay attention to PDC emulator, Michael won't mention a lot on Active Directory Inside Out (Michael Murphy); believe it is on 4th one.
  • How many of Frost ROLES forest wide and how many of them 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 Exchange server be renamed? Why or why not?
  • What is different online and offline defragmentation
  • What event ID windows records after online defragmentation
  • What is Eseutil?
  • What is ISinteg?
  • What is the difference then?

Here are the questions so far I will add more question, and hopefully my students will come back and post the answers here on my blog, I am counting on them

Oz Ozugurlu


Scott said...

Does Exchange 2003 have a flux capacitor? And if not, why not?

Oz Ozugurlu said...

Thanks for the question to be honest this is tough one for me, but let me say it here, I would no. because more I know about exchange the easier it gets, More I use Exchange the deeper my love grows.
I think Exchange 2003 is a solid messaging application if other components are set correctly, such as AD and DNS. As we spoke many times if you remember in the class,
Exchange 2003= Healthy Active Directory and Health AD is = DNS, if AD and DNS is set right and maintained are being done correctly I have seen Exchange 2003 is just running fine, with no problems.
I think messaging application Exchange gained reputation and stability over years, and will be one of the most important components of any business. Now we have Voice capability build right into exchange itself. I would not get surprise if we start talking to Outlook and managing our mailboxes with voice recognition in the near future