Deploying Microsoft Exchange 2016 Server with CAS and OWA

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Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 offers improved server performance, enhanced fault tolerance and better user experience. Exchange Server 2016 can be deployed as a new environment or organization, and can also be installed in co-existence with Exchange 2010 SP3 (Update Rollup 11 or later) and Exchange 2013 (Cumulative Update 10 or later). It cannot be deployed in co-existence with Exchange 2007 and other older versions.

Roles of Exchange 2016

Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 has the following two Server roles:

  • Mailbox Server Role: a multi-role server that combines the Mailbox Server and Client Access Server roles from Exchange 2013. It is similar to the combination of Exchange 2010 Mailbox, Client access, and hub transport server role.
  • Edge Transport Server Role: Handles both inbound and outbound email from the Internet. This server role is placed in the perimeter DMZ network, and not on Active Directory Domain joined servers. It creates a security layer to protect the Exchange servers by implementing several filtering solutions such as spam filtering, content filtering, connection filtering, and mail rules.

Active Directory Preparation

Before installing Exchange Server 2016 the Active Directory schema must be updated with new classes, attributes, and other items to support the new version. This needs to be done in pre-existing Exchange environments or non-Exchange environments that are being prepared for a new Exchange Server 2016 deployment.

Active Directory can be prepared either by using the Exchange setup.exe utility from the command line or by running the Exchange setup wizard directly.

Pre-requisites to setup Active Directory

  • Exchange 2016 setup should be download and extracted into a local machine.
  • Active Directory Schema can be prepared from any server which is located in the same Active Directory site where a Schema Master Server is available.
  • Commands should be executed by an account that has the Schema Admin Enterprise Admin permission.

Listed below are the setup commands to prepare Active Directory for Exchange Server 2016 delployment:

Setup.exe /PrepareSchema /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

The above command will prepare schema and accept the Exchange Server License agreement.

Setup.exe /PrepareAD /OrganizationName:”<organization name>” /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

In the above command,

  • ParepareAD will create objects to allow Exchange to store information.
  • OrganizationName parameter is only needed if you are running the command in a new domain. The OrganizationName parameter can be omitted if the installation is done in an existing Exchange organization.

Setup.exe /PrepareDomain:<FQDN of the domain you want to prepare> /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

In the above command,

  • PrepareDomain will create necessary containers and security group to assign necessary permission for Exchange.

Operating System Requirement

Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 supports these operating systems:

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard or Datacenter
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard or Datacenter

Pre-requisites for installing the Exchange Server Mailbox Server Role

The Windows Server prerequisites to install the Exchange Mailbox Server Role are outlined below. You should follow the order given here to ensure everything gets installed correctly.

Mailbox Server Role

  1. Install the following Windows components with PowerShell:

Install-WindowsFeature AS-HTTP-Activation, Desktop-Experience, NET-Framework-45-Features, RPC-over-HTTP-proxy, RSAT-Clustering, RSAT-Clustering-CmdInterface, RSAT-Clustering-Mgmt, RSAT-Clustering-PowerShell, Web-Mgmt-Console, WAS-Process-Model, Web-Asp-Net45, Web-Basic-Auth, Web-Client-Auth, Web-Digest-Auth, Web-Dir-Browsing, Web-Dyn-Compression, Web-Http-Errors, Web-Http-Logging, Web-Http-Redirect, Web-Http-Tracing, Web-ISAPI-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Filter, Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console, Web-Metabase, Web-Mgmt-Console, Web-Mgmt-Service, Web-Net-Ext45, Web-Request-Monitor, Web-Server, Web-Stat-Compression, Web-Static-Content, Web-Windows-Auth, Web-WMI, Windows-Identity-Foundation

  1. Install .Net Framework 4.5.2:

If you do not have .Net Framerwork 4.5.2 then you can download it from here https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42642

  1. Finally install Microsoft Unified Communications Managed API 4.0, Core Runtime 64-bit:

You can download Microsoft Unified Communications Managed API 4.0, Core Runtime 64-bit from this URL https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=34992

 

Edge transport Server Role

The Windows prerequisites for installing the Exchange Mailbox Server Role are outlined below. As before follow the order given here.

