Installing Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 – Step by Step Guide (Part 1)


This is my guide on installing Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, the guide is intended only to deliver a know how about installing a highly available Exchange Server,

which means if you find this article useful for you, then you are going to need to do all the pre-calculations for installing to a production environment including , Software/hardware Requirements, Database Sizing … Etc..

But all these information that would assist you in this can be found here Exchange 2010 System Requirements ; Exhange 2010 prerequisites  and Mailbox Storage Design

So before i begin with installing Exchange Server , i would like to talk a little bit about Exchange Server Roles,  for those who are new to Exchange Server 2007/2010 there has been a major change in the Exchange Server architecture starting Exchange 2007 and above, Exchange 2007  introduced server roles where each handles specific operations in the Exchange organization, those roles are

  • CAS Client Access Server is responsible for handling authentication and redirection for Exchange server clients like outlook, OWA, and AciveSync for mobile devices, The CAS server handles those clients connection to their respective mailboxes.
  • Hub Server is typically the email router, it routes all incoming or outgoing emails to their destinations.
  • Mailbox Server hosts the Exchange Server Databases which includes users mailboxes and public folders
  • Edge Server performs the same role of the HUB Server but placed typically in the perimeter network adding a layer of Security and protection provided by installed agents
  • UM Server Unified Messaging server is used to integrate Exchange Server with and existing PBX system so that user mailboxes can be accessed by the telephone

Having explained the different roles for Exchange Server let’s start with deployment, i am going to deploy this lab in a virtual environment which is also supported in production environment by Microsoft  see here so let’s take a look at our topology


Lab Summary

EX-HC-01 : Exchange Server CAS/HUB Roles 1st Node [Server with 2 NICs]

EX-HC-02 : Exchange Server CAS/HUB Roles 2nd Node [Server with 2 NICs]

EX-MBX-01 : Exchange Server Mailbox 1st Node [Server with 2 NICs]

EX-MBX-02 : Exchange Server Mailbox 2nd Node [Server with 2 NICs]

DAG-01 : Database Availability Group ( will talk about this more later)

DC-01 : Active Directory Domain Controller

DC-02 : Active Directory Domain Controller with Certificate Services installed

Operating System Used for all servers : Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2

Now that we have a vision on our environment, we are going to prepare our servers for the Exchange installation, and to do that we are going to need to add some windows features required by Exchange server , as we mentioned before the operating system we are going to use for all servers is Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.

First you need to install Microsoft Filter Pack. For Exchange 2010 on the servers hosting HUB and Mailbox server Roles, so according to our lab design that would be all of them.

Now for the rest of the prerequisites Microsoft provided a set of commands to add them using PowerShell using the Add-WindowsFeature command, so first we are going to open PowerShell and enter the following command “Import-Module ServerManager”

On Servers EX-HC-01 and EX-HC-02 that hold the HUB and CAS Server Roles we are going to run this command

Add-WindowsFeature NET-Framework,RSAT-ADDS,Web-Server,Web-Basic-Auth,Web-Windows-Auth,Web-Metabase,Web-Net-Ext,Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console,WAS-Process-Model,RSAT-Web-Server,Web-ISAPI-Ext,Web-Digest-Auth,Web-Dyn-Compression,NET-HTTP-Activation,Web-Asp-Net,Web-Client-Auth,Web-Dir-Browsing,Web-Http-Errors,Web-Http-Logging,Web-Http-Redirect,Web-Http-Tracing,Web-ISAPI-Filter,Web-Request-Monitor,Web-Static-Content,Web-WMI,RPC-Over-HTTP-Proxy

We could add the -Restart Switch at the end of the above command if you want the server to be restarted automatically after installation finishes, for now we are going to do a manual restart for both servers.

Now for EX-MBX-01 and EX-MBX-02 servers that are going to host the Exchange Mailbox server role, after Importing Server Manager module to PowerShell enter the following command

Add-WindowsFeature NET-Framework,RSAT-ADDS,Web-Server,Web-Basic-Auth,Web-Windows-Auth,Web-Metabase,Web-Net-Ext,Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console,WAS-Process-Model,RSAT-Web-Server -RestartNote this time i am adding the -Restart Switch

Now that we have restarted all servers and installed all our prerequisites lets begin with Exchange installation, you are going to need to Login  with an account that is member of the Enterprise Admins group. Exchange installation will begin with preparing the organization by extending Active Directory Schema, for that to succeed the user must also be a member of the Schema Admins group.

One very important thing to mention here, Make sure you Server’s computer name is correct as this can not be changed later on after installing Exchange.. Renaming a server after you have installed an Exchange 2010 server role is not supported

But which roles are we going to install first ? Microsoft recommends installing CAS role followed by HUB and then Mailbox role.. so we will insert our media to server EX-HC-01 and launch the installation wizard

First Choose Language option and then click on install Microsoft Exchange

After Accepting the agreement and configuring Error Reporting setting we get to Server role Selection page , a Typical installation would install HUB, CAS and Mailbox roles on the same server, but that’s not what we are going for here so we are going to select Custom Installation.

You can see below the Check box “Automatically install Windows Server Roles and features required for Exchange Server” which is a new setting in Exchange 2010 SP1 that would automatically install any missing requirements from a pre-configured XML Answer files for each specific server role

Select both the CAS and HUB server roles

Type a name for your Exchange Organization, This can not be blank and is limited to 64 characters

If your CAS server is not going to be internet facing you can leave this blank but since we are going to Publish this server in our lab we are going to choose a domain name “mail.lab.com”

Wait for the Readiness Check to complete, you will get notified if any prerequisite is missing

Well it seems that everything is fine, do not worry about the warningSetup is going to prepare the organization for Exchange 2010 by using ‘Setup /PrepareAD’. No Exchange 2007 server roles have been detected in this topology. After this operation, you will not be able to install any Exchange 2003 or Exchange 2007 serversthis is just an alert that Exchange is going to Extend your Active Directory Schema, which is fine and you can proceed with the install. if you need to be on the safe side and want to extend the Schema manually  run the command setup.exe /preparead on the Domain Controller that hosts the Schema Master role using Exchange Media.

Wait for the installation and reboot to complete, Now do the same for the rest of servers EX-HC-02 , EX-MBX-01 and EX-MBX-02 one server at a time ..

Congrats you have have got your Exchange Servers installed

Hope this Guide was informative and helpful, see you in Part 2 where we are going to configure High availability through Windows Network Load Balancing for CAS Servers

Installing Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 – Step by Step Guide (Part 2)

Installing Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 – Step by Step Guide (Part 3)

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2 thoughts on “Installing Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 – Step by Step Guide (Part 1)

  1. Pingback: Installing Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 – Step by Step Guide (Part 3) | TAG

  2. Pingback: Installing Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 – Step by Step Guide (Part 2) | TAG

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