Friday, 10 August 2012
8/10/2012 01:34:00 am 3

What is Exchange System Attendant?

I've installed an Exchange Server 2007 on a Domain Controller.
But it skewed me when I tried to restart the Exchange services, as I got the error message:
“Could not start the Microsoft Exchange System Attendant service on Local Computer”.

As, I am a novice user, I was troubled. I didn’t know why this happened and what to do? With a little searching online, I gathered some information about functioning of the Microsoft Exchange System Attendant. It would be great to share that here.

What is Exchange System Attendant?
It is a collection of subcomponents that work together to perform Exchange-related services.

The main functions of Exchange System Attendant are:

  • To regulate internal Exchange Server functions 
  • To Mount the  databases 
  • To handle the proxy Active Directory requests
  • To Maintain the  Exchange information store 
  •  To monitor, maintain, and directory lookup services for Exchange Server.
  • To Provide Exchange Active Directory Access 
  • To Provide Directory Service Lookup for older Outlook clients 
  • To Monitor server resources 
  • To Manage mailboxes 
  • To update metabase i.e. Replicating settings from Active Directory to the IIS(Internet Information server/Internet Information Services (IIS) metabase 
  • To Verify computer account configuration

Here, I would like to introduce a general term associated with Exchange System Attendant and that is “System Attendant mailbox” What is it?
When the System Attendant is created on a server then, the System Attendant mailbox is created automatically or in other words we can say that, it is associated with the first mailbox store created on a server.

”SpecialPrivateFolderForFreeBusyStorage” is a special folder within the Exchange System Attendant.
This folder is essential for:
  • MSExchangeFBPublish process when OWA (Outlook Web Access) push Free/Busy information up to the store.
  • Mailbox moves. 
  • Legacy link monitoring service to send and receive the messages 

A short introduction to main parts of the System Attendant mailbox: 
A mailbox object and a directory object:
The Mailbox object: It is stored within the first Mailbox store i.e. the “Mailbox Store (servername)” store.

The directory object: It is located with in the configuration container.
The location looks like:
CN=Microsoft System Attendant,CN=<servername>,CN=Servers,CN=<sitename>,CN=Administrative Groups,CN=<orgname>,CN=,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,CN=<domain> ).
The directory object is required for hosting the entire directory attributes associated with the system attendant.

It’s very important to have System Attendant mailbox configured properly and available on your system. If it’s not configured properly then, it can hamper proper functioning of your Exchange server. It may lead to problems while updating OWA-generated Free/Busy information. It can also cause the mailbox moves fail. Hopefully, this post will help you to get awareness about the Exchange System Attendant and its importance in Exchange server. I wish to come up with the next post soon, there I would like to discuss about Errors and the remedies associated with Exchange System Attendant.