EMC sections elaborated

I keep clicking the wrong section in the EMC when trying to remember whether an item I want is in the Organization Configuration section or the Server Configuration section. So here’s a note to myself so I remember it for the future:

Organization Configuration

As is obvious from the name, this section contains items that deal with the organization as such. The main level of the section lets you configure the Federation Trust and Organization Relationships.

Ignoring Unified Messaging, there are three sub-sections here:

Mailbox deals with mailbox related items that concern the organization. Stuff such as Database Management and DAG (yes, Database Management concerns the whole section and not a specific server as you might expect because with DAG a database can be spread across multiple servers and so it’s an organization specific item), Sharing Policies, Address Lists, Offline Address Book, and Managed Default Folders, Managed Custom Folders, Managed Folder Mailbox Policies (again, all these are concerned with the whole organization rather than a specific server so they come under this section).

Client Access deals with policies concerning OWA and EAS. Note: policies.

Hub Transport deals with Remote Domains, Accepted Domains, Email Address Policies, Transport Rules, Journal Rules, Send Connectors, Edge Subscriptions, and Global Settings. As you can see, it’s about the “plumbing” of the organization. All these are again policy sort of items. They don’t concern with configuring a server as such.

Server Configuration

This section contains items that deal with specific servers. All the sub-sections let you select a particular server and then configure it. The main level of the section lets you select a server and manage some of its properties such as the DNS servers used, the DCs used, as well as configure Exchange certificates.

Ignoring Unified Messaging, there are three sub-sections here:

Mailbox lets you view properties of the database copies with the server. This section is bare as database are configured at the Organization Configuration section.

Client Access lets you configure OWA, ECP, EAS, OAB distribution, and POP & IMAP4. It’s worth remembering that all these are per-server items. An OWA link is of a specific server. You can define a link that’s shared across many servers in an array or a DNS round-robin, but at the end of the day that’s defined on each server separately.

Hub Transport lets you define receive connectors for a server to accept email (there are two by default: for receiving emails from clients and for receiving emails from other Exchange servers). Note that this sub-section only concerns itself with receive connectors – as that’s a connector you define per server. Send Connectors, on the other hand, are defined for the whole organization and so come under Organization Configuration. Counter intuitively, while Send Connectors have some server specific configuration (which Hub Transport server can use a particular Send Connector), since that is tied to the configuration of a Send Connector it is defined in the Organization Configuration with the rest of the properties. 

There you go, that classifies everything logically!