So there we have it, the new look and feel of Exchange 2000. But at this point, what we have done is comparable to walking on to a car lot and walking around the car. We are enticed by the lines, we like the colors, it seems to fit us well. But the question that is really nagging at us is, “Whats under the hood?”. Well, don’t just do something, sit there and I will show you! One of the first things that I noticed about Exchange 2000 was its integration with Windows 2000. The two go together like peanut butter and jelly, fish and chips, pretzels and, well, you get the picture. In fact, Exchange 2000 not only requires Windows 2000, but it requires Active Directory as well. Unlike Exchange 5.5 that stored its information in its own directory, Exchange 2000 stores its directory information inside of Active Directory. This provides us as administrators with centralized object management and simplified security management to start. Exchange 2000 can also use either Security groups or Distribution groups as Distribution Lists, so this eliminates the need to create redundant groups in Exchange 2000. Also, because the Exchange 2000 information is stored in Active Directory, replication of Exchange information occurs as part of the normal AD replication process, improving network efficiency. More on these topics a little later in the series.