  1. Install the following Windows component through PowerShell:

Install-WindowsFeature ADLDS

  1. Install .Net Framework 4.5.2:

You can download .Net Framerwork 4.5.2 from this URL https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42642

Exchange 2016 Mailbox Server Installation

After Active Directory has been prepared you can then install Exchange Server 2016.

Download the latest version of Exchange Server 2016 from this URL https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=49161. Once downloaded extract to a local server.

Note: Exchange Server 2016 can be installed by either using the Setup Wizard or via the unattended mode.

Install Exchange Server 2016 Mailbox Server Role via Setup Wizard:

  1. Go to the location where you have extracted Exchange server.
  2. Locate the setup.exe and file and double-click it.
  3. Select the Don’t check for updates right now option and then click the Next button to continue.
  4. Again click the Next button to continue. You will see the “Introduction page”.
  5. Accept the license agreement and click the Next button. You will see the “Recommended Settings” page.
  6. Select the Use recommended settings option and then click the Next button. You will see the “Server Role Selection” page.
  7. Select the required Role.
  8. Also select the Automatically install Windows Server roles and features that are required to install Exchange Server option and click the Next button to continue. You will see the “Installation space and location” page.
  9. Do not make any change here and keep the installation path as default. Click the Next button.
  10. If the Exchange is being installed in a new organization then provide the organization name and click the Next button.
  11. Make sure to enable Malware Protection and click the Next button.
  12. On the “Readiness Checks” page Exchange setup will validate the setup to ensure that the server and environment is ready to install Exchange If you see any errors then first correct them and then restart the setup. If validation is successful then click the Install button to start the installation.
  13. Wait for the installation to finish. On completion of Installation, click the Finish button.

Install Exchange Server 2016 Mailbox Server Role via Unattended Mode

Unattended mode provides advanced options to install Exchange. It is used for automation and deployment in large scale environmsnts. Below are some of the important parameters that can be used with the Setup.exe command to install Exchange Server 2016:

Parameter Comments
/Mode: Install | Uninstall
/IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms Mandatory Parameter with every command
/Role: Mailbox | EdgeTransport
/OrganizationName: New name is used only for new organization
/TargetDir: Target directly where exchange is installed
/SourceDir: Source directly where Exchange installable files are located
/UpdatesDir: Update the patched from the specified directory.
/AnswerFile: Path of the answer file
/DoNotStartTransport Used when you do not want Server to participate in Mail transportation
/InstallWindowsComponents Install Necessary Windows Components if missing
/MdbName: Name for the first database
/DbFilePath: First database file path
/ActiveDirectorySplitPermissions: True | False
/LogFolderPath: First database log folder path

Below are some of the examples of setup.exe commands with the parameters:

    Setup.exe /Mode:Install /Role:Mailbox /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms
    Setup.exe /Mode:install /Role:Mailbox /TargetDir:”D: \Microsoft Exchange Server” /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms
    Setup.exe /Mode:install /Role:Mailbox /DoNotStartTransport /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms
    Setup.exe /Mode:install /Role:EdgeTransport /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

Exchange 2016 Edge transport Server Installation

Exchange 2016 Edge Transport should be placed in the DMZ network and it should not be on an Active Directory Domain joined Server. The Edge Transport server uses Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS) Windows components to store configuration and user information. You need use a local server administrator to install the Edge transport server role.

Install Exchange Server 2016 Edge Transport Role via Setup Wizard

Edge Transport Role can be installed either by using the Setup Wizard or via unattended installation. The process of installing Edge transport server role via Setup Wizard is similar to the process of installing the Mailbox Server Role.

You can execute the command below to install Exchange Server Edge Transport Role from command line:

Setup.exe /Mode:install /Role:EdgeTransport /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

Conclusion

Exchange Server should always be deployed in a primary site that has Internet connectivity. Mailbox servers should be introduced first. Before you deploy Exchange Server you should understand the current environment and base the design the of the solution on the current environment. Many considerations have to be made before deploying Exchange Server. For example; do you have any legacy Exchange Servers or any other mailing solutions in the environment? What needs to be migrated from legacy mailing solutions to Exchange Server 2016? What are the business and technical requirements of the organization with respect to protection of email data? How will High Availability and Disaster Recovery be implemented? If you are considering to deploy Exchange Server 2016 in a pre-existing Exchange environment, then you have to plan the co-existence to ensure the different versions of servers can communicate correctly.