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This article describes some considerations that apply when you configure a front-end server in an Exchange Server 2003 front-end and back-end topology.
You can configure either Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition or Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise Edition for use as a front-end server in a front-end and back-end server configuration. The following considerations apply when you configure either edition as a front-end server:
If the front-end server accepts Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) mail from the Internet, you must start the Microsoft Exchange Information Store service, and mount at least one private information store. In certain situations (most notably, the generation of non-delivery reports), the SMTP service requires the store to perform a conversion.
If the store is not mounted, messages that have to be converted are stuck in the local delivery queue. For security reasons, make sure that user mailboxes are not homed on the information store of a front-end server. If there are servers that are running Exchange Server 5.5 in the same site (routing group), you must configure the Microsoft Exchange Message Transfer Agent (MTA) Stacks service to run on the front-end server. By doing so, the MTAs can bind and transfer mail by using remote procedure call (RPC).
If X.400 connectors or Exchange Development Kit (EDK) gateway connectors are homed on the front-end server, the MTA service must also run on the front-end server. If you delete all public and private information stores, you cannot change the configuration by using Internet Services Manager.
If you must change the configuration by using Internet Services Manager, for example, if you configure Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption configuration, make sure that you either complete the procedures that this article describes before you remove the stores, or leave the private information store intact on the front-end server.
When you create a front-end server, do not delete the First Storage Group object in Exchange System Manager. The Microsoft Exchange Information Store service (and its related services) depends on the First Storage Group object.
If you are not using SMTP on the front-end server, disconnect and then delete the private and public information stores. If you are using SMTP on the front-end server, a mounted mailbox store is required because the SMTP service requires a mounted mailbox store to perform conversions. However, this mounted mailbox store should not contain any mailboxes.
A public folder store should never be mounted, or present (even in a dismounted state) on the front-end server.
For more information about private and public stores that are configured on a front-end Exchange Server, visit the following Microsoft Web site